226: 5 Tools to Foster Self-Regulation, with The Behavior Revolution

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

Listen on Apple Podcasts  |  Google Podcasts  |  Spreaker  |  Spotify  |  iHeart Radio

One of the struggles we hear from parents again and again is that their child lacks self-regulation. Being with a kid who can’t self-regulate day in and day out is challenging, no doubt. But you can help your kid calm and kids can learn to self-regulate — you just need the right strategies.

In this episode of Beautifully Complex, outline five strategies to help your child get regulated or to foster their own self-regulation skills. Most of these can be woven into your everyday lives and things you’re already doing. Remember, when kids are regulated, their bodies and brains are able to engage and get things done, and they can feel good about themselves. Regulation is a key priority.

3 Key Takeaways

01

Reframing is crucial in teaching self-regulation. By narrating our own self-regulation processes, we can help children learn problem-solving skills, perspective-taking, and how to get unstuck.

02

Mindfulness practices, such as breathing exercises, yoga, and body awareness, are effective tools for regulating and staying calm. Engaging children in these practices can help with self-regulation.

03

Co-regulation is an important concept for parents as children grow up. Activities like taking walks, bouncing a ball off the wall, and playing clapping games can help with co-regulation and coordination, fostering a stronger parent-child relationship.

What You'll Learn

Importance of reframing in teaching self-regulation and modeling self-regulation processes for children

Why taking breaks is crucial

Decoding behavior and understanding its underlying meaning

Tuning into and understanding bodily sensations

What co-regulation is and how to practice it

Crisis to Clarity Blueprint™

Resources

Some of the resources may be affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission (at no cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.

Breathe book by Inês Castel-Branco

Subscribe to Clarity — my weekly newsletter on what’s working in business right now, delivered free, straight to your inbox.

Work with me to level up your parenting — online parent training and coaching  for neurodiverse families.

My Guest

The Behavior Revolution

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.

 

Transcript

Penny Williams [00:00:03]: We, of course, want to help our kids be regulated as much as possible. Disregulation can bring all sorts of problems and challenging behavior and unwanted behavior Wayland not getting things done. Right? And so We, as parents Wayland even teachers, want to focus on helping our kids be regulated because that's when they feel good. That's when they're feeling, you know, often confident and confident, and so they're willing to try.

Penny Williams [00:00:31]: 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.

Penny Williams [00:00:54]: Welcome back to the beautifully complex podcast. I am thrilled as always to have my friend and colleague Sarah Wayland here with me, and we are going to talk about 5 tools to teach self regulation. we both find in the work that we're doing that so many families, one of the biggest struggles is self regulation with their kids and awareness Wayland that really feeds into behavior. So we wanted to give you some strategies and some areas that really Most of these can fit into your day to day, and you can start really promoting and helping your kid to build those self regulation skills. Sarah, do you wanna introduce yourself if anybody's new here and doesn't know who you are yet?

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:01:43]: So I'm Sarah Wayland, and I have a business called guiding exceptional parents for parents of neurodivergent kids. And Penny and I do the behavior revolution program and system together, and there we are. A mom of 2 neurodivergent boys who are now young adults. Yep. We have the behavior revolution program and answered it.

Penny Williams [00:02:05]: Our -- Answered it right. Sorry. -- knowledge base and quick answer site, I guess, membership where you can log in and ask an answer about parenting nerd of energetic kids and or ask a question. I'm sorry about parenting nerd, virgin kids, and get a very fast answer within, I would say, 30 seconds. from all of the expert summit sessions that we've done, so it pulls together from different experts and gives you a fantastic answer. It's amazing. It really answers like Sarah or I are one of our experts would. So it's an amazing sort of resource for parents to have, but Those are our 2 big endeavors. Yes. So let's talk self reg. Do you wanna start maybe by finding what self regulation is?

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:02:52]: Self regulation is basically the ability to match your energy level to the situation that you are in. So a lot of people think of self regulation as being able to calm yourself down when you're upset. which it certainly is. However, I think it's important to remember that sometimes the situation calls for you to be activated and you know, doing something. So if a bear is chasing you, you want to run away. You don't want to be calm. But also, like, if you're playing basketball or, you know, soccer with your friends or, you know, just there's all sorts of activities where you may want to be a little activated to be able to perform well in those situations. And then there are other situations like when you're sitting in your desk at school and trying to get some work done or focused, then Those are situations where you want your body to be a little calmer, but you don't wanna be too calm because you don't wanna be asleep. So -- Right. -- you know, I I like to think of it as matching your energy level to the energy level required by the situation.

