Generational Healing: Confronting Childhood Trauma as a Parent Featuring Rose Clark

Empowering Postpartum with Jessi Sletten is an inspiring show for expecting and newly postpartum parents looking to feel prepared, supported, and empowered for their transition into parenthood – without losing themselves to it. Education, inspiration, and support for everything you need to know for your fourth trimester! Watch Live every Thursday 10am MST (Zingo TV Channel 250 & 251)

Featuring: Rose Clark with Love the Way You Parent

In this episode of Empowering Postpartum, host Jessi Sletten interviews parenting coach Rose Clark about the importance of healing from childhood trauma in order to become the parent you aspire to be. Rose shares tools from the Language of Listening™️ parenting model focused on validating children’s emotions and behavior, identifying their needs, and naming their strengths. A key theme is the parallel process of using these techniques not only with children, but also to “re-parent” ourselves. As Rose notes, we have to give compassion to ourselves first before we can fully give it to our kids. The episode concludes with tips for pregnant women to start using self-validation and boundary setting now to pave the way for responsive, empathetic parenting.

Guest Info

After burning out at work, Rose learned, in therapy, that she had had a highly abusive childhood. Her need to push herself SO HARD was rooted in trying to earn something that seemed out of reach her whole life – feeling her parents’ love. When Rose became a mom, it magnified her insecurities, and started triggering UNSHED TEARS and UNEXPRESSED ANGER. She felt she had 2 CHOICES… Fall into the abyss of repeating what her parents did, or learn completely new ways of relating. Rose will forever be grateful that she stumbled upon Language of Listening®, a parenting model that not only allowed her to become the mom she always wanted to be, but also allowed her to re-parent herself. Now, as an Authorized Language of Listening® coach, she specializes in helping moms who had difficult childhoods and gets them to a place where they LOVE the way they parent.

Connect with Rose:
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Show Notes:

  1. Introduction from Jessi (0:17)
  2. Rose introduces herself and her background (1:28)
    • Had difficult childhood, wanted better for her kids
    • Found tools weren’t sticking even though she had the right ideas
    • Discovered Language of Listening™️ model
    • Learned to use tools on herself to reparent and heal
  3. Importance of healing yourself in order to parent the way you aspire to (4:51)
    • Trauma resurfaces when we become parents
    • Taking courses to help others isn’t enough, have to apply to ourselves
    • Concept of reparenting yourself was foreign before becoming a parent
  4. Language of Listening™️ tools (6:42)
    • Say What You See®️ (Connection/Validation)
      • Premise: Everything children do/say is communication until they feel heard
      • Tool: objectively say what you are seeing (without judgement)
      • Apply to yourself – validate your own emotions
    • Naming Strengths (Building Self-Esteem)
      • Premise: Kids (and adults) have every possible strength, behave according to self-beliefs
      • Tool: Name strengths you see to change their self-talk
      • Apply to yourself – heal your self-talk, grow confidence
    • Can Do’s (Holding Healthy Boundaries)
      • Premise: All behaviors meet 3 needs: experience, connection, power
      • Tool: Name the need, then provide “can do’s” to meet need appropriately
      • Apply to yourself – meet your needs in ways that empower both you and your child
  5. Nurturing yourself first to be the parent you want to be (25:10)
  6. Instilling unshakable confidence in kids (32:30)
  7. Can use tools now before becoming parent (36:48)
  8. Importance of creating support system ahead of time (40:11)
  9. Applying tools for toddler/new baby dynamic (42:55)
  10. Validation for yourself enables validation for kids (45:07)

Action Steps:

If you resonated with the tools and concepts shared in this episode, here are some action steps to start applying them in your life:

  • Make a list of your likes, dislikes, preferences to connect with your authentic self and boundaries
  • Practice self-validation and naming your own strengths and needs
  • Identify 2-3 (or more!) people who can provide support once baby arrives
  • Be gentle with yourself and celebrate small wins in reparenting

Work with Jessi:

Empowering Postpartum Coaching guides new and pregnant moms through the transition into motherhood so that they can bond with their baby without sacrificing their own self care. If this sounds like the support you desire for your own unique journey into parenthood click here to learn more!

Episode Transcript

Jessi Sletten  0:17  

Hello, this is Jessi Sletten from Empowering Postpartum. Welcome to the Spanglish World Networks on ZingoTV channels 250, and 251. Please remember to download both the Zingo TV app on the respective app stores on iOS and Android devices. And while you download make sure to rate and leave a comment, the app is totally free. ZingoTV is also available on Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Fire TV sticks, Roku, Roku sticks and on all smart TVs 2016 and forward. 

We are back this week for another amazing episode of Empowering Postpartum with me, Jessi Sletten, your postpartum empowerment coach helping you feel confident, prepared and holistically supported for your unique journey into parenthood. And I am honored to introduce my guest this week, Parent Coach Rose Clark from Love the Way You Parent, we are going to be talking about the importance of confronting our childhood trauma in order to heal and grow into the parents we long to be for our own children. So good morning, Rose, thank you so much for joining me today.

Rose Clark  1:28  

much for having me, Jessi. 

Jessi Sletten  1:30  

Yeah. So why don’t we start off with you just introducing yourself and tell us a little bit about what you do?

