Ep. 125 – 6 Important Messages to Send Kids When Disciplining

by | April 27, 2022

Ep. 125 – 6 Important Messages to Send Kids When Disciplining

by | April 27, 2022

The Fresh Start Family Show
The Fresh Start Family Show
Ep. 125 - 6 Important Messages to Send Kids When Disciplining


Today on the show, Wendy has an open discussion surrounding discipline and punishment. The focus of this episode is to help families overcome the mindset that harsh punishments are necessary and to empower parents to get courageous with trying new compassionate discipline tools that will strengthen relationships, while allowing parents to feel proud and empowered with integrity.  

Wendy gives tips & tools to help parents faithfully believe that our children are capable of massive change and improvement with firm, loving and compassionate discipline tools. 

You’ll learn about 6 messages to always communicate when disciplining: 

  1. Everyone makes mistakes. 
  2. Mistakes are just opportunities to learn.
  3. You’re not in trouble– you’re safe.
  4. I am here to mentor and teach you.
  5. You are empowered to make a different choice tomorrow.
  6. I am on your side.

Want to learn how to discipline with compassion, connection, and firm kindness?

Click HERE to save your seat!

Episode Highlights:

  • Difference between discipline and punishment
  • Prevention and empowerment as our first steps with redirecting misbehavior
  • How punishment is based in the past, discipline in the future
  • The key to strengthening parent-child relationships through discipline
  • Being our children’s greatest cheerleader (vs. their biggest critic)

Resources Mentioned:

Firm & Kind Parenting Blueprint

Jesus the Gentle Parent

The Soul and the Sun

Connected Families – Discipline that Connects with Your Child’s Heart BOOK – Audio Version

Perspectives on Spanking – FREE ebook

Fresh Start Family Episodes referenced:

FSF Episode 45 with Scarlett Lewis

FSF Episode 59 – How to Make Discipline Both Compassionate and Effective

FSF Episode 123 – Discipline without Punishment

FSF Episode 122 – Connection Through Discipline

FSF Episode 124 – Embracing Fear & Wonder in Discipline

Not able to listen or want to read along with us?

Here is the episode transcript!

This episode is brought to you by the free, Fresh Start Family Firm and Kind compassionate discipline learning guide and worksheet. You can grab your copy at freshstartfamilyonline.com/disciplineguide.


Well, Hey there, I’m Stella. Welcome to my mom and dad’s podcast, the Fresh Start Family show. We’re so happy you’re here. We’re inspired by the ocean Jesus and rock and roll and believe deeply in the true power of loving kindness together.

We hope to inspire you to expand your heart, learn new tools and strengthen your family. Enjoy the show.


Well, Hey there families, I’m welcome to a new episode of the Fresh Start Family show. I am your host, Wendy Snyder, positive parenting educator and family life coach. And I am excited to chat with you guys today about discipline that unites. Now we’ve been talking so much here at Fresh Start Family about compassionate discipline this month, and especially really around how we can use connection in our discipline strategies, how we can parent without punishment, how we can really lean into having just a sense of wonder when we discipline kind of looking at what are we going to learn through this?

How are we going to empower our children? What is God going to teach us through this challenge? It’s just been such a good month to talk about discipline. And today we’re going to chat a little bit about the difference between discipline and punishment. And then also I’m going to encourage you to look at and lean into six messages to send during discipline. So to kick things off, I want to just chat for a little bit about the difference between punishment and discipline. Okay? So in the world of positive parenting, we talk a lot about prevention as, as there really is so much we can do on the daily to help our kids feel heard and understood, and unconditionally loved and powerful, and like they deeply belong inside of our families.

All things that if you’re a student of mine at, you know, whether the foundations course or the bonfire support program, you know, that these are all things that prevent misbehavior in very powerful ways. When our children have their need buckets filled, so the need to belong, they need to feel powerful. They need to feel valuable. They need to feel unconditionally loved when those needs are met, they will misbehave less. So all of the prevention, purposeful planning we do as parents definitely helps. Big time. We focus, I’d say probably 70% at Fresh Start Family around prevention and empowering parents to really communicate in different ways and to teach their children how to have self control and self regulation and how to model the behavior that they want to see in their kids.

So a lot of it is on the front end and prevention based, but misbehavior still happens because it’s part of normal, healthy development in kids, pushing limits, testing boundaries, exploring autonomy, gaining independence. These are all essential steps in growing up as a human being. And honestly, you know, a lot of educators will tell you that if this kind of normal behavior is going on with children, then we actually, as educators worry less than the kids who are not pushing back at all that are not testing boundaries that are not kind of testing the waters.

So to speak, to see where the fences lie, it’s actually a good sign. If your children are having pushback or testing boundaries, I know you’re like, yeah, right, Wendy, but I promise you, it is. So as parents, our role is to educate guide and mentor our kiddos as they grow. And of course, to keep them safe while providing strong boundaries, to show them about how the world operates and order gets maintained. But what we have to remember families is that we are at choice and how we guide our kids up and out of misbehavior. And also how we get them back on track.

