208: The Parenting Long Game, with Rachel Bailey

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

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The parenting long game is all about putting the right mindset and strategies in play so that kids can succeed and thrive. As parents, we often spend a lot of time in the “yuk,” overwhelmed by what’s hard and negative. And we’re wired to focus on the negative as a means of protection.  However, to parent with the long game, Rachel Bailey tells us that we have to shift from judgment to understanding. Judgment is often followed by a negative narrative we create. Understanding is often followed by the narrative that our child needs help.

Listen in to get Rachel’s strategies to go from chaos and overwhelm to setting your child — and yourself — up for success.


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My Guest

Rachel Bailey

Rachel Bailey is a Parenting Specialist who has been serving families for over a decade. Besides being a mother of two, she also has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, a certification in Positive Discipline, and has provided services as an ADHD Coach, in-home mentor, and therapist. Through her podcast, programs, and services Rachel teaches parents hands-on tools for raising resilient, confident children and bringing flexibility, peace, and connection to families.



Rachel Bailey 0:03

So this is where we have to shift from judgment. They didn't listen to me to, I wonder why they didn't listen, what skill or strategy are they missing? And then we can approach them with an energy of, hey, I know you're doing the best you can. That's not an excuse not to do what I ask. But there's a reason you're doing this. And I can help you, we're in it together.

Penny Williams 0:25

Welcome to the beautifully complex podcast, where I share insights and strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids, straight from the trenches. I'm your host, Penny Williams. I'm a parenting coach, author and mindset mama, honored to guide you on the journey of raising your atypical kid. Let's get started. Welcome parents and educators and other caring adults, back to the beautifully complex Podcast. Today I have with me, Rachel Bailey, and we're going to talk about the parenting long game. I think as parents, we get really stuck in the here and now. And we tend to catastrophize what's happening now and say, it's forever. And so looking at it as a long game, I think it's going to be really helpful to those of you out there listening so that you can feel just a little more almost at ease, I want to say from the day to day. So I'm really excited to share this conversation with you all. Welcome. Rachel, can you start by introducing yourself?

Rachel Bailey 1:31

Yes, absolutely. Thanks for having me here. So I am Rachel Bailey. I am a parenting specialists, psychologist. And I have been helping parents for about, I would say 12 or 13 years. But I did not intend to do this. I actually started in the field of clinical psychology thinking I was going to become a neuro psychologist. That was my goal. But then I got pregnant along the way. And when I got pregnant, I was actually doing more of the psychotherapy and working specifically with kids and with teens. And at that point, I realized, you know what, I would actually have a bigger impact if I worked with parents, because that could prevent some of the problems that I saw when I was working with kids and teens. So this was, again, 1213 years ago, there wasn't really so much parent coaching at the time. But I got into it because I started speaking to parents during presentations. And I really fell in love with working with parents. And I've been doing that ever since.

Penny Williams 2:23

Yeah, and I talk all the time in a neurodivergent community about how so much of it is about our parenting, or for teachers the way that they're approaching that child. And it's way more about us than it is about the kids. There's so much more that we need to change and we need to be aware of. And so I love that that's what really kind of led you to do the work that you do. It's really exciting. Do you want to start by defining what you mean by the long game when it comes to parenting?

Rachel Bailey 2:55

Yeah, and I will say the long game sounds like oh, my gosh, the long game, I need to spend so much energy, and this is going to take so much time. And that's actually not what the long game means. Basically, what I mean is that when we are thinking in the moment, we are in a place actually, in the moment, often that I call a yuck. And yuck is basically where we're in a place of discomfort, whether we're feeling overwhelmed or afraid, or stressed or just annoyed with our kids. And what happens when we're in that place is that our brain senses discomfort as a threat. And so our brain senses a threat as a problem. So it turns on our fight or flight response. And our fight or flight response, which turns on when we're in this place that I call yuck. It shuts off access to the values based part of our brain. So we are parenting so much in the moment we're in yuck our fight or flight response has kicked in. And we can't actually align with our values. So when I talk about long game parenting, it's not that this is going to take longer, it's just actually seeing things differently. So you don't go into fight or flight in the moment. So you can align with your values and see long term results. So does that make sense? What I'm talking about with the long game.