Rose Clark  1:36  

yeah. So I guess I’ll start off with just a little bit of a backstory. So I’m a I’m a 47 year old mom, I live in Ottawa, Canada, and I have two children. And before I got married, I chatted with my husband about you know, what kind of parenting I wanted to do what what kind of parents I wanted to be because I had had a difficult childhood, I had a childhood, I didn’t particularly like I didn’t like the way that I was treated. And I really wanted to make sure things were different for my kids. And so what I said to my husband was, I want us to be able to raise our kids in a way that they get to be their own person, they get to have their own thoughts and feelings and opinions. And it’s okay, if those are different than ours, you know. And I also wanted our kids to have a close emotional attachment with both their parents. So he was 100%. On board, I was happy about that, we had our first baby and things seem to be going really well. For me, I really felt like, look, I’m giving my all to my baby, we were doing like a lot of attachment parenting, I was just fully fully there for her. And that was great. And then I had another baby before my first child turned two. And that for me was when really things got really, really hard because we only have 100%, to give. And I was already giving 100% of this one baby, I didn’t have 200%, I didn’t have another 100% to give, you know, this new baby. And so that started to be very, very difficult for me a lot, there was a lot of frustration. And that’s when I feel like a lot of my triggers from childhood, you know, started to come up, I started yelling, I felt like all my unshared tears and my unexpressed anger from an abusive childhood started pouring out on my babies. And I didn’t know what to do, because I thought I had it all figured out. You know, I had thought I had it all figured out. And really looking back. Now I see what happened was, you know, the pendulum really swung for me from like what I experienced, I wanted things to be 100% opposite for my kids. But what really happened there was like, I took my survival mechanism from childhood, which was to erase myself to erase my identity, and hand it all the way over. Right. And so it really was the same survival mechanism. It just, I thought I was using it for something good. I thought that that’s the way things should be. And boy, was I wrong. Because we don’t need the pendulum to swing completely getting the other direction, we need it to really hang in the middle. And so I knew I needed tools. That’s what I said to my husband, I said, I have the ideas in my head, I’m the way I want things to be, you know, but I really needed the tools. And so I started looking, I started reading all the books and all the blog posts. But nothing was really sticking until I found language of listening. And this is a parenting model that really allowed me to dive into that first idea of like, letting my kids be who they are, you know, it’s all about choosing the child’s strengths to the surface. But then also being able to hold boundaries in ways that I felt really good about and the ways I left my kids feeling good about themselves too. And this was really important for me, because I really felt the way boundaries were held in my childhood was not, you know, was not a happy, not a happy way to hold boundaries, right and in a healthy way. And the thing that really, really struck me was, I did jump in to get the training to become a parenting coach. But like, it was the one piece of the training. So it’s a two year training. It was the very last part of the training where she started to teach us how to use these parenting tools with ourselves. And that’s when things really started to change for me because I was able to reparent myself, I was able to start treating myself the way that I should have been treated in my childhood and that’s what really started to bring the healing about for me.

Jessi Sletten  4:51  

I love that so much the concept of re parenting yourself was so foreign to me when I became a parent. I was like, what does that mean? Like I don’t know. But then the more and more I got into it, I was like, Oh, wow, like, It is incredible how we don’t that maybe these things have been simmering under the surface for a long time. And then until we kind of make this transition into parenthood, that’s when they start coming out becoming more aware of it, and you’re seeing these triggers. And it’s, it’s so true that, you know, we can take these courses on how to help others, but until we can apply those to ourselves and really heal our own inner wounds and figure out, okay, this is how I need to heal and repair it myself so that I can parent my children in the way that I want to. If we don’t have that piece, it’s going to be very difficult. In the way we want to win our parents. Yeah, yeah. So that’s, that’s amazing. Um, you know, it’s so funny, because I think so much of what we do in this field, like, is influenced by our own experiences in parenthood right? was with me as well, you know, the traumatic postpartum experience I had with my first son really shaped what I do now and the work that I do, but I love how both of us had to go through this healing process for ourselves before we really could dive in to this work, right? But it’s a continual process. For sure, yes, it is. Never done right. Like just like trauma, like it might never go away. But we’re continuously healing it, we’re continuously, you know, figuring out ways that we can move forward. But I love this idea of what you mentioned, for the language of listening. So I’d love if we could kind of start diving into maybe some of those tools that you learned so that we can maybe take some of those and start applying it to our own healing.

Rose Clark  6:42  

Yeah, exactly, exactly. Well, let’s just start where you know, where I like to start with people. And where we start is really well, let me put it this way, what I consider to be the biggest wounds when we have you know, childhood trauma is really this lack of self trust, you know, we don’t we don’t trust ourselves, we don’t have this deep trust in in who we are. And also, we’ve lost access to our identity, we’ve lost access to our authentic selves. And so there’s this really simple activity that you know, people listening today can do, if they just want to sit down and get 20 to 30 minutes on their own. And just write out two lists, I want them to write out a list of everything they can think of that they like, and everything that they can think of that they dislike. This is a deep connection, very simple, simple, but very, very deep connection to our identity, because nobody has a list like you, right, your preferences are actually so incredibly important. And what happens, especially in an abusive childhood, or really, for any of us that were raised in the reward and punishment model, what ends up happening is we do start to lose that connection to our identity, we start to lose our connection to our likes, and dislikes, our preferences, and our brain gets really focused on the preferences of our caregivers of our parents. And so then we start building our life around someone else’s identity, not our own, you know, and so it’s so so important for us to get that connection back. And then once you have your likes and dislikes, well, those are actually your boundaries. And no one can argue with your boundaries. There’s no arguing You either like a thing, or you don’t like a thing. My example, I always like to use this red licorice, because that was the first thing I put on my list. When I started writing up I was I love red licorice, it’s I just think it’s just like the delicious, the, you know, the most delicious candy. And, but like, somebody can’t tell me that red lid, like licorice is disgusting, I can accept that it’s disgusting for them, I can accept it, I don’t like it, you know, but like, you’re not going to tell me, you know that it’s not that it’s not delicious, because it just is that’s my reality, you know. And so when we can start looking at our boundaries in this way, you know, it starts to, again, connect us to our identity in a very, very deep way. But it also helps us to start to get really healthy. And maybe this is a great time, actually, for me to share how it helped with my marriage, like, you know, where we’re talking about childhood trauma, we don’t bring that just into our parenting, we bring that into generally all aspects of our adult lives, you know, because we come up with these amazing strategies, they’re really survival strategies and childhood, they’re usually genius, kids are so good at coming up with the things that they need, you know, and so one of the strategies that I came up with in my childhood was to get really, really good at recognizing micro facial expressions, because then I could read my mom’s face, you know, and I could tell that when she was getting upset, and then I could completely change completely erase myself, right? change my behavior, so that I could protect myself from being abused, literally, you know, and so, I brought that survival strategy into my marriage. And so whenever my husband’s face would do this thing, you know, the same thing that my mom’s faced, it really was in the lips, you know, I would start to get really defensive and pick a fight with him. And one day that broke one day that stopped because he came home from work and he was talking about something that he didn’t like at work, right and there’s that language again that like and dislike, right yeah. It is he was talking about something he didn’t like, I started to get defensive, I started to pick a fight with him, but then I remembered what he just doesn’t like that. And that’s just part of his identity. And it has nothing to do with because I have my own likes and dislikes over here, right. And in that moment, and measurement just fell away from our marriage, like, it was just such an amazing time to be able to fully accept myself. Because I and I could do that in the language of my likes and dislikes, you know, and fully accept who he was. And it was also helping me fully accept my children understand their behavior, well, they just don’t like this, or they like this. Right. And so that that idea of like, letting everybody have their own separate identity, and removing enmeshment from those relationships was really a huge step in in my healing. So that’s kind of the starting place. That’s a language of listening activity. Now, maybe we can move into.. 