Penny Williams [00:03:54]: Yeah. And what we teach is that you have to be regulated to be able to do well. Yes. That that state of the nervous system is the state from which our kids can perform for lack of a better word. It makes things doable. Yeah. for them in that state. And so we, of course, want to help our kids be regulated as much as possible. Disregulation can bring all sorts of problems and challenging behavior and unwanted behavior and not getting things done. Right? And so we, as parents Wayland even teachers, want to focus on helping our kids be regulated because that's when they feel good. That's when they're feeling, you know, often competent Wayland confident. Right? And so they're willing to try and to get things done. And I think that's why it's so important

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:04:44]: Yeah. And you bring up an important point, which is that if a bear is chasing you and you're running away, you're not gonna be able to be very thoughtful or mindful because you're focus is gonna be on survival and not on. I wonder what the best thing to do to make this bear happy is. or something like that. Right. And so I think that we all try to regulate up or regulate down to match the situation. But too much in one direction or the other is problematic.

Penny Williams [00:05:13]: Yeah. And that bear example we're running away instinctually. We're not thinking about it. Our body -- Right. -- is turning and going before we have a chance to even try to think about what's going on. And I think that's an important distinction to you is what we're talking about when we have challenging behavior from kids that is due to dysregulation. It's their body is telling them there's danger. Their body is trying to get them to do something for protection, whether that's moving or freezing or fighting. Right? Exactly. Exactly. So let's talk about these five tools. Our first one is co regulation. What I like to call, allowing your kid to borrow your calm, being their calm anchor, but there's another component to that as well. So the first component is we want to stay calm in order to help our kids stay calm. because we are wired to respond in kind, so our calm energy is helping our kids. It's not gonna magically make them calm, obviously. But it helps in that situation. And the opposite is gonna co escalate Wayland it's gonna hurt in that situation. It's gonna make it worse. Right? And so we want to be that calm presence for our kids when they're not calm. And then the second piece of co regulation is sort of rhythmic

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:06:38]: matching. Right? You wanna talk about that one, Sarah? Sure. You know, sort of at its most basic form. I'm thinking little babies co regulating with their parents. You know, when you hold a baby and they're upset and you're kind of rocking them or patting them or whatever, you're hoping that they will borrow your calm feelings. Right? But a lot of those actions, like being in a rocking chair and going back and forth. Right? These are very rhythmic things, and they're super basic. When you're pregnant with them, like walking, is one of the most rhythmic things we do. Right? Yeah. And So I remember when especially my younger son who was super active in utero, like, if I would walk, he would calm down almost immediately. Whereas if I was sitting at my desk, he was very busy.

Penny Williams [00:07:25]: Wow.

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:07:26]: And then, of course, we can't do that with our kids forever because they grow up. They get they didn't grow up. And so then there are other things you can do. Taking a walk together is a good activity. But even just something like I have one family where the kid is really calmed down when his dad says, hey. Let's just go bounce a ball off the wall in the backyard. Mhmm. So they'll just go, like, you know, throw the ball back and forth like that. For kids who enjoy this, like, clapping games are really fun. Oh, yeah. You know, coordination. So the idea behind co regulation, the rhythm piece is actually a pretty big deal, and it is really fundamental. for regulation, but there's also a back and forth component and an in attunement to the other person that also matters. And so If you're in a conversation, for example, if one person is doing all the talking, then that's not really co regulation. Whereas if there's kind of a back and forth, give and take. That is more of a co regulated conversation. But, you know, there's all sorts of stuff we do that is co regulated, you know, doing an activity together when I like to do with my son, for example, is unload the dishwasher together. He pulls the thing out and I put it away or I pull it Wayland he puts it away. Mhmm. But something where he has to tune into me and then do something based on what I've just done. Right? Yeah. And there are different kinds of co regulations. So that one, I call assembly line, this I learned from RDI, But there's also, you know, doing the same thing at the same time. I think walking together is a good example of that where you're just with the person and doing the same thing at the same time. And those are the 2 most basic forms. There are others, but I won't go into detail here. But, you know, just this idea of your behavior and your being somehow matched or responsive to the other person's

