The Science of Parenting

Raising Resilience | S.12 Ep.1

August 31, 2023 Season 12 Episode 1
The Science of Parenting
Raising Resilience | S.12 Ep.1
Show Notes Transcript

When life is hard, how can our family cope? What do we prioritize when we have to make tough choices? Listen to our season opener to learn what parents can offer our kids to help turn their adversity into resilience!

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Mackenzie Johnson:

Hey, welcome to The Science of Parenting podcast where we connect you with research-based information that fits your family. We'll talk about the realities of being a parent, and how research can help guide our parenting decisions. I'm Mackenzie Johnson, parent of two littles with their own quirks and I'm a parenting educator. And I'm here in season 12. We are so excited to be back this season and to be coming at you with new content. And you know, last season, we got to talk with Dr. Suzanne Bartholomae all about the topic of kids and money. And we're gonna kind of be following a similar model this season. Similar but also switching it up. I don't know. But we're really excited. Our co-host this season is Courtney Hammond, and it's all I have. Courtney, join me here. We're so excited. Hello.

Courtney Hammond:

Thanks for having me, Mackenzie. Super excited to be here.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, we are so excited you're here. And so you know, in previous seasons, we've brought on some of our co-hosts who have academic expertise, right, like professors. But Courtney, you're going to bring a different spin and a different kind of expertise to the table, in part with your lived experience, but also your professional role. So I'll give a little bit of an intro, but then I'll let you fill in the gaps. So my understanding of the lovely Courtney and her roles. I know her through her work as a volunteer manager at Recovery Community Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which is called Crush, and I'm working on the acronym, which stands for community resources united to spread hope. But then you also serve as a parent partner, right? And then you're a mom of two sweet kids.

Courtney Hammond:

Absolutely. So I have been in my role as a parent partner for almost three years. We pretty much advocate and help navigate the DHS system or DHHS system so I have the experience as a child and as an adult going through the DHS system. We help them get successful case closure, which looks different in many ways. Reunification is a very common and our most common goal, but sometimes termination, foster care, adoption can go that way as well. And that is a success for the case. So yes, just kind of try to advocate for that and help them navigate. And then as a volunteer coordinator or manager, I help rally volunteers to help run our center. They are really the bread and butter of our center. They help make all the decisions, they have the final calls on groups, they know what the community needs. I'm just merely here to help make it happen. They have all ideas, they bring everything to the table, they get out in the community, they do a lot of the muscle work here. And it really just makes the the community center welcoming and it's essential to the center.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah, awesome. Well, I mean, in addition to this professional expertise you have, you know, our podcast season. I really should share that, like, why is Courtney here. I talked about her expertise, but our podcasts season is really thinking about parenting through challenges. And so you know, your professional roles really overlap with a lot of parents who have experienced significant challenges. Absolutely. But also, if you want to share at all about kind of your personal experience, I mean, as a parent, and just who you are as a person.

Courtney Hammond:

So I'm a child of an addict and alcoholic. Grew up in a, I was adopted by my grandparents. So I've had struggles with life since, you know, a very young age. And I was a very young mother right out of high school. So the challenges of being a child raising a child, and what kind of happened with all that and what I changed since and then also being an active addiction. I am in long term recovery. I've three and a half years off all mind altering substances. And I still learn and remain teachable. And that's one thing I have never done before. And I think that's what's really been a great challenge, but mind opening experience as well.

Mackenzie Johnson:

That's great!

Courtney Hammond:

I'm lost again.

Mackenzie Johnson:

You're like, I don't know. That's what I have to say about me. Yeah. Oh, so that's great. Well, you know, we are excited for one, I thank you for your willingness to kind of show up, have these conversations with us, be authentic and vulnerable and yeah, tapping into your lived experience, as well as your professional expertise, I think is gonna be so valuable as we talk through some of these concepts. And even as we were kind of getting to know each other a little more and walking through this episode together, some of the things that you reminded me, like, Wait, what are you talking about, lady? It's always good for me to have like, Hey, I'm geeky about this stuff. And sometimes that means I don't want to get caught up in it. Right. I want to be able to share it with people in a meaningful way. So I'm also excited for you to be like, Hey, hold on, you're losing literally everybody.

Courtney Hammond:

So like I need it simplified.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, translate, Mackenzie, translate. So excited to have you here. Well, as I started to share, this podcast season is about parenting through challenges. And so you know, coordinating, like we've said, your lived experience and your professional expertise, you're gonna be here teaching us all season long through these episodes. And for listeners who have I mean, seasoned listeners, which I kind of love that pun of like, yeah, you've listened to a lot of seasons. But for our listeners who've been around for a while, you might remember season six, we talked about resilience. And so there's going to be some similarities. But we're really kind of taking a different spin. Instead of just thinking about resilience, we're thinking about the practicalities of parenting when there's challenges and barriers. And so that's what we're going to dig into. But as you've heard on every season, we will be talking about research and reality. Each episode is going to include practical strategies for parenting through whatever challenges we're talking about. And it's been a long time since we've walked through some more beliefs and values. And so what better time then when we bring on a new co-host? So, Courtney, you heard me say it earlier, but I'm going to tell everybody again. At the Science of Parenting, we believe that there is no place for shame or blame on someone else's reality. I've gotten the sense from almost every conversation we've ever had that that aligns with your beliefs as well.