Jessi Sletten  10:49  

I love it. Yes. Yes. Sounds so good. I’m like, let me take some notes.

Rose Clark  10:56  

Okay. Exactly. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so I love the way, again, that this model is set up, because it’s set up in such a way that it really does start to change the wiring in our brain, this is what we need, when we’ve had childhood experiences, they wire our brain in a very powerful way, because we’re kids. And like I said, a lot of those beliefs, a lot of those survival mechanisms we bring into our adulthood, and they start to trip us up because we’re not in that situation anymore. Right. And so this model, what it gives us is it gives us new beliefs, they call them premises, they give us new beliefs to believe. And we can believe them about our kids that we can believe them about ourselves. There’s that re parenting pond, right, and those premises are there. But attached to each of the premises is a tool. So there’s three premises that have a tool attached to them. So I’ll just maybe go through each of them and talk about how to apply them to our kids and apply them to our students. So the first premise, I’ll say, I’ll say it, what it sounds like for kids and what the tool is, and then I’ll relate to how we can use it with ourselves. So the first premise says that everything children do and say is communication. And they must continue to communicate until they are heard. So that that way we don’t, we don’t need to judge their behavior, we don’t need to think it means anything about us, like I’m a bad parent, my kids is going to become a bully. All these future thoughts that kind of come into our head, when we see our kids behaving in ways we don’t like right, here’s that language, again about liking and dislike. And so the tool that we use in that moment is called see what you see, it’s validation, we heard a lot about validation, I think out in the world, you know, validate kids emotions, be there with them. With language of listening, it’s slightly different. Because we really make sure the validation starts with the word you we really make it about the child. And it really helps us to understand the point is that we understand where we can go, oh, this is why this is why she had her sister, right? This is why she threw the toy or you know, or whatever is in there, right? So that we can kind of walk around inside their head walk around inside their world, because that really helps us I think, settle down again, remove a lot of those judgments and different things. Okay. The same thing applies to us. Everything we do in today’s communication, and we must continue to communicate until we are heard to talk about that last part a little bit for moms. Sometimes we’re doing things over and over again, we don’t like that was really my experience. When my kids were really young. I just kept doing these things that I like, I didn’t just have mom guilt, I had mom regret, like I was regretting the things that I did at the end of the day, you know? Yep. You know what I’m talking about Reagan walk into your bedroom, they’re asleep, and their, their crib or their toddler bed or whatever. And you’re like, what did I have to yell about? There just to be what was I do? What was I thinking? How did all these you know, these things come over and take control of me. That’s how I felt, you know, and then I’d stay awake all night ruminating about it and getting terrible sleep, which we all know this is, especially when it’s that postpartum term, we really, really need to get as much sleep as we possibly can, right? But these things can really increase our anxiety and all those things. And so that idea of starting to understand ourselves and say everything I do and say is communication. And I must continue to communicate and heard. And it’s very difficult for us to maybe get that outside validation. And so with language of listening, you use the tools with yourself. So when I’ll get them on to do is, you know, if you can, if it’s safe for you to remove yourself from a situation and your kids, you know, maybe your kids are freaking out or whatever, and you’re freaking out and you’re like, Okay, that’s not what I want to do. Get into the bathroom, close the door. Look at yourself in the mirror and you say what you see with yourself. You speak to yourself using the word view, and just talk about how you’re feeling. You’re so mad right now you ask them 10 times to put their shoes on. It’s past time to go we’re going to be late. You’re so upset and frustrated. Right? Just validate yourself. Because I think a really important thing for people to know is that when it’s okay to have a problem, that’s when it’s okay to go ahead and solve the problem. We get caught up judging ourselves. I’m not a good enough mom. I didn’t stay patient by some key to get frustrated. Yep, the message. You want to give your best self to your kids. You Want it you want to be able to show up for them as best you can? And frustration doesn’t help with that situation, right? I mean, it helps if you can move it through if you can get the message and move it through, right. But if it’s constantly showing up, and we’re stuffing it, like we probably are, because that’s, you know, another one of those survival mechanisms, stuffing our own emotions, right? It can’t trust my emotions. So yeah, so that’s the first tool and the first, the first premise and kind of how they