Penny Williams 4:06

Total sense, and I just want to highlight something that you said that really, really resonated with me that the brain senses discomfort as a threat. Yes. And I think that's so true for our kids, too. Yes, we talk a lot about the autonomic nervous system and how that triggers kids, right, that get this signal of potential threat. And when they don't feel safe, they're not able to be calm and connected and regulated. They're just regulated and so I'd never had kind of put the word discomfort in there equating it to threat, but it makes total sense. And I have a kid who really avoided discomfort. He's 20 Now he's working on it but you know that I think the autism piece of that really set him up for that but it's because discomfort II Calls unsafe in his mind, right? Like, all the bells just went off?

Rachel Bailey 5:05

Yes, absolutely. So it's funny because the first part of the iveragh main program that I teach in the first part is all about reducing the threat, so that you can handle situations more effectively. Because guess what, your son may have struggled with this. So do we. So do like 90% of people, including adults, we never learned how to handle discomfort. So we're often not aligned with our values. Yes. And so we're either fighting or flighting, which is what adults and kids both do.

Penny Williams 5:34

Yeah, absolutely. We all kind of have a similar nervous system in the structure of it at least. And we do we either fight flight or freeze when we're dysregulated. That's just our, our human biological response, right. And we don't often think about it as parents happening to us, though. And we get so triggered by our kids behavior sometimes. But it's because we're wired for that, right?

Rachel Bailey 6:00

That's exactly right. And we're wired for sensing threats, for sure. I mean, our number one priority as humans is to survive. So we're very sensitive to threats. And our nervous system hasn't really evolved much in that it can't discriminate between our kids not putting their backpack away, after we've asked them to three times. That's not that much different than being chased down a dark alleyway by a stranger, our brain senses any of it as a threat. And we still go into this primitive fight or flight or freeze response. And so we make situations worse because of that we're not necessarily discriminating. So absolutely, yeah.

Penny Williams 6:35

Yeah. So if we spend so much time in the Yaak, how do we get out of it?

Rachel Bailey 6:39

So I actually those are the strategies that I teach parents. So there are a few of them that I talked about, but I'll even just start with one. Yeah, what we're looking at our kids behavior, shifting from judgment, to understanding. So let's say a child doesn't put away their backpack, if we're saying, Oh, my gosh, I asked them to put away their backpack three times, I can't believe it. That's a very judgmental way of looking at it that tells our brain that there's a threat. And by the way, I do want to say this, this is really important. Unless we're in a life threatening situation, our brain doesn't actually know if there's a threat unless we tell it or not, we tell it whether there's a threat. So if we say I can't believe they didn't put it away their backpack, I've asked them three times, our brain will say up threat, we go into fight or flight. But if we shift from judgment, which is seeing it from our perspective to understanding, which is where we say, oh, you know, what, the reason they probably didn't put it away is because I've shown them in the past, that they don't really need to put it away, because eventually I'll put it away, or they're in the middle of doing something else, or their intention is on something else. When we actually start to understand our kids behavior, it is no longer a threat. So that's one strategy I teach is just to notice what we're telling ourselves about behavior, because our brain won't know if it's a problem or not. And shifting from judgment to understanding.

Penny Williams 7:54

Yeah, and that judgment piece gets us in so much trouble, doesn't it?

Rachel Bailey 7:57

Yeah, it totally. Yeah. And it's so easy to slip into, isn't it?

Penny Williams 8:01

It's natural, and it's kind of it's our society, you know, it's cultural. For us to judge.

