Todd and Cathy discuss why it’s important to process how the holidays went before moving forward—what worked, what didn’t, and what can be repaired or celebrated. They also focus on school refusal after the holidays, emotional labor during the holidays, and answer a question about what’s most important when raising boys.

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Time Stamps

(00:00:00) Introduction

(00:03:40) Advice on raising boys

(00:11:01) Purple turkey story

(00:15:04) How did it go?

(00:17:31) School refusal *

(00:26:08) Zen Parenting Conference

(00:26:36) Team Zen Circle

(00:29:24) putting up the gate *

(00:30:27) Cookie monster story *

(00:36:38) Mom’s feel like they’re on an island

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How Did It Go?

This episode of the Zen Parenting Radio podcast, hosted by Todd and Cathy Adams, delves into the complexities of parenting, relationships, and personal growth. In this episode, Cathy and Todd navigated a myriad of topics, from the transitional nature of the week between Christmas and New Year’s to the challenges of raising boys in a culture dominated by toxic masculinity. This article synthesizes the key points from different segments of the podcast, exploring the hosts’ insights on parenting, gender dynamics, holiday challenges, and self-reflection.

The episode begins with Todd and Cathy reflecting on the unique atmosphere during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. They emphasize the importance of acknowledging both positive and challenging experiences from the past year. The hosts discuss the challenges of reacclimating to routines after the holiday season, encouraging listeners to engage in meaningful reflections.

A significant portion of the episode focuses on the challenges of raising boys in a society dominated by toxic masculinity. Todd and Cathy recommend resources like “Masterminds and Wingmen,” “Decoding Boys,” and “Boy Crisis.” They advocate for fostering creativity and emotional expression in boys, challenging traditional gender norms through diverse toys, role models, and activities.

The hosts underscore the need for a balanced parenting approach, recognizing gender-specific needs while striving to raise well-rounded individuals. Personal anecdotes highlight the importance of creative expression in childhood and prompt listeners to consider societal expectations on individual development.

Cathy discusses the importance of including arts in school education, emphasizing literature’s contribution to brain development. The conversation shifts to the challenges faced by families during the holidays, particularly when multiple generations live under one roof. Todd shares experiences related to sleep training and parenting styles, shedding light on potential conflicts arising from differing approaches.

A specific scenario involving sleep training for a six-month-old baby during the holidays is explored. The hosts discuss the complexities of parenting styles and the potential disruption caused by varying approaches. They stress the need for individualized approaches based on the child’s needs, acknowledging that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions.

Todd and Cathy share personal experiences, including humorous incidents and challenges they faced in parenting. The hosts emphasize the importance of repairing and owning mistakes in parenting, fostering open communication and apologies. The conversation extends to the holiday season, with Cathy expressing the need for recognizing and discussing the emotional labor involved in holiday preparations.

They discuss the differing ways they express care and consideration during the holidays, exploring the balance between masculine and feminine approaches. The hosts delve into the concept of selfishness and varying perspectives on gift-giving, ultimately promoting open communication and mutual understanding in relationships.

In the final part of the episode, Todd and Cathy reflect on their holiday experiences. They discuss gift-giving dynamics, with Todd expressing his practical yet sometimes oblivious approach. Cathy emphasizes the importance of considering others, highlighting the need for Todd to be more considerate.

The conversation shifts to their holiday activities in Florida, with Todd recognizing the need for more intentional connection with Cathy during family gatherings. They explore the challenges of balancing extroverted and introverted tendencies, particularly during game nights. Cathy shares her perspective on needing relaxation without the pressure to perform socially, highlighting the importance of understanding their differing roles.

The Zen Parenting Radio podcast episode covers a spectrum of topics, offering valuable insights into parenting, gender dynamics, holiday challenges, and self-reflection. Todd and Cathy Adams’ thoughtful discussions provide listeners with practical advice, personal anecdotes, and a deeper understanding of navigating the complexities of parenthood and relationships.


ZPR#743 – How Did It Go Full Episode Transcript – DOWNLOAD


[00:00:05] Cathy: So I think that the week between Christmas and New Year’s is a very strange week because we don’t know like how attuned to life we need to be because you still kind of feel like you’re on some kind of vacation and everybody else is too. But I kind of think this week is like that too. The week after?

[00:00:29] Cathy: Yeah. So, today we are recording this on, what, January 2nd, so Happy New Year, everybody. And I kind of feel like, even though it’s, people are technically maybe going back to work, most people don’t go back till next week.

[00:00:42] Todd: Well, in

[00:00:42] Cathy: school, obviously. Yeah, school, maybe that’s it. It’s that school hasn’t

[00:00:46] Todd: started.

[00:00:46] Todd: I think most people are probably back to work. Yeah. But not

[00:00:48] Cathy: everybody. It feels a little different, though. So, do you like this?

[00:00:53] Todd: Yeah, but I’m re acclimating to my we did a yoga class this morning. Yeah, and let’s just say I was a little off But you called it strange, right? Called what strange?

[00:01:05] Cathy: What

[00:01:05] Todd: did I call strange?

[00:01:06] Todd: You said this week is strange. I did. So I’m going to play this.

[00:01:13] Todd: People

[00:01:13] Cathy: are strange. I didn’t say people are strange. I

[00:01:15] Todd: know, I added that. But we’re going to start the show. You ready? Yes. Let’s do it.

[00:01:29] Todd: Welcome back to another episode of Zen Parenting Radio. This is podcast number 743. Why listen to Zen Parenting Radio? Because you’ll feel outstanding. And always remember our motto, which is that the best predictor of a child’s well being is in fact, Zen. A parent’s self understanding. Uh, on today’s show, I have a quick question that came up on our Team Zen circle, sweetie.

[00:01:53] Todd: Okay. That you actually weighed in on.

[00:01:55] Cathy: Um, also today, it’s the first show of 2024. I just want to say that. [00:02:00] Happy 2024, everybody. Yeah.

[00:02:02] Todd: Welcome back. Um. And the main, but just to let everybody know, the main topic, uh, what did you want to call it? How did it go? How did it go? And when you say it, you mean the holidays.

[00:02:13] Todd: Yeah. I

[00:02:14] Cathy: think that sometimes we, um, we have, the holidays are an experience because most people, not everybody, but most people spend time with their family or go to someone else’s home and have a completely different structure in their day as far as celebration versus work and school, et cetera. And, you know, Todd, I was just talking to him about this and I said, and, you know, we need to, like, think about how it went.

[00:02:40] Cathy: And Todd said, yeah, because. Every time we get to the new year, we’re looking forward, but this is also a good opportunity to be like, how did it go? Yeah, or you know, it’s not necessarily to nitpick it and to find problems, but just to recognize what maybe new tools we used, what we forgot to use, the things that annoyed us that we can maybe work on for next year, and then the things we’ve just come to accept.

[00:03:05] Cathy: Because some things we just accept, not everything necessitates a healing.

[00:03:09] Todd: I just tried to, uh, YouTube search, uh, Go Back by Diane Court. Go back. And it’s not, uh, I can’t find it, unfortunately. But for those of you who love Say Anything, go back. Um, so.