Jessi Sletten  15:23  

I love that. Yeah. Well, I mentioned like, I love that that validation piece, we can give our permit our selves permission to be that validation for ourselves. Because a lot of times when we get to those heightened emotional states, it’s because we are probably burnt out, right, we’ve probably hit our max for the day or something else was going on. And we probably don’t have our partner there. Right. And so we don’t have that tag team. Ability to be like, Okay, I need a moment. Can you take over please? Sometimes that’s just not available, right? Or for single parents, like, that’s not available for them ever, right? And so that’s very difficult. And so we have to empower ourselves to give ourselves permission to say, okay, I can validate I can, I can validate myself, I can take a moment, it’s okay to walk away if they’re safe, going to the bathroom, and then give ourselves that validation is so powerful, because I feel like so many times, we feel like we can’t do that, or we don’t even think of that as an option. We’re just like, Well, I’m here alone, I’m holding down the floor. I’m a default parent again, and I have nobody to help, you know, right helped me regulate, right, I don’t have this CO regulation ability with a partner right now. And I’m the only one who’s the adult in this situation. And I have to regulate my children, right. And so it just seems so overwhelming. But giving ourselves that permission for just a brief moment to go get that validation that we need for ourselves, I think is so powerful. So I love that first of all, this is this is gold.

Rose Clark  16:54  

It’s good, good. Yeah. And I’ll just point out to that, you know, in those really stressful situations, what happens? Those survival mechanisms from our childhood show up, right, and they’re probably not the thing that we need when we’re parenting our children, something we needed in childhood, right to protect ourselves and get through, but probably not what we need now. Right? So that idea of, of erasing ourselves or however it shows up for people. Yeah. So the next, the next premise, I like to talk about talks about needs. And it says, let’s bring up the one I’ll download the one from my brain for kids first, which is all behaviors, parents and children by three healthy needs, experience, connection and power. And what children are already doing is they’re already right. And so what this allows us to do this really supports the Say what you see as well actually says that all behaviors are driven by three healthy needs. That means all behaviors are driven by healthy needs, but they’re not always healthy. Right? Or the way we say the language of listening is not all behaviors or behaviors you like there’s your boundaries showing up again, right? But it still gives us that ability to look at our kids. It’s like, oh, they’re just meeting a need. This is just a normal, natural human behavior. They’re trying to get a need met, it falls outside of my boundaries. And so what do we do, we have the can do’s tool and language of listening, which is letting the kids know what they can do to meet the needs. So in our brain, we use say what you see to try to figure out what this need is really. And that’s why that that piece of like dropping the judgment, right, being able to walk around in their head allows you to really see like, Oh, they’re just meeting a need.

Jessi Sletten  18:28  

Right? Just get curious.

Rose Clark  18:33  

100% 100%. And so, and when you can, when you can identify those needs, again, it’s just three experience connection and power. I’ll I’ll speak about what they are in just one second. More specifically, you know, but it really allows us to take what the child is doing or take that need that they’re that we can see. And just redirect them, right show them, here’s what you can do to meet that need over here. But it really does need to be almost like a, there’s a bit of back and forth that we encourage here, we actually will usually use the phrase with kids like, Okay, let me just pull out a situation here. The one I usually like to use is, let’s say, you know, you got two little boys, one of them was playing with a car, and the brother hits, you know, the other one as a car because he wants to turn just wants to turn with the car. Right? So again, we’ve been taught because society is terrible at giving us the right thoughts, helpful thoughts to think about our kids and think about ourselves, to be honest, right? They give us very unhelpful thoughts. And then we jump in and we tried it. We know we think our child was a terrible person, they’re going to be a bully at school, blah, blah. No, simply the kid just wants to turn with a car, totally normal, natural thing. We all have things we want. Right? So then in order like, well, what works better than you know, putting the kid on timeout or whatever it is to jump in and give them the life skills. Actually, here’s how you can get what you want, you know, without anybody getting hurt right away that’s going to be personally beneficial and socially beneficial, so they have a good relationship. We know what to do next time. That’s really kind of the Write the way that functions. So you know, you the same way, you see what sounds like you know, you you hit your brother you want to turn with a car must be something you can do to let him know you want to turn without anybody getting right. Yeah, it’s really, really that simple. And then the child can give examples and did those examples of what they could do fall into your boundaries or not, you know, and maybe the child has no other. Right, right. And so you can start to get ideas, like let’s set a timer, you know, because what we want is we want the meeting of the need, we want both parents and child to like the solution and meeting of the needs. Parent likes it because it falls inside their boundaries, the child likes it, because it actually meets the need to actually feel right, right for them.

Jessi Sletten  20:41  

And I was just gonna say, and that reminds me of that little trigger that you said about power, because, you know, so often they have no control of their life, right. And so any little bit of control, we can give them to feel like they can make decisions. I love that idea of like, including them in it’s more collaborative process of problem solving, right. And so it’s not only modeling that behavior for them, but it’s also allowing them to feel empowered to be a part of the solution. And I really love that. And of course, it’s hard in the moment, because you might be triggered, you might have those like, Aha, you just chucked the car across the room and almost hit the TV or whatever, you know, might have happened. So that’s that piece of stepping back, validate your own feelings. And then and then stepping in, right and making sure you’re regulated enough to engage in what’s happening.

Rose Clark  21:34  

Exactly, because you’re hurting too, right? There’s that whole thing of like, Don’t erase yourself, it’s okay for you to be angry and frustrated. There’s nothing wrong with that. And you still want to have full choice over the way that you handle this situation. Because you in the life skill. So it stops. 

Jessi Sletten  21:49  

Right, right, exactly. You don’t have to keep repeating this every single day.

