Visit for parenting workshops, parent coaching & children's activities!
March 27, 2023

Episode 92: How to be a Leader in Your Own Family with Susan Husa

We all know there's more to parenting than simply bearing a child... and the most effective parents are the ones who actually lead. But what does that mean and how is it achieved? In this episode, DJ talked with Susan Husa, a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, about leading as a parent and emulating love in the most personal and kind way. Listen as they discuss how encouraging curiosity, bringing in compassion and initiating parameters and boundaries within your family will create a collaborative environment that keeps everyone safe and on the same page.

Susan Husa has been helping leaders for over 30 years, just get to the heart of the matter. And this means getting very clear about what one wants to affect positive outcomes. She is a certified professional co active coach, and Susan just has a heart for helping people come through the challenges of life. She has a tremendous amount of compassion for people. And she claims her faith has been the foundation of what she has built her life on. Her hope is that everyone is able to see themselves as a leader, being fully responsible for their conduct as they develop leaders within their own family. Susan says leadership is an external expression influenced by an internal state of mind.

• [9:43] “Curiosity is what brings us into compassion and empathy to self and others.”
• [14:53] Susan shares: “We have this picture of what that perfect parent is… we have an idea of how we thought we would be a parent or how things ought to be.”
• [27:22] Susan discusses the importance of creating boundaries within your family.
• [37:43] Susan talks about how leadership is all about emulating love in the most personal and loving and kind way.

For more information on the Imperfect Heroes podcast, visit:

Connect with Us!
DJ Stutz -
DJ Stutz Booking Link:


FREE Parent/Teacher Workshop Link:

Susan Husa -

Book mentioned by Susan was Raising Great Kids by Drs Henry Cloud and John Townsend


DJ Stutz  0:13  
We think you should know that Imperfect Heroes podcast is a production of Little Hearts Academy USA. 

You're listening to Episode 92 of the Imperfect Heroes, Insights Into Parenting, the perfect podcast for imperfect parents looking to find joy in their experience of raising children in an imperfect world. And I'm your host, DJ Sutz. Susan Husa has been helping leaders for over 30 years, just get to the heart of the matter. And this means getting very clear about what one wants to affect positive outcomes. She is a certified professional co active coach, and Susan just has a heart for helping people come through the challenges of life. She has a tremendous amount of compassion for people. And she claims her faith has been the foundation of what she has built her life on. Her hope is that everyone is able to see themselves as a leader, being fully responsible for their conduct as they develop leaders within their own family. Susan says leadership is an external expression influenced by an internal state of mind. And there's so much to learn. So let's get started.

Parent teacher conferences are probably either coming right up if you haven't had them already. And it's an essential component of a child's academic success. So do you ever find yourself struggling to make the most out of these meetings, they're so short, and you need to get so much information in that time? Well, I have a downloadable workshop that aims to guide parents through the conference process. I provide insight into what to ask what to share, and how to navigate, sometimes difficult conversations. And it's free just for the month of March. And there is an option to meet with me after you've listened to the workshop to prepare for the conference. And we can even debrief after the conference to ensure that new routines and accommodations are actually working for your kiddo. So don't miss this opportunity to empower yourself and your child, the link to the workshop, and to my calendar, if you want to have that preparation, conversation and a debrief. All of that is in the show notes. And if you really liked what you hear in today's podcast, please be sure to rate and review and then tell a friend, 

You know, there's more to parenting than simply bearing a child. And the most effective parents are the ones who actually lead. But what does that mean? Well, this is Susan's specialty. And I have had the opportunity to work with Susan on several occasions. And she is amazing at asking the right questions that help folks to get to the heart of what they need at that time. And in that moment. So let's listen in. Hey, thank you, everyone, for joining us today on imperfect heroes podcast. And I am so excited for our guest today. We had a little snafu. And so we had to rearrange some things. But I'm so glad to be able to have Susan back. So Susan, who said, You are so good at this and with what you do. And so Susan's also a coach, and one of the things that I tend to ask with my parents is what makes you think you're a leader. Now? How do you know that you're a leader in your family? Because that's different than being a parent? Yeah. What do you think?

Susan Husa  4:18  
And so how would I? How would I define myself as a parent being a leader?

DJ Stutz  4:25  
Or I would say any parent that is being a leader? What are some of the key things that they can look at to say, oh, maybe I'm not or yeah, I'm doing great.