[00:03:24] Cathy: It’s Say Anything, it’s her graduation speech. And then the

[00:03:27] Todd: dad laughs really loud.

[00:03:27] Todd: And he’s the only one. Um. So, I say we jump into the main topic, but I’m going to tease the question I’m going to ask at the end of the show that was on Team Zen Circle. You don’t want to start with the question? I don’t know. I feel like we can easily, like, spend a half an hour on the question. I

[00:03:41] Cathy: know, but it might help me get, cause like, we’re just, it’s morning, like, I’d like to get in,

[00:03:46] Todd: you know, talking.

[00:03:47] Todd: My daughter just found out she’s having a boy, though she was so convinced it was a girl. Okay. Any recommendations for books about raising boys? Got it. She’s super nervous about raising a boy with toxic masculinity culture [00:04:00] and the be a man mentality. She’s deeply feeling, so her feelings are huge about this.

[00:04:06] Todd: Um, so you and others weighed in on, um, some

[00:04:12] Cathy: resources. So this is a member of Team Zen who has a daughter who’s now having child. So this is our Team Zen members going to be their grandchild and their daughter. Is having a boy. She, and I think she said at the beginning, she thought she was having a girl, but she turns out she’s having a boy.

[00:04:26] Cathy: So she’s a little more concerned about how to navigate the terrain of masculinity.

[00:04:31] Todd: Yes. Yes. Um, so a few resources that our team suggested, uh, Masterminds and Wingmen from Rosalind’s book, Rosalind Wiseman, are a good friend. Um, There’s somebody said, uh, Karen Natterson’s book called Decoding Boys, and I have not read that.

[00:04:49] Todd: I read Masterminds of Wingmen. And then I was just talking to a guy from Canada last week, and he asked me if I’ve ever read a book called Boy Crisis by Warren Farrell. And I said, I haven’t, maybe I will. But the one quote he gave to me, which I love, because, you know, there’s this constant push pull between the two.

[00:05:06] Todd: Between, you know, the people in power and Congress and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are, are mostly men. And, you know, it’s like, okay, we need to Do we put our attention towards these, this gender, um, that is already in power, or do we put it towards the females who are not in power in these? And the answer is, is both, but there’s a really good quote that kind of sums it up.

[00:05:33] Todd: When one gender wins, both genders lose. I think that that’s a really wonderful, uh, concise way of saying if we’re just focusing on one or the other, it’s, everybody’s

[00:05:44] Cathy: gonna lose. Well, everyone’s liberation helps everybody else’s liberation. Oh. You know what I mean? And every, and I remember the, you know, a while ago we were talking about The concept of that, a, like, humanity or a community or just [00:06:00] our culture, it, you kind of consider masculinity one wing and femininity another wing, and I don’t mean men and women, but I mean those two, um, parts of ourselves.

[00:06:10] Cathy: And that to fly, it’s like a bird, you have to have both wings flying steady, and then you have like flight, then you have like, then we can take off and have less challenges. But if one wing is not as active, we’re not flying that well, we’re not flying well. And I think that’s, it’s got nothing to do with, um, we were talking about this this week and we’ve obviously had so many talks about these things, but, you know, women.

[00:06:37] Cathy: We’re just talking about men and women in culture, women can be very vocal about this needs to change and this is not okay. I mean, this is how I feel right now completely. I feel like women’s rights are being stripped away. I feel like people are having conversations about things that, you know, they’re questioning like, are they really being stripped away?

[00:06:57] Cathy: Yes, they are. They are. This is not, I have no question, no doubt about it. And we need to be very vocal about it. But unfortunately, we still, we are still, we don’t have balanced power yet. So I, sometimes I feel like I’m screaming into the void, you know what I mean? So to your point, we need both. We need people who are speaking up, who are saying you are Uh, you know, I feel as if my rights are being stripped away, but we also need the more masculine of our culture to be in agreement or recognize how that oppresses

[00:07:29] Todd: them.

[00:07:30] Todd: Well, and what I would say is, like, I will, if I had a son, which I don’t, I would want him to Be a healthy, masculine person. And one thing that’s obvious is, you know, who benefits from healthy masculinity? Everybody. Everybody. It’s not a boy thing. No, it’s not a boy thing. It’s girl, it’s boy, it’s non binary, it’s everybody.

[00:07:47] Todd: It’s, it’s

[00:07:47] Cathy: racial, it’s like we, that’s the thing is when there is a group that is trying to stay in power. Come hell or high water, then it’s, then there’s a lot of pitting, other groups against each [00:08:00] other. Um, you know, another kind of downward oppression where then everybody is oppressing each other to kind of do this King of the hill thing.

[00:08:07] Cathy: And when there’s a recognition that there’s enough space for everybody and that everybody has a voice and that we need everybody’s differing, differing viewpoints, um, we all do

[00:08:18] Todd: better. Um, can I read what you wrote to our Team Zen member and then you can riff off of whatever you want to? You said Raising Cain.

[00:08:26] Todd: The Dan Siegel. So Raising Cain is a different. It’s a book. Yeah, okay. Uh, the Dan Siegel books, which is Whole Brain Child. Emotional Agility by Susan David. So what’s interesting about your take is some of them are about boys, but some of them are just Raising

[00:08:40] Cathy: healthy humans. Yeah, Raising Cain is a book about boys.

[00:08:42] Cathy: Dan Siegel’s book is a book about brain and neurobiology and, and how, what’s going on with kids brains. And then Emotional Agility is how to recognize your emotions and how to be able to move through them and in and out of them.

[00:08:54] Todd: And you also say tell her to watch the mask you live in. Yeah. And start.

[00:08:58] Todd: Early with lots of good all gender role models, not just men. Get lots of different toys traditionally marketed at boys, trucks, and girls. Cooking, and of course non specific toys, instrument, dolls, etc. Lots of music, dancing, creativity. Read Big Magic by Liz Gilbert and Normalize Creativity in Every Aspect of Life.

[00:09:18] Todd: The Wonder of Boys by, I think it’s Michael Gurian, if I’m right. That’s another good one. And of course, the most recent book, John Duffy’s Rescuing Our Boys. But again, just making sure that her son has lots of creative and emotional outlets, no need for gender specificity, just good human interaction and compassionate living.

[00:09:34] Todd: Excited for her. Boys are beautiful. That’s what you wrote, babe.

[00:09:37] Cathy: Nice job. Yeah. Well, that’s the thing is sometimes without recognizing it, we get too focused on the gender. Yeah. You know what I mean? Like we, this is the, you know, paradox of life, right? This is what we talk about in Zen parenting is you have to notice both.

[00:09:50] Cathy: You have to recognize how if you’re having boys, you need to think about their gender. And also if you’re having boys think less about their gender, like make sure that they have the experience of a [00:10:00] humanity, which necessitates things that we may in, in. Our world feminized, but they’re really not feminine.

[00:10:06] Cathy: They’re just. That’s another aspect of their humanity that sometimes gets left behind. So I love, you know, making sure that all genders have access to creativity in every aspect of their lives keeps, I think, a part of them open, brain, heart, soul, that they see a bigger picture and they see other people’s perspective.