Courtney Hammond:

Absolutely.

Mackenzie Johnson:

We also believe that parents are experts on their kids. You know your child in a way that another, I might be a quote unquote, parenting expert, but I don't know your child the way you do. So you're an expert on your own kids. We believe that all parents deserve access to trustworthy information, so that they can make decisions about their family. And then we also believe there's more than one way to raise great kids. So my approach to doing something and your approach to doing something can look different, and they can both be great. So we're gonna keep these in mind throughout this season. But for now, we get to kind of dive in. Yeah, yeah. So we're gonna be talking about resilience, similar, like I said, to season six. But even before we get there, as we think about this theme of parenting through challenges, you and I started to have this conversation about cycle breaking. And I feel like that's a really important place for us to start. And so, you know, you shared a little about your experience and the way that you were raised. And research tells us that the way we were raised is like one of the biggest influences on how we parent our own kids. And I think it's important for us to acknowledge that for some of us, some people are intentionally replicating the way they were raised, right? Like, I have a great relationship with my parents, or I really enjoyed my childhood, or whatever. And then they're doing what they saw. So they have X number of years of what was modeled for them. And then for others, that's like the opposite experience, right? I have this experience that I'm trying to unlearn to do new things. And so I don't know, what do you think about this concept of cycle breaking and its role in parenting through challenges.

Courtney Hammond:

I think it's very important to recognize toxic and unhealthy cycles, even though you've been taught them or believe in them. Some things just aren't healthy. Living being taking into consideration where you were raised, how you were raised, and why you were raised like that is a huge component. I feel like it's important too. I was kind of a difficult child so my grandparents who raised me, you know, had to parent me, you know, accordingly. I didn't like it. They were also very simple farm people. You know, we did our chores, we had these clean cut and dried rules, and I just wouldn't conform. A lot of abandonment issues, a lot of, you know, things that I didn't agree with and I couldn't conform to or follow suit. And it caused and wreaked a lot of havoc in my life. Not being able to express ourselves, you know, down to using what kind of soap do we want to use. We had to use bar soap, I hate bar soap. Yeah, you know, just little things like that. You know what, if I wanted my fan on, we had to ask permission to have a fan on, you know. Just little things like that. So I think recognizing those cycles and what they did, to not put your kids through that. They do have an opinion, kids do have a right to feel what they feel. Unfortunately, you know, I'm or fortunate or unfortunate. Yeah, I can recognize that and I know how uncomfortable and how limiting it was for me so I try not to parent my kids like that. I try to break those cycles daily. Mackenzie talked, you know, prior to this about food and just the privilege of having food. Yes, it's expensive. Yes, it's kind of like you know, one of those things like you have to have it, but if my kid's hungry, she's hungry. She's a growing teenager. My grandma who I live with is not like that.

Mackenzie Johnson:

She has a different mindset.

Courtney Hammond:

Breakfast is here, lunch is here, maybe a snack and then a full course dinner. No, we snack, we're snackers you know, breaking those cycles of making sure that my kids feel comfortable and aren't afraid to eat or want to hide from eating or hide their expression of themselves. Yes. You know, I try to break those cycles that way, building resiliency is more possible and easier, you know, to cope and to be able to feel comfortable in this life.

Mackenzie Johnson:

On a lot of what I hear you saying, I feel like my parenting educator brain, right, the terminology that comes to mind to me is I really hear you breaking cycles around rigidity. Right. So that this is the only way, this is how it has to be, right? And I can even say, there are probably some areas in my life as a parent where I am rigid. Yeah, and right, that you're really working hard to be intentional about your responsiveness and flexibility. So breaking that cycle around rigidity. And I think about the way I was raised, there are components of it that I'm like, yes, you know what, I liked that, or I think that's valuable and I want to do the same thing with my kids. And there are aspects that I'm like, I don't want to do the same thing. I want to do this a different way. And so I think just acknowledging a few things. One, every parent is starting at a different baseline. Right? So if I'm starting at a place where most of my childhood is what I want to replicate for my own children, there are advantages to that in that the energy it takes is less because it's what you already know. It's what you've been taught your whole life. Yeah, right, versus the time or energy it takes for someone who's like, the way I was raised was incredibly harmful and I don't want to do that to my kids. That takes a lot of energy and attention and intention, right, and a lot of reflection, and honestly, sometimes pain to do that.