Susan Husa  4:35  
Got it? Yeah. Well, you know, I always like to think of, you know, the fruit of the Spirit. Because that's love, joy, peace, kindness, and I even put it in front of me right now. patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. And so, those are the things that I look for if I'm struck, you know, with strike even anger and selfishness and all that other stuff. I'm like, Ah, that's where I just feel like it's time for me to just, I always call it come to center get to the heart of the matter. Yeah. What is stirring here? So we're not that calm place where we're feeling like we can just trust everything. But you know, as parents, there's a developmental stage going on for them. So that's where that whole grace comes in for self to remind yourself that you're learning. You've never done this before.

DJ Stutz  5:39  
Yeah, yeah, I know, for me, so I'm the oldest of seven. And I've been around kids forever. So I was thinking when I was pregnant with my first and we had her and this cute little baby gums and like, I know what I'm doing. And sure enough, she was just this easy baby easygoing, getting along, you know? And I thought, Man, I got this down, you know? And I had another child. I found out I did not have it. Yeah, yeah. So I love the way that you went back to, you know, the gifts of the Spirit are a great way to gauge Am I living in these areas? Are they part of my life, and then gauging from them. I think if you're having a yell at your kids all the time, you're probably not being much of a leader.

Susan Husa  6:31  
Right. And I remember one time, I believe my son was probably about three, my daughter was about one. And I just, I was like this ferocious beast, I was like, You need tests, you know, whatever it was. And I was just caught in that moment, like it was. So it was like lightning striking me. And I felt so bad. I had this shame, this guilt and this, like, God, I'm the worst parent, right? And oh, it was terrible. And then I just really reflected on that. And I thought, I never, ever want to talk to anyone like that. And so I vowed to always talk to my children is if someone else was in the room with

DJ Stutz  7:20  
me, that's a great gauge.

Susan Husa  7:23  
And then I actually later even took on the idea that Okay, Lord, you're with me. I'm talking in front of you, my actions are showing to you. So, yeah, and we're never going to be perfect. We're practicing these things. We're practicing love every day.

DJ Stutz  7:41  
Right? And nobody's ever been a perfect parent. I mean, we have the perfect example in Christ. If you're a believer, as you and I both are mortal parents are and Joseph. You know, we're mortal parents. And I'm sure even they messed up. You're in their horse.

Susan Husa  7:59  
Right? Yeah. So I love how you bring that forth today to just say, you know, what is? What does it mean to you to be a leader as a parent?

DJ Stutz  8:08  
Yeah, I think, I don't know when I was raising my kids. And so I grew up in a home that there was a ton of yelling. A fair amount of violence on us. We didn't do what we're told. And so I knew I didn't want that. But how many times did I find myself though, just, I was frustrated. I was stressed out, I was whatever. And I have to turn around to see if my mom standing by me. Or her words I'm hearing and her tone of voice,

Susan Husa  8:42  
right? Yes, like, Oh, my God.

DJ Stutz  8:47  
When did you come down. And you gotta like regroup. But I think one of the neat things that we can do is instead of beating ourselves up about that, but I think that a good leader is someone who's curious, when something doesn't go wrong, we're not going to blame everybody. But and we're not necessarily even going to get mad at everybody, but we're gonna say, Okay, this didn't go through the plan. What do you think happened? Like, why do you think? And so if you approach it with an attitude of curiosity, rather than, ah, why did I do this and you're beating yourself up? Or even worse? You're telling yourself it's okay that you behaved that way with your kids. Yeah, yeah. So there's some different ways of doing that. But I think a leader a true leader, is actually curious.

Susan Husa  9:43  
Yes, I believe so too. And that's something that I'm learning especially after going through coach training, the the curiosity is what brings us into that compassion and that empathy to self and other because as parents like what came to me when you were sharing That was those tumultuous times where, like, for me, I didn't have all the tools. And so I was consistently like, trying to make things so you know, be so organized and, and have every, you know, just right for everybody and you know, even myself, right, like I was trying to, like, take care of myself so that I could feel like I had the energy to do all these, all these things that were important to me at the time. And so I Yeah, it's recognizing those moments when you might be feeling out of sorts, and just bringing yourself back to this, whatever it is that that you can think of, to, to be relaxed, like, everyone knows what that feeling is like to be relaxed. And you just allow yourself to drop your shoulders chill out for just like a second, go hide in the bathroom, even if the kids are banging on the door on the closet. Right? Like, hide somewhere. I ran across a neighbor's house and said, Okay, I just need you to sit with me for a minute, because I'm not ready to lose it. It's so funny, because we're looking back. It's like, it's so easy. And I really want to have some compassion here for parents. Yeah, it's really easy to get lost in so much. Because there's so many different aspects of your life that you are that your heart is attached to. And so in all sincerity, catching yourself in that moment, being able to relax, and just kind of, you know, gain perspective on what is it that I only need to do right now?