[00:10:31] Cathy: And a lot of that comes from, you know, some of our, some of the things, stories that we tell each other in our family. are about times that teachers told us we couldn’t do things. For example, Um, my oldest daughter was at one point, um, coloring in George Washington in February and her teacher came over to her and said, you can’t do it that color.

[00:10:54] Cathy: That’s disrespectful of George Washington. And I don’t know what color she was using, orange, purple. It wasn’t really about the color of the person’s skin. It was about, she was coloring. And Great. I think kindergarten. Okay. And then you talk about your purple turkey story. Oh, yeah. He, you know, Todd was

[00:11:12] Todd: It was Thanksgiving time and we were coloring a turkey, and purple is my favorite color.

[00:11:16] Todd: If you don’t know me, it is. And, uh, my friends Paul Gajewicz, Conrad Johnson, if you’re listening out there, you made me feel bad. My daughter’s

[00:11:25] Cathy: laugh at Todd because he always says people’s full names from elementary school.

[00:11:30] Todd: Because I started crying because they started making fun of my purple turkey. And then Miss Kaur, my teacher, who I’m sure is long gone, um, said, uh, oh my god, that’s such a wonderful color that you chose for turkey, and she made me feel better.

[00:11:45] Todd: But okay, I just remember Um, my friends making fun, like, turkeys are purple. Right. Mine was. You’re doing it wrong.

[00:11:52] Cathy: You’re doing it wrong. And, and here’s the thing, the reason we tell these stories and we, and I have some as well, you know, like, [00:12:00] um, you know, creating something for, I wrote a story for young authors when I was really young and someone read it and said, you’re not doing it right.

[00:12:07] Cathy: It’s supposed to be these chapters and, you know, we get to this. Point in life where people start telling us we’re doing it wrong. And the reason we remember these stories is because we’re going on creative impulses. And then someone tells us, no, no, no, that doesn’t work here. So while I understand in school, sometimes we have to like rein it in and learn a certain kind of way.

[00:12:26] Cathy: We also do not forget the times that we were told your creative impulses are wrong. And so we have to make sure. That when we’re raising kids, that we, in hopefully multiple aspects of their lives, we allow for those creative impulses and we don’t start to say, no, no, no, you need to only do it this way and only color it this way and only wear this and only do your hair this way.

[00:12:51] Cathy: Because it really shuts down those like more internal. You know, this expression and creativity or what am I trying to say? Experimentation with things that are not going to be life altering. I’d much rather my children, you know, experiment with clothing and things like that than things that are going to harm them.

[00:13:14] Cathy: Like drugs. Like, yeah. Like, so, you know, so in, you know, answer to her raising a son, make sure he has opportunities for creative expression and that he recognizes How important that is in life and how and people in the home should be role modeling that yeah And yes, sometimes society as we were saying we’ll say no you’re doing it wrong, but even that necessitates a conversation Are you really or maybe in that like, you know, there’s not a lot of creative math like math has a

[00:13:44] Todd: finally There’s a lot of mathematicians out there that probably refuse that there’s ton of creativity in mathematics But I could be right you’re right.

[00:13:50] Cathy: Like I don’t have enough experience with math to understand how math becomes

[00:13:55] Todd: creative. Oh, we know, sweetie. We’re very familiar.

[00:13:58] Cathy: Um, and I’m sure, and science [00:14:00] has creativity because how you get to a final solution could be creative, right? Maybe. I

[00:14:06] Todd: don’t know. But the idea is arts and literature don’t have a specific answer, whereas math’s two plus two equals

[00:14:13] Cathy: four.

[00:14:13] Cathy: Well, and this is why, and I’m speaking as a teacher, but also someone who, you know, a social worker, someone who’s interested in sociology and our culture, is that’s why it’s Completely, like, not okay that we start pulling the arts out of school. Because if we’re like, no, just reading and math, just reading and math, and it’s so interesting because reading literature is a creative endeavor.

[00:14:37] Cathy: Literature is you read something, yes, phonics, you know, I can read out loud, whatever it may be. But then the way you interpret literature. is a creative endeavor. So the idea of pulling out arts and dance and, you know, singing and drawing and jewelry making and all these things that is, are interesting to kids, um, that hinders their brain development.

[00:15:00] Cathy: And even though we know this, we still have communities who think that’s important. It’s to me, sometimes when we have research and then people like, no, but still. Just you know, it’s interesting. But anyway, okay,

[00:15:14] Todd: so let’s pivot over to how did it go? And as a result we were with some friends and they were telling us there was multiple families under one roof which is very

[00:15:24] Cathy: typical for the holidays

[00:15:25] Todd: very typical the holidays and There’s just a lot of different aspects that I thought were interesting.

[00:15:33] Todd: You know, we’ve been doing this podcast for 13 years. I don’t know if we’ve talked about the same roof under the same, um, and a few of the issues that came up were sleep training. So like there was, um, you know, a family member who had a younger kid, uh, a baby, an infant, like six months and it was tough.

[00:15:54] Todd: For everybody. For everybody because, um, the way that they were sleep training or maybe [00:16:00] not sleep training them, the adults weren’t even available because they were always attending to this five or six month old, uh, trying

[00:16:07] Cathy: to fall asleep. Yeah, I think the way They weren’t sleep training. When we talk about sleep training, this is not debating that issue, but the reason that it became a problem is because the kid didn’t have any self soothing.

[00:16:19] Cathy: They weren’t interested in, in creating an environment for that. And so the, the parents or grandpa parent. Was having to leave with the kid, allow the kid to sleep on them for hours and hours and hours. And then the kid would wake up in the middle of the night or in the middle of dinner or whatever. And they, they just didn’t have

[00:16:37] Todd: disrupted the flow of celebrating together because so like that was one example.

[00:16:42] Todd: And then there was, and we didn’t get into the guts of this, but, but there was also like adolescence and preadolescent underneath in the household. And when like uncle Joe, let’s say is trying to discipline your kid. And it can get so, um, messy when different parenting styles show up under the same roof because, um, you know.

[00:17:08] Todd: Even you and I, who are on a united front, probably there’s some nuances in the way that I do things and the way you do things. For sure. And if you do that from one family to another, I’m sure it gets even more exaggerated, not exaggerated, but more obvious. Mm hmm. Confusing to the kid, too. Because one family might come from an authoritarian style, and one family might come from a Permissive.

[00:17:33] Todd: Overly permissive style. Right. And, um, one example I wanted to bring up is, there has been times when, um, our daughters had a hard time getting to school. Getting into school. Like, anxiety. Right? And I remember having a conversation with one of my dear friends, and we were both kind of, because he had a kid who was, I think, in fourth grade or fifth grade, and said, well, this is how I did it.

[00:17:59] Todd: [00:18:00] So the way, the way we did it, like, there was a morning when my kid was like, I’m so anxious right now. I’m having a hard time walking into school and I really struggle with that. I remember I was in the car with her and I called you and I’m like I don’t know what to do and we tried to like help her decide to go to school and it wasn’t happening.