When they’ve steered off course matters, we can choose discipline or we can choose punishment. It’s so important to understand that this really is a choice. Now this doesn’t mean if you’re a student of mine or if you’re in our programs and you’re really trying diligently to build up a compassionate discipline toolkit, and you’re doing your best. And then one day you revert to punishment. Like, you know, that just means you’re human, right? That just means you’ve had a day where you’re like, oh my gosh, I lost my temper. And I just went back to that old neuro pathway. That idea of like, where do we get this idea that in order to make our kids behave better, we must first make them feel worse.

So that’s going to happen. Like I said, if you’re a normal parent. And so that just means you had a moment, right? You, you made a mistake or you messed up, or you did, you know how to behavior as a parent, that you probably later regretted and had to get yourself back on track. So, but what I’m talking about as far as choosing whether we have, you know, whether we’re going to use discipline or punishment in our homes, that’s on a day-to-day basis, really leaning into and together with your spouse. I know sometimes you’re not on the same pages with your spouse. We, we do a lot of coaching inside of our bond, fair support program about that, but really creating a plan is how are we going to decide to teach your kids important life lessons?

Are we going to choose the punishment route, which is often includes spanking fear and force taking away their favorite things, groundings, timeouts, that’s kind of what the traditional punishment model often looks like. Or are we going to choose compassionate discipline, which is what we teach you here at Fresh Start Family. How to build that out, what that looks like, how to do self calming, how to use natural consequences, how to use and build out logical consequences that are related. Teach responsibility are reasonable and are respectful, but discipline has gotten a bad rap in our society because I think it’s often, most often tied to punishment, which really guys is defined by words, such as, you know, if you do like a simple Google search or back in my day, when I was growing up, we actually had like the dictionary right on our shelves nowadays, none of us own a dictionary anymore.

But if you just Google this, you’ll find, you know, the definition of punishment comes up as usually it’s inflicting a penalty it’s seeking vengeance or payback. There’s often pain or loss associated. And it’s often, you know, related to severe or rough tree treatment suffered by a person. Retaliation, making sure someone pays the price for their mistake, but carrying a heavy load of penalties, vengeance, pain, and suffering kind of in our backpack of parenting every day just is a major drag. And I could feel this back in the days when we were trying the traditional punishment route with Stella.

I talk a lot about that season of life. When I teach our compassionate discipline workshop, if you’ve never joined me with that, I really encourage you to join us freshstartfamilyonline.com/discipline. You can find out what times I offer it and save your seat, but it would just, it was such a drag for me when I was using those strategies and thinking that spanking and time-outs was the answer. I mean, there was a good, I swear probably four months, but it felt like eternity where it seemed like Stella was just in timeouts, like 50 times a day. So it was just heavy and it was hard to find joy. And I just felt like I was being forced to do these things.

And thank God when I learned a different way, I could just feel my heart opened. I started to feel lighter. And of course, as we started to, to switch into compassionate discipline, our daughter, our very strong-willed daughter started to respond better because thank God she was one of those kids that was like, ah, I haven’t it like the two times I spanked her, she rose up and was like, heck no, like it became chaos. And it was like, I think her little way of saying, mom, we’re not doing this. This is not who we are. We need to find a different way. So, you know, when families fall into the traditional punishment route, it’s no wonder we end up kind of hating life.

When we feel like we have to in air quotes, discipline our kids. But you guys, the good news is, is discipline. Doesn’t have to be such a drag instead. It can actually be beautiful and compassionate and kind, and firm and effective and uniting. I promise you, so this month we have been focusing on compassionate discipline all month episode 122, we spoke with connected families about the importance of connection through discipline episode 123. We talked with my dear friend, Tanya Camps about punishing with our parenting without punishment episode 123 I talked about having that sense of wonder in discipline.

Like, what are we going to learn throughout this? How are we going to be, you know, what is God going to, how is he going to use this challenge to teach us something very important, whether it’s our child ourselves. And then really today, I’m just talking to you about how discipline really can unite you w you and your child. It really can, especially if you have the messages that I’m gonna give to you here in a little bit, if you make a conscious effort to have those messages, messages come through in your discipline, I promise you, you will end up feeling closer to your children after you need to, or have to air quotes, teach an important life lesson.

Because if you are a parent raising a human child, you’re going to have to teach a lot of important life lessons. One of my I’m really, really it’s that we get to, right? It’s that not that we need to, or we have to teach these important life lessons it’s that we get to just today, I was on a live coaching session with my bond, for our support families. And we were doing a focused Q and a about our, our topic of the month that we’re studying as a community, all about sibling drama and conflict and resolution strategies. And so one of my favorite lessons I’ve ever built for the bond fair community, but we were, you know, we were talking about this idea that we can’t, we do have the ability to change our mindset, even when we’re really annoyed with our kids fighting.

Because inside of that lesson, we teach a lot about how to mentor our children and how to teach them how to fight instead of just stop it. And I mean, we just had such a great discussion today, but it made me think of the interview that I did with Scarlet Lewis, from the choose love movement. And she is the most incredibly inspiring mother. She lost her six-year-old son in the Sandy hook, tragedy tragedy. And during that interview, Terry and I were just so moved, but she really, you know, said something that was very pivotal in my life. And it’s something that I think of often, and it really helps me reset my mindset to a get to mentality.