Courtney Hammond:

I have to check my intentions and my intent every time I go to speak to my children, mostly because I have completely from scratch started over multiple times. And they're so different in age that you have, and I'm a different person, you know. So I have to check myself real thoroughly before I go through with a big decision or a big change. And I have to prioritize what cycle I'm gonna break because I can't break all of them. That's an unreal expectation. So like, if Lexi say, she's gonna be 13 on Friday, if she has a chore to take out the garbage every Thursday, and she misses it, I'm not going to take anything from her. My grandma and grandpa, on the other hand, if we miss that, we would be punished by having, you know, something pulled from us. And I was like, you know, I was just busy out playing, I was tired, I was at my friend's house. Just those little things like that, I have to make sure when I do that I'm checking fully what the effects are of that and if it's the right time.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, and you know, we talk in other episodes about natural and logical consequences, but also about grace, right, and how you balance all those things together. And what I hear you talking about with checking your intention, I think it's such a valuable skill for us as parents, especially parents who are doing some cycle breaking of the way I was raised. I'm trying to unlearn this component, even if it's not in its entirety. But like this part, this particular cycle, checking your intention because what might be, there's a lot of research to tell us, what is innate to our brain is likely the way we were raised, even if we didn't like it. Yeah, so my brain will revert to that without thought. It's just like the instinct is to go there even if that's not what I actually want to do. But our brains will revert to that and that intention check is so valuable.

Courtney Hammond:

And its necessity so like if you're getting ready to do something that you know is going to create big change in your family. I'm a single mom, so I have to be able to fully support that cycle. I can't just start it today and be like well, you know, like I changed my mind. Yeah, like you have to be committed to it and like I said, commitment doesn't look perfect and it's not but as long as you keep consistent and that's what I found works best for my children. Liam, on the other hand, he's a crazy two year old so consistency is really hard for him, for me, too. But he and Lexi, we're building our trust back. They just think I should have had but I didn't. I had zero trust in my parents. Yes. So I know how easy it is to lose and how hard it is to get back. So consistency with Lexi, even if it's like little things like hey, scrape your plate and rinse it off. I don't care if you put it in the dishwasher. I'll do it later. Let's just make sure we're rinsing off, little things.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And finding out what that is for you. Right? Like identifying, these are the consistency. These are the expectations. And yeah, maybe mine is you have to put in the dishwasher. At our house right now, our kids are three and six and so our expectation is you have to take it to the counter. Yeah. And then like, they need to be the same thing. It needs to be ideally, like, consistent across time. And I think that's important. So thank you for walking through that with us. And I think this idea, I want us to start out this whole season thinking about as our listeners reflect, where is my baseline? And not comparison to like, am I doing better or worse than other people? But comparison, not even comparison, I don't know, I don't have a better word. But comparison for empathy. Right? If I look at another parent maybe I might be tempted be like, oh, they don't have it together or whatever that like negative thought or judgment might be. But that remember, I don't know their baseline, right? Their baseline may be totally different from mine. And their progress is huge. And that this one little piece of the puzzle I'm seeing isn't the whole thing. So as we think about this episode is really about raising resilience is kind of what we're talking about. And so how do we raise resilient kids? How do we be resilient parents? How do we have resilient families? And so that cycle breaking and this idea of just because it's how my parents did it, it doesn't mean it's how I have to do it. That takes a lot of energy. And so as we think about resilience and our coping skills we build, that all comes into it. So Courtney gave us a little sneak peek of, you know, she used the word resilience earlier. Everybody knows that listens a lot that I like a definition. So the Child Traumatic Stress Network defines family resilience as a family's ability to maintain or resume effective functioning, including care of its members, following potentially traumatic events. So that's like the formal terminology. In other words, how a family can bounce forward or rise from the ashes or whatever, after experiencing something difficult. So Courtney and I also had a really great conversation around is resilience a personal trait or is it something that's buildable? So Courtney, what would you say? Is resilience a personal trait?

Courtney Hammond:

