Ep. 132 – Helping Kids Handle Change and Uncertainty with Sara Olsher

by | June 14, 2022

Ep. 132 – Helping Kids Handle Change and Uncertainty with Sara Olsher

by | June 14, 2022

The Fresh Start Family Show
The Fresh Start Family Show
Ep. 132 - Helping Kids Handle Change and Uncertainty with Sara Olsher
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On the Fresh Start Family Show this week – Wendy has writer, illustrator, and speaker, Sara Olsher as a guest to discuss how to help children better handle change, anxiety, and all of life’s uncertainties.

Sara walks through her own unexpected and uncomfortable life events such as divorce and battling cancer, to help other families prepare for the unexpected. She has spent her life working hard to be comfortable with the profoundly uncomfortable and now helps others to do the same. 

She believes that every one of us has the strength and resilience to overcome unimaginable hardship, and to use our lessons to make this world a much better place.

In this conversation Sara helps parents to understand how showing kids what to expect and having open & honest conversations helps reduce anxiety that many parents may not even realize their kids have.

3 takeaways from this episode:

  1. Teaching our children how to face the unexpected.
  2. Reducing anxiety in children through open & honest conversations.
  3. The importance of showing kids what to expect rather than just telling them.

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Episode Highlights:

  • Sara’s journey through the unexpected
  • How change impacts our kids day-to-day life
  • Starting with a willingness to be present
  • Providing an open atmosphere for your children to ask questions
  • Teaching your children life skills through openly handling situations together
  • Handling big feeling that come with change
  • Showing vs telling our children expectations

Resources Mentioned:

www.mightyandbright.com

Instagram: @mightyandbrightco

What Happens When School Starts Again download

Join Bonfire now!

Fresh Start Wellness Collective


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Here is the episode transcript!

This episode of the Fresh Start Family Show is brought to you by the bonfire support program. A life-changing powerful, positive parenting community and support program feels successful and confident and grow leaps and bounds in your ability to parent with, from kindness and integrity. Why significantly strengthening the bond with your kids? The supportive positive parenting and family life coaching program is for busy parents looking for consistent guidance and inspiration on how to redirect their kids’ misbehavior with integrity, teach important life lessons with connection and discipline. With effectiveness. It’s perfect for families who want to make positive parenting their new normal and be supported by a positive parenting educator.

Every step of the way, head to freshstartfamilyonline.com/join-bonfire to learn more or just click the community tab freshstartfamilyonline.com. Now doors to this program only open to the public twice a year, and that time is right now, but only for a very limited time. So don’t hesitate to go learn more and join today.

Wendy:

Well, hello listeners. I’m so happy that you are here for a new episode of the Fresh Start Family Show. I am your host, Wendy Snyder positive parenting educator and family life coach.

And today on the show, we have miss Sara Olsher from mighty and bright and oh my gosh, you guys are in for a treat because I just adore Sarah. I fell in love with her energy and her work when we met probably about a year ago now. And I’m just really excited for you guys to listen to what she has to share with us today. She’s going to be talking to us about how we can help kids handle change and uncertainty. And she’s just amazing. She’s a writer, illustrator and speaker, and she spends her life creating products at mighty and bright and talking about things that make many people want to crawl into a deep dark hole, whether it’s divorce, cancer, death, or uncertainty.

And we all know our kids have had tons of uncertainty over the last few years, right? She’s worked hard to be comfortable, but the profoundly uncomfortable her work has been featured in pop sugar, romper reader’s digest the mighty and good housekeeping to name a few. And she’s spoken in front of audiences, large and small about her experiencing experience. Making life changes after divorce and cancer. I will also say that she just did a collaboration with Mr. Chazz, who we’ve had on the show here. And you guys know, we love Mr. Chad. We are such advocates of his work, but she recently did a collaboration with him and you’ll have to go check out on social media and follow her because that collaboration is really, really cool, but she truly believes that every one of us has the strength and resilience to unimaginable hardship and use our lessons to make this world a Much Better place.

So I’m just so excited for you to hear this conversation today. I really, really enjoyed getting to know Sarah, and I know you will enjoy getting to know her too. So make sure you go give her some love and support what she’s doing and without further ado, enjoy this episode.