DJ Stutz  11:44  
Yeah, and sometimes you really need to chop it up into those smaller pieces. What's the next right thing? I need to do? Yeah, you know, am

Susan Husa  11:56  
I going to make that dinner I had planned and bought all this food for or am I just gonna throw peanut butter and jelly out tonight? Are we all gonna have breakfast? Or, Hey, who wants to make dinner tonight? You know, like, guys want to have big cookies for dinner. I don't care like peace of mind.

DJ Stutz  12:18  
And we've all gotten to that point at at some time as we're raising kids. And so I think that is a key thing is to give yourself the grace to say, wow, we've had a day. Cereal for everyone. Yes, cereal.

Susan Husa  12:39  
That's the key right there. infant or jelly or cereal?

DJ Stutz  12:43  
Yeah. You can choose? Yeah. Yeah. And I think to a good leader is someone who works to set up those, whomever they're leading, whether they're an employer, or on a volunteer thing, a church thing or family. You are looking for ways to make sure that others succeed. Yep,

Susan Husa  13:09  
absolutely. coming alongside. Right. Right. Right. Like, oh, how may I support you? And then asking them to support you

DJ Stutz  13:18  
when you get? Yeah, I know. It's just some simple things like not that I I was far from a perfect mom. But one of the things was when all my Well, my four kids, the fifth came along after everyone had left the house. But with the four kids and they were all little in my husband's working 80 hour weeks. And we had a pantry with shelves that were kind of down low. And that's where I kept our plates. Do you remember Mel Mac plates? I don't know if you remember Mel Mac? Oh, yeah. Hard

Susan Husa  13:55  
plastic? Melamine?

DJ Stutz  13:57  
Yeah. I think yeah. Anyway, yeah. But they're not. They're inexpensive. They're, they're not gonna break if the kids drop them, you know? Yeah. And so I kept the plates and the cups on that bottom shelf in the pantry. And so even my two year old or three year old, could go and grab a cup, you know, and get a drink of water. Or I could say, how many plates do we need? Now they're learning to count the plates. We're in a place. That's not a typical place for a kitchen. But it was a place that helped my kids participate in getting dinner ready and having those responsibilities and then they could do it themselves. They didn't need me to get the plates down for them.

Susan Husa  14:43  
Exactly. That was the smart mama. You mentioned a perfect parent. I wasn't the perfect parent. No one. So right and I as a coach, I catch those things and I'm sure you do too. Because What we do in those moments is we're we're, we have this picture of what that perfect parent is, we have an idea of how we thought we would be a parent or how things ought to be. Yeah. Right. And just being able to be you, you become a little more real with reality of, I thought it was going to be like this. And this is costing me my health. Because I'm trying so hard to do X, Y, and Z. So I love your idea, even of how can I how can I make this more interactive and create this environment where we are all participating? And I'm gonna fill up plates on a lower shelf so that I can be the perfect parent, because I'm teaching my kids how to interact in an environment where there's more than one person and collaborate.

DJ Stutz  15:57  
Right? I think, and I use this in teaching a lot when I was teaching my kindergarteners and stuff, but I would often talk about with parents, and then with co workers as well, we can be all stressed out about where these, oh, this kid isn't reading at this level yet, oh, this kid isn't doing this level of math yet, whatever. And we can get all concerned about that. But we're never going to get to where they should be if we don't look at where we are, actually. And so we can do that with ourselves as parents, we can do that with our kids. But to zoom down, I can say, Okay, this isn't like I want to be here. But until I recognize where I am now, and then what logical next steps are, I'm not going to jump from here to here. Right now. If I'm going to get anywhere near there, it's going to be these incremental steps. And so it's okay. In fact, it's important with your kids, okay. I would like my child to not have 18 tantrums in a day. But it's okay. Is as we're working at it, I'm going to start taking data because I'm Teacher. As you know, this week, we had 18 tantrums earlier, but now today, we only had 15. Okay, so parents can kind of get lost in that there's that improvement happening. Because 15 tantrums is still a lot. But wow, we've made three. You know, when you lose three pounds, you feel great. Right?

