Todd and Cathy discuss about how genuine curiosity helps our kids really hear us and value what we’re saying. The same goes for understanding each other in a partnership or empathizing with someone from a different gender perspective. When we’re open about not having all the answers, it paves the way for learning and staying connected.

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Blog Post

Empathy, Connection, and Understanding: Insights from Zen Parenting Radio Episode #758

In this episode of Zen Parenting Radio, hosts Todd and Cathy delve into a profound conversation that encapsulates the importance of empathy, understanding, and the innate human desire for connection. Episode #758, rich in content and emotion, provides listeners with a multifaceted look into the psyche of both the individual and society. Here, I’m excited to share the highlights and insights from this thought-provoking episode.

The Essence of Connection and Empathy

Todd and Cathy begin the episode by addressing the complexity of human emotions and experiences, emphasizing the intricate balance between personal challenges and societal expectations. Todd discusses the significant contrast in the experiences faced by men and women, particularly in the context of safety and societal pressures. He shares a disturbing trend observed in New York City, where women have been randomly attacked in broad daylight. This narrative opens up a broader discussion on the vulnerabilities and fears that women endure, differing starkly from the fears commonly faced by men.

Cathy, diving deeper, explores the concept of hypervigilance among women, attributing it to systemic issues rather than individual shortcomings. She astutely differentiates between patriarchy and masculinity, arguing that the issues at hand stem from a distorted version of masculinity that has permeated society. This segment eloquently tackles the misunderstanding surrounding discussions on patriarchy, emphasizing that the critique is directed towards a harmful system, rather than individuals.

Insights on Violence, Masculinity, and Societal Expectations

The profound conversation transitions into discussing violence and its roots in hurt experienced during one’s formative years. Todd highlights his involvement in Men Living, an organization focused on nurturing empathy and understanding among men. The emphasis here is on empowerment and growth, rather than dwelling on past traumas.

Cathy and Todd’s discussion provides a unique perspective on the challenges and expectations faced by men and women in navigating societal norms. They emphasize the need for individual growth and the importance of embracing one’s vulnerabilities as a strength.

Connection through Curiosity

A significant portion of the episode is dedicated to fostering understanding and connection through genuine curiosity about others’ interests and experiences. Cathy shares an analogy about “throwing water to closed doors,” illustrating the futility of trying to impart wisdom without first establishing an open, receptive dialogue. This analogy beautifully captures the essence of connection through curiosity and understanding, rather than judgment or imposition.

The episode wraps up with an invitation to listeners to support Men Living and Team Zen, platforms dedicated to fostering open discussions and building empathy. The call to action resonates with the episode’s overarching theme of connection, understanding, and personal growth.


Episode #758 of Zen Parenting Radio is a treasure trove of insights, offering valuable lessons on empathy, understanding, and the power of connection. Todd and Cathy navigate these complex topics with grace and depth, leaving listeners with much to ponder and apply in their lives. This episode is a testament to the importance of open dialogue, personal growth, and the endless pursuit of understanding the world through the eyes of others.

In essence, the episode serves as a gentle reminder of our shared humanity and the profound impact empathy and connection can have on our lives and society at large.



Todd: Here we go. My name’s Todd. This is Cathy. Welcome back to another episode of Zen Parenting Radio. This is podcast number 758. Why listen to Zen Parenting Radio because you’ll feel outstanding or maybe a little angry. I’m going to see how today goes. We have, uh, I have a few ideas, but I think we’re going to probably blow up what I think we’re going to talk about.

Todd: Talk about some other things. Okay. And apologies for the hoarseness of my voice. I might hit the mute every now and again, so you don’t hear me sniffle. Um, so on today’s show, I, what I think we might talk about is We’re gonna play a little clip from a Zen Talk we had last week. That’s for our Team Zen subscribers.

Todd: And Kathy said something [00:01:00] interesting that I’m like, alright, let’s, let’s In the words, in the, at the risk of being annoying, let’s, let’s double click on that, sweetie.

Cathy: Let’s, let’s put that in the parking lot for later.

Todd: Uh, you can’t throw water to closed door. So I’m going to play a little clip.

Cathy: That’s what I said.

Todd: That’s what, that’s what sweetie said. You weren’t continuing with. And then maybe we’ll talk about a phone call that we got. That you got from one of our kids, and she was really struggling, uh, yesterday, or not yesterday, last week. Okay. Regarding the bus. Okay. Um, I want to talk of, about a few things. These are quick takes, and, and it’s semi serious, at least one of the things is serious, so I don’t want to make light of it, so I’m going to start with the serious thing.

Todd: Now let me just set it up this way. I belong, I co founded and am executive director of a men’s organization and I love connecting with men and I think men are amazing. And there are men that drive me up a wall. And I [00:02:00] got this, you get the daily skim, don’t you? I do. So I got this last week, so this may not come new, this may not be new to you, but this was the headline.

Todd: Women in New York City are sharing stories about getting punched in the face. Yes, that’s the new thing. Yep. In recent weeks, TikTok has been flooded with videos of women saying they were randomly attacked in broad daylight while walking in New York City. The videos have racked up over 10 million views.

Todd: Many of the women said they were looking at their phones when a man punched them in the head. Yeah. New York police are investigating and said they arrested a male suspect yesterday, but it’s unclear if he’s connected to any other incidents. And they just kind of go on to talk about that. And it’s not just New York City based women who are concerned about their safety.

Todd: Women across the US have shared their stories on social media, expressing how they feel the need to stay hyper vigilant at all times. So this is me, Todd, talking to my male friends who say, Boys and guys have it tough. Guys, we do have it tough. Being a human being is tough. But there’s a part of me that gets [00:03:00] frustrated when I hear the story, men and boys have it tough.

Todd: Because I don’t think us guys have to worry about randomly getting punched in the head and the face. Walking down the street, New York City. Well,

Cathy: it’s not like something like that has never happened. I think it’s just about understanding the storyline. It’s like, sure, I actually watched a video about a month ago of a man playing the cello in the subway and a woman came up and hit him from behind with a bottle.

