158: What We Learned from 27 Experts on Behavior, with The Behavior Revolution

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

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We’re working on our next free online Parenting ADHD & Autism Summit — Decoding Behavior Summit February 11-13, 2022. In interviewing all these experts on behavior, parenting, ADHD, autism, and anxiety we have had our own lightbulb moments. 

In this episode of the podcast, we’re sharing some of what these experts will be offering during the Decoding Behavior Summit and letting you know how you can participate in this online conference for free.


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My Guest

We’re Penny and Sarah, parenting coaches who help neurodiverse families like yours understand your child’s neurology and behavior, and shift your parenting to help your child thrive — without the frustration of trying to figure it out on your own. We’re also moms of boys with ADHD and/or autism, so we get it. We live it, too.



Sarah Wayland 0:03

We learn and we do better. And the summit is all about learning so we can do better, right? It's for parents and caregivers and educators to learn how to do better for the kids. And it's for us to, I think, be more confident in what we're doing. But it's also empowering us to be able to help our kids so that our kids can feel better and do better also.

Penny Williams 0:30

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 am excited today to talk to you guys about our upcoming decoding and behavior Summit. I have my behavior partner in crime with me, Sarah Wayland. And we're going to talk about some of the stuff that we learned in doing the 23 interviews for the decoding behavior summit. The summit is going to air February 11 through 13th, of 2022. And we'll give you details on how to sign up at the end of the episode. But just really wanted to share a lot of the great tidbits and advice and things that we've learned from them and give you kind of a sneak peek of what's to come if you join us and participate in this summit. Sarah, where should we start? What do you want to talk about?

Sarah Wayland 1:49

Well, we have three things or three areas that we really wanted to talk to people about how to decode behavior, what the behavior is telling you, and then building your relationship with your child, and then strategies for improvement. So I can like that orders, you want to start with what behavior is telling us?

Penny Williams 2:08

Yeah, such a big, big, big, big piece of parenting neurodivergent kids, right? Yeah. Because until we figure out what behavior is actually telling us, we're just spinning our wheels. We're trying all these traditional ways of addressing behavior, like punishment and consequence and rewards. And we find that with our kids, that doesn't work. And so what we focused on for day one of the summit and the experts that we interviewed was, what is that behavior really telling you? Because it's not just that your kid is being disrespectful, or that they seem lazy, or they seem rude, right, but that there's something else entirely going on.

Sarah Wayland 2:47

And for our family, that was such a big shift that shift from trying to change the behavior, to actually trying to address the reason for the behavior. I don't know, somehow we had this idea that our kids were manipulating us, they were just trying to get away with stuff. And it really is so much deeper than that. For them, they were telling me I can't handle this, or this is hard. For me. That was a big one, because both of our kids had learning disabilities too. And so, like, I'm just sitting here thinking, like, my older son had a hard time putting his thoughts into spoken words. And he had a hard time understanding when we were talking to him. And so it looked like he was being really disrespectful, and you know, oppositional, when, in fact, he couldn't understand what we were asking him to do. And he also couldn't say, Hey, this is really hard for me. Right? You know, so he couldn't articulate what was going on for him. And he also couldn't understand, to him, it was like, blah, blah, blah, blah, child, blah, blah, blah blah, you know,

Penny Williams 3:56

Yeah. And I think that's really important to understand and to be really mindful of as parents is that they may not understand what's going on for them either. Yeah, they may not understand why something is so hard or why they can't just get started or, all the things that we say to them. I can remember, countless, probably 1000s of times I said to my son when he was younger, before I understood anything that was going on. Why can't you just over and over, I mean, not helpful at all, and just really not getting it right. You know, I look back at that with some guilt and think, Wow, if I had known what was happening, and I could have been a different parent for him, but woulda, coulda, shoulda, you can't change it. But what we can do is grow from what we know, which is that there is some hidden communication in what our kids do and say, and we have some fantastic session on that in the summit, from people like Kelly Mahler, who is an expert in interoception, and she was joined by Chloe Rothschild who's an autistic adult, and gave me so many AHAs during that session of what was really going on for her What was hard at different times as far as understanding her own feelings even. And that goes back to what you were saying, Sarah, that our kids don't always know how to tell us what's going on very clearly. But in the ways that they are responding or reacting, they are telling us that they're having a hard time at least they're telling us there's something more going on, that we have to look for. Talk to Eileen Devine about the brain based lens versus the behavior based lens, which I think we've talked about on the podcast before. In fact, I think Eileen has been on the podcast before. But Sarah, and I've talked about that, too. And then, of course, Carol cran wits, who we adore, the sensory Guru, I call her. Because when I think sensory, I immediately think of Carol, and she is amazing. And she really shared how our sensory input and our sensory responses are shaping behavior. What is the role of sensory and sensory processing, and our kids behavior, and it's huge,