[00:18:20] Todd: It wasn’t happening. I remember. So you said We’ll just come home. And then what happened was we let our kid, um, I don’t know, have some food, watch a show and by third period she was in school. My friend did the same, had the same situation and he forced his kid physically, you know, didn’t, didn’t abuse him, but like, no, you’re going in and I’m going to grab your hand until you get to the door and, and move you in and then bail.

[00:18:50] Todd: And what’s funny about the whole thing is. I feel like the way I did it was the quote unquote right way to do it. So whenever I’m trying to talk to anybody about being in relationship with other human beings to be curious, right? To have curiosity and what I said to my friend, because we’re such good friends, I’m like, just so you know, friend, I’m pretty sure I did it right and you didn’t.

[00:19:15] Todd: And he, and he laughed. I mean, that’s, that’s the type of rapport we had. But I wasn’t very curious about it because I don’t think my values don’t fall into, you force your kid into school. Now, is it possible? Cause we, that, uh, when our kid had a hard time going in, it didn’t happen just once, it happened more than once.

[00:19:33] Todd: Sure. Is it possible that if I would have done what he did, then the problem would have went away? Of course it’s possible. Sure. Do I think it, it, it is the way things should go? Or it would have helped? I actually think it would have hindered, um, it would have hindered Um, the growth process for my kid. And he probably thinks the way I did it was too permissive.

[00:19:56] Todd: Well, and

[00:19:57] Cathy: I think you’re talking about styles versus the [00:20:00] human being, like you’re saying I think the way I did it is right, and I think the way you did it is wrong, and really the question we’re asking here is how, how will my kid best, um You know, how can I help my kid with this process? And the answer might be different depending on the kid.

[00:20:19] Cathy: Like, that’s kind of, oh, you know what, you just did something that I should do. Hold on everybody. Holding. Okay. I wanted to, I, I’m

[00:20:27] Todd: not. We’re off our game. I have one of three things plugged

[00:20:30] Cathy: in. We haven’t done a podcast in two weeks, so we’re like, let’s plug in. Okay. So, what, every time we like. Tell a story and then look back on it.

[00:20:43] Cathy: We have this like wider perspective of it’s, it ended up fine, right? Even if you have a kid who like has school anxiety for a year or two years, in the moment, it can feel like, how are we ever going to get through this? How is this ever going to change? But then when you get past it, you’re like, yeah, it was gonna change.

[00:21:01] Cathy: Like her brain was developing. Things were a little more scary at the time. It was just a point in time. It wasn’t the reality of her life. Forever. But we can only see that with some space. And so I think The, you know, the way that I look at this is that, you know, it’s funny, I think about COVID because it was four years ago that COVID happened.

[00:21:25] Cathy: And I remember saying to myself during COVID, I want to be able to look back on this time and feel that I did what I could. to handle this in a mature and emotionally available way. I don’t know exactly the words I use but I wrote to myself a lot like this is very hard, this is hard for our kids, this is hard for the world.

[00:21:45] Cathy: I want to look back and not be someone who is stomping around, yelling about things, throwing things. you know, pushing people around about this. I wanted to really make a choice. Be conscious. That I felt proud of. And I feel the same way [00:22:00] when I’m making decisions about my kids. It’s not about I want to be able to pat myself on the back later.

[00:22:04] Cathy: It’s I want to look back and not feel regretful or not feel that I was pushing something because I was uncomfortable with it. Because Everyone can relate to this. Of course we were uncomfortable when our kid didn’t want to go to school. It

[00:22:18] Todd: sucked. And I definitely fast forward like, Oh, if I, if I’m, if I go easy on her today and whatever easy means, then she’ll never go to school again.

[00:22:29] Cathy: And I think that’s where I would question you. That’s when we were a good team in this way. I’m not saying I never felt that way, but I knew that wasn’t true.

[00:22:37] Todd: Yeah. Well, there’s a fear, you know, there’s a fearful one that shows up and that maybe it’s not even the fearful one. It’s the worst case scenario

[00:22:45] Cathy: part of me.

[00:22:46] Cathy: And it’s this training that we had early on, like we were either told that by our parents or society or some old parenting manual that if you don’t force your kids to do something, they will always. you know, struggle, or they will then take advantage of you, or give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. And I don’t believe that about people.

[00:23:04] Cathy: I don’t believe that about kids. I think, I don’t just think, I know, because I’ve been working with people my whole life, they want to succeed. They want to do well. They don’t want to depend on other people. They don’t want to hurt people. That comes from being hurt. That comes from being not trusted. So, We have to look at that big picture of right now this kid is struggling so much that forcing them into school would not only, like, be not good for our relationship and our connection because we’re not listening, but would honestly be an internal harm for them because they wouldn’t have the capacity to navigate what was ahead.

[00:23:43] Cathy: Well,

[00:23:43] Todd: and here’s my, um, uh, you know, I talk, I was not curious, uh, I was judgmental of my, of my friend. And, and I guess the, not the, not even the evidence, but I always want to make sure that my kid feels like I’m on their [00:24:00] side. Yes. Like I am an ally to them. Yes. And if I force them to walk into those doors, although they know that their anxiety is so great that they can’t do it, doesn’t feel Good to me.

[00:24:14] Todd: Now, I also know that sometimes love and doing things for somebody sometimes doesn’t feel that good either, so it’s not like, take the easiest path in the short term, because sometimes the hardest path is to do something uncomfortable in the short term, but in the end it ends up being good, so it’s very

[00:24:33] Cathy: tricky.

[00:24:34] Cathy: And it depends on who you’re talking about because saying to your kid, no, you’re going into school, there’s No ifs, ands, or buts. I’m going home. Goodbye. That’s hard for them, easier for us. Now, I’m saying emotionally it may be hard for us, but really we’re just Pushing them in and saying, I’m not going to deal with this.

[00:24:50] Cathy: Sometimes the harder thing is saying, let’s come home and have a conversation. Now, I know there is a continuum here and there are people who are so permissive. I actually, my first, because I used to work in an inpatient unit, partial hospitalization unit, and a lot of times the kids I would get would have school refusal because I was also the clinical educator on the unit.

[00:25:11] Cathy: So I was a teacher and I was a therapist. And some of my hardest cases were kids. who had school refusal and their parents had let it go for like months. So helping those kids get back in school were things like, I would drive them. And sit in the parking lot with them, and then we’d go home. And then we would just inch up, we were doing like, you know, exposure therapy.

[00:25:33] Cathy: But the parents had let it go, like, there’s that continuum of parents who are like, well, screw it, forget it. And that’s not okay either. Because that’s denying reality in a different way. So, what I’m talking about is, in this moment, what’s best, and the thing was, what I knew with my kid is school is something that We do.

[00:25:52] Cathy: It’s a value in our family. School is something we do, but you struggling right now in this moment is the most [00:26:00] important thing. You are going to go to school, but let’s figure out a way to make school And your emotional well being not in conflict with each other. You know what I mean? Like, the goal wasn’t, well, then you don’t go to school.