Susan Husa  17:30  
Exactly. Well, and then you know, what's causing the child to have those tantrums? Exactly. What needs aren't being met? Yeah, you know, are they two? Are they three? Like, you know, you and I were in a conversation about two year olds, you know, and like, oh, like, Well, yeah, the twos and the threes are like, really a good gauge on. You know, what's kind of cool about twos and threes is, it's a real good picture of how adults are. We wanted our way. And then we realized as parents, that refining process is so cool, because you actually start to unwind from being wanting it your way. It's the give and take some parenting.

DJ Stutz  18:18  
Yeah. How many times have we looked at a two or three year old and said, I wish I could throw a tantrum like that. I feel like I could do it. We could like really be next to each other. I have to be a grown up, I can't do it.

Susan Husa  18:37  
Essence we will have tantrums in our own minds. Because we're grappling something that we want to resolve. Really, that's what we're doing. We're gonna want to resolve things because we're humans.

DJ Stutz  18:48  
Yeah. And we want to really fix things. But if I'm an employer, and I'm running around, fixing everyone's mistakes without making them say, Okay, I'm gonna help you. But let's see where it went wrong. And let's see. So we're teaching them as we go. We're not this helicopter parent that's rushing in or a lawnmower parent, you've heard that term. It's a new one, it's coming. My way. You're in my child's way. I'm gonna mow you out. Like my child will never even have the problem, because I've only heard the way before you know. And yeah, yeah. And

Susan Husa  19:33  
my heart goes out to the parents that are, are with that, you know, like seriously compassion for all types because they've come from an environment that has given them certain tools to really survive. I guess we'll just keep it at a level of understanding in that. And I tend to get so serious because I do have the sympathy and the And this compassion for parents that are going through parenting, you're learning so much. And there's, you're navigating so many different relationships. I mean, you spouse yourself, and then you got these little ones that and everybody needs something. And, and there's a lot to take care of just food, clothing and shelter, let alone and so you're managing a big empire.

DJ Stutz  20:25  
You are. Yeah. And I mean, there's some nights where you go to bed and you're just saying, Nobody died today. I'm a success. Right? I killed no one. So I'm gonna feel good about that.

Susan Husa  20:41  
Yeah, right. Exactly.

DJ Stutz  20:46  
We all have those days, don't we?

Susan Husa  20:48  
Yes. Gosh, and if you and I can just bring a glimmer of hope to parents today that that may be struggling or, you know, or they're trying to identify with like, Yo, how do I lead? Well, as a parent, you know, and it's like, with, you know, the whole curiosity piece is be curious about what's going on? Like, why am I so uptight? Cuz you have 1000 things on your list to do we have this big vision, and it's going round and round and round in your head, you know, and so just continuously honing it in, like, full until the end. And just, and another thing that came up for me, when you were talking about something is when we oh, the the steps that are everyone's at a different level of a step, right, like, right, talking about the kids. Everybody's at a different level, right? And, yeah, we're all different. We all like some like to read, some don't Some want to tinker with toys, and someone to design something. And so paying attention to that with all your little peeps in your household, even yourself, your spouse. Just being aware of asking, What do you need? Oh, and not comparing yourself to the Joneses? Oh, for sure. You notice that your friend is really good at decorating and you're not and it's not your gig. And so you might feel like, maybe you're not so worthy. Because Oh, come to my house. And it looks like crap, because I decorate. But oh, I come to your house. I'm like, oh, you know, right. So giving yourself grace on those things, and really just going to your friend's house and saying, Wow, I love the way you decorate. And when she comes to your house, that you're just enjoying her and you're loving her in your own way. Yeah.

DJ Stutz  22:41  
And maybe she's feeling like, oh, you know, Mrs. Jones comes to you and says, Oh, I love the way that you connect with your kids. And I've got my things going on. Maybe even a little city or whatever, you know that everything has to be perfect. And I will I love the way that you have fun with your kids. And you're not so uptight. You each have things that we shine in. And you know, and then

Susan Husa  23:08  
just like allowing yourself to be who you are, and appreciating those in your environment in your home and appreciating clothes extended out into your community. And just being curious about not just the people in your home, but those outside of your home. Yeah. So I love how you brought that capacity. And because it's just huge.