No, not after learning from you. It's not. But it was something I was taught, you know, it was something that like, it's that old school way of thinking like you either have it or you don't. And if you don't have it, then here's what your path looks like. And mind you my path has been super rocky, but I have appreciated every pebble I've stepped on, if that makes sense. So I'm still open minded. I'm still teachable. And I appreciate the definition now.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah, we were talking about, well, Courtney, kind of the way I mean, if I can share it, we were talking about resilience. And you're like, well, I mean, maybe my siblings were a little more resilient. Or maybe, you know, my daughter's more resilient. You're kind of talking about, I wasn't. I had these hard things happened and I respond in these ways that maybe weren't so positive. And we kind of just had to like, wait, hold on. I'm like, I gotta be the educator for a second. But for listeners, too in case this is the first time you're hearing it. Like Courtney said, sometimes we think about you either are resilient, or you aren't. And there's actually a lot of research to tell us, resilience is not a trait. It's not you have it or you don't. Resilience is buildable. It's a set of skills and factors that we can build on and come to, it's not fixed. It's not have it or don't. And so, thinking about that definition of like, how a family as a family resilience, right, how our family has it. But even individual resilience, how we kind of resume effective functioning. How do we move forward after something difficult? Okay, so something for us to think about too, as we think about this idea of resilience, is how have we been resilient as individuals? And I mean, I can see so many resilient things in even just the conversations we've had, traits, they're not traits. It's not a trait; it's experiences where you've demonstrated that you're building your resilience. But I guess from my personal experience, I was actually diagnosed with ADHD last year. And so I think of the skills that I've learned for parenting with ADHD. You know, people who've been listening for a long time will know that I've often talked about how I get overstimulated as a parent, and how, you know, that I often feel like I'm just a mess. And I found out a lot of those things are associated with ADHD. And so learning what are my new boundaries? What do I need to develop for coping skills? And I still feel like I have a long way to go, but I want I want to pause in this moment and be like, I'm being resilient, right? I'm being resilient and I'm learning these new skills. I'm being resilient. And that we keep going, like we keep doing the daily stuff we've got to do while struggling, while I struggle and muddle through some of this. And that in itself is practicing resilience. You know, you talked earlier, I can't remember if it was while we've been recording or just in conversations we've had, but how you were raised in that it was challenging for you. And then, but like, look at you now, right? Like, that's resilient. Yeah. So what would you say how you've seen yourself be resilient?

Courtney Hammond:

So I think hearing your side and then reflecting back to like, not still thinking that old way of thinking. So I think moving out when I was 16 was building resilience. I think experiencing the world at my own pace and getting the taste of what life meant to me. Even being a young mom was building resilience, because that was a chance for me to foster something that I had never had. I didn't have much control, but I was still my own. I think being an active addiction and being where I'm at today was a huge key point in my life to build resilience. I had a lot of resentments towards my mom. So now I had a taste firsthand of what that meant. And I'm now three and a half years clean. I help everybody I can. I am a very aware, very aware person. I can identify a lot of things that were toxic, and led to a lot of my unhealthy boundaries and relationships to now I can be like, oh, that was that resilience piece. And because now I can control what I allow and what I don't allow. So I think my whole life has been about building resilience. But the definition I was taught was something I never thought I had.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Well, I'm so glad. I hope that you can continue to change that narrative for yourself of like, holy cow, look at me and look how resilient I've been. And you're talking about being a person in long term recovery and the resilience of now being in a professional role where you're showing up and caring for people who are in recovery, whether long term or new to recovery from substance use disorder, and how powerful that is that you make meaning of this difficult thing that you went through. And you talked about that you went through as a parent, right? And so there's all those things that build into it. So yes, I see a lot of ways where you have built and continue to build resilience in that. So that's exciting. So one way that we sometimes talk about resilience is this idea of risk and protective factors. We have like a whole episode on it it back in season six. But basically risk factors are, like traits or things in your surroundings that maybe create risk for more negative outcomes, while protective factors are the opposite. So when we can build protective factors, which is what we really like to talk about, sometimes you can't control a risk factor. But if we can find protective factors we can build, so things that are going to help our kids become more resilient. How do we increase them? So in a textbook, literally called The Handbook of Parenting, which I think is so funny. People are like, there's no handbook. I'm like, actually there is, but it's not written for everybody. It's like a researcher. So I'm going to try to translate it from the handbook. But according to a chapter, the authors are Matson and Palmer, of that chapter in the book Handbook of Parenting, but they talk about what we do as parents that can help build resilience that are protective factors. So they talk about three things that allow or encourage our kids to positively adapt to adversity or challenges. So here's the three things, sensitivity and warmth, so when as parents we can practice that, monitoring, and then consistent discipline. So I actually want, we can walk through the three of these. I'll explain them with a little more depth. But as we do that, I'd love for us to just kind of have a conversation about like, where we feel like we're doing well, or components of it we're doing well, or components of it we're continuing to build on. So the first one being sensitivity and warmth. As examples, this could be positive connection time with our kids. So it could be physical touch. It could be playing games together. It could be watching a show. It can be any kind of positive connection with them. It might be playfulness. And these are examples, right? This is not the way to do sensitivity and warmth. These are examples. But it could be playfulness. It could be just being there for them when they're having a hard time. It might be being attentive to their physical and emotional needs. So this kind of warmth that our kids feel. I mean, I think of like coziness as the warmth, right? That our kids feel like they're safe. Their safety with us is an important part of sensitivity and warmth. So yeah, what do you think about that as we do that as parents?