But she said, you know, I often will see people in the grocery store. She lives in, I think new Newtown, Connecticut. I want to say, that’s the town that she still lives in. And she’ll say, you know, I see people and they’re like, how are you doing Scarlett? And she’s like, I’m good. You know, I’m doing okay. And then she’ll say, Howard, how are you doing? And I really encourage you to go back and listen to that episode if you haven’t, because it is so moving. I it’s one of my favorite we’ve ever we’ve ever recorded, but she’ll say, how are you? And they’re like, oh, you know, I’m okay. It’s just like craziness. I, I have to shuttle the kids. You know, there’s four different sports practice across town. And you know, so-and-so’s a teenager now.

So he’s, he’s got an attitude all the time and you know, life’s just crazy. And they’ll call to just go off for a second sometimes. And she says, you know, I always just look at them and think to myself, gosh, it’s so amazing that you get to do all those things with your kids. Because with her little boy, you know, she doesn’t get to do any of those things. She would, she would love to get to, you know, break up fights with him and his older brother. She would love to get to teach him important life lessons after he’s made a mistake and got a note sent home that he was talking in class, or she would love to get to, you know, teach her child how to be respectful, even when he doesn’t want to do the dishes or take the trash out or fold his laundry or whatever.

Right? Like it was just one of those very pivotal moments for me coming from her and watching what she’s done with her life after experiencing such a tragedy, her, you know, nonprofit organization is just beautiful. So go, go check out that episode. And just remember that we get to teach our children with compassion and kind, and firm and effective ways that really do unite us on the discipline front. So building out your compassionate discipline toolkit is incredibly life-giving for you and your family and will change the way you feel as a parent big time. Like I said, I know this because nearly a decade ago, I went from having all of my discipline based in punishment.

There were time-outs, there were spankings taking things away, especially if it was still his favorite thing. You know, like I, some of my worst memories are from, you know, thinking that I had to either throw away or take away her favorite stuffed animals. Also, it included a lot of threats. I think anybody that’s deep in the punishment game or still just doing any type of punishment, we’ll admit that there’s just a lot of threats throughout the day. What I find with families as there’s often a lot of empty threats. It’s like, if you don’t do this and you’re going to get a spanking, or if you do do this, then you’re going to get a timeout.

But then there’s also, there’s often not a lot of follow through. There’s just a lot of threats often, you know, in punishment, families doing a lot of punishment. And definitely back in the day with Stella, there was a lot of shame and there was a lot of force. So shame, meaning like, you know, why can’t you just listen, what’s wrong with you or force like, I’m literally going to like put you in your room. We reversed the locks. At one point, it was like the worst, the worst choice ever, because it really came back to bite us in the butt. It’s kind of a funny story. I won’t tell it right now, but I think we told about, did we tell that on the connected families episode 1 22, I don’t know, it’s a great story, but there was even times when, you know, some stupid book told us that we needed to hold down Stella as she was like freaking out or having a tantrum until she kind of submitted to our will.

I still cringe with the memory of like being 125 pound woman. And I even have a memory of Terry and I both doing it together and just holding down this little 25 pound girl and the, the feelings she must’ve had at that time of being just completely helpless. Right? And she, she, she never responded well to those things, but really back then, all of our discipline, you know, was based in punishment to now 10 years later and being so fluent in this work and obviously being so passionate about what we teach here, all a hundred percent of our discipline is based in teaching self-control natural consequences and logical consequences often that are agreed upon ahead of time.

Well, Hey there, families, I want to take a few minutes to tell you about the incredible free resources. My friends over at connected families have created for you in case you don’t know about connected families, they are a nonprofit ministry that cares for inspires and equips parents to receive and pass on God’s grace and truth by imparting a biblical memorable transformational framework for parenting. Their teachings are a special combination of professional and personal experience, Biblical foundations infused by God’s grace and truth and a solid science-based and trauma informed approach to everything they do.

They use those three important ingredients to teach parents a simple, yet effective connected families framework, which is foundation course, coach connect. And correct. If you’re curious to learn more about how connected families can help you as a parent, I recommend heading to their website and starting on their resources page. They have a bunch of free downloads that are a great place to start, including their consequences at work free ebook, and also one called helping kids with anger as well as another called perspectives on spanking. So start by downloading one of their no-cost resources. And then while you’re there consider grabbing their book, discipline that connects with your child’s heart.

It is one that I believe should be on every family’s bookshelf. And one that you’ll refer back to over and over again, during the many stages of your children’s lives. So go find all of their great resources at connectedfamilies.org. Okay. Back to the show.

Through these, these methods, we really feel like we are now at the place that I, and I’ve seen so many families I work with get to this place to where everyone in the family feels respected. They feel safe and they feel empowered to change for the better.

So of course, you guys don’t get me wrong. There are still, you know, some messy moments sometimes. And there’s definitely, gosh, I don’t even know if there really are that many anymore, but there are times when we still need to discipline. But now that our intention and our purpose and our plan and resources are clean and respectful, our application is way smoother and just crazy effective. I mean, it’s been, it’s been quite some time that we’ve had to do any type of, of compassionate discipline. So just remember that teaching is rooted in education, empowerment and future behaviors.