Stella:
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.

Wendy:
Well, Hey there, families and welcome to a new episode of the Fresh Start Family Show. I’m so happy that you’re here and I want you to help welcome our guests today. Sara Olsher from mighty and bright. Welcome, Sara.

Sara:
Thank you so much for having me, Wendy. I have really been looking forward to this conversation.

Wendy:
Oh, me too. Gosh, we must’ve met like six or eight months ago and immediately I just fell in love with your work and your spirit. And what you’re doing is just wonderful, Sarah. So I can’t wait for listeners to get to know you today and community. What Sarah is going to talk to us today is about helping kids handle change and uncertainty. And gosh, what a better time to talk about this because of what’s happened, you know, over the last few years that this world pandemic, there’s just so much change, but Sarah, you also bring so much to the table to help children with lots of different change and uncertainty, divorce, cancer, all the things.

So will you take a moment I’ve already kind of introduced listeners to you told them all about you and in the intro, but could you tell us a little bit more about your journey to get here and what your story is?

Sara:
Absolutely, man, I have had a decade. Let’s just, let’s just say that my daughter is 11 now, but when she was a year and a half, I got a divorce and she was showing a lot of signs of anxiety. And I mean, basically the reason why my marriage ended was because I wanted more for my daughter. And then my marriage was going to show her as an example. And she was so anxious and I just really wanted to provide her with strength and teach her all of the qualities that we want our young girls to have in boys too.

And so I took her to a therapist because she was scared of everything like shadows on the ground, sand other kids. And I had no idea what to do. And the therapist helped a lot. Basically. She taught me how to communicate with my daughter in a way that helped her feel really seen, even as like a little toddler, I had no idea, you know, how much she would understand. And when the therapist was going on vacation, she took out this, like, it was like a construction paper calendar. And she’s like, I usually see you on this day, but we’re going to not see you on this day. And we’re going to see you on this day. And I thought, why are you doing this?

And she explained to me, this is how kids learn. They learn visually. They learn by seeing things over and over again. And so she was telling me to take this calendar home and, you know, mark off all the days. And I was like, why are we not using this at home? Like so that my daughter can understand when she’s going to see her dad next, because it felt like every day she was asking me when with a school day, is it a daddy day? Is it a mommy day? You know, what’s going on? So I immediately went home and like Jerry reg, this insane looking calendar using electrical magnets.

And it was life-changing showing her just when she was going to see her dad was like, she stopped asking me questions. Her anxiety level went down and it really blew me away. And so I thought to myself, I wonder if there’s like a way to help other divorced parents through this stuff, because divorce was just such a horrible experience for, for me, for my daughter for all kinds of kids. And so I had a full-time job and I was just started selling these calendars on the side and the responses that I got from people who bought them, it just really filled my soul.

And I was like, this is what I am meant to do. I’m getting emails from parents that are saying, I can’t believe how much this has changed my kid’s life. And I’m like, it’s simple, it’s so simple. So that was kind of the beginning of it. And then things in my life started to get better. And, you know, we, we got into a routine and I had a job I liked. And I had met somebody who had been like five years and things were just going a lot better. And I was diagnosed with cancer and I was like, really, really?

I thought the divorce was really hard. And I obviously, like my daughter still had anxiety. I was her number one person. And she was all I was concerned about. I felt like I could handle anything, but she was six. And I just felt like I’m her person? Like what did we do now? And so I tried finding some books to explain cancer to, and we’re probably six or seven of them from the library. And really didn’t like any of them, I knew so much from all of my work and my research, like how you can explain things to kids. So they understand them and it reduces their anxiety and none of these books were doing it.

And so I felt like there was definitely something that needed to be done, but I was like, I have cancer. I’m going to have to figure out how to have this conversation myself. And so I explained the science of cancer to her in a really like simple way. And it went really well. I think I was surprised by how well it went. I mean, she did ask me, are you going to die? Which is like the worst question ever. But luckily I was able to answer it in a way that was like probably not, but that really was eye opening for me in that I just didn’t want things to be as hard as the divorce was.