DJ Stutz  23:37  
Well, and I think to that as that can work with people you're working with, and a neighbor or someone at church or a sibling, an adult sibling, you're an adult now and that relationship with your parents. Yeah, that goes finding that zone of curiosity. I think it's real. And I think that, you know, we've got so much going on right now with people being angry at each other. And there's, I don't think we're as divided as the media makes us out to be. But there's that element of that. So I'm a very political animal. And I have some kids that are on my side, and some kids, and I don't mean side, but believe the same kind of ways. And I've got other kids who are like, well, where'd that come from? Yeah, and as a parent, for me, it's kind of hard sometimes for me to say, Okay, listen to what they're saying. And so we've had to come from an agreement that both of us come from a place of care. Right? We want good things to happen for people. We may not agree on how that works, but we absolutely need to trust each other. That we care. Yeah, that's really helped out. And I think to like little kids They want life to work out. Yep. And so they tend to do what works for them. Mm hmm. Right. If they're throwing a fit in the middle of the store, they've probably found out that hey, that works. I'll get the Cocoa Puffs. Yeah, so yeah. And so I think that with that curiosity piece, it could be like, Why did Johnny think it was a good idea to throw himself on the floor and scream in the middle of the cereal aisle? You know, um, and let me figure that and go through that. And then I can, once I do that, I can come up with a plan and put some systems into place. Systems are really important, again, for a leader. Yeah, yeah.

Susan Husa  25:49  
And helping him come to terms with the fact that we already have Cocoa Puffs at home. Or Cocoa Puffs is a special thing that we have, whatever. And so today's not the day that we're going to get a mummy needs the money to get the Cocoa Puffs, and we don't have it today. or something, right, like helping them. I mean, I used to do that a lot with my kids, I would stop, I would listen to what it is that they want. And they need. I took so much time doing that. Yeah,

DJ Stutz  26:21  
yeah. And I think too, if you have those kinds of systems in place, where you can say that, or you're personally responsible enough to make a list of the things that you need, and you let your kiddo carry the list, carry the pencil, they can cross things off? Well, I want this, I owe the list and see is that on our list? Oh, it's not on our list. You know, sorry, next time, but let's get it on the list. Now, think of the brains and the things that you're teaching right now. You can even have a rule that we can have one thing that is not on the

Susan Husa  26:55  
list? Who Yeah, right. We can have one thing.

DJ Stutz  26:59  
So is this your one thing that we're gonna get? Or do you want to wait and see if there's something else. So now they're now they're learning some more things. So there are a lot of things that you can do and have the systems into place. But I think giving the kid or the list and letting them cross it off and stuff. I mean, a three year old loves to do that, oh, I'm in church, this is great. You know,

Susan Husa  27:22  
that's what I love about you is you know so much about the developmental stages, and just really spot on with the grand ideas that really do relate to their developmental stage. And then just relating that all to leadership, like the big thing for me is collaborative environments. So at the outset teaching those, and then just like God gave us boundaries, that's why the laws were written right? Early on, just say, Hey, this is how we, we can all love one another. Right? There's some parameters. There's some boundaries here. And so that's the same as a leader would create those safety boundaries in within a home. These are things that we value these days that we the boundaries that we stay in to keep each other safe and be respectful.

DJ Stutz  28:09  
Yeah, I think that is key and important. I think another thing is, just like in a business, you have a mission statement, right? How about developing a mission statement with your family? You might need them to be about five years old, once they're in elementary, they're old enough to process and kind of think about those important things. But I remember going through that process with my kids. And we came up with a mission statement. And it was, have fun, be good. And serve the Lord. Yeah, it was just those two. And then we made a flag and cool posts, we put our flag out on our family fun days. And yeah, we just did. We were totally, like crazy about it. But a good leader of a company is going to make sure there's a mission statement when you have a family mission statement, and then you can refer back to that. And they've been part of coming up with it.

Susan Husa  29:06  
Yes, I love hearing that you do that. It's an excellent idea. It keeps everybody in the spouse is on the same page. And there's, there's this safety feature, right. That's why we have curfew. That's why we have laws. And so, you know, years later, my son said to me, Mom, thank you for being the strict mom. Because it gave him and out the things that would have been very detrimental to his livelihood.

