Ep. 124 – Embracing Fear & Wonder in Discipline

by | April 20, 2022

Ep. 124 – Embracing Fear & Wonder in Discipline

by | April 20, 2022

The Fresh Start Family Show
The Fresh Start Family Show
Ep. 124 - Embracing Fear & Wonder in Discipline


To continue on this month’s theme of compassionate discipline, you’ll hear a heartfelt, open and honest conversation about embracing the fear and wonder along the journey of compassionate discipline. 

Wendy spends time today walking through her own journey of successes and failures with her children and reminds families what is possible once they remove harsh punishments and replace it with full on compassion & respectful discipline. 

Tune in to learn:
1. How to diverge from the path you have been on

2. The importance of believing in what is possible for you and your family 

3. Ways to finding wonder and awe along your journey to discipline with respect & dignity

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

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Episode Highlights:

  • Making changes & overcoming the “common path”
  • Compassionate discipline vs harsh punishments
  • Allowing God to teach through all moments
  • Believe in what is possible
  • Success stories
  • Finding wonder and awe in your journey
  • Wendy personal stories before & after positive parenting 
  • Compassionate Discipline resources
  • Family stories

Resources Mentioned:

Firm & Kind Parenting Blueprint

Wendy’s favorite Bible: Life Application Bible

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 59 – How to Make Discipline Both Compassionate and Effective

FSF Episode 123 – Discipline without Punishment

FSF Episode 122 – Connection Through 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 dads 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, hello listeners, and 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 we’re going to be talking today about how to have a sense of wonder when we need to discipline as parents. And I’m doing something a little different today. I’ve done it once or twice before, and I decided to do it again today, but I am recording this episode and also doing a little live through Instagram because I just felt like I wanted to be together with the community this morning, where we’re just coming off of Easter.

I feel like my heart is just really open and I’m just wanting that sense of community this morning. So if you are listening to this episode when it drops, you know, on the podcast. Fantastic. Thank you for being a loyal fresh start family podcast listener. We, we love and appreciate every single one of you. And if you’re listening to this or watching this on Instagram, Hey, so good to see you. I think my heart always wants to get the messages that God puts on my heart to share with families all over the world. I want to get it out to as many parents as possible. And I just thought this morning, we could do that in a twofold way. I think there’s a lot of beauty to listening to podcasts.

I just had a student actually ask us about inside of our bond for a membership program. She asked us last week, Hey, is there a way to make videos start and stop? Like, so you actually remember where they left off and you know, the, or the system remembers where you left off. And she says, I find it hard. I’ll be in the middle of a lesson and then I’ll have to stop. And I’ll come back later and have to kind of find my spot and what we were fine. You know, my staff and I were saying was like, oh, you know, we think that’s just kind of the standard in online course platforms. If you happen to be in an online course and you have that technology in your courses, let us know, we’ll look into it. But you know, usually you can’t do that, right. But with podcasts you can. So if you’re listening to a podcast on the go, like the pressure family shell, and you have to stop and pick up your kids or whatever, change a dirty diaper, when you come back to it, it just it’s, it takes you to the same place.

Right? Whereas I think Instagram is so fun. Cause obviously you get to see my face like here, if you’re watching live today or watching the replay, you get to see me right here. I am in all my, after hosting Easter glory, no makeup hair in a bun. I have a nice warm coffee. I love recording podcast episodes in the morning, but this is me. You know, like I just I’m tired today, but my heart is full. We had a wonderful Easter weekend here. Beautiful, good Friday service on Friday and then wonderful service at Terry’s mom’s church Gigi, we call her and then we had a big gathering for Easter. I’ve made a bang in meal.

I must say I made salmon on the grill on planks with like a homemade honey rosemary lemon marinade that is just came out so good. I made homemade vegan potato leek soup. I made vegan date brownies. That was just so good. And yeah, it was so good. We had like, I think 12, 13 people here. So I’m tired this morning, but this message was just jumping out of my heart. And I just knew that I wanted to hop on right away and record it for you. Me and my podcasting team, we have this beautiful Trello board that we create with like all these prerecorded episodes.

You guys know we have so many incredible guests here on the fresh start family show and sometimes Terry records with me, sometimes I record alone and we’ll have this whole plan right for the month, especially if we’re ahead of ourselves, which sometimes we are, sometimes we aren’t. And then other times I’ll just hop in and say, you know what? Like this was God put this message on my heart and I just need to record it. So that’s kind of what’s happening this morning. So this message kind of descended upon my heart yesterday, actually, like I said, when we were at Gigi’s church and her pastor who I love, we usually here in Southern San Diego, California, we go to a church called the rock who has tons and tons of online services, really great online services and worship.

You can watch from all over the world. You can just Google the rock San Diego. But like I said, we were at Gigi’s church, Solana beach Presbyterian here in San Diego, California, and I just love her pastor. So he had this beautiful message about, you know, how when Easter morning came and the women came and find that Jesus had risen, there was this incredible sense of fear and wonder. And you know, it was just a beautiful message about having and maintaining wonder throughout our whole life and especially our faith walk, because there are just so many seasons that are high. And then there’s so many seasons that are low, right?

I know this particular pastor, you know, he lost his younger brother when he was nine years old, nine years old. And his parents went on to get a divorce when he was 12 or 13. And just kind of struggled with so many questions, especially around his faith when he was in high school and college. And then of course went on to become a pastor, but I just loved the message and this idea that he really went into about fear and wonder. And, and so I was just got up my notepad as I was listening to this beautiful service and just scribbled down all these notes today. And I want to talk about how we can have wonder throughout discipline when we are disciplining our children. Because if you are a parent with a human child, you are going to need to discipline a lot.

And my experience is that God, if we allow him and he always has in my life, God steps in and always makes something incredibly wonderful out of hardship when it comes to kids making mistakes and misbehaving, when you involve him in the process and use compassionate discipline. So I’m going to tell you some stories today, and then we’re just going to talk about this concept, but I know that there are just so many families out there who are really hurting when it comes to discipline, pare, stressed out. They don’t know how to influence their children with. I always use the word integrity and they might have a history of knowing how to shame, yell, threaten, use harsh punishment, spank.

And my heart just feels so tender and just yearning to support all families. But especially if you happen to be in one of these seasons, right, where you’re just like, what is happening? Like how do I influence this kid? I just actually got an email this morning. I’ll pull up, someone wrote in. And I could tell that they’re just in one of these seasons, right? Where it’s just like, oh my gosh, life seems so difficult right now. Like these children or this particular podcast listener, or I guess student she’s a student of my firm and kind parenting blueprint. So we have many, many programs here at Fresh Start Family. The Firm Kind Parenting Blueprint is like a very, very kind of, I say entry level.

It’s a very short and sweet program. You can get in, you can get it done in an hour and I’ll teach you a four step step process to setting firm limits and following through with consistency. I like to think it’s a very, in my opinion, a very magical process that if you become fluent in it, it really changes everything in your parenting walk. But she had responded to an email. I sent her just saying, Hey, how’s it going? And in parentheses, I wrote, how’s it really going? And she wrote in and said, we are still really struggling with parenting in general with our strong-willed kiddo. I’ve spoken with you regarding him previously during a challenge week, he’s turning six tomorrow. We can’t seem to find what motivates him toward good behavior. I feel like both of us give him a lot of attention.