Cathy: It happens the other way. It’s non gender specific, but the, the, the issue that you’re talking about, which is demonstrated through the punching of the face of women, and I’m not laughing at it, what I’m saying is the hypervigilance you’re speaking of is not a new thing.

Todd: Go ahead.

Cathy: Well, the hypervigilance that women feel is from basically the time that they’re born.

Cathy: And I think the reason that These things are hard to talk about is because we’re running out of language where people understand. Because the first reaction is always a defensiveness of, I’ve had it hard, my [00:04:00] life’s hard too. You don’t understand me truth. Right? Like, there, there are people who are like, here’s the experiences I’ve had, and you don’t know how hard this is.

Cathy: Yeah, I totally hear that. What we’re talking about, and again, I, I, I wrote something yesterday that I kind of was like, okay, I feel like I’ve, I’ve. Figured something out, which is that patriarchy is not men, and it’s not even the energy of men. It’s a, uh, a warped sense of masculinity that becomes a system.

Cathy: It’s not men. It’s not you. It’s a warped sense, uh, that becomes our system. And that’s what we’re trying to, like, shine a light on, is because, as we’ve talked about a million times, We all get hurt from it. So when we talk about patriarchy, a lot of people get so defensive, like you, you hate men. You’re talking about men.

Cathy: You’re talking about me. You’re talking about my son. No, we’re not. We’re talking about the system, the air that we breathe and the water that we swim in. And, and so when you’re talking [00:05:00] about hypervigilance, I, uh, again, I just told Todd, the reason he said angry is because I’m doing so much writing right now because I have this book due in a few months and I’m having to write about You know what women and young girls, especially teenage girls experience, and then how they have to kind of calm, take down their light and not be too big and, and figure out how to be in this system.

Cathy: And it makes me angry. Um, it makes me angry personally because I had to do it and I still do it. I just told Todd like. As soon as, like, I have an experience of wanting to be kind of like something good happens or I’m, I’m big in a way, like inside I feel big, the first thing I want to check is, Todd, are you okay with this?

Cathy: And that’s not because he’s every day saying, don’t get bigger than me, but I have been, I have been conditioned to not. Overshadow him. And I, and it’s not just Todd, it’s overshadow men, overshadow, you know, a masculine [00:06:00] archetype, and, and that is, and so when I’m watching young girls who are so big and bold and have these voices and then I’m watching them do it.

Cathy: Over time, you know, it’s sad, it’s hard, so going back to the women getting punched, you know, it’s a metaphorical, keep your light dim, kind of experience of some, a man is actually walking around, punching women in the face.

Todd: So I can already hear like some, uh, male. Males in my life saying Todd actually the male on male crime is worse than the male on female crime or whatever You can throw all the stats at me But for me, I live in a different world than Kathy does I can do things without having to worry as much as Kathy does I’m guessing if I had three sons and instead of three daughters my sons would live in a different world than my three daughters actually live in.

Todd: So, and it’s not either or, this is never [00:07:00] either or, it’s a both and.

Cathy: And, and as soon as someone’s like, I, oh I can see that, I can see that, that’s it. That’s all, nobody’s saying, so now, now you need to feel bad, and now you need to, now your sons are at risk, and now it’s not, all it is is, I feel less safe when I go.

Cathy: So I go away for a couple of days each month to go write. And I’m in a house by myself, usually an Airbnb or somewhere by myself. And I don’t feel safe a lot of the time. And it’s because I’m in an unfamiliar area. There’s people around me. Sometimes there’s reasons because of the Airbnbs I get where I’m like, Oh, didn’t realize where I was.

Cathy: And I, and so sometimes when I’m like, Todd, I couldn’t go to because, you know, I had to sleep with the TV on or I was afraid. I know in his mind, he’s like, what’s your problem? Like, I don’t know if you’re thinking that, but you’re like, why are you afraid? And it’s so deeply embedded. It’s like a, you know, there is a, a [00:08:00] fear and maybe do you get scared?

Cathy: Like when you’re away in an Airbnb, like, do you get afraid? Okay. So now this could also be personality, history, trauma. It’s not all gender specific. I just, and, and even. You know, I just read an article, I don’t even want to go down that path. Okay. I’m going to halt for a second, but this is what I’m going to say.

Cathy: If you are male and you’re listening to this. And a woman tells you they feel afraid, or they’re hypervigilant, or they are concerned about something. To tell them they shouldn’t be, or to talk them out of it, defeats everything that we’re going for here. This is not a gender specific thing. This is, can you understand?

Cathy: That’s it. And as soon as you’re like, I can understand, that makes sense to me. They’re free. They’re like, okay, whoo, because we spend a lot of time having to explain and defend and rationalize. And it becomes this, it’s like talk about someone’s got [00:09:00] their hand up and they’re like, I’m not going to hear it because I’ve had difficulty.

Cathy: Therefore you haven’t. It’s a, it’s, it’s messy. And, and you know what, for those who are like, I thought this was a parenting show. It’s the same with our kids. We’re adults and when our kids come to us and say, this is hard, I had a hard day, I’m sad, I’m scared, and we say, well, you don’t even know what it means to be afraid because you’re not an adult yet.

Cathy: It’s completely disconnecting, disengaging, and dismissive. Thank you.

Todd: So, When men act out in the way that they do regarding violence against another man or woman, I do want to say, I don’t know, 99. 9 percent of the time those men were hurt. Hurt. For sure. As young boys. Uh huh. And they have adjusted in an inappropriate way.

Todd: to the world that we live in.

Cathy: Or hurt by the culture,

Todd: you know? So, uh, and, and this is a little bit self serving, but we’re, so Men Living [00:10:00] is the organization, it’s a group of men trying to be the best version of ourselves by connecting authentically and vulnerably, and this is self serving, but we’re about to start a fundraiser, and this is one of possible solution.