[00:26:11] Cathy: And this, and the goal wasn’t, well, screw your feelings. It was this in between place. And, and I know people who maybe right now are worried about it because their kid is going back to school next week. And they’re like, what if my kid won’t go? Because I know there’s people listening who are feeling that way.

[00:26:25] Cathy: There are no final answers for you. And anybody who says, just do this and it’ll work. Maybe it will, but maybe it won’t. It’s a day by day experience in recognizing it’s a moment in time. It’s a moment in their brain development. It’s a moment in the time of the year. It’s hard to go back after a month. My oldest daughter still talks about she couldn’t, sometimes didn’t even want to go on spring break because she’d be like starting up again.

[00:26:51] Cathy: A week and a half later was so hard for her emotionally. And instead of us saying, well, it shouldn’t be, you’ve had a break. Recognize that. Realize that. Acknowledge that with them. Tell them that that feeling isn’t, that, that’s normal. Who wouldn’t feel that way? So, there is, you know, this, to your point, in the end, I’m gonna bring full circle here, you’re talking about your friend who did it differently, the end result is both of our kids are now in school.

[00:27:19] Cathy: Yes. Right? Right. . Um, and the way that it was done, say, say you weren’t proud of a way you did it. You pushed your kid in. Yeah. You didn’t care about their emotions

[00:27:29] Todd: or you were, maybe you punished them, or you’re maybe way too permissive. Yeah. Yeah’s, take it the other way too.

[00:27:33] Cathy: So. You know, the thing about those experiences early in life is that you can, as much as you want, repair that situation through conversation with your kid.

[00:27:45] Cathy: There are things that we did or didn’t do with our girls that we do our best to bring up at, not at nauseam and not to have them, we’re not like, forgive me, but we bring it up as a story of learning. [00:28:00] Like, I’ll do a simple one. When my oldest was really young and I was getting no sleep and I was pregnant, she would always come out of her room and be up all night.

[00:28:08] Cathy: And so we had a two day period of time where we put a gate up on her door where she couldn’t get out. And

[00:28:15] Todd: I remember the, I remember where I was. I remember what her bedroom was. And she was just bawling. She was, what, a year and change maybe? And we’re like, no. God, it was pretty embarrassing because it is.

[00:28:31] Cathy: Yeah. And it was, and, and interestingly enough, and people, you know, who just, who have young children right now may be like, Oh my God, it was actually kind of a normal, like people would talk about that as being a thing, like just, and it wasn’t like she could see out and she could obviously climb over. It wasn’t like she was like locked behind a door, but the, our, our intention was no, it’s nighttime.

[00:28:50] Cathy: You stay in your room. That lasted like a day and a half and Todd and I could not deal with it. Like, and we were, it was for me because I was pregnant and trying to sleep and it was, Everything was messy, but we, she, I mean, she doesn’t remember it, remember it, but we talk about it. What about the cookie monster, sweetie?

[00:29:09] Cathy: And then the cookie monster story where Todd showed up. So was

[00:29:12] Todd: she two? Two. So she was two, I had got this huge cookie monster costume and it was our first kid, so I was trying to make everything bigger and funny and celebration. And it was this guy, just gargantuan cookie monster, like the thing to put on my head was like, Bigger than a cooler.

[00:29:30] Todd: I’m looking at a cooler right now. It’s like huge and I said, um, and so first we showed her before so she wouldn’t freak out at the birthday party and she freaked out when I was testing it out. It was scary. And then I took the thing off and I go, it’s just daddy. It didn’t matter. But then, so even though she was freaking out, I went and Still did the cookie monster thing.

[00:29:51] Todd: Still did the cookie monster thing. And she And over the next 11 and a half months, he’s like, [00:30:00] Yeah. The cookie monster was scary or something. No. She’d say, why you be Cookie Monster? Why you

[00:30:04] Cathy: be Cookie Monster? Why you be, and so we had to keep telling that story. And Dad had to keep saying, and, and I did too.

[00:30:10] Cathy: We were wrong. That really scared you. But

[00:30:12] Todd: we did, I don’t think we said that at the

[00:30:14] Cathy: beginning until the end. Yeah, a year later. Yeah. And

[00:30:16] Todd: then maybe her. I apologized. Yeah, you apologized. Mm-Hmm. like, me and Dad were so wrong. We were wrong to make you scared and we’re so sorry. Or I’m so sorry. Whatever you said.

[00:30:26] Todd: And then, and she was, she stopped talking about it. So there’s value in owning your

[00:30:33] Cathy: piece. Well, it’s called repair, you know, now we have great, I mean, we’ve always had this language, but I feel like this clinical language has become mainstream. Is that you, and we have plenty of stories we could tell about our girls just a year ago, where it’s like, I said this, or I didn’t pay attention to this.

[00:30:48] Cathy: And it’s not about being self depreciating, saying I suck, I’m a bad parent. It’s about being a human being and saying, Remember last year when you told me something and I did not, like, follow up? Um, I wish I would have done that. I wish I would have followed up. And they’re like, yeah. And then you’re like, yeah.

[00:31:02] Cathy: I learned a lot from that. I’m glad we got through it. You talk about it so it’s the way I’m sorry to Keep going on this, but we started this conversation around how you handle holidays. And I find this to be very similar with my parents have both passed away. Both of my parents have died. Todd’s mom has died.

[00:31:22] Cathy: And so the holidays have a different feel. And we talk about it all the time. We talk about my dad and what he liked to do at the holidays. We talk about my mom. This was my first Christmas without my mom. We talk about Gigi. That’s Todd’s mom. She loved Christmas. She decorated the house in October. for Christmas.

[00:31:42] Cathy: And we talk about this so these things are not forgotten and also so no one’s afraid to talk about people who have died. They are still present to us. We do what we do because of their influence on our life. And I never want to be afraid. Of talking about people who have [00:32:00] come and gone. We ta We have family, friends who have divorced.

[00:32:03] Cathy: And we talk about their partners that aren’t in their life anymore. And if we miss them or if we get to see them, we don’t There’s no like, well, we’re cutting that

[00:32:11] Todd: off. I think that’s the big difference. When I was growing up, I think I was too scared to bring up Grandma who died or whatever. And why were you scared?

[00:32:20] Todd: Because my parents weren’t to bring it. Correct. Right. That’s it. And I feel like and I don’t ever remember deciding this with you like hey when we have kids and we have grandparents that died that we’re going to keep talking. It just seemed very natural to keep talking about them.

[00:32:32] Cathy: Um. Because they’re here.

[00:32:33] Cathy: Yeah. And I’m sorry to be spiritual with everybody if this is not the way you look at it. This is you don’t have to. Believe in what I believe, but I talk about my dad and I feel him all over the place. We had, we had these experiences in Florida this year where my dad’s favorite number was two and 22, where we like went to eat at this place and our number was 22.