We give lots of choices and try to help him feel empowered. It seems to fall short and not sink in. Nothing is working consistently. He has big feelings and has a difficult time transitioning. He is now in the habit of throwing fits, kicking, hitting, and getting angry. Whenever he doesn’t get his way, he’s mean to his sister. He tends to choose the hard path. Our three-year-old daughter has a much different temperament and is honestly easier to parent raise your hand. If you’ve got this where you’re like, oh my gosh, one or two kids are easygoing, but this one is like way more difficult. I don’t understand how he does so well in school academically and behaviorally, but he misbehaves and has major meltdowns at home.

My husband and I are completely exhausted. I feel like we are no longer on the same page. As far as from unkind. He hasn’t read, he, my husband has not read the content. I haven’t finished the videos, but I read the course. That means she purchased, you know, very small little program and then read, I think it’s a 27 page PDF that comes with the program. So she says, I haven’t watched any of the videos. I haven’t, we haven’t really done anything, but I did read the content, right? So she’s, she’s just in the beginning stages of learning. She says, he seems to lean towards harsher methods of shame and blame and punishment. And I feel like I have to clean up the emotional mess after a blow up.

We are on a list for counseling. Most likely it will just be my son and me attending. But that is not till the end of June, any advice to share. So I got this email first thing this morning and I was like, gosh, this, you know, I’ll respond in a little bit and, and definitely let this mama know she can come watch this live or this listen to this podcast, episode two. But this is me, this wasn’t me 10 years ago when I just was like, what in the world is happening? I just think it’s so amazing how God, and this probably is going to be an emotional recording and that’s okay. I always teach you guys, emotions are good.

They’re not right or wrong. They just are. They’re part of the human condition. But when I think back 10 years to really like how scared, and I’m going to say miserable for a season. I was when I was blessed with this very strong-willed little girl, but I didn’t know how, or like what to do to change our situation because it just felt like chaos. And then yeah, we, we had the same dynamic going on, right? We had a second kiddo who just had a completely different temperament who you’re going to hear me tell some stories today that he is blessed in a different way. And he has different challenges, right? Like later on, we realized both of our kids are blessed with incredible traits and they’re polar opposites for the most part, except for the, they both like heavy metal.

And they’re both great athletes, but it’s, it’s just it that season. I just related so much to this listener. And here’s, here’s what I want to say is, you know, w especially when you’re just in the beginning of learning positive parenting and learning how to completely change the toolkit and the mindset that you are using with your children as you’re raising these human little souls, especially strong love kids, but it can just feel so exhausting. It can feel like you’re so alone. It can feel so scary. Like what if things never change? And I will tell you that changing your discipline strategy is one of the most pivotal things you can do to start healing the relationship you have with your child and helping them to behave better it, and to heal yourself.

Because so much of when we get like, used to kind of trying to use these harsh discipline strategies in our home, a lot of it has to do with what we’ve experienced in the past. And really what is just habit in our brains. We talk a lot here at first start family about the neuro pathways that are just paved so clearly in our brains. You know, I like to think of it as I grew up in the woods of Maryland, the sticks of Maryland, where, you know, you can go out the back door and be like lost in the woods in five minutes, like in a good way. If you’re like hiking or walking, when I go home to visit my parents. Now, it’s just one of my favorite things is just to go jog in the woods.

There’s going to be sections of the woods where, you know, there’s a clear path. Like there’s behind my house there is someone over the years, you know, I grew up in the same house. My entire life horses have come through people with horses and they kind of paved these, these paths. And so if you’re walking through the woods, you always know that those paths are going to be easier to follow. So whether it’s people with horses or whether it’s deer that have come through those paths are paved. So they’re easier to take those paths. And that’s a lot of times what happens when we step in and we need to discipline our kids. It’s usually, it’s the neuropathways that are already paved in our brain that we describe as the easiest or feel like they come so naturally to us.

It’s just because a lot of them, a lot of us grew up with them, right? So, you know, we’re talking so much about compassionate discipline this month here on the fresh start, families show over on Instagram, too. And my bond for a membership program, we’re talking about sibling conflict and rivalry, which a lot of times leads to discipline. Right? Cause it drives us insane when our kids fight and hurt each other. But yeah, it’s like compassionate discipline really requires us to have the bravery to pave a new pathway. And many of us were raised with harsh punishments, with spanking, with hurt, with shame, with threats, with really bad blow ups in our home.

And then like barely any repair. Like if we’re being honest, right? I mean, raise your hand. If you grew up where fights would just be insanely crazy, or you would get threatened that you were going to get a spanking. And then the next day, like when everyone woke up, it was like, good morning. Like, would you like syrup on your pancakes? It’s like, wait a second. We just had like a full-blown crazy fight last night. And like, you know, I don’t know. And now we’re just like back to normal life. The point is those neuropathways are really paved. And it doesn’t mean that they’re healthy. It doesn’t mean that they’re going to get us great results as we’re raising human beings without shame that are not going to need endless hours of therapy.

When they’re adults, Hey, look, I think therapy is absolutely just normal. Hey, it’s like everyone in the world should have a therapist. Like everyone should have a great life coach. Everyone should have a parenting mentor. Like these are just great things to have in life. And I think there’s those of us who are raising kids in this generation with this work, especially like, I think of all the students that are in my bond for a support program. My foundation starts, my foundations course, students graduates like their children. I, I just know it, you guys, it is a next generation that is healthier. They’re going to need less therapy. We talk about how as parents, like no one gets away without leaving air quote marks on their kids.

Meaning we all are gonna make mistakes. Like this work is not about perfection and we’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to say things to our kids. Right. We’re going to have moments where we do something, especially with discipline, like my story, right. I’m going to tell you in a little bit about the, you know, one of the two times I spanked Stella, I laid hands on her. I left marks on her. Right. And I didn’t just leave marks on her that day in her body. I left marks on her mind. Right. And I’ve done a crap ton of work to learn, to really receive the grace from God and forgiveness around that and not carry shame about it. So I can talk about it now and I can share with you guys, right.

And again, in a little bit, I’m going to share some, some really beautiful stories that have reassured me that if we can stay in a sense of wonder with God, like, what is God going to do through this? How is he going to strengthen our family? How is he going to strengthen our own hearts? How is he going to teach us something? How is he gonna help somebody else? Like, who knows? Right. And I think that’s, what’s so cool. When you think about, you know, like the scripture fearfully and wonderfully made. I think there was so many long time where I was just like, what does that even mean? And fear until I really started to understand how it’s used in scripture a lot, I really was just like, oh gosh, you know, here’s that fear word that somebody in the Christian space is gonna, you know, tie somehow to making sure that your children fear you.

They fear God, they fear discipline. They fear the consequences, which oftentimes again, in Christian circles is spanking. And I was just like, oh my gosh, what? Like, I don’t want to hear you cite the scripture anymore. Right. But then as I did, more and more, you know, Bible studies or, or deep mentorships with my dear friend, my dear mentors at church, or just really spent time learning and beating over and over again, L our newest book, Jesus, the dental parent, I was just, you know, reminded and learned that fear is really different in the American language than it is in the Hebrew language.