Todd: If somebody wants to help me, this is a self serving ask.

Cathy: You’ve just said self serving three times. Why don’t you look at this as a world serving

Todd: thing? Because if you’re saying self, it’s not about God. I’m trying to be aware of the, I don’t know, I’m just part of, maybe it’s my own baggage, but I’m like, I feel like I’m, I’m using these stories and say, give this organization money.

Todd: But this organization is trying to do incredible things by raising the consciousness of other men.

Cathy: That’s all you have to say. Okay. Yeah,

Todd: so in the show notes of this podcast, there’s a link for a donate, and I would love for you to donate $10 so that we can grow our spaces, equip the men who facilitate these spaces in a more responsible way.

Todd: And I don’t care if it’s a dollar or $10 or a hundred dollars or a thousand dollars, but that’s one [00:11:00] solution. Another solution is there’s a whole bunch of other men’s organizations, so go Google men’s organizations or, or if you’re a man. Go get, go get therapy so that you can help yourself be more empathic.

Todd: That’s what I am doing my best thing to do. I, it’s easy for me as a guy to be like, no, I got it. I got life figured out. And through a certain lens, we can do it because, you know, it works for me. I got to go to work. I got to get money. I got to. Put food on the table and all that. But if I really want to grow in consciousness, it takes personal growth work.

Todd: It takes introspection. It takes a self exploration. So

Cathy: for everybody. And that’s the thing that, you know, that’s most important is that when you talk about go become more empathic, it’s not something you have to find somewhere it’s in you. There’s no, the emotional experiences that human beings have is not gender specific in any way.

Cathy: What it is, is strengthening a different muscle instead of going to the gym for five hours. And just working on your [00:12:00] physique, there’s an internal muscle that needs to be worked on as well. Um, there is a sense of, you know, growing your ability to understand someone else’s experiences, um, growing your ability to have some humility about like, huh, I thought I understood that, but maybe I have more information that I can get.

Cathy: And I think that the reason that. So when you, you know, women have done that their whole lives, I was just thinking about, I was driving home yesterday and, you know, rethinking about all the movies that I’ve watched where I was able to see through the eyes of a man. And I was listening to some of my favorite songs.

Cathy: And I’ve also been able to understand love through the words of a man who wrote a love song or a story that a man has told about his life, like, and being able to tell to understand not just their experience, but see myself through a man’s experience. And that’s a practice is like, can you [00:13:00] Todd or anybody listening, listen to a Casey Musgraves album and be like, Oh, I feel like she does.

Cathy: Maybe you can. And that’s awesome. But a lot of times men are like, well, I can’t get that. Cause that’s a woman’s story. I can’t watch that because that’s a chick flick. I can’t listen to that podcast because that’s just women.

Todd: Well, I’m about to share a second story. Realizing the second story is from the skim as well.

Cathy: Oh, cool. And you know women created the skim. That’s exactly why I’m saying

Todd: it, is it helps me see, you know, I get three different newsletters every day. One is from Axios, I forget the third, second one, the third one is from the Daily Skim, it’s written by women. Yeah. So, you can be rest assured that women being punched in the face, Face.

Todd: And this next one is not going to show up in my other news feed. No. Right? But probably not. I mean, Well, it’s not because I know it. I get the, I get it. And I can compare and contrast. I’m like, Oh yeah, this was written by a woman. So here’s my second one. Chess Grandmaster, Anna, I can’t pronounce her last name.

Todd: I’m sorry. Refuses to play in Saudi Arabia and says, in a few days, I will lose two world title titles back to back because I [00:14:00] decided not to go to Saudi Arabia. I refuse to play by special rules to wear an Abaya. To be accompanied by a man so I can leave the hotel so I don’t feel like a second class person.

Todd: I will follow my principles and not compete in world class, world fast chess and blitz championships where in just five days I would have won more money than dozens of other tournaments combined. This is all very nasty, but the sad part is no one seems to care. Bitter feelings, but can’t go back. So blessings to you, Anna, for standing on your principles.

Todd: And once again, I’m guessing that the reason she doesn’t want to go to Saudi Arabia is because a bunch of men made a bunch of rules that she doesn’t like.

Cathy: Well, and I, and I don’t think it’s, it’s a flippant decision. I think that we, I’m going to take it off of that story for a second. I’m just going to talk about us overall.

Cathy: We all have a different. Um, understanding of what it means to be successful and a very, and I’m not saying this men, I’m saying a masculine concept is that it’s money and it’s status and [00:15:00] it’s fame and it’s being higher than other people and whatever that means. You know, the amount of money you make, whatever.

Cathy: Another way of viewing your world is through your own integrity and how you feel about yourself. And that’s the kind of, that’s the kind of fullness. that I think helps people sleep, be good people, um, enjoy what they do, be able to look at the stars at night and feel contentment. It’s an inner peace because the whole, you know, I’m going to be number one in the world.

Cathy: I’m going to be, you know, top of the hill. I’m going to make the most money. It’s always fleeting. It’s always changing. So you have to keep chasing it. So if that is your method of deciding you are worthy, you will never find worth. And so I feel the What she’s saying is she’s saying I’m trying to have my feet in both worlds, which we all have that, right?

Cathy: We all desire these things. We want the balance, but she’s choosing integrity.

Todd: Yeah. Um, so, um, in [00:16:00] conclusion, uh, if, if you’re a person out there and you want to help support, uh, a cause that’s near and dear to my heart to raise a con Awareness and consciousness of men. Click on the donate link. If you don’t have any money and you’re a guy, just click on the getting started and just sign up for our newsletters.

Todd: So you can start seeing some of the things that we’re doing.

Cathy: Um, can I say a few, two things about men living? Sure. The, cause I hear about it, you know, obviously all the time because Todd and I talk about our work all the time. And the two things that I think I want to point out is number one, um, obviously there’s a lot of men that come to men living who need a lot of support understandably.