This is what we think of when we are thinking discipline with our kids. Punishment is rooted in past mistakes, retribution, vengeance, and payback. So discipline involves teaching and is our ticket to strengthening relationships with our children, even after mistakes are made and imperfection exist. So working together with our kids to clean up messes and learn big life lessons really can you guys be kind and respectful and some mothered? I love that words mothered in gentleness. So as we kind of head in to talk about these six messages, are you ready if you’re driving the car or you are walking with your AirPods in, or you’re doing dishes and you’re listening to me, I just want you to give a heck.

Yes. If this is you, are you ready to let go of the old mindset that we need to punish and believe faithfully faithfully, that our kids are capable of massive change and behavior improvement with compassionate, loving firm and kind discipline. I hope you are because I really want you to get courageous with trying new discipline tools that will strengthen your relationship with your kids while making you feel proud of yourself and empowered with integrity as a parent. And I think one of the most inspiring ways to kind of motivate yourself to do this, whether you’re, you’re looking to like entirely switch up your discipline game, or maybe you’re like, you feel like you you’ve implemented quite a few things when it comes to discipline, but you’re still doing some punishment here and there.

I hope that these messages will encourage you to just go the whole way. So these are six messages that I recently shared on Instagram and the, the response was really beautiful. It seemed like this really resonated with so many of you who were like, oh my gosh, yes, because here’s the thing, you guys, the words we speak to, or shout at our kids when they mess up, become either their inner critic or their inner cheerleader when they grow up. So I’m encouraging us to be the reason that our kids believe in themselves, not the reason they beat themselves up once they’re adults.

And I can definitely speak to this from a personal standpoint, you guys, you know, we always say that we never ever come down on what our parents did and it’s absolutely okay to reflect and see what messages we got that did not have a positive effect on us once we became adults. And for me, you know, definitely some of the messaging that came through during discipline moments, for example, there was a very common phrase, shame on you that was said, and it was said a lot. And it wasn’t until really the last few years that I had realized that just how deeply this had permeated into my soul and how much work I had ahead of me to heal or to receive God’s healing around the level of shame that I held within myself.

I think shame is such a fascinating topic. I’m so in love with the work of Bernay brown, she has a new H a new, special out on HBO. I think by the way that I haven’t watched yet, but like dying to watch it soon. I think that must, that might be my next binge. I like to watch shows why cook dinner. Now I put one of my AirPods in and put my laptop up way, cooked like nice healthy meals, but she does just so many incredible, she’s done so much incredible research right on shame. And she has proven that there’s nothing about shame that is healthy for us, but really she’s also done a ton of speaking about how shame and perfectionism are highly tied together.

So, you know, what I have learned is that if we grew up in homes where there was criticism or shame, or like, let’s just be clear, a lot of times punishment includes criticism and shame. Then many of us develop a pattern or a habit of becoming perfectionist because shame loves perfectionism because perfectionism quiets shame. So I know you might be like, wait, what? But she says, what emerged for me in the data is that perfectionism is not about striving for excellence or healthy striving.

Right? A lot of us who are perfectionist will say like, well, we just really love to like, have excellent results or we want it to be the best. Like, you know, sometimes I feel like we try to put our perfectionism in a healthy light really. And she was telling Oprah this. She says, it’s actually a way of thinking and feeling that says this. If I look perfect, if I do it perfect. If I work perfect and live perfect, I can avoid or minimize shame, blame and judgment. And who, when I learned about this, I was like, oh my gosh, it makes so much sense.

And that was just one of the ways that I realized that the messages I had been sent during discipline moments. So, you know, again, lots of like, what’s wrong with you? What were you thinking? Well, that was stupid. Like, look like everything’s re the day is like maybe ruined or messed up now. And then there was just a lot of like fear, right? Like I still remember running around. I must’ve been like maybe six, but I have a very vivid memory of like running around the house for my dad with, with, with a paddle in his hand.

And, you know, the messages there were like, you need to be scared of me. Like when there is, when you make a mistake, there are, there is pain and suffering that will happen. You will get hurt, you will pay the price. And then of course combined with like the shame on you, what’s wrong with you? What were you thinking? And just a lot of anger in the house that we grew up in, especially if there was a confrontation or challenge. Right. Which I know is so common, right? Like I love my family so much there too. My parents are two of the greatest human beings on the planet and they did the best that they could with the tools that they had at the time. But I really know that looking at the messages that I got as a child, highly affected me as an adult.

And my inner critic is so dang strong. I am just now after really, I’ve been involved in a significant amount of life coaching, right? Like I discovered positive parenting now almost 11 years ago. And then I discovered the life coaching side of things with your infinite life, who I love so much, the founder of that company, her name is Pam Dunn. She teaches the, our frustrate family freedom to be program with me in the fall. And then my other friend and mentor Susie Walton, who I also met through the life coaching organization of your infinite life. She teaches freedom to be with me in the spring.

And it’s just such an honor to lead that life coaching course that really did change my life all those years ago. But first I found positive parenting. And then I found the life coaching work, but really I’ve been doing this, you know, these concepts and mindset shift work for 10 years now. And I feel like I’m just now becoming more compassionate with myself and really able to hear the voice of these types of messages that I’m going to tell you today, they have become louder than the what’s wrong with you. What were you thinking? Shame on you? Will you really mess that up? Or now, now you’re in trouble, right?