Rose Clark  21:53  

Yeah, it is gonna stop if you do give them the life skills, if you do show them how to meet their needs, you know, inside your boundaries in a way that feels satisfying for them. And just You just reminded me that I didn’t dive deeper into what the what the needs actually are. Yeah. So the need for experience is really about like, I’ve got this body, I’ve got this life, what can I do with it? You know, during the pandemic, I was actually living in Nova Scotia, Canada, and the rules were harsh. We were shut down. Yeah, you know, and my kids, they just really couldn’t go anywhere, we couldn’t go to the library, you’d even get fined if you want for one for a while. Wow, through the woods, you get a fight like they were serious, right. So we were really stuck. Outdoors, it was crazy. $1,000 $5,000. So my kids started meeting their need for experience, it really is. My kids started meeting their need for experience inside our home. So I was finding my jewelry and bits and pieces all over the place. I was finding shampoo smeared on the bathroom wall and I’m like, okay, they’re meeting their experience, but I need them right to meet their needs somewhere else. Because kids really I mean, experience can show up a lot is like experimentation, right? And that kind of like exploring and experimenting, right? And so just recognizing that, you know, and so it really helped me, you know, solve the actual problem, find them other things to do. So they felt stimulated, even though we were so you know, locked down. The second need is connection, which is pretty, I think, obvious to people. Sometimes it’s you know, verbal connection, sometimes it’s physical connection. That’s also important. And then the need for power is really, really about feeling capable. More than anything. It’s about feeling capable. And so yes, like you said, having some control, nobody has to have 100% control. They just don’t, it’s just the way that I can’t control the weather. Like, you know, we can’t kind of control over everything, but to feel capable to feel like we have something to offer the world or our family. You know, that’s so, so important. So let’s talk about how this applies to how this applies to moms. Okay, so the rebalancing piece, right. So all behaviors, all of your behaviors are driven by three healthy needs. This is huge for moms. Sometimes moms just really have that ability to relax, where they go, whatever I’m doing, I’m just trying to meet a need. And if I don’t like the way I’m meeting my need, I can figure out what need that is and just find a way to meet it, right? I do like, right? So if you’re feeling powerless, when your kids are not doing what you say, right? You can stop, validate, find a way find the CANDU that works for you. Right, that are actually like you connect with your authentic self, this is what you’re doing really, when you’re aware of your likes and dislikes. You do the self validation, you’re connecting with your authentic self, and you’re making that the most important. I think that’s to like what I was talking about when I talked about how in our childhood, we’ll set aside our likes and dislikes and our access to them and I’ll really pay attention to, you know, our caregivers, likes and dislikes, really, our likes and dislikes need to be the most important for us in our lives. And when ours are the most important for us in our lives, then we’re totally okay with everybody else being everybody else’s preferences being the most important for them. And people are like, well, I’m going to get selfish and everybody’s going to be selfish. Actually, no, because caring about people and the people you care about are on your list. Right and so you’re you’re not going to become selfish that Actually, those people are so important to you, and you’re more freed up to show them love, and to care for them and to, you know, give them what they need or support them to, you know, to get Yeah. So there’s no, yeah, I

Jessi Sletten  25:10  

love that I talked about this all the time where, you know, I think we’re primed through society and so many other things that, you know, we have to be this martyr to our motherhood, right, like, we have to sacrifice everything down to who we are our food and the everything for our children, right. And so we have this idea in our mind that we’re not a good parent, if, you know, we aren’t putting our all in, and we just kind of put ourselves to the side or ambitions or likes or dislikes, all those things to the side, because our children should be everything right. And we should be, that should be our driving factor. And I feel like that connects so perfectly into what you’re saying where, you know, we had our childhood experience where our caregivers, likes and dislikes, we’re, you know, our driving factor. And then when we become a parent, that’s all of a sudden replaced with our children’s, I feel like in some, in some ways, so we’re like, Okay, we have to put aside what we want our boundaries, because our children is more important, what they like or dislike, or their boundaries are more important than our own. And I feel like that’s where a lot of these issues come in with feeling the guilt feeling the, you know, rage or, you know, dissatisfaction with our motherhood because we’re not, we’re not feeding ourselves, we’re not, you know, nurturing our own identity, nurturing our own likes and dislikes. So, yeah.