Cathy: And I’m so glad that they’re finding it. And the other thing that. We talk about all the time is men living needs just as many men who are feeling good about their lives because if they have found new ways, if they have gone to therapy, if they have gotten through a traumatic experience, if they’ve dealt with grief, if they’ve got a skillset that they can help other men with, men living needs.

Cathy: People like that, [00:17:00] too, because you want to have, and again, there are plenty of men in it already like that. I know them. They’re amazing men. But I sometimes think when we hear about groups, women are good at this. Like, if you’re going to do a women’s group, people aren’t like, well, I don’t have prob well, maybe some women do.

Cathy: But most women are like, awesome. I want to come and talk and share and some days I’m the leader and some days I’m the listener. But I think sometimes with men, it’s looked at in a very like, well, I don’t have a problem. You don’t have to have a problem to come help other

Todd: men. No, yeah, if you’re in crisis, come on board.

Todd: If you’ve gotten through a crisis, come on board. If you’re grounded and already, you know, behave in a way that, that raises other men to, to, Increase their consciousness. Please, please, please, I need you. Not

Cathy: only in like their groups, but you can offer educational, you know, like I, I think so. Plenty of opportunities.

Cathy: Plenty of opportunities. Okay, that’s one thing I want to say about men living. And then the other thing is, is I, I push Todd a lot, um, about making sure that there are opportunities, which they do, that [00:18:00] are, um, open to all genders. So other people can come listen. Um, and also that within this group that they have, where they’re talking about men connecting and men relying on each other and men getting to know themselves, that they’re also using that to, to understand.

Cathy: Other genders as well to understand women, to understand non binary, to understand, you know, trans, to understand everybody. And, and that is a, um, use what you’re learning and then put it back into the world. And so I, I, I, I push him mostly about women.

Todd: Well, and I think you and I are going to lead a discussion.

Todd: We haven’t picked a date yet, but, um, what you think, I don’t know what we’re going to title it. We’ve been playing with it, but what you want. Other men to know. You, Kathy. I don’t like that title, but I know what you mean. Well, we were going to say what women want men to know, but you don’t want to speak on behalf of all women.

Todd: So instead, I feel like we have to say what you want other guys to know. I

Cathy: can speak on behalf of, I’ve talked to women 24 7, and I know what the [00:19:00] challenges are. I mean, there’s very universal challenges. And they’re not going to hit every single woman’s situation, but there is a, an amalgam situation where you can kind of, these are the issues.

Cathy: So, so yeah. So anyway, I just wanted to say that from my perspective, I think men living is, is amazing already, um, but the potential, because we have to be doing these things from all the sides.

Todd: And we want to do a bunch of stuff and we don’t have the money to do it. Honestly. Yeah. Peggy Bear, my aunt, just donated a hundred dollars this morning.

Todd: Did she really? Really? Yeah.

Cathy: Thanks, Peg.

Todd: She says that we’re doing incredible things, so thank you, Pogbear. Um, transitioning over to Team Zen. Yes. We talk about it every week. Kathy and I do a terrible job of explaining what it is. It’s just an opportunity for you to get more deeply connected with Kathy and I, so here’s a few things coming up.

Cathy: Can I just say this, though? Like, I’m sorry, I just feel the need to. Team Zen is basically an app on your phone. And then you have access to all of our resources, [00:20:00] a huge community, and then you get to do these live things with us if you so choose. Or you can just get them on your phone as podcasts and you can listen to them.

Cathy: So really it’s just an access to resources that’s very well organized with amazing people who support each other. End of story. And sometimes Todd and I are trying to explain all the pieces because it’s so difficult. But all it is is if you’re like, Hey, I want to try this for a month and just see what I get from it.

Cathy: It’s, you know, you can take it month by month, you know, um, but I just sometimes when we have Zen talks and the things we talk about, I’m like, do you know how many people would appreciate this?

Todd: Well, and I’m about to play a clip from last week’s Zen talk, but just those things that you said, you and I have a hard time explaining what we do.

Todd: So this Friday, there is a micro talk. That’s just a little community within the community. That have differently wired families. Yeah. Um, and then there’s Zen Talk number 184 on April 12th. And then there’s another micro community of loved ones who deal with addiction. Uh [00:21:00] huh. And then the next day you have a women’s group.

Todd: Uh huh. And then two days after that we have Dr. John Duffy. coming in to talk to our Zen community, our Team Zen community about rescuing our sons and whatever else you all want to ask him.

Cathy: And that’s just three weeks.

Todd: Like, we have stuff all the time. And then lastly, you have something called Sephora Kids on April 23rd, which is, uh, we have an expert coming in to talk to us about skincare and the makeup industry.

Cathy: Yes. And so we’re going to talk about that. Spending all that money at Sephora and what girls are doing with their skin.

Todd: So if you’re interested, uh, join Team Zen. There’s a link in the show notes.

Cathy: All right.

Todd: All right. So now let’s get to the main part of the, uh, podcast. Okay. So last week you and I, I don’t even know what we were talking about, but I’m going to play a clip from Last Thursday’s Zen Talk.

Todd: I can set

Cathy: it up.

Todd: Millie asked the question.

Cathy: Yeah. I think it was something about conversations about, um, how to engage in a conversation with her daughter about [00:22:00] the, sometimes the things that come to the house, like skincare products or, um, things that come from Amazon. And it wasn’t just her asking. It was like when things show up and you want to like, talk to your kids about not only what are you getting, but what kind of money are you spending on this and just having a conversation about

Todd: it.

Todd: All right. So here we go.

Cathy: As a woman as well. Like, I don’t know if I’d like these things or not, or what do you use that for? And tell me about this. I try and stay engaged with my girls because they teach me about things. I don’t know. I don’t use it all. I don’t buy it always for myself, but occasionally I do.