Penny Williams [00:09:21]: behaviors and actions. Yeah. I'm just thinking about a tennis game. Yeah. Actually. Yeah. It just came to mind because both of my kids, when they were younger, loved to go and hit the tennis ball. Yeah. And I hate it. I hate tennis. It's Wayland all you do is run. Like, it is not my favorite thing in the world at all. And now I'm just thinking, well, no wonder, are they like, it because it's this back and forth rhythmic thing with another person. And that makes sense that it's regulating.

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:09:54]: You know, the game 4 square is, you know, that kids play on the at recess. Right? It's a similar thing except you're having to coordinate with, I guess, 3 other people. when you do that. Yeah. But, yeah, a lot of kids games are very co regulation based. So, you know, ring around the rosy, Right? If you think about it, you're doing this thing together, jump rope. Like, all of these games that kids play are very much co regulation activities.

Penny Williams [00:10:22]: in hopscotch. Like, that's not necessarily co regulating, but it's regulating. Oh, I think it is. You're hopping, you're thinking about what you're doing and Yeah. And you're taking turns with the other person. Right. If you're taking turns with somebody. Yeah. Yep. Awesome. Yeah. There's so many opportunities for co regulation. And It's not that we're asking anybody to do anything extra. Like, just fine moments in times that you spend together where you can co regulate or you know, make sure that you're staying calm in those difficult situations. And if you can't stay calm, then everyone needs to take a break. Yes. Yes. You don't just walk away from your kid because that sends a wrong message and sometimes that escalates kids. But you can say, you know, we're both getting super dysregulated Wayland we cannot problem solve when we're dysregulated. And I think we should both take a break. And let's come back and talk about this in 10 minutes or whatever. Right. You know, I think that's an important piece of it too. Because if you can't stay calm, you are only going to escalate the situation.

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:11:24]: Yeah. You're never gonna help if you're not calm. You know, Penny, I think you're bringing up a point that a lot of parents struggle with. So, you know, we know the right answer right answer -- Mhmm. -- is that if we just stay calm and stay present with our child being calm that they can calm themselves down. So the message we're sending is you, my child, are very out of control, but I am here, and I can hold this. And I know eventually you will calm down. And there's sort of that, you know, you can hold their negative energy without getting dysregulated yourself. That's great. Mhmm. Like, more power to you if you can do it. But I think a lot of parents can't stay regulated in that situation, and so you have to come up with a good enough solution there. Right? And so you can say, I love you to death. I can't do this right now. I wish I could be here for you. I want that more than anything, but I'm getting very unhappy, and I know I won't be helpful to you. So I'm gonna take a break. Right? The message being, I love you. but I need to figure out, you know, how to model being calm myself.

Penny Williams [00:12:33]: Right? Yeah. Yeah. And I don't wanna send the message to parents that it's impossible to be that parent that can stay calm. I wouldn't have thought I could be that parent, you know, 15 years ago. but I learned how to do it with a lot of time and mindfulness and practice -- Me too. -- and determination. Right? And so -- Yeah. -- I can stay pretty calm in just about any scenario. And of course, now, you know, my kid has learned a lot of his own self regulation, and so we don't have -- Easier. Yeah. -- daily explosions. Right? Like, we used to. But still, there are times where I get very frustrated or he gets very upset Wayland I can just be a calm presence because I've learned to tap into the fact that anything else that I do, any other reaction is only going to make it worse. I can stop and think about that and make that choice. And really, it's instinctual for me at this point. But, you know, that was that sort of middle piece of it where I just had to remind myself.