Rachel Bailey 8:08

I will also tell you this, that, even beyond a cultural level, judgment is actually a cognitive strategy. Because we get so much input in our brains, our brain has to discriminate against what's important and what's not. So we're constantly judging. So it's actually a cognitive strategy as well. So then we add the layer to your point of the cultural judgment. And then it's just like, we feel like there's an uphill battle, but we can fight that battle. And it's not actually that hard once you know how to do it.

Penny Williams 8:35

Yeah. And when we're dealing with challenging behavior from our kids, the understanding piece is the key. Because we can't really change that behavior through judgment, right? We can't change that behavior through punishment a lot of the times actually, especially for our neurodivergent kids. So it's really crucial that we are looking for that understanding.

Rachel Bailey 8:57

Absolutely. If we don't understand what's causing the behavior, I always say it's like playing a game of Whack a Mole, you can push down the behavior temporarily, but it'll pop right back up either in the same behavior or in another type of behavior. Because behavior is communication. That's all it is, when we make a choice, or we behave in a certain way, and I actually don't believe it's a choice. But when we're behaving in a certain way, it's to meet a need. So if a child is running around at a party and not listening to you, it's because they're overstimulated, and their body's trying to handle the overstimulation. It's not that they're actually being bad. It's that they need a strategy to learn how to fight this over stimulation, or they won't be able to listen to you. So we just have to really see a behavior and say, Hey, what need is my child trying to meet when they're being strong willed? They're trying to meet this need for control that they have. So there's always a reason for behavior. Yeah, totally. And that's the long game is to think about it that way.

Penny Williams 9:50

Yeah, yeah, for sure. And I love that you are talking about the fact that behavior is not a choice, right? It's not a choice. We talk a lot in our Nerd divergent parenting. community about the fact that you really have to stop and consider whether there's intention behind the behavior that you're seeing. Because so very often, almost always, there isn't intention. My favorite parenting mantra that's worked for me so much is that your child isn't giving you a hard time. They're having a hard time.

Rachel Bailey 10:20

Absolutely. And here's the thing, too, a lot of parents will say to me, but Rachel, my child is intentionally manipulating me. And I will say, honestly, intentional manipulation, there's a reason for that will intentionally manipulate when they feel out of control. So even if it is intentional, they're still trying to meet a need. Yes. You know, some kids are aware of what they're doing. Some kids are looking at you defiantly and saying, No, there's still a reason for that. And the good news for parents who get a little nervous when I say that is, it's not an excuse for their behavior. We don't say, Oh, you need control. So you can defy me, we just need to understand it so that we can address that. And that's when that behavior changes.

Penny Williams 11:00

Yeah. Thank you for bringing up the fact that we're not saying we're excusing the behavior, right? Because I think so many people hear that when we say, you know, Oh, you shouldn't discipline for that, or, you know, there's a better way to look at it. Like I always say, the first thing you do is try to figure out why. Absolutely. Because if you don't, the discipline isn't going to help. As you said, it's Whack a Mole. Yeah, it's one day, maybe two days, especially for our kids with ADHD, it will help and then it's like, it never happened. Exactly right, it's gone. And so really understanding that difference in the way that we approach behavior is so super important. And in the construct of the long game, when we're doing this work. Now, when kids are younger, we're really going to understand them when they're teenagers, as much as we can understand teens, right, and we're gonna be in such a better place to handle that.

Rachel Bailey 11:55

Yeah, and one of the things that is actually my passion and something I studied clinically in graduate school was self esteem. In fact, my dissertation, which I didn't end up reading, because I didn't, I didn't get my PhD. But along the way, I was reading my dissertation, it was on the relationship between self esteem and ADHD. And so what happens is, if we don't understand the reason for behavior, why our kids are forgetting their homework or not cleaning up when we ask or whatever it is, if we don't take the time to understand that, then they actually feel worse about themselves. So they think you know what, I keep getting in trouble for not cleaning my room, but I don't know how to clean my room without getting distracted. So there's something wrong with me. And there are actually two components of self esteem. One is, I'm worthy of acceptance as I am. The other is I'm capable of handling things. Those are basically the two main components. And when we get mad at our kids for not doing what we ask without looking at the reason, then they feel I'm not worthy of acceptance. And I don't know how to do this. And they feel horrible about themselves. And I know that's not what any parent wants.