DJ Stutz  29:37  
Right. And it's okay. I mean, they say that the number one deterrent for teenage drinking is parental disapproval. Yep. That's the number one thing they'll talk about.

Susan Husa  29:49  
And I was never afraid to tell my family when I was navigating relationships with my kids, friends, parents, I would ask them Have a lot of questions and things that were important to me to know. And I was open to sharing with them any concerns or questions that they had with me about different things. And I was always the one that would call, usually first and ask them, especially in high school. What are your drinking policies? Because these are mine?

DJ Stutz  30:22  
Yeah, absolutely. And that is great to do. And you can get them used to that. Oh, here goes, Mom, she's still in it again. But I mean, started very young, they won't remember a time when mom wasn't asking those questions. Always ask those.

Susan Husa  30:38  
Most. Yeah, the people with the boundaries?

DJ Stutz  30:42  
Absolutely. Yeah. Right. And then isn't it nice to know that you're going to come in touch with other families, because you ask those questions, you're going to connect with other families that her like, she's my person, we are two peas in a pod as far as those values and those boundaries in those, whatever. And so now you've expanded your network, you know, places where your child's safe to be. And they know too, that you're a safe place for their kids to call.

Susan Husa  31:14  
And then, you know, there were some parents that didn't have the same values, but my kids knew what they were. And so then I just told them, you know, actions create consequences. So your choices outside of the home, are those that you will suffer. So you make whatever choice you want. Right? If willing to suffer the consequences that way, you know, because I always used to hear, allow your children to fail when they're at home. Because when they get to be adults, and they fail, they go to jail, or they exactly a harsher consequence.

DJ Stutz  31:53  
Right? Yeah, it's so funny, especially when with the little, I just want to be a grown up, I don't want to have any rules, you know, and I'm gonna do what I want. It's like good luck with that good.

Susan Husa  32:05  
Right. And then the the beautiful piece as a parent is, being at that maturity level is incredible. Because, you know, there's going to be this pushback. And so you are willing to recognize that, I always think about how God feels about us. He's like, Oh, I really told you, you know, this is the way to do it, you know, and all just listen to me.

DJ Stutz  32:36  
Right? Right. How many times have we said that as parents. And so it just makes it very relatable to our relationship with God, as we have children. And we can see some of those parameters. Of course, it's much deeper and stronger with God than it is for parents. But parents are pretty strong in the love that they have for their

Susan Husa  32:56  
internal, that internal dialogue that you have with yourself, like, that's not something that you would speak out loud, it would be within yourself just to be Oh, I pray that they will be strong to say, no.

DJ Stutz  33:10  
Yeah, I'm so glad that you brought up prayer, one of the things that I think is very helpful, I mean, from the time they're little, and it's ongoing now, when my kids are older, is let them hear you pray for them. And let them hear that you're aware of their life. And, you know, and the love that our Father in Heaven has for that, I think when they hear you pray for them by name, I think that really, again, part of that leadership that really helps them see you as a leader, a spiritual leader in your home as well. Yeah. Thanks for bringing that up.

Susan Husa  33:50  
Yeah, absolutely. So fun. Just the the joy of parenting and the concerns. I guess, one thing that comes up is sometimes as a leader, we feel like we've failed. And you mentioned that earlier, you know, laying your head on the pillow and just feeling like there's just something that you didn't quite do, right, or there's something else during I'm just gonna bring this up right now this the book that I always had by my bedside was raising great kids by Townsend and John Townsend, and oh, my gosh, how could I ever forget his name? Cloud? Henry Cloud?

DJ Stutz  34:30  
There, you thought you're better at remembering authors than I am. That's a good book.

Susan Husa  34:36  
Yeah, it was I was by my bedside for, like, 18 years, and every time I'd lay down, and I'd be like, Oh, that was terrible. Or my kids were struggling with something written in chronological order, or age. And I opened it up and it was like, always spot on. Yeah. And they'd be like, Oh, my God, and I just felt like I could rest easy that Night. Oh, I know what I was gonna say one more thing because I tell my kids that you're under my care when you're in my home up until you're 18. After you're 18 years old, you're you're reporting to God now, you're not reporting me. And so I'm here to support you, and adult with you. But I'm excited for you. And I'm here to help you meet the challenges that you your life.

