The Science of Parenting

Embrace Your Support Network | S. 2 E. 6

July 23, 2020 Season 2 Episode 6
The Science of Parenting
Embrace Your Support Network | S. 2 E. 6
Show Notes Transcript

Everyone’s support system looks different when it comes to their relationships, especially when it comes to parenting. We'll talk specifics of your support system in our judgement-free zone.

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Mackenzie Johnson:

Hey guys, welcome to The Science of Parenting.

Lori Hayungs:

Here we are live with you today. Yes.

Mackenzie Johnson:

I didn't say I'm here. We're here. That's what I always say. I didn't say it this time.

Lori Hayungs:

You didn't .

Mackenzie Johnson:

I mean, I said it now that doesn't count.

Lori Hayungs:

That doesn't count at all.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Well, as you know, when we're live, we always look to kickoff with some of our beliefs and ground rules and a few logistics. So let's start with those three beliefs that we always kick off with. First at The Science of Parenting, we believe in a pluralistic approach to parenting, which basically means we believe there's more than one way to raise great kids. Thank goodness. Oh my goodness. Number two, we provide research based trustworthy information as a part of Extension, and we know that parents are the experts on their families . So we share the research? You get to decide how it fits your family and your own reality. And then finally, we are parenting educators and the reality is that some parent child relationships might require some additional support. So we, as always, encourage you to seek out that support locally in your community.

Lori Hayungs:

We do. And I like to lay out a couple of ground rules. So one of those is that this is a judgment free zone. There's no blaming or shaming. We're actually pretty good at doing that for ourselves. And so we don't need any help from anyone else, right? So we want to keep our comments focused on our own reality. This is how it is for me. And remember that, you know, it might be good to make sure that if you have comments or questions or stories about someone else, just to make sure that they know ahead of time. So let's keep these comments on our own reality. And along those lines as hosts, we get to reserve the right to pass on answering certain personal questions.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Also a thank goodness. Yes. All right . And then we have Mackenzie DeJong, who is our producer that can walk us through just a few logistics of how our live sessions work.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Hi, everybody, Mackenzie DeJong, a parenting educator alongside these ladies. I am here just as usual to tell you about the closed captioning. We are fortunate to be able to offer that to you. So you should be seeing it. I think I'm seeing out on our live stream. If you're not seeing it, as I always say, there's a little gear dude, he might be able to help you out. Or maybe that three dots. I know on the phone, it's three dots. I think on a computer it's the little gear dude. So you might see a different image, but you should be able to click on that if you're not seeing those closed captions and get those running for you. Remember in our comments to ask questions, because we'll get those to our lovely hosts. And if you have questions, comments, put those in there. But remember those ground rules again, I just like to reinforce those ground rules. No judging, shaming, blaming, be nice, be appropriate. and we are moderating and we thank Barb Dunn Swanson for being on the back end as well, to help us with some of that. So that's all I have.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Awesome. Thank you. So today we are gonna be wrapping up season two, focused on kind of finding more joy in parenting by using self care, but don't worry, Lori . I won't get ahead of myself because I know you have more to say about it to wrap up. Yeah. Okay. But as always, let's kick off with the official intro in case you're new to The Science of Parenting. Welcome to The Science of Parenting podcast. Again, 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 am Mackenzie Johnson, parent of two littles with their own quirks and I'm a parenting educator.

Lori Hayungs:

And I'm Lori Hayungs. And I am the parent of three in three different life stages - launched and in college and in high school. And I just have to say that my launched child was doing her very own presentation. So close to me today. So it's kind of fun when your children, you just have to like, you know , I have a big girl job, right? Anyway. So I am a parenting educator as well. And yes, today we are wrapping up season two and this whole season, it's been about two months worth, we have looked at understanding and support and how to understand support that we need as a parent. How can we find more joy in parenting? How can we take better care of ourselves? And how can we see that bigger picture that we are included in?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And I'm so excited to talk about support because I kind of feel like every topic we've covered so far in the season. And honestly, as we think about season one, some of those foundations, so much of it lends itself to understanding how we get support from others, both as a parent and as a person and how that kind of helps us be successful and all the things about support. So good. Such important information.

Lori Hayungs:

I 'm so sorry. This is live and all of a sudden, I think my a ir p ods are dying.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So we're just going to keep going. If I'm here solo, you'll know why.

