234: The Reality of Frustration: Acknowledging & Normalizing Mom’s Challenges, with Stephanie Rosenfield

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

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In this episode, I’m diving deep into the reality of frustration, particularly for mothers of neurodivergent children with Stephanie Rosenfield. Stephanie shares her insights and personal experiences, highlighting the challenges and struggles faced by moms who are constantly striving to balance authenticity and protectiveness.

We’ll explore the societal pressures of being the perfect parent and how it impacts our ability to be real with our children. Stephanie also offers valuable tips on how to navigate frustrating moments and teach resilience to our kids. Get ready for an honest and eye-opening conversation that will leave you reflecting on your own parenting journey. Let’s explore the beautifully complex reality of frustration with Stephanie Rosenfield.

3 Key Takeaways


It is important for parents to balance authenticity with their children’s well-being. While it’s important to be transparent and show that parents make mistakes, it’s also crucial to consider the impact of sharing frustrations or negative emotions in the moment.


Society’s portrayal of motherhood as always joyful and fun does not align with the reality. Parenthood involves a range of emotions, including frustration and stress. Recognizing and accepting these emotions as normal can help parents navigate through challenging moments and foster resilience in their children.


Taking time for self-care is not only beneficial for parents but also for their families. Prioritizing one’s own well-being can lead to better connection and presence with loved ones. Teaching children that it’s okay to have a range of emotions and modeling healthy ways to process and manage these emotions is crucial for their emotional development.

What You'll Learn

The importance of being authentic as a parent and not overwhelming your children with negativity.

How to navigate the balance between transparency and protecting your children from certain emotions in the moment.

The significance of showing your children that parents are fallible and make mistakes.

Strategies for managing frustration and stress in parenting, including diffusing emotions and changing the narrative around frustrating situations.

The value of teaching children that all emotions are valid and the importance of effectively managing and processing them.

The benefits of taking time for yourself as a parent, even if it means stepping away from your family, and how it can actually benefit your connection with your children.

Techniques for finding a sense of control in situations that may cause anxiety or overwhelm, such as making plans for different scenarios ahead of time.


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.

Stephanie’s podcast: “The 5-Minute Shift For Moms”

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My Guest

Stephanie Rosenfield

Stephanie Rosenfield is a former speech pathologist turned life coach for overwhelmed moms who helps her clients navigate the internal and external chaos that often creeps up during motherhood without losing their -ish. Using first-hand experience, training as a certified life coach and an honest, judgment-free approach, Stephanie helps moms shift their habits and mindset to become the calm AF mom they’ve always hoped they could be.



Stephanie Rosenfield [00:00:00]: The mom I was describing thought something had gone wrong and she was blaming her daughter and herself right. For what is a pretty typical circumstance in many homes with kids thinking something has gone wrong versus this is a tricky moment, this is frustrating, but I will get through it and I will get to the other side of it. And I am okay, and she is okay. And there are many other moms dealing with this right now.

Penny Williams [00:00:27]: 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 back to the Beautifully complex Podcast. I am really excited today to have Stephanie Rosenfield with me and we are going to talk about moms. And I think we forget ourselves sometimes and we need this focus. We need to talk about how hard it is sometimes to be raising neurodivergent kids and having that experience. It is challenging in many ways. The first of all is just like watching your kids struggle and trying to help them and not always being able to really protect them sometimes from the world and things that are going on. But I'm sure we'll get a lot deeper than that and we'll really access some different perspectives on this. But we're focusing on the reality of frustration. And I know that we are going to learn so much and learn something about ourselves, I think, which is always super powerful for any of us to do. I want to start, though, and have Stephanie introduce yourself, tell everybody who you are and what you do.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:01:53]: Well, thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here. So I started my career as a pediatric speech therapist, so I had a strong background in early childhood development. So during that time, I was supporting the pediatric patients, often neurodivergent. And what I noticed was while these kids were getting a lot of support, as they should be, there was this huge gap, this need that wasn't being met, which was the parents, right? Specifically the moms who were feeling overwhelmed, anxious, stressed out and isolated. So I noticed that during my early career as a speech therapist. But once I became a mom myself, I have two boys, now three and six. I realized a big contributor to this overwhelm was, first of all, this vast amount of information that was constantly being thrown at us, all of these blogs and experts, and here's the script to say when the comparison and my first son, who's now six. It's so funny. I always say I thought I would be the best mom, right? I had this background in early childhood development. I was like, hashtag, I'm going to hashtag kill it. I am going to be the best. And I had my son. And the moment he came out of me, he did not fit the mold right. I noticed it really early on at like six months, he had this propensity to move and crash and just this need for movement. And as he continued to grow, I remember this time sitting in his preschool not preschool, toddler class with these teachers who sat me and my husband down and were just like, he needs constant one on one supervision, or he's like, climbing on the chairs. And it was such an isolating, scary moment for me because I felt so overwhelmed, and these thoughts of, what am I doing wrong? What's wrong with him? Were running through me and my background as a speech, it didn't really help me in that moment because it didn't address these overwhelming emotions that I was feeling. Now, from the outside, you would see pictures of me smiling. I probably looked like I had it all together, but internally I was really struggling, and I thought it would get better with time, and it didn't.