Cathy: So the visual I get. is you don’t, and this may not work for people, I just get, you know, images when, when you’re talking about, you can’t throw water at a closed door, right? Like, I’m visualizing you trying to, like, she’s not going to listen to you if you’re like, I need to teach you things because, and you, you’re not saying this, but I want to teach you things because I haven’t done it and I feel bad about it and you’re not having the childhood I had and.

Cathy: The door is closed, man. So don’t even try. So what you want to do is like open the door in a [00:23:00] real authentic way where you’re like, I’m actually interested in what’s in these packages. What am I missing, honey? Like, what do I need? You know, like tell me some things I could use and get in here with her. So

Todd: yeah, what I hear Kathy saying, first of all, sure.

Todd: All right. That’s good. No. All right. So I just thought Kathy always has these crazy ways of explaining things and she thinks it’s normal and it’s not. So I then pause her and say, what do you mean you can’t throw water to closed doors? So now I’m going to give you the opportunity to explain what that visual means to you.

Cathy: Okay. So if we’re, let’s just go with the story. I’m just going to generalize the story to your kids are getting a lot of stuff at Sephora or they are in Sephora. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a store that has a skincare, makeup, And it’s a very, it’s very hot right now. Okay. So kids, if they get a gift card from Sephora, they’re very happy.

Cathy: Um, and they, you know, they’re going there to shop and they’re coming home with bags or you’re noticing a lot of Amazon [00:24:00] packages that are coming to your kid. And again, this for little kids, obviously this isn’t happening yet, but as your kid gets older, maybe starts making money, they’re starting to order stuff on their own.

Cathy: And you’re like, The two concerns are, A, what are they ordering? Like, what are these things or what are these things they’re buying? And, and B, you know, what’s the money that’s being spent here? And what do they think about money? Um, so I think a lot of times we get very, rental about I’m going to have a sit down talk with my kid about these things as if there’s like a lecture to be had.

Cathy: And you may decide to do that and you may insist that they listen, but it’s like the, the visual I got with the water being, they’re like a closed door. And if you’re trying to give them some kind of nourishment or some kind of new information, uh, The water, that’s the representation is you’re just throwing it at the door.

Cathy: It’s not going in. They’re not taking it in. They’re not hearing you. They’re probably sitting that whole time feeling annoyed by you because they’re feeling judged and they’re feeling like you’re [00:25:00] lecturing them and they’re feeling like you’re probably being hypocritical because you probably get a million Amazon packages a day and you may say, well, it’s because I’m an adult, but they don’t understand these things yet because they may be making their own money, et cetera, et cetera.

Todd: Yeah. Millie’s daughter was spending this stuff with her own money. Correct.

Cathy: So, and I think sometimes we get caught in the feeling of, um, I didn’t talk about this early enough, and I’m trying to catch up, and, and I don’t know if my kid knows this, so I want to get in a lesson really quick. And I think, Todd, you would admit you do that sometimes, where you’re like, I’m not sure if I talked about this, so I want to, like, get a lesson in, you know?

Cathy: And understandable, you know, understandable, except I think when we’re talking to our kids, especially as they’re getting older, we have to remember that that whole top down approach of I’m going to lecture you about something, it may feel that that’s what we’re supposed to do because that’s what our parents did with us or that’s how we see like our authoritarian, you know, like, like a culture [00:26:00] that tells us, you know, people in power tell others what to do.

Cathy: Um, but they’re That is, again, the door closes where you’re not really speaking to this person. They’re not hearing you. And what instead you need to do, I’m saying need to do, what instead would be effective is if you genuinely became interested in what they were doing and allowed them to tell you rather than you telling them what they’re doing.

Cathy: From an honest place of

Todd: curiosity.

Cathy: For example. When my daughter gets an eyeliner from Sephora and she pulls it out of the bag and I’m like, okay, tell me about, and this is literally how I see it. Tell me about this eyeliner, why this is the one. And then she’ll say, well, it’s a little wider. It, you know, you can like open it this way.

Cathy: Um, it stays on it’s, you know, waterproof, whatever. And I, Engage her because, A, I’m really listening. This is not manipulative. I’m not trying to like, figure [00:27:00] out a plan. Because if it is,

Todd: your kids are going to step it

Cathy: out. They know it. I really want to know why this one. Who’s, you know, who put this out? You know, Scarlett Johansson?

Cathy: You know, Selena Gomez? Can I be devil’s advocate? Okay, sure.

Todd: If we do that, then we’re going to reinforce something in them that we don’t agree with.

Cathy: But my conversation is not done. Okay. Right. That’s the entry level. That is, tell me about this and explain to me why. And here’s the other thing we have to have an understanding is sometimes our kids do something, they buy things because they think they need it because other people, they want to like show other people that they have things, they want to demonstrate that they’re trendy.

Cathy: We’ve all been there, you know, Sergio Valente, Todd. Gloria Vanderbilt. Oh, yeah, they’re my favorite. I know. Well, when we were watching Friday Night Videos a couple weeks ago, remember there was a Sergio Valente commercial? I was like, I had those jeans. My parents would want to like take me to Farm and Fleet to get jeans and they were like, Leigh jeans.

Cathy: I’m like, are you kidding me? I need Sergio Valente. Yeah, duh. Duh. So it’s not like we haven’t been there. Like we [00:28:00] know what that’s like and a lot of women still do that. I mean women my age are going to Lululemon and all those kind of things. Like to pretend we’re like immune to this is ridiculous, right?

Cathy: So talking to them about it first. So then they’re telling you about it. You actually have engagement with them where they’re explaining it to you and then saying, um, tell me the difference. Like, is this a lot more expensive than the other stuff? And they usually, if you’re in a place of conversation, you know, they’re Yes, it is.

Cathy: And let’s talk about why, you know what I mean? Like, not let me give you a lecture, but why do you think it is? Is it actually better? Is it the name, you know, on there? Like, is it because this person put it out, which is usually the case? You know, it’s, if it’s a celebrity, then right there, you’re marking it up.