Lori Hayungs:

Exactly. It's the last question. So what I want you to do is put your questions or comments in the chat. And this question is who your biggest supporter, either as a person, a parent, and how do they support you?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Oh yes. So while people are kind of typing in the chat box, I will say the biggest supporter that I feel like I have, my co-parent is a big supporter. We have grandparents locally that spend lots of time with us and our kids. And I would also say my childcare provider is an important person of support, both as a person and a parent. What about you? Who are your supporters?

Lori Hayungs:

So I think that, I want to make sure and say that my co-parent is a huge support. And even though we may not be together anymore, they are a huge support , in terms of parenting as well as, you know, extended family, significant other and adult children. Right? So my launch child, she's a huge support to my parenting.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. So we have lots of different kinds of supporters and the way they provide support to us person, parent, however , you know, can vary. And we're going to talk about that. Wait for it, wait for it. We're going to talk about those different kinds of support kind of towards the end here, but lots of different ways that we can get support from people.

Lori Hayungs:

Absolutely.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Let's dig in here. We always look to look at the research and the reality. So a little bit of research around support, particularly in families. The research tells us that supportive, close relationships serve as buffers that might otherwise cause a breakdown in effective parenting. And that research is from Quinton, Rutter and Liddle. And , so that can be a buffer. I love that word and then it's also worth noting that isolation from social connections . So talk about the benefit of, you know, connection and support, but isolation from that connection and support is a risk factor for child maltreatment. And, you know, just thinking about in this time of COVID and trying to do our physical distancing and things, we know that that is something that's a reality a lot of us might be struggling with that our normal supports that we would tap into might not be there. And so recognizing that it does affect the way that we treat our children , it's a lot of stress so that support can help buffer from those negative experiences, which is great news.

Lori Hayungs:

And then I love that picture of a buffer and that idea that having support can actually prevent parent burnout or that breakdown in our parenting plans. So, okay. So I have a question, when has asking for support then had a positive impact on your parenting?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Just me or everybody. Everybody has to answer.

Lori Hayungs:

Everyone has to answer it but how about you.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So I actually shared this in a previous episode about sharing the load with my co- parent , and that conversation asking for that support to share the load, like redistribute, was really helpful because then I wasn't as at risk for burnout, so that helped my parenting. And then I would also say asking for support of people to maybe be with like, have some time with our kids so that like, I can not be. I need a better way to say it, but so that I can like have space or take a break.

Lori Hayungs:

Oh, absolutely. Yeah.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And so I would say asking for that support has helped make me a better parent because it reminds me I'm a whole person, you know, and take care of my own needs and those kinds of things. How about you?

Lori Hayungs:

Yes , and that leads right into what mine is. I literally remember the day that my anxiety was so great that I had to call my childcare provider and my child was not scheduled that day to come. And I called her on the phone. It was in the morning and, you know , she uses caller ID. She was like, Oh, Lori is calling me. I said, I need to go to the doctor. And she said, okay, okay. You know? And so that had an impact on my parenting because she recognized that she needed to support me no matter what was happening. She didn't ask questions. She was like, okay, bring her on over. And that was a huge support asking and supporting and creating that buffer.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And I think sometimes even asking for support just from friends , you know, like it's helped make me a better parent, getting their advice or just getting a chance to talk, that emotional support, too , like processing all that. And it's like, okay, now I'm ready to parent in the way I maybe want to. Absolutely. So there's kind of a second half of this research, you know, a lot of times we kind of open with this definition or understanding of the impact. And so looking at supports , also across ethnic groups, Rupe Noreen found that support from friends, church members, neighbors, and coworkers positively influenced self esteem, personal efficacy, parent child relationships, and the ability to deal with social problems. So their study was across multiple ethnic groups and they found those benefits for everybody from support.

Lori Hayungs:

Okay. So I'm going to reiterate those who our own personal efficacy, which is, you know , how do we feed feel about our own parenting? And we did talk a little bit about that in season one. I think I've kind of that no judgment episode in season one. And how do we take that and tie that closely to our confidence. We know that how we feel about ourselves impacts our parenting confidence, right? So additionally, we have our relationship with our child or children. How do we deal with social problems? And like we said, at the beginning of season two, even though we are parents, we are still people who our own realities and having support helps us as parents and as people.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And it's a really important part, you know, whatever we call this, self care, you know, being a parent and a person finding joy, all of those things, getting support is a part of all of them like yes, any of those themes. So it is it's really important. And one of the really interesting things about support. It's like, okay, good, support is good for us. We should ask for support. We should do that. But it's also really important to mention that a big barrier to support. There's research that tells us about that. Do you want to go with that one?