Sarah Wayland 6:24

It is huge. And you know, it's interesting, because you're just talking about sensory. And I was thinking about this autistic woman who was explaining to me that when she was growing up, her therapist thought she had terrible social anxiety, terrible social anxiety. And she didn't know that that's what her therapist thought. But her real issue was actually sensory anxiety that she was scared of being overwhelmed by bright lights, or loud noises, or people bumping into her or, just whatever. And so it made her avoid situations where there were other people. But it was a sensory avoidance rather than social avoidance. She did want friends, she did. You know, I mean, socially anxious, people want friends, of course. But her issue was not that she was worried about how other people would view her or any of that, it was that she was afraid that some sensory thing would happen, and then she'd lose it, and then people wouldn't want to be around her.

Penny Williams 7:23

And that goes back to what we were just talking about where, we have to decode what we are seeing, we have to figure out what is the actual reason? And sometimes it is not at all, many times, I think it is not at all what we would assume that it is right? I talked about that with Dr. Melanie McNally. We talked about anxiety, and how anxiety influences behavior. And so often, an aggressive kid is aggressive because of anxiety, right? Not necessarily because they're aggressive or violent or even mood disorder, it can be anxiety, but we wouldn't necessarily think that at first. And so it's so so important that we keep digging, right, we keep digging deeper, until we know for sure,

Sarah Wayland 8:10

Yeah. And I talked with my friends, Pam Talley, and Troy Sampson about school, and how school can be hard for kids. And, like, just as an example, it turned out that all three of us, our kids had hard time with the sensory aspects of school. And so our kids all were either running out or being really disruptive in class, because they were so overwhelmed by just a regular classroom was too much for them. You know, and we talked about how we're trying to educate kids, and we have this push to inclusion, except that when inclusion actually triggers the things that are causing you anxiety, it makes it worse. So, these are complicated issues

Penny Williams 8:56

Really complicated, especially when we are putting our kids in different environments that we have a lot less control over and they have a lot less control over, they're right, they have to go to a classroom full of this many students, they have to change classes with 1000 students, they, which they don't actually have to do, you can get an accommodation that they don't have to do that, right. Been there done that. But you know, we're putting them in this environment that is not at all conscientious of sensory sensitivities. Not at all. And that's where we have to step in and advocate and where, we're trying to figure out what's going on at school, even though we're not there. Because so often we as parents, I think, get it more. And, I think teachers want to get it. They just don't always know that there are so many possibilities of underlying causes of behavior. Yeah. And we have some other topics too, in the summit on what behavior is telling you. We're covering stress and trauma trauma, trauma is a big, big piece of it. And speaking of trauma, Sarah and I are doing a masterclass to kick off the summit that is free to everyone attending the summit, where we're going to talk about the sense of safety, and how important it is that our kids feel safe, not just not endanger, but that they fully feel safe. And we'll go into what that means in that masterclass. But that, of course, links to trauma and links to behavior. It's all interconnected.