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:13:33]: If I do anything but stay calm right now, I'm only gonna make it worse. And I don't wanna make it worse. I wanna make it better. Penny, I I like that because like you, early on, I had a hard time controlling -- Mhmm. -- my reaction to things, but I'm I'm pretty good about it. And a couple of things that really helped me were, 1, is just reframing what was happening by saying this is my child's journey, not mine. Yeah. Right? And so I would just say, okay. He's having a hard time, and it's not because I'm a bad parent or any of that. It's just because he's having a hard time. And that for me -- It's not personal. Yeah. That reframe

Penny Williams [00:14:12]: really made a big difference. Yeah. Yeah. And reframe is a big part of what we teach. Yes. Big, big part. It's the foundation, really. It's always the first step. Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about modeling. That's the second one on our list of how to teach or or help our kids develop self regulation. When we talk about modeling, we're just talking about showing our kids when we're self regulating. Right? Being an example, but I think one part of it that we often forget about is narrating what's going on in our heads out loud for our kids. Mhmm. Because so often, they don't have that sort of internal voice, instinctually. in some of those areas. Like, they may have lagging problem solving skills or they may have a hard time seeing the perspective of others or getting unstuck. Right? And so we are showing them that when we are frustrated, this is what we do to help ourselves to regulate. Or when we are upset or we're just regulated in some Wayland I found that I really needed to narrate what was going on for me internally so that my son could learn that there really was a process to it. and learn some of those steps and be able to take that on himself.

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:15:22]: Yeah. And, you know, a couple of thoughts about that. 1, My kids really like it when I do that. So, like, you know, sometimes I'll have my road rage moments. Right? Yeah. And I'll be like, oh, then driver. And then I'll say, okay. I'm sorry. It's not their fault. I don't understand what's going on for them. Maybe, you know, something bad is happening, and they need to get home. So I'll say that to my self, that sort of self talking. Then I'll say I'll just take a deep breath. Gonna move over to a different lane, so I'm not in anyone's way. You know? And so I just, like, out loud, say that. And my kids definitely like that. The other thing, though, is that I think a lot of times we've learned to keep those emotions and that self regulating process inside us so that our own parents would think we were self regulated. Right. And I And then so our kids look at Wayland they think, oh, well, you know, mom never loses it. Yeah. Mom never loses it. What's wrong with me? Why is it so hard for me to self regulate? And so I think when they see that, actually, no. We are struggling to off regulate too, we just have learned some strategies,

Penny Williams [00:16:32]: then modeling can be really helpful. I think we're taught in our culture. It's that we need to look like we have it all together on the outside. And so we're taught to not be transparent about those processes that go on internally. That's just kind of the way that we think we're supposed to be. And so we have to really sort of swim against that tide to be really transparent with our kids and narrate those processes and really show them how things are done. You know, that just brought up a a memory for me that

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:17:02]: funerals in different cultures are very different. Like, the expectations at funerals. So in China, I believe, it is fairly standard practice to hire actors to come in and, like, Wayland and scream and be upset just, like, so that people are having that upsetness around them Wayland it's considered, you know, good form to be, you know, experiencing your grief that way. Whereas in our culture, I think we're taught that we should just sit very quietly and aware of vale if you're gonna be crying, like, don't let anyone see that you're having these big emotions. And so I think different cultures also, you know, I I think our culture is pretty stuffy.

Penny Williams [00:17:47]: Yeah. Yeah. We really don't like what we consider negative emotions. We don't allow people to be sad or angry. And it's really damaging. It's really damaging. I think that so many of us have a hard time because we're not emotionally open. We don't share what's going on with us. And when you keep it inside, what's gonna happen? You're gonna explode or you're gonna deteriorate or, you know, you're you're not dealing with it. We really need to have a shift in our culture with being more open about all the feelings. We all have all the feelings. And we need to be okay with having all the feelings. It's totally okay. What you do with it may not be okay. You know, if you're raging angry at someone, beating the crap out of them is not acceptable. Right? But Right. It's okay to be angry at someone. That's natural. Right. And we really have to get there.

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:18:45]: Yeah. I love what you just said because I think it's a distinction between what you're feeling and what you're doing with those feelings. Right? So you can have the big emotion, but that doesn't mean you have to take everybody out with you.