[00:32:53] Cathy: And then I gave my sister a gift that was about my dad. And it was 2 22 in the afternoon. Like I see him. Everywhere, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else feels about that, but so of course I’m going to talk about him because he’s around, as is my mom, as is your mom, and, um, in whatever way that feels right to you to understand that, and so we, we, we also, you know, I did a lot Zen Parenting moment a couple weeks ago about our memory tree that we have in our house, which is a small Christmas tree that has pictures of people who are no longer with us, people who have died, our pets who have died, you know, family members that we, you know, the whole intention is we have not forgotten you.

[00:33:37] Cathy: You’re still here. And we’re not doing it for them. We’re doing it for us. They, it is because they’re still part of our holiday. And I feel like sometimes the reason the holidays are sad is because we’re like, that person’s not here anymore. So therefore the holidays are not great. And I’m like, well, I’m going to keep them here then.

[00:33:53] Cathy: You know what I mean? And it’s not the same. I still grieve and I still cry. It’s, it doesn’t keep me from [00:34:00] having sad feelings, but it helps me shore up all my feelings, which is appreciation. Hopefulness, connection, um, so that is, you know, kind of a switching gears about repair and then talking about things.

[00:34:15] Cathy: Making things in the open and allowing ourselves to have conversation about things keeps us emotionally healthy. Because then we don’t have to repress any kind of feelings. We get to just say them, and then our girls have permission to say things like, which they occasionally do. Remember when you said this to me, and I was so upset, and I’m like, yeah, I do remember that.

[00:34:39] Cathy: Instead of fighting it, and saying, but you don’t understand, or, no I didn’t, or that’s not how it happened. Someone, we were just talking to someone who was saying That they were talking to their parents about something that hurt them and the parent kept saying no, that’s not how it happened. Um, I don’t know.

[00:34:54] Cathy: You

[00:34:55] Todd: remember that conversation? I don’t know who we’re talking about, but that sounds very familiar.

[00:34:58] Cathy: And it may not have been the way you intended it to happen, but it’s the way the child received it. So the conversation is less about Defending yourself and more about hearing how this child heard it and experienced it.

[00:35:15] Cathy: And you, I’ll use Todd’s word, being curious about that. Well, and you

[00:35:19] Todd: can, um, as I continue to kind of do my own deep dive into repair work, um, you can validate somebody’s feelings or experience without necessarily agreeing with them. You do it all the time with me. People think that, uh, if I validate somebody that I’m, I’m Agreeing with them, and there’s times when I do agree, and there’s also an, there’s a step in trying to really see it from the other person’s, uh, perspective.

[00:35:46] Todd: I was just talking to a friend, and he, he followed me, and he’s like, uh, my wife is struggling right now because she feels like she’s on an island, and us mothers are doing all the heavy lifting, and [00:36:00] nobody values the role of motherhood, and all that, and I said, yeah, I’ve, I’ve heard that speech from my wife.

[00:36:06] Todd: Every six months, every four months. And my first, not my first, sometimes I, I instant, because I’m a human being that is scanning the environment for threats and when I hear you say something like, you know, motherhood is so undervalued and we’re doing so much work, I instantly, because of my brain, like, I think about all the things I do to defend, like, no, no, I’m helping or whatever.

[00:36:30] Todd: And for me, I got to get out of, so I don’t think I’m ever going to be like. in that empathic mode in the very first moment. My first moment is always to be like, well, what? What? No, I’m doing things. Your shields go up. My shield goes up. But then if I take a breath. And I look at it from the other’s perspective and be like, I can totally see that and I, I actually agree with you.

[00:36:54] Todd: And then there’s times when I don’t agree with you or whoever I happen to be with, but I think it’s, um, you know, and now we’re kind of like pivoting the conversation, but it’s, it’s a listening skill. Um, validation and ownership are pretty important pieces to listening.

[00:37:10] Cathy: Well, and this is about the holidays.

[00:37:12] Cathy: Um, I, two or three weeks ago is like right before we, you know, went on vacation or whatever. And I, Todd and I went to breakfast and I basically told him that Around this holiday time, I do feel on an island, because I have started, I started buying presents for people in October, and I’m very focused on making sure that we have certain holiday get togethers, and we don’t even have that many.

[00:37:35] Cathy: I’m not that like, I’m not like holiday, where I’m like going to this party and going to this party, we just have certain ones. That we need to organize, and certain people we need to see, and certain presents we need to ship to people, and just things we need to do. And you’re doing it I’m on it, right? I’m on it from October, basically Halloween, until it’s over.

[00:37:54] Cathy: And what I explained to Todd is what’s so interesting about it. Is if I were to say to him or, or [00:38:00] the girls or anybody else, you know, wow, this is a lot of work, people are like, well, then just don’t do it, or, you know, do it a different way, or you shouldn’t have to work so hard, and, or ask for help, or ask for help, and here’s the thing, everybody, if I really didn’t do it, Everyone would notice, but when I do it, nobody notices.

[00:38:17] Cathy: Because it’s an expectation. The house will be decorated. The presence will be there. It’s like the, you know, magic fairy, as I’ve always said, does all these things. And when I’m saying this to Todd, because I probably do it every year, I’m not looking always for a pat on the back as much as I am looking for recognizing the difference is that it’s multi layered because Todd, just, just like when I had a baby, when, you know, I birthed a child and he then the next day went back to work and my whole life changed.

[00:38:49] Cathy: The holidays are Todd is working harder than ever. Doing all these meetings on the phone all day long, you know, doing Marco Polo’s, doing all these things, and I’m decorating the house, putting my work on the back burner. And so he drives me crazy, because he’s like, he’s like, Sorry, can’t talk, gotta go make my eighth call of the day.

[00:39:11] Cathy: And I’m like, I’m doing all these things for all of you, and you’re still focusing on yourself. Now that conversation could sound really harsh, right? But I don’t need him to, this is what’s so crazy. I don’t necessarily, I’m not saying so change that. There are some things that I have asked for help with.

[00:39:28] Cathy: But I need him to notice it and to recognize the difference. And maybe we can then shift some things. Like maybe you do this part, I’ll do this part, or I really am going to let go of this and can you tolerate that? Or are you going to say, but what about this? You know, like the conversation needs to happen because I’m starting to feel resentful.

[00:39:50] Todd: Well, one thing I think I could have done, I think I did okay this holiday season, but I feel like what I could have done better. And maybe I’ll remember this next year, maybe I won’t, [00:40:00] is to kind of have, almost have like a pre holiday conversation and come up with a strategy that seems more balanced. But because you take the initiative and you just go with holiday stuff, it’s very easy for me to be lackadaisical.

[00:40:15] Cathy: It is, and I get that. But I also, this is always my thing, like when we talk about what is it that, Moms, when someone’s saying, I feel the weight of motherhood, it’s the weight of caring about other people more than ourselves. Now, not everyone may agree with what I just said, but this is the experience I have, is that I even said to you at one point, Todd, have you thought about what you’re going to get for, it was a certain family.

[00:40:39] Cathy: Yeah. Or have you thought about what you’re going to get for your dad? And you go, no, and we don’t need to, we don’t need to get him anything. I go, Todd, Of course we do, like what are you thinking? And I find it to be very, I’m going to use this word, selfish, to be like, I’m not going to even think about getting him a gift.