Penny Williams 12:56

No, of course not. And it happens so often.

Rachel Bailey 13:01

Yeah, because we're tired, because we're tired. We don't want to look for the reason we just wanted to stop.

Penny Williams 13:05

Yeah, yeah. And we're not being sort of mindfully present. Because we're tired. We just need to get through to the end of the day. Right? Right. One thing that what you were saying just brought up for me is that kids fill in the blanks in the absence of an explanation. And I've talked so much about parents of kids with ADHD about this, because it really is a huge problem. They really do try to find meaning in what is happening. And if they don't have an explanation, they go right to I'm better broken, right.

Rachel Bailey 13:39

And the other thing is just to reinforce what you're saying, they will create the explanation. And because kids are egocentric, and they think that it's really all about them, they often go to there's something wrong with me, not my parents are tired, or they're having a bad day. And that's why they're yelling at me. They think, oh, I'm broken. There's something wrong with me. That's the way they're developing. And that's totally normal. And it's sad, because, you know, we don't want them growing up with that belief that there's something wrong with them.

Penny Williams 14:06

Yeah. So really working to see and hear and understand our kids and to let them know that it's okay to be their authentic selves, I think is one piece of moving forward through that. All kids get messages that harm their self esteem as I grew up, I think it's part of childhood. I think it's part of adulthood, honestly. It just happens. But we don't want it to be a daily multiple times a day occurrence.

Rachel Bailey 14:35

Yeah. And the truth is that because I actually speak about self esteem all the time is that they're gonna get the messages. It's what they do with the messages. Do they take them in? So when they're on social media, do they take in the message, I'm inadequate, I'm not enough. Everybody's having fun. I'm not or when you have healthy self esteem, you can actually filter what you're seeing on social media through the lens of Wait, maybe this isn't a reflection of me. So Yeah, they're gonna get those messages, but we can teach them how to handle those messages in a way that leads to better self esteem or worse self esteem, honestly.

Penny Williams 15:08

Yeah. And can you talk about that a little bit? How do we do that.

Rachel Bailey 15:11

So basically, if we think about the two components of self esteem, and this absolutely ties into the long game, everything that I teach with a lot, my long game method, which is what my programs are, the long game method takes into account self esteem. So again, the two components of self esteem, one is, I'm worthy of acceptance as I am. And the other is, I know how to handle things. So ultimately, what we're doing is, let's say a child, let's use a very specific behavior again, you'd have to try to put away their backpack, they haven't done it. The way we actually handle this in a self esteem enhancing way is to say, Hey, I bet there's a reason you didn't put your back back away. So we're basically assuming best intention. What that says is you're worthy of acceptance, even when you don't do what I ask. Yes. So I bet there's a reason.

And guess what, you still have to put away your backpack. So we're going to come up with strategies to help you be successful. This comes from my days, I was an ADHD coach for about seven years. So I used to find what we call a compensatory strategy. So if a child doesn't have good executive functioning skills, we actually teach them to compensate. So going back to the backpack, it's there's a reason I'm assuming best intention. And we still have limits and boundaries in this house, I'm going to help you find a way to make sure you are paying attention to the fact that that's the first thing you have to do when you get home, maybe we have to create some alarms for you, or big neon sign or we're going to create a strategy to help you be successful. Yeah. So again, you're teaching your child they're worthy of respect, even when they haven't done what you want. And then you're teaching them how to handle situations that they might not naturally be successful at.

Penny Williams 16:46

I love this so much.

Rachel Bailey 16:47

This is the long game right there.

Penny Williams 16:53

The script that you just gave, I bet there's a reason you blank. Yeah, so I bet there's a reason you didn't hang your backpack. I bet there's a reason your shoes are in the middle of the kitchen floor. You know, I think and talk to parents a lot about the fact that we have to help kids figure it out. We don't give them the answers. It's not pick up your backpack and go put it on the hook by the door. But hey, I noticed that your backpack is on the kitchen counter, and helping them to go through the steps of figuring that out. But I love I never thought about it in this way of really boosting their self esteem. But also you're protecting your relationship with your child this way as well. 100% keeping that judgment out of it. Yes. And when the relationship is good, so many other things fall into place.

Rachel Bailey 17:38

Yeah, that's absolutely the truth. relationships do foster that or behavior, especially once a child knows how to do what you ask. So this is where we have to shift from judgment. They didn't listen to me to, I wonder why they didn't listen, what skill or strategy are they missing? And then we can approach them with an energy of, hey, I know you're doing the best you can. That's not an excuse not to do what I ask, but there's a reason you're doing this. And I can help you. We're in it together. I always say you may have said this to before because I love this phrase. You want it to be you and your child against the problem, not you against your child. Yeah, the problem is maybe poor executive functioning skills. So you say to your child, hey, you know what, it is hard when you get home from school to put your backpack down. Because your mind is already somewhere else. That's really hard. Let's figure out a way to attack that problem. Because you still need to put your backpack away.

Penny Williams 18:31

Yeah, yeah. And there's so many different strategies that you can use for things like that, oh, wait, just modeling it. You know, just when you walk in the door, you also put your bag and your shoes in the same spot every time, right? Like, we had a house when my kids were really little that we actually built and so I had cubbies built right inside the door. And there were hooks, there was one for each family member, there was a hook, there was a basket. And then there was a bin for shoes. And when we walked in the door, everything went there immediately before anybody went any further in the house. And we did it together. You know, every time we came in from school, we did it together. And it became a habit. Absolutely, and so helpful.

Rachel Bailey 19:15

I love that. Another quick tip to add to that for a lot of kids who have maybe strong willed personalities or things like that they may be still resistant, is to add, I love your strategy. And then maybe they have to be the ones to remind you to put your shoes away. They're the ones in charge. And I work with a lot of strong willed kids. A lot of I work with kids with parents of children with big emotions. So this can help to you the more you make them in charge of you. So every time they come in the door, they have to remind you, they're more likely to do it as well.

Penny Williams 19:43

Love it. Yeah. And when our kids teach us try to teach us something that we taught them. It's like winning a parenting trophy every time. It feels so good and I now that my kids are in their 20s I am excited Anything that more, I hear myself and things they say. And sometimes when I'm really dysregulated and having a hard time, I, you know, get instructed by one of them on what to do. And I'm like, wait a minute, that's what I taught you to do. And pat on the bow. Amazing, right? And yeah, yeah, like, I just had to do an interview for something. And I was super, super nervous. That was a video interview on film. For a documentary, actually, that's coming up. And my son was like, Mom, you just have to tell yourself, that it's not that big a deal. As long as you tell your brain, it's a big deal, then your body is going to make it a big deal.

Rachel Bailey 20:37

Do you know what he did? He taught you to reduce the threat, which is what we talked about. You reduce the threat. That's awesome.

Penny Williams 20:44

And I said, I am so super proud of you. I can't stand it at this moment. It was so good. And we'll get there. You know, like, I love that my kids are older now. And I can say, hey, when my kid was seven, like, it was so hard, I was living in the yuck. But it does get better. They do hear you. And they do learn skills. And it does get better. And it's so great to be able to experience that, but also to be able to share that with other families who aren't there yet.

Rachel Bailey 21:15

Yeah, absolutely. I agree with you.

Penny Williams 21:17

So what else do we need to know kind of about the long game? Because one thing when I hear the term long game, I think, Okay, I can't get stuck in in the day to day, I have to think about the bigger picture. So for instance, in kindergarten, my son was struggling with some skills, because we had no idea at that point that he had any developmental delays until he walked into a school building. And the teacher said to me one day, you know, for gosh, sake, which is not the word she used. He has to be reading chapter books in two years. How are you going to get him there? He's not going to be reading chapter books into like, and she took every little thing that he was having problems with. And she just piled it into this one pile of fear.

For me, right? She just gave me this giant, overflowing, wheelbarrow full of fear. And then I'm catastrophizing, right, I'm thinking, oh my gosh, he's not even going to be able to succeed two years from now, this is so terrible, what the heck is going on? You know, all these things. And I didn't know yet not to fall into that pit. Right? Because I was just starting and just learning, right? But part of that, for me is like you have to say, and this is why I teach parents, and we talk about it constantly. My kid can't read a chapter book yet. My kid can't tie his shoes, yet our mindset. Exactly, because our kids may get there later. Yeah. But we're not giving up on the fact that they will get there. And we're not going to catastrophize that they won't get there either. You know, it's just a really good mindset reframe.

Rachel Bailey 23:05

Right. And so one of the things I talked about with the long game is exactly supporting what you're saying now, which is, remember before I said, one of the strategies is to shift from judgment to understanding what are the other strategies I teach, which relates to what you just said, is to shift from future thinking, to present support. And what I mean by that is what you were describing with future thinking, taking this moment in time, and extrapolating it to the future. And it's funny, because I feel like we all end up with our kids. 30 years old, sitting on our couch, eating pizza and playing video games, or something of the sort. Yep, like, if they can't tie their shoes now, then this will happen. And this will happen to the up on our couch when they're 30, eating pizza and watching video games. It's like everybody's fear. Yeah, so we have to stop future thinking.

Because what happens is when we future think we try to control our kids more, we try to fix things more. Yeah, we make our kids feel worse about them, we go into a threat mode, as I've talked about before threat mode shuts off the access to our values based part of our brain. So we shift from future thinking to what can I do in this moment right now to support my child, because if you have an accumulation of positive present moments, it will turn into a much better future than if you try to control the future. So if you say what can I do right now, what is the problem? How can I work with my child against the problem right now not worrying about the future, but the current, it's going to lead to a much better future. So again, the long game sounds like you're gonna be thinking about the future. But what I'm saying is don't think about the future so much, because you're not doing your child or yourself any favors.

Penny Williams 24:39

Yeah. And by actually addressing the here and now, you're helping the future.

Rachel Bailey 24:44

That is the secret to making a better future is focusing on the present. I mean, you ask any like wise meditation expert, it's all about the present. It's not about the future present turns out better, the less we try to control it.

Penny Williams 24:56

Yeah. And we have more bandwidth for that when we're not worrying about the future. Are, we have more mindful awareness of what's going on, we have more of an ability to take a breath when things are challenging. And ask ourselves what's really going on here? What is my child struggling with and having a hard time with, right? So we expend so much energy, worrying about the future, we're taking away that space and that energy to be able to do things for now that are actually going to improve that future.

Rachel Bailey 25:29

That's exactly right. So yes, it is really about shifting from future thinking. And we have to be aware that we're doing it. But once we do, we can see how we do it so much of the day, especially those of us who have anxiety, I personally manage my anxiety all the time. Yep, we do that. And it just doesn't lead to the result that we want to see. Yeah, absolutely.

Penny Williams 25:49

Yeah, I can't tell you how many times I thought, Well, my kids never gonna graduate from high school, it just isn't gonna happen. There's no way we're never gonna get there. Right? Or, you know, he's gonna walk across the stage and be so much different than everybody else like, like, still be a little child or something, you know, you have all these weird visualizations. And absolutely, and I would just get so stuck there. And then, you know, he graduated, he didn't walk across the stage, because it was COVID. So we had a drive through graduation. But he did do it. Yeah. And that wasn't me knowing it was going to be different. That was me fearing what was going to happen.