Like now there’s going to, there’s going to be something really bad that happens. Like it’s just taken me a long time to shift that. And this is, it’s been a lot of intentionality, a lot of work, like just a lot of divine healing, especially over the last few years, as God just really went in and started plucking the shame out of my life. So I’m gonna read you this six, my six favorite messages. And then, you know, I want you to think about which one is your favorite. Okay. Which one are you most passionate about? And I, and I hope that you’ll include all of them in your, your discipline. And again, if you need, if you really like need help and ideas on how to design compassionate discipline with these type of messages, come over, do our free discipline workshop.

Make sure you definitely download the free discipline guide. That one will just get you like going with, how do you, how do you even start with logical consequences, right? If you’re trying to hit the four Rs, how do you even start that free guide and learning worksheet is really a great one just to do before you go to bed. One night after your kids have made a mistake. So you have some real life, you know, something to work with, but you can grab that over at freshstartfamilyonline.com/disciplineguide. Okay? So here are the messages that I encourage us to make sure we’re communicating consistently to kids always, but especially during discipline. Number one, everyone makes mistakes kiddo.

Number two, mistakes are just opportunities to learn. Number three, you’re not in trouble. You are safe. Number four, I am here to mentor and teach you. Number five, you are empowered to make a different choice tomorrow. And number six, I’m on your side. And let me just tell you a little bit more about each one, but remember, you know, as you’re thinking to yourself like, oh, which one really resonates with me? Which one am I really just passionate and determined to make sure I communicate to my child?

A lot of times you guys, this is the one that you wish you had as a child, but was not present in your life. And now you get to provide this for your child. Like how beautiful is that? Right? So number one, everyone makes mistakes. So I want you to just to think about this, right? Like say your, your kiddos, like somebody pushes their brother pushes her little brother down and then they start crying, right. Or maybe a child has, you know, thrown a toy. And when he got mad, instead of putting it where it belongs or saying how he feels, or maybe a child has rolled their eyes at you, you just be thinking like, what is the last time that my child made a mistake?

And I moved to either punishment or discipline. And I just want you to be thinking, was this message prevalent? Or was there like a different message being sent? And cause I always think it helps to have real life examples in your head just to help you ponder. Like, what does this really look like for my kids? And remember if you have questions about this, you know, I can’t always do coaching through Instagram DMs, but I love to connect with you guys. I’m really active over on the Instagram platform. I’m at start Wendy, you can come drop me a line and let me know if you loved this, this episode, or if you love this conversation, I’ll make sure that we link this particular post.

So you can actually go in and share with me, which one is your favorite or, or, you know, what questions do you have about how to apply this messaging throughout discipline? But when it comes to everyone makes mistakes. It is so important. You guys, that our kids understand that they are not aliens. Like our kids are normal. Every single human being on the planet makes mistakes. Being human means that you will make a mistake, right? Like for me being a woman of faith, like I know, I believe that it’s just sin is just part of being human. Like yeah, we’re born with sin in us.

Like, yeah. And also the, you know, the temptation to, you know, judge or, or hit, or, you know, act selfishly or whatever, it may be lives, right beside the same, you know, same area of our heart that can choose to love, can choose to be kind and gentle, can choose to be patient and empathetic and, you know, forgiving. Like I believe all of these traits and you know, part of being human live side by side in our hearts, but yeah, we all make mistakes. So making sure your kiddo understands, you know, instead of saying shame on you or what were you thinking?

You can tell your, your child that the mistake they’ve made, doesn’t define them and doesn’t change how much you love them. It’s just a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes. And I always liked to use that word and I’m going to teach you how we repair or we learn from this mistake. Okay? So that’s number one, everyone makes mistakes. Number two, mistakes are opportunities to learn. So it is so important parents that every child on the planet understands that for each mistake that they make, there is always a lesson to learn.

We don’t need to be ashamed of our mistakes, right? Again, Bernay brown has proven this shame does nothing to improve. Future behavior. Shame does nothing to increase the human experience or make, you know, human beings be better kinder, you know, more loving any of it is just, it’s just not truthful. So instead of feeling like we need to be ashamed of our mistakes or feel guilty about what we’ve done, we want to teach our kids instead, let’s look for the silver lining in each mess up.

There’s always a way to ask our children. What did you learn from this mistake? How did this not work out? Like you wanted it to, or what’s a different choice you will choose tomorrow. Right? I think the easiest example I can give here is like, when your kiddos get a note sent home from school, right? How many of you have had a kiddo come home from preschool or kindergarten with, you know, a red mark on their hand or something saying that their card has been down because they had moved down the chart because they had misbehavior or they didn’t go get to go out to recess because they did something. Right. Remember that the school systems often have a system to teach children.

We don’t need to double down on like punishing them when they get home. But instead you can ask them, okay, what did you learn from this mistake? How did Missy Ms. Grizzly handle that? What did you feel when you weren’t able to go out to recess or, you know, how did your heart feel after you interrupted your teacher? And she got really upset. It made you go stand in the hallway or whatever, whatever. However, the teacher chose to handle it. Right? But it’s like, what did you learn from this mistake? How did it not work out? Like you wanted it to? And what different choice will you make tomorrow?