Lori Hayungs:

Well, I'm curious to see if anyone gave us any comments about who is their support.

Mackenzie Johnson:

I'm jumping ahead. I'm just so excited to tell everybody.

Lori Hayungs:

I know. I know. So bring in Kenzie and let's see, who did people say they use as support? Yes, sure.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Because we are live and I'm not sure if Lori saw my messages. Lori , if you have your air pod case nearby, put one of your AirPods in there so you can charge it. You'll have the other one in, but you can start charging the other one. Anyway, so that was just so other people got a chance to respond, right? I was just distracting them. Somebody said their husband is their number one support. Both of their parents were also their best cheerleaders. Awesome, awesome, family support. Someone said their best friend is a wonderful support or both give support as a mother and a grandmother.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Absolutely.

Mackenzie DeJong:

And then this one came from somebody you might know. It's me. I said, my mama , my mom has always listened to me and helping me to get things done. She's a great support. I also tagged her. So maybe she'll jump on the live . Some other comments, those were the three that we got from supports , but we saw family, friends , more family. Yes. Each other. I would also say that you guys would probably say your coworkers. We do a lot of that among ourselves as well. You asked a question and there were a couple of responses, positive support lets me know that I was doing it right. That others have had the same parenting issues. She also said brainstorming with others to find alternative ideas to try for parenting struggles.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. Brainstorming for sure. Love it.

Mackenzie DeJong:

And then someone said, I've always found that getting support from parents who are further down the line in years is helpful. They have a different perspective and confirm that success is possible. I love that one, too.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Like coming out the other side.

Mackenzie DeJong:

And that would also be , mentors come to mind in that one. So you have older friends that mentor further down the line than you, you can always go to them and be like, Hey, this is what's going on. And how did you handle it? It might fit. It might not. All right . That was the comments we've had so far.

Mackenzie Johnson:

I thank you for not letting me jump ahead. I did want to hear those.

Lori Hayungs:

I know what you want to share . I know what you want. Be patient. And thanks to those of you who have been sharing in the comments. We appreciate that. We love getting the feedback . So, okay. Research tidbit, number two, an important part of understanding support, is this idea of norm of reciprocity, big words. But essentially what it means is that this norm of reciprocity might make it difficult for some parents to accept support from others. So Schumacher and Brunnell tell us that the norm of reciprocity assumes that someone who receives help from others will eventually return the favor. All right . So this means that people who believe that they can't return the favor may not seek help. And so unfortunately, people with the fewest resources to help others may actually be those most in need of help. And that idea that well, I don't believe that I can actually return the favor. So I'm not going to ask for a favor from you. Oh , that's so hard. I so can relate to that.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Oh, completely. And I even just think about times when it's like, sometimes it's hard to ask for support or ask for help. And I do, I find myself often find myself thinking, okay, well, what can I do, I don't have anything to give back. If I'm asking someone like, Hey, could you watch our kids or, Hey, you know, like I could really just use some time for this. Okay. But my life is really busy and I don't know the next time I'm going to be able to offer that back to you. And so yeah. Feeling like we have nothing to offer, but that could also be the exact time when we need that support most. And a lot of our examples were like specific people, but there's also like social groups. We're part of informal groups, lots of other places , that we find that support so that normal reciprocity can really be a barrier for us, particularly, depending on who we might be asking for support, if we feel like there's been that kind of reciprocal back and forth of support.

Lori Hayungs:

Exactly. So I had a friend share this phrase or this question with me, and I've never forgotten it. And it's one of those that kinda , you know, hit you in the gut when they say it. So I'm going to say it to all of you.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Be prepared for a good hit.

Lori Hayungs:

