My guest this week is Mr. Chazz. His mission in life is to enjoy the process of becoming the best version of himself and help others do the same. He helps adults see, guide, and trust children. Mr. Chazz is an Educational Specialist who, “teaches teachers to teach” in a chain of Child Development Centers. He works closely with 8 different schools, 100s of teachers, and 1,000s of children. He has trained thousands of teachers in person and virtually, and earned his Master’s in Executive Leadership at American University. He is in the process of writing a book and has his own podcast called “Mr. Chazz’s Leadership, Parenting and Teaching Podcast. He also coaches people in his Patreon community.
In this episode, Mr. Chazz and I discuss how to break the cycle of the way we respond to children. The way we adults respond is rooted in our childhood experiences, how we were parented, and the models that we’ve had personally in our lives like teachers, coaches, older siblings, etc..
Once we understand these cycles, we can make a more conscious choice about what we want to keep and what we want to change in terms of our understanding and responses, and this gives us a really powerful foundation for truly supporting and meeting the needs of kids in more effective ways. Learn more about Mr. Chazz here.
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Learning new parenting tools takes time
- We have to rewire our brains for better parenting
- We need to practice it every day
- Learning to regulate our own emotions is so important for our kids to see
- Modeling our own self-talk and behavior is important for kids to see
- Exploding, yelling, slamming doors, or punishing is modeling that we don’t have control of our own emotions
Where parents go wrong
- We assume children are trying to give us a hard time
- That they are trying to make us late, ruining our morning, etc.
- We go wrong in thinking that punishment and spanking only affects them and not us
- We are just as affected
Is spanking appropriate when a child puts themselves in danger?
- No, spanking or other punishments fail to teach the child about the harm they are putting themselves in
- They will remain curious about a hot iron, crossing the street, or touching outlets unless we teach them why it’s harmful vs just threatening with punishment
- Ask yourself how you can explore that thing with them in a safe way
- You may be able to learn something important about your child by paying close attention
Rewiring your negative self-talk
- Negative self-talk can determine the way we respond to our child’s behavior
- If you are angry because the child is causing you to be late, you will respond with anger
- Many adults grew up getting punished or spanked and when challenging behavior comes up that is the only way your brain knows how to respond in the moment
- When you stop to regulate your own thoughts and feelings, you are more likely to look at the situation with compassion and empathy and notice what your child needs at that moment vs punishing them for what they are doing wrong
Never too late to repair
- No matter what age your child is, it’s never too late to repair
- If it’s a young child that you have just spanked, yelled at, or punished in an unhelpful way … apologize and explain what you will do next time instead of those things
- To an older child, you might say “I know I’ve been doing things a certain way for your entire life up until now, and I apologize, I’m sorry about that. I will change the way I handle these situations.”
- This model’s for your child that they can change too and they can make mistakes and repair them too.
Follow Mr. Chazz
Episode Intro … 00:00:30
Rewiring your brain takes time and practice … 00:17:22
Where adult assumptions go wrong … 00:22:44
Spanking does not help children … 00:23:53
How to adjust your self-talk … 00:35:34
Never too late to repair … 00:44:34
Episode Wrap up … 00:47:00
Dr. Nicole Beurkens:
Hi everyone, welcome to the show, I am Dr. Nicole, and on today’s episode, we’re talking about breaking the cycle of how we as adults think about and respond to child behavior.
Whether it’s a young child who maybe spills their juice or touches things that they’ve been told not to, or it’s a teen skipping school or speaking disrespectfully, the way we adults respond is rooted in our childhood experiences, how we were parented, and the models that we’ve had personally and/or professionals for how to handle these challenges with kids.
Once we understand these cycles, we can make a more conscious choice about what we want to keep and what we want to change in terms of our understanding and responses, and this gives us a really powerful foundation for truly supporting and meeting the needs of kids in more effective ways. So to help us understand more about these cycles and our role in supporting the behavior of kids, I’ve invited Mr. Chazz on the show today.
Now some of you may know Mr. Chazz and his work from social media. He’s got a huge community of parents and professionals there. For those of you who haven’t yet been introduced to him, let me tell you a bit about him.