So fear in the English language often is, you know, associated with an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat feeling afraid, showing fear or anxiety causing or likely to cause people to be afraid horrifying, right? Again, this is in LR book. Jesus, the gentle parents. If you happen to be a family who loves Jesus, this is like, you have to have this book. You have to read it. It’s like, you just have to, it’s like having a Bible. You have to have this book. If you are a human parent and then she breaks down. So this is the lexicon in the back of the book, the Hebrew Greek lexicon.

It’s I just, I referenced this a gazillion times, especially when I teach in the church, but in the Hebrew definition or translation that the word is YIRAH. YIRAH and fear means to see or be seen with intense clarity and intentionality have a heightened awareness of wonder, amazement, mystery, astonishment, overflowing emotion. And I’m just like, oh my gosh. That’s like so different than the way, you know, like it’s been translated for centuries and centuries, right.

That fear is like this, oh, you better fear God. Right. And it’s like, it’s, it’s a sense of wonder. It’s a sense of astonishment that I think is just beautiful when you can just stand in reverence and, and all of what God is doing in your life, you know, this is the same concept of like, kind of, it’s like, you know, you don’t really know what type of teabag it is until it gets dipped in boiling water. Right? Like it’s really easy to be kind and compassionate with someone who’s like, yes. Ma’am yes, sir. Like, yes, I’m the neighbor who is easy and always is, you know, like I’m telling you, we got some drama going on in our block right now.

We’ve been in our same house for 16 years. You guys we’ve had multiple seasons of like major drama with neighbors. And I always just think to myself, oh God, what are you going to do through this bike lights? What do you got cooking? Like, let’s do this. Let’s serve. Let’s love up on our neighbor, which by the way you guys, your children are your closest neighbor. They just live in the upstairs bedroom, not the house next to you. But yeah, there’s just right now, some drama there’s, you know, some people have developed mental illness. It’s heartbreaking. I think COVID is just really broken a lot of people. And it’s just now starting to come out mental illness more and more so. Yeah. So it’s the sense, sense of wonder and awe of like, okay, what is God up to here?

Like, how am I going to trust him that I have the capability to teach when it comes to disciplining my kid after they’ve made a mistake after they’ve had a misbehavior with compassion with grace, with, from kindness, with connection, right? Like what are you going to teach here? God, what are you going to show me? How are you going to humble my heart?

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 implementing 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 is 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.

Right. And so I think just those of you who might be newer to the idea of compassionate discipline versus punishment, or those of you who have been students of mine for a long time, and maybe you’re in the bonfire and you come to weekly coaching every week and you still catch yourself, flipping your lid sometimes and still like swatting, your kid’s butt or whatever it may be like, you still think like there’s a little section of your brain.

That’s like, well, I know I fully believe. And at the same time, I still think just maybe it’s okay to like bring in some fear and force every once in a while, right? Like you’re normal, you’re human. You are welcome here. Everyone is welcome at the fresh start family. And you’re, you’re on the perfect journey, right? You just have to stay in a place where you were asking questions and believing what is possible. So I love to be someone who just has gone before you and is sharing the stories, right? Like, yes, I’m a certified parenting educator. I’m a certified life coach with hundreds and hundreds of hours, right in the certification process, hundreds and hundreds, probably thousands of hours.

Now at this point, after doing this for a decade of helping and coaching families get to higher ground, right? We have a success story document for our bonfire support program. By the way, you can always join the wait list for the next time we open for that freshstartfamilyonline.com/join-bonfire. It’ll put you on a three to a wait list, but we have a Google doc. Now you guys have 800 pages long of success stories. So many of them are families switching up their discipline and getting magical results. But it’s really important for you to also remember, I’m just a mom, just like you. I’m a mom who is struggling, you know, on some days more than others nowadays.

Thank God. The parenting is just more fluent, right? Like I feel very, very, very fluent in this ability to understand how to apply these concepts into my daily life. But, you know, I have days where my mindset is crap and you know, I’m just, I’m just a mom, just like you are a parent. If you’re a dad listening to this, I’m recording a podcast right now in my converted garage. Right? It’s like, there’s still stuff that my kids left out that I probably asked him to put away to you two days ago. Right? Like I’m just a normal mom, just like you and we are together in this. But I hope that my stories that I tell that I believe are completely just beautiful.

Especially when it comes to discipline. I pray that they inspire you to know what is possible, that you don’t have to keep doing it the way that feels against your moral compass. That feels against your soul. That makes you just hate parenting when you go to bed at night and it makes you say to yourself, well, I wish I didn’t have to be the mean mom, but she gives me no other choice her. I don’t want to yell, but nothing else works. Like, no, there’s a different way. And I’m going to tell you some stories just to give you examples of what that looks like. But I want you to remember that our job is not to understand, like in the beginning is not to understand the how to, like, I know a lot of people are like, well, Wendy, if I, if I give up spanking or if I stop threatening, like, what am I, what else is there?

Right. And I’m like, okay, you just have to trust that there is a way, and it is freaking glorious. It’s glorious. And then you have to step in and get support, get help, get actually get yourself into a class where you learn what the tools are that replaced the traditional punishment. But you have to first and foremost, believe that it’s possible. And then trust God to show you how I really believe. Like I hear students tell me all the time that I get put in front of them, right? Whether it’s an ad on Facebook or someone shared a podcast or whatever, it may be like right at a pivotal time when they were breaking, like I have a mama right now in my become a parenting coach certification program.

By the way, if you’re interested in that DM or email me, we have high level certification and mentorship program with me every year. If you want to become a coach certified in the fresh start family approach. But one of my students in that this most amazing mom, you know, I’ll never forget the day she, it was about two years ago, but she messaged me and she’s like, this is crazy. She was like, I was literally on my floor just crying, sobbing, because I had just snapped on my little girl and popped her, like in a way that actually like, you know, her, her nose, like there was blood, there was blood. And she’s like, I am so ashamed.

And I can’t believe that that’s what I’m resorting to, to try to teach this little girl to stop misbehaving. She’s like, but I just felt like I was at my wit’s end and I can not believe like, and then this ad, or she didn’t, I didn’t even think she knew it was an ad at the time, but she said, and then your message, your video like popped up as I was sobbing in the bathroom, just feeling like the worst human on earth. And here you are like, I need to know more about what you teach. And I feel like this was a God given answer. And I was like, you’re right. It is a yes, I pay for ads. I spent a lot of money. It’s still find you guys to say to you, you’re not alone. I’m here to help.

And I do believe like this amazing mama says that God is in Facebook ads, but just trust, trust that it’s possible to get to a place where you no longer have to shame, threaten or hurt your children in order for them to learn how to behave better, how to learn very important life lessons. And I promise you the how to will come. Okay. So I want you to just to keep asking yourself what has got up to here, how is he going to strengthen me? How is he going to humble me? And it’s really important to always have the vision, right? So as you’re hearing my stories today, I want you to there’s.