Penny Williams [00:04:12]: Right.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:04:12]: I thought I just had a grit and bear and get through it. But each soccer class I'd look around and be like, what's wrong? This is just me. So I knew that something had to change. And there was this missing link in my life, which was how to manage my own emotions and responses in the midst of these more stressful situations, in the midst of what was going on in my family life. And that was when I found coaching. And I went through a year long coaching certification program, another ten month Nervous System Practitioner certification to pair the mindset with the body. And I've been using that in combination with my pediatric speech background on myself over the past four years. And with now, I think over 100 moms to help them and myself live this more happier, fulfilling life, if that makes sense. To be able to feel better.

Penny Williams [00:05:11]: Yeah. I talk a lot about we have to feel good to do good. And so if we sacrifice ourselves and our well being as a parent, then we're not really doing the best for our kids, even though that's why we think we're sacrificing ourselves in the first place. Right?

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:05:26]: Exactly.

Penny Williams [00:05:26]: Horrible catch 22. And we really have to break that belief and give ourselves that focus. Like, we have to focus on ourselves. We have to take care of ourselves. We matter too. We're constantly telling our kids that they matter and they can take up space and all these things to help them sort of step into their power. Right. But we're not doing it, and they're watching us not do it. And I think that modeling, we're teaching them exactly what we don't want them to do when they're adults or parents.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:06:03]: Exactly. And it's so funny because that's how humans learn, right? Through modeling, through examples. So to be able to be that model of that confident or that in control, leader of the family. And again, we'll talk about the okayness of not feeling good, but the one who is owning and moving through all of their emotions to be able to show up more so in line with the parent they want to be versus just reacting constantly to what's happening around them.

Penny Williams [00:06:29]: Yeah, I think so many of our parents, and this was my own story at some point in time too, live in that reactivity. We live in sort of this state of crisis and we're just trying to survive. And the last thing we can think about at that point is taking care of ourselves and working on how we're feeling and how we're doing and what we need, because we just don't feel like we have time for it. So how do we make it a priority when everything else is so overwhelming?

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:07:02]: I love that question. I think it starts with the recognition of gathering some evidence for yourself of when you do. And so I'll give you an example. I have a client who works full time. She has a son who has odd oppositional defiance disorder. And she thought a good mom spends all of her free time that she's not working with her kids to build the connection to be with them. And what she was noticing was on the weekends was she was feeling burnt out. She had a shorter fuse, and they would all go to soccer class together, her husband, her two kids, and she would come home feeling so drained. So we talked about the idea of what if you didn't go to soccer and you stayed hope and did something for you? And at first she was like, oh my gosh, I could never do that. My son would be so mad. I have to be there. And we talked about the idea of gathering evidence. This doesn't have to be your new normal. You don't have to do this every week. This one weekend, we're going to try it and see what happens and you never have to do it again. And it was so funny because she came back the week after and she was like, oh my gosh, it was the best hour and a half of the weekend. I was able to do things for myself. And when my family came home, I was a much more present and excited mom. I actually ended up connecting and wanting to be with my kids more versus her before, who would just be with them, but then react, not be present and want to be away from them. So what she found as a result of her taking that hour or hour and a half to herself was that it actually did benefit the family.

Penny Williams [00:08:34]: The kids probably really didn't care.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:08:36]: Right, exactly.

Penny Williams [00:08:38]: And you could certainly have this conversation with your kid. I'm feeling really overwhelmed right now. I really need a break. Is it okay with you if I don't come with everyone to soccer practice just today?

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:08:52]: Yeah.