Be prepared, take a deep breath, right. And relax. So I was struggling with asking for help and she was offering help and it was kind of a big, it was kind of a big help. And I said, no, I, you know, I don't want that. I can't accept this. And she said to me, Lori, do you like helping others? And I was like, well, yeah, it was like one of my favorite things to do. I love helping others. She's like, you help a lot of other people. You share advice, you will go and do things for them. You know? And she gave me some specific examples from my past about how I had helped others, what I had said, what I had done. And she said, and how did that make you feel when you did those things? And I said , well, how did I feel? I felt great. It felt supportive. You know, I felt good about what I had done, you know, it was really for them. And she's like, so essentially what you're doing by not accepting my offer of support, you're taking away from me that opportunity to feel good about what I can do for you. And when she phrased it that way, I thought, Oh my gosh, I'm so awful. I just took away and not allowing her the opportunity to feel good about sharing her gifts, sharing her support. And that is something that she needed. And we've talked about that. The research says that when you volunteer and when you are of service and when you do things for others, it's actually good for your mental health, good for your mental health to serve others. So this norm of reciprocity, if I don't allow people that opportunity to feel good about themselves, you know, Oh , I need to give them that. That's a gift by supporting me. I'm actually giving them a gift.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And accepting, you know, accepting the support when we need it. But we're going to talk about kind of that match a little bit more. But I also think of , we're actually in the process of getting ready to move. And so having people offer like, let us, you know, how can we help? Or I have a pretty good friend who offered specifically, like these are things I'd be willing to help with and listed off some specific stuff. And I was like, okay, you know what? I could use help. Like I could use help with this. And it would affect , I even think of like moving day with my kids and all that stuff like that would help my parenting, too. And it would help me as a person get settled. And so accepting that support, accepting the norm of reciprocity might be there, but acknowledging it in your thought process and thinking that through, instead of just like, Oh, I can't think about that might hold you back. And what about it?

Lori Hayungs:

Exactly. So we've talked about the benefits of support and understanding that there might be some barriers to us accepting support. So let's look at how do we go about getting the support that we actually need, the support that we need so Coffin and their colleague tell us that support effectiveness or the effectiveness of support may actually depend on the degree to which there is a match between the particular support and the individual needs. So the needs and the partner's ability to meet the needs. Also, we need to remember, it might change over time. Yes. The needs we have for support and the capability of others to meet that need. And it changes over time.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah. So it's kind of a two parter. It's a matching the kind of support with the actual need. Right. So I mean, talking about getting ready to move, what's the kind of support that I need. Well, that's going to change right now than it would once we're in that new house or whatever, so that looks different. And like what someone might be able to help with now might not, that might not be available later. So that morphs, and yet does that match what we need. And I think part of researching this episode, there's a lot of research around this match and perceived support. So sometimes we have support whether family, friends, you know , social groups, organizations, you know, there's lots of different kinds of support. But I think of, you know, if that kind of support doesn't match, we might perceive we don't have any. So even if someone's offering support, if we don't feel like it's helpful, we might consider it not support at all because it's not matched with our needs. And looking at that research, honestly, just like I probably do, a lot of us probably have support. Maybe it's not in the conventional ways we think of, but what is that support and how am I maybe not recognizing it because it's not currently a great match for my needs. And how can we kind of think through that and process and maybe change that.

Lori Hayungs:

Absolutely. So let's talk about that a little bit, but I want to talk to our listeners a second and say, why don't we use the chat box to share some tips on what tips do you have to seek out support? So when you need social support, when you need support, what are some tips that you have for seeking it out? A. nd I'll let you share a personal tip. How's that sound?

Mackenzie Johnson:

That sounds good. So yes, we know support's valuable. It's good for us as a parent, as a person, we understand all the benefits across different ethnic groups. We know that there are barriers and we know there needs to be a match. Right. In how we perceive it. So thinking about all of those things, the tip that honestly comes to mind, and actually this is the tip I share when people are like, what's your advice for the expecting parents? The advice that I tend to give is thinking about what you need and asking for it specifically. And so when we were expecting our second child, you know, lots of people are like, Oh yeah, you know, let us know what you need, let us know what you need, or we'd love to help. And lots of people who sincerely meant we would love to help. And it was like, okay, what's the thing realistic to ask that maybe people could meet the need. And I'm like, you know what? I had a hard time on maternity leave with my first. I don't know if that's going to be the case again. What we could really use is real food, like meals that aren't deep fried, that aren't fast food take out . And I was like, that would be a huge support. And so letting people explicitly know, so that was my tip and that I tend to give a lot of new parents, whether you have a newborn or a teenager being like, this is actually the specific help I need.

Lori Hayungs:

And that's okay to be that specific. Yes , it is a challenge. It's okay to be that specific. I recently was visiting with a friend. She was struggling with some things and I said, okay, I know that you have had lots of offers for support. And I know that you have been working on accepting those offers. So now what I want you to do is I want you to tell me what is one thing that no one has offered support for? What is one thing that you need right now when it comes to feeling supported? Because I want to be able to take care of that for you. And it took her like a split second. She didn't even have to think about it, it was right there on the mind there. And she just said, I feel bad about one of my children being alone all the time, because I can't be there for them right now. And I said, okay, got it. And I worked on a plan to help that child be with friends. and I was so proud of her for being able to say, I have this specific need because I, in my mind, had already come up with several different things. Oh, I'm going to do this for her. I'm going to reach out and do this for her. And that was not what she needed. What she needed, what would make her feel supported at that point in time, was to have someone help her child not be alone at that point in time.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And so again, matching, it's about matching that need so that it can feel supportive. So Kenz, do we have other people sharing their tips there in the chat box? We're doing so good today, choking, headphones. We're live!

