149: Using Play to Support Learning, with Sivanne Lieber

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

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We only encourage play up to age five in our culture, but play should be lifelong, because curiosity, learning, and growth should be lifelong. We need to trust our kids (and ourselves) to follow individual interests and passions to create learning and fulfillment.

In this episode of the Podcast, I’m talking with play enabler and parent coach, Sivanne Lieber, about using play to help our kids in academics and in everyday life. Listen in to learn how to shift your mindset about play and learning, and how to help your child follow their instincts for true success.


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My Guest

Sivanne Lieber

Sivanne Lieber is a parent coach, progressive educator, mama and early childhood specialist. But most of all, she is a PLAY enabler. Following nearly two decades in the classroom she now supports children through her work as The Joyous Parent, Sivanne helps parents move from struggle, isolation, and winging it to feeling supported, confident and self compassionate so that they can model for their children who they hope for them to become. Check out her work and join the Joyous Journey on @thejoyousparent on FB and Instagram and www.thejoyousparent.com. Get ready to join the play revolution!



Sivanne Lieber 0:03

The most successful people in the world are the ones who have identified the thing that makes them jump out of bed and they're incredibly passionate about and they are super, super focused on doing that one beautiful, amazing thing that is their contribution to this world and what they were meant to do on this earth.

Penny Williams 0:24

Welcome to The Parenting ADHD podcast, where I share insights and strategies on raising kids with ADHD straight from the trenches. I'm your host, Penny Williams. I'm a parenting coach, author, ADHD a Holic and mindset mama, honored to guide you on the journey of raising your a typical kid. Let's get started. Welcome back to The Parenting ADHD Podcast. I'm really excited today to be talking to Steven Lieber of the joyous parent. And we're going to talk about how you can use play to support learning. I'm really excited to talk to you again, Steven, you spoke at our happy mama retreat recently, and it was so wonderful. And so I'm really excited to share you with the podcast episode as well. We you start just let everyone know who you are and what you do.

Sivanne Lieber 1:22

Sure. And thank you so much for having me. Again, it's been such a pleasure to connect with you and with your community of beautiful mamas, though, I'm just so happy to be here. So yes, I'm Steven Lieber. I was a classroom teacher for 15 years, in inner city, New York City, in all sorts of different spaces. And I've always worked with neurotypical children in every single space that I've been a teacher in mostly first grade. And nowadays, I work with parents to help us reclaim our identities, so that we can model who and what we hope for our children to be by being it ourselves. And essentially, in order to raise children who won't resent us, who we won't resent in the process. And in addition to that, I call myself a play enabler. And everything that I do is informed from the perspective of bringing lay back to the mainstream, trying to start the play revolution and bringing played back to the schools to our playfulness as in adulthood, to our parenthood, to our children's childhood and upbringing and growth, and of course, to support their learning, which I'm really excited to talk about with you today.

Penny Williams 2:35

Yeah, and I love that you focus on play, because we're losing it. In our culture, we're losing the focus and the awareness of how monumentally important play is in child development. And I think in mental and emotional health.

Sivanne Lieber 2:51

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. We've been losing it for a long time. And that's one of the reasons why, if you go to the top of my website, my first question is, why do we stop playing at five years old? That is the age old question. And it's really fascinating. When I explain that I'm a play enabler, people tend to immediately jump to Oh, you must be an early childhood expert, which I am. And they stop there. And then I say, No, no, no, no, no. But I have implemented play in my second grade classrooms and in my third grade classrooms, and in my work with fourth graders, and I also implement play and playful activities and insights in my work with adults as well.

Penny Williams 3:33

Yeah, I think it's so valuable that we enjoy life, that we're really mindfully aware. And we're living, because as parents, especially, we get on autopilot, and we just kind of lose time, and we're not enjoying it. And by playing don't just with our kids, I mean, just kind of that spirit of play, having that fun, happy spirit of play, I think is so important.

Sivanne Lieber 4:00

That's right. I couldn't agree with you more. And the other space of this is that it's so interesting to me and curious to me that up to about five years old, which are considered the soft tears, we tend to promote and adore our children's wimzie and their magic and their wonder and their curiosity and their growth, and we let them follow their passion, let them follow their flow, and we find it adorable and wonderful. And then suddenly, we hit a certain age, and we feel like we must push them into a box, no matter what shape they actually are. We tried to mold all of our children into one certain shape that society has, for some reason declared as the only way to achieve and the only way to succeed. And so one of the first things that I always speak to when talking about using Play to support our learning is I would like to invite us all to redefine play, and also to redefine learning, because they actually are essentially one of the theme, in my opinion,

Penny Williams 5:08

yeah. And to redefine success, which I talk about a lot with my families and on the podcast, is it doesn't have to look like that box that our society and our public education system says that it looks like,

Sivanne Lieber 5:22

Absolutely, I would actually argue that there is no such thing as success, achievement or failure, I would define failure as learning and growing. Yeah. And I would find true success and true achievement, as the ability to strip back the layers, the story and the patterns and the lies that we learn through domestication as we grow into consciousness and into language and knowledge. And instead realigning with our true knowing. And when we're able to do that, when we're able to say, This is who I would be, this is how I would approach life. If I were not trapped in the story, then, right, I think that we have actually truly met a life of achievement and success.

Penny Williams 6:06

Yeah. And we write those stories for ourselves. We tell ourselves, our own stories based on what's happened and the way that we process things. And we choose, we choose what that narrative will be.

Sivanne Lieber 6:18

That's right. But unfortunately, what I've found with so many parents, and I've been doing this work for so many years now, the first step is that we have to unlearn so much. We have to de wire in order to rewire in point because for some reason, we have become this scarcity deficit culture that, when you get your child's report card, for instance, and say it's all A's and one f, what are we going to focus on? Right,

Penny Williams 6:46

I would like to say we're gonna focus on actually, I learned not to focus on grades a long time ago, but yeah, well, you're gonna focus on that f, if you're right. Yeah,

Sivanne Lieber 6:58

if we're sensitized into the culture, right, and it's not our fault, right? And you're speaking to a teacher who does not believe in homework or grades. And I actually gave anecdotal narrative reports every quarter to the families I worked with instead of numbers or letters. And that was only a school that allowed me to my dream school that I finally landed, and that allowed me to do that. But you know, why is that the anomaly? Why is it the anomaly that instead of slapping a 92, or a proficient onto your child's report card that I instead, know them deeply to their core, and I'm able to tell you, what inspires them and where they are passionate, and where they are perhaps in need of support? Why is that not the story instead? And so one of the ways that I like to try to flip the lid or peel back the layers on our definition of learning and play is by inviting all of us to ask ourselves who we would be and what we would be doing, if there were no barriers or expectations. Right that what would you be doing right now?

Penny Williams 8:07

And I think that's really important for our kids who are neurodiverse? Because a lot of times we have to focus on what are their interests? What are their talents, in order to help them with some of that weakness as well. And when we can get them passionate about learning, when we can get them curious, then that can feed that lack of what looks like a lack of motivation, it's really just a difference in the way their brains work.

Sivanne Lieber 8:33

Mm hmm. That's right. And what's so beautiful is that it's very easy to get disheartened when you're inside the system. And when I stepped out of the system, and started working with parents and caregivers, and educators and connecting with so many amazing people like yourself, I've had this really humbling and blessing experience of connecting with so many people who are starting to shift towards what we are talking about, which is a paradigm of more openness of following flow of child lead, of understanding that all of us are neurodiverse in different ways. And all of us have special learning rights that we deserve to honor and uplift. And so part of my work has been in helping to empower both grownups and their children alike, to have the tools language and resources to self advocate for themselves if they are in the system. And then also to give them the ability to perhaps step out of the system and consider a different paradigm into homeschooling or unschooling, or if you're not able to do that, then helping to push the narrative and change the narrative within the school system. And I think the number one way to do that is to start to demand that every single one of the teachers, every single one of the educators that work with our children and touch their lives, make an effort to truly get to know them. And that is actually the number one way that we use play to support learning because if we do not know our students, how are we able to help them play in their truth because by play, play is following flow play is following passion play is following interest that then leads to ability that then leads to more interest that then leads to more curiosity that then leads to more development and growth and so on. And it becomes this beautiful cycle of dancing and celebration. However, that is not what we do, even in my experience with my daughter, who just entered a very old paradigm public school. And the reason we are there is because I believe that if parents like me are not there, then they will never change and shift. It's been very hard. For me, my daughter's right, because I know what could be, especially if I were running the show, not to sound nudie or anything, but in this one I get to be because I'm an awesome teacher.

But the reason I was an awesome teacher or am is because I made time to truly get to know each of my students. And in the most recent, we just had parent teacher conferences with my daughter's kindergarten teacher, she wasn't able to tell me anything true. That was unique to my daughter, not one thing. Hmm. You know, and also, I don't want to be assumptive, but also when talking to my daughter, and of course, this is from a four going on five year old perspective, she says that they don't ask questions about their lives or share anything about themselves. They just have this rote experience every day with worksheets and the same songs as a welcome song, right? Yeah. So and I understand that environment, I was mandated to teach in it for many years and pushed against the system fought against it every time, I would nod my head happily and and close my door and do what I believe when I could, right. But the true shift begins with getting to know our children.

So whether you are an educator listening to this, who does have 30 children, perhaps like I did in a classroom that you are dedicated to, and you are in the system, and you have the red tape, and the bureaucracy and the mandates and the pressures, or you are a parent or caregiver or guardian, either one of those spheres, the number one way to really help support our children's learning is get to know them truly deeply to the core, and then to provide them with what I call what I don't call it from the world of play in the world of early childhood development that I tried to extend past five years old, give them play provocation. So a play provocation is basically essentially an invitation. In early childhood, what it looks like is, you perhaps already know your child's play schema, behavioral play schema that they are involved in, in the moment. And for those who don't know what a play schema is, in early childhood, and in brain science of childhood development, there have been patterns of behavior that have been studied, that have come out from pure observation of how children play and move through the world when we don't interfere.

And there are basically eight categories of pattern and behavior that children in other young girls will cycle through. And it's a universal observation. For instance, almost every parent of a three year old might, at some point, observe their child throwing things over and over, right? Or they might observe their children wanting to play with water, or dumping one liquid into another liquid. Right? So these are universal behaviors, that actually, they're not by chance, they're actually a very incredible, miraculous way of the brain, to prune through all of the information that it's getting, and actually pruned down to what matters, which is what the brain is currently focusing on in order to help the child progress to the next step. Right? So if we expand that definition, past, early childhood, brain development doesn't stop. It's not static. Do you remember getting perhaps the milestones when you had a baby, right, or even when you're pregnant, your child is the size of a villain and your child is not the size, whatever it is, right?

And then when the child is born, it says your child should be walking by now or whatever it is, yeah. And then they always say it's a give or take, and it might not be on that cycle right on that schedule. So that doesn't end that keeps going. Fives tend to be very independent and autonomous, sevens and eights, actually more eights, and nines tend to be very justice and fairness oriented and so on. So if you start to learn that and you focus in on what your children love, and what their brain is working on, then you get to actually discover what they're ready to do and try That is when you get to give a little invitation that perhaps pushes them teensy little bit to the next step. Does that make sense?

Penny Williams 15:08

It does, yeah. I'm just visualizing the child who's pouring one liquid into the other, or, it's sort of they're experimenting, there's some sort of curiosity that I think is driving them to do that. And instead of, the natural inclination, we have to say, Stop doing that you're making a mess, or what are you doing? We should be thinking about what are they doing? Why are they doing that? What's so interesting? And how do we sort of foster that interesting curiosity?

Sivanne Lieber 15:31

Beautifully said, beautifully said, That's exactly right. And that gets to continue into school age and even adolescence. So an example of that is perhaps where the toddler was pouring. And that's actually a transforming schema transformation schema, they were, they were most likely if you're observing that over and over again, trying to understand and make sense of how one thing transforms into another. But then, fast forward to you now have a seven year old of school age, and perhaps what you see them doing all day, is building with blocks, or really tinkering with their Legos. Or maybe they're obsessive with drawing a unicorn over and over and over again, or trying to figure out the bubble letters, right, whatever it might be. Yeah. And when our children are infants, it's amazing. This is just it's amazing. To me, it's astounding to me that when they're infants, we don't push them with urgency, for the most part, to learn to walk, for instance, or to learn to eat, right? We trust that their bodies are going to develop. And even when there is neurodiversity, we still allow the natural cycle to continue to unfold with support. Right? Yeah. So but then our children get older, and we say we don't let them do that anymore. Naturally, we no longer we somehow suddenly lose trust in them. Have you noticed that?

Penny Williams 17:04

Yeah. Yeah. When you pointed out, yep.

Sivanne Lieber 17:06

Right. So suddenly, we no longer trust our children to naturally learn to read, or naturally learn to add objects together. But my question is, why oh, why would they not want to do that? Right. I mean, what person in the world wants to walk through life, not being able to read their own signs and write their own lists and count change out for Money and sign their name on a check or whatever else, whatever other skills, this will ultimately lead to, of course, right. So we forget to trust them, we become urgent. This sense of urgency, we must get everything right quickly and expediently and without any faltering. Right, or we are failing, and our children are doomed. I mean, I'm being facetious here, but not really. This is their culture. So what would the world look and feel like, if instead of having urgent mandates and standards by grade that we must meet and worrying that our child is getting a B instead of an A, or wondering if they're falling behind? If we were instead to observe openly and with curiosity and with love, and take anecdotal notes on what we noticed our children doing naturally, when they are not interrupted by us? What are their inclinations? What are their interests? What are their passions? What do they repeat over and over and over again? Maybe it's trying to figure out how to do a wheelie on the bike, and we might as grown up, say, that's a waste of time. Or maybe they're just, if they're playing, and that's fine. And that's cool, but it's not going to help them in life. Actually, I have a brother who is a urologist, and he's a robotic surgeon. And I believe that a big part of his success is because of all the Nintendo he played.

Penny Williams 19:00

Right? Yeah, right. And there's so many skills that come out of those sorts of things. Yeah,

Sivanne Lieber 19:06

exactly. Who would the engineer be without tinkering? Who would the artist be without trying things out and making a mess? Right? Yet, we are so stuck in this urgency culture and this fear of something that didn't even happen yet, which is our children won't be ready for some esoteric future that by the way, we don't even know what to predict. Yeah, the only thing that we need to predict is that they will have to be creative. Right? They will have to be resilient. Right. And they will most likely have to collaborate as well. I mean, especially with the future that they are inheriting. Our children are inheriting. Yeah, right. So most likely, I can also predict that every human in Western societies will probably need to know how to add 25 plus 42. Right. But beyond that, beyond those foundational skills, we can't predict anything. So the message that I like to share with parents and caregivers and educators out there around play and learning in general and redefining this. And shifting into this mindset is what would the world look like if instead of stopping the tinkerers from tinkering and demanding that they sit still and write the letter S 10 times? What if we waited for them to show true interest in something beautiful, gave them small provocations in order to make it so and then introduced a topic that they would be so excited to study that they would be running to pick up the pen and figure out how to write about it. And they would be running to pick up a book and try to read about it? Because they're so intrigued.

Penny Williams 20:44

Yeah, what a different world. And I can hear some of our listeners who are parents whose kids are probably like, mine was very anti school, sort of, and that's because it was pushed, this is what you're going to learn, my son would question all the time, why do I need to do this? I'm not going to be an engineer. Why do I need to figure out, this poly whatever complicated trigonometry with pen and paper, we have calculators, right? Like, these were the questions that were coming up all the time, it was preventing him from growing and learning and being somewhat academically successful, because he was really stuck by people telling him what he had to be interested in telling him what he had to learn and do. And our kids tend to question that so often, those with ADHD or autism, and it would be so valuable to be able to step back and say, you tell me what you're interested in, in the subject or about this? Or, what do you want to figure out or anything like that, and we get so used to as parents of neurodiverse kids, our kids not wanting to do school, and it starts to feel like they don't want to learn, as starts to feel like they don't care about learning or doing well, even. And it's actually not the case at all, which is what you're talking about is that they have a natural curiosity, they do kind of have this natural growth trajectory. And we have to realize that they may not look like they're participating in that when really, it's because we're not opening the doors. We're not laying down the sides of the box and letting them be who they are, and discover and learn in ways that work for them.

Sivanne Lieber 22:35

Very well said, and I know that all the devil's advocates out there who are listening are saying no, but they don't know enough yet to be able to decide what they're going to be. So isn't it our onus, to give them the foundations for everything. And my counterpoint to that is the most successful people in the world are the ones who have identified the thing that makes them jump out of bed, and they're incredibly passionate about and they are super, super focused on doing that one beautiful, amazing thing that is their contribution to this world and what they were meant to do on this earth.

Penny Williams 23:12

Yep. And so many of those people did not do well in school. So many of those people because they weren't passionate about all the things, they're passionate about one or two things, and we really lose sight of that night. You know, I dream of a day when our education system completely changes. Because it's so antiquated. It doesn't serve any of our kids as well as it cut, I think, I obviously worry a lot about how we serve kids with learning disabilities and other challenges, because that's the world that I know, but also, so much of what we want to do for kids who learn differently, we should be doing for everyone, they're all individuals, they're all unique. And we don't honor that at all. We have a system of conformity, and you know, sort of do what you're told. Obedience is conformity and obedience. That's what school is and it should be anything but.

Sivanne Lieber 23:37

And in terms of conformity and obedience. To expand that even more what tends to happen is then there are two pools of children that we are people humans that we develop, we either develop conformist, who are just, they've learned to play the game, and they are compliant, actually, right. And then those are the ones that we tend to tag as overachievers or enriched or whatever it is or goody two shoes or teacher's pets or whatever it is right. But they are touted by society and they are uplifted but they're also lost. They're also not seen or heard. They don't get to be who they want to be. They have to be who society wants them to be. Look at Simone Biles, right, right, but you don't have to be Simone Biles to feel like some piles and then we have the other spectrum of different alliances that we then stereotype as troublemakers. And there's this incredible astounding book. I'm so sorry that I don't remember the author's name, but the title is troublemakers. And she talks about how the troublemakers, the people that we call troublemakers in our room are in fact the canaries in the coal mine. The only difference between them and any other child is that they are incapable of conforming. Right? They I bet they wish they could. Yes. For all the children who have been tagged as troublemakers in my life, I know that they have not wanted to be the way they are. But they cannot be any other way. Exactly. And they're not allowed. They're not allowed to have it their way. And so they just lose it. And you know, I think that overachievers also lose it. We just lose it later on in life at 40 with our midlife crisis, and we're like, what is happening? Who am I? Why am I on this crazy track? Who decided this for me? And we implode, exactly we need and need to get to the middle ground. The middle ground is flow based process over product, open ended, passion based and inquiry based experience. I know that was a lot of words all at once. But what I mean by that is, let's just allow our children to say what they actually care about. And let them do it and trust that whatever gaps or holes in their experience are created, by letting them follow their flow will be filled in if and when it needs to be Yeah, right. If your son one day turned around and said, You know what, Mom, I actually do want to become an engineer. Do you doubt that he wouldn't do everything in his power to fill in those gaps and figure that part out of those skills that he lacks.

Penny Williams 26:47

Yep. If that's what he wanted, he would go after it,

Sivanne Lieber 26:49

He'll go after it. And I find it astounding that one of the professions that we see in society is the most highest achievement, which is the PhD. What is a PhD? That is a an incredibly minute pinpointed focus, right? Skill, Phil. So that is the top level of academia. Yet to get there, you have to suffer through all this other stuff first, and clog your way through it. And so also, don't get me wrong. I'm not arguing against gifting our children with the foundations that they deserve. Sure. But what I'm saying is let's let them do it their way, instead of the way that honestly politicians have mandated for us.

Penny Williams 27:33

Yeah, yeah. And it's such an important message for parents of neurodiverse kids, we have to be open to letting our kids do things their way, in a way that works for them. And that is often not the way that is mandated. Or it's not the way that works for you, the parent, or worked when you were a child, or, like, we just have to be so much more open minded. And it's hard to do that, because it gets really ingrained. We grow up in this system, right? We are told by our parents and our teachers, and you know, our parents, friends, and all of the people of influence in our lives, that you do well, in school, you succeed in life, like that box is colored really tightly. And so it's really hard when you're a parent in your 20s 30s 40s 50s, to suddenly throw all that out, right, and to really decide to be open and do things differently. But I think that our children require it. And really all children, again, this goes to every kid, really, and so those that have neurotypical kids, too, and I get this question all the time, well, my one child needs one thing, and the other child needs something different. And if the rules are different for one child than the other, how do you manage that? Like, no, they shouldn't be different. They should be the same, we should raise all of our kids as unique individuals.

Sivanne Lieber 29:02

Absolutely. Exactly. My husband, who's a Integrative Health Nutrition coach, his focus in working with people is biodiversity. Hmm. And individual diversity, right. And the same rule applies to us and to all humans. Bio individuality, that's the word I was looking for. No one is the same. And so we all get to do it our own way. And so here are the two options, we push our children into a box that they do not fit into no matter where they are in the spectrum. And then they either deployed early or later or slog through life, kind of in denial, and perhaps not happy. Then there's the 1% that this whole framework works for. Yeah, right. Those are the two choices. And so maybe not even 1%, maybe point 0000 1% Who knows, I have yet to meet a person who the system has truly worked for all the way through 100 100% without any hassle, yeah, even my brother who really like if you look at him on paper, I keep mentioning him because he is that kid who knew what he wanted to do when he was in second grade had all of the skills to do it flew through medical school and is right, it looks like he got everything he wanted, right? He wasn't happy all the time. And he's not happy all the time now. And I think that he feels good. I can't speak for him. And I know that there could have been another way for him to get there that could have been even more beautiful and loving and not pushing everything else out. So Right. I think because we're talking about a paradigm shift. And like you said, it is so hard for all of us to make that shift. Because it's terrifying. It is terrifying to let go and release control in that way, because we have no idea what the alternative is. And so the invitation that I would love to land on with everyone who is listening today, is the first step is just every place that you're in every person who touches your child's life demands that they know them truly Yeah. And then after they get to know them truly. And you can demand in a very kind, loving way. Right? You can ask right? What have you learned about my child? Who is my child? In this space? What do they love? What do they hate? What do they struggle with? What do they have passion for? What have you noticed, teach me about my child? Give me perspective from the benefit of the outside, right? And then if they have no idea of what to say, That's challenged enough, right? Because they'll be like, Oh, I better. Okay. Right.

Penny Williams 31:38

I need to pay attention to that.