Courtney Hammond:

So like I said, I have two kids who are two completely different humans and ages so my warmth and sensitivity is very fluid. I don't have one way to show because what I would do for my 13 year old, who I'm rebuilding a parent child relationship with, is different than what I would do to my two year old who's never had a taste of any kind of mom under the influence. So, for the most part, my whole sensitivity and warmth process is just to provide a safe space. My kids, Liam, too, he has already been through a lot. And that's because he lost his dad, that's something I'm gonna have to grow up and be sensitive to his whole life and have to, you know, really provide that space for him and hold a space, you know, that's important not just to provide but to hold. And then Alexis, you know, I don't always deserve her emotional and physical presence, and I'm okay with that. She has a boundary. You know, sometimes she doesn't want to talk to me about some things and I don't push her and I don't badger her either. I'm like, okay, you know what, I understand. This is a boundary and it's okay. And I also let her know that no is a complete sentence. For everybody. Grandma, moms, aunts, school teachers, other kids, your brother, me? You can say no, and that is 100% okay. I might not like it. But I will not push the boundaries. You know, that's kind of where I get my sensitivity. And I do like to play. You know, I'm learning. My brain is still processing a lot of things coming from active addiction. A lot of experiences I've had to unlearn, breaking cycles. What I would do with Lexi at two years old, when I was 19, 18, is 100% different than what I'm doing with Liam at 30, 31. You know, I'm a whole different human. I'm not that immature child raising a child. I'm not, you know, I'm a more responsible, I'm a more very productive human, I wouldn't just go to college and raise kids. So, it's very difficult for me to have experience, what I've been taught, and then what's going to work for me in the future, and kind of really just taking it all in and I take it day by day.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah. And you've kind of alluded to this. So I mean, since we're kind of talking about it, so you were an active addiction for part of your daughter's life, right? And so then now you're in recovery, no longer using substances, which is so exciting, and congratulations, and all of the wonderful things. And so we are going to talk about this later in the season, strategies for rebuilding and repairing relationships with our kids. So you're kind of hinting, you're like giving us all these little tidbits along the way until we get to that season or that episode, which is great. And that you are in a unique spot, right? We're talking about baselines, right? And so yes, you have a 13 year old and you're in a unique spot, that it's not like, yes, we have 13 years of this where I've been building the sensitivity and warmth, right? You're rebuilding in a different way from scratch. Yeah. And your cycle breaking on top of it related to that. And so thank you for sharing that with us, you know, and being honest and vulnerable about it. And so, you know, as I think about my sensitivity and warmth, and how I provide that for my kids, I'll even say like between my co-parent and I, right? So my husband, my temperament, like my innate I'm a little more silly than he is naturally. And so I would say my playfulness is probably a little more silliness from time to time. And then there are times when I have no silly to offer, right? So it's not about like, I'm always warm or I'm always sensitive. But I would say one of my strengths is probably the playfulness and silliness at times. And that one of my other strengths, I feel I work really hard to hold emotional space for my kids, right? Like you were talking about accepting, like, you're mad about this or whatever. And again, that's not an always, it's not a perfection. It's a progress. It's a journey. But those are kind of strengths that I'd say I have. And that when it comes to sensitivity and warmth, I would say it's hard for me to be sensitive to their emotional needs when I'm like overstimulated overwhelmed. Like, you are freaking out about this tiny thing and I have this huge other thing in my brain. Right, and like that's hard. That's an area I continue to work on for improvement.

Courtney Hammond:

And Lexie, like I shared earlier that, you know, because of her resilience, and because of the way I have, I don't want to say abandoned her, but she had to grow up quick. So she holds that space for me as a child to a parent, you know. She provides me a safe space. You know, when I found out my son's dad had overdosed and passed away, I was like six months clean. I had no idea how to feel anything. Plus she just hugged me, just hugged me. She didn't get anything, nothing, because she knew there was nothing. She just held that safe space. And if I'm in the store and things kind of really working me up and I'm overstimulated, craziness or at Walmart and she sees beads of sweat, she's like, mom, just drop everything. We don't have to do this. We can just go. Walmart nothing. She's like, leave. So she holds that spot for me as a child. That's something that I have unknowingly given her. A 13, 12 year old to actually care about somebody else's feelings and save space. So it was kind of like, you know, one of those miracles where my mess up has created something beautiful. Literally.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Right, and so to be able to build that positive, you know, parent child relationship, that there's space for both of you to feel things. Right. And so that relationship and emotional warmth, I think is a big part of it, but also physical needs, right? That we're sensitive and aware of those two. So, alright, number two on that list was monitoring. So this is really the idea of knowing where our kids are, what they're up to. It's also about creating environments that are safe for our kids. And that can be from baby proofing a safe environment to trying to create spaces in our home where they're physically not in danger. And so I think of domestic violence situations, right? How do you create safety and things like that. So that can be part of monitoring. It can also be things like knowing what our kids are up to online, or where they spend their time, what friend's house, other places besides home. And so monitoring, we often think about it, or I should say, as a parenting educator, we often talk about it with teens, like what's your teen doing? What are they up to? And that's valuable, right? That's one of the ways we help make resilient teens that we are still monitoring them. But we're not saying like, you need to do X, as much as we're saying, finding a way of monitoring that does keep our kids safe, that we do kind of know what's going on. We're not telling you which things you need to know, where you need to know, all that. But monitoring looks so different. You actually got to this earlier, so your kids are like 13 and two, right? And you're talking about, well, it's different. It's so different between the two of them, like yes, because they're different ages. Monitoring a toddler is so different than monitoring a preteen.