[00:40:55] Cathy: It’s the holidays, it’s his birthday, it’s, you know, what are you thinking? And all day long I’m thinking about not only getting people gifts, but getting them meaningful gifts. And it’s not about money. I don’t always spend that much, but I’m thinking about it. And so when I look at Todd and he’s like working, thinking about him, him, him.

[00:41:13] Cathy: And I’m thinking about everybody else. I’m like, this is out of balance. And this is the feminine masculine thing is that Todd is not selfish. He’s not, I thought that thought was, but he, he is thinking about other people, but it looks different the way he thinks about other people. It’s not about buying people gifts.

[00:41:31] Cathy: No. It’s about, I’m gonna, oh you need me to pick you up from school three hours away? I’ll go get you. This is broken? I’ll go here. You need me to go to the grocery store? He’s an acts of

[00:41:40] Todd: service person. Right, gifts are, um, although you did give me a sweet sweater that I loved. I did give you a sweet sweater.

[00:41:46] Todd: I don’t think I’m defensive right now, uh, but I want to like just own a piece. And I don’t know if it was last year’s Christmas or two years ago where you, you crushed it as you do every year, you crushed the holidays. And I don’t think I [00:42:00] got you a single gift. Was that last year or was that two years ago?

[00:42:03] Todd: Uh,

[00:42:04] Cathy: I, I don’t know. I, this year I actually got more gifts than I’ve gotten in about 10 years. Right.

[00:42:09] Todd: And, and. I usually don’t have a gift from people. We’ve been married 21 years and I think on year 19, I literally didn’t get you a gift. Now I’m an idiot, all that, my bad, and so on and so forth. And this year, like I, I like to give practical gifts.

[00:42:25] Todd: Yeah. And you know, this is me, you know, I, I got you a few things. You got me a kettlebell. I got you kettlebells cause you want it, but you knew you’re getting that, but I got you like this really comfortable night shirt and I just, it’s just so funny how oblivious, I don’t want to speak for men. I don’t want to speak for husbands, how sometimes oblivious I can be.

[00:42:48] Todd: And I almost. You know, I think I ordered you that really expensive, comfortable night shirt thing. It’s so great. What was the name of the brand?

[00:42:57] Cathy: Cozy Earth, I think. Cozy Earth. And they’re not sponsoring this, by the way. Yeah, I know. Um, they, it’s just, was something I had read about, but I was unwilling to buy.

[00:43:04] Todd: I just think it’s fascinating that I could be this supposed considered human being, yet on year 19 of our holidays, I didn’t, and it’s because one, gifts aren’t that important to me. Two is you do everything so I don’t have to do anything. And, you know, who knows, maybe next year I’ll screw up and I’ll forget to get you a gift.

[00:43:24] Todd: But I just think it’s fascinating how I can just be really not considerate.

[00:43:33] Cathy: Well, how about this, that you don’t, you have not practiced that skill a lot in your lifetime because you haven’t been asked to. You have, this is what I mean about cultural conditioning of women. Is the thinking about other people all the time and and I have had to work really hard to put myself into that equation and to not make that everything, you know, I am because it becomes people [00:44:00] pleaser ish.

[00:44:00] Cathy: It becomes needing validation from the outside. It has all sorts of landmines in it, but that’s why we’re trying. I’m trying to. Make sure I take care of myself and not make it about everybody else and I like to talk to you about hey Don’t make it just about you Take other people in consideration because it’s very easy for men and maybe some women to say Oh gifts aren’t important to me So I’m not gonna give gifts.

[00:44:23] Cathy: That’s It can sound, it’s not about the thing. You can get me a rock that you found on the ocean, you know, in the, on the shore somewhere and be like, this is really beautiful and it’s smooth and I thought of you. It’s not about money. It’s about thinking about other people and, and, and allowing them to know that you thought about them.

[00:44:44] Cathy: Like, if you really think about the gifts that I gave the girls, there was certain things that they asked for, but really for the most part. The things I give are, you know, an ornament that was created or a framed picture or it’s not that expensive. Um, and that’s, and, and I, I don’t need gifts. I’ve never, that’s never really been my love language either, but it does mean something to me that you’ve been listening to me all year.

[00:45:09] Cathy: Talk about, I don’t have anything to sleep in and you did some research and found something for me.

[00:45:15] Todd: Well, I also gave you that Egg Harbor mug that you love so much. Oh, I love that Egg Harbor mug. We were. at our favorite breakfast place and there’s this beautiful colored mug. Yeah, like my favorite color.

[00:45:24] Todd: And you’re like, Oh my God, it’s so pretty. And I didn’t say anything. I’m like, I’m going to get that for you. And it’s just, uh, most of the time I don’t think about that.

[00:45:33] Cathy: I know. And, and this is, and so what is this conversation about? We’re talking about how did we do over the holidays and what I think.

[00:45:42] Cathy: Todd and I do every year is have this difficult conversation. We’re having it again now, is how we can, how I can make, how I can maybe ease up on thinking I need to do everything for everybody. And I can also like chill about certain things. I totally hear that. [00:46:00] And how Todd can show up a little more.

[00:46:03] Cathy: Like we have to, it’s not about, it’s not a one way thing. It’s not just Todd. Well, I

[00:46:07] Todd: got one more example. Okay, let’s hear it. So we are blessed enough to go to Florida most holidays. Yeah, our parents. And in years past, um, so it’s your family for the most part, you know, your family, my family, our, you know, it’s your side.

[00:46:23] Todd: Yeah. And I think in the years past, I’m so engaged with the other people in your family and my daughters. Um, I remember like one year. You’re like, when you asked me to go on a walk on the beach with you, it was, and I think that was like three or four years ago and it’s because we had been together all week and there’s a part of me is like, well, we’re together.

[00:46:43] Todd: I don’t, we don’t need to go on a walk and when I say we’re together, that means we’re sleeping in the same bed. It means that we’re in the same common area the whole time, but there’s been no effort to spend time with you, right? So I feel like this last year, and I think the last few years that I’ve done a.

[00:46:59] Todd: Not that it requires work, but sometimes I just go with whatever the flow is, and if the flow is

[00:47:06] Cathy: for Well, you don’t, I would question that. You don’t go with the flow. You feel the need to be like the ringleader of everything. Well, when it’s game night, I for sure do. Yeah. Todd’s like, I’m in charge, and this is a game we’re playing, and here’s what’s happening.

[00:47:18] Cathy: And I love that about you. It’s a great personality trait, but then you lose track of your intimate relationship. You’re like, I’m, you know. This is what we’re gonna do, because I, and again, this is so fine, but this is, I’m just thinking of so many things, because we’re talking about going back over this last couple of weeks.

[00:47:38] Cathy: Todd is such an extrovert and has to like, we have to play games and we have to do these team things, and majority of my family is like, with him. Like 100%. Because everyone loves games. I love them too! But on the fourth night of let’s pick a teammate, and now we’re going to play this game again. And I look at Todd, I’m like, can we [00:48:00] stop picking teams?