I think we have a tendency to worry about what if it doesn’t work? You know, I grew up with a dad who worried a ton, like worry and created. I mean, he had a childhood that was really intense. Like there was so much that my dad had to go through poverty, like a severely mentally ill, I guess, a younger brother, you know, just, just a lot that he went through. And so he developed a pattern of worrying. Right. And I think as a culture, we have that anyways, like it’s much easier to think about what if something doesn’t go, well, what if something doesn’t go right?

And so I feel like I kind of inherited that maybe from my dad, but also just from culture, right? Like, and now I, I, that I’ve learned that that doesn’t work to get what you want to teach my students to really spend the time visioning what you want. Same thing when we’re teaching our kids or disciplining our kids instead of spending so much time focusing on what you don’t want, which traditional punishment does spend time on what you want. Like vision it, imagine it like, imagine if you’re in a place right now where discipline feels like crap and you’re sick of spanking, spanking your kids. But you have been told it’s biblical, by the way, the last two episodes of the Fresh Start Family Show, you have to listen to if that’s your background, but episode 122 with connected families, 123 with Tanya Camps, so much good conversation around discipline and spanking and all that good stuff.

It’s just, it’s, it’s so good to remember that visioning is important. Focus on what you want. Like how would it feel in whatever six months, a year, two years, and then even imagine yourself 10 years out like me. So now I have a 14 year old and an 11 year old who are thriving in life. Who, every time we have a challenge, we solve it with dignity and respect together. And at the end of the discipline or the conversation or the activity, whatever it may be, we feel closer as a family, we are more United, right? Like, imagine those of you like the mama who wrote in this morning, who has the toddler or the young child who is like getting in trouble all the time.

I’m with you, power struggling, throwing fits, hitting, biting, shaking the baby, pulling the dog’s tail, refusing to put on their shoes or sit still at the dinner table. Just imagine 10 years out when this little human being is thriving in life, when they are like Stella, and they’re a thriving high level athlete. When they’re a thriving high level, musicians, tell us a drummer, she’s a volleyball player. They are thriving getting straight A’s in school. Strong-willed kids when they are supported, are incredibly tenacious. Oftentimes with their grades. They’re often off, off often brilliant thriving in friendship groups in a time when there is so much chaos and like cattiness amongst teenage girls, she’s just thriving in life, right?

She has a healthy body image. She has a healthy mindset about herself. She understands her strong male personality and knows. She knows how to use it for good. She also knows how to forgive herself and give herself grace or receive grace from God when she has moments that she’s really unkind to her brother, or just a pain in the, you know, like a pain or whatever. Like she has the ability to learn from her mistakes without shame. Like this is all going to happen for you too. You just have to picture it. You have to imagine it. And I’m telling you, it feels like a million bucks. It feels so good. And to know that you supported your child to get there, not because you broke their will or because you made sure they know who’s boss and didn’t get, let him get away or didn’t let them win.

But because you just stood by them and did the time and showed up and expanded your heart and learn new tools and strengthen your family. So it’s just really important that you focus on your vision. Okay. Okay, guys. So what do you say? I give you some examples here. Okay. So I’m going to give you some examples here. Where, when I look back, I just have the biggest sense of just all and astonishment about what was, what God was doing in our life. During the season, during this challenge and how much he taught me, how much he taught my children.

You’ve you’ve heard me talk about this book possibly before, but I’ll mention it again. There’s a book called the little soul in the sun, and I just love it to solidify this concept of God’s always working, especially through challenges. And you never know who is going to give you the opportunity to practice developing traits like compassion, forgiveness, self-control unconditional love, kindness, gentleness, right? Like we need people in our life to help us develop those traits. Like you are not a patient and forgiving person. If you have people in your life that are always like, who are never messing up.

So of course our children give us this opportunity 50 times a day, right. Especially if they’re strong-willed, especially if they’re in a power surge, TJ season of life, which is between the ages of two and six and usually like 11 to 18, they’re going to give you opportunities to practice. Okay. So how do we just stay in the sense of like, okay, wonder all I am safe. My children are safe. I have an opportunity to teach here. And guys, there’s lots of different tools. You have. There’s lots of different methods, right? I’m going to touch base on redos and makeups and role-plays am I am statements like, you’ll hear me talk about some of these tools today, but if you want to learn more, I have my free workshop about compassionate discipline that you should join me for it because it’s just an hour and I’ll teach you deeper concepts, right?

Different, like a deeper understanding of what logical consequences look like today. I’m going to give you some examples, but that free workshop you can join me at freshstartfamilyonline.com/discipline. Okay. Also, we have a free guide. You can always grab, if you want to actually like work through how to create logical consequences that are related, teach responsibility are respectful and reasonable in order to be compassionate discipline. It has to hit those four RS. And I have a free guide that I’ll kind of walk you through step-by-step and give you a worksheet that you can like fill out when you’re going to bed one night, just to kind of help you prepare to teach with integrity.

The next day, we always are going to encourage you to like, especially if your kid is tired at all, get everyone a good night’s rest. Get your kid, the nap, let everyone’s brain come back to like a neutral state. You cannot learn. You cannot teach when you are like, when your amygdala is lit up, do a planning guide, like put on your creative thinking brain and then come through with the logical consequence. That’s like the best way to do it. So that free guide you can download freshstartfamilyonline.com/disciplineguide. Okay. All right. So here’s some personal stories of discipline that have just been really a big deal in my life.

Okay. So I told this story on a podcast interview the other day, and I was like, man, this is a great example for you guys to understand. So when Stella was about 10 and a half, she was, and I’m going to give you some toddler examples. I’m going to give you some older teen examples. But when Stella was about 10 and a half, she was part of a band. And she started to have a pizza with her friends before band practice, every like Thursday night or whatever. And so it was like right across the street from band. And it was like an intersection at the entrance to a shopping center that I deemed as dangerous. Like I was like, I don’t want you and your friends walking over to band after you have your slice of pizza.

I want you to go up to the stop sign and cross the street and being a T you know, a tween, especially with some older kids, she, there was definitely temptation to cut corners and just go with the flow, right? Like be like everyone else, like raise your hand. If you can remember being a tween or a teenager and standing out like being different was the worst thing ever. Like for me, I just wanted guess jeans, just like my friends. I wanted like a normal car. I didn’t want my, my dad drove. My grandmother’s like old, yellow, 66 Chevy Nova. And I was like, mortified. I just wanted to have a normal car, like other people, or just wanted to wear jeans, like other people.

So obviously, you know, it’s just a stage where you’re, you’re learning about how to stand on your own two feet, how to say no when everyone else says yes. So, so I dropped her off one night and we had this agreement and then I pulled to the side. So she couldn’t see me. And I just whatever checked email or something and, and waited because they would only eat pizza for like 20 minutes. And then I watched, as she came out with her friends and I could tell she thought about it for a second, but then she crossed right at the dangerous part with her friends. And you guys know there are a million things I could have done in that moment to like really embarrass her, to shame her.