And cancer was so much worse. And since then we’ve had a pandemic and it’s just been very, I just really realized that there’s a lot of suffering that happens in the world and parents don’t really have the resources. None of us were taught how to do this, you know? And so I’ve, I changed mighty and bright from being just about divorce, to being all sorts of hard things and really focusing on connection and mental health and having hard conversations and really helping our kids deal with this stuff. Because the reality of it is nobody’s life is easy and you know, our kids, we worry about our kids, especially right now where like they have had to deal with so much staff with this pandemic and it’s not fair, but at the same time, you know, they are little, they have us to hold their hand through this.

And so if we can provide, you know, learning to them, it it’ll serve them for the rest of their lives.

Wendy:
Absolutely. Yes. And your, and your stuff is so beautiful. I mean, you have quite the selection of products now, right?

Sara:
I do. Yeah. So my first book was about cancer. It took my scientific explanation of cancer and then how it affects the child’s day-to-day life. Because from a developmental point of view, the whole world revolves around our kids and yet, so rarely do we actually tell them what is happening in their lives. And so all of my books do that, they talk about, you know, divorce or cancer or just general change, and then how that actually affects their day-to-day life. And it it’s amazing to me what a difference that makes for kids.

Wendy:
Yes. And I love how, you know, when we were trying to decide what to talk about today, the idea of, you know, sometimes we can see the anxiety in our kids around transition or hard or whatever’s happening. And then sometimes we don’t even realize right. That they, you know, I just realized my little, my little guy, so I have a 10 and a 13 year old. Now my little guy is one, the one that kind of has a little bit more of that tender has a little bit more likely, like he had really bad social anxiety from the preschool up until second grade, he used to like climb, literally climb the chain link fence for like a year and a half where we started elementary school.

It was so sad. And he still does it flares up a little bit. So he’s the one, but just this last week, there was something that happened that I was like, oh, dang, I didn’t even quite realize that this was a point of suffering for you about something. And we ended up having a great conversation, but it just was like, oh man, sometimes it’s just, we don’t even really quite see what’s underneath the surface. Cause we’re just so busy. Right. So I love the idea of, you know, what you teach families to do is to slow down and, and you know, the, the first point that of wisdom that you’re bringing to the table today, Sarah is be willing just to be present with your kids. So to slow down and be willing to be that loving adult that just sits down and says, okay, and then we’re going to, you’re also going to talk to us about how to have open and honest conversations.

And then also how to show kids, instead of just tell them, which is the beauty of mighty and bright. So start with just that willingness just to be present, right? Like we don’t necessarily have all the answers. We don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring, but we do know that we’re right in this moment with our kids.

Sara:
Yes. I think, I think as parents, we tend to be really hard on ourselves and feel like we need to be perfect. And we need to say just the right thing and do just the right thing. Especially when something is really stressful for our kids. But the research actually shows that what kids need in order to get through something difficult is just one loving adult, which was a statistic that was incredibly freeing to me as a newly divorced mom, because my ex was dealing with a lot and he wasn’t showing up the way that I would have wanted him to at that time. So to know that my daughter could be okay with just me was really, it felt really good to know that.

And all that means is that you are able to respond to them when they need you. And that doesn’t mean that you can’t scroll you’re on your phone. It doesn’t mean that like you don’t get any me time. It means your kids know you love them. And that if they have a problem, they can come to you and your community. You know, they already have that down. So well done.

Well, Hey, their families, did you hear the good news? The bonfire support program is open for public enrollment. And I cannot wait for you to learn more about this program, but the doors are only open for a few short days, families. So I want you to run, not walk, to find out more. You can head over to the website, fresh start family, online.com and click the community tab at the top. But a few quick details on what it includes. Number one, you’re going to get access to our giant library of positive parenting lessons that you can push play anytime of the day. Whenever you need help with parenting and the challenges that come your way.

Number two, you’ll get access to our weekly live coaching session with me, yours, truly number three, you’re going to get access to my staff of positive parenting educators who are there to support you and answer your unique questions and your unique challenges that you’re having in your home with your kids. We all have unique challenges. We all have unique situations going on. You are not alone, and we’re here to help you. Lastly, you’re going to get access to become part of this amazing community of families from all over the world who are showing up to expand their heart, learn new tools and strengthen their family and support one another every step of the way I do not kid you.