Penny Williams [00:18:59]: Right. Exactly. So let's talk about number 3. Number 3 is occupational therapy. And that's really in the sensory area for the most part of regulation, which is a lot of it, I think, especially for our neurodivergent kids. A lot of them have a lot of sensory struggles. And if you're really struggling with either too much sensory input or not enough sensory input, it affects your behavior and your ability to self regulate. So I can remember for my son when noises were a really big issue for him, really loud, like sirens, trains. He would try to run away. Like, his first instinct was to run, which was a problem often. He was six or seven years old, you know, and just trying to bolt. He would cover his ears and start screaming and just want to run. And he needed some tools to help him regulate in those times to be able to sit with that discomfort as much as possible Wayland then to get regulated once it was over. And You know, we use things like headphones or, you know, sometimes just avoiding places that had a lot of that -- Yeah. -- was a good idea. I I remember when we went to New York City, he was, I guess, about 14. So he had quite a bit of skill at that point. And I was really concerned because in New York City, it is loud. If you're walking on the sidewalk, there are constant horns blaring There's constant traffic. There's constant sirens like I thought. This kid is gonna come out of his skin potentially. And he really did it. He was able to manage it. And I think you know, he got used to it over a few days and things like that. But, you know, understanding what our kids are going through in that area and then helping them with those sensory things. You know, by the time he was fourteen, he had done 2 courses of occupational therapy. So he'd had a lot of help with dealing with some sensory sensitivities and also some sensory seeking stuff. And I think that, you know, any family who has that opportunity should take advantage of it. We learn so much from the occupational therapist about what was going on, about behavior, and about how we could help.

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:21:15]: You know, you brought back some memories Just some thoughts. Like, I always hear things, and then I reflect back on moments in my my own kids raising. And one of the things that I realized, and we do talk about this in the behavior of course, I know, is my older son went straight to shut down -- Mhmm. -- when he was overwhelmed. And so he looked regulated because he was just completely nonresponsive. So we tend to think of, like, you know, these big running away or punching or, you know, the physical things. We tend to think of those as the most dysregulated. But, actually, it took me way too long to realize that my older son was even more dysregulated. And here's my memory that I thought about when you were talking is that we live about a block from the railroad tracks. Mhmm. And one day, I was with him in our town center going to a farmers market, and a train came through. And he was perfectly still while the train was going through. I was overwhelmed by the train because it was so close to us. Yeah. And he was just perfectly stolen. I thought, wow. This kid's amazing. Little did I know. Right? Yeah. He was completely frozen. He was completely frozen. I mean, it took me way, way, way too long to figure that out. So, you know and I do want to just sing the praises of occupational therapists because they really can teach our kids how to tune into their bodies. Mhmm. And understand the experiences they're having and tune into what's going on in the world and how their body is responding and just develop some alternative strategies for managing that sensory input. So a good OT that is tuned into those things can be really incredible. And this brings me to the other thing that what you were talking about really brought up for me, which is that My older son benefited greatly from OT. My younger son was so dysregulated that he actually couldn't even benefit from OT. Like, every little thing that this amazing OT tried with him, he would just lose it. And finally, she said, you know what? I don't think this is productive for him, and I was like, but somebody has to help him. Right.

Penny Williams [00:23:31]: Yeah. And it can be pretty overwhelming in a pediatric OT office. Like, there's a lot of kids working. It's often a big building, so you know, there are kids who might come in and be very vocal, you know, kids with maybe nonspeaking autism, you know, which was something that My son was very sensitive to for a really long time. He would just have to be away. Like, he would avoid -- being around people who were non speaking if they were super vocal, which my nephew is like that. So you know, going to his house was sometimes hard. Sometimes my son would have to walk outside and sit on the porch and get a break from it. And I always felt like part of it was that he could tell he was in distress, that other people were in distress, and he couldn't do anything. He didn't know how to manage it. But It wasn't just about that sensory input that was uncomfortable. It was also about the fact that someone was in distress Wayland he couldn't help. So, you know, a multilayer sort of thing. But OT really helped with so many things. But sometimes, it is overwhelming for some kids. And there may be you know, you could ask if there are quieter times of the day where your kid could have their appointment at that time or something like that too to try to see if you could work it out. Yeah. My son's OT actually

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:24:49]: had her own practice in her basement, and so it really was just him and her down there. But even that I mean, she was trying to very, very subtly, you know -- Nudge. -- expose him to things to see what would happen in it. I mean, just the littlest nudge. I love what you just said about your son getting dysregulated when he wanted you know, when he other people are up set because I think this does happen to a lot of our kids. Yeah. And this is why being the calm maker helps. Right? They're tuned into our calm. But guess what? They're also tuned into the dysregulation of other people in the room. Mhmm. And some of them have that hyper sensitivity to that. And, you know, I think this can be devastating when people say, you know, autistic kids don't have any empathy or that, you know, ADHD kids don't care. Right. Like, it's not that at all. It's actually very often. They can't even handle it, and they're just shutting down or freaking out because they so desperately want to help the person and have no idea how to do it. Yeah. They care so much that it's painful.