Cathy: You know, Lady Gaga’s makeup is so expensive. You gotta pay Lady Gaga. Yeah, well, and it’s her name. Like, you’re getting that, you know, and I don’t want to Point out her because she does have a price point for some people, but there is, as soon as you put a name on it, it’s more expensive. [00:29:00] And this is, this is less about, let me teach you a lesson and more about through conversation, let’s learn something.

Todd: Do you see? And I’m learning too. And what I would say is, would you rather have two of these or one of these? Because if you go to Walgreens and Walgreens may be a bad example, but It’s 14 and if you buy it online from the Lady Gaga people, it’s 28. I would rather have two of these, that way it lasts twice as long.

Todd: And my kid would probably say, sorry, that sucks.

Cathy: Well, and like, okay, so Todd, let’s pretend that you say that. Say, well, I could go to Walgreens and get two of these. And then say, does that make sense to you? And let’s hear what they have to say, because I know what she’ll say. She’ll say, but see, it doesn’t have all those properties.

Cathy: It doesn’t stay on as long. It’s not waterproof. It, um, is, it’s not good for sensitive skin. And then you could actually be like, okay, that makes

Todd: sense. Yeah. Like if the cheap one breaks out, breaks me out in a rash, then duh, don’t use it. Right.

Cathy: And then talking about, like, the things you’re getting. Tell [00:30:00] me, um, how you make your choices, not let me tell you what choices you should make.

Cathy: Tell me how you make your choices. How do you decide that this is the thing that you want? I’m trying to get this necklace on. It’s not working. Um, how do you, how do you figure that out for yourself and become curious? Because if you ask questions and you really genuinely want to know, then you don’t need to give a lot of lectures because they actually have thought these things through.

Cathy: And if you have already been super judgmental about their choices, they may initially be defensive. And be like, well, you don’t understand or you don’t get it. And they may not want to share with you as much. You may need to do this over time because a lot of times parents try and shift their behavior really dramatically.

Cathy: Like yesterday you were judging them and shaming them about something. And then the next day you’re trying to have a conversation. It doesn’t always work. Well, let

Todd: me just say, I many times take the lazy route and I’m like, I don’t. How would you describe the lazy route? I’m not interested in your makeup, so I’m not going to ask about [00:31:00] it.

Todd: Um, I have too many of my own things going on. I don’t want to worry about blah, blah, blah. And it’s just easy for me to be lazy and not get curious about what’s cooking in my daughter’s lives. Unless it’s about. The NCAA Women’s Tournament. Something like I’m interested in. You know what I mean? And

Cathy: the interesting thing is, is the language you just used is a perfect, uh, thing to, to discuss because you’re saying, I’m not interested in their makeup.

Cathy: It’s not about their makeup. You’re interested in them. Yeah. It’s, you don’t have to be, and this is again, and again, I don’t want to be too gender focused on this, Todd, but, um, you know, a lot of times that inability to step into someone else. It’s like, well, I’m not interested until you’re interested in what I’m interested in.

Cathy: That is so, it’s so, um, disconnecting. It’s so, I’m trying to come up with a better word. It’s, it’s not ignorant. It’s like, um, it’s an inability to recognize that other [00:32:00] people’s lives have like a meaning and sense and, and, um, they have their own way of viewing the world. You. You, I’m going to use you as an example, you think your way of viewing the world is the world.

Todd: Can I, um, can I play a clip that we always play? Sure. Uh, this is a, uh, a scene from the movie and it has to do with, you just called me out for me not being interested in makeup. Yeah. And it shouldn’t be about my interest in makeup, it should be my interest in my daughter’s interest in makeup. So this Aniston.

Todd: Oh gosh, we use this all the time. I know.

Clip: Not getting it. You’re not getting this, Gary. Okay, it’s not about the lemons. It’s not about the flowers. It’s not about the dishes. It’s just how many times do I have to drop hints about the ballet? You know I can’t stand it. Brooke, come here. We talked about the damn ballet.

Clip: I hate the goddamn ballet. You got a bunch of dudes in tights flopping around for three hours. It’s like a medieval techno show. It’s a nightmare. I sit there in a sweat. The whole thing. I do. When the hell’s the goddamn nightmare gonna [00:33:00] end? It’s not about you loving the ballet, Gary. It’s about the person that you love loves the ballet, and you want to spend time with that person.

Clip: So

Todd: there you go. That’s, I’m Vince Vaughn. Right. At certain times.

Cathy: And what does she say next? She, he, she says, we never spend time together. And he says, we just got back from the Notre Dame game. I gotta play it.

Clip: Get the ballet. Get the ballet. We don’t go anywhere together.

Todd: We just went to Ann Arbor together.

Cathy: Oh, Michigan.

Clip: Ann Arbor to the Michigan Notre Dame game. You think, you think screaming drunk kids and leprechauns doing backflips. That’s fun. That’s fun for me.

Todd: So she’s taking one for the team.

Clip: All the time.

Todd: Yeah.

Cathy: And, and he’s like, no, what people do is they go to the Michigan Notre Dame game. There’s a

Todd: whole bunch of people going to ballet that we don’t know about.

Cathy: Right. Well, and that’s the thing is the viewpoint, the viewpoint that what I was trying to get to at the beginning of the show about, I can listen to a song and put myself in that song, even if it’s, you know, Blake Sheldon talking about his [00:34:00] experience living in a completely different state and, you know, having a completely Southern experience, I can still put my.

Cathy: Self and his situation be like, yeah, I get it.

Todd: Another example would be Dead Poets Society. There’s no women.

Cathy: Right, but I, I didn’t watch Dead Poets Society and think this isn’t for me. I got the message. I got it. Carpe diem, baby. And that applies to everybody.

Todd: And it’s a bunch of dudes. Exactly.

Cathy: And if you, if you.

Cathy: If you view the world through, there’s a way to do it, which is my way, and then there’s the way other people do it, which is either wrong or stupid or dumb, or like the ballet, then you are missing. It’s a very, what’s the word, Todd? It’s not isolationist. It’s like I view the, it’s narrow focus. The picture I get in my head, judgment is the horse with the Yeah, the blinders.