Like how many of you have seen things on social media, where they literally like make signs and then make their teenager hold them on the corner of like, I chose to disobey my dad or, you know, I could have yanked her and after practice and yelled at her and shamed her and made her come home and write a million times, like I will not disobey my mom. I will not, I could have grounded her. I could have kept her back from pizza and said that she’s not allowed to go to pizza. I could have taken away her iPad or whatever. Like, there’s a lot of traditional punishment I could have done. I mean, there are people who are still spanking their kids at 10 and a half. I could have threatened a spanker. I could have spanked her. Like, this is all examples of traditional punishment, but by this point, thank God.

I was very fluent in the process. You’ll hear me tell some stories where I was not fluent in the process. Remember, discipline is a fluency practice. You guys it’s, it’s just a fluency. Like there are so many students in the beginning and they’re, you know, they learn like we have multiple classes in our bonfire support program and our foundations course, but especially our bond fair support program that teaches in depth, like how to, and examples about compassionate discipline, especially logical consequences. But in the beginning, a lot of times students are like, oh, I just feel like I get frozen. Like, I don’t know what to do. I have trouble following through.

Or like, and I’m just always like, don’t worry, you’re going to get, you’re going to get fluent. You just have to keep practicing. Just like, if I were to move to Mexico and, you know, two months from now, like I would still be like, ah, I don’t know what to say. Like at the grocery store sometimes or whatever, but a year from now, like if I kept, if I was entrenched in the culture and like lived in Mexico where no one spoke English, I would become fluent at speaking Spanish. And it would just become second nature. The neuropathway would be paved and it would become like habit to speak it. Right. And that’s what happens with discipline.

But thank God I was fluent. So I went home and I was angry, of course. And I was like, oh, Terry, you know, we talked about it. And so then I decided when I picked her up that we would have a discussion and I would most likely have her do a redo and just teach her more about her body and her safety. And like, you know, I always tell my kids a story of, and I’ve heard this story many times, but I don’t hold back on telling it again and again, but there was a little girl who, who was hit by a car on the street that I was growing up on, that my parents still live on to this day. She got off the school bus and she was crossing the street and she got hit by a car.

And you know, she was never the same, the rest of her life. She was mentally and physically disabled for the rest of her life. Her dad still lives on our street. Still a doctor still has a home office. He’s gotta be like 80 years old now, but he still has his home doctor’s office, but it was heartbreaking. Right. I tell my kids that story all the time. I tell my children, I have a friend who held a neighbor’s little boy as he passed away. Basically he ended up fully passing away at the hospital, but she held him in his arms after he had been hit on his bike. This is here in Temecula, California, about five, four years ago.

Cause his mom was too hysterical. Like she couldn’t hold her little boy while he passed away because she was so hysterical that he had gotten hit by a bike. But these are real life situations. And they’re not to scare our children. They’re to let them know that cars are dangerous, right? Like there’s a reason why we have for rules and our entire life would be like, oh my gosh, right? Like this is a time to pour into your children and say that you are so important to me and you learning how to keep your body safe is so important to me. And I will never lighten up about these roles, right? Like I will always be here to keep you safe and to teach you how to take care of yourself. Cause I’m not going to always be with you.

So we had this beautiful conversation and it then pivoted into like beautiful, like vulnerable conversation and tears around how, you know, at the time she was like, it’s just so hard to be different mom, because at this time still we have, we have been on the no iPhones out in the world thing for a while. We’re one of the very few that has the same role. As, as, as an eighth grader. Stella is like literally no one, no one she knows is not allowed to have a phone tethered to themselves. Twenty four seven out in the world. Stella does not, right. Like we’re, full-blown we just advocate for, to do it, to do it differently.

Both my kids have Troomi phones. And when she graduates from eighth grade, she can make her own decisions and she can start working if she wants to have an iPhone out in the world. But I feel really good about how it’s helped keep her safe and helped her brain develop in a really healthy way to keep that out of her hands. But she just, we had this beautiful tear filled conversation around how it’s hard to be different mom. And sometimes you and dad have such firm roles and harsh rules, not harsh, like really intense roles and my friends don’t and I got to just hold space for her and listen and help her understand that that must be really hard. And I promise her one day, she’s gonna, she’s gonna understand, right?

Like it’ll, it’ll be easier to understand when she’s a little bit older. And so long story short, we decided we were going to do this. So I went and the next week, when it was time for her to get pizza, I was like, okay, I trust you. You’re good. See you later, high-fived her, you got this. We agreed that she was going to do a redo where she would go have pizza and then cross the street where she was or go to the stop sign across the street, speak up. If her friends were like, no, no, let’s cross here. So same thing. I pulled to the side where she couldn’t see me and I just watched and, and she did it. She did the retail. She put a new imprint on her brain. And I watched as our kids, our friends walked out and she said to them, very vocally, Hey guys, let’s walk up to the corner.

My mom is worried. You know, even if she doesn’t say anything, I don’t know what she said, but she walked to the stop sign, which is like two steps away and cross the street. And it was that simple. And later when she came home, I said, thank you so much. And then I forget if it was that night or the night after I was teaching, I was presenting at church. I was doing a big presentation or whatever for this church that night I came home and she was asleep and she had left a note on my nightstand and I still have the note. I’m sure it’s in here. I’m pretty sure it’s in here. This is my file of like compassionate discipline that I’ve used with my kids or students for the past 10 years.

I mean, it is huge. You guys, and it’s in here somewhere. I know it. I have this note saved electronically too, but she basically said like, mom, thank you so much for caring so much about me. And then she went on to say, thank you so much for teaching me how to like take care of myself. I forget everything that she said, but she went on to say like, I want to be just like you, when I grow up. And then she was like drawn this little picture. And she just said, I love you. I love you so much. And I was just like, whoa, holy smokes.

Can you imagine you buys, if I would have done that differently and punished her, right? Like it just would have been such a different experience. So fast forward, maybe a month or two? No, no, no. I’m sorry. Not a month or two years. So she’s 14 and a half years old now here in Southern California, e-bikes are like, I mean, to be a kid now with an e-bike is just, I, I it’s the most fun thing ever. Like I, she saved up for years to get this e-bike and she, she wanted to get the nicest e-bike she could, she literally saved like two or three years about this e-bike with her money and you know, us, like, we are so strict about the rules and the helmet and everything.

And the training I’m telling you kids roll around here without the helmets buckled. They got kids on the back without helmets. They’re on their freaking iPhone, like literally on like four lane roads. I’m like parents, where are you? This is not okay. But anyways, Terry was coming home from taking her into school one day in the morning. And he was out like somewhere where Stella could not see him. And he’s positive. She could not see him, but she, and like six other kids all rolled up on their e-bikes and they had a choice to make. And there was like, Stella knows, you have to push the button and wait for the walking guy. And, and Terry said he watched her and she had just missed the, what we call the walk-in guy.