Penny Williams [00:08:52]: Your kid's going to be like, sure, I totally want you to take care of yourself. I love you, mom. Right. They're going to be so supportive of that. But we think that somehow we're letting them down. We're telling ourself the story that we're letting them down, when in actuality, we're doing better for them in the long run.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:09:11]: Exactly. And I think that if a listener is struggling with this, it's that idea of let's just do it once, let's be a detective. Let's gather some evidence. Let's just see what happens. This doesn't have to be my new commitment or my new normal. Let's just see how I feel, how they feel, what happens as a result of trying this new thing.

Penny Williams [00:09:31]: And I find that it's so much easier for any of us, adults and kids alike, to be willing to try something and take that leap knowing that it's okay if we say we're not going to do it again, if it's an experiment, then it's so much easier. It seems like a lot of the time to just take that step and say, okay, well, I only have to do it once. If it doesn't work out, if all my fears that are holding me back actually happen, I don't have to do it again.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:10:01]: Exactly.

Penny Williams [00:10:01]: And then we experience it and we realize that all those things don't automatically happen. They're just fears that aren't reality so much of the time.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:10:12]: Yes, exactly. So just being able to experiment, try this thing once and just see what happens.

Penny Williams [00:10:18]: I love that. I wrote a note, as you were talking earlier, too, to discuss sort of this friction between being authentic and always being negative. So as a parent, we want to be ourselves. We want to be true to ourselves. We want to show our kids what being true to yourself looks like. But if we're in a funk and we're in this really bad place and we're feeling so overwhelmed by everything and negative and everything is super hard, we don't want to overwhelm everyone around us with all that negativity. Right. So how do we balance that? What do we do when being really transparent in the moment isn't the best thing for our kids? I think we struggle with that. And I think, too, we have this idea in, I guess, our culture that we have to be perfect. We cannot show our kids that we're fallible. We can't show them that we make mistakes. And I think that the exact opposite is true. We have to show them that we are real human beings and this is what it's like to be a real human being. So our kids are okay when they make mistakes, but we still have this push and pull between these sort of different parts that I wonder how you would advise people to sort of navigate and swim through that murkiness.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:11:50]: I love that question. And sort of like you said, showing our kids that it is okay to feel the range of emotions and that failure or anxiety or stress or whatever it is, is normal is huge. And I think the balance comes from one, the awareness of what you're feeling in a moment. So let's say you woke up late and you're rushing to get the kids breakfast ready, and no one's eating breakfast, and then no one's getting their bag together, right? That could be a really overwhelming or stressful moment that can lead someone to react, right? Or yell at their kids. So the first part of that, I think, is that recognition in the moment of what's happening. I am feeling overwhelmed right now. I am feeling stressed. I woke up late. This is an overwhelming moment for me. So that awareness, I think, in and of itself, and even verbalizing it out loud, I know I often do in my home. Mommy's just feeling a little bit overwhelmed right now. I'll be okay. I just need a moment to breathe, right? This is normal. This is okay, and I'm going to get through it. So I think that transparency in the moment, right, you don't have to go into, well, like you said, unload, like, I woke up and then you did this and you did that. Like, that blame or that why. It's just that I'm feeling overwhelmed, which starts with the awareness of that's what you're feeling, of that's what's happening, and being able to share that, it's really interesting. So I eat eggs every morning for breakfast. It's my thing. It's what gets my morning started. If I don't have eggs, I don't know. You don't want to be around me. A couple of weeks ago, I opened the fridge, and my husband had eaten the last egg. This is like a small teeny moment, but I noticed my kids were there, and this was a moment that they were watching, and I was, like, a little angry. I was like, I'm feeling angry that I don't have my egg. I really wish I had my egg just for today. I'm going to find something else to eat, and I'm going to be okay. Right? I sort of narrated through it instead of reacting, blaming my husband, thinking about how terrible my day was going to be. And I do this fairly often, so I've noticed that my son not all the time, right? But I think a couple of weeks later, we didn't have toast or pancakes or something that he wanted. I heard him sort of mimicking something similar, right? Like, oh, I really wanted that, and I don't have that. So sort of back to your point of modeling. It's how you work through these moments. And again, it's not 100% of the time, I'm human, so there are some times where I do just react, right? This isn't about a perfection. We're human, but recognizing a little bit more awareness around how am I feeling, and expressing those uncomfortable I hate the word negative, but those uncomfortable or negative emotions in a moment that are very valid.