When I say that this community is magical and life changing. Our list of success stories is now over 500 pages long and families. I just get so excited to share with you the amount of success stories that are pouring out of this community every single week. And I want you to be a part of that. So head on over to the website, click the community tab, learn more again, the doors close in just a few short days, I’m here to answer your questions. Shoot me a DM on Instagram. I’m at fresh start Wendy or you’re welcome to email me, [email protected] But now is the time to get supported. You deserve this.

I see you. I admire you and you deserve to be supported. You deserve to have a community where you feel like you belong and you deserve to feel empowered as a parent. I cannot wait to support you inside of the bonfire program. And I will see you soon inside of the private group.

Wendy:

Well done. Yes, yes. Yeah. I think there’s something that Mr. Rogers said at one point, I think he was like, he had a kid. I think there was something in his, when he was in elementary or middle school or something where there was like someone bullying him, I think. And he said he had one adult who really like reached out and said, Hey, I’m here to support you.

Like, and it was just, he said that one person completely changed his life. Right? Like, so I love the power of one, but yeah, just be willing to be with them, be that one loving person. Yeah. That that’s immediate. That’s really meaningful for my community too, because a lot of parents who come to know and do the work that we teach here at positive parenting, when they’re kind of like doing a 180 on their parenting strategies, they often are really holding the light. So to speak, holding the torch for a while, until their spouse comes on board. And it really can be this huge time of transition where families, a lot of times when they come to know my work, they are in like kind of a crisis transition where they’re going from using fear and force in their home on a consistent basis.

And it’s chaos, it’s chaos, there’s tantrums, there’s screaming, there’s crying. There’s a parent chasing a child, locking them in the room like it. And then it’s all normalized as that’s what you are supposed to do. And those families come to me and they’re like, Ooh, I don’t want to do this anymore. And they transitioned into what I teach them. But just to know that, like, it’s okay if it’s, if you are the one, like if you are listening and you are the one that is holding the torch right now, I always encourage parents at a lot of times. Spouses will come on board, but that’s just encouraging to hear. Okay. So talk to us about how we can have these open conversations, open and honest conversations with our kids.

Because I think a lot of parents fear that it’s too much to talk about. Right. So they just kind of try to be like, it’s everything’s okay. Everything’s fine. And if we just say, everything’s fine, then we won’t scare you. And like, everything will be okay. But I, we, I know like the power of vulnerability and honesty and true, authentic connection. So talk to us about that, Sarah.

Sara:
Yeah. I think I, in my work, I’ve talked to a lot of people and especially cancer patients divorce. It’s interesting. Like there’s a statistic that says that the average parent talks to their kids about divorce for 10 minutes.

Wendy:
Oh my goodness. Wow.

Sara:
But cancer is even worse because a lot of parents feel like if they don’t tell their kids, then their kids won’t get scared and that they’ll all be okay. And the truth is our kids know something’s going on. They are incredibly intuitive. They’ve read the energy of a room. They know when there’s tension in the air, they know something is wrong. And the truth is, if you don’t talk to them about it, the chances are very high. They are going to think that what is wrong has something to do with them. And, and it also, it doesn’t mean that your kids aren’t having to face this.

It just means they’re having to face it alone. And we really don’t want a kid to have to cope with that alone. You’re teaching them that the subject is taboo and they shouldn’t, they shouldn’t ask questions, but it’s, we have the exact opposite effect that we want. We want them to feel safe. So we don’t tell them, but by not telling them they don’t feel safe. And so it, I think the most freeing thing that I have found in talking to parents about this is just getting prepared, you know, to have conversations, whatever it’s about and know like kind of what your major points are.

So you feel like you’re prepared and then take the pressure off yourself and realize this doesn’t have to be, and it shouldn’t be a one and done conversation. You don’t have to get it. Perfect. I didn’t get it perfect. When I explained cancer to my daughter, what I did get right, was I made it so that she could come back to me and ask questions later. And I brought it up again later because you’re not ever going to get information, all the information out in one conversation and kids can’t absorb it in one conversation. So to have an ongoing repeating, you know, that’s, what’s so great about books and why parents often reach for books because kids learn visually and through repetition.