And, and these other kids were just like, whatever. They just blew through, even though the walking guy was not there. So basically that means like, it is, there is people taking turns are more likely to hit you. Like this is a one, two, I think it’s, it’s either a, I think it’s a six lane road, El Camino real in San Diego in Encinitas. It’s a six lane road where literally people do 60. And Terry said he watched her as she pushed it. And she just was like, kind of a little disappointed, but she just waited the full, like five minutes to the entire light did it cycle. And then as he was like pulling away, she, she went through on her bike without it. Right. And I just thought, dang, like if that’s not an example of how compassionate discipline worked to teach a child, not to feel like bad about themselves, if they made a mistake, but to actually teach them the importance of taking care of themselves and to have self control and mom and dad, aren’t looking then I don’t know what else is.

So I love that story. Here’s another one about Stella. I know this podcast is going to be a little bit long, but that’s okay. All I think I just am so passionate about compassionate discipline. So, okay. Another, another example for Stella is back when Stella was three years old, we used to go to a gymnastics center, where did she did classes? And this was like before we had like internet out in the world and I was working in corporate America. I worked in the action sports industry and I was an executive assistant at the time for the president of this company. And he was a perfectionist. I was a perfectionist, like, but on Fridays I was allowed to work from home. Again. This was like before the whole world changed.

And I just was always like so proud that I like negotiated this, but I would take Stella to gymnastics. And then I would work on my computer while she was, she was doing gymnastics. And then, you know, I’d like to squeeze it in. So then I could still make a call when I got home. If I had to be on a call with the directors or something, and this one day she did not want to get in the car. And I was like, come on Stella, like, come on. And this was like right before, let’s see, this was before Terrin was born. I think so. Yeah, this was right before I popped found positive parenting. And I just remember I would get so mad at her. And I think looking back, I was really scared. I was scared I was going to get in trouble. If I didn’t make the call on time, I was scared. My boss was going to realize that I was like juggling working from home and taking my daughter to gymnastics.

I was just scared. Right. And I, and she wouldn’t get in the car and I got really upset at her. And I decided to spank her in this parking lot to really make sure that she knew who was boss and to get in the dang seat and that she couldn’t do this. She was not okay. And I just remember her freaking out and her just screaming the entire way home. I remember my nervous system just being so lit up the scarcity thoughts that were fueling through my brain of like, why is my daughter so difficult? Why does parenting sucks so bad? All these things. And we got home and whatever. I probably had to like briber with fruit snacks or put on a show because when you’re practicing, when you’re using fear and force is one of your main tools.

I always always I’d tell you, 99.9% of the time a family who was using those are off also using bribery and rewards. It goes hand in app. Like, trust me, I know it. I know it well. And see it in people, students who come to my work, I see it in my own journey. But at that time, like fruit snacks, like we would get her like any, we would, if you had fruit snacks, these little Welch’s fruit snacks that were like, you know, marketed as healthy and you could get Stella to do anything you want. Right. If you put on a show, you could get her to do anything you want. So I’m sure I did that, whatever. So we, we got through that and thank God.

It was like probably six, eight months later that I found a positive parenting class and started learning a new way. But a few years later we were at the same gymnastics center. And again, this is like an example of like wonder and awe. Like, what is God doing here with my own personal journey to learn a different way? Like, God, what are you up to? Like, this is bigger than me and my girl. Like, yeah, that was a traumatic event for us. But like he is up to something as long as I keep like,

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 discipline 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!

So we’re at the same center and I was on a, we were at a play date with a friend from church who I had taught in a church class. So she had come to one of my classes at church at the rock, San Marcos, and she had a little boy named Terrin. And by this point I had a little boy named Terrin, but her little boy Terrin was like my little girl Stella. So he was the strong willed one that was like giving her a run for her money. She was freaking out like husband was not on board. Husband was using fear and force and spanking and all the things. And she was just like, Wendy, please help me. So she was like, can I just ask you a few questions? I’m like, sure. So we got together through this play date and I had just been like, you know, supporting her in counseling and encourager.

We had lunch outside on these little picnic tables and she goes, okay, well, I guess we need to go. She’s like, watch, I’ll show you I’ll show you. What’s going to happen. You’ll get to see how difficult he is and how it’s literally like impossible to get him to listen. If you don’t yell or threaten him or whatever, something like that. And I was like, oh, let’s do it. And by this time I was much more fluent. And so I said, okay, well, let’s use some of the things I’ve taught you as far as power struggle, dissolving. A lot of times guys, power struggled, like power struggles is what turns into revenge was behavior and discipline. Like, I’m sorry, punishment. Because punishment guys I teach you in the foundations course is basically a Virgin of revenge.

Trust me, I teach you why course, but, but that’s usually how it rolls. So it starts out with the power struggle of like get in the car. And they’re like, and you’re like, yes. And they’re like, no, you know, or they just don’t do it or they run away or whatever it may be. And I’m like, okay, let’s let’s practice some of the stuff you did in class girl. She’s like, okay. I’m like, all right, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll show you. And so I said, okay, Terrin, I think it’s time. We’re all going to go. And so I started to just roll out the tools. I was like, okay, I need help. I’ve heard that your car is really cool, but I don’t know. Do you want mom to be like the captain of the ship or you going to be the captain of the ship this time? And he was like, I’m going to be a captain.

He was three years old. There were no, he was probably two and a half. He was really little, he was so cute. And, and he’s like, I’m going to be a captain. I’m like, oh, okay, well, will you sh can I see your cap? Like your ship? Like, what is the name of your ship? And he was like, oh, whatever, I forgot what he said. And I’m like, okay, well, do you want to get in like fast, like a race horse? Or do you want to get in fast? Like a cheetah? Like which one? He’s like Gina, Gina. I’m like, okay. I’m like, do you want me to time you? Or do you just want to like, count to yourself to see how many seconds it takes you to get in your car seat? And he was like, oh, was your tie me? And so I got out my phone probably or something.

And I was like, okay, you got this. Like you are the president of the ship. And you are also in charge of letting us know when we can get in because, or we can go because mama can’t drive until everyone’s buckled up. So you’re in charge. You’re the president or you’re the captain and you got this. And I’ll just never forget, like watching his little, like chubby hands. He had these like durable little chubby hands and he was working so hard to get the like five point harness to buckle. And he was just so happy and excited to listen and cooperate. And those were, you know, I just used a few tools from what we teach in our power struggle lessons, or, you know, power of struggle, dissolving lessons.

And I think it was probably, you know, within a matter of two minutes, he was happily in his car seat and he was high fiving me. And we were just like, okay, it’s so good to see you, buddy. Let’s do this again next time. And, and I looked over and his mom was just like, jaw open, just like, oh my God, he never does that for me. And I was like, I know, girl, I just give her a hug. And I’m like, you’re just learning how to use the tools. Like, trust me, you have options, right? Like the threatening, the tones, like all that stuff, we sure think it’s gonna work, but it doesn’t. And so she drove away and I know it was like later something hit me and I realized like, holy crap, this is same exact parking space.

That three years before that I had chosen to hit my daughter and tell her that something was wrong with her because she was so divided defiant and disobedient, like the same exact spot. You guys with a little boy that has the same name as my little boy. And I got to teach another mom how to do it differently that she didn’t have to hurt her kid in order to get him in the car seat. Like, it was just a very profound moment for me as an educator and as a teacher. And it just felt like such a blessing and an honor to be able to change the narrative of the world based on a personal experience.