Rachel Bailey 26:24

Right. And that's the thing is that fear is comfortable. For most of us to have the faith, that things will be okay, if we just focus on the present, that's uncomfortable, that is really uncomfortable. So that goes back to our conversation about discomfort, often we will stay in our fear future thinking zone, because it's more comfortable that we know it better, we're familiar with it, it makes us feel like we can control the future. So when we realize that we're doing it, and we can say to ourselves, it may feel more comfortable to do that. Because this faith is a little scarier. When we realize it and can give ourselves coping strategies, it's much easier, but it's not easy to just say I won't worry anymore. It's really not that simple.

Penny Williams 27:05

It takes a lot of work and practice. And you're still going to worry some. I mean, I have anxiety myself as well. And I've spent years now working on just being more in the present, and really focusing on how I am framing things, what my thoughts are about things. And it has made the most drastic difference in my life. And in my parenting, I have to say, Absolutely. But it's a practice, like, I still have to sometimes say, wait a minute, you're thinking too far ahead. Or, you know, wait a minute, you're getting all dysregulated when you need to take a bribe or whatever it is, you know, sometimes and, and certainly there are times where I just sit back and go, Oh, my gosh, my kids aren't really moving forward right now what's gonna happen? You know, I mean, it's natural. But I have the skills now, to be able to work through that. Yep. And get to a better place and to not put all of that anxiety on him.

Rachel Bailey 28:01

Exactly. Exactly. We like to share our anxiety with others, don't we?

Penny Williams 28:05

Oh, my gosh, yes. Yes. And I wish I'd recognize it so much earlier in my parenting, you know, I'm finding that there's a lot more to environments with anxiety and things that have happened to you or around you. And it's tough. It's really tough. And we have to be very aware that we're not putting our fears on our kids. Absolutely. It's just what's naturally going to happen if you're not aware.

Rachel Bailey 28:30

It's like the default mode. Yeah, exactly.

Penny Williams 28:34

Our default mode really isn't great. As parents or as humans, sometimes I think the default mode just sort of is like this really sensitive alarm that always thinks the worst in the end.

Rachel Bailey 28:50

Well, if you think about it, that's the animal that we're animals to in a way. And so our instinct is sort of primitive. But the good thing about being human is that we can recognize that, you know, animals out in the forest can recognize that they're being instinctive we can, we can say, hey, wait, stop. I'm responding to my fear right now. I know there's a different way I've made a plan, and I can use that new plan. So being human does mean we will instinctually default to that. But we can think about it, we can be more meta and think about it and be aware of it.

Penny Williams 29:21

And just that understanding of how much of behavior is interconnected with biology was a huge shift for me and for our family. Yeah, just to recognize that, hey, wait a minute. There isn't choice here and there isn't control here because this is instinctual the body is doing it without asking permission for sort of to simplify it. It's really valuable, too. All of those times when we're saying, Hey, what's going on here? I'm going to look deeper what's going on? And when we understand that, it really helps us to figure it out.

Rachel Bailey 29:57

100% agree? Yes.

Penny Williams 30:01

We could talk about this all day, I think. And for many days probably. And I think we have similar passions around parenting. And it's always exciting to talk to people who have a similar viewpoint and are helping others. It's so amazing that we get to do this work and help other families. I want to make sure that everyone listening connects with Rachel, if you go to the show notes for this episode, which are at parentingADHDandautism.com/208, for Episode 208, we will have links there for Rachel's website, the program's social media, all that good stuff. And I really encourage you to go and check out the work that she's doing and see how she can maybe help you and your family as well. So with that, we're at the end of our time together, but I'm so thankful that you joined me

Rachel Bailey 30:52

I am as well it was a great conversation. Thanks for having me here. Absolutely.

Penny Williams 30:57

And I will see everyone on the next episode. Take good care. Thanks for joining me on the beautifully complex podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share. And don't forget to check out my online courses and parent coaching at parentingADHDandautism.com and at thebehaviorrevolution.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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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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