And so when you get books, they become obsessed. Especially little kids become obsessed with reading the same book over and over and over and over again. And that’s because they learn that way. They learn visually. They learn by doing it over and over again. And so you can’t just have a conversation one time and feel like, okay, that’s it. I messed it up and there’s no going back. Or I had that conversation and now I don’t need to do it anymore. It’s actually like having that open atmosphere where they know they can come to you and ask more questions because they will have more questions. Everybody has more questions. Kids aren’t a whole lot different than it helps them that way. Like they just like, when something, they told me I had cancer, I went an entire weekend where I kept thinking to myself, no, he didn’t actually say I had cancer.

He said, I maybe had cancer. I don’t know if he said cancer. I like, luckily I had that doctor talked to my parents. So my poor parents, I had to call them like six times and say, he didn’t say I had cancer. Right. He said like, maybe I might. And my dad would have to say no, Sarah. He said, you have it. Like, okay. Okay. I got it. Don’t like when you’re in shock, when you’re told something serious, you kinda, you have to have feel like you can talk about it more.

Wendy:
Yes. And that, and just building that relationship where you, you keep coming back to each other. Right. We had the girls, I don’t know if have you ever heard of the girls from, they have a program called not the talk is about sex education. Yes. Yes. They were on the show. Kristin and Shannon, I think. And yeah, their whole thing is similar. Right? Like you, it’s not about the one talk, right? Like you’d sit your kids down and talking about the birds and the bees. It’s about 10,000 little conversations. And I can see that. Definitely like with my son, like every time we mentioned anything, he’s like freezes up, but like, it becomes a little bit easier every time we have it a little bit more, you know?

So, yeah. And, and it’s so interesting, right. That kids can really feel it. It’s like it, no matter how hard we try to cover stuff up, they can sense it. They can feel it. And so when you just do it together with them, it’s like that connection builds confidence and courage. Almost Trump trust

Sara:
Parent and child, which really is so invaluable. It teaches them that they’re part of a family that, and they are, you know, we, we think about ourselves as like, oh, you know, we’re the parents, they’re the kids, but they’re still part of the family. And this is something, you know, a lot of cancer survivors feel terrible and guilty and say to themselves, like I’m doing this to my family. My family is falling apart and it’s all my fault. And it’s like, no cancer is doing this to all of you. You didn’t sign up for that. You know, it is doing that to all of you. And so when you cope with it together as a family, you’re teaching your kids resilience and mental health skills, coping skills that they will literally use for the rest of their lives.

Wendy:
Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And in addition to cancer and divorce, there’s probably, I mean, do you, are some of your books about like losing a loved one? Like, do you have books about death at all or not yet?

Sara:
That is on my list. It’s something that is so intensely personal from family to family. I wanna make sure that I get it really right. So I have a S I have a list of grief counselors and things, people that I want work with to do that, because it’s really an important topic.

Wendy:
Yeah. I love your heart. Yeah. There’s just, yeah. Every there’s so many different situations where challenges arise and it’s just these, all the, everything we’re talking about can be used with all of it.

Sara:
Yeah. With the pandemic. Like that was the first in clinic. Like the first thought that I had was, whoa, we don’t know what we’re doing. We need help in order to have these conversations with our kids. So I created a free book about the virus and I just like put it out into the world so that people could just download it for free to assist with that conversation and explaining the science of the virus. Because I realized like that does not come naturally to people to be able to figure out how to even have the conversation.

Wendy:
Yes. Yep. I love it. Is that as that downloads still available,

Sara:
It is. Yeah. I have, I actually created another book. That’s on Amazon. That’s called what happens when school starts again, that I was really hoping was not going to continue to be relevant.

Wendy:
Yes.

Sara:
But it’s all about basically how things change that, you know, we, sometimes you might be doing school from home. You might be doing school at school. You might have to wear masks. Maybe they’ll change their mind. Like we don’t know what’s happening. And, but the thing that you can trust is that your, your grownups in your life are going to make the best decision for you because they love you. And they want to keep you safe and happy. So, you know,

Wendy:
So good is that the nothing stays the same book.