DJ Stutz  35:30  
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And it's making that transition. And that's not something that you just flip a switch with, oh, they're 18. Good. But I think that begins very young, again, with helping them to use that executive functioning. And we talked about in education, but the ability to make a decision based on the outcomes that might happen from that decision, right? And so you when you're teaching them even at a young age, and they're saying they're upset, or they have a problem and say, Well, what would you like to see happen with this problem? And the guy just want to punch him in the face, you know? Because they can they're and boy, I've had times I've wanted to punch someone in the face, but I can't know because there's a rule that says, I have to go to jail if I do so. So I would say, Okay, what would happen if you punch them in the face? Well, he's going to know and I'll feel better and donut. Well, okay, what else might happen? So instead of just saying, No, you can't do that. But actually start asking him those questions. Well, what would happen if you did that? Good? And then so is there a way to get some, you know, I see that you're angry. Is there another way that will not get you in trouble that you can do to rectify the situation. But when you can start having those conversations with them at a young age, Johnny took my truck or it's my turn to ride on the bike, or whatever it is. And so if you can start with him young and saying, Okay, you feel like it's your turn for the bike. What can we do about that?

Susan Husa  37:19  
Right? option. For me, that was always hard for me. It's like Johnny's riding the bike. He's having a good time. Okay, now Susie wants to ride the bike. It's like, well, Johnny's on the bike. So go find something else to do. Right then. Now is it really right to just say, okay, Johnny, now you have to stop, didn't have let somebody else have a turret parameters up before you go outside. Okay, there's only one bite. And we both we know that you both want to write it. So today, we're going to draw straws to who gets to read it because like, it's all about compromise, get married and compromise with your husband after they've grown up in a different household than you.

DJ Stutz  37:59  
Exactly, exactly.

Susan Husa  38:01  
It's the same thing. It doesn't matter. Whatever relationship you're in, there's going to be that give and take and Yeah, ah, right. Leadership is all about emulating. I like to say who Christ is like he's, he's the one that emulated love in the most personal and loving and kind way. Yeah. And so to me, that's the mission is to love your neighbor as yourself. And there's a lot said in that. And then of course, as a Christian, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, right? Because if we don't start first of a leader, like what is that vision of a great leader than how do you know how to even be a leader?

DJ Stutz  38:47  
Right? Right. And I don't think a lot of those qualities are actually taught in school. But then here's my thing. Oh, we don't teach that in school anymore. Well, really, was that ever the school's responsibility? I think that all along.

Susan Husa  39:04  
It's always in the home, everything. So I hear your you know that in your voice, because you were a teacher, and I'm sure it just grinded you every day. But I'm curious, how did you get over that? Because that would be a skill applied to everything that grinds you? Yeah. And that was yeah, perfect example right now to share with everyone like how is it that you didn't let that just poke you in the back every day, through time

DJ Stutz  39:37  
and through learning and then with the my own experience with raising kids, that the more upset that I would get about their behaviors or there whatever. It just was another loud voice to the cacophony of anger that was going on and that applies to home as well. But I think that when I started recognizing that, but I think that the experiences that I had with people who I would initially think you know what I mean? Like, yeah. And I started recognizing that everybody's just trying, everybody has a product of the goodness or the hell that they've gone through. And that it's not my place to be another stumbling block. And it took me some years to get through there and get to that realization. I mean, I'd have dads come in with their faces, all tattooed in the teardrops and, and if I'd seen someone out on the street like that, before I came to my epiphany. Yeah, I mean, I been kind of fearful of that person. And very judgy. Yeah, but yeah, you know, now, and as you start hearing other people's stories, so it's kind of like the old saying that travel, erases discrimination, discrimination erases travel. So that as you get to know more and more people and expand your horizons and truly getting to hear their story, it changed me, it totally changed me. And that's where I got to, let's see where we are, instead of being upset over what should be. Let's look at what is then look at next steps. So that works for everybody, everybody.

Susan Husa  41:37  
And right. So that's a one of those leadership traits, whether you're one on one with your two year old, your spouse, your neighbor, your whatever, any other meeting, like, what is what is now? And is there something that we need to solve? Right, and, and come together? And what needs to happen here right now?

DJ Stutz  42:02  
Yeah, absolutely. And I think to be able to kind of look at the moment, because that's all there isn't right now.