His mission in life is to enjoy the process of becoming the best version of himself and help others do the same. He helps adults see, guide and trust children. Mr. Chazz is an Educational Specialist who, “teaches teachers to teach” in a chain of Child Development Centers. He works closely with 8 different schools, 100s of teachers and 1,000s of children. He has trained thousands of teachers in person and virtually, and earned his Master’s in Executive Leadership at American University. He is in the process of writing a book and has his own podcast called “Mr. Chazz’s Leadership, Parenting and Teaching Podcast. He also coaches people in his Patreon community and individually. I love the information that Mr. Chazz shares online. It’s such a pleasure to have him on the show today with us, welcome Mr. Chazz!
Thank you, I am happy to be here, I’m happy to have the conversation. Before we even hopped on, I had a video in my head that I was going to create that’s kind of on my heart, and I feel like it’s going to come out in this conversation, so I’m just excited to talk.
Dr. Nicole Beurkens:
I’m excited about this because I think that so many parents and teachers and therapy professionals — anybody who spends time with kids, this issue of how we respond to children when they’re having challenging moments, when they’re exhibiting behaviors that are anywhere from aggravating to us, to really unsafe and problematic, it’s tough for us as adults. And you bring a really helpful perspective to this conversation that I think is important.
I’m actually curious, to start out, how you got into working with young kids, because certainly, you don’t fit the mold of who we typically think of going into early childhood education, so I’m thinking there’s got to be a story there, and I’d love to hear how you came to be doing this work.
Actually, the story might surprise a lot of people. I first started working with children — It wasn’t like this big “Oh, I really want to work with children.” I was really just looking for a summer job. I was young, I was in college and my friend had gotten a job at a childcare center down the street and I was looking for a job. So I just applied and it was really within the first week, really within the first day, I was like, “Wow, this is actually something that’s pretty fun and enjoyable. I actually like kids.” Because when I got the job, I didn’t even know how much I really enjoyed being around children and how much I really liked children, until I really started to spend some time with them. Like, “You guys are actually pretty great! I think I can get used to hanging around with you guys. And I feel like I kind of understand you guys. I understand you a little bit.
But then as time progressed and went on, I started to really see the challenges that children come with and not really — my perspective had kind of over, it’s been that first year, really grew, wow, I’ve really been growing the next generation of humans, I have a big part to play with that during their formative years. I don’t really know how to do this. I hadn’t really been trained or had a lot of education when I first came into it. And so I struggled, especially when children were in conflict and I’d go to try to help them, and then it seemed like I would make it worse or I would solve it and I didn’t know if I was making it worse or making it better, and that was really kind of internally painful for me because, again, I understand the gravity of what I was doing. I didn’t know if I was messing these kids up.
I started off in a classroom of 3 to 5 year olds in a Montessori classroom. 30 children. That’s a lot of children, that’s a lot things, that’s a lot of energy, it’s a lot of a lot of things. So a lot of my desire, my intrinsic motivation to reach back and help teachers and parents, part of it is the empathy that I have because I remember going on break and struggling and crying in the car because I was really struggling and really stressed out by not knowing what to and feeling like I would be doing harm. So as I moved into the position of Educational Specialist, my big thing — and teacher who has worked in my company has been new, and I’ve seen them, they probably can attest to this, that I really put a big focus on new teachers because I remember what it was like to not know, to not have the understanding that I do now and I just think, “Wow, if someone was mentoring me in those beginning stages, I would have de-stressed myself a lot.” It still would have been stressful because there still would have been a huge learning curve, but it took time for me to find those mentors and to train with people and to get them to read the books, the education or some podcasts. All those things took time, so I really tried to reach out to those new teachers.
I wasn’t really working with parents until the pandemic happened, and it was really kind of what I saw of the challenge and the struggle. It almost kind of felt like that new teacher kind of feel because it was just a new situation that parents didn’t know how to handle. And as they were sharing their struggles, I was reading and I was listening. I said, “Wow, there’s a lot that I could say and share that could really help these parents in the same way I’ve been helping teachers.” And my mission in life, to enjoy the process of becoming the best version of myself and help others do the same, I kind of found an avenue, a medium through TikTok because it was a fun way to share content, but also educate people and help people.