Rose Clark  26:29  

And then it’s setting the example for kids that that’s what that’s who they are and generational just to satisfy, like, it’s just reproducing it. Yeah, we’ve got it, you got it. So the find ways because, you know, Jesse, if we do look after ourselves, that’s actually when we give our best selves to our children. So if that’s on your likes list, right, of wanting to give your best self to your children, then it can’t come when you erase yourself. It doesn’t it doesn’t work, right, like, and so yeah, so so important. All right, we’ll jump into the last premise. All right. So the last premise says that children have every possible inner strength. And they act according to who they believe they are. This is powerful this is probably, because actually, you can get your child to shift their behavior, when you shift what they believe about themselves. That’s huge, right? And everything’s possible for them, every strength is possible for them, we just need to show it to them first. That’s really what we need to do. So in language of listening, we have this tool called the strengths tool. And the strengths tool is all about, yeah, naming the child’s strength, really seeing the strength and naming the strength so that it starts to wire the child’s brain so that they believe that about themselves, really, it gives them self talk. Now I had this client and she came to me one day after learning the strength tool, she was so excited, because her daughter came to her. And she just used the exact same wording that I had taught this mom to use. This is my favorite part is when the kids start using this language to like, we really see that the kids taking stuff in, you know, and it really does, it changes their self talk. So this little girl comes into her mom, and she says, let me just clean my desk. That’s the same what you see, by the way, I just cleaned my desk, that shows I’m responsible, love it, like, this is what this little girl is thinking about herself. Because Mom was speaking that way to her. And so the strength is cool. It’s kind of magical. And I have to say I want to talk about really the difference between using a strength tool from Language of Listening and using praise. So for me, my parents didn’t, they didn’t really praise me, I just got a crap ton of criticism, you know, like, it was always what I was doing wrong. And so, you know, and I think a lot of us, a lot of us experienced that, right? And so what do we want our kids, we want to encourage our kids, we want to praise their kids, we want to help them feel great about themselves. So there’s this real drive this real beautiful want and desire behind using praise with our kids. The tricky part is is that when we praise our kids, and that what I’m talking about is saying Good girl, good boy, I’m so proud of you making about what you see and think about the child. It really makes their identity, their their strengths, their goodness, rooted in other people’s opinions, instead of in the proof of who they are. This is why it’s so important when that little girl said I cleaned my desk, right? That’s the proof that she was responsible not that her mom says she’s responsible, not that somebody else would say that she’s responsible. But she knows that she knows inside of herself, that she cleaned her desk. And that’s just one piece of proof that she’s that she’s responsible. And what I love about this tool is how much it does inform who the child like it teaches the kid how to think about themselves. It really does teach them how to view themselves and think about themselves. And sometimes not all the time. But sometimes I’ve had a few magical moments where when I’ve used these tools with my kids, their behavior, it changed for the good. It was just that one using the strengths tool for them and I’ll tell a little story that I like to share, which is about Sharpie markers. So I have dislikes, okay, this is this is great, because it’s gonna lay out Modeling, okay, I have a dislike of having Sharpie marker on my first year on my walls, right. And so so then I have boundaries, you know, my boundaries are that if a child finds a Sharpie marker, they must bring into an adult that that’s simply, you know, I had another boundary to have like Sharpie markers really for paper but you know kind of the basic one was a child finds a Sharpie marker, they bring it to an adult. So as in the dining room with my daughter, she was about maybe four or five years old, and she peeked behind the cabinet, she saw a Sharpie marker back there. And so she reached down and she grabbed it and she pulled it out, she has a big smile on her face. And she’s walking towards me holding the Sharpie marker out big smile, you know, and then she changes her mind at the last minute, as she grew up. Looking at me with this, like, look like you know, and, and I’m like, Oh, my goodness, you know, and so then my brain starts to go into that place where our brains go right as, as parents, we start to feel powerless. And I’m thinking like, what am I doing? Oh, she’s got that marker, what’s she gonna do with it? Right? Like, like, do I send it to our room are bigger than her? I’m stronger, I could grab it out of her hand, what do I do? And then I went hang on Rose, you know, the tool, you know. So I did say what you see. And I said you found a Sharpie marker and you started bringing it to me. That’s it. I didn’t say that, you know, you gave me a walk and you you refuse to give it just kind of kept it very objective and very loose. Like you found a Sharpie marker. And you started bringing it to me. And this is an interesting strength because it’s a hidden strength. Right? This is not so obvious, right? But what I said to her in that moment was that shows you know how to follow the rules. She wasn’t following the rules quite in that moment. But she didn’t know how it was showing me she didn’t know how the minute those words came out of my mouth. The smile came back, the hand came off the marker, it got handed back to me. And I was like I was Kindred, right. It was like magic. It totally was. And so but it wasn’t just that that happened, Jessi. What happened from then on is she wanted to keep on experiencing herself as someone who knew how to follow the rules. And so she started looking for Sharpie markers and bringing them to me. And I’m like, oh my goodness, this tool is like amazing, because it’s really what happens is kids start looking for opportunities to prove to themselves that they have strength, so they can feel them and experience them and feel good about themselves. Right build that. And this is this is the kind of tool that that gives an unshakable competence to kids like my kids, when they’re on the web or on their on the school ground. And they’re getting, you know, if they get teased by the kids or whatever, just rolls right off their backs, because they know who they are. They’re not dependent, their safety, their feelings about themselves, not dependent on other things. So it’s amazing,

Jessi Sletten  32:30  

that’s beautiful. That’s what we all hope for, for our children, right? Because it’s, I mean, it’s so prevalent out there, all of the social media, all of the pressures to be just like everyone else sort of fit into this, you know, unrealistic idea of who you should be. And so having that be this internally, you know, driven gift that we can help create in our children is another thing that helps empower us as parents too. So I just love this, I’m like eating up every word, you’re saying, Rose.