Penny Williams [00:14:49]: Yes. And we need to teach our kids that all emotions are very valid. They are all human, and they are all okay. It's how we manage them. It's what we do when we feel them that matters. I think there are so many things that hold us back in our culture and really impact kids and adults negatively. And one of them is to say that some emotions are negative and some emotions are positive. They're all just human emotions, and we all have them. And we can blame and shame ourselves, or we can deal with them and be real and move on, and we tend to shame and blame ourselves. And that's kind of what we're taught to do. And so we have to undo that for our kids. We have to be much more real with them so that they can see how to process. In that example with your son, you were teaching him how to work through frustration. You were teaching him frustration tolerance, resilience, grit. There was so much learning in those two or three sentences that you had narrated when there was no egg. These are powerful, powerful opportunities for us in more than one way.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:16:03]: Yeah, exactly. And I think sort of to your point, it's that most of us weren't taught or aware that feeling these array of emotions is normal or expected. And I think we go into the world of having kids, and it's so interesting. There's Jennifer SR. She's a writer for The Atlantic. She wrote a book called All Joy, No Fun. It's a book about parental well being and the effect kids have on parents'mental health. But she found through her research that children don't improve their parents happiness has actually a net effect of zero or slightly compromise the parents happiness.

Penny Williams [00:16:37]: Wow.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:16:38]: Which is really interesting because I don't think I know I didn't go into motherhood expecting these emotions or the situations to bring out some emotions that I was feeling I expected joy, love, fun. Right. That's just sort of what society when you watch movies or you see smiling photos online, that's sort of the expectation that you have. And it's almost like this puzzle piece doesn't fit when you have children. Or these situations arise where I had a client whose daughter loves gymnastics, but it was a Sunday, and her daughter just was refusing to go to gymnastics, and the mom started to get so upset and angry, and she started to bribe and threaten and all the things which just increased her daughter's tantrum or meltdown or dysregulation. And when we talked about it afterwards, it was sort of the idea of this is a frustrating moment. Right. I don't think anyone told us that we were going to be met with these types of situations on a Sunday. Afternoon and that these stressful or frustrating moments will happen and that's okay and that they're normal and that they're going to pass.

Penny Williams [00:17:52]: I think that we've been taught that if everything goes well, we're automatically happy, and if things don't go well, we're automatically unhappy. And so we're constantly sort of chasing this idea of perpetual happiness which doesn't exist. Like all life has some struggle. And this was something that I learned when I started really exploring my own super negative existence several years ago. I just thought that happy people had something I didn't have. They had some circumstance, they had something that I didn't have. But I was so tired of being the victim and being negative and everything being hard and frustrating and awful, and I just started searching. I honestly opened my podcast app at the time, and I typed in happiness because people have studied it right there's scientific research. And I wanted to know what the answer was. And it took me on a pretty different journey than I expected. But I recognized that we first have to accept that there is always going to be some struggle in a life. Not that we're going to struggle every moment, but that life will have moments of struggle for everyone. It doesn't matter who you are. And being able to accept that and kind of know that it's coming right. When you accept that, then you are prepared a little better than you would be if you think that only unhappy people struggle. And it was really transformative for me. And I listened to some Buddhist teachings that's where life has struggle for everyone comes from mixed in with a lot of other things, coaching and psychology and things that just resonated for me and helped me make that shift. But it all started with just recognizing, accepting that no life is perfect. We all have struggles sometimes there's different for different people, but they don't prevent joy unless you allow them to.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:20:02]: Yeah, I love that story, Penny, because I really resonate with the idea of that we think something has gone wrong when the mom I was describing thought something had gone wrong and she was blaming her daughter and herself right. For what is a pretty typical circumstance in many homes with kids of thinking something has gone wrong versus this is a tricky moment, this is frustrating, but I will get through it and I will get to the other side of it, and I am okay, and she is okay. And there are many other moms dealing with this right now.

Penny Williams [00:20:31]: Yeah, really. It comes down to the stories we tell ourselves so often it comes down to that, and we get to choose sometimes we don't think we get to choose how to feel about something or what to do about it, but we really do. We do have automatic instinctual responses, but after that, we get to choose the narrative that we want to attach to what's happened. And in that example that you gave, every parent deals with frustrating moments with their kids. If you tell yourself that story, you're not blaming yourself.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:21:07]: Yeah, exactly. Nothing has gone wrong here. This is just one of those moments that you will get to the other. The wave will crash.