Susan Husa  42:10  
Right? Because when we get into the future, we're stressed. And if we look behind, we can be stressed. And if we're in now, and that was a hard concept for me. It when I look back on it, I see it differently now. And of course, right the two year old sees, well, whatever, like, as we grow and mature, we start seeing things differently. And so as parents, that's exactly how I was going to give any advice it would be is to, you know, just be in the moment, like if, you know, have that, have those concerns, have even written down so that you can pick those apart with someone like a professional, like hire a coach, like one of us, right? Yes. And resolve. Because if you don't resolve, then it's going to continue to just stir and grind and free. The unnecessary dis ease.

DJ Stutz  43:15  
Right? That's absolutely right. And in fact, and then when you're working with someone, and whether it's a friend or you've hired a coach, or whatever, and you're listening to the suggestions that they give, really pay attention to, you know, the hairs on the back of your neck, or, you know, that feeling like, oh, this doesn't feel right. You know, I recently heard a parenting coach, give some advice that I thought was horrible. Just not good advice. And so you can feel that and you know that and it's okay, to then move on and find someone that's really giving you advice that is, once again, let's go back to the gifts of the Spirit. Does this fit what they're telling me? Does this fit with those gifts of the Spirit? And so yes,

Susan Husa  44:06  
yes. Because there's a lot of

DJ Stutz  44:09  
bad advice out there too.

Susan Husa  44:10  
Mm hmm. Yes, I believe so.

DJ Stutz  44:14  
Yeah, yeah. So Susan, if my listeners want to know any more about you, or connect with you, where can they go?

Susan Husa  44:23  
Oh, thanks for asking. Well, let's make it easier. My website is animate life. So that's, like, animate your life means to bring fully to life. And then everything is on there.

DJ Stutz  44:38  
Okay, yeah, that makes it nice and easy. And we'll be sure to have that in the show notes. And so you can just scroll down. If you like what you've heard today. Let us know and you can always leave a comment or get on our Facebook page with Facebook and Instagram is just imperfect heroes podcast and let us know You're thinking and tell a friend, of course. So Susan, I have one last question I always ask my guests. And that is, how would you describe a successful parent?

Susan Husa  45:13  
Oh, well, let's just add curiosity right at the top. And a successful parent is one who has identified their values, and is fully committed to honoring those things that are important to them. And encourage others to do the same.

DJ Stutz  45:36  
Perfect, that is a great little nugget of wisdom right there. Susan, thank you so much for spending this time with us and, and being a part of imperfect heroes.

Susan Husa  45:50  
They're always a pleasure to be with you.

DJ Stutz  45:52  
Oh, thank you. All right, we'll talk to you later. Be sure to check the show notes to find Susan's information, and then hit the Follow button to make sure you're getting in on the amazing episodes that we have each week. 

I am so excited to announce that the Cicerone masters then Cicerone Society is open for registration right now and will remain open until March 31st. And this is a rare opportunity to join our group parent coaching program, as we open up registration only three times a year. If you register right now, you're also going to get access to the four modules that we have that help parents understand what to expect how kids grow in social emotional skills, and then how to prepare them and support them while they're in school, what to expect in their education. That's a free edition on by signing up now, we're going to have Thursday evenings zoom sessions, and that's going to provide a safe and supportive space for parents to share their ups and downs. And our expert coaches will guide you through the challenges of raising young children. And you're going to learn practical strategies that can make a big difference in your family's life. Don't miss out on this chance to connect with other parents and find joy in parenting. So be sure to register now for the Cicerone masters and the Cicerone society. It's all one thing. If you go to the website, you'll see that it's all one thing. And of course, the link is in the show notes. 

And next week's guest is Stephen Crane. And he is the author of a book that I'm currently reading, and it's called, I can appreciate that, and I love it. It's about his journey from going to a negative pessimist, who found the problem and everything to someone who is supportive and happy and has that positive outlook. It's an amazing book, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. So check it out and see you next week. And until then, let's find joy in parenting.

Transcribed by

Susan HusaProfile Photo

Susan Husa

Susan Husa has been helping leaders for over 30 years, just get to the heart of the matter. And this means getting very clear about what one wants to affect positive outcomes. She is a certified professional co active coach, and Susan just has a heart for helping people come through the challenges of life. She has a tremendous amount of compassion for people. And she claims her faith has been the foundation of what she has built her life on. Her hope is that everyone is able to see themselves as a leader, being fully responsible for their conduct as they develop leaders within their own family. Susan says leadership is an external expression influenced by an internal state of mind.