These are just really great questions to start asking your children. Okay, you guys number three. Oh, this is one of my favorites. And I know so many of you on this Instagram post, like really chimed in just saying how much you love this one. You’re not in trouble. You are safe. Now raise your hand if you’re like, but wait a second. They need to be in trouble in order for them to learn. I know, I know this really is deeply implanted into our minds. You guys, that in order to make a child behave better, we must first make them feel worst, worse. And really like the classic reaction to when kids mess up is like, oh goodness, you are in big trouble.

Right? And it’s like, it’s a statement. It’s really more of a knee-jerk reaction families. But it’s designed to freak kids out, like to make them fear. What’s going to happen to them. To jolt them into doing it differently next time. And it just doesn’t work. It is detrimental to kids to feel like mistakes are opportunity or mistakes are associated with danger. It’s it really gets in the way as you get older and you want to take risk by going for a job that you’re scared you won’t get or leave a relationship that you’re like, this is, does not feel in line with my heart.

My heart. I’m not being treated the way that I should be. Right. If, or you’re going to speak up in a situation that, you know, you’re, you’re worried what if this doesn’t go well? Or what if whatever it may be like we need to, as human beings feel safe, being able to take risk and not be scared to death, that there is going to be pain and suffering on the other side, 99% of mistakes, you guys are repairable. Like it, it just, it doesn’t make sense to feel so scared and be of danger on the other side, if we mess up.

So when we use traditional punishment with kids, so spanking, timeouts, groundings, taking away favorite tech or toys, et cetera, kids often start to panic that they’ll be in pain and suffering. That there’ll be pain and suffering involved. So they lie. They hide, they deny they freak out. They do anything to basically not admit that they did something wrong. Instead, you guys let’s lean into teaching our kids. There’s no danger here. There’s only going to be learning and mentorship. That’s about to take place. There’s only learning and mentorship.

That’s about to take place. You are safe with me. I mean, I just can’t even imagine if that was spoken over me every single time I made a mistake and my, my parents still held me responsible to make amends, to repair relationships, to clean up my messes. Oh my gosh. I just can’t imagine what a difference that would have made for me, especially as an adult. Okay. Number four, I am here to mentor and teach you. So most of us got the message of go to your room and then the silent treatment, when we made mistakes growing up, right?

How many of you got the message of like, just wait til, like I tell your dad what you did or, you know, whatever, but let’s do it different you guys for the next generation. I want us to tell our kids that we are never going to give up on them and we will stay as long as it takes to help them learn the life skill they are missing or that they need to strengthen. We have to kind of, I hate to call them formulas because they’re not really formulas. They’re just, they’re kind of like a way to remember steps when parents are needing to like follow through with, from limits or teach.

One of them, we call the Firm and Kind parenting blueprint. It’s actually an entire like little program that you can invest in. It’s our most affordable program here at Fresh Start Family FirmandKindparentingblueprint.com. But inside of that, and then I also teach it at the bonfire too inside of our membership program. But it’s just a four step process where, you know, we teach you how to set strong limits and then follow through with consistency. But also there’s a second little formula. I call it the cookie sandwich. It’s a very technical term. I really need to find a better term for this, but I call it the firm authority cookie sandwich. And this one I like to use when it’s more of like a, you know, it’s like a big deal.

There’s kids hurting each other, or there’s children running in the streets. There’s like, you know, there’s just more of like a, a danger aspect that’s happening, where we really need to have our shoulders back and have a stance of like, from kind of authority, because remember guys positive parenting is not permissive. There’s no permissiveness that happens here. We are using firmness and kindness and very strong boundaries and roles with our kids. But sometimes kids, I believe, really need you to take a very strong stance of authority, but this is kind of authority, not scary, intimidating, you know, overpowering authority.

This is like, my shoulders are back. I’m going to be very, very clear with you that the cookie sandwich looks like this. Number one, here’s the firm boundary. It is, we are not okay with hitting in this house to solve our problems. And then we move into the cookie sandwich part of it, or the, the filling part of it. This all came from, there was a cookie place in the Columbia mall where I grew up in Maryland. And I was like, I was like a super chubby kid. I was so cute in the fourth and fifth grade. Oh my goodness. I was a big girl, but I would go to the mall and I would get this cookie sandwich. And it had all of this, like a big cookie and it had all this icing in the middle and, oh, it was just my favorite.

But I swear. I just, I thought of that when I designed this little formula, but then in between, so the next thing is connection and then mentorship and then restating the really firm limit. So it looks like, you know, Hey, we’re not okay with hitting or using aggression in this home to solve our problems. And I get it kiddo. Like, no, like it looks like you’re really upset. Sometimes it’s really tough to have a sibling. Like I get you. I fought with my brother growing up too. It’s connection. And then you move into the mentorship and I promise you, you are going to learn how to communicate and ask for what you want without using your hands.