So that’s why I started on TikTok first because it just looked really fun and enjoyable, and I saw how people were already kind of starting to learn on it. So that’s kind of how it all started.
Dr. Nicole Beurkens:
I love it. And really, what resonates with me so much is what you said about how your experience starting out has allowed you to have so much empathy for people who are new to working with children, as well as parents. I have so many parents who have said to me over the years, “You know, if my kid just came with an instruction manual, if there was just something that said, “Here’s how you handle this for this kid, here’s what you do”. Becoming a parent throws you into this realm where there is no instruction manual and you’re figuring it out, and you are unique in yourself, your child is unique, and it can feel like “Wow, if I just had some guidance to help me know, am I doing this right? Should I be doing this differently?”
And I remember that as a teacher too, when I started out in my career as a teacher, I took a job with kids with more significant autism and emotional and behavioral disorders, little kids. I had absolutely no experience.
They really probably should not have given me that job, except that they saw a tenacity in me to figure things out. It was sort of like these are kids that most people get really distressed about, that people aren’t curious about or interested in learning how to work with, and the tenacious, curious part of me really delved into that, and it sounds like for you too, that sort of “How can I be better at this?” And I would go home as well, like you said, like “Ugh, I don’t feel good about how that went” or “The classroom they had me go in to observe/The thing they had me look at online/That book, I tried that but it just didn’t resonate with me” and it was really in figuring out my own style through a lot of learning, as you said, what inherently made sense to me, and really going back to what is true about child development, what’s true about relationships and figuring out as I went along, but I love that you are in a role to help people at the start of their career and towards the start of their parenting journey with that because that support and that modeling are so invaluable.
Yeah. And I have a thought here about the instruction manual, because that always comes up. If we just had an instruction manual, a set of directions to do in these different situations, then life would be better. But I actually want to do almost like a perspective shift on this, that it’s really — even if there was a child that did come with an instruction manual of exactly what you should do in each situation, it would feel and it would be kind of robotic, and I would imagine that whatever instruction manual they came with would be outdated as we’re using it because you know children and people are changing. The instruction manual would have to constantly be changing. And instead of wanting a set of directions or a script or an instruction manual or a formula, think of it more like a dance. That’s all relationships, right? It’s more of a meeting between two people whose needs are both important and really kind of figuring each other out.
Yes, there are, I would think more of them as this set of tools, or if we’re going to use the dance metaphor, some dance moves to use, but it’s not plugging in a formula or a script for a specific situation for a child. It is attuning, it is watching, it is observing, it is feeling and then moving with. Sometimes you’re leading and sometimes they’re leading.
That’s why sometimes it’s a little messy and sometimes we step on each others’ toes because that’s what it is and that’s what relationships are, rather than an instruction… Imagine, too — and let’s think about this thing, this is a new thought.
Imagine if you were entering in a relationship with a new person and they came with an instruction manual. So going on a date, and you’re kind of reading the instruction manual, or kind of like the classic sitcom, cheesy movie kind of thing, there is someone in their ear telling them what to say. It’s not authentic, it’s not genuine. And as the person senses that you’re not really authentically dancing with them and you’re just reading from the instruction manual underneath the table or, you know, just listening to the set of instructions from the person who is in your ear, then it disconnects you from that relationship a little bit, and it feels inauthentic and not genuine, which is really important in every relationship.
Dr. Nicole Beurkens:
It’s so true, this beautiful metaphor about a dance, I think that’s exactly right. And actually, very freeing, because so many parents and professionals get really anxious about knowing how to handle everything that comes up. Will I know what to say? Will I know what to do? I hear that all the time from parents as their kids get into the preteen and teen years. “What will I do? What will I say?”, it’s this idea that if you have the foundational steps in place, if you have this relational dance, that that’s what’s going to carry you through, and unfortunately, I think — I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but what I’ve seen, especially in kids who exhibit more challenging behaviors in school settings or even in home settings, who maybe have diagnosed emotional or behavioral or learning or developmental types of challenges, the way we tend to approach handling those kids, managing those kids is through this sort of scripted behavior, like “Here is the behavior plan, and step 1, this is what you do, this is what you say, this is how you respond.” And to your point about number one, how disconnected and quite weird that is, it sort of means that in school then, we have to have a plan for every single thing that comes up, which you can’t because leave it to kids, they will have the next thing that you have not even thought of. And I just have seen so many professionals and teams run in circles, chasing these individual behaviors that now they’re going to write a plan for and have a script and a consequence and whatever, and it’s like let’s just back up and look at the big picture and let’s focus on building relationships and let’s focus on what our role is in this dance, and to me, that’s where we get the real effective change.
Yeah. And I get why that is, especially in a school, higher ups want — there is accountability or whatever, there are these different pressures like you need to do something, you need to have something written down for legal reasons or whatever, so I get why we’ve tried to approach it in that manner, and also I think part of it may be lack of trust of leadership.
Lack of trust and lack of training from the leadership on how to do the dance. It’s easier for me to tell you, to treat you like a robot, to treat them like a robot, so we try to create this robotic relationship with someone who is not in the classroom but feels like they have to do something to satisfy whatever needs or parties or entities. I get it. Some of that can be used, maybe as dance moves. But the overall bigger thing should be the approach and the attitude that we are approaching a situation with, rather than just, when A happens, insert B. It’s not necessarily just a flowchart. So while I understand where that comes from, we need to put in more work to talk about the approach and one last thing on this: It takes time to learn to do this dance. It’s not like I learn the dance moves. Think about any dance move that you learn. Maybe you just learned the, you know, one that kids do nowadays, floss or the hype or whatever. You can learn the dance and do it, but it takes time to do it with skill and to kind of internalize it and make it your own. It takes practice in doing that dance.
A lot of times, in different situations, to the beat of different songs and really get good at it as opposed to what we’re trying to do, like do this robotic dance move and we’re stepping on toes because they’re moving in a way that we didn’t expect. We don’t know how to move any differently because we haven’t really had that practice.
So it takes time, it’s hard, it’s difficult whether you’re in the classroom or you’re parenting, and I empathize with that, and you’re really struggling and you are working on your dance. That’s what’s most important. It’s like what you said earlier, just going back and reflecting. Man, so many car drives home of just reflecting. I wanted to listen to music but I was so deep in reflection that I just put it off because I’m really thinking about “Yeah, okay, I don’t like the way that I handled that”, and I remember there were times where I would reflect on what happened and maybe I yelled or something. I don’t like the way that we handled that, and I would text my co-teacher too, “We needed to be different.” Or a teacher might be texting a co-teacher at the end of the day or the end of the night or the morning, nap time, break time, whatever that time is, having those conversations. And for parents, it might be at the end of the night when you’re going to bed together, having those conversations as you’re turning off the lights. That’s what’s important, that you’re continuously learning and growing. I always say, the goal — don’t try to be a perfectionist. It’s not about being perfect. Trying to be perfect like the perfect parent or perfect teacher, that is an impossible standard that doesn’t exist. So it’s not healthy to try to be perfect and to just beat yourself up and shame yourself because you are not perfect. The goal isn’t to be perfect, the goal is to improve. I say, “Don’t be a perfectionist, be an improveinist.” Not perfect everyday, the goal is to improve a little everyday.
Dr. Nicole Beurkens:
I love that and I think that’s so helpful for so many parents who beat themselves up for handling things in ways that they recognize are not effective, but not being sure what to do differently and getting down on themselves and feeling guilty. So that idea of improving and striving for improvement, and striving to get better at the dance. That visual is really lovely. And that dance is going to be different depending on our partner too. I have four kids, many of the parents listening have multiple kids, and that dance, there maybe foundational steps, you’re going to have your own little spin and your own unique dynamics for each child, and that adds its own challenge as well. I want to delve into, as we’re thinking about this idea of this dance and relationships as foundational and parents and professionals doing some reflection, going, “Man, I’m not really feeling great about how this is going, I’m not sure how to approach it differently.” I’d love to have you talk about some of the places that we as adults go wrong right out of the gate with the assumptions that we make about kids’ behavior or how we approach these things, because I think that makes or breaks how we handle something, right? What’s in our mind about what we’re seeing or experiencing with our kid totally determines the path that we take with how we approach it, so I’d love to have you speak to that.
I talk about mantras all the time, and one of my favorites is a really popular one that I even use for myself sometimes, it’s: Children aren’t giving you a hard time, they’re having a hard time. The approach in seeing the misbehavior, them not meeting your expectations, there’s some kind of underlying need or untaught skill because here’s another one: Children do well when they can. It’s tough. I am right now on the internet, everything at least right now, the rotational content that I’m talking about, we’re talking a lot about spanking and hitting children. There’s a lot of controversy in that, and a lot of people feel a lot of ways about it. And one of the comments — and I’m about to talk about something that you can do differently, and this is the video that’s in my head, so it’s fun to talk this out, and I’d love for you to think about it, but one of the things that we do, especially when we rely on punishments, especially corporal punishments, it not only affects the child, but it affects us too and our mentality and how we approach the situation and whether we’re going into the situation and helping them or going to the situation and hurting them.
A lot of times, if we rely on corporal punishment or punishment in general, it’s “I’m going to tell you once, I might even tell you twice, and if you don’t listen to the second time, then I will hit you” or “I will do some kind of punishment, and I’m going to make you listen” without really seeing that, okay, why is this child having a hard time with this expectation, right?
The child isn’t giving you a hard time, they’re having a hard time.
Someone was like, “Well, hitting them is a lot better than them getting burned with an iron. Some kids just don’t get it. If I tell them not to touch iron because it’s hot, it’s better for me to hit them than for them to have permanent damage and touch the iron and get burned.” So that’s the way that we’re thinking, those are the only two choices: “Talk to them, if they don’t do it, then the punishment is coming and I’m going to hurt them so that they don’t get hurt.” But instead, if you thought about it like “What is my child really needing in this?” Looking at it from a child’s perspective. “Hmm, maybe my child is really curious about this tool, this thing that I use all the time that they see me use all the time. Maybe me saying don’t touch it and putting so much focus on it, don’t touch it, don’t touch it, don’t touch it, putting so much focus on it is making them focus on it more, but they are so curious about it, they don’t know why they can’t touch it.” For a child who is really — most children are really susceptible to the impulse control, that’s really hard for them not to explore that in some way. “Hmm, how can I help them explore it in a safe way?” A child has a need to explore this thing they’re curious about, and I have a need for my child to be safe.” Alright, so now we’re thinking about this process. I have an idea. Bring the child and ask “Do you really want to touch this iron? You’re curious about this iron.” And when you are telling them about their wants and needs, and they go “Yeah, I really want to touch it, is she going to let me touch it? Oh, I’m excited!” “Yeah, I’m going to let you touch it. Right now it’s off, it’s not plugged so it’s not hot, but when we plug it up, it’s going to get really hot. We’re going to touch it together. So watch me plug it up. I’m going to plug it up. See? It’s plugged up, it’s going to get hot. You’re going to put your hand here, I’m going to put my hand on here too so we can both feel it”. And you’re going to talk to them as it gradually gets hot, like “Oh, you feel it’s getting hotter? Oh that’s hot! I’m going to start taking my hand off because it’s started to get — It’s getting too hot for me, ugh, that’s hot!” They might leave their hand for a second or two longer, and they put it on there, like “Oh, that’s hot!”
So now the child has learned, actually understands that it is hot and that it will hurt if they’re touching it while they’re using it. So now the child has actually learned something, as opposed to when you just hit the child for doing it. They didn’t learn anything, now maybe they’re scared like, “Oh, I’m not going to do it around you because you are going to hurt me,” but maybe at a time you’re not there, they’re curious, they’re still going to do it. And the other part to that is maybe they don’t take their hand off and they keep it on for a long time to the point it burns, let’s say that that’s what happened, right? Then you know, “Wow, there is something going on here because my child isn’t responding to the normal — maybe it’s a sensory processing disorder.” And now, I have a better understanding of my child and their needs and now I can help them with that. If you just hit them because they’re trying to touch it, they’re trying to feed that curiosity, you never figure that out. And you continue to say, and create and reinforce this narrative that — because they might stop trying to touch it because they’re afraid of you, but one, you didn’t teach them about the actual iron, so in other situations they may not listen to me and still get burned. You hit and they still got burned. Then two, there could be something going on there and you don’t figure it out because you have this mentality of “I’m going to hit or punish them into submission.” So that’s one example of how these punishments, especially the harsh punishments can affect us and blind us to what our children really need and cause us to not even go through the process of thinking through how to help them.
And I get it, it’s hard. Most of us did not grow up with that kind of approach. Most of us grew up with the corporal punishment, I got spanked growing up, that’s what most of us grew up with. So it’s hard. A lot of people were saying “Well, what do I do? What else can I do?” So you don’t have the tools because you never experienced, you never saw the tools, so you’re using the tools that you always saw and there are genetics that play into it too. I get why it happens. People who identify that this is something you don’t want to do, and you’re listening to this podcast, you’re probably spanking or using it, you’re probably in that category of “I don’t like it, but I kind of feel like I need to do it, I have no other tools.” And for those people, I’m here for you. Come to my page, watch my content. I am committed and dedicated to breaking these cycles. I feel like a part of me is really connected to it. I know it happens in a lot of other cultures, but it’s really prevalent in the black community. Unfortunately, the narrative is that we’re proud of it. We talk about it like it is a part of our culture, when in reality, we weren’t hitting our children until we came to where we were enslaved in America and we wanted to control our kids because we were afraid of what massa might do, so we wanted them to be docile field workers to try to protect them from the oppression. So it’s tough, it’s hard, and again, I know it’s not just people in the black community. Europeans have been hitting their children before they came over to the new world. And I know that in the Latino community, it’s something that a lot of us struggle with. I’m here for all of you and I get it, it’s hard. So that’s what I’ll say on that.
Dr. Nicole Beurkens:
Well, there are all of those components of our own experiences, and not just our experiences as kids with our own parents, but even generationally before our parents, our grandparents, right? And I think that the important thing around these conversations, like you said, it’s so many things there that are so valuable and important. I think to just say it to everybody listening, this is about an opportunity for growth on all of our parts. We can’t change what happened in the past, we can’t change the way that many generations ago, things happened in our own family. We can’t change the way our parents parented us, we have an opportunity now to understand that in a way that allows us to do something different with our own children, with the children that we’re working with professionals. It’s reflecting on the past, it’s understanding that to help inform the present and I think that this issue of these cycles is so critical.
So I want to delve into that a little bit more, but I want to go back to this example that you gave with punishment and the iron, because I’m so glad you walked through that because I think people often say, “Well tell me what this looks like. Give me some concrete examples. And you talked about the corporal punishment, spanking, we could put yelling in there on sort of another end of that spectrum. A lot of what goes on with kids with more severe developmental disabilities, emotional and behavior disorders, maybe things like spanking aren’t sanctioned in professionally developed behavior plans, but boy, are punishments. ”You touch that iron, you get close to that door, you do this and I’m going to take these things away” or “you don’t get these things” or “I’m going to grab…” —- certainly there is a lot of physical involved in some of those plans. It may not be spanking, but it’s physical. And to your point about that, it may stop the child from doing that in the moment, but it’s not teaching them anything. And I think that’s the piece that’s so important, and how we come to that teaching part is what you were sharing around what’s in our mind, the getting curious about it. Because to me, that perspective shift when the kid keeps going for the iron and our perspective on it is “They’re just trying to be naughty and make me angry, they’re just trying to get my attention, they’re trying to disrupt my day, they’re trying to do this to me”.
When we’re in that frame of mind, we’re going to respond more out of that frustration, that anger, that “Just stop giving me a hard time”. But when we can shift our perspective to the orientation of the child and say “What might be going on in my child’s mind right now that this keeps going on?” Boy does that change everything in terms of how we can think about and approach it. And I think that perspective shift, getting out of our own adult perspective and trying to get into a child’s perspective — because we treat kids like they’re little adults, right? They’re not thinking about these things the way we are, and when we can approach it from that way, I think that softens us, it allows us to take a breath, it gives us some space to think about it in a way other than “This child is just trying to ruin my morning”.
Right. 100%. Even thinking about where a lot of that self-talk comes from too, and really trying to — It’s work, it’s rewiring your brain to create different stories and to talk and say different mantras. A lot of us even grew up with mantras that were not emotionally healthy, to say the least. And I know I keep on bringing up corporal punishments because it’s just something that’s on my mind today, but one of the things that I grew up hearing is “A hard head makes a soft behind”, repeated to me like brainwashing. Then my girlfriend had something that she said in her family was a mantra, “We whoop the kids”, they would joke about it and laugh about it. I think people have different mantras for different things that their parents may repeat to them that now it’s a part of us, it’s a part of our wiring in our brain, it’s a part of our self-talk. And it’s years of that kind of talk, of that wiring in our brain from times when our brains were really starting to form, so deeply ingrained. So we have to put in so much more work to change that by listening to podcasts and feeling. Not just listening to podcasts, reading books, being around and really immersing yourself in an environment where there are these more positive parenting perspectives. When I say positive parenting, I don’t mean one specific genre, but I just mean the more progressive kind of parenting that we’re talking about, as opposed to the traditional fear and control-based tactics. Surrounding yourself, immersing yourself in a positive parenting kinds of environments so that you do start to rewire your brain slowly over time, and practicing that dance and reflecting when you make mistakes, apologizing, repairing where needed, and learning and trying to do better.
That is why I have the Patreon. Not to do the plug right now, but that’s why I created the Patreon as a way to bring people to this community where weekly, a part of conversations like this, people with different expertise and also having access to 1 on 1 coaching with me periodically because a lot of the things like with punishment, applied punishments are a lot easier because all that is required for the punishment to happen is you do something that I don’t like, and then I’m going to do the punishment. It doesn’t matter what it is, it’s kind of a blanket punishment, whatever, and doesn’t really require a lot of thought. It doesn’t really require you to ask yourself “What could my child be experiencing?” It doesn’t really require you to listen to your child, to have a conversation, to see their behavior, communication, be attuned to their emotions. It doesn’t really require those things. Those things are hard, and they are different for every child. And not every behavior means the same thing, and there is a situation for every child. So that is tough and people ask, “Okay, what do I do instead?” I think a lot of times they’re wanting something like what punishment does. Like, “Okay, so what’s the magic quick fix for everything? Because I have this belt and I can use it for every situation. I need you to give me a tool that I can use for every situation.” But that’s not what it is, and that’s not how any relationship should be.
Dr. Nicole Beurkens:
Well, I think the community piece is important, because as you said, this takes practice. It’s building awareness, right? I know that there are people listening to this right now who are having some a-ha’s and becoming aware of some things for themselves and their own history and how that played into it, and we need support around that, that community, especially if you were working on breaking some of these cycles that have been in your family, family may not be the community — your siblings, your parents may not get it, and they may be like “What are you doing? Why are you doing this?” So for people to have like-minded people who are thinking about and practicing these things and wrestling with it, and understanding that inherently, it’s messy. I always say to parents, we screw it up more than we get it right. In baseball, a 300 batting average is amazing, and that means they hit the ball 3 out of 10 times, right? If we can think about that, give ourselves that same space and grace for going, “Yeah, this is a practice, I’m working on getting better. I’m becoming aware of some of these patterns, of some of these things. I’m not feeling good about how this is working. I’m going to strive to think about and do these things differently”, and then consuming information and surrounding yourself with people who can nurture that, I think that’s so critical.
Yeah. 100%. I know I said this already, but it’s going to take time. It’s going to take time but it’s so worth it. And to kind of go back to something you said earlier in terms of just the generational work that we’re doing. The more that you grow — yes, there is no reality where anyone is going to become the perfect parent, but you can improve, and the more that you improve and grow within yourself, the more that you are able to give to your children and the more that they can grow, and the more emotionally healthy they can be. So when they’re at your age, they’re further along in their journey. They’re able to give more. The metaphor that I use is kind of like the first iPhone. You might be taking a huge leap and you’re going from — maybe you grew up with spanking and you’re like “I’m not trying to spank, punish, shame my child at all. I see them as a full person and I want to help them grow. I’m going to learn and grow and instead of just trying to create obedient robots, I will want to elicit cooperation, we’re both working together to meet these goals”. That’s huge, right? So that’s a big leap in advancement, in technology. Now I think of it like the first iPhone. When the first iPhone came out, it was groundbreaking. Like wow, it’s amazing how powerful this is! But that doesn’t mean that that’s the end. You continuously improve on that. You improve, improve, improve from generation to generation to generation. But the improvement can’t happen without that first iPhone. Build off of that. So you might be the first iPhone amongst a family of pagers, so you might be feeling a little alone, but just know that one, the fact that you are the first iPhone is enough and that as you’re learning and growing and improving, that they’re going to build off of that and then their children are going to build off of that, and their children are going to build off of that. You’re raising your children’s children’s children.
Dr. Nicole Beurkens:
The impact of that for future generations that we’ll never even meet is so powerful. As we wrap up here, I’d like you to comment on one more thing and that is for parents or teachers or other professionals who are listening who are like, “Man, I want to make some change in this, but my child is already getting older, I haven’t been doing this in the way that I felt good about for a long time, it’s probably too late for my kids.” Maybe a parent who is saying, “My kid is 16 now/My kid is already 10” or whatever. What would you say to parents who are feeling like “Man, I really screwed this up, it’s too late.”
It’s never too late to repair. The older they are, the more they may be able to process what you’re doing. You can have even more of a conversation about what you experience and really take the apology that you give to heart. “I really want to do something different. I’m learning and growing. I know I’ve been doing things a certain way for your entire life up until now, and I apologize, I’m sorry about that. I want to do better, so I am listening to podcasts, I’m reading books, I signed up to this community, I’m really trying to learn better so that I can know better how to support you and to help you through the things that you’re working through that you’re challenged with. And I hope you forgive me, but just know that I’m here, I’m committed to do the work.” Especially in children who are older, 10, 11, 12, 16, they’re going to remember. That’s a huge conversation they’re going to remember, and may even take that on as they get older, and maybe even right now in the moment was like “Hmm, maybe it’s not too late for me to change either. Maybe there is something different that I can do. This is my parent who has decades of experience in life and they are admitting that it’s okay to be wrong, that they’re not perfect, that they’re still learning and growing. Wow! Maybe I can do that too. Maybe that’s something that I should think about for myself.” And the older they are, the more capacity they have to wrestle with that and to make that decision, or at the very least remember it for later as other things happen and they decide to make that decision. But if we’re just like, “Ah it’s too late, I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m the perfect parent”. If you can never admit that you’re wrong, then how can we expect our children to admit they’re wrong and apologize and learn and grow and change when the things that they’re doing aren’t serving them. Why would we expect them to have the same approach? “Ah, it’s too late, I’m already 16, too deep into this. This will keep on going.” So that’s what I would say to that.
Dr. Nicole Beurkens:
Beautiful. So many great things in there. You and I could talk for hours. I know that we need to wrap up. I want to make sure that you have a chance to share with people where they can find out more about you and the things that you are offering online.
Find me on Instagram @mrchazz, and you can find me on TikTok mrchazzmrchazz. You’ll find me on Facebook Mr. Chazz Mr. Chazz, and I’m a little bit on Linked In, you can find me as Mr. Chazz. You can find my podcast, Mr. Chazz’s Leadership, Parenting and Teaching Podcast, and you can sign up to the Patreon, the community that I talked about with the weekly sessions, also access to 1 on 1 coaching, there are different tier levels depending on what you’re looking for and depending on what your budget is, from as low as $5 to as much as $200 depending on what you’re looking for, but that’s www.patreon.com/mrchazz, and that’s where you can find me.
Dr. Nicole Beurkens:
Awesome, and we’ll make sure to have all those links with the show notes so that people can easily access those. Can’t wait for your book that you’re working on! You and I will stay in touch and when that is ready to come out, we’re going to have you back on the show and we’re going to dive into that and let people know about the book. Mr. Chazz, thank you so much for spending time with me today, with us today. This was really fantastic, great to have you here.
Great to be here. Thanks, Nicole. Have a great day! Bye everyone!
Dr. Nicole Beurkens:
Yeah! Thanks to all of you, as always for listening. We will catch you back here next week for our next episode of The Better Behavior show.