Cathy: The blinders, yeah. You’re, it’s so myopic. It’s like one way. And so with our kids, you may not be interested in makeup, but it’s not about you. You are going to them and saying, explain to me what you know. And. If you can [00:35:00] do that enough, maybe they’ll get into the deeper levels of what makeup represents.

Cathy: Fitting in, having things that other people have, having things that other people don’t have, so you feel power. So

Todd: in other words, it’s an opportunity. Exactly. It’s an on ramp to a deeper discussion. But instead, when I’m in the lazy version of myself, it’s like, I don’t want, I don’t like makeup, so I’m going to ignore it because it has nothing to do with me and I have no interest in it.

Todd: What I’m missing is an opportunity. To take a deep dive with my kid about something super important, which is how they present themselves to the world.

Cathy: And this is true with your partner too. What is your, say you have a partner who has a, um, I’m going to, this is what’s coming in my head, like an art studio and they paint and maybe they’re good.

Cathy: Maybe to you, they’re not that good, whatever, but they just paint and you’re like, well, that’s their thing. I don’t talk to them about that. What if you did? What if you were like, tell me what it feels like to do this or tell me about this picture? And they may be like, Oh, it’s no big deal. And I’d say, no, no, no.

Cathy: Tell me what colors are your favorites? Not because you want to paint, [00:36:00] but because the person you love is painting. And this is if your kid is in a sport or in chess club, or they loved a game or they love, um, I remember your sister went through a phase where she loved graffiti art. on trains and stuff.

Cathy: And we can sit there and go, well, that’s wrong. And, you know, that’s ridiculous. And that’s bad. Why not instead be, what do you like about it? Tell me about the culture.

Todd: Can I play one more clip? Sure. Is it from the same movie? No, it’s from The Office. Okay. I’ll set it up. Pam has an art show and I’m pretty sure, you know, the scene.

Todd: I love this scene. And Pam does these Paintings and drawings. Nobody from the office shows up. I think other than Oscar does.

Cathy: I think a few people show up, but they’re kind of dismissive of her work.

Todd: Right. So in comes Michael, who is always such an idiot, but in this scene, not so much.

Clip: Oh, my God.

Todd: Wow. You did these [00:37:00] freehand?

Todd: My God. These could be tracings. Oh, look at this one. Wow. You nailed it.

Todd: How much?

Clip: What do you mean?

Todd: I don’t see a price.

Clip: Um, you wanna buy it?

Todd: Well, yeah. Yeah, we have to have it for the office. I mean, there’s my window, and there’s my car. Is that your car? Uh huh.

Todd: That is our building.

Todd: And we sell paper.

Todd: So then she just embraces him. Yeah. Like it’s just like this big, huge hug. Because why does she hug Michael, sweetie?

Cathy: [00:38:00] Well, I mean, there’s so many things in that. Number one, of course, because he is seeing her and he gets her and he actually says right after that, I’m so proud of

Todd: you.

Cathy: I cut it up too early.

Cathy: But. What I will say about that is, let’s go back to what we were talking about with the why we do certain things. Do we do it for money? Do we do it for status? Do we do it for, you know, being at the top of the heap, you know, being number one? And we are so infatuated with that, that we don’t give anyone credit for just, just, you know, playing out their humanity and just doing things that they love, even if it isn’t the best drawing you’ve ever seen in the world.

Cathy: That is, that has nothing to do with it. It’s someone trying to express themselves in a way that they feel seen and that they feel like themselves. Like, they feel like this is something I have, and regardless of how the world views it, this is something I have. And Michael, in his simplicity, Understands that.

Cathy: And he also, because Pam did it, he understand, [00:39:00] he just, he, there’s nothing disingenuous about that scene. He really is excited about these pictures. And he’s not looking and saying, Oh, this is the best drawing I’ve ever seen. He’s like, that’s our building. You did it. And we are so infatuated with being first and number one and the best.

Cathy: And here’s the thing. I’m going to just shift for a second. I understand the infatuation. I am like a lot of the country, you know, my daughter goes to University of Iowa and I am infatuated with Caitlin Clark, right? Why? Because she’s great. She’s

Todd: consistent. Great is an understatement. And

Cathy: she’s amazing.

Cathy: And she is a demonstration of greatness. Yes. And it is like for me to have watched her over the course of this year and, you know, again, my daughter’s just a freshman. So we missed a lot of years prior, right? I, I knew who she was because my friend works there and would always talk about her, but I didn’t have the deep love that I have now, right?

Cathy: And, and I get, and I am, [00:40:00] greatness is amazing, but greatness doesn’t always look like record breaking. Greatness is sometimes the ability when you’re depressed to get up and, and, and take care of a child. That’s greatness, right? Greatness is the ability to draw your office building even if it’s not the most amazing.

Cathy: Greatness is the ability to, you know, say, like, show up for your kids even when you’re uninterested. Like, you are doing something that is great because you’re, you are not, you’re expressing yourself in a, in, in a way that is, is great. I want to say integrous, I don’t know if that’s a word, in your integrity, you know, where you’re like, I am being who I am and I’m showing up as I am the best I can.

Cathy: And for Kailyn Clark, that’s record breaking. And for somebody else, that’s a drawing of an office building. And if we could understand that, instead of be like, I’m only going to pay attention to you or decide that you’re good enough, if you meet [00:41:00] these predetermined goals. then we’re missing everybody.

Cathy: Yeah. You know what I mean? I do. Like it doesn’t, you don’t have to choose. You don’t have to decide this is greatness and this isn’t. Can you see it all as greatness?

Todd: Yeah. No, I, I think that that’s an interesting because you know, the Caitlin Clark thing is she is, uh, historical. We’ve never seen anything like her ever.