Sarah Wayland 10:32

And you know, the other thing I'll just say about safety is the foundation for everything. And so, so often we ask our kids to learn social skills, except that the real problem is they're freaking out because they're anxious about something or don't feel safe. And it's very hard to be pro social when you're worried about self preservation. Mm hmm. Yeah,

Penny Williams 10:54

It's such a big deal. And it really is the foundation. And I didn't learn that for years and years, like, maybe two or three years ago, someone actually, Robert Cox, who's a therapist who's been on prior summits, said to me in a summit session, instead of asking your kid, how can I help you asked them, How can I help you feel safe? Yeah, and this giant light bulb went off for me. And it was such an aha moment. And really, everything made sense at that point. You know, when my kid is trying to get me to pick him up from school early when he's avoiding school, when he's going to the bathroom and staying there in the middle of class. All of that was because he didn't feel safe. Yep. And none of us had any clue of that, at the time, fortunately, learned it very shortly after and made accommodations. But that is really, really the keystone, right of all of it. Yeah. Is we have to be looking at does my kid feel safe? Or do they not feel safe? Yeah, without that nothing else matters. Nothing else matters. Let's talk about day two, which is your relationship with your child. I think these sessions also speak to the relationship with an educator or a teacher, the relationship, even with a counselor, or a therapist, it's more about this kind of child adult relationship, and how much that matters in the behavior that we see. And how much that matters in helping kids to feel better, so they can do better.

Sarah Wayland 12:26

Yep, one of the people we're interviewing, and I'm so excited about this interview is co2, loi, and she sorry, they are going to talk about just how acceptance makes such a big difference. So you know, they used to work with autistic kids. And so often we tell kids, that something about the way they are, is broken, and therefore they need to be different than the way they are. And so that makes them hide who they are they hide their authentic self. And then that comes at a tremendous psychic toll. So much stress from that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, we all have to interact with people in different environments in different ways. I mean, that that's part of life, I interact with a store clerk differently than I would interact with my husband. But you know, that adaptation is not what we're talking about here. What we're talking about here is kids never having a place where they just feel like they can just be who they are. And they don't have to have that mask on. They have to be nice to the people around them. So that's a different question, then, whether people accept you, but that acceptance thing is such a big deal.

Penny Williams 13:49

It's so huge. And not just for our kids. But for us as parents, our acceptance of who our kids really are exactly that they are different and that it's okay to be different. It plays an enormous role in the way that we respond to our kids and the way that we parent them. And in our own stress, when I really came to a point of acceptance and letting go of kind of all this small piddly stuff that I didn't need to be so worried about. It was such a relief. It was huge relief, which of course, affected the whole family. Yeah. Right. Because Mom's not running around, stressing about everything freaking out about every little thing, right, and so everyone could kind of breathe. And that's really, really important to the behavior that we will see from our kids. Yeah, it's going to play a big role in how they respond to the world, how they respond to us. Are they going to come talk to us when they need help? Or are they going to, run away in their room and kind of stuff it down? You know, not? Yeah, don't talk about it, not deal with it. Are they going to trust us?

Sarah Wayland 14:59

Right. And they also get this view of themselves as being somehow weak or inferior, because something is hard for them that is not hard for other people. And you know, just a story that about my son like my younger son, one day, he just said to me, like, we're sitting at the dining room table, and he just looked at me and he said, I wish I weren't so weak. I said, What do you mean weak? And he said, Well, I can't be out with you know, other people where it's loud, I can't stand bright sunlight, I can't. I take things so deeply. Personally, he totally has rejection sensitive dysphoria his needs. And I looked at him and I said, you're no weak, I said, you're dealing with way more than other people are dealing with. And you face every day, you face every day, even though you know, you will be overwhelmed at some point during the day, most people do not deal with that, that doesn't make them strong. That just means they don't have to deal with that. And he was so relieved when I said that, like I could see, he had really thought he was weak. So like this frame, we have of ourselves to, accepting that we are who we are, without shame,

Penny Williams 16:15

Only absence of a reason we make one up. Yep. And so his reasoning, he internalized it as weakness. And that's why I'm such a proponent of telling your child about their diagnosis are about their differences, at least their strengths and weaknesses, because they need to know that there's a reason that some things are hard for them that aren't hard for their peers. Yeah. Because otherwise they decide that they're bad or broken or weak.

So when we're talking about our relationship with the child, a child, parent, teacher, therapist, we're really boiling that down to something that we talk a lot about in our behavior revolution course, which is our role in our kids behavior. How are we contributing parent, teacher, caregiver, or grandparent, whoever it is, how are we contributing to the behavior, and I promise you, you're contributing a lot more than you think you are. Right? You are definitely contributing so much more than you realize. And we have to build sort of this mindfulness muscle, to try to be aware of that to try to really formulate a conscious response, instead of just reacting. And so a lot of the sessions and conversations that we have on day two really do come back to that interaction and the role that we play, and of course, the role that our kids play as well. But, the way that we address behavior makes a big difference in the behavior that we're going to get, right? Absolutely. Andrew Fuller, who's Australian, talked about navigating tricky behavior. And that is exactly what we talked about, through that whole conversation was about the way that we communicate with our kids about the behavior, and really setting ourselves up to have these interactions that are peaceful, that feel good, right? If I want to talk to my kid, and, and I always make him feel bad, he doesn't want to talk to me. Right? Right. These are big pieces of that.

Sarah Wayland 18:31

So yeah, I mean, what you're saying is so important, Penny, because I actually have this phrase I use, which is little pictures have big ears, um, which is, your kids are listening, and they're monitoring for how you're behaving. Sometimes I think we parents think, oh, they don't notice x, y, or z. And they notice everything. And so I think, yeah, we like to think that they're not noticing things, but they're noticing a lot of things. And, and it's really through our example that we teach them how to self regulate by self regulating ourselves. And there's so many things we can do to help them like I was just, thinking about Linda Murphy, who I talked to about using declarative language as opposed to issuing commands or asking questions, you can instead share your experiences with your child. And that actually is more helpful to them, because it allows them to solve problems for themselves and think of themselves as you know, having agency in the world, and actually, my interview with Karen Sterben, was really interesting because she was talking about how when we bring versions of ourselves that are less than ideal, then our kids respond to us in ways that shift the family system in a direction that's familiar to them. So when we're trying to make a change in our own behavior, they may Want to pull our behavior back to the behavior that's familiar, but maybe less constructive. So, changing what you're doing can be hard because the kid it feels unfamiliar to the kids. So the kids like, I want you to behave this way that's familiar to you. And it's because you know, we're all acting in relationship to each other, and some behaviors afford certain responses. And just being mindful of what response you are basically sending a message you want from your kid, whether you know you're doing it or not, that's definitely part of how families interact, and then how kids behave.

Penny Williams 20:39

Yeah. And there's something to be said about the energy, too. And I used to think this was so hippie to be crazy nonsense. For, the first 40 years of my life, I wish I had known better, but I didn't. And, we give off a particular energy a tone, yeah. And our kids are going to mirror that, because our brains try to respond and kind and mirror what we're taking in. And so it's so very important. Just, even when we're not talking sort of the energy in the tone that we're putting out. It's either going to invite our kids in, or it's going to make them stay away. And it's really valuable, that we're inviting them in, right, that we're, we're really having that relationship that I think we all want with our kids. Yeah, we all want this great, open, trusting, familiar relationship with our kids. And we find it so hard sometimes to get there. Because we're supposed to be the parent, but we're not giving up that role as parent by being more open. And yeah, receiving. Right.

Sarah Wayland 21:48

Yeah. And I think that's partly, I think the tension there is that sometimes schools, I know, I felt this tension of school saying, your kid's not doing his homework, right. And so then I thought that they were saying, You are a bad parent, because your child isn't doing his homework, when in fact, what they were saying is, hey, just want to make sure you're aware that your kid's not doing his homework, so that I could figure out how to support him better and doing his own homework, not doing his homework for him or whatever. And right, I think parents feel a lot of pressure to have their kids, basically not have the teacher call them, right. Yeah. And they think that if they can just force the kid to do whatever the teacher said, then the teacher will stop calling them but they aren't, appreciating what the child is going through. And you know, what, what is leading to the fact that your kid isn't turning in the homework? Are they turning it in? Because they don't understand how to do it? Well, that's feedback the teacher needs to get because they need to teach it differently for your child. You know, are they doing it because you forgot to make space and time for doing homework when they get home? That's a different issue. Are they not doing it because they've been sitting still all day, and they need time to run around like a nut in the backyard? You know, that's another issue. Maybe you need accommodation that they don't have to do homework, so they can do that. So there's all sorts of problems that may need to be solved. And until you dig a little deeper, it's harder to figure out what the right approach is going to be.

Penny Williams 23:19

Yeah, we can't make assumptions. Yeah. And we do. I mean, humans make so many assumptions. It's unbelievable. Yeah, I would say dozens and dozens a day, all of us make assumptions. And we have to sort of pause with that. And say, Okay, this is what I would assume is going on. But could it be something else? Yeah. Yep. And we talked some about that in the second day, too. With Holly bridges. We talked about reframing behavior, which is a lot about how we are interpreting behavior. can we reframe it? Can it be due to something other than what we assume it is? Also have conversations about how to stop losing it at your kids with Hunter Clark fields? Who's the author of raising good humans, which is a fantastic book. I talked to Dr. Sharon Selene about why your kids say no. Which is a wonderful conversation, because all of our kids say no. And all of our parents, teachers, caregivers wish that they didn't say no to us, right. And so we talked about a lot of ways to communicate better, so that they're not automatically saying no to us and refusing things because we're understanding better where they're coming from. And of course, we also talk about fostering social emotional learning within our relationships with our kids, which is so important. Our kids need emotional intelligence. In order to do good, they need these skills, right, sometimes challenging behaviors due to poor social or emotional skills. And so that's a crucial piece of the pie. as well as well, when we talk about behavior.

Sarah Wayland 25:02

Well, and you talk about that with Paul Micallef on the third day in strategies for improvement, because he's got a whole program for helping people who have trouble learning those kind of what he calls it social EQ. Is that emotional quotient? Is that what it stands for?

Penny Williams 25:20

And he really focuses on relationships. You know, he says everything is really about relationships. Yes. Beyond that was just an amazing conversation for me with him. I had so many haws, and a few things with my own kid made sense, right when talking to him. Paul is an autistic adult and works with autistic people and works primarily with the social and emotional aspects of autism. They're in Australia. He's working on, I think, a big program there in Australia around that as well. And one thing he said to me was, instead of asking your child, what were you thinking, when you did that? Ask what were they feeling? Because what they were feeling is going to tell you potentially why they took that action. What were you thinking is just shaming blame? Yeah. It's not helpful. Right? And clearly, if they did something, especially kids with impulsivity issues, they weren't thinking they weren't even thinking. Yeah. And that might be the problem. But yeah, it was such a big, big insight and strategy, like to ask what were you feeling when that happened? Huge, huge.

Sarah Wayland 26:37

Yeah. And you know, something I'm really appreciating this year with the interviews is that kids are kids, okay. So to expect children to have the emotional regulation that adults have, is unreasonable, right. So they have these feelings, and then they don't know what to do with them. So they have some kind of response to those feelings, but their kids. And so you know, one of the things they have to learn as they grow up is how do you manage those feelings? How do you anticipate when they're going to happen and maybe set things up for success or whatever. But I think so often, we expect kids to be able to manage their emotions in adult ways, which is, I mean, biologically, they just can't that's part of the job of childhood is to learn that.

Penny Williams 27:27

Yeah. And our kids who are neurodivergent are developmentally delayed. So, they're not adults, but a lot of times, they're not even to the level of their calendar here is being able to manage their emotions, understand their emotions, and regulate Yeah, they just, my son didn't have even the faintest sort of clue about self regulation until around his ninth birthday. Wow. Which it was definitely delayed, and a lot of our kids are behind. And we, it's hard to realize that, especially when they're teenagers. And like, when my son started looking like a man, yeah, it was really hard to remind myself that I was probably talking to a kid who had the emotional skills of a 12 year old when he was 16, or 17. Right. And so it's tough, like, it's natural to look at them on the outside and think that the inside should match. But yeah, it doesn't always match. Right. And all of d3 is about giving you strategies, to improve strategies to build skills, strategies to recognize and address unmet needs. You know, we talk about executive functioning with Seth Perler, an entire session just on executive functioning and how it's the skill that you need to focus on not will, it's not that they won't, it's that they can't Yeah, we talk about thriving after trauma with Dr. Randall Bell, then a couple of sessions are addressing school behavior as well. I think we're seeing more I know, we're seeing more and more school avoidance and refusal. I think, in general, we're seeing a big change in the behavior that kids have at school, or in online learning. And so I think that's really really valuable information about what's really going on for them. Why are they avoidant? Why are they acting out at school? Why are they not participating in school? Maybe they're just sort of shut down when they're there. And we cover a lot of strategies on that with a couple of different experts as well.

Sarah Wayland 29:37

You know, I just want to say to that point, it's so true. Like, I can't even tell you how many parents I've talked to whose kids are refusing to go to school. But, I was just remember as you were talking, that's now in the wake of two years of navigating a pandemic. But even before then, things were getting bad i I had a teacher tell me that and she was very experienced, she was 35 years as a teacher. And she said that over the last five to 10 years, there was a fundamental shift in the way kids were behaving in the classroom, they were very, very different. And she said that it was getting harder and harder to figure out how to help them. And that was before the pandemic, now you are a pandemic into it, and isolation and anxiety. And oh, my goodness, I just, I do not know how teachers can do it. Really, it seems so hard, and our kids are struggling, they really are. Yeah, I don't know how the kids are doing it, like, oh, my gosh, well, when they're not is really the answer, like many of them are just like, I can't do this. I just can't.

Penny Williams 30:51

And, we come up against the system. When we talk about, differences at school behavior at school, school avoidance, and refuse all, as a parent, on one side, we have the government saying, your kid has to go to school, your kid has to be there X number of days, your canasta pass this, this and this before they congratulate and move on. And on the other side, you have your child who is desperately struggling, yeah, to the point that it doesn't matter what you do, or say they just can't make themselves go, or they just can't make themselves participate. Yep. And you're being pulled in two opposite directions. And it is monstrously stressful. And there are things that you can do, just understanding why it's happening can be a big relief, it also informs how you go forward from there, and what you can do to really help a child who's struggling in that way. And really valuable information that I think, used to maybe would have been for a handful, a small portion. And I think it's really for everybody right now. Our kids are all struggling with school in one way or another right now, I think.

Sarah Wayland 32:05

Oh, yeah.

Penny Williams 32:05

And then you also covered Sarah tapping to regulate, right?

Sarah Wayland 32:10

Yeah, yeah. So we have Sue Simmons talking about this is a body regulations strategy that basically you're using physiological mechanism to process big emotions. So she has a process that she talks about that helps you learn how to address your feelings about some very difficult topic in a way that helps you feel calm while you're thinking about it, as opposed to feeling very dysregulated about it.

Penny Williams 32:40

Love that. I can't wait to learn that. Yeah, in that session myself. Yeah. It's supposed to be huge for anxiety too. Really, really big tool for that. So yeah, I'm looking forward to that one myself. And then you also talked to Bill Stixrud and Ned Johnson, right?

Sarah Wayland 32:58

Yeah, they're the best i They're so great. They have a new book out, called, What do you say? It's a follow on to their book that we talked about in last year's summit, which was called the self driven child. And basically, they're, how do I say this as sort of their foundational guiding principle is that your child wants autonomy, and they want control over their life. And they don't want to be terrible people like they but so many things we do as parents, rob them of that autonomy. And so they have strategies for. And this is especially true for teens, like strategies for shifting into the role of consultant with your child, as opposed to coach, so they talk about being a coach, and how you know, when they're little, you're like telling them all the way they're doing it wrong, and how you know, how they can improve their game and whatever. But then, as they get older, maybe they don't want to play baseball anymore, maybe they want to go play basketball. And the thing that most parents of teens have experienced is that they don't want your help. And as teens, they want to explore it and figure out for themselves. And what we want to do is help them learn how to think through problems, right? But you are shifting into the role of, hey, I can help you think about this if you want, or I trust you to make a good decision. Yeah. Right. And, how do you shift into that role of a trusted adviser or a consultant that the child pulls in when they need you, as opposed to somebody who's coaching you on every aspect of what you're doing well, or not doing well. And they just talked about some really great strategies, and they're both just such great guys. They have some really good stories during that interview. So it's fun.

Penny Williams 34:55

That's awesome. Yeah, and it just made me think as you were talking, that a coach is always on the sidelines, right? They're always yelling, yeah, instructions. They're always jumping in and trying to be helpful. Yeah. But it's kind of always they're always going. And we want our kids to be able to make good decisions and to feel confident enough that they can make decisions. Well, that without us telling them what to do, or giving them the answers. Yes, I talk a lot with coaching clients, parents about how do you remove yourself from the middle? How do we set up the structure and the support and the scaffolding in a way that eventually you'll be able to step back, and they'll still have some sort of system or they will have learned the skill or whatever it is, that you're not needing to constantly give instruction constantly cheer them on, yeah, and I think that's what they're talking about, too. And we're talking about teens here in a lot of ways. But we need to start doing that when our kids are small. Yeah, like, I wish I had known to really step back more not hover, so much not do for, right, my kids, I was in a therapy session with one of my kids the other day, and the therapist knows our family well, at this point and said, your mom is really helpful, maybe too helpful, we're still talking about that. And, of course, this is what I've learned from him is that I haven't done too much in a lot of ways. And now I have to step back. And they have to step up, right. And it's very hard thing as a parent, but it's so important. And we can set that up starting very early.

Sarah Wayland 36:44

Something that we do talk about during that interview with Dr. Stixrud and Ned Johnson is that your kid is going to be neurodivergent their whole life. So very often, what we do as parents is we're like, Oh, my goodness, like school expects them to be organized, right? School expects them to turn their homework in on time, and so on. And because of the developmental delay we were talking about earlier, we know they can't do it. And so we put in accommodations while they're learning the skills. But one of the things that Bill and Ned both say is that your kids going to have that neuro divergent brain their whole life. And they have to learn how to manage the fact that they have trouble remembering to turn things in an exam, they have to figure it out. And if I'm figuring it out for them, they are never going to learn how to do it themselves. Yes, I am living proof of that one is the truth. When we know better, we do better.

Penny Williams 37:41

We know better, we do better. And boy, are we undoing a lot. Yeah, I mean, nobody's perfect. None of us are perfect. We can't be a perfect parent. We can't know everything. When we're young, when my kids were little, and I was 30, or not even 31? Did I know, right? So we learn and we do better. And the summit is all about learning so we can do better, right? It's for parents and caregivers and educators to learn how to do better for the kids. And it's for us to, I think be more confident in what we're doing. But it's also empowering us to be able to help our kids so that our kids can feel better and do better also.

Sarah Wayland 38:23

Yeah. And you know, actually, this just brings up this part of a conversation I had with Karen sterben, where she was saying that one of the things she she works on with parents is to move them and kids to move them out of feeling shame, and into feeling compassion for yourself. So you know, when you say, Oh, I can't believe that I did that. You know, when my kids were little, I can't believe I did that I was sending them such a bad message. And then she says you have to hold yourself in warm regard. I was doing the best I could with what I knew at the time. And when you know better, you will do better, but you hold yourself in warm regard. And don't feel shame. Just know that you'll do better when you have better information.