And I am dedicated to teaching you and it is not okay to use hands and aggression in this house to solve our problems. So that’s kind of an example of what it looks like, but you can tell that mentorship part of the cookie sandwich is just so important. It’s like you’re setting the firm boundary and then you’re moving into connection. Like kiddo. You’re not, you’re not crazy. It’s like, yes, you’re upset. Like I get you. I’ve been in your shoes before. I understand you. And then it’s like, I’m never going to leave your side. I will never give up on you. I will stay persistent in teaching this firm lesson, or this is important life skill. And then, Hey, and just to remind you, we have a firm limit around this.

So I am here to mentor and teach you is a great one.

Well, Hey there families. I am pausing this episode to invite you to the free online workshop that I’m teaching this month. All about disciplining with compassion connection and from kindness, you can save your seat by heading to freshstartfamilyonline.com/discipline. I will tell you all about the dates and the times that I am offering for you to attend this free one hour class with me. But when you come and hang out for an hour, you will learn three steps to building a strong, compassionate kind and firm disciplined toolkit that works with kids of all ages.

You guys, this was a life-changing for me when I truly and fully understood how I could take a break from the punishment mindset, that kind of misbelief of like where the heck did we get the idea that in order to make our kids behave better, we must make first, make them feel worse, such an odd cultural norm, but so much of traditional punishment is kind of based in that mentality that kids have to pay the price well with compassionate discipline, it looks a lot different. So once you embrace a compassionate discipline mindset and you have creative, effective tools at your fingertips to really teach kids important life skills, it will change everything for you in your parenting walks.

So head on over to freshstartfamilyonline.com/discipline to find out the dates and times, and to save your seat. I cannot wait to serve you and empower you through this one hour free class. I will see you there. Okay?

You guys, number five, you are empowered to make a different choice tomorrow. So guys, every single child responds well to being empowered, especially strong-willed kids. You guys, those of you with power kids. We oftentimes, when families come and find me on or when they just find me on Instagram and they follow me for the first time, I like to engage a little bit and just say, it’s so great to meet you.

Tell me about your family. How old are your kids? And after I hear from back from them, I’ll say you happen to have any strong-willed kids, because you guys know how much I love teaching about power kids, right? Like Stella is one of the, is, is the reason I’m an educator. And she just is an angel in my life. And I believe in angel to the world, but I’d say 98% of the time people say yes, I have a strong-willed kid, at least one, sometimes more than one, but guys, so kids just respond well to empowerment, especially strong mode kids, but you just want to make sure you’re making tons of agreements instead of compliance statements. They’re very, very different.

Again, I teach about the difference in the, from unkind parenting blueprint, but make tons of agreements ahead of time and then follow through with your limits and discipline when necessary like empty threats will Jack you up. Guys, you can’t do it. You got to follow through, but just be sure to tell your child that tomorrow is a brand new day and a great chance to try a different behavior. If they want different results, you may have heard this story. I’ve I tell the story so many times, probably mostly in my bond fair community, but there was a dad going through parenting classes for the first time. And you know, he was trying out all this kind of stuff with this kiddo and the F you know, when he was new to this work and he was giving his kid when a choice one night, the kid didn’t want to get out of the bath.

And how many of you have kids that it’s like so hard to get them in the bath. And then when it’s time to get out of the bath, it’s like ridiculously hard to get them out of the bath, right? It’s such a kid thing it’s like, but wait a second. You didn’t even want to get in the bath. And now you’re like, won’t get out. So he said, you gave him a choice, which is one of our power struggle, dissolving strategies that we teach inside of our power struggle lessons in the foundations course in the bonfire. But he said, okay, well you have a choice. You can stay in the bath for 10 more minutes. And we’re not, we’re only going to have time for one book or you can go ahead and get out in, you know, two or three minutes and we’ll have our normal time for like five or six bucks.

Cause they, he said they normally read a lot in bed and the little boy chose to stay in the bath for 10 minutes and only have time for one quick book. And he was little, I want to say you as little, but the story goes is that, you know, as he’s getting into bed and he’s like, okay, great. He goes to get another book. And his dad’s like, no, buddy. Remember we had an agreement we’re going to follow through. And so he was like, you need to go to bed. We’re not reading any more books. And a little boy starts crying and he’s like, you know, goodnight. And so he’s crying, crying, crying. He calls his dad back and he was like, please come back. And his dad’s like, what’s up buddy? You know? And he’s like, hi, I’m just so sad.

And his dad said before, or taking a positive parenting class, he would have been like, well, yeah, well tough luck buddy. Like you chose your own fate like next time, you know, like you should listen. I told you, I told you, but you didn’t listen. Right? Like how many times have you said that? And instead, because he was so into this work and learning so much, he looked at his little boy and he was like, oh yeah, tell me why. And his little boy said, I’m just so sad about the choice that I made. And he said, I feel like I just told this story in a recent podcast. So sorry, all I, you loyal listeners. You’re like, Wendy, we’ve heard this story, but he he’s.

He said, he looked at the little boy and I was like, it’s okay, buddy. Tomorrow’s a new day. You get to make a different choice tomorrow. But it was just so cool. I just love that story because kids respond so well. You guys, when they realize that life is not about people controlling you or making you do things, which honestly makes human beings explode with bitterness and, and just anger. By the time they get older and become teenagers or young adults. But instead life is about the choices you make. And when you are in a respectful environment and people respect, you bet a lot of times the results of what happens in your life is based on your, your, your choices, right?