Rose Clark  33:02  

Well, it’s crazy how simple the tools are really, right? Like, you can hear how easy they are, right? But they are like, they go so deep into like, who your child is and who you are. You know. So it’s, it’s, it’s just absolutely, absolutely amazing. Let’s talk about how moms can. So everything I know, not everything sorry, that’s the, that’s the other premise. You You have every possible inner strength, so you can know that about yourself. Like, it’s possible for you to experience yourself as having any strength that exists. And you behave according to who you believe you are. And so we can get some really crummy beliefs about ourselves from our childhood. And like, I always tell people, you know, if I talk about the abusive things that I experienced, it was really the mental and the emotional abuse that was the most terrible, like I was physically abused. But it felt like the physical abuse just kind of confirmed the mental and the emotional stuff, like it was really, I did not like the way that I thought about myself after childhood. And again, that idea of like, not trusting myself, trusting myself not having access to my authentic self. So when we can, you know, go into go into the bathroom, close the door self coach, right? When we can go in there, and we can look at ourselves, and we can validate ourselves. One of the things that that, you know, is really, really important is actually to acknowledge to yourself what it is that you want, what do you want in that moment. So if we go back to the example that I gave, which was like you want your kids to like, listen, the time you ask, when you ask them to put their shoes on, right, when it’s time to go out the door. You know, like there’s a lot of good things about wanting them to listen the first time they’re asked and actually that want shows strengths that you have. And so when you can look at yourself in the mirror, validate how you’re feeling, figure out what you want, and then start naming the strengths that that want shows. So like just wanting them to get out of the door on time, like Well, that just shows that you’re a person who wants to be on time. And that shows that they that you’re a person who wants children that can that can you know Hear, hear a request and respond appropriately to it. That kind of an idea. And even kids who are on time you’re, you’re a great mom, you’re a responsible mom, because you want your kids to learn how to be on time, you want them to learn that skill as well. Right? Those are all strengths you have. And then when you recognize, like, I have all these strengths, because I have this white, that’s when it comes super easy to come up with canned dues, that’s when you really connected with yourself. And I have to tell you, like being able to use these tools with myself and reconnect to validating myself and seeing the strengths that I have, and knowing what I want, right now is so healing for me after my childhood. After losing that connection to my self trust, right, I mean, just being able to see what what strengths it shows I have, because I want my kids to graze on the first time I know, right? Like I can really start to grow my own confidence, I can start to grow an unshakable confidence inside of myself separate to whatever my parents think or thought about me. And I will acknowledge that my parents did the very best they could with what they had, they were really struggling, you know, mentally and emotionally themselves. And so they were doing the best they had. And it was during a time when you know, there weren’t all these resources available. And all those things, man meets my need for power, when I can show up in this way for myself and for my kids, you know, and know that things are so different for me, and when they’re so different for me. And again, we talked about this, right, this idea of like you kind of get it for yourself first, before you can give it to your kids. And this is why I mean, I really, it was once I learned how to use the tools with myself, that things really changed for me in my motherhood that really allowed me to become the kind of mom I wanted to be having the tools was great. I knew I needed good tools that would work. But I really had to be able to use it with myself in order to be able to heal and to move on. And that was yeah, like I said, huge. Yes.

Jessi Sletten  36:48  

I love that so much. And I think that you know, even for folks who are expecting right now, right? Maybe they haven’t gone through their birth or, or you know, haven’t had previous children. I think that this still is so powerful. And we can start those skills now. Right? Because we can come up with these likes and dislikes lists now. And so we can start realizing those and connecting with our boundaries and what those really mean, because I think boundary is became such a buzzword for out there and a lot of misconceptions around what an actual boundary is. And it’s not necessarily you’re hoping to change other people’s behavior, but it’s really understanding, you know, that inner that inner boundary and that inner like and dislike and you know, not, it doesn’t matter if they are changing their behavior, right? Because it’s what’s inside for you, right? And so I do think that no important totally be done now in pregnancy, or even before you, maybe you’re planning for a family right now, right? You’re going through your fertility, journey. And so it’s like, we can start doing this healing now. And it’s never too late to do it either.

Rose Clark  37:56  

Yes, exactly. Yes. Because language listening works, actually, for every relationship. So your relationship with yourself, my husband is a therapist, and he will tell you that our marriage is better. And I talked about that a little bit at the beginning, right, our marriage is better because of language of listening. And you know, a lot of it because I was able to heal, you know, a lot of my wounds a lot of those survival mechanisms that I brought into my adult, my adult life, but I love what you were saying too, about the, you know, that whole idea about boundaries and how we’ve missed kind of misunderstood them, you know, and so like, and it’s so true, what you said, it’s really about what we do, that’s the part that we have control over is ourselves, right? And so, you know, just for an example. I mean, there’s so many ways that our childhood trauma thing, and so one of the ways that it shows up is just not being able to loud noises, right. And so when our child is crying, yeah, baby, it could be a three year old, whatever, when they’re screaming and crying, that’s really going to trigger. You know, in a lot of cases, our nervous system, right, and parents think that they just have to be patient, and they just have to put up with it. When it’s safe to leave your child when they’re crying. It’s okay, you’re not abandoning, right, if you if you’re overloaded. It’s okay for you to go in the bathroom and say what you see and say that now that noise is too loud for you. Right? But what I always do is my children are crying and I can’t stay in the room. I always make sure I validate with them with say what you see. And I just say it’s really loud right now. This is where I’m going if you need me come and go. Yeah, because if your child really does need you, if they really need the need for connection match, then they’re going to cry. Right? But it’s okay for you. If you just can’t handle it in that moment. It’s totally okay for you to hold a boundary and your boundary is not stop crying right now. Right? I mean, remember that phrase that a lot of parents, you know, from today, usually or, you know, stop crying, or I’ll give you some drive out. Right? This is not an appropriate way to, you know, treat somebody who’s crying, you know, but we just we acknowledge how important the situation is for them. This is so important. That’s why there’s tears because this is really really important, you know, and even even for a baby but for a baby again, we don’t want to leave crying really, that’s this is not ideal, but this is when we go it’s okay to ask for help. It’s so okay to ask my partner to come in, it’s okay for me to call my mom and ask her to come over and hold the baby. It’s okay, maybe I need a babysitter for an hour every day to come and look for the look after the baby. Because it’s okay for us to get our needs met.. Yeah, that’s that connection. And the other thing I mentioned…

Jessi Sletten  40:11  

Absolutely. It’s 100%…oh, sorry, I was just gonna say creating our support system ahead of time is one of the main pillars that I work on with my clients is, you cannot do it alone. Like, we cannot do it all. And it’s impossible. So let’s, let’s figure out who those writer guys are in your life, and what their role can be and how they can help you. And really spell that out ahead of time. And then if there’s gaps, we can work on that now. So that you aren’t feeling like you have to go through this alone, because you can’t it’s it’s not going to be a healthy way to be able to enter your motherhood, you know, alone and without support. You just it’s not going to be good.