Penny Williams [00:25:55]: Yeah. Yeah. It's a real thing for a lot of our kids. And I think, yeah, it can look like a lack of empathy on the surface because maybe they don't respond. or maybe they walk away or, you know, and they're gonna look or run away.

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:26:09]: Or punch the other kid. I've seen that too. Right? Yeah. Like, they're just like they need it to stop. It's never good, but they're kids.

Penny Williams [00:26:16]: Unless really drives home the reason why we have to dig deeper and decode behavior. Mhmm. I mean, that's such a good example. A kid punches a kid who's upset. Well, what do you think You think they're mean and awful and disrespectful and horrible, horrible kid. Right? They don't care about other people. When actually, they care so much they can't handle it. Like, it's the total opposite. So we really need to be dialing in in great detail to what's really going on under the surface. which is why we do the work that we do in the behavior revolution program because we've learned this. Right? And this really is the best way to help our kids. So let's talk about number 4 briefly, breathing mindfulness, yoga, practicing body awareness, like getting tuned in to how your body is feeling and practicing things that help you to sort of regulate and stay calm are very, very helpful. And what I love now, which didn't exist when my kids were young, and could have used it, but there's so many great apps and practices and videos on YouTube that are all geared for young kids to be able to practice mindfulness in a way that works for young kids and in a way that they don't even know it. You know, one of my favorite kids' books which probably came out 6 or 8 years ago now is called Breathe. And it is just this boy who is doing all these imaginative play activities in the story. But each one is actually either yoga, mindfulness, tai chi, a breathing exercise. They're all working on practicing that skill. But the kids don't know it. They're just being imaginative along with the boy, and they're actually practicing these things. So there's so many ways you know, a lot of our kids, if you hand them an app and go here, practice mindfulness for 5 minutes, they are not gonna do it. They are going to refuse. They are not gonna wanna do it. Right? It doesn't sound fun. There's so many ways to engage young kids now. I think there's even, like, a YouTube channel when a parent was telling me about with Disney characters. They're dressed up as Disney characters doing yoga or something. Don't like in this like, just amazing ways to get kids engaged in that practice now. and it can really, really be helpful in building self regulation.

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:28:44]: Oh, I love that. I love that. Yeah. You know, the other thing too is A lot of times, our kids are not very aware. The reason this matters so much is our kids can be very unaware of how their bodies are feeling, so that sense of intro inception -- Mhmm. -- of, you know, I'm hungry or I have to go to the bathroom or my heart's beating quickly or, you know, just whatever. Like, all these feelings your body can have They're having those experiences, but they don't even realize it. And it's driving their behavior, and they don't even realize it. Mhmm. And so, you know, just helping them tune into how their body is feeling. I can remember even in college, like, finally understanding that when I got a headache on the back of my head, it usually meant that I needed to drink water. Like, I but it took me 21 years to figure that out. Right. And I still you know, when I'm hot, I often don't realize I'm hot, but my husband will say go stick your feet in a cold bathtub because I just get so overheated. And I don't even realize that's what's going on, but it definitely happens. So tuning into your body and figuring out, like, what your body is telling you is the skill our kids need to learn to develop. And there's also Kelly Maller's curriculum

Penny Williams [00:30:01]: on -- introception Wayland helping your kid build that sense of what their body is feeling and what it's trying to tell them that I think is really great to you. Yeah. I love Kelly. In fact, she has a lot of really nice exercises

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:30:14]: you can do in the moment. You know, like, if you're sucking on an ice cube? You know, what feelings are you having in your mouth and just getting kids to tune into that. I just love those ideas she has. Yeah. And she's been in at least a couple of our summit sessions -- Mhmm. -- as well. So she -- Mhmm. -- has some material Wayland answered it also. Yeah. And lastly, on our list for self regulating