Mackenzie DeJong:

Hey guys, you get to see the real us today. We're live . It's always something . So you asked one question earlier, we'll get to the tips in a second, but we've had a couple of other comments as well. So , somebody just noted, we can easily make it all about me and forget that someone else will also gain from that helping experience.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, yes.

Mackenzie DeJong:

And then someone asked a question, I'll let you answer this and then maybe we can get some other things. So the question is when do you back off when offering help and someone declines, not once, but twice or more, are there people who don't want or need support? What do you guys think?

Lori Hayungs:

Hmm, I think I would share my story about, you're not letting me give you a gift and then listen again. And if they refuse support again, then that's fine. I mean, I think if she had not, if she had not kind of, you know , twisted my brain or turned it around and said, but it's not about you. It's actually about me being able to give you a gift. That was a huge, huge aha moment for me. And so, yeah. Then I think it is appropriate. You do need to respect their wishes and you know they need support. You've offered, you've shared how it would impact you. If you got to give them just support. And then if there's still saying no, no, no. Then you need to respect their wishes and love them anyway.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And I think sometimes this is my, this is my opinion. This is not research. My opinion is that sometimes people have a hard time accepting sometimes like the tangible support. Like I can't ask you to give my kids a ride like, Oh, I can't ask you. And so asking for those things or accepting those things. But there are other forms of support. So maybe it's a different form of support or it could be that norm of reciprocity. Maybe I might have a pretty limited circle of people I'm willing to accept help from, because those are the people I feel like I might have something to give back to. Right . And so, yes. That's a great question.

Lori Hayungs:

That's a great question. Yes.

Mackenzie DeJong:

All right . So a couple of tips people provided , being specific about what kind of support I need. Just need you to listen. I need you to share your perspective. I need you to do blank. I know that this is one for me that hits home because when I need help, sometimes I literally just want you to be like, yeah. Like Mackenzie said with the car seat, that's a bummer. Right. Bummer . But sometimes you just need somebody to listen. Yeah. And sometimes they don't know that. They're like, okay, so what can I do? And I'm just like, no, just listen. That's all I need. Don't do.

Lori Hayungs:

That kind of brings us right into what I think we're going to talk about next, which is Mackenzie's framework.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Yeah. And Mackenzie always has a framework. Then another tip is enrolling in a parenting program. Extension has a lot, by the way, asking the school, church, public health for programs available in your community. So starting with those local resources. Absolutely. And then someone else just made a note that they are thinking how to handle a tough future situation and appreciate the reminder to ask and accept support. Because I know that can be very tough for some of us to say, yes, I will let you help me. So yes.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And that's honestly why we kicked off the episode talking about why support is important because it's like, Oh no , no, I'll just do it. I can get it. I'll just need to do this. I'm fine. Understanding the different kinds and how it's beneficial. It's a good reminder. Like it's okay to ask and if people can't do it, they'll say no. I actually did that today. I made an ask to somebody and they're like, okay, I would love to help. I can't do that. And it was like, okay, like , thank you. You know, and another day it'll be reversed and it's okay to ask. It's okay. It's okay. Finding those people in your life who have a match for your needs and resources, particularly finding the local ones like resources. And again, reality is different. Right.

Mackenzie DeJong:

And again, your extension office can help you find those. We haven't had the shameless plug yet. Right? Mackenzie , get on with your framework.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Oh, I know when we were talking about putting this episode together , you know, we like to wrap with kind of a strategy and we tend to call this section your reality. So as a listener or viewer, you've heard all this research and reality and like, okay, what does this mean for me? And I'm like, maybe we should just call this Mackenzie Loves a Framework. That's probably what this section is actually called.