Rose Clark  40:57  

Yes, yeah. Yeah, exactly. And, oh, gosh, the roofer showed up. So I hope you guys aren’t hearing that. It’s fun. The other thing I wanted to share was this this hour to like, maybe just kind of affirm is what you said, like, you can start now even if you’re expecting, even if you’re in your, you know, your journey of fertility, like how like that journey of fertility is sometimes really hard to really acknowledge for yourself, you know, what’s going on what you want, what the strengths are, what you can do, like, it’s so empowering, right, which is the name of this show, right? Right. It’s so empowering. When you choose from your deepest self, from your authentic self from your identity, you know, how you’re going to move forward, it’s just, it makes life so much easier. And it really, really increases your confidence that you can start talking to your baby, right in utero already. And even when you’re first born, you can be validating them, you can be using tons of say what you see, you can start naming strengths and looking for strengths. Right? You know, like, like, you’re you’re crying, you’re hungry, you know, that shows you because this is the way that we use the strengths tool. By the way, I didn’t really point a lay that out 100% You always use say what you see first to give the proof and then you name the strength. So like you’re crying, you’re letting mommy know, you know, you’re hungry. You’re such a good communicator that shows that you’re a good communicator, right? Start doing that with your baby. Oh, my goodness, it’s gonna be completely second nature fail. And like, it’s so easy because like, I mean, babies, they’re crying and whatnot can be triggering, right? Waking up all that stuff. But typically, there are a lot less triggering right to your right. And so be able to start that, you know, before things start to feel triggering. And like the way that toddlers especially just eat up that stuff. And I mean, maybe that’s something that we can talk about a little bit more Jesse, too, that just kind of popped into my head when I work with moms who have a toddler and a new baby, they almost always have the same issue, which is the toddler starts hitting the baby, right, the toddler and there’s there’s, you know, issues in that sibling relationship already. So, you know, it’s not a good thing for us to chat about. 

Jessi Sletten  42:55  

Yeah, we only have a few more minutes. But I think we can wrap up there. Because I think that that really an important thing for us to touch on for our audience for sure.

Rose Clark  43:01  

Okay. Okay. Which is great. Because I think again, there’s that triggering, that happens as a mom, these situations start to feel like life or death, when the toddler sitting the baby, and we freak out. And it’s really hard to get to a place of choice, you know, to know what to do. So again, the validation with that, that toddler because we want to talk about, like, where are they actually coming from? Right. And the toddler is actually coming from a place of their whole world just got turned upside down. Right, and they’re just letting you know how hard it is. They’re letting you know how frustrated they are. Right? That’s how frustrated you are. I love those. That’s how phrases that’s how frustrated you are, you know, you hit the baby, you wish you could have mommy all the time, that that’s where you’re coming from even just saying that time and time again, I’ve I’ve seen it just that behavior, just stop with the toddlers. And I’ve had moms really connect to that even come into tears when they hear me talking about this kind of validation, because I think it really allows us to to accept ourselves. Yeah, you know, there’s this back and forth where it really is true. I think that like, we have to give it to ourselves to be able to give it to our children. But sometimes it’s only the love that we have for our children that allows us to give it to them and not to ourselves, but when we give it to them, and we’re getting experience and learning how to give it to ourselves to so there’s a really beautiful kind of back and forth relationship there. I think, you know, when things are feeling…

Jessi Sletten  44:17  

yes, I love that it’s very reciprocal in nature, and it feels, you know, a lot of times we have to fall back on that motivation for our children, because we’ve just been so ingrained to put our needs last right and so if you need to start there, where your motivation is for your children, there’s nothing wrong with that, because I think over time, you will build that, you know, strengthen that validation and that self confidence that you deserve all these things, too. Right. And so it’s like a, like that muscle memory kind of concept with your neural pathways. You know, you’re you’re really forging new neural pathways from things that were so ingrained before you know, previously and so give yourself some grace. It’s going to take time, right? You don’t have to do it perfectly. That’s my problem. I’m always like, I can do it perfectly. So I’m a failure, you know, I mean, it’s like no, no, no, take a step.

Rose Clark  45:07  

Yeah, well, perfectionism is one of the things that I talk about as one of the survival mechanisms that show up from a difficult childhood. Is that, is that perfection.

Jessi Sletten  45:14  

Yes. Well, this has been incredible. I am so so happy that you were able to come on the show today and really share these amazing tools. I know I’m going to be applying them in my own parenthood. So this is wonderful. And you know, I just want to thank you again for sharing your time your expertise, and I’d love for you to share with our audience you know if there’s any new are expecting mamas out there or seasoned moms, how can they connect with you?

Rose Clark  45:41  

Yeah, yep. So my business is called Love the Way You parent so if they get on Instagram, or Facebook, or Google and they type in love the way you parent, they can find my website, which is going to talk about you know, how you can work with me or they can they can binge some of my content, you know, on social media. And yeah, for sure, feel feel free to do that. So yeah, love the way you parent and my website is just love the way you parent.com Awesome.

Jessi Sletten  46:01  

Well, thank you so much. Again, Rose. This has been amazing. And you know, for everybody listening, thank you for tuning in today. And remember that empowering postpartum coaching, guides new and pregnant moms through the transition into motherhood, so that you can bond with your baby without sacrificing your own self care. And if this is what you are wanting for your postpartum shoot me a DM on Instagram, I’m at empowering underscore postpartum. And we can chat about how I can help support you through your own unique journey. Because I think that that is so important. Each pregnancy, each postpartum is going to be unique. You’re a new person each time you emerge through these phases of life, and you’re learning and growing. And having that support is always so important, because you deserve that support instead of your baby. And remember that the show can also be heard on the Spanglish Radio Network, please check out Spanglish world.ca for all the news and programming, speak English world, watch it, hear it, read it, download it, and live it. And we are excited to be back again next week. You can tune in every Thursday live at 10am Mountain Standard Time 12pm Eastern