Courtney Hammond:

Yeah. Yeah. So and you know, our age and the way our society really is right now, you have to be able to provide a safe space on the internet. Yes.

Mackenzie Johnson:

It's part of parenting now.

Courtney Hammond:

I don't push her. Her phone is kind of like her diary. She logs a lot of stuff in there. She has a lot of feelings in there. And if she's talking about me to one of her friends, why would I invade that space? Again, we're were starting out friends, there's a lot, a lot of repair there. For the most part, it's going really well. But some days, I'm just not gonna go and explore your phone. But as long as you have Snapchat, I have access to your lock code. I can see where her location is. And sometimes, you know, she doesn't have phone time all the time. It's when I can afford it or you know, because our money is prioritized. You know, but I do have access to her phone. If I need to use it, I use it. It's the same lock code as mine. But I don't want to be a helicopter parent either. That was one thing that really drove me away from my grandma and grandpa was the constant monitoring. I'm like, oh my goodness, I'm outside playing, you know, I'm

okay. Lexi knows that 8:

30, she has to come inside. And if she's not, she hasn't called me or hasn't answered my phone, then I start worrying but it's rarely ever happens. Yeah. Liam, on the other hand, I monitor him too much. Very obsessive, very anxiety-driven monitoring and I'm working on it. I'm going to therapy for it. I think it's because his life I've seen his dad go so fast. There was no warning and I have PTSD from getting my children ripped from DHS. I have a lot of issues. So for him, I have to give myself a boundary like hey, Courtney, it's okay to go shower for five minutes without him. It's okay to leave him in front of the TV while you go outside and cool down. So like I said, completely different. Some I don't want to invade. Others I invade too much and I have to remind myself that that's unhealthy. Does that make any sense?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Oh, it totally does. It totally does. Well, and honestly I hear a lot you're talking about where you have found your balance, right? That these are the ways that I monitor or these feel like they're in alignment with my values, right? Like the values that I have and that it's okay if my values and your values are the same or different. But that you're finding a way that's in line with yours. And I also like this idea of even within the same family, you're the same parent but for two different kids, it's two different things. You know, and I think that of my daughter's temperament. Because of just who she is, is different. So I monitor her differently than I monitored my son at the age he is just because of one of them was a little quicker to take risks, and one of them is a little slower to take risk. And so it's about kind of being agile to the child. But that this is something, monitoring is something we can do in whatever form that is in alignment with our values and helpful to our kids to help keep them safe. Right. And then the third one is consistent discipline. And people who've listened to the podcast for a long time know that we use this word consistent a lot, it comes up a lot. I want to reiterate that it is not about perfection, consistent is about most of the time. All right. So over time, think of the lifelong parenting journey you have. Or even think about a month, don't think about this day, right? Think about over a month, in general, that was the consistency. So sometimes we think about discipline exclusively as punishment or responding to bad behavior. But it can also be about the ways that discipline is proactive in that it can be how we build the positive relationships with our kids, how we're clear about expectations on the front end, right? You were really saying you're really clear about the time you need to be home is 8:30. Right? And that's a clear expectation. That's discipline. And so figuring out what those things are, how we teach them expectations, how we praise them for behavior we like, even between my kids, right? They sometimes get in little spats like, I really liked how you walked away when you got upset. That's discipline. But it's also the I'm not going to let you hit your brother. That's also discipline. So the consistency is about really providing our kids with some predictability over time. So as I think about consistent discipline, I feel like consistency is a thing that's hard for me. I think part of it is parenting with ADHD, but also just the ebbs and flows of different parenting stages and your life and all those things. But I would say, I work really hard to provide clear expectations. And I think that's something that's a strength for me, even though it's not perfect, right. But I do think in general, that's probably consistent that my kids do know what I expect on a given thing. What would you feel like is a strength for you?

Courtney Hammond:

Oh.

Mackenzie Johnson:

You've got some, I know you do.

Courtney Hammond:

So I think my strength when it comes to consistent discipline, and I like that you explained what discipline means. Because a lot of people are like, oh, I don't spank my kids. Like, that's not even at all what I think when I think of discipline. I think of setting expectations, boundaries, you know. The whole thing about hey, you know you

have to be in the house at 8:

30. If not, you know I'm gonna come looking for you.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Well, the natural and logical consequences that can go with those things like that is consistent discipline. Yeah. And I'll do what I say I'm gonna do.