Penny Williams 39:11

Yeah, which is what this podcast is all about. And if you're here listening to this, you're doing great. You're doing more than a lot of parents do. Right? You're making an effort to understand more, and to be a better support for your child to be what they need from us in regard to their neuro differences. And that's huge. That's huge. Already, you're doing a great job just because you're here and you want to be the best that you can for your kid. So the summit is February 11 through the 13th you can watch absolutely free on those three days. Let me get 24 hours for each day's sessions to watch free or if you're not available, or you want to add value to your experience you can purchase the Fast Pass. And that will give you forever access to all the sessions, a bunch of bonuses, a networking, a live networking community event, which can be super fun on zoom with other parents who get it who understand what you're going through. And we're really excited this year, this is our seventh Summit, seventh summit at this point, wow. And we have a new tool to share with that pass where it is a searchable library of the sessions. So if I'm having a problem with my kid, getting over emotional not regulating, I can go into that guide and search that and it will show me exactly within the sessions, where the applicable information is, which is amazing. Yeah, it's an amazing tool that we're really excited to be adding to the summon experiences. And then you also, if you have the Fastpass, you get all 23 sessions right at the beginning, no schedule, no waiting to get everything all at once available to you at the very beginning. So plus, it's closed captioned, there's transcripts. And there are four different languages that you can translate it into, it's just amazing. I think it's gonna be a great tool for parents to have for the long term, maybe your child's seven or eight now. And you watch these videos, and you learn this information, and you're really applying it to the kid that you have right now. And in five years, now, they're middle schooler and things are different. And you can go back in and look up things that are going on and take in that same information, but through a very different lens, and really get from it what you need for that agent stage. And so it can be a really long term valuable tool. But regardless of that, whether you have the Fast Pass or not, all of these sessions are super, super amazing. Very informative. And we hope that you'll take advantage of them. Anything else you want to add Sarah, about? The Summit? Other than our just excitement?

Sarah Wayland 42:03

Yeah, I'm really excited about that searchability feature and the fact that we have it in what is I think it's English, French, Spanish and Hindi. No, English, French, Spanish, Mandarin, and Hindi, Mandarin and Hindi. Okay. Yeah. And so, I'm hoping that this will allow parents from all over the world to learn these concepts. So yeah, it's a great technology that I'm excited about. But I am very excited about the lineup too, because I just, I feel like the experts we have this year, are very simpatico with our view of behavior, which is let's get underneath it and figure out what's going on.

Penny Williams 42:40

Yeah, and I just want to remind everybody, that we're not talking about changing our kids, we want to accept our kids for who they are and where they are. And we want them to be their authentic selves, what we're talking about is helping them feel better. So they can do better. Yeah, that's where better behavior comes in. We're improving challenging behavior by helping our kids feel good in the world to be able to navigate a world that's not made for them to understand them and what they're going through. And to really address it with compassion. And through brain science. You know, there's so much neuroscience now, that really gives us the ability to understand behavior, fully, the biology of it, the psychology of it, and to really be able to address it in ways that are compassionate, as I said, but also really effective. And really human. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's what drives us,

Sarah Wayland 43:38

I think I can speak for you is that we really want to have this humanistic approach that really sees people and sees our kids and values them. Absolutely. Because we each bring something to this world that's different than what other people bring everybody brings something unique to this world. And we want our kids to be able to bring their wonderful, unique approach to things and to see it in themselves. Yeah, exactly. So many of our kids don't see their value, right? Because they're struggling so much. And part of helping them feel better and do better is to build their confidence as well. Yeah, to help them find their place in the world, help them find their purpose, my son for so long. And I think he's still struggling with it at 19. But he didn't understand what his purpose was, he hasn't found it, which, who has it? Not many, right?

He feels this pressure, to know His purpose and to have this huge purpose. Like, he said to me once if I die, and I wasn't famous, what was the point? Nobody will know what I did. Oh, and I said, Well, there's a much smaller picture to that, that, this was his existential crisis in like Middle High School all that he was going through and it was heartbreaking because I I saw how much value he had, right? I saw that there's so many different ways that he could have purpose and really affect a lot of people. I mean, just allowing me to share his story, yeah, is affecting so many people in a positive way. And that in and of itself gives him some purpose. So we really, we have to be mindful of all of these things. When we're addressing challenging behavior. You know, when we're frustrated with our kids, we stuff to think about all these other things and the fact that if we could help them to feel good, they could do good. Yep. So we hope to see you guys on the summit. Looking forward to you can register for free for the summit at bit.ly/behavior22. So it's bit.ly/behavior22. And that is the short link that will be so much easier for you. You can also go to the show notes for this episode, which is at parentingADHDandAutism.com/158. And we will provide the link there as well to register for the summit and we really do hope that we get to see you there and see you participating in the Facebook group during that time and just watching others have some aha cars and being able to help their kids more is really joyful for us. So we'll see everybody next time. We'll be back with you in February with another behavior revolution episode together. And I will see you in the meantime here as well. 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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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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