Lori Hayungs:

Mackenzie loves a framework.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And Lori loves a word picture. So I talked about these, or I alluded, I should say, to these different kinds of support . And so as we think about asking for support and getting specific, like somebody else said , thinking about when we need it, a question for you to consider. So I'm going to list off these different kinds and , a question for you to consider as you hear these is, what kind of support do you need most right now? Right ? That third research tidbit told us about those needs and the ability to meet them, change over time. But what could you use right now? Like what's the support and who could you ask for this kind of support? So figuring out what you need is one piece and figuring out what's a good match, where to look for that support. So I'll dig into these different kinds. So Fox reports that support can generally be broken down into the areas of instrumental or affective support. So we're talking about two areas of support, but each of those areas has two kinds. Okay. Okay. All right . So under instrumental support , that tends to be mostly advice , practical and tangible. So the two kinds that fall under instrumental are informational support so that's advice, suggestions, opinions. So looking for advice from a friend, talking through these things, this is one place where, again that shameless plug for Extension , you're looking for information maybe about how your child develops , strategies. People talked about bouncing off parents who are older. And so that informational advice and suggestions. So that's one kind of support. The other kind of instrumental support is the practical. So, this could be things like asking for help with some money, asking for help with tasks, for a ride for your kids, help with meal prep. These are the kinds of those tangible things, those tangible tasks that you can kind of see. I think that is probably the one that's hardest for me to ask for is that tangible support like, okay, I need someone to do this thing for me. T hat can be a tough one, but I also think that's often one that people are like, that's the kind of help I want to give. Like, I'm happy to give your kids a ride. I'm happy to bring a meal. People want to be able to offer it . And we have a hard time asking.

Lori Hayungs:

We do have a hard time.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Hopefully that means there's a good match of resources and people in our lives that can offer us that kind of support. Exactly. So those are the two kinds of instrumental, informational and practical. So the other kind of support, the other area of support is affective. So we think about the emotion and kind of meeting our emotional needs for affective. So the two kinds of affective support. One is emotional. So these are the behaviors meeting your needs for love, affection, and understanding. And I just love that. Like you think about, there's this term called bids for connection of like, I want to talk with somebody. I need somebody to cry to . I need somebody to vent to. I need that. Just listen, you know, like somebody. And so that emotional support, which I think as a parent, sometimes it's like, sometimes that is the big thing that I need, like yes, that tangible support, or can someone give us a ride or those instrumental things. But that emotional support was just like someone tell me I'm not crazy. Like tell me we're doing okay. And so that emotional support, and then the other kind, which sounds similar, we really talked through how to differentiate these for you, but the emotional support. And then the last kind is the esteem support. So how do we meet those needs for affiliation, belonging and feeling valued? So as we think about that kind of esteem support for ourselves and for other parents that feeling of like needing to be valued. And as we talked about this, we talked about the empty nester, that kind of stage of parenting of when all your kids are suddenly launched. And that's when I could use esteem support. Like someone remind me that, okay, what I've wrapped myself in being a parent for so many years, and I spent so much time active in that role. Now it looks so different. Do I belong? Like I'm normal . I belong. Yeah. And like I no longer sit in those theater seats or I no longer sit on those bleachers watching my kids for stuff. Where do I go? And so having that kind of support, and again, that's one of those times where a local resource might be a great fit , or yeah, asking a family member or a friend to help you find some belonging. So ask for support. We also talked about this with esteem support, you're asked for esteem support could even be you sharing the impact that someone's actions have on you. So it's like when you do this, it makes me feel left out. Or when you do this, I feel like I don't belong here. And so that might actually be an ask for support is you're helping someone become better supporters of you by telling them how you feel or what you need which is also a tough thing. So there's four kinds of support as we look, it's like, Oh, I need support. What kind? Do I need something tangible? Do I just need you to listen? Do I need you to reassure me? Or do I need kind of that just basic informational support? Like somebody tell me, so four different kinds of support there.

Lori Hayungs:

And we hope that The Science of Parenting is a way to utilize and tap into those four different kinds of support. I think that we try to vary our support so that we can meet those specific needs. You know ? So in the chat, or as you think about specifically if you're not comfortable putting in the chat, really think about what type of support could I really use right now and where could I seek it out? And we sometimes forget about the many kinds of support we have access to. You know, there's family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, there's religious organizations, there's therapy, there's family services, social media groups. We've got local nonprofit organizations and informal social groups. And here's the deal, everyone's reality looks different in terms of the types of support they have available to them. And that includes parenting. And so I think that the important thing to remember here is that if you hear yourself saying to someone, well, if you would just ask they're ask is different than yours. And so it's really important to think about our reality is different than their reality and their support may need to come from a different place, from a different source. And it's really important to look for those opportunities.

Mackenzie Johnson:

I even think about, we live in a community where we're pretty close to a lot of family. And so a lot of those tangible support things are easier for us to access because we have family right here. Some of our friends don't have family in town and it looks different for them. Those resources, there's a different ask , different opportunities. And so just even people who seem pretty similar to you have a different reality.