Right. And so I just know God was involved all up in that. Like, I just think there’s no mistake that it was the same exact parking spot. And I just feel thankful that I have the ability to repair and make amends with my daughter. Right? Like I’ve had so many great conversations with her about, you know, making mistakes or just a part of life. And a lot of times our oldest, you guys, they are the ones who we make the most mistakes with. Right? Like all of us should spend a little time tonight, like kissing the heads of our oldest one, giving them some extra attention and love because they take a lot like the brunt of a lot of our mistakes.

Right. Because, you know, by the time the second, third, fourth comes along, you just, you learned, you learn that you don’t want to do it that way again. Okay. So that’s an example of that was more just like dissolving power struggles, but it still was like tied to discipline. Okay. Here’s another one I’m going to give just a few more and then I’m going to wrap up this, this episode. Okay. So another one that I love is again, because our bonfires private support community is studying sibling conflict and rivalry this month at the end of that lesson, inside of our bonfire video library.

So the bonfire is basically like a Netflix for positive parenting. So our foundations course is set up to like teach you the foundational concepts, positive psychology, positive parenting. Like it’s very foundational. Every family in the world right. Needs to have this course. And then the bonfire I’ve spent the last four years building out an extensive amount of lessons, all on particular things. So like sibling conflict this month, we have compassionate discipline. We have setting firm limits. We have power struggles. We have revenge behavior. We have attention misbehavior. We have inadequacy misbehavior. We like the list goes on and on, but this month we’re setting that.

So this is one of my favorite lessons, because at the end, I decided to film one day, the kids were still pretty little at this time. I feel like Terrin was four and Stella was probably seven. So this was back when they were like, okay with me filming now, they would never they’re like mom. It was okay when we were young, but do not take pictures of us, do not film us anymore. And I’m like, no problem. I fully respect that. But they got into an argument. So my two kids quite fight quite a bit. Like they are, they are strong in their personalities, like in their voices. And I like that, but it’s definitely one of my Achilles, my Achilles heel as a parent, like it’s for the most part, what triggers me the most, I should say, I get the most triggered by sibling conflict.

But anyways, this day they were bickering and Stella pushed him as we were going out the front door, we were on the way to, on our way to the park and she pushed him and he fell into the rose bushes and bloodied his finger. Now I know I’m extra triggered by this because I grew up with an older brother who was incredibly unkind to me for years. Like he was just jerk older brother who just like pushed me, like, you know, I laugh about it, but I have a bully victim lesson in my bonfire video library. And I talk a lot about the relationship with my brother, but it’s tough. Like it was, it was tough to have an older brother who was such a jerk to you, but I know that hurt. And that kind of trauma back from those days gets triggered.

Every time Stella makes a mistake with her little brother, right. Because I was the little sister. So I know so much of it is about me, but so his finger gets bloodied and I’m like, okay, you guys, well, that’s it like, we’re not going to the park. We’re going to come inside. And we going to do some activities. So you guys can learn healthy conflict resolution. I am not okay with you pushing and hurting one another. So he came inside and I filmed and we spent probably 45 minutes doing win-wins. We did, I am statements. We did a reader, a redo after all of this, we actually like, they spent time writing out and like doing charts.

Like when I feel mad, I can blank. That’s one of my favorite tools for compassionate discipline. But we probably did about four different activities in that 45 minutes. And I just remember Stella and Terrin, just kind of being like, oh, I don’t want to do this. And Stella saying, you know, Terrin just, let’s just get it done with, cause you know, mom, she’s not going to let us go anywhere until we get this time. And I was like, you’re right. We’re not going anywhere until we have a new imprint on our brains. And so after we got finished, I was like, okay, the last thing is we will do a redo walking out the front door and you’re still Stella going to be tempted to push your little brother because you’re a normal human older sister who gets annoyed with her little brother and little brother.

You’re going to be tempted to mess with your older sister because you’re a normal little brother who can be a bugger sometimes. So you’re still going to do that. But this time you’re going to practice like Stella, you’re going to practice the self control of not hitting and Terrin. And you’re going to practice a set like redoing or making amends and saying like, Hey, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that sister, something like that. But it was beautiful. We redid it. They got down the front stairs without hurting and hitting and pushing one another. I gave him a hug and then we went off to the park. All right. And then we only stayed probably 20 minutes. It’s right at the bottom of our stairs. Whereas before we probably could have stayed an hour. So it was like, they felt the discipline.

They felt like, Hey, we could have had an hour, but because of the choice we made, we only had 20 minutes. Right? Like there was a lot of components of that that were really, really impactful. And then last one you guys is, this was a really intense one that happened when Terrin was little. I talk about this. I want to say like in this silver linings lesson, inside the bond for video library, but man, this one was really intense and this is one of those ones that I’m like, man, just in wonder and awe of how God has used this to shape my heart. So tremendously. And here’s a story.

So we, this was like right in the beginning of me deciding I was going to become a certified parenting educator. And we were at the park with all of my best friends. And one of them in particular was like, you know, at the time, like, you know, it’s not that she didn’t support positive parenting, but she definitely, at times was like, Hey, like I just believe a different thing. Like, especially when it comes to discipline, we had like a lot of conversations over spanking and stuff like that. So I just knew, you know, she, she wasn’t fully on board with it and that was okay. Cause she was one of my best friends and it’s all good. Like it’s okay to be different than people you love.

Right. But that night, my little guy who was three years old at the time and he is my like more easy going, soft-hearted like, this is the kid that literally when there’s ants that get in, in the summertime and like in our bathroom or something, he cannot kill the ants. He has to take them out. Same with bumblebees. He like saves bumblebees from the road. He’s just the most caring kid. But that night he made a mistake. Him and my friend’s little boy were on a play structure and they were all playing tag and Terrin pushed him and he fell off and he ended up fracturing his wrist. And let me tell you guys, I was mortified.

It was like, I’m going to say, I don’t know. It felt like I went into a mini depression for a few days. Cause I was just so freaked out. Like, what am I doing? Why? Like, is this ever going to even work? Like, am I crazy? I’m now like developing a coaching business. And here I am with a kid that’s like hurting other kids. I just remember sitting there with her little boy as like she went to get the car just weeping crying. Like I’d put Terrin in the, the stroller and like turned him around and had him like looking at the bushes, why he was like crying. Cause I just could not even like deal with him in that moment. I was just so I think I was mostly so scared that people were judging me.

I was so scared. I felt so bad for this little boy who at the time we were like, you know, we didn’t know if it was fractured, but he w he was like, it hurts really bad. And so his mom ended up having to take him like immediately to the ER, it turns out it was, it was, it had a little fracture, but I just remember being like, oh my gosh, like people are watching me. And I, and I remember at the time she would text me and she, you know, and she’s like, look, things happen. I’m like, I’m so sorry, please forgive me, blah, blah, blah. I told her, we’re gonna do, we’re gonna, I’m gonna do so much compassion. I’m gonna do so much discipline with this kid. Like, I’m gonna make sure he understands like the mistake he made, blah, blah, blah. But I was still new. Right. I was still learning the language that I wanted to use, but I remember her saying to me, well, what is your discipline going to be for him?