Penny Williams [00:30:36]: is our behavior revolution program. Of course, we have to mention that with our crisis declared a blue print and our regulation toolkit. So we are actually getting ready to launch our new and improved version of the program. And I think we're both super excited about it. It is sort of leveling up what we had created before. And everyone is getting that regulation tool kit. in the mail when they register for the program as well. But we just have a really clear and concise step by step path to helping your kid learn awareness and self regulation Wayland some other things that are really important along the way to, like your relationship with your child. Because if you don't have a good relationship with your child, all this other stuff is not gonna be helpful. You have to have that strong open relationship with your kid. And so there are other things that we talk about and teach in there as well. But the end result, when you get to the end of that crisis to clarity blueprint, is you're very clear on the step by step process of going from an unwanted negative challenging behavior to doing better. And really, the whole crux of it is that we help our kids feel better because that's when we know that they can do better. That's when they're thinking, bring us online. That's when -- they can be rational. Right? That's when they have access to top down thinking. And that's what is our goal and our ideal. Right? You know, when we're appearance Wayland where upset about our kids being dysregulated and not being able to self regulate. This is the reason that this program was put together, and And we really drew from so much of what we were already advising in coaching parents We were sending them to all sorts of different things and all sorts of different places. And so we really wanted to pull it together into one resource.

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. [00:32:39]: Anything else you wanna mention about it, Sarah? The one thing I definitely wanna mention about the course and the tools we have in the course. You know, we have the behavior wheel to help you identify what's going on for your kid when they might be getting dysregulated. And then we have the feelings wheel, which only should be used after you and your kid have a pretty solid relationship. One of the things that we've found is people tend to wanna jump ahead before they done a lot of the things we've actually been talking about here, the co regulation, the modeling, but also reestablishing your relationship with your child so they view you as a trusted guide. Yeah. Right? Yeah. And only after you are a trusted guide, should you introduce, you know, something like our feelings real tool? And one of the things we found is that, you know, sometimes parents are so desperate to get their kids some help and they introduce it before their relationship has been, you know, restored. And then the kids are like, yeah. I don't wanna do a telling me to do because I don't even really like you right now.

Penny Williams [00:33:46]: Right. Yeah. They're not gonna engage until you've done this other work and this other foundational stuff. And, you know, so that process is basically reframe, decode, teach, and regulate. And they have to happen in that order. And you really have to understand your kid and what is going on for them and look under the surface of the behavior to be able to use the tools effectively. So it's all there, everything you need. But there's work involved. You know? We call it life work instead of homework. Right? I mean, change is hard, and we have to work at things that are the most beneficial to us. They don't come easily. And so working through this process, we'll get you to place. We have seen it again and again, and it's really all the stuff that we used in our own families with our own kids. This was the stuff that was finally like that turning point. Right? When we finally were like, oh, this other thing actually was helpful Wayland all that stuff I did for years. beforehand, really wasn't, which we felt. Right? We felt that we were spinning our wheels. So it really can be transformative. As long as parents are committed to the process. It's definitely a process, and it's all outlined, like I said, in that crisis to clarity blueprint. Yep. I think we have given many resources and a lot for parents to think about and try with their kids to help them build self regulation skills. In the show notes for the episode, we will link up every resource that we've talked about including our program and answered Wayland the other resources that we've talked about. Our program, you can go to the behavior revolution.com/course. Wayland get the information, all the details about that. And there on the website at the behavior revolution.com is also information about answered it if you wanna join us there as well. Both have community aspects too, which we haven't really mentioned. So you're going to have this support from us and also from other parents who are on a similar journey to you who's offered in both of those areas as well. So the show notes are at parentingadhdandautism.com/226 for episode 226 Of course, we would love to see you in the program or in answered it. We certainly hope to see you there at some point. and I want everyone to take good care. I'll see you on the next episode.

Penny Williams [00:36:21]: 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.

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.

Hello!
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!

Pinpoint the
Help You Need
right now

Take my free quiz to cut through the overwhelm and get focused on the information and resources that will help you and your child RIGHT NOW.

free video series
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.

SOME OF MY FAVORITE TOOLS

1

Makes time visual for those with time blindness.

2

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

3

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

4

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.

Listen on Apple Podcasts  |  Google Podcasts  |  Spotify  |  iHeart Radio

Share your thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Start Typing