Lori Hayungs:

Absolutely. Absolutely. All right. Do we bring Kenzie in one more time?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. Let's see what people are saying. Yes. What's the kind of support you could use right now?

Mackenzie DeJong:

Long pause. Sorry about that. We can let people comment. Cause remember the one thing I forgot to add was that our listeners are probably 10 seconds behind us potentially. So I'm going to give them a little bit of time to catch up. But you were talking about that if you would just, and we had someone in our system who also said, how can you reframe that statement without it sounding like a "you" statement. I believe what she's referring to is using your "I" statements, which we talk about a lot. And what is found to be very, very helpful when asking for something or expressing yourself is to not play that blame and shame game, just like we do in here in The Science of Parenting. But to say, I am really feeling the need for some pasta. I don't know why that just popped into my head.

Lori Hayungs:

Yeah , it is lunchtime.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Maybe I need some lunch.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So yeah, even just saying, I think of the example I shared of esteem support and asking for what you need. You could say as simple as like, you know, I'm kind of feeling left out. You know, that is just saying what I need or what I'm feeling. And yet it's not, I feel left out because you're mean, right. Just saying I'm feeling left out or I could use blank , like I'd love an invitation or those kinds of things. Yes. Excellent I statements. That doesn't surprise me. I have a guess on who maybe caught us there.

Mackenzie DeJong:

I love it . I'm sure she'll be sending us an email. Somebody said esteem and emotional, sometimes it's hard because with those two specific supports, I don't necessarily want to ask for it. Right. It almost makes me feel worse when I have to ask for those two .

Mackenzie Johnson:

Before you go on, can I say something?

Mackenzie DeJong:

I was gonna say, this is all one response. That's why the ... So we only get a 200 character limit on these. So then they said, to me it makes a difference if people close to me give those two supports without asking, and it means more to me. So I'll go back so you can talk about that.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. Yes. Okay. So I would say sometimes when I need, especially esteem support, like I need to feel like I belong. I don't want to ask, but can you make me belong to somebody?

Lori Hayungs:

Can you invite me?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah. Sometimes i t's a hard thing to say. And so sometimes I find when I need those things, it is about going to somewhere like, okay, this isn't my esteem. My need for esteem support i s not being met here. And so I need to remind myself of the esteem support I do have. And so I feel left out and so I am going to connect with t he local moms group or I'm feeling d own in this particular way. I'm g oing t o call my really good friend from college, who I know cares about me and who I belong with, you know? And so yes, asking, it is hard ask and can make you feel bad, but you're also pointing out why those who we know care about us, right? Like a significant other, o r those family members who stay a part of your life, why it's important to communicate those things. Absolutely. Communicating so l ongterm, they know how to help you meet those needs and be able to offer that support in a meaningful way. But I can totally relate, like, I don't want to ask. I don't want to have to ask, i t's hard. It's uncomfortable.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Someone said that they looking for emotional support, especially right now. So if you ever need to just let some info, let something out, go ahead. Don't feel afraid to reach out to a friend and say, Hey, will you just listen to this? Or , I was actually doing an interview earlier about mental health support. So don't be afraid to talk to your primary physician, to a friend, to a counselor, call our Iowa Concern Hotline, which is 1-800-447-1985. So if you need emotional support and are looking for more resources, definitely feel free to reach out. And then someone else said esteem and emotional support, working alone can be isolating. And I'm going to say that I feel this because I live alone, I work alone and we're close to working back to getting into the office, but it's been a long few months. Right?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Absolutely. And as like an extrovert, as people who love, as a person who loves to be around other people, my normal support that I get or feel just by being with people in the office or wherever, I'm not getting that cup filled the same way. I have been having to find other ways to fill that cup. And that's a challenge. And again, your needs change. There it comes - full circle.

Mackenzie DeJong:

And then on the opposite side , I didn't type this in, but the comment was made that as an introvert, they might not...I'm an extrovert, well, sometimes, I think I consider myself more in the middle, but they consider themselves an introvert. So they don't necessarily feel that urge to reach out for help, or it's hard for them to reach out for help, but they still feel isolated because we've been in this for a very long time.

Mackenzie Johnson:

That's a really great point that like, yeah, my instinct is I could use help, but if your instinct might not be, I could use help. Your instinct might be, this is harder than usual. And so the first thing that might come to your brain might not be I need help. It might be, this is hard, this is hard. And then you have to get yourself to the step of maybe help would help. Yeah . Yeah. That's a great comment.