And I just remember being like, oh my gosh, like you’re judging me. And like, what do I do? Right. So I ended up sending him to grandma’s house for three days. Like, thank God for grandma. She had just moved here when he was born. And she, and I said, I am just so spun out on this and I don’t know what to do. And she said, just let me take him. Let me take him for a few days. So this was, I always joke the longest pause break. We teach something called Paul’s breaker, heart connectors in our program, the longest pause, Bricker, heart connector I’d ever done. And thank God by the time he came back, I knew like how I was going to teach him. I had a plan. I was able to look at him because again, like I had processed so much of the like shame and fear that I had about the situation.

Of course, during this time I had been in touch with, with my friend, we had made sure we paid all the medical bills we had, you know, just had been in conversation with her to make sure she was supported. And her little boy was supported. But once he came home, my little boy, we then went into doing makeups and letters and role-plays and redos. And we ended up by the time this little boy was like really into baseball. So we purchased like, we got them like a night at the San Diego Padres, just as a make-up Terrin sent letters for like a few weeks, just to say, I’m so sorry, please forgive me.

Thank you for forgiving me. I made a mistake and we just did a lot of role-plays and radios at the time. Again, that’s something I’ll teach you in the, in the free discipline class, but you can actually use matchbox cars or Legos to actually teach your child how to act different, even when they’re tempted or when they’re angry or when they’re in this situation. Honestly, you guys, it wasn’t, he, he wasn’t angry. Like this is not a kid that gets angry. Like Stella. Yes. Stella literally has like, we have a story of her, one of her best friends in elementary school, I was at the park one day where she pushed her a little buddy off this like two-step thing. And she was mad. She wanted her to get out of the way.

Terrin is just different. Like I realized after I processed through the emotion while he was at grandma’s, he made this mistake because he was excited. He was over excited. That’s why he laid hands on another kid. And I just can’t imagine if I would have chosen. Cause I swear, I thought about it. You guys, I was like, man, am I crazy? Should I just spank this kid? Cause there was plenty of people that, you know, would have told me like, this is, this is how you teach this kid. Like he needs to know, right? Like, do I spank him? Do I, I don’t know. There was just, but if I would have, I just cannot imagine what effect that would have had on this little kid’s brain.

Because as the time went on, I realized this was just a mistake. He was just excited. He just was a little boy who liked to wrestle. And he was kinesthetic. Like this is the same kid. Like I said, who literally cannot hurt a fly. And if I would have disobey or punished him in a way that made him feel worse about his mistake in order to try to make him feel better, I just know how much it would have affected his soul. Because years later, as you know, Terrin got a little bit older, we realized that he’s our kid who struggles a little with anxiety and self doubt separation anxiety was really, really intense when he was in kindergarten.

And first grade, he, he is the kiddo that has a tendency to be, you know, he’ll make a mistake if he spills milk or something, you know, whole hall, the tendency to snap back real quick with like, man, I’m such an idiot. And I can’t even imagine if we would have punished him too and made him make sure that he felt really bad about what he did. It just would have compounded his, his journey with his own mental health. Right? Like, and so I just think like, man, thank you, God. Like you knew, you knew that this little boy needed so much grace and compassion and this other family too. I think about how this affected them to have them watch a family who did not succumb to society.

Right? Like, and actually I was having dinner with this dear friend of mine. Who’s still one of my best friends, just the other night. She had a big birthday. We had a great night celebrating and she was going around the table telling us all how much she loved us. And she looked at me in the eyes with tears and said, Wendy, you know, I think of you all the time when I’m challenged and you always helped me remember to stand up for what I believe in. Even when other people don’t agree with me, she’s like, you’ve shown me how to do that. You’ve shown me how to be rooted in my own belief systems. Thank you. And it was just the most beautiful exchange. So I think, wow, God, what were you up to?

What were you up to back then? Like you’re not only affecting my heart, but you’re affecting other families. And I mean, I could just go on and on how much, I think it probably had a big imprint on this other family. Right? And it all came out of this really intense mistake. So I’ll finish with this. A few years later, Terrin was probably six and a half or something or six years old. And he was in the bath and I used to buy this like nice organic bubble bath. And I came in one day, he had poured the whole thing out. He probably wasn’t. Now he was probably only like four and a half. Maybe it wasn’t three years later, he was still really little.

And my kids used to do this. Sometimes they would pour out the like $17 organic bubble bath and I would get so mad. I would get so mad. And so I came in and I’d seen that he is doesn’t, there’s bubbles everywhere. And I just screamed at him. I like just freaked out. I screamed at him. Why are you thinking like you are in so much trouble or whatever. And then I just went in my room and I just remember crying, just being like, why am I still doing this? Like, I’m a teacher. Sure. Now like why, why, why? And I finally got myself together and I came back and I said, Terrin, I’m sorry. I was not. Okay. You do not deserve to be yelled at and I’m not okay with you pouring out the bubble bath.

And I’ll just never forget this moment. He looked at to me and he goes, mama it’s okay. Everybody makes mistakes. I forgive you. And that was just like, oh my gosh, this is, you know, I feel like I said, I probably was four or five at the time. And that’s, what’s, that’s what God is up to you guys. That’s a big deal. Like I believe our world needs so much more forgiveness and compassion and grace and I just don’t want any of us to ever forget that God is up to something.

When we choose to use dignified tools to teach our children how to repair mistakes, how to learn from mistakes, how to make amends, how to repair relationships, how to change their behavior tomorrow. Not because they feel bad or guilty or shameful about themselves, but because they truly want to, they truly want to operate in a way that is in line with their moral compass, with their heart because they look up to us because they want to be a contributing member of society because they want to help bring peace to their communities and their schools and their world.

Not because they’re scared, but because they really want to do it different. Okay. No one gets out of this life without making mistakes. Like it’s just a part of life, especially children. So many children learn through doing so. All right, you guys, that’s what I got for you today. I know that episode is going to be a little bit long. Thank you to my sweet assistant and podcasts and agency for doing all the show notes for this episode. But guys, as always, all the links that I mentioned in today’s episode will be in the show notes page for this episode. So big hugs, lots of love. I hope that this was just a continued great conversation about compassionate discipline.

That helps you just really soak in confidence that you can teach your kids important life lessons with dignity, with grace, with compassion, with, from kindness guys, because remember this ain’t about being permissive. We do not have permissiveness. Like I will tell you, I should tell you too, that after that situation with Terrin, he never has touched another kid in his life. Like it works. It works. This stuff works. You guys so lots of love. Thanks so much for caring about your families as always. If you haven’t yet, leave us a review over on iTunes, they really help us get seen in the iTunes world, frustrate family show. And then also screenshot this right now.

Screenshot post it and share it. You guys share it on social tagging me. I’m @FreshStartWendy over in Instagram, share it on Facebook, text your friends and family and neighbors who might just be any tough season with their little ones. This episode will give them hope. We’ll give them context to what it looks like to do it different when it comes to discipline. And just thanks so much.

For links and more information about everything we talked about in today’s episode, head to freshstartfamilyonline.com/124.

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.


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