Penny Williams [00:21:16]: I love that. Yeah. So powerful. And we've talked a lot so far about normalizing. Normalizing our feelings, normalizing that this is hard, and that we don't necessarily automatically know how to navigate parenting as we expected that we might. And so I just want to talk a little more about that frustration and what we can do in those moments, because we've talked about, okay, this is normal, letting our kids see that it's normal. But then if I'm in that moment, what else can I do to help myself to get through it without, again, that shame, that blame, that thinking that I was a bad parent or I made a mistake or all the things that go through our heads when we're there. What else can we do?

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:22:11]: I love that question. So after we name or recognize what we're feeling, the next step, I sort of call it, is diffuse. And what I mean by that is diffusing. And I don't mean changing the frustration to happiness, but I mean taking the sting off of it a little. So by diffusing, it could be telling yourself something else that could be true. Right. So we can go back to that story about running the morning, the overwhelming morning. Right. And you're feeling that frustration. So something to do in that moment is shifting the story a little bit. And that could be something like, I'll get everything done. I always do. I can ask somebody for help. It won't matter if we're five minutes late. I can try to talk to them in a different way, which then goes into my last step, which is decide. Which is decide what you need here. Is it something that you need in terms of, hey, guys, I need two minutes to just calm my body down? If your kids are old enough that you can just tell them that I need two minutes to calm my body down, I'm just feeling overwhelmed. I'll be right back? Is it asking somebody around you to step in for help? Is it deciding, hey, I'm just going to order in some pizza tonight and not worry about this dinner and let them watch it in front of the TV, because that's what I need right now. So it's deciding, what is it that I need in this moment? And that could also be in line with, is this a red light emergency? Is this situation with my child something that needs to be dealt with right now? Because what we know through child development and all of that is the lesson that you want to teach or the way that you want to. I often think about discipline as a lesson that you want to teach. It doesn't happen in the heat of the moment. Right. That's not happening when everyone's dysregulated, they're heightened, and you're heightened. No one's, quote unquote, learning a lesson there. So it could also be what really resonates with a lot of my clients is the reminder of, I will talk to them about this, we will address this. It's just not going to be right now, but I will get back to it.

Penny Williams [00:24:18]: Permission? You're giving yourself permission? That's what I'm hearing in all of that, is we're giving ourselves lots of permission. I love the idea of giving yourself options. And to your point, you can't do that in the heat of the moment, necessarily. Like, it's something you need to sort of plan out and at least have some sort of almost like a menu beforehand right. When things are calm for some of that. But I love that you can give yourself options and say, okay, well, I can be really reactive, and that's not going to go so well, and that's how I'm feeling right now. Or I could do this or I could do that, or what's the worst that would happen? If we're five minutes late? Right. Instead of just being overwhelmed with the things that are going wrong.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:25:03]: Yes. So it's okay to feel that frustration, and it's not like you have to turn that into joy or happiness or calm. No.

Penny Williams [00:25:10]: Right.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:25:10]: But it's giving yourself control back. And sometimes I'll have clients write it in the notes app of their phone or on a Post it in the kitchen. What are my options here? We know that there's going to be frustrating moments, of course, right. Those are normal. It happens multiple times a day. What is my plan ahead of time? What are my choices? What is my game plan for when that inevitably happens?

Penny Williams [00:25:32]: Yeah, it's so good. It's so good. And that control piece is huge. I am an individual with anxiety, and for me, a lot of my anxiety comes from not controlling outcomes or not knowing what an outcome might be. Right. And I think that's true for a lot of anxiety. And so I learned very early on to make those plans for what if? What if this happens? Okay, then I'm going to do that. What if this happens? Okay, well, that's the time that I can do that, because I know that if I am super overwhelmed with anxiety, I'm not going to be able to think through that stuff. But it also helps me walk into a situation that might be causing me some anxiety with a sense of control, because I know what I'm going to do if it doesn't work out the way I hope it works out or if it works out the way I fear it works out, which is probably more true way to say that. But I think it's so true for parenting, too, to say, hey, I can tag out here. If I have a Coparenting partner in the house, I can tag out for a minute, I can tell my kids I have got to take a break and I will be back in five minutes, or I can be okay with being a few minutes late. Whatever it is, just having those options ahead of time really gives you that sense of control. And I think as human beings, we really need that sense of control. It's so hard when we're not in control and it's not reality that you're going to have that all the time, but whenever you can sort of set the stage for that. I think it's so helpful when you do get into those moments that sort of get you dysregulated, that get you freaked out, that get you reactive.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:27:17]: Yeah, I love that. Right? And it's bringing control back. Like all these unpleasant emotions are normal, and I do have control and options in those situations. It's not out of my control. I don't have to react. This emotion isn't running me. I can accept it and run it. I have a choice here.