Sara:
No, nothing stays the same as my new book. And that one’s all about feelings of overwhelm and just change in general because it doesn’t, you know, we’re talking about our sensitive kids. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a major thing that causes kids stress like changes ongoing. It happens all the time. And so I wanted to write a book that was a book you could read when everything or anything changes. And so it just talks about how it can feel when things are changing. And you’re, you’re starting to feel like your brain is really busy and you’re getting really like stressed out and you just start yelling at your cat.

And you know, like these feelings get really big and like how we can cope with those things. Cause it’s just like, it’s an everyday thing for lots of people. Change is hard.

Wendy:
It’s so good. Sarah and families, we are going to make sure we have all of Sarah’s incredible books and charts and all the things over on the website. So make sure you go check that out. Fresh start family, online.com forward slash mighty and bright will take you directly to a featured shop page for her on our website. But, okay. Third, third point, which is perfect. When we’re talking about your books and your charts and all these beautiful things you’ve created for families, when it comes to helping reduce anxiety for our kids and helping them handle change, and uncertainty showing kids what to expect, instead of just telling them, tell us about that, Sarah, and how your, your books and your charts can help with that.

Sara:
Yeah. So it went back to that co-parenting calendar. That was the first thing I created just showing my daughter when she was going to see her dad, when she was going to be with me, which days were school days was like, mind-blowingly simplifying. And as you think about it, it’s like, adults are this way too. Like, how would you feel if you lost your phone? And you knew you had stuff that was happening and you didn’t know what it was, you would be like, whoa, like freaking right. And like, so you’ve got this person who, five minutes before everything is going to happen.

They’re like, okay, it’s time to get ready to go. And you’re like, wait, where are we going? What do we do after that? Like, these are things that we, this is why routines are so incredibly important for kids is because an adults it’s because when we have a routine, when we know what to expect, our brain doesn’t have to process it anymore. It doesn’t have to think about it. It doesn’t have to keep stuff in your head and toss it around and try and figure things out because it’s all really clear. Like I don’t think about what I have to do each day because I know it’s on my phone. I don’t even let my brain have to process how to get places anymore because it’s on my maps and that’s not because I am lazy.

It’s because my brain only has so much space in it. And my brain is overwhelmed with divorce cancer and a worldwide pandemic and remembering how to get to target. And another study is really just not high on my list of important things. And the truth is our kids are exactly the same way. And when we can show them and have a calendar on the wall that belongs just to them and doesn’t have a bunch of overwhelming things on it, like their brother or sister’s like soccer games or the cats bet appointment. And it just belongs to them. And they see this simple life.

It reduces their anxiety. They don’t have to keep track of that stuff in their head. And then it’s like becomes a reminder that their life is predictable and safe and it really reduces anxiety.

Hey, families, I want to take a few minutes out of this great conversation to think uplift kids for their support of the Fresh Start Family Show. We recently learned about the incredible work of uplift through our friends at Tonies another brand we love here at fresher family. And since they were a personal recommendation, we knew we had to check out what they were up to, what Terry and I found is an organization doing wonderful work to help parents curate a family environment of spirituality, wonder resilience and compassion. So if you’re a parent who wants to create a culture of meaning, acceptance and reflection at home, head on over to uplift kids.org, to learn more and try their two week free trial, yes, they have a totally free two week trial.

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All right, let’s get back to the show.

Wendy:

Oh, I love it. And I’m assuming that they are the ones who control, like they do the chart, right? Like they’re fully in charge of it. They set it up, they move the magnets.

Sara:
We used to have parents and kids do it together. It’s called a connection calendar. And the point is to get you on a schedule of like every Sunday or, you know, whatever day you choose to go through the calendar and talk about the week ahead. And that is an opportunity then for your kids to share how they’re feeling about certain things. And I think there’s some resistance in some families to be like, well, you know, John absolutely hates going to dad’s house. He is anxious about it. He’s terrified. And so he’s going to have anxiety for the next four days. If I tell him, you know, what is going to happen.

Sara:
So I’m just not going to tell him, but it doesn’t help. Instead of like, then he just feels like his life is totally unpredictable. You know? Like they dread swimming lessons knowing when it is, is actually empowering to them. And it at first might cause some anxiety, but as time goes on and they realize like they know what to expect. It, it starts to relieve anxiety rather than, you know, leave them wondering constantly. So when you get the kit, you know, there’s these little buttons and these reusable stickers and a magnetic chart, and you sit down with your kids and you, they love the stickers.