[00:48:01] Cathy: Like, can we just relax and watch the football game? And maybe some people can play. He’s like, no, we can’t. And I was so tired of it. And so. Sometimes the holidays become this extroverted. Yeah. It’s an extrovert experience. Yes. And I’m like, you have to remember, cause it’s not about me wanting to be away from people.

[00:48:22] Cathy: I just want to be with people with less, with less pressure to perform. I want to sit and have a conversation or like lay down on the couch and watch. You know, it’s a wonderful life and we talk about it. Like, One of your

[00:48:34] Todd: favorite highlights of the week was probably when we watched, um, the, the,

[00:48:40] Cathy: uh, Tangled?

[00:48:41] Cathy: Love Actually? Love Actually. That was so great. Because we sat there. Yeah. And it was in, it was Out of the blue, we were actually going to, Christmas is my sister’s birthday, so we kind of have Christmas and then my sister’s birthday is same day, right? And so we were heading over to her house, but we had a few hours and people, we just turned on Love Actually and everyone ended up sitting and watching it.

[00:49:05] Cathy: And we talk about it while we watch it because we’ve all seen it. So I enjoy that because there’s no pressure on me. There’s no like, I have to be a certain way. I just get to sit there and enjoy it. And this

[00:49:15] Todd: is us recognizing each other’s differences because I liked watching that movie. But for me, it’s passive.

[00:49:22] Todd: Which, you know, you’re sitting there watching, you know, it’s like shoulder to shoulder time versus, you know, face to face time. Um, and, like I said, I’m probably the same excitement with watching Love Actually as you are playing a game. My highlight would be But see,

[00:49:40] Cathy: I really like playing the games too. And this is where I really need you to see these things.

[00:49:45] Cathy: Is I’m not like, let’s not play games. I like games. But four nights of games, I’m done. And that’s what I think in, you know, I’m probably more of an ambivert than I give myself credit for. I think I’m [00:50:00] good with people. I like, you know, but that’s the thing is as soon as somebody says, I’m tired, I’m going to bed, or I don’t want to do games the fourth night, people are like, you don’t like games.

[00:50:08] Cathy: I do. I like people. I like parties. I just don’t need it every

[00:50:13] Todd: night. You know what else you don’t need? What? When I say it’s Kathy against everybody, when it’s a pop culture trivia thing. That’s the

[00:50:19] Cathy: other thing. I’m good at trivia. Okay. So certain trivia, music, movies, 90s, 80s, that kind of stuff. So.

[00:50:25] Cathy: Sometimes I’m annoying to be in a game with because I have some answers to things. So Todd will always be like, well, let’s all go against

[00:50:32] Todd: Kathy. I’m just trying to balance the score

[00:50:35] Cathy: out. But then I feel alone and everyone gets annoyed at me because I have the answer.

[00:50:40] Todd: And so then that I don’t get it. I’m actually proud of you.

[00:50:42] Todd: That’s my wife. It’s one against 10 and we’re doing 80s, 90s pop culture music movies. And you would probably still beat the

[00:50:52] Cathy: 10 of us. Okay, so let me go real deep dive on this. Two things, and then we can, like, go to another topic. No, we’re going to close, because they’re all moving. Number one, I get it, and I appreciate you saying you’re proud of me, because I have those answers.

[00:51:04] Cathy: But I, it feeds this old part of me that feels like I need to not shine. And because people won’t like me, right? It’s like an old childhood thing, because as a kid, I had certain skills, as all kids do. It’s not just about Kathy, but there were things, and then I realized, oh, if I speak about this, if I say this, if I help this person, then people get annoyed at me because I’m, there’s a brightness there and they don’t like it.

[00:51:27] Cathy: So you kind of learn to tone that down. So you’re playing a game and everybody’s like, well, Kathy knows it, you know? So sometimes I’m like, maybe I shouldn’t give the answer. Because then there is a, and, and I don’t know geography and history and all that stuff. So I don’t know all the things, but a lot of times pop culture conversations, we

[00:51:43] Todd: usually structure our game towards things that most of us have an interest in.

[00:51:47] Todd: And I’ll do respect to the people that love geography. It’s not as fun as talking about movies from the 90s.

[00:51:53] Cathy: Right. So, so I like to have some people on my team because I like to feel like I’m not alone. And then I’m being supported. And then the [00:52:00] other part of the introvert, extrovert, or, or the game night, or the relaxing, watching, love, actually.

[00:52:06] Cathy: Think about our roles in life, right? You get more time alone to work, to do the things you want to do, to just focus on yourself, to relax. My life is a little more about other people. Even my job, I know you’re a coach too, so we have similar jobs, but it’s about listening to other people, right? And, and so when it’s relaxation time, you’re more like, okay.

[00:52:27] Cathy: Time for me to go out and party. And for me, relaxation time is more like I don’t want to think about everybody else. I don’t want to be part of a team. I want to relax. So there’s like a lot of times we look at these as personality traits or flaws when really they make complete sense, right? Like if you’ve been alone all day on the phone, on your computer, you want to go out.

[00:52:49] Cathy: If I’ve been all day talking to people about their emotions, I need to tone it down. So I think we’re both, this is not just for Todd and I, I think if we can give ourselves some permission to recognize why we are the way we are, everything makes a lot of sense. And our partner, if they can see that and recognize why we need what we need, then we feel less judged.

[00:53:13] Cathy: Yeah. You know? And then we don’t feel like we need to be something we’re not. Because I used to always feel like I needed to be something I’m not. Which is

[00:53:22] Todd: You just be you, but make sure you play games. Four nights in a row. Um, we, as we record this, we are 24 days away from the Zen Parenting Don’t Call It conference.

[00:53:35] Todd: Oh my gosh. So, you’re gonna hear a promo at the other, at the end of this, uh, podcast. But we really hope to see you. Um, we do have scholarships available, so if money’s an issue. Uh, we might be able to help you out, so just reach out

[00:53:46] Cathy: to me. If money is the reason you’re not coming, email us. That, that’s, you know, there’s things we can work out.

[00:53:51] Cathy: People have donated. You know, we, there’s things we can do. And it’s January 26th and 27th, just to be very clear. And for those of you who [00:54:00] already have tickets, 26th is Friday and it starts at one o’clock. So it really is a Friday, Saturday event. It’s not Friday night and Saturday, which it has been in the past.

[00:54:08] Cathy: It’s Friday. Devorah starts out. At one o’clock. Devorah Heitner, growing up in public, the author of that book, she’s been on our show. She starts at

[00:54:16] Todd: one. And we put her in first because one of the biggest challenges of, for us parents is Navigating screen technology. Right. So, um, all right. Anything else, babe?

[00:54:26] Todd: No,

[00:54:27] Cathy: but it was a lovely holiday season. Um, thank you, Todd. And thank you everybody. And, um, we look forward to 2024 with you and, um, we hope you think about how your holidays went and have conversations. Um, so we can continue to learn more about ourselves and others.

[00:54:44] Todd: See you next Tuesday. Keep trucking.

[00:54:50] Round two. Change a little bit. And change a little bit. Pretty pleasant.