Penny Williams [00:27:34]: Yeah. It's so powerful, really. I mean, I can just imagine a parent right now, their kid is on the floor melting down. They're getting so frustrated and just saying to themselves, I have control in this moment. Yeah, that is super life changing. When you sort of practice enough to have that ability. Right. Because no one can listen to us discuss this and then walk away and forever be able to not be reactive. Because we're human beings and our biology is wired to be reactive. But when you can do that, most of the time, it really does change the whole dynamic, and it really helps your kid to be able to do better as well. It's not just a benefit to us.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:28:27]: It can change the whole dynamic. And I was just going to say that it's sort of similar, and I forget where I heard this analogy, but your reactions or how we respond to these unpleasant emotions is like a waterfall. It's very automatic. Our brains were built to survive, not thrive, not make us happy. So we're working sort of against that. We have to be very purposeful and do it thoughtfully. So right now, we have a waterfall of how we react. And what we're trying to do is create a new waterfall. But it starts with a stream, it starts with a trickle. So each time you practice, you're adding new water to that trickle, to that river, and it can eventually become a waterfall, something that's more automatic, and that comes with the practice and the repetition. And it's not going to be 100% of the time, but it is possible.

Penny Williams [00:29:13]: That's a good analogy. I love visual analogies. They just seem to make things more real. Yeah. Anything that we are going to change within ourselves, especially our thinking patterns, is going to take. Time and repetition and practice. It just is. As a human being, change is hard. And I love what you said about being wired to survive but not to thrive. I talk all the time about the nervous system and how we're reactive because it was a protection mechanism so that we could survive when it was the caveman and the tiger behind him. And I've never heard anybody add that we're not wired to thrive. But I think that's really important to think about. We create that piece of it. It's within our control.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:30:04]: Yeah. And I think about that as people or as someone who's been in the working on myself area for years now. Right. A really great reminder or acceptance of myself that there's never going to be a time where I am 100%, if that makes sense. Right. My brain will always be wired to survive. So the anxiety or the stress or those rapid thoughts that will always be there, it's never meant to go away. And I'll always have a choice to be able to counteract it or add to it. And sometimes I won't and a lot of the times I will. And that's all. Okay.

Penny Williams [00:30:39]: Yeah. We are already at the end of our time together, but I want to close by asking you, what is one thing that someone can do to get started down this path of sort of acknowledging and normalizing challenge and being able to take some control there? What is kind of the first step where they can walk away from listening to this and take that first step?

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:31:05]: The normalizing that it is normal. Everyone is experiencing it. You are not alone. And every parent mother is going through the same thing. So in those moments when you're feeling like something has gone wrong or this is just you saying to yourself, the reminder of this is normal, how I am feeling, this emotion is normal. It may not feel good, but it's normal.

Penny Williams [00:31:29]: Yeah. I think until we accept that, we're always going to be fighting against things that spending our energy fighting against is not going to help. Thank you so much, Stephanie. It's been such a pleasure to have you here on the podcast. I know that everyone listening has learned something about themselves and how to move through this journey of parenting in a way that's a little more authentic and kind to themselves. So I appreciate that so much. And I want to let everybody know that you can find any resources that we've talked about here as well as links to Stephanie's website and social media by going to the show notes for this episode, which are at parentingadhdandautism.com/234 for episode 234. Thanks again for being here, Stephanie. I so appreciate you and the work that you're doing for all the moms out there.

Stephanie Rosenfield [00:32:30]: Thank you for having me.

Penny Williams [00:32:31]: 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.

I'm Penny Williams.

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

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Quick Start: 3 High-Impact Actions to Transform Behavior

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



Makes time visual for those with time blindness.


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


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


A chair that gives kids a sensory hug.

About the show...

I'm your host, Penny.

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

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

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1 Comment
  • Thank you Penny and Stephanie for the wonderful pocast, this gave more so much of insight and perspective on dealing with few struggles of my own. Working in the field and having knowldge on issues faced by parents and kids does not make it any easier when it comes to personal struggles in parenting. So I am glad to have listen you and I am taking away some notes to myself.

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