Sivanne Lieber 31:39

Yes. And then once we do that, the next step is okay, now that you know my child, give them something that will propagate there their unique interests and passions. And or if you're working with a group, find something that could be a glue for all of us, for all of them. For instance, and this is where we didn't really get to talk about the nitty gritty of using Play to support learning. But the small little tidbit that I'll give now is that in the early childhood years, it is very much open ended loose parts play and building and exploring and everything that we know from the world of Montessori and Waldorf and Reggio Emilia. I mean, there's so many there's a rich, rich culture of play for our toddlers. And then it's popped. Right? So first of all, let's extend that because guess what third graders also love to build? And guess what? Teenagers also love to dabble and just make a mess. So let's stop. Yeah, stopping our children from that. But then the other part, the other side? Is it translated or it evolves into projects based learning and experiential inquiry based learning? So that might be a topic for another time? Yeah, for sure, just a little bit of food for thought, right? That we are capable, there is already a beautiful battery of literature that supports and explains exactly what to do. We already have the knowledge, everything we need to gift our children with a playful education, we just have to have the courage to actually do it. And you know what, it's harder. It's much harder to teach when you have to see and hear every child and touch their passion points, and scaffold and differentiate for them, so that they have a way to grow and not just survive, but thrive. Yeah, right and have their voice be heard. It is much harder, it's much more work. And it is tenfold more fulfilling, and it's going to save you so much more hassle in the long run, because you're going to be having happy children every single day, who jumped out of bed and to meet what comes next.

Penny Williams 33:52

When we're fighting against who kids are. We're creating behavior issues, we're creating all of these things that make it so much more difficult in the classroom for teachers and for the other kids in the classroom. You know, when we're pushing kids to be what they're not, they're going to push back.

Sivanne Lieber 34:10

Absolutely. That's right. So that's the message right there.

Penny Williams 34:15

And I know that you and I could talk about this passionately for months and years probably. I think we both feel really strongly about revolutionising education. But we are out of time. And so we'll definitely revisit and maybe go deeper on some of these topics another time in another episode in the future. But for now, anyone listening, I really encourage you to check out savons website and social media and the work that she's doing and learn more from her. I promise that you won't regret it. The links for all of that are in our show notes. And for this episode, you can find them at parentingADHDandautism.com/149 for episode 149. Thank you again. So Yvonne, I truly appreciate you sharing some of your time and your wisdom and your energy. I always feel joyful when I talk to you and it's such a pleasure.

Sivanne Lieber 35:15

Thank you so much for having me, Penny and I'll just say to all who are listening, what I always say in everything that I do, which is happy playing, just play today in some way for yourself, yes, with your children, with your partner. If you have one with your love village and community, just do something that will put a smile on your face for just even a moment. And nobody has any excuses because everyone is capable of doing something joyful for 30 seconds.

Penny Williams 35:43

Absolutely. Yeah. With that, we'll end the episode. Thanks for joining me on the parenting ADHD podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share. And don't forget to check out my online courses, parent coaching and Mama retreats at parentingADHDandautism.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Thank you!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it. Have something to say, or a question to ask? Leave a comment below. I promise to answer every single one. **Also, please leave an honest review for the Beautifully Complex Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and appreciated! That's what helps me reach and help more families like yours.

I'm Penny Williams.

I help stuck and struggling parents (educators, too) make the pivots necessary to unlock success and joy for neurodivergent kids and teens, themselves, and their families. I'm honored to be part of your journey!

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Quick Start: 3 High-Impact Actions to Transform Behavior

Transforming negative or unwanted behavior is a long and complex process. HOWEVER, there are a few actions you can take right now that will provide a big impact. These 3 high-impact strategies address foundational aspects of behavior, empowering you to help your child feel better so they can do better.



Makes time visual for those with time blindness.


Blends gaming with off-screen activities to teach coping skills through play.


Manage chores and routines while building self-confidence and independence.


A chair that gives kids a sensory hug.

About the show...

I'm your host, Penny.

Join me as I help parents, caregivers, and educators like you harness the realization that we are all beautifully complex and marvelously imperfect. Each week I deliver insights and actionable strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids — those with ADHD, autism, anxiety, learning disabilities…

My approach to decoding behavior while honoring neurodiversity and parenting the individual child you have will provide you with the tools to help you understand and transform behavior, reduce your own stress, increase parenting confidence, and create the joyful family life you crave. I am honored to have helped thousands of families worldwide to help their kids feel good so they can do good.

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