Sara:
They’re reusable like infinitely. So they peel the stickers off, they put them on the buttons and then you put it, set it up together. And then there’s little today, one. So, you know, if you have younger kids that don’t know what day it is, or if you have younger kids that don’t understand the concept of time, there’s little stickers that are like every morning begins with waking up every night ends with the sleep. So it’s three sleeps until this happens. Really just try to explain it to them in an age appropriate way so that they know what to expect. And they end up attaching to it. Like it’s a stuffed animal. Cause that makes them feel safe. I, my class for like six years, it’s amazing.

Sara:
We still have hours. My daughter is 11.

Wendy:
Right. That’s awesome. And I’m just thinking like how much all of this is a little bit of a mindset shift for so many parents. Cause I’m just thinking of how many clients will come ask for community support or support from our coaches and our, our bonfire support program. And it, a lot of times it will be about like, Hey kiddos got to go get cavity, cavities, fail kiddos, got to have a surgery. Kiddos got to go get a shot or a vaccine. And it is interesting how we think that if we just don’t talk about it and then we’re like, Hey, we’re going to go and it’s just going to be fine. And then we’re like, it’s just, but what you’re saying is that it actually would help them to be prepared if you know that they have a little anxiety about going to this doctor’s office, like actually showing them here’s a picture of the little juice set they’ll have you take, that’ll help you relax.

Wendy:
And that’ll numb your arm when they give you the little shot and then you’ll feel better afterwards when you wake up and your teeth are fixed. And like, this is what the office looks like. And this is what the time will be when we go and we’re gonna ride in mom’s car because daddy’s car, he’ll be, he’ll be going to work. And like, I can see how that could really empower a child. And here at, for sure family, we teach that when a child, like all kids have needs, but they have needs to belong. They need, they have needs to feel valuable and they need to have needs to feel powerful and that will drive behavior. So I can see how that would aid them in cooperating and having less anxiety if they know exactly what to expect versus just not speaking about it.

Wendy:
And everyone has this silent sense of anxiety and you think that they don’t know, but you’re thinking that they’re freaked out and they’re kind of thinking, I don’t know what to expect, but I know it’s coming and it just, I can see how it’s like a whirlwind, a formula for anxiety. Yeah.

Sara:
Yeah. It’s totally empowering. It’s that’s that is the number one thing. And I, so one of my books is for kids with cancer and the idea behind creating a book and a calendar set for kids with cancer is that you are empowering them through their treatment to have the words, to explain what they are going through and to feel like their treatment is normal, it normalizes their entire experience and it gives them the words and the structure to be an active, empowered participant. And it’s really like the worst possible scenario, but it applies to, day-to-day also like you want your to raise kids who are empowered, who grow up and are accountable and you know, confident in their ability to get things done.

Sara:
And to trust that like, you know, the people who love you, aren’t going to like come out of left field and just drop a giant bomb on you. Because I mean, the truth is like, we don’t want to deal with her anxiety. And I say this as somebody who dealt with a child with anxiety, like it is profoundly uncomfortable to sit with a child in their anxiety. And it is, it was my selfishness that didn’t want to sit in that anxiety. And that’s why I didn’t want to talk to her about it. You know, I didn’t want to sit in that because it’s awful. It’s awful. But the more you talk about it, the less awful it becomes.

Wendy:
Yes. And the more you become comfortable with the uncomfortableness, right? It’s like it was a week or two ago. My little guy, he had like a anxiety flare up when he was like, his first day of beach volleyball was starting. And he was like, with older kids, he thought he was going to be the worst one and the smallest one and all these things, he ended up having a great time, but it was 15 minutes where he just flared up and was like, I can’t do this. This has been impossible. I’m not going, he was trying to run to get in the car. And th it was 15 minutes, minutes of intense uncomfortableness. And I just had to hold him in the light and be like, you’re going to be okay. We’re not going anywhere. And I got you we’re together.

Wendy:
But it’s like, yeah. As human beings, we just wanna, we just want it to stop dying, which we just want you to go and want you to stop. And then it’s like the fear of like, oh no, what if he doesn’t go? And obviously this is beach volleyball. I, and, and I don’t mean to relate it at all to cancer or divorce, but

Sara:
You totally get it.