Todd: And I’m guessing you asked me last night while we’re watching the game, why is she so good? And she’s probably. Gifted with some good genes. She’s tall. Her

Cathy: dad was a coach. She played with boys and she was younger And I’m willing to guess

Todd: that she’s probably taken twice as many shots like practice. Yeah, then 98 percent of other NCAA athletes like I think she put herself in a position for greatness, but not but and It doesn’t always look like you’re on the front page of the newspaper.

Todd: It could be you getting up feeling sick and taking care of your [00:42:00] kid.

Cathy: Exactly. And we don’t and we don’t admire that because we’re like well that’s, that’s not greatness in the Making all the money, being all the fame. And that’s, I do a whole thing with my college students. We talk about fame because a lot of, um, kids their age want to be famous.

Cathy: And I’ll say, what do you want to be famous for? I don’t care. I just want to be famous. And then we talk about what being famous really looks like and what it feels like and, um, and what they think they’re going to get from it and how it’s actually empty and it’s not sustaining. Like one of the always interesting is look back at like the top 40.

Cathy: You know, singles from like three years ago and look through the list and some people are still on there. You know, some people, you know, Taylor or Rihanna or, you know, um, other artists that you’re like, they’re consistent. And there’s so many that are nowhere to be found anymore. Some people just come in and go out and, and I’m not saying then they failed.

Cathy: It’s just not everything always. Some of those people end up struggling. Like this week, Lizzo went on social media and said, I quit. I’m done [00:43:00] because there’s so much hatred flung at her. And on that note, can I say this? Sure. I just watched Angel Reese’s press conference. She is the, um, basically the leader of the team of LSU who played Iowa last night.

Cathy: And LSU and Iowa had a big matchup last year too, and LSU won. And there was a lot of controversy, um, uh, between, people were trying to make it between Angel Reese and Katelyn Clark, even though they actually get along just fine. Everyone always just wants there to be like some big controversy. She’s amazing.

Cathy: Angel Reeses, I mean, I love Caitlyn Clark. I’m, I’m an Iowa fan, but to rip down this girl or to make her a villain, you know, especially when race is involved and she’s, it speaks up for herself and stands up and people are like, well, she brought a crown and put it on her chair and she deserves this. She, she’s a queen.

Cathy: I’m not worried about the wins and losses. She’s an amazing ball player. And why are we so offended by that?

Todd: Should we, uh, play a little clip? Sure.

Clip: I [00:44:00] got my family that stands up for me. I don’t really get to speak out on things just because I just try to ignore. And I just try to stand strong. Like, I’ve been through so much.

Clip: I’ve seen so much. I’ve been attacked so many times. Debt threats. I’ve been sexualized. I’ve been, you know, So many things and I’ve stood strong every single time and I just try to stand strong for my teammates because I don’t want them to see me down and like, not be there for them. So I just want to always just know, like, I’m still human.

Clip: Like, all this has happened since I won the national championship. And I said the other day, I haven’t had peace since then. And it sucks. And, but I still wouldn’t change. I wouldn’t change anything. And I would still sit here and say like, I’m unapologetically me. I’m going to always leave that mark and be who I am and stand on that.

Clip: And hopefully the little girls that look up to me and hopefully I give them some type of inspiration that no, hopefully it’s not this hard and all the things [00:45:00] that come at you, but keep being who you are, keep waking up every day, keep being motivated, staying who you are, stance and toes, don’t back down.

Cathy: Oh, I love her. I love her. And I loved her before going into the game last night. Like, I sent you a video. I sent it to my family of, it was Angel and Caitlin both talking about how they trash talk each other. And they love it. They’re like, they, and, and, you know, when Caitlin broke the record, Angel tweeted or was on threads or something and said, congrats, Caitlin Clark.

Cathy: Amazing. Like, we, why can’t two women?

Todd: Be that big. There’s a part of them, when they get inside the lines of the basketball court, the fear of competitiveness shows up. Right. Which is great. That’s And if it shows up in the, in the terms of them kind of smack talking each other, I got, I mean, it’s not the way I like to play, but I, I can appreciate that a different version of themselves shows up while playing basketball.

Todd: And then, and the amount of women that we saw one [00:46:00] teammate, One team on LSU fell down on the ground and an Iowa girl picked her up. Yep. And vice versa. And vice versa. Maybe you see that in the guys, but I don’t see it as often. And I’m also realizing that we got a close shot.

Cathy: And there’s also like when, you know, when they’re finishing up the game, there’s lots of hugs.

Cathy: There’s lots. And again, The thing is, is that men play like this all the time. I’m just trying to point out that why are we villainizing one person, um, you know, and, and because she’s bolder and more, you know, she speaks like her, how do I, I’m like not having words this morning. She, She shares, I am big, I am good.

Cathy: And,

Todd: and there’s a lot of men out there that get really scared of strong women.

Cathy: Well,

Todd: instead of saying that they’re afraid, they get mad. Right. Out of anger.

Cathy: And they say things like, who here, I saw this on threads yesterday, who here thinks that if they went one on one with Caitlin Clark, that they could get 11 points first?

Cathy: And all these men are like, I know I could. I’m like, what, what is, what is the problem here? [00:47:00] Like, what? And again, maybe that’s just, you know. Shit talking too. Sorry, I’m not sweetie. Now.

Todd: I gotta go back and I mean if we’re gonna be in our integrity

Cathy: now, you’re right, I

Todd: guess so Um, I want to say thank you to for anybody who is willing to support men living just click on the donate link Jeremy crafty’s a bald headed beauty.

Todd: He does painting and remodeling throughout the chicagoland area join team zen

Cathy: That’s a way to support us, but it’s also you get so much.

Todd: So

Cathy: come, come join us just for a month,

Todd: just for a month. It’s like check us out. Um, all right, I’m going to do the closing music and then we’ll catch everybody, um, next week.

Todd: All right. Keep trucking.

Round two. Change a little bit. And change a little bit. Pretty [00:48:00] pleasant.