Courtney Ham:

Yep. And my Lexie knows that, first of all, because I'm just that very open person. But with Liam, I have a consistent discipline, like you will sit at the table. You will eat, you don't have to finish it. But when we're all here eating, Liam, that's my one time to eat and not chase you so I would appreciate it if you sat here quietly and just let me eat. You know, so I have consistent things. That's one of my strengths is that we do eat as a family. Yeah, that's one thing I have rolled over from watching my grandma and grandpa parent me. We love eating as a family. We don't do a whole lot of phones at the table. You know, I can be very disassociated sometimes myself just being me. And I know that we have to not do that. So phones at the table. Liam not watching videos. We shut the TV off and we eat as a family. That's one of my strengths. Another thing is letting Alexis know that consistency looks different depending on what's going on in our family that day, and letting her know that I'm not treating Liam any more different than I'm treating you. He's just two. Why did he get this instead of this for supper? Or why did he get a toy at Walmart? It's just for mom. It's not because he's doing anything great. It's not any unfair. There's no unfairness here. It's just the age. I think that's one of my strengths, too, is being able to tell her and explain in a healthy way.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, you know it is hard with siblings, right? The comparison is like, oh, it's huge. It's not fair. That's huge in our house. But I think that our ability to validate that feeling behind it while holding the like, well, this is appropriate because your sibling is a toddler, and you're not. We often often talk about, I actually borrowed this from a co-worker of sometimes fair isn't the same. No. Right. And so creating that as a family understanding and mantra, that's a form of discipline.

Courtney Hammond:

Equitable. I am a very equitable parent. Yeah. But you wouldn't put Lexi on a trike.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Right. Because she's a preteen.

Courtney Hammond:

You know, and so when I explained to her what equitable meant, it really triggered her to be like, oh, okay. Well, Liam, you know, has this and this, but it's because he has to have that as a baby. And that's kind of one of my strengths is I think I'm a consistent discipline person is, you know, maintaining those spots.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah, that makes sense. Absolutely. Yes, it does. So, yeah. So we're really digging in on resilience and thinking specifically about our parenting, right. And so we talked about providing sensitivity and warmth. We talked about monitoring, and then providing consistent discipline. And so those are three areas, the research tells us, where we can help our kids build, just doing those things, is going to help build the resilience. There are other things we're going to talk about this season, where it's like, this is a specific strategy or specific thing, but in general, providing sensitivity and warmth is going to help our kids be resilient. Monitoring them is going to help our kids be resilient. Giving consistent discipline over time, in general, is going to help our kids build resilience. And so we want to think a lot about that this season on resilience. And then, as you may or may not know, I don't know if I told you this morning that we usually wrap up with some kind of strategy before we go all the way to our closing. And so I actually want to post something. It's more of a mindset, a reframe, a way of thinking, but it is just a specific strategy. But this is something from Dr. Tina Payne Bryson. She is an author and psychologist, I believe, but is known for the book, No Drama Discipline, as well as The Power of Showing Up. Really, really great parenting books that I personally love. But she has this little formula, she talks about for creating resilience. So adversity or like challenges or trauma, okay, that's the term she uses. So adversity without support creates fragility, right? That we have fragile children. But adversity with support creates resilience. Love that, right. So what is in the formula is the same, right? The challenge didn't go away. It's not like, well, if we can just eliminate any challenge that whatever happened to our kids, that's not necessarily what resilience is. But that this happened and we provided support for. We supported our child, we helped build their skills, we held space, like you were talking about. And that's what helped create resilience. So as we think about how to raise resilient kids, in the midst of challenges, at the baseline we can support them. We can support them through that hard time. And so I actually just want to like, okay, if that's our strategy is, we're going to have support, we're going to support our kids when there's adversity and challenges. So hey, what are we going to do this week? So as a parent, I want the two of us to just say, how are we going to support our kids this week? And so I'm actually gonna go really simple on that question. And we're kind of in this transitioning family stage right now and just like transition time of the year. One of the ways I'm going to support my kids, and sometimes, I should say that challenges sometimes with that transition can be hard for my kids. So I'm going to support them by letting them know what's coming. Tomorrow we have X or next week, we're getting ready for this thing. So one of the ways I want to support my kids this week in this transition that's kind of a hard time is letting them know what to expect and what's coming. What about you? What's one simple way you're going to support your kids?

Courtney Hammond:

Again, I'm just going to hold that safe space. Not that my house is unsafe, but my grandma does have Alzheimer's. Sometimes it is very difficult for my daughter to accept it. The woman who helped raise her is not the same woman and says some kind of hurtful things sometimes so I'm just going to continue to hold that safe space. She's at work with me today. Yeah, having a Lexi and mommy day while doing what I do and love is kind of that. And then with Liam, I'm going to allow him to be more expressive and not get so overstimulated about it. That's how I'll support that little boy. And I have to remind myself that I'm both parents. I'm not just mom. So whether that's going out and wrestling with them in the yard, getting muddy, making mud pies, letting him express himself in some kind of rough fashion, I will support that this week.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah, I love that, holding space for however he's showing up authentically. I love that. Awesome. Well, this brings us to something called our Stop. Breathe. Talk. space. Well, we're bringing in our producer, Mackenzie DeJong. And she asks us a question kind of on the theme of the episode. So what do you got for us today, Kenz?

Mackenzie DeJong:

All right. Well, I will. I was just listening to one of the older episodes where I kind of feel like I got a hard question to Suzanne. I won't do that to you, Courtney. I just want to know, and I feel like we've all just through the process of starting this season and starting to record and talking to one another, we've had a lot of aha's and things that we've learned. So what is one thing, one aha, you've gained from this episode, one thing you've learned through creating this episode?

Courtney Hammond:

You want me?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Do it up if you've got one.

Courtney Hammond:

Mackenzie brought up that resilience is not a trait. I am just like, I'm just like, I feel like I've had that weigh on me since I was like five or six. Yeah, because I'm not resilient, I became a drug addict. You know, that's just the bottom line of how I felt for 31 years. Today that weight is literally like, wow.

Mackenzie Johnson:

That's gonna make me teary, Courtney.

Courtney Hammond:

You know what, I am resilient. I'm resilient. Yeah. And I'm, like, super proud of myself now. Like, I don't have a whole lot of confidence but that really just like wow.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Heck, yeah. Oh, I love that. I love that. Gosh, I would say, well, the resilience as a personal trait, that's like a cognitive thing that I know. And like, I remember learning in school and that, like, that's not what it is, it's not a have it or don't have it. But so the way you're talking about it and for me, starting to recognize like, wait, wait, you're talking about it as a personal trait. This is not a trait. No, you build this Courtney, you have this, you've definitely been building it. So that was definitely like, that was a significant moment for me as well. But I'll also just say, as I was putting the episode together, this idea that we use for the strategy of adversity with or without support is really going to determine or impact the outcome. And so as I think about our kids, that so often, as parents, we want to protect them from the hard things in life, which comes from like a really good place, especially if we've been through hard things, that we then don't want to see our kids go through it. But that I may or may not be able to control the challenging thing they experience. But what I can impact is how I support them in that, and that either can create this yeah, that can create resilience. Just like that showing up is so powerful, and supporting them in that and so I'd say that's an aha, that I feel like I am gonna carry into what I'm doing with my kids. I can't control that this happened to you or that this is happening, but I can show up, like, I can be here and support you in it. So that's probably mine.

Mackenzie DeJong:

And I just want to say like, just in this time we've spent together I feel like I've learned and learned and grown and I just look forward to the rest of the season. So everyone listening, you're in for a good treat here as we complete this season. I'm excited for it.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Awesome. Yeah, thanks, Kenz. And thanks. That one wasn't so hard. Sometimes when you don't know what's coming, it's like what is she going to ask us. Oh, so thanks for playing along with that, Courtney. We'll do that each episode. She'll ask us something and we'll just kind of share our insights or lack of. Well, that's what we have for our first episode this season on raising resilience, thinking about how cycle breaking is a part of that and how you might not feel resilient, but that you're building your resilience. And as you look back, and honestly that idea of like how far we've come, when you can think of it that way, you can often see your resilience in a different way. So there's so much good stuff out there. And we hope this is meaningful for all of you and there's so much more to come. One thing we're adding this season that we haven't done before, is we want to kind of sign off with a little like positive affirmation or some positive language on the theme of the episode. So this idea behind this first one is probably going to sound familiar to people who've been listening for a long time. But our affirmation for today that you can repeat to yourself that I am genuinely repeating to myself in my personal life. There are no good or bad parents. I am doing my best right now and I can keep growing and learning as a parent. So as you think about resilience, and as you think about raising resilient kids, there are no good or bad parents. I'm doing my best right now. And I can keep growing and learning as a parent. So there's more good stuff to come. We hope that everything we share in the podcast helps you on that mission to grow and learn as a parent. But can you tell us what's coming next in our next episode, Courtney?

Courtney Hammond:

Absolutely. So in our next episode, we talk about parenting under stress, and talk about a concept called good enough parenting.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, I'm excited to talk about good enough parenting and where that comes from. So thanks for joining us today on The Science of Parenting podcast. A friendly reminder that you can subscribe or follow our weekly audio podcast on Apple, Spotify or whatever your favorite podcast app is. So come along, so we don't miss the rest of the episodes that are coming yet this season. Yeah, so come along as we tackle our ups and downs, the ins and outs, and research and reality all around the science of parenting.

Anthony Santiago:

The Science of Parenting is hosted by Mackenzie Johnson, produced by Mackenzie DeJong, with research and writing by Barbara Dunn Swanson. Send in questions and comments to parenting@iastate.edu and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full nondiscrimination statement or accommodation inquiries go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext.

Mackenzie Johnson:

This project was supported by the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Substance Use via a sub award for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The contents of this episode are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of nor are they an endorsement by Iowa DHHS, SAMHSA, HHS or the US government.