Wendy:
Right. It’s that

Sara:
Thing, it doesn’t like they don’t have the perspective that we have to know what cancer is. They don’t have the perspective to know that like losing their stuffed animal. Isn’t the worst thing in the world because to them, it is the worst thing.

Wendy:
Yeah. And it’s fear it’s yeah. It’s feeling scared. And to be able to sit with someone when they’re scared, instead of say, stop it don’t be scared. Everything’s fine. But to be like, you’re scared right now. Right. And we’re going to do this. You’re going to, you can do this scared. Right. And I’m going to be right here on the side with you

Sara:
And telling them it’s to stop it, doesn’t stop it. It just teaches them that they can’t talk to you about it. And I say this, like, it is never too late to change the way you handle things. It is never too late. And it is never too late to apologize to your kids and be like, you know what, when you know better, you do better. And I realized like, I have not made some good decisions and not, I decided not to talk to you about this. And I think that was a mistake. And so I want to talk to you about it now. Like give yourself grace. We are not meant to do this perfectly. And doing it. Imperfectly gives our kids the understanding that nobody is expected to do it perfectly. It gives them confidence to admit their own mistakes.

Wendy:
Yes. One more thing. I know we’re running out of time, but I could talk to you forever about this. It’s like also the idea of relating to them too. I love because a lot of times I think our kids look up to us and they’re like, well, you don’t even understand. And to be able to find that point and be like, I am right there with you. Like, I don’t know. I don’t know. You tell me if this is what you would recommend, but I can envision myself being like, I am super scared to like, I am scared and I’m going to still go get my treatment and we’re still going to hold hands and we’re still, we’re going to do this. And I’m right there with you. Like you’re not alone. It’s not weird that you feel scared. I feel scared to. Yep.

And we’re to get real we’re okay. Right now in this moment, like, oh, but just know, like helping them realize that, like you experienced the same things. Like a lot of the families I work with when their kids are going through something, a lot of the times the parents are going through the same thing too. And, and a lot of times it is the anxiety. So if a child has pretty strong anxiety, there’s a good chance. The parent is, is, is learning with them, how to move through that and get to higher ground. But just being willing to share with the child, like, Hey, just so you know, I had the same thing going on, or I struggled with the same thing when I was your age. And this is

Sara:
One step ahead, one step ahead of your kids, that’s it.

Wendy:
Right. Right. So good. Sarah, you are such a light, bright light.

Sara:
I, when I met you, I was like, Aw, like you, you glow. It’s wonderful. I love talking about,

Wendy:
Oh my gosh. Well, what an honor to have you on our show, families go spread the word about mighty and bright. I mean, I feel like you, your books and products should be in every single hospital across the room, every single waiting room, every single therapy office everywhere. I just want your stuff everywhere. So, but listeners definitely. We’re going to feature Sarah’s products again, fresh start family, online.com forward slash mighty and bright. I’ll make sure I link that in the show notes page. And Sarah has agreed to offer you guys a limited time coupon that we will put on the, sorry, we will put on the show notes page.

So click on over. Grab that limited time coupon code, grab a few of her books, her charts, and Sarah, would you just finish this off with where listeners can find you and how they can access your products? Of course, they can find it on the website, but where else, where can they come find you?

Sara:
Yeah, I would love I’m on Instagram mostly. So I’m at mightyandbrightco and my website is mightyandbright.com. And I answer all my DMS and messages and emails. So please feel free to reach out.

Wendy:
Yay. Well, thank you again, Sarah. I can’t wait for our community to hear this episode and I hope you have a great Day. Thanks so much for links and more info about everything we talked about in today’s episode had to freshstartfamilyonline.com/132

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

All right, families, that’s a wrap. I hope you love today’s episode as much as I loved recording it for you. Remember, if you are interested in joining the bonfire now is your time doors are open for a short one-week period and we’ll close very soon. So head to freshstartfamilyonline.com/join-bonfire to learn more or just click the community tab at the top of the fresh start family website. All right, families, I cannot wait to welcome you with open arms to the bonfire support program. See you soon.

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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