Mackenzie DeJong:

And then, so, I think that about gets everybody. I was actually just going to very quickly, if I can pull it, flash that Iowa Concern information up, if that's okay with you, ladies. This is kind of a in the moment sort of a thing that I'm doing, but I do know I have a little banner for it. Let's see if it uploads. So there's the information. 1-800-447-1985. They talk about finance, legal concerns , stress, disaster, recovery resources, and referral. And they are available 24/seven , with confidential and free support. So yes.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And so there , you can get that informational support as well as that emotional support from that Iowa Concern Hotline. They're trained professionals, a great resource when we need support and maybe you don't have it a lot locally to you. So always there, always free, always available.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Yes. All right . Feel free to wrap it up.

Lori Hayungs:

For the moment Mackenzie has been waiting for.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. I could barely control myself. So as we think about kind of summarizing, this live wraps up season two. And so we've been thinking about self care, you know, being a parent, a person finding joy. And as we were talking about wrapping up the season yesterday, it just kind of like fell into our laps. Like somebody spit it out and then somebody added a little bit. But as we think about self care and finding support and all the topics we've covered , we talked about that maybe this season is about the super powers of self care, which I just love so much. But thinking about it, instead of, you know, sometimes we talked about feeling that guilt or feeling like maybe we shouldn't or selfish or whatever. But if we remind ourselves, when I take care of myself, that gives me the super powers to be the parent I want to be. And so the six super powers we talked about for self care covered t he season, we introduced self care at the basics, what kind of activities i t might be. We talked about stress, how we navigate it, how it affects our parenting. The strengths, seeing our strengths as well as our k ids' strengths. Sharing the load, right? Both the household load, the childcare load. Those things we talked about using our philosophy of parenting as a starting point. And then today we're talking about support. So we also were able to find six S's. And so w e're like super powers of self care. And so if you're just catching a s lide and you haven't listened to, we do hope you'll go back and listen to our s uper p owers of self care and being a parent and a person. So we've had a lot of fun this season and some of them, maybe I shouldn't say fun, some of them have just been fulfilling to remind ourselves as well as our listeners, some of these practices in our parenting and our s uper powers, o ur parenting super powers.

Lori Hayungs:

So next we're gonna take a short break, just a little hiatus, and then we will be back with you the first week in August, kicking off season three. And I am a super power waiting to reach out to you. And because of that, season three is all about temperament and temperament is a huge super power when it comes to parenting. And so we're going to spend a long time in temperament. We're going to spend about four months in temperament . We're going to talk about how it impacts your parenting. We're gonna help you learn about yourself, learn about your child, learn about the relationship you have with each other and how to strengthen it and how to anticipate when behaviors are going to happen. You've got to come back in August.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So we did get a comment from a listener that I do want to share, because we do have this kind of break week in between starting season three focused on temperament. someone who listens to our podcast mentioned the way they approach it, that just like made my heart smile. Like if that's a thing, I'm going to say it's a thing. It just made me so happy. But they talked about how they and their co-parent have been listening to this season on self care. So they listen to an episode together, and as they listen, when question prompts come up, they're pausing and discussing. And I just thought that was such a beautiful way to take in the information together and to have somebody else prompt you to communicate. I also know it's hard if I feel like I have more information about something to tell my co-parent like, well, this is what I know. And you know, then you don't really feel like you're sharing that. And so listening together, pausing along the way and discussing, you know, the needs you have and how you can better support each other. Oh, I love that so much. And so if you're catching us on the live and haven't listened to previous episodes, that could be a way to kind of go back and prompt this conversation between you and your co-parent or maybe even you and a friend. You know, if you have a friend who's also a parent or whoever , I just loved that so much. So maybe consider using our little break week here before August. You could listen to some of that with somebody.

Lori Hayungs:

Super. Well, thanks for joining us today on The Science of Parenting, our live broadcast, and remember to subscribe to our weekly audio podcasts on Apple or Spotify or your favorite podcast app. And you can watch the show weekly. You can go back and watch what you've missed, and then, you know, we'll show up here, live now and again and we'll take your comments and questions. And in the meantime, any comments or questions you have, feel free to email them to us. You can find our information at www.scienceofparenting.org.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So come along with us as we tackle the ins and outs, the ups and downs and the research and reality, all around The Science of Parenting,

Anthony Santiago:

The Science of Parenting is hosted by Lori Hayungs and 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.