So as just a really good message to send, okay, you guys, our last one is I’m on your side. So guys, we don’t need to become the enemy. When our kids make mistakes. When we use compassionate discipline, we communicate that we are on our kids team and are dedicated to teaching them a new way to express their needs, communicate what they want and process emotions in healthy ways. No me versus you. Instead us together through the ups and downs, always when I teach in person, usually if I’m up on a stage, I’ll often bring up something.

When I’m teaching on power struggles, I’ll bring up someone to do this exercise with me where I actually show them, I’ll say, okay, I’m going to, we’re going to show the audience what an actual power struggle looks like. And we kind of do this thing where we like put our hands together and we like push each other. And it’s just a really great way to, to, and then I teach about like what power struggles look like. And the first time I do it, we’re just pushing on each other. We’re pushing on each other. And it’s an exercise called the joy of opposing. Many of you probably see me do this in the foundations course, Terry, and I show you this, but we’re pushing, pushing in. And then the second time, I just like kind of shift to the side real quick and the person almost falls over because they’re pushing so hard.

And I always ask the audience, you know, the first time and the second time, the first time I’ll say, okay, well who’s winning here when we’re both just pushing up against each other. And normally, you know, 90% of the audience is like, the kid is winning or the parents winning, right. Or like often I think they often say the kid is winning because they’re just like messing with you and the things not getting done. And then I, and then I always ask the question again when I do the second time, and there’s a whole thing to it. You got to get yourself in the foundations course if you’re not in that yet. And you’ll see, but really I always tell them. And usually there’s a few smart cookies in the room who are like, no one is winning.

And I’m like, bingo, no one has meaning because parenting is not about winning you guys. It’s just not, there is no winning and losing. It’s just about being a team. And really, it was just about to say until our kids are 18 years old, it’s not even, it’s when, till they’re full blown adults, you guys like we are always going to be on the same team as our kids and it’s not us versus them. And when we teach them from a very young age that we’re on their side, that they’re not in trouble, mistakes are just opportunities to learn.

They’re empowered to make a different choice tomorrow, we’re here to mentor and teach them. They’re not in trouble. There are, they are safe. And that everybody makes mistakes. Discipline really does become something that will unite you with your children and will make your relationship stronger instead of, you know, create being something that creates a divide in your relationship and causes bitterness and resentment and hiding and lying and all these things. So I pray that the last few weeks of episodes that we’ve been focusing on compassionate discipline and this one, all about the messages that we send during discipline. I just pray that you are just feeling so inspired to continue to build up your compassionate discipline, to toolkit, whether you’re new and you’re just learning this stuff welcome.

We’re so happy. You’re here. Make sure you get into the free discipline class. Make sure you download the free discipline guide or if you’re a student of mine and you are like, I was five years ago and just continuing to strengthen your discipline kit and to strengthen your application and really your ability to use these tools day in and day out with confidence. I’m just so happy that you’re here. I’m inspired by you and just keep me updated on how you’re doing. I always love to hear from you over on Instagram again and at fresh start Monday, drop me a DM. It’s really easy to, to sometimes engage with voice memos over there.

It’s sometimes my chosen way of just saying hello and, and having a little conversation with you. I can’t always do it, but sometimes I like to. So thanks for listening you guys, if you haven’t yet, make sure you leave us a review reviews on iTunes, help us get seen in the iTunes world. When we get seen in the iTunes world, we are able to get in front of more and more families from all over the world and bring, you know, more inspiration and encouragement and hope. There are families right now who are hurting and who are stressed out and have marriages that are suffering because of their parenting. That just have not heard this message yet. And if you can take three to five minutes to leave us a review as just a way to say thank you for these three episodes that we design and create for you.

It’s just really, really helps us as an, as an organization. So thank you as this episode comes to an end for heading over to iTunes and just leaving us a quick review. And I love you lots. Thanks for listening. And we’ll see you for the next episode soon.

For links and more information about everything we talked about in today’s episode, head to freshstartfamilyonline.com/125.

For more information, go to freshstartfamilyonline.com. Thanks for listening, families have a great day.

Alright, families, that’s a wrap. I hope you loved it. This discussion today, just as much as we loved recording this episode for you. So remember I think the perfect compliment to go along with this conversation that we had today is our free, Fresh Start Family learning guide to how to design effective logical consequences that work so head on over. If you haven’t already and grab that now at freshstartfamilyonline.com/disciplineguide.

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at [email protected] or connect with me over on Facebook @freshstartfamily & Instagram @freshstartwendy.


Learn more about how Positive Parenting Curriculum can transform your life through these Fresh Start Family programs

Want to see what Positive Parenting looks like #IRL? I love to stay active on both Instagram & Facebook, giving you guys a glimpse into my real family life!

Hey Momma!

So great to meet you! Want to get notified when new Fresh Start Family Show episodes drop? If yes, pop your email in below & I'll send you weekly encouragements! Plus ... I'll send you our most popular FREE learning guide download "How to Raise Strong Willed Kids with Integrity" ... let's be friends!

You have Successfully Subscribed!