Ep 039: 13 Ways to Bring Peace into Your Home

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Everybody wants a peaceful home. I don’t think anybody would say, “I don’t want a peaceful home.” There’s two different sides of a peaceful home. One is intentionally setting your home up to be peaceful. But then sometimes, there is just stress. How can you, in the middle of a stressful day or tense afternoon, create a peaceful atmosphere? In this episode we’re going to cover both types of bringing peace into your home. I have worked really hard to set up a home that feels peaceful. In the way that I decorate. The way it’s laid out. The way I act as a mom. I have also come up with a handful of in-the-middle-of-stress peacemakers. Take a step back and ask yourself, “How do you feel when you walk into your home?” Take note of it. What could you change? What is it that you don't like? You should like the way you feel when you walk in the house!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The impact a peaceful home has on you and those who come into your home.

  • How to give your kids the gift of a home they can live in by finding a balance between a home that’s too kid-friendly and the mom hates it, or not kid-friendly at all and the kids hate it.

  • How to intentionally plan for peacefulness around usually stressful times.

  • Setting phone boundaries that create a peaceful home by fostering family time.

  • The tone that you, as the mom, can set in the middle of stressful situations.

  • Practical ways you can create a peaceful atmosphere in the middle of stressful situations.

Mentioned in this Episode:

 

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I put together a FREE checklist for you guys called “13 Ways To Bring Peace Into Your Home.”

It will help you find ways to set up a peaceful home as well as give you ideas when you are “in the middle of stress.". If you feel like your house is getting really tense and your family really needs some peace, look at your fridge, get this checklist! I know it will help bring peace to your home!  


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If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey friends! I wanted to say I had to do the beginning of this episode five times and that’s never happened before. I usually hit record and I’m good, but I don’t know. I feel like I sounded weird, overly annoyingly cheerful. And then I said “Hey guys” and I started rambling about nothing. It was weird. I’m off today. Anyway…

This episode is all about how to bring peace into your home and set up a peaceful home. I’m really looking forward to sharing this with you. I think everybody wants a peaceful home. I don’t think anybody would say, “I don’t want a peaceful home.” I think my care, my deliberate action to create a peaceful home came from a few years ago when I started to really work on not yelling, which is a constant struggle for me. Just to give you guys some hope, if you also struggle with yelling, it does get easier. But it’s still a struggle.

A few years ago, I challenged myself to not yell at all for 30 days. Of course, I messed up. I did yell and had to correct it. But the point is it brought awareness how I often I turned to yelling as a solution, which in fact, is not a solution at all. It actually makes things worse. I really dealt with the fact that I go there really quickly… a lot. I think one thing that I saw was that my yelling wrecked all the peace in our home. When I do stumble and fall back into that habit, I notice again now. It kills all peace in our home.

It makes the people in our home anxious. It makes me anxious. It makes the whole house feel tense like we are on eggshells and just… anxious. That is the opposite of peace.

I have worked hard to set up a home that feels peaceful. In the way that I decorate. The way it’s laid out. The way I act as a mom. I have also come up with a handful of in-the-middle-of-stress peacemakers.

There’s two different sides of a peaceful home. One is intentionally setting your home up to be peaceful. But then sometimes, there is just stress. How can you, in the middle of a stressful day or tense afternoon, create a peaceful atmosphere? We’re going to come at this from both sides.

There are things you can do to set up a peaceful home. But maybe you find yourself in the thick of a stressful afternoon or something in your home. It feels anything but peaceful, even though you’ve set it up that way and you need some in-the-moment tips for creating some peace in your house.

In this episode we’re going to cover both types of bringing peace into your home. We’re going to start with ways to intentionally set up a peaceful home originally.

Let’s say you’re listening to this episode. It’s not a stressful moment right now. When you finish listening, you want to set up your home to be more peaceful. These are those kind of things; not the in the middle of stress things yet.

First, use décor that makes you feel the most at home, relaxed, and happy to be there. I’ve said this before that when I walk into my home, even it it’s a really busy day and it’s not perfectly clean, I feel like it’s a breath of fresh air every time I walk in. I love every room. Even the rooms that aren’t quite finished yet in terms of decorating. I just love my home.

I have created a home that is perfect for me. It makes me happy and relaxed. It feels lived-in and functional, but still beautiful and stylish. It reflects my personality. I don’t really purchase things to decorate my home with, unless they are really amazing and “my favorite” and I love it that way. Everything in my home just makes me really happy. That is so important.

A lot of the time we just go off of like what was on sale, what was handed down to us and given to us, we don't want to waste and we'll just use it. Really though? Is it better to have things that are functional and don't actually make us really happy?

I think it would be better to go slowly and maybe not have a house as super decorated, but to slowly wait and as your budget allows purchase things that really make you light up. This doesn't have to be extravagant or expensive. Most of my stuff is from Ikea, Target, or World Market, which are all really cheap places to get house stuff. The fact is that I love all of those things. It can be slow and budget friendly, but don't just get something for the heck of it.

Even back when we really didn't have any money (Episode 6), I loved my home. I didn't love it as much as I love it now because money changes a lot of things and you can do more. But I did love it. I didn’t just get whatever the heck and not care.  

I carefully thrifted for pieces that I loved and I repurposed them to make them more beautiful and more modern to fit my taste. I waited and I saved and got bookshelves that I thought were really beautiful.

Take a step back and ask yourself, “How do you feel when you walk into your home?” Take note of it. What maybe could you change? What is it that you don't like? Do you not like the way it's decorated? Do you feel like you don't even know how to decorate? Educate yourself. Figure out a way to make it happen. You should like the way you feel when you walk in the house. I think decor is a big part of that because it's so visual.

The next tip I have is to handle your entryway. Some homes have an “official entryway,” whether it’s a mudroom or whatever. My home does not have one of those, but I’ve created an entryway.  Whatever you are standing in when you first walk through your front door, set that up. It's the first thing you see when you walk in the door. Everything should have a place. It should be functional and work well for you, but also be pretty, well-lit, minimalistic, clean and clear of clutter so that you walk in and the first thing you see is good.

Now it's kind of tricky in my house because when you walk in the front door, if you're standing straight and looking straight ahead, you're staring down a hallway that shows you the entire front room and goes into the kitchen/family room area. It's a straight shot.

It's important to me that I keep that whole area clear of clutter. I'll post a picture in the show notes so you can see exactly what I'm talking about. I have this vintage mid-century modern console that I got for like $25 on Craigslist three and a half years ago. Super, super crazy find. It has a stamp underneath it from the furniture store that it was originally from and it says 1969 or something crazy old like that. It's amazing. We painted it a little bit and repurposed it.

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It’s a nine-drawer console on the left side (if you're standing in my front door looking down that front hallway) of the wall underneath my bicycle art. And that is a place where I can keep things that need to be downstairs in our main area, like sunglasses and keys. There’s a drawer for mail that we need to sift through and things like that. It's functional.

We keep Emmett's pull ups in there, because he wears a pull-up to nap and go to bed still, and things that we need to grab and put in the diaper bag. We have a diaper bag/ backpack/purse packing station there. It's a really great functional piece of furniture.

I would say about 60-70% of the drawers are empty because we don't need nine drawers, but I love that piece of furniture. I really wanted to have it in the front room so I could see it all the time. It works really, really well for us and helps keep that front area clear of clutter. There's really no reason for things to be sat on top of the ledge by the door or sat on top of the console. There's drawers and they each have a purpose. It helps us with functionality.

Figure out a way. Do you come in through the garage? Do you come in through the back door? Do you come in through the front door? What do you and your family use as your main door? Where were you coming in from running errands and setting your keys down? Make that section of your home really functional, pretty and clear of clutter for yourself, so the first thing you see when you walk in is clear. That's really going to help you set up a peaceful existence in your home.

Another thing is giving your kids the gift of a home that they can live in. I think there's these two big opposite ends of the spectrum that moms typically fall under. One end of the spectrum is a home feels way too kid friendly. There's kid stuff everywhere. There's really no décor. There’s just the kid’s stuff – the toy kitchen, toy bins, kids’ books, homeschool stuff. It takes over the house. It's very kid friendly, but the mom hates it. The mom feels like she's lost herself, she has no decorative style, and she doesn't really love being there.

Or on the other end of the spectrum, it's like a kid doesn't even live there. It's really stylish and perfectly clean. Everything is hidden away. It’s magazine status. It's beautiful, but it doesn't feel like you can cozy up with a book on the couch and enjoy it.

I think there's a balance between the two. This is one area where I feel, “OK, yes, I found it for myself,” so I love decorating. If I wasn't doing what I'm doing now, I think I would either own a flower shop or be doing something with decorating, because I love to decorate. My style is very important to me. It's important to me that I love my home when I walk in. But I don't want my house to feel so perfect and so beautiful that the kids are afraid to touch anything.

This is one reason that I don't buy high-end furniture. I'd rather have juice spilled on a $300 couch than an $1,800 one. I would rather feel, “It's OK; it's not the end of the world.” Even if it was an $1,800 one it still isn’t the end of the world, but you know what I'm saying. I have Ikea couches so that I can take the covers off and throw them in the washing machine, so spills and greasy fingers, stains and things like that just come right out.

I think there's a way to mix functionality with style and having a beautiful home that you love, that you're proud to show off, that you're proud to host things. Anytime I'm at church and an event comes up, I offer a host it. I love inviting friends over. I love my home. I love being here. I love hosting ladies’ nights and I love having other couples over for dinner. I love, love, love it because I feel confident about my home. It reflects my personality. I think it's one of the most beautiful places in the world and I did that. I styled that myself and I love it.

Decorating is one of my gifts and I love using it to create a beautiful home to where I can have people over. But, I don't want my kids to grow up remembering, “Mom wouldn't let us sit on the sofa in the front room. I wasn't allowed to do anything anywhere. My stuff always had to be put away upstairs.” I don't want them to feel like that.

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For example, (and I'll also share a picture of this to show you what I'm talking about) I have my kid’s toy kitchen. My kids used to have a toy kitchen way back before we moved across the country. When we were moving it was something we had gotten rid of. We really didn't bring anything when we moved to Arkansas. Now we are back in California, we're settled, our traveling spurt is done and we're here. My kids were saying that they would love to have a toy kitchen. And so, we got one for Christmas one year. Technically, it was for Emmett, but everybody plays with it.  

It was less than a hundred bucks. I found it on Amazon. It's white. It's cute and vintage, yet modern looking. I got it because it matches the house. I put it downstairs in the main room for two reasons. Number one, I like it when my kids are around me. I want there to be kid’s stuff in my house. That's why I incorporate my kids’ artwork with my décor. Because I want it to feel like kids live here. I like it when my kids are with me. They play in the toy kitchen while I'm in the real kitchen, making meals and stuff. I just think it's really fun and imaginative and I love that they wanted a toy kitchen back.

I put it in the main room. You can see it when you open the front door. It's one of the first things you see down that hallway. It's right in the middle of the family room and the kitchen. It’s in the main part of my house and I put a little collage of photos above it. Um, there's a big Fiddily Fig right next to it. I made it really cute. I incorporated functionality and kid stuff into my décor.

So instead of going and getting a toy kitchen that was cheap, but I thought was really ugly, I balanced it out. I got one that I thought was really cute that goes with my house décor and I put it in a main area. It's functional and the kids love it. They use it every single day. It doesn't look awful and it still ties in with my house.

That's a good example of how you can find a balance between this home that’s way too kid-friendly and the mom hates it, or not kid-friendly at all and the kids hate it.

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Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

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If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

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Another great idea that I see all the time is putting a big whiteboard on the wall or painting a wall with chalkboard paint, so the kids can color. Plus, this is a great way to discourage super little ones from drawing on your walls. You can find ways to bring in kid functionality and the fun stuff that comes with having kids without sacrificing the home that you love.

Another way that you can bring peace into your home is find a solution to the things that are regularly stressing you out in your home. For example, we had lived in one-story houses for a long time and our current house now is two-stories. I noticed pretty quickly the whole debacle of “this is downstairs, but it belongs upstairs.” Am I seriously supposed to go all the way upstairs and put this away every single time I find something misplaced? That’s not going to work for me.

I tried it for a while, you know, “just get it done,” but, No, it's unrealistic. It doesn't work for me. I'm not doing that. It created a pile of things that belonged upstairs at the bottom of the stairs every day and it was really ugly. I found a regular dark wicker basket that goes with my décor. It’s a super simple, big, rectangle one that has a lid. I put it in the empty space on the wall by my stairs. That basket is for anything that is downstairs that belongs upstairs. Now at the end of every day we take the lid off, we carry the basket upstairs and everybody puts their things away. Super simple. It's a new rhythm that we have developed.

It took away the stress; it took away the mess. No matter how minimalistic you are, if there's people, human bodies living in your house, you're going to have stuff around. Sometimes something gets used downstairs that actually belongs upstairs and needs to be taken up. It's not a big deal. It doesn't mean you have a bunch of clutter you have to get rid of. It just means that you need a system. This gave us a simple system. The basket looks pretty and hides random things that need to be put away upstairs.

Now every night we take it up. It’s part of our nightly cleanup routine. We put things away, put the empty basket back downstairs for the next day. Little things like that.

Sometimes you don't think outside of your box and you don't realize there's such a simple solution that would help you so much. That would free up your time and make you like your house better. That basket, as simple as it was, really helped and brought some peace into our home in this one small area that was causing a lot of stress.

Another way to set up a peaceful home is flowers. I personally love to always have fresh flowers in my house. I have a couple of vases I love and I swap them out on my kitchen sink. I do not like to do the dishes and I don't particularly love cooking either, so one way that I helped myself is by making myself love my kitchen.

I take extra care. I put extra thought and budget into making my kitchen a place that I love. I have an amazing fridge that makes my life a lot easier. I bought my favorite color Kitchenaid. I bought a cute cookie jar and a cute little storage jar for my coffee beans and stuff on the counter. Everything that I have in there is my favorite. Another thing I do is keep fresh flowers in the vase by the sink. When I'm doing the dishes and prepping meals, I have fresh flowers because I love flowers. Every Sunday when we go to the store I stop at Trader Joe's and I grab a fresh bouquet of flowers.

Now if that's not in your budget, you could get fake flowers. I actually have always hated fake flowers because I feel like they always look fake. But lately I've noticed they're really upping their game. I was at Ikea and I found some beautiful fake Peonies. I bought a big bunch of them and a beautiful hand blown vase and I keep that in my bedroom. My bedroom doesn’t get a ton of light and flowers would die up there. But I like having them there when I'm getting ready in the morning. Now every morning I see a fresh bouquet of one of my favorite types of flowers. That’s actually what's on my arm, my half sleeve, is Peonies. I love them.

I see them every morning when I'm finding my outfit for the day, getting dressed and getting ready. They reflect off the mirror when I'm taking a shower so I can literally see them all the time. They're beautiful. They don't look super fake. They are there all the time and don't require a lot of care from me.

In some way, shape or form, flowers can really brighten up your home. And they do make for a more peaceful environment. It's a gift they do.

Another thing you can do is diffuse essential oils or light candles or something. I have a diffuser that I will link to. I got it off of Amazon and it was pretty cheap. I think it was like $25 or less. It's wooden and it totally goes with my mid-centuryish décor. I keep it on that console that I was telling you about earlier in the front hall of my house. Pretty much all day, every day I set it to “on”, to run until it runs out of water. I put distilled water in it, add some essential oil drops in there and I just diffuse all day.

It's in the main area of the house. You can smell it anywhere you are downstairs; sometimes even upstairs too. I really liked the Stress Away Oil from Young Living. Sometimes I'll diffuse Geranium oil or something that smells really springy and fresh. I'll do Wellness Oils if it's flu season or we're battling some sickness or something. I always have that going. Seeing the steam and smelling the oils, really does create a more peaceful atmosphere.

I know somebody too that has like oil diffuser. She has candles lit. She has incense burning all the time. That’s a little too much for my senses, personally, but it does create peace. There's all these different beautiful smells in her house. They all go really well together.

I also have a Sensi warmer. I'm not a huge fan of Sensi, but occasionally I will put a wax thing in there and let that go. It is a really overwhelming smell. If you want your house to smell really good, really quickly, that works great.

Intentionally planning for peacefulness around times that are usually stressful is huge. If you want to set your home up to be peaceful you have to think ahead. What are usually the most stressful times of day? Maybe it's when you're making dinner. Maybe it's when the kids first come home from school. Maybe it's the morning. Maybe it's the last hour that you have to get work done before you go and pick up the kids from school. Whatever it is. Whatever they are. It doesn't have to be one time; it could be all of those things. Intentionally look ahead and plan for peacefulness around those times.

Play worship music. Play instrumental music. Play acoustic music. Light candles during those times. Maybe take a minute and go in a closet or the bathroom or somewhere and just sit for a second and focus on your breathing. Consciously do a quick standing meditation for 5-10 minutes before those times. Get yourself in a place of peace because we reflect what we're feeling on our kids and our families and they tend to follow how we're feeling. I think there is something to be said about intentionally planning for peacefulness around those times that tend to be tense and stressful.

And then the last thing of ways to set up a peaceful home is to get your phone boundaries in place. Phone boundaries make for a peaceful home by fostering family time. There was a whole episode done on phone settings for a present life and I'll link to that in the show notes. I would encourage you to look at how much you're using your phone. It's going to create stress if your kids feel like you're always looking down at your phone.

If you're busy getting the kids ready to start doing homework while you start dinner before you go to baseball, and your phone is making sounds for text messages, that's going to add stress.

Put your phone in its place. It's on the back burner. It's not the main event, right? You can have your phone settings set up so your phone will ring for phone calls but not make other sounds. You can a have set time and place where you check your text messages and

Instagram. It is totally doable. If I can do it, you can do it.

A big part of my job is social media. I have set times of the day when I set my timer for 15 to 20 minutes and I answer Instagram comments, or look at text messages. When that timer goes off, it's done. I put it down until the next time of day. It's maybe 30 minutes a day for Instagram, because that's a big part of my job and I love connecting with you all. That's the only place in social media that I really give daily time. Facebook, text messages, and other stuff is less than that.

Putting it in its place will create such an atmosphere of peace because you're focused on your family. You're available to answer questions and talk to them about their day and be there without being distracted.

How many times have you been trying to finish a text message and your kid is talking to you? They're asking you questions, saying “Mom!” and you're like, “What? Hold on.” Did that really have that much of a higher priority than your kid? Probably not. I am guilty of the same thing.

When we put our phone in its place, it creates a more peaceful atmosphere by fostering families.

OK, let's focus on the “in the middle of stress” peacemaker ideas. This is a handful of ideas to help you when you're in the moment. You're in the middle of a tense, stressful situation in your home. Your home feels like, “Ah! I don't want my home to feel like this. What's going on?” Here are some things you can do in those moments when you maybe didn't set up your home to be peaceful before or maybe you did but sometimes you need more than that.

In the middle of stress I think it's important to realize that as the mom, you set the tone. If you have to “fake it till you make it or fake it till you feel it,” that works.

By the way, I'm reading Gretchen Rubin's A Happiness Project and there's a whole section of that in here. “Fake it till you feel it” works. How do you want to feel? Pretend you feel that way and you eventually will. It's amazing.

Or do something that can help you calm down quickly. Remember the standing meditation? Go in the closet, plug your ears, focus on your breathing for just a minute. Come out and feel lighter. Then start acting out of that calm and your family will follow your lead.

Play calming music. Maybe you didn't have it set up that way before, but just change it now. Turn on what does it for you. Classical worship, acoustic playlist on Spotify, whatever it is, just call a timeout. Turn on some calming music on your speaker in your house. If you don't have one, I would highly suggest you get one. I have Alexa; she's amazing. There's lots of different speakers that amplify the level of music in your house.

Music is used in therapy so much. There's a reason for that. It affects your mood. This isn't like a tip I added in here to fill this episode. This is legit and it totally changes things. Play calming music.

Another tip is to create a calm atmosphere. In that moment, what does that look like? Maybe you need to open the windows. Maybe you need to air the house out, diffuse those oils, light those candles, put that music on.

Maybe you need to open the front door and let the air in. Maybe you need say to everyone, “Let's just take a time out. Let’s do the dishes real quick, do a five-minute pickup and then come back to homework after this.”  Is it a mess, and you just are overwhelmed and you need to kind of clear some of that clutter so you can focus on the stressful task at hand? What is it going to take to create that calm atmosphere in the moment?

And speaking of that, that's the other tip: clear the surface clutter. It has a direct effect on your brain and everyone's mood. Here's my empty-hamper trick. Get an empty hamper and go through downstairs or wherever you guys are spending your time right now, and clear the surfaces. Get all the clutter off the countertops, tabletops, coffee table, side table, couch, and put it in that hamper. Roll it out of the room and put it away for later. You can go through it and put things away later that night. Clearing the surface clutter really changes your mood.

And I think the last thing I want to say is in the middle of stress, to create some peace, maybe consider if at all possible, taking a break from whatever is expected right now. For example, if your kids are doing homework and there is bickering, crying, overwhelm or tension in the household while that's going on, take a break from homework time. Even just two minutes. Have a dance party or let them go up to their room and have some alone time to unwind.

Don't let the day's time limits or stresses run your family. It can wait. You can be flexible at least a little bit.

There is a checklist that I've put together for you guys. I'm actually looking at it right now. It’s all the points that I covered written out for you to print out and put on your fridge. “13 Ways To Bring Peace Into Your Home.” What an amazing thing to have sitting on your fridge so you can look at it and be reminded all the time.

It's divided into two sections: ways to set up a peaceful home and then “in the middle of stress” peacemaker ideas. If you feel like your house is getting really tense and your family really needs some peace, look at your fridge, look at these ideas and do one of them or all of them.

You can download that in the show notes and that is alliecasazza.com/shownotes/39. You’ll find all of that there. You'll find the links to those pictures of my house. I told you about the link of a diffuser that I use and the link to download that free checklist.

I encourage you guys to not lose hope. Those certain times of day don't have to feel as stressful as they always do. You can create peace there for sure.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

Ep 038: Compassionate + Effective Parenting with Wendy Snyder

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Like adults, kids need to feel like they belong. They need to feel powerful. They need to feel loved unconditionally, and they need to feel like they're valued. Compassionate + Effective Parenting (or Positive Parenting) is a style of parenting that highlights our kids’ needs so that they feel powerful, loved, and valued.

This parenting style helps us understand that when kids’ needs aren't met, it comes out as misbehavior. Misbehavior equals communication. When our kids are misbehaving, they're not just out to get us. They're not trying to tick us off. They are not trying to be naughty. Is it a part of their development to push boundaries? Absolutely. However, when we see it as communication and we try to help them communicate that in a healthy way, parenthood becomes more joyful. It becomes more about connection over correction. It becomes more about relationships and strengthening our day-to-day interaction with our kids.

Wendy Snyder is a Positive Parenting Coach who dedicates her life to helping parents navigate parenting through compassion. Because it does beautiful things for families, and it does amazing things for kids too. She brings so much wisdom to the table in this episode! Enjoy!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Wendy Discuss:

  • What led Wendy to become interested in Positive Parenting.

  • How Positive Parenting correlates with communication.

  • The ways Positive Parenting can be effective from toddlers to teenagers.  

  • The power of Positive Parenting with a strong willed child.  

  • Ways you can prevent and handle those big toddler tantrums.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you. It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired. Check it out! It’s a really good simple start. 


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If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey ladies! Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show! I am so looking forward to opening the floor and sharing today's guest with you guys!

Wendy Snyder is here and she is the founder of freshstartfamilyonline.com. Thank you so much for being here with us. I can't wait to dive in. I have so many things that I'm excited to hear from you and ask you. Thank you for taking time to be here with us.

WENDY: Yeah, thank you so much for having me, Allie. I really admire what you're doing and the community you're building, so I am grateful and humbled to be here.

ALLIE: I actually got a chance to meet Wendy on Saturday (at the time of this recording.) I don't know when this episode will air at the time right now.

We were together a few days ago and we went to the Macramé Making Class together and it was super fun and nice. Wendy lives near me and we were able to connect. She has the sweetest personality. She's a really warm, amazing person. You're one of those people that I want to have multiple coffee dates with and talk with you.

It was nice to hear your philosophy on parenting. We had talked about this at the class. It’s rare to find somebody that's in that place, especially as a Christian parent, where it's very much “spare the rod, spoil the child” and get to talk with you about compassionate parenting that works. It was so refreshing. I'm really excited to amplify your message by pulling you onto my platform and opening my listeners’ ears to all the good stuff that you have to share.

If you don't mind, I'll just let you dive right in and share your background and your story.

WENDY: Absolutely. Well, first of all, let me tell you a little bit about how I came to work and my backstory. I got super lucky and blessed young. I fell in love with my husband and my best friend, love of my life at 17.

We moved across country from Maryland to California. We set out to have careers in the surf industry. We set our goals. We felt like at that point in our life, if we set out to do something, we could accomplish it. We felt like a great team and life was going great. We were able to build really great careers that we were so grateful for.

And then we had kids and quickly realized that parenthood was definitely the hardest job that we had ever had in our entire lives. We were really surprised by how hard it was to influence little human souls to do what you want of them. And especially because we had been gifted and blessed with a really strong-spirited little girl.

When I decided to leave my career and stay home with my kids, I had been in the surf industry for a decade and really loved what I was doing.

And I thought leaving and coming home and being with my kids full time was going to be dreamy. We were going to be on the beach. It was going to be like, “Ahh!” I quickly realized that I was thrown into the day-to-day life of navigating toddlerhood and the many challenges that come along with that. I also had a colicky baby at the time and I was challenged to my core.

Every day was filled with time-outs and punishments and I just didn't know what to do to get this little girl to listen and behave. I thought at the time that I was supposed to get control of her. Thank God I found the work of Positive Parenting during that really dark valley of my parenting life where my days were really filled with depression and anxiety. I just could not believe that this is what parenthood had become.

I was exposed to Positive Parenting. I started taking a class called “Redirecting Children's Behavior,” which is one of the programs I'm now certified to teach. It brought the light back to my day. It enabled me to see my little girl in a whole new light and start to be able to seek to see the integrity in her.

Before long we started practicing the work in our home and she started to respond. You could just tell this little girl's spirit reacted so much better when we learned new ways of working with her that were respectful, kind and compassionate instead of focusing on how to force her to change or trickery about how to get her to do what we wanted.

It was solid work. I became so intrigued with it. I ended up taking this course seven times before I became a parent educator of it. It took me a while to become fluent in the language. I'm so happy that I hung in there. Seven years later, my daughter is 10 and my son is seven. Gosh, the seeds that this type of curriculum plants in families and it's planted in our lives are now, they've just blossomed.

For example, with my daughter, the relationship I have with her is rock solid. I look at her every day and thank God for her because it's just changed my whole perspective on humanity, let alone parenthood.

The work is incredible and I can't say enough nice things about it. I love teaching parents this work because, it does beautiful things for families and it does amazing things for kids to.

ALLIE: Thank you for sharing all of that. OK, I have so many questions!

Can you tell me a little bit more about what you called it, the work of positive parenting?

WENDY: Yeah. A backstory on the work. Positive parenting is really based on positive psychology. The “grandfather” of this work was derived from a child psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Rudolph Dreikurs, who is a renowned child psychologist from the 50’s who wrote a book called Children, The Challenge. He was ahead of his time with the way he saw children. He studied their development and helped parents to understand what's behind their misbehavior, which is all based on our needs.

Kids, just like adults, need to feel like they belong. They need to feel powerful. Feeling powerful is actually a really healthy need that we need people to be comfortable with and figuring out how to be strong leaders with integrity, right? They need to feel loved unconditionally, and they need to feel like they're valued.

Dr. Rudolph Dreikurs helps us to understand that when these kids’ needs aren't met, so to speak, it comes out as misbehavior. Parents are taught to become detectives and start to try to understand that misbehavior equals communication.

When our kids are misbehaving, they're not just out to get us. They're not trying to tick us off. They are not trying to be naughty. Is it a part of their development to push boundaries? Absolutely. However, when we see it as communication and we try to help them communicate that in a healthy way, parenthood becomes more joyful. It becomes more about connection over correction. It becomes more about relationships and strengthening our day-to-day interaction with our kids.

From his positive psychology, so many amazing programs have come about from his work. Redirecting Children's Behavior and The Joy of Parenting are the two programs that I'm a certified parent educator in. However, now there's Positive Discipline, there's Mindful Discipline, there is Jesus, The Gentle Parent. There’s so many programs out there now.

Parents really have a choice with how they work with their kids. There's so many ways to learn more about this work and that wasn't always the case. I love that parents can now go to the library or the bookstore and find just as many books that will teach them how to work with their kids using positive psychology, seeking the integrity in them, pointing out the good qualities about their kids, guiding them towards the light versus the other stuff.

ALLIE: Right. Yeah, absolutely. One thing that I wanted to ask you about, and we had discussed this on Saturday when we were together, was we're both Christians. Being “in the church,” I guess for lack of a better term, very much the prominent belief is you're kind of off on your own if you're not “a spanker,” if you're not that harsh. Like I said, “spare the Rod, spoil the child” belief. You approached me and when my assistant sent me over your stuff, I was just kinda like, “oh boy, parenting. Here we go.” Because it's so hard. It's hard in real life, let alone on a platform where people are already very judgmental and there's a shield there with a screen so they can say whatever they want.

I always shy away from talking about parenting because the way that we do things is very much, I loved how you said “connection over correction.” Of course, we correct our kids and we don't allow disrespect. Disrespect is a big hot button issue for me. Our kids respect us. They need to follow the way that things go in a house. But it's not this harsh discipline thing where we don't care about where their hearts are at. And that is where there's a difference in a lot of our friends, in ourselves, and in the community that we are raising our kids in.

I guess the fear that I see that I used to have and that I see in other friends and stuff as a parent is, “Well, if you're not doing it that way, the harsh way, then you're being friends instead of being parents. We're not supposed to be “friends” with our kids and have these amazing relationships with our kids. They need parents and they need structure. They need discipline and that's your job.” It's this idea that if you're not doing it that way, then you're being a bad parent because you're worried about being close with your kids and being friends. And I would just love to hear you shine the truth on that idea.

WENDY: Absolutely. One of my dear friends and incredible positive parenting advocate is Susie Walton. She is the founder of The Joy of Parenting Program. She wrote the book, Myths That Affect Family Lives. That's actually one of the myths that she writes about is that we're not supposed to be friends with our kids. Right? The problem is if you look up the definition of friendship, it actually is an advocate. It's having someone on your side. It's having someone believe in you. It's having someone support you and lift you up. Of course, that's what we want with our kids. It doesn't mean you have to be “Lindsay Lohan friends.” It's just not true. We want to be side by side with our kids.

We want our children to talk to us. And that's what happens when you take away the fear and the force elements from parenting as much as you can. I mean, we're all human, but when you take that away, you build true connection with your kids. When you build mutual respect in your home, your kids cooperate and listen to you because they want to, not because they have to.

I encourage parents who are maybe doing it a different way and have been taught that that is the only way, that kind of oppositional thing, the “other way.” What we call it in Positive Parenting, is there's three different styles, three main different styles of parenting. There's autocratic, permissive, and then right in the middle is what we shoot for, which is firm and kind. We want to be firm with our kids and we always want to be kind and compassionate.

Autocratic is that way of “my way or the highway.” You never question me. What I say goes no matter what. That’s the autocratic method that has to rely on a lot of fear and force, because otherwise it just won't work. What we find is parents have to keep upping their game. When you lay your head on your pillow at night, it's a hard way to parent your kids your whole life.

I love teaching parents that they do not have to do it that way. I like bringing my own personal testimony into it because I've walked the walk now for seven years. I've taken a little girl who a lot of people would have looked at as out of control, defiant, disobedient, that you have to “knock the will out of her” and have used this curriculum to help shape her, help her grow and mature.

She’s a normal kid. She still pushes back and she's still pushes buttons, but holy smokes, she's an incredible human being. I'm just so grateful that we got this message that we didn't have to “knock” it out of her. That we didn't have to be so heavy-handed. That we could actually grow alongside of her, because she has taught us and, God has taught us through her, so much about life. I can't imagine if I didn't get handed this strong-willed kid.

Then one more thing about that Allie and I just, I connected with you so much about it too, because I think those of us who have this approach with our kids it can be scary to think that people are going to judge you, or that they don't get it, or that anybody thinks one of us is doing it wrong.

I like to encourage families that no matter where you are, no matter where you stand -  whether you spank or you don't spank, or you are really autocratic, or maybe there's families that aren't even permissive, that are trying to figure out that middle ground -  we're all in this together. Parenthood takes a village and there should be no division here.

I love getting parents on board with this idea to reduce judgement, to eliminate judgment. Come to the table and have conversations. At the end of the day be OK trying to work towards influencing each other to see each other's perspective, having empathy for one another.

We all have our own backstory, right? You don't know what people are bringing to the table from their childhood. That's what I try to do. Right now, I'm creating a course called Jesus Guided Parenting. I'm trying to have that approach of helping everyone understand that we are on the same page. I am going to advocate that you really dive into the work of Positive Parenting. Get your tool belt filled up with choices, so you're at choice when you parent and that you feel confident pouring into empathy, respectful methods, compassion and building relationships and then that you stay in the work and you get to see success that way.

ALLIE: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. What you were saying is so true. All of it is so good. We're all going towards the same goal of trying to raise good people. Very rarely do people set out to raise awful people, raise kids who resent them and are in therapy. We're not all going towards that.

Accepting that and seeing that it may look a little bit different. A lot of this really stuck out when I was reading your stuff. But that is one thing that really resonated with me. Guys, when we have a guest on the podcast, we kind of grill them first. Ashley really asks some hard things. For example, what would you say to a parent who's currently doing things the opposite way that you teach? What would you say to a parent who's currently, and I gave examples like spanking or this or that?

Your answers were all so laced with grace and acceptance. You said, “I would definitely not say to stop doing everything, but here's what I would do. And you try that freely, and you see what works.” It's very much not “this is the right way to do it and you're doing it wrong.”

That is what so many parenting books and parenting experts are about – “this is the wrong way. Why would you do it this way? You're going to end up like this, or your kid's going to end up like that.” It's really fear-based and that's the opposite of what this type of parenting is all about. And it's the opposite of how this type of parenting is taught to the parents, which I love.

I appreciate that about you and your mission, the way that you speak in your course and in your website.

When you answered that questionnaire, it was very much “this is real.” This is very gracious. There's room for error because we're human. There’s room for growth and acceptance if you want to keep doing that and that works for you. Great. But here's other things that could help as you do that thing.

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Hey friend! It’s Allie! Have you heard of the Supermom Vault yet?

The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you. It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired.

The Supermom Vault is only $39.00 and is available at alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

Check it out! It’s a really good simple start.

Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you wish there were more episodes? Want more details? Do you want videos? Do you want pdf’s? Do you want to download things and get your hands on something to really get you started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood?

This is definitely the place to go!

Check it out!  Alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

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ALLIE: OK. I want to just give space to the different kinds of like phases of parenting. Can you give us a few examples of how this type of compassionate parenting goes into the toddler years? You can just be general, whatever you want to do with that general question.

WENDY: The toddler years. Oh my goodness. Well first off, I always like to encourage parents who are in those toddler years that they are seen and they are admired for their hard work. Holy smokes, those are the years where you feel like you're never sitting down, your kids are always pushing back, especially if you got handed a strong, strong, spirited one. It so exhausting and it can feel like it's never ending.

But it does get better, you know? Knowing that you are seen and you are admired for the service that you are pouring into your kids, well you know, it will pay off. I promise you. I always say get everyone past the age of five and you'll actually be able to sit down and the fruits or the seeds that you plant will start to really create this beautiful fruit trees and flowers.

But you’ve got to hang in there. And you've got to have faith in this work. And you've got to have faith in your children.

Let me give you an example of some of the things that we teach, some of the tools. One of the biggest things that we really look at is modeling. We want to make sure that we're modeling what we want our kids to learn by what we’re doing. We always say kids often don't hear what we say, especially busy toddlers, but they always see what we do.

It really starts with us and it's a nice way just to look internally and say, “all right, what could I be doing differently tomorrow?”

For example, if you're trying to get your kids to stop screaming, but you're screaming at them consistently from the other room to come put their shoes on. You want to start with walking up to them, actually using kind, physical touch, looking in their eyes, and saying, “shoes.”

Toddlers really respond well to one word or no word. A lot of times we call it “less talking or no talking.”  A lot of times as moms we become exhausted because we're talking so much and maybe some of us, like I did, got into a pattern of nagging. I thought the more I nagged my kids, the more they would do what I say. And then at the end of the night I was annoyed because I “had to” nag them all day. They “make me” but really it's not true. It's a choice.

One of the tools we give you is, for kids who are nonverbal, you can take little pictures of a kid putting their shoes on, or a picture of Broccoli, or the carseat buckles, and put it on a little key chain, laminate them, walk up to them and show them the picture. Give yourself a break from all the nagging and the talking.

Kids will respond a lot better often to eye contact, physical touch, your hand on their shoulder looking right in their eyes.

Another good example would be asking for what you want instead of telling kids what you don't want. This is basic positive psychology of pointing kids in the right direction, redirecting them. This works really well and it’s one of the more easier tweaks of positive parenting. There's a lot of things that took a lot of practice. For example, yelling. That took me years. But challenge your brain, “how can I ask for what I want here?”

For example, instead of “Stop pulling the dog's tail,” you would say, “Please show me how you pet the dog gently.” Instead of, “Don't take that kid's toy.” You could ask for what you want and “Say, may I please have a turn when you're done.” That's one of my favorite ones with toddlers to teach kids to ask for what they want also.

Again, you're modeling what you want there. You ask your kids for what you want instead of telling them what you don't, and then your kids will follow suit. Then you'll see them at the park or in the church nursery saying, “May I please have a turn at that when you're done?”

I've found kids even in the two-year-old toddler room, they always say “yes” to that question because it's not a threatening forceful question. Toddlers are onto a new thing in two minutes and they put that little item down or they hand it to their friend.

Those are some examples: “No words, less words,” asking for what you want.  

With power kids especially, which is my favorite group because I have such a heart for them. I think they’re such a blessing to the world, but they're often seen in a really negative light. They are often their whole life told that they're wrong and that they need to change.

For “power kids,” some tools that they respond really well to is asking them questions instead of giving them compliance statements. Instead of “put your shoes on, brush your teeth, get in the car, eat your Bagel,” it’s “What do you need to put on your feet so we can go to the park? Can you be in charge of the seat belts? Let us know when we're thumbs up, ready to go. What do you need to do with your teeth, so you don't get fuzzy cavity teeth?

Those are questions for power kids. Power kids are kids that have a strong desire to lead. They have that need. If we don't fill it, they're going to go seek it inappropriately in the world. When we can fill that in the home, they act out a lot less than the world.

They know the answer. Our kids know what they need to get on their feet to get to go to the park. So, when you ask them, that need gets filled and they think, “shoes!”

ALLIE: Yeah. And I love also how you phrase that. I did an episode by myself where I opened up and shared my struggle with my son, Leland. He's my oldest son, but my second child. He was a very difficult toddler. I wish that I had found this sooner. I figured it out myself by stopping the yelling and the screaming. It was making him fight back and also breaking his spirit in a way. We came full circle and had some big realizations there. But it really bothered me when people would tell me, “oh, he is so strong-willed,” like it was bad. And I said, like in the other episode, that it really bothers me that people use that as so negative.

I hope that all of my children are strong willed. Why would you want that to be a bad thing? I hope they can be their own person, be confident, know what they want and tell people what they want, especially my daughter, as a woman in this world, but all of them. I want them to be strong willed.

You don't say “strong” or “leader” in a negative way. And again, in our community I feel it is like, “oh yeah, you got a strong-willed one” or as somebody once told me, “everybody always gets at least one strong-willed one.” Like it’s a curse; that’s how it is. There is so much negativity out there.

The power in the words that we say to our kids and about our kids and the way we describe them. It matters. It’s doing something to you. I notice that you’re very careful and positive in the way that you describe them. It's OK that it's a difficult child. It’s OK that it’s a difficult time while you’re raising them. The way you talk about it as so positive. I love that.  

WENDY: And that episode that you're talking about really blessed me. I loved that episode about Leland and it really engaged some critical thinking skills in myself on how I can talk truth over my kids more. That was wonderful.

And one more thing about that, Allie. One of my favorite authors in positive parenting, L.R. Knost, she's the author of five books. One of them is called Jesus the Gentle Parent Book. She really talks all about that. How some of the world's most incredible leaders have the same traits as our so called “strong-willed kids,” but when we describe the “strong-willed” kids it’s all negative words - disobedient, defiant, testing, out of control. But then the world leaders, and some of the greatest people have founded companies or incredible nations, they are described as persistent, perseverant, bold and tenacious.

I love challenging our brain to see it differently. It does take time; it does take practice.

ALLIE: Well, it's funny because it's like, what do we want?

I started a business and I shared on another episode of the trials that went into that and that was so hard. What do you think the traits are going to have to be for somebody to lead a country, to lead a nation? To start a huge business to lead a bunch of people, to be a missionary, to lead a family? Like what do we expect? Of course, these people, they need to be question-askers, button-pushers and envelope-pushers. They have to stretch everything thin and see how far they can go because that's what's going to make them amazing. It makes them hard to raise, sure, depending on how you're parenting, but it's worth it. It’s our job to raise them into who they're meant to be, not try to force them to comply to what is easy for us day-to-day.

WENDY: Absolutely. And empowering yourself with different ways to do that is just the way to go. There are so many things that work well with those kids, but they're often counter-cultural. The world wants us to never let those kids have an inch because you think they'll take a mile, when really they need it. They need a little wiggle room because they have incredible self-management skills. We just have to support and guide them.

ALLIE: Totally. Since we talked about toddler years, and I know that neither of us is there yet, but I do have some listeners who are, and I'm curious, how does this look in the teen years? Everyone has such a negative view, “Oh, well, wait till she's a teenager.” I hear it all the time. Because I have three boys, people tend to give comments about how they're all going to be super wild. They're all close in age so they're going to conspire against me together. Then I have a daughter, so I get the other end of the spectrum, “you better have a gun.” No, I'll just raise her to respect herself enough to make good choices.

But it's such a negative connotation with teen years. I would love to hear your take on what this sort of parenting translates into when the kids are almost adults. When they have all these opinions and they want to video chat with their friends, talk to boys and all these different things that come into play.

WENDY: Yeah. Gosh, I have a heart for teens also. My dear friend and good teacher who is the person who certified me in this work, Susie Walton. She found this work when she was a single mom and her four boys were teens. She used to joke that she would yell and yell and try to threaten them and they would all laugh at her because they're 6’4”.

And she was like, “Oh gosh, this is not working.” And that's when she found this work.

Those men are now full-grown men and are happily married. One of them is the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. I mean, they're incredibly successful, good men and they were raised on this work.

She speaks a lot about the teen years and how what an incredible opportunity we have when we use parenting and focus on developing great relationships in a strong way to be our child's advocate and be a solid support system for them when they're teens.

Because once our kids are teens, they're no longer kids and using fear and force to drive and control them for most families doesn't work as well. It doesn't feel good. And teens have a tendency to revolt from that. It just doesn't make sense for them.

Using relationship-building things where they listen and respect you because they want to and not because they have to, provides this opportunity to be a real mentor for them. And that's our job when our kids are teens. We’re no longer “parenting” them; we are now “mentoring” them. They're young adults. They should be, by that point, prepared to make really strong decisions. And when you use Positive Parenting Curriculum, you are always helping to mold your kid’s critical thinking skills.

We teach our kids to check in with their own gut, their own heart, to create intrinsic control methods. Everything from discipline to communication. It's all about guiding them to develop their own voice that is respectful and kind, but also that they can communicate what they want, they can say what they believe in, and be able to say “no” to their friend when their friend wants to do whatever drug.

It’s beautiful work that builds kids up and builds self-esteem. You want to make sure you are using this work because it’s such a great opportunity to guide them.

There was a great study done here in San Diego, in La Jolla, California about a decade ago. In this study about one thousand teenagers were asked, “Who would you love to go to when you have a problem?” And almost all of them said, “my parents, I would love it if I could talk to my parents.” And then they asked them, “well, but who would you really go to when you have a problem?” And almost all of them said, “anybody but my parents because they'll either lecture me, punish me, stay up all night worrying or just nag me. I just feel like I can't talk to them.”

It was eye opening to realize that again, we're “at choice” and we want our kids to be able to come to us with challenges. We want to be the ones guiding them and mentoring them, not necessarily their buddies or others.

ALLIE: Exactly. In trying to control, we lose control. We lose that connection.  

WENDY: You do. I've seen it over and over again in families and it breaks my heart. It's really is a strong motivator for me as I'm teaching this work. I just want to bless families with strong relationships, so when their kids become teens, they can navigate the highs and lows of life.

There is a big misconception about this work. Well, I think two. One of them is that it's permissive work, which it absolutely is not. And the other one is that you have to be perfect and bubbly and your kids are going to be perfect. It actually does not create perfection. There is no perfection in parenting. It does put you at choice with how you handle your kid’s mistakes, how you handle their learning and how you teach them.

One of the biggest elements of this work is understanding this core concept that mistakes are actually a beautiful opportunity to learn. They're really a problem when you keep doing the same mistake over and over again. But when you have a strong relationship with your child, you can mentor and support them, and you have strong, effective and compassionate discipline, that really guides them to new behavior tomorrow, it's incredible the things it does.

We’ll see, right? I'm very open and honest with my own journey and you know, I'm praying that this holds true with my own kids. My daughter's 10 now and she's definitely a tween, but I feel confident in it. You want to be able to navigate those highs and lows with integrity. And if you practice this work, it allows you to do that.

There's going to be bad days. Our kids are going to make mistakes. There's going to be times when they get bad grades, make a bad decision or date a weird person. How we work with them is really our choice.

ALLIE: Absolutely. I would like to get practical on that. Let's say you’ve got a teenager and they're making a mistake that's freaking you out. Maybe they are getting involved with the wrong crowd or maybe they actually make a pretty large mistake. They start to sleep with someone. Maybe you find out that they were drinking at a party or something. Maybe they're making a mistake currently. One of the ones that you're like, “please no.” How does handling that look like within this type of parenting?

WENDY: Well, the first thing is that we want to make sure we have established a relationship built on trust. So, if our kids come to us and tell us the truth, which is what we want, right? Because, let's face it, there are going to be times when they make mistakes. We want them to be honest with us. And so, the first rule, if you want your kids to not lie to you at any age, especially when they're teenagers, is you've got to stop reaming them when they tell you the truth.

We teach something in Positive Parenting called “heart connector,” or a pause button where if a kid tells you some freaky information, like, “Mom, I did this, or I'm hanging out here. I went to this party, I got wasted.” Whatever it is, you put your hand on your heart. Your heart starts to beat (I call it the volcano effect) and you’re thinking, “what the heck were you thinking? Oh my gosh!” And you just want to blow up on them. But what that does is it shuts a kid down and you have eliminated or extremely diminished your chances of them coming to you again and being able to mentor them out of that situation.

So, the first thing you want to do is do that heart connector. Go take a walk, go take a bath, go pray, whatever you need to do to get yourself into a place of neutral emotion. And often that will look like silence.

Then you come back to the table, maybe later, once everyone's settled down and you say, “Thank you for telling me the truth. Thank you for telling me that you did that. That means the world to me. And now I want to talk to you about what's going on.

Why did you make that choice? What were you thinking? How did you feel? How did you feel when you knew you were wasted or you drove with somebody that was drunk?” And most likely you're going to be able to mentor them to understand that they felt scared, shameful, guilty and yucky.

Then you're going to say, “Well, how would you like to do it next time? Because I know you and that's not who you are. You are a strong decision maker and I know you care about your own life. You know I care about your life and we can't have you driving in the car with people who are drunk, honey. So, here's your options for next time and this is why you want to make a different decision next time. This is why you want to think about what you’re saying “yes” to when you say “no” to getting in a car with somebody who’s drunk. You're always saying “yes” to something when you're saying “no.” You're saying “yes” to your safety and tomorrow and not getting in trouble or whatever it is.

That's the type of conversation that we have with them in a calm time. That really lifts them up and out of a behavior instead of forcing them. “Well if you do that again, you're going to be grounded. Wait till your dad finds out.” My favorite these days is all about “screen time”, “I am going to take away your phone.”

That's really the compassionate and effective discipline that we do in this work. We guide and coach parents how to make what we call “the four R’s.” It has to teach responsibility, it has to be relative, and it has to be respectful, and I often forget the fourth one…

Using those together helps kids understand that if you are going to give a consequence that having it be relative has them actually learn from it instead of making it like, “Gosh, my mom's mean.”

ALLIE: “How many more days until I get my phone back?” That’s all they care about.  

WENDY: Yeah. And also you want to make sure you're pouring into that need that they belong, that they are valued, that their voices are heard, that they have a powerful part in the family because those needs that Dr. Rudolph Dreikurs taught, it's the same for toddlers as it is for teens. Figuring out how you pour into that in those teen years is big. We do have the ability to be strong influencers on them.

ALLIE: I know we're going long. I had a feeling this would happen with you because it’s such a good topic, but going back to toddlerhood and little years, how do you handle a kid that does big, big tantrums? What if people are listening to this and they have a kid that's doing that right now and they want to start this? How do you handle public, awful tantrums?

WENDY: Great question. All right, so backing up a little bit, this work will help you get out of it. There's a few things that tantrums usually come from when kids are toddlers. Some of the biggest ones are tiredness, hunger and thirst, and sickness.

So many times we find that with toddlers, those are behind the tantrum. So, that's where the responsibility from the parent really comes in. Us seeking to look internally. What can we change in our schedule? What can we change in our expectations? What grace can we give over these children to not set them up for failure? But the fourth element of tantrums is also powerlessness that you see a lot in kids. And again, feeding into how do you empower these little guys? One of the favorite and best ways to do that with toddlers is choices. A lot of parents are, “Yeah, we give choices,” but this really becomes a fluent language with your toddlers.

And I just worked with a dear friend on this a little bit ago with her toddler who was tantruming so much. He was two and she started to incorporate more choices and sure enough it worked. But that's just one element of preventing power struggles and then dissolving them with integrity once they arise. That's just one little element; we give parents so many.

But then another thing that I would speak to with the tantrums is, a big learning experience for me that changed a lot with my daughter when she was three, was this idea that I had to fix her. That she was broken and that it was my responsibility to make sure I got control of her. Because God forbid someone saw me in the grocery store with a wild, tantruming child.

I really did a lot of work around it and I'm also a life coach in training. The more I did work around it, the more I realized that it wasn't so much about her. It was more about me, what judgment I thought was coming down on me, and what I thought other people were thinking of me.

I had to clean that up a little bit and just trust that parents get it. 99% of the world gets it. And I know everywhere I go, I try to give a mom a smile or pat on the back, and say, “You’re doing an amazing job. Hang in there. Go get yourself a latte.”

Trusting that and being able to give compassion, kindness and empathy, you can do that better when you trust that humanity is behind you.

There is the 1% who will make those comments and you're just like, “Come on, please!” But I love this idea of not feeling like your kids are broken or that you have to get control and fix them.

Sometimes you just gotta scoop your little one up, leave the grocery store, put them in their car seat and go for a drive until they fall asleep. And that is OK. Tantrums are, like I said, most of the time about how to empower these little ones so they don't feel like they're powerless.

They are also about the hunger, thirst and the sickness. A lot of times when my kids have had the worst tantrum when they were little, the next day they came down with a cold or they got sick, and I was like, “That's why!”

ALLIE: Yes. Oh my gosh. I was going to add but I didn’t want to interrupt you. But I was going to say, do you know how many times a huge freak-out happened and I would go home? “What is wrong with my parenting? This was so awful!” And then the next morning they are throwing up.  Do you know how many times I had an abandoned cart at the grocery store that I had to say, “I'm so sorry I have to leave,” and I wouldn't get my groceries because we had to leave from a freak-out.

Everybody does get it. It's OK. It usually is a heart issue. You think, “They're just such a difficult kid. Oh my gosh, I need to really deal with this.” But then it’s usually that they feel really stuffed up and they have a cold coming on, or it's something simpler

WENDY: Or overstimulated or you just thought you could push them 10 minutes on their nap to get some groceries.

Yeah. I was just in the grocery store the other day actually. We talk a lot in this work. We do a lot of paradigm shifting and we give this example of Stephen Covey on the subway. But I actually had the same perspective shift that I was in the grocery store and I had three little girls with me who are friends of ours, they go to our elementary school and they just lost her mom to cancer. I had my little guy with me, so we I had four kids with me in the grocery store. I bow down to you; I don’t know how you go it. But we’re going through and I just wanted to get some frozen food for them so dad could empower them to make their own snacks.

And they're like, “Can we have ice cream?” And I'm just like, “Sure, sure.” And they're running around and they're wild and someone did do that look at me. And I just tried to reach in and have compassion for that person who I thought probably was judging me, and think to myself, “They have no idea what's actually going on in this situation.”

Everybody has their story, whether it's kids being wild or kids tantruming. You don't know what's going on with that mom or that kiddo.

One more quick story, Allie. Years ago, I was in a little café close to my house. I've had many moments where I'm not patient with my kids, but this particular day I was working to be patient with them. They were doing something annoying and I found the energy to be calm and patient with them.

And the young girl came up to me and said, “I just want to tell you that the way you talk to your kids, what you're doing with them is so inspirational. You don't hear a lot of people talk to their kids like that.” And literally I started crying because all these years of hard work of trying to find compassion and grace on how to work with these kids, especially in public, to have someone see it, admire it and acknowledge it; I was blown away by that.

So that's how I try to be nowadays for those moms who have those kids tantruming is just to acknowledge their hard work and say, “You are seen and admired. This stage will pass. They will get a little bit older and won’t do that.”  

ALLIE: Yeah, because it feels like it never will. And I know what you're referencing with the Stephen Covey, with the dad on the subway and it's so true. You just don't know. You don't know where they just came from. You don't know if this is her “off day” or she's just “done.” She's just received terrible news. It's almost cheesy because that example is out there for everything, but none of us are acting like we know that. We don't know where this person is coming from.

It’s funny that we care what people think of when we are out with our kids. We're all doing our best. We're trying to raise good kids. Your parenting. You're having a hard day. You do you. The last thing we need to be doing is worrying about what somebody else thinks. If we can all let go of that and those expectations we have of ourselves to meet other people's expectations when we're out in public and with tantrums and stuff, it would just be so much easier.

That's the best thing I think we can do for ourselves right now is just simplify and make things a little bit easier for ourselves.

I feel like we could talk for hours that we may have to have you on for another episode or something because this is just so good and so full of hope, and empowering. That's what moms need.

Thank you for taking so much time to be here with us. I so appreciate it.

And guys, we’ll link to everything, where you can find Wendy, it's freshstartfamilyonline.com.

She's got an amazing course that she gifted to me and I have been looking through. It's so good. If you think this interview is good, it’s a million times better.

And then you also have the Bonfire, right? Which I think is a monthly membership.

WENDY: Yes!

ALLIE:  So we'll link to everything. If you want more of Wendy or the amazing work that she's doing, we'll link to everything. I encourage you guys to go and check it out.

Thank you so much, Wendy!

WENDY: Thank you Allie! I’m glowing! What a great conversation. This was awesome. Thanks again.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

EP: 032 Kids Who Rebel vs Kids Who Don't Rebel feat. Rebecca Lindenbach

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Rebellion is seen as a cultural norm, but Rebecca Lindenbach begs to differ. Rebellion is not a mistake, it is a habitual behavior pattern. Yes, bad things can happen, but that doesn’t mean there isn't hope. In her book, Why I Didn’t Rebel, she shows how rebellion is not unavoidable and how it is often misunderstood. She offers incredible research partnered with her own story and the stories of others. Her foundation stems from reasons over rules, giving parents a new paradigm for raising kids who don’t go off the rails. Because rules create a power imbalance while reasons cultivate a healthy parenting relationship. Her book is the best parenting book I have read, so I know you will enjoy this episode!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Rebecca Discuss:

  • What rebellion is and what it is not.

  • How you can effectively work discipline, training or teaching into your parenting to help your kids void rebellion.

  • Why rules create a power imbalance while reasons cultivate a healthy parenting relationship.

  • The power of the words you speak over your children, as they are a self fulfilling prophecy.

  • How discipline works when your kids are really young and how you can set them up for success as teenagers.

  • Their perspective on whether or not how you choose to school your children impacts their behavior.

Mentioned in this Episode:

 

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Motherhood is hard. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over. Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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ALLIE: Hey ladies. Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show. I am so beyond excited for this one. I am sitting here with Rebecca Lindenbach. She's the author of Why I Didn't Rebel and it is a book that I have been talking about so much lately because, as I said on Instagram, it is the best parenting book I have ever read. It's not even written by a parent and I think that's what makes it great. I'm so honored to have you here. Thank you so much for being here!

REBECCA: I'm so excited for this! Seeing all the Instagram feedback from you as well has made me even more excited for today.

ALLIE: Yeah! And everybody is like,"No pressure, but everybody's been waiting for this!"

REBECCA: OK, I'll try to deliver.  {laughing}

ALLIE: I am so looking forward to this conversation. You are like me in the way that you speak very directly and you definitely have a "no BS" for lack of a better term, attitude about the way that you speak and I love that. I really respond to that. I think it's really good for people to hear that kind of talk in this sugarcoated, overly-fluffed society that we live in where everybody gets a trophy and everything's "It will be fine. You're just doing your best." No, it won't though. We need to be intentional. We need to know where we're going and I love that about you and your book. Before we dive in to all my post-noted questions, why don't you just tell us a little bit about yourself first?

REBECCA: Well, I am Canadian, which is one thing a lot of people don't know about me. I don't know why that always seems to be such a huge thing when people find out. "Oh my gosh. You're Canadian, right?" Yeah, we exist.

I've been married for almost three years now. The beginning of our marriage was me writing this book, which as anyone who's ever written a book knows how incredibly busy and stressful it is to write a book, and that was on top of being a newlywed. So that was fun. It was a lot of fun, but it was definitely very emotional at times. But, it's been a topic that I've been so interested in for such a long time. I've always just been one of those people who loves to see themes and patterns, especially when it comes to human behavior, which is why when I studied psychology in school.

And so as soon as I got this book, my mom was telling me, "You have to write this book!" And Connor, my now husband, was like, "well, of course you have to write this book! This is your book!" And so, I wrote the book and he was really good through that. Pretty much my life these days is talking about a lot of parenting issues online, but mostly I'm working with my mum online, which is also pretty fun. I do most of the parenting side on her website.

ALLIE: I love that because you're her daughter. If you haven't read the book listeners, it's funny because it sounds kind of funny. You think, "She doesn't know anything about parenting," but, no! That is what makes this book so amazing is because it's coming from your perspective and you didn't just talk out of your mouth and just about your own childhood. You brought in other people. I think every chapter has a story from other people.

REBECCA: Every chapter has at least two other people and psychological research. I was a psychology student like I said, and the research side of me was "I can't just have this be a case study of Rebecca." Because, first of all, no one wants to hear an entire book just about me. And also it just wouldn't be that interesting. Right? But I wanted to make sure it was representative of it. The curiosity was, "Is this the thing that I found helped me,  going to also help other people? Or was I just an outlier? Right? So I really wanted to address that question.

ALLIE: Yes. And I love too that you're a Christian and your family is Christian. I'm a Christian. But you do not have to be of faith at all to take something incredibly valuable and powerful from this book. You're very unbiased.

No, you're totally unbiased. I feel like you've covered all the bases. There is no way that somebody (and it'll be really irritating if somebody finds a way), but I don't think there's any way that anybody could read this book and be, "Well, she didn't think of this or she didn't cover this kind of parent. You cover incredibly, incredibly strict, very rules-based, to the level of unkindness, really crazy strict parents. And very loose parents. You cover everything. Christians, not Christians. Church-going, not church going. Church-going, but didn't really get involved. Every type of parent that I can think of that. I love that. So I just want to get right in.

ALLIE: I just highlighted some things that I wanted to ask you about more towards the beginning of the book because I don't want to get the whole thing away. People need to get your book. I love how the first chapter is "What is rebellion?", and how you preface the entire book perfectly by addressing that. And it's quite a large chapter, too, of what rebellion is, defining it and saying what it is "not." I think, this is where myself as a mother, I tend to freak out. Especially when I hear parents or other people talk about that "something happened", a mistake is made. And I'm like "Oh my gosh. I can't believe that happen to them." But then after this big thing "happens," there is a lesson learned and the person or child and they go on to live a great life. A mistake is not rebellion. Rebellion is rebellion. Can you talk a little bit more about that, what you say in the book about that, and your thoughts on actually defining what rebellion is before we freak out about it?

REBECCA: I wrote the first chapter after I had done all of my interviews, right? I had already talked to all of these people. I had really delved into this and really thought about, "OK, what makes me think that this is one of the kids who rebelled versus this kid who may have gotten really drunk at a party once, didn't rebel. What's the difference?" Right? Because there was a difference in how they lived their lives and how their relationship with her parents was.

And what came back to me again and again was just this idea of who are you living your life for? Are you living your life for God or are you living your life against God? Because we all sinned and we all fall short. Teenagers are very lovable, but they're very dumb and they make mistakes. I say in the first chapter that everyone goes through extreme hormones, hormonal swings during teenage years. I had a lot of people in my life growing up and I saw all my friends who would get punished for being really moody when they were PMS-ing like mad when they were 14 years old.

I just didn't really see that as necessarily being a bad kid, and I thought, "I don't know, that just seems really rough." So I really wanted to address that to make sure that we didn't see all sorts of misbehavior as rebellion because there are two different types. There's the mistakes you make once and you say, "OK, I can be a better person than this." And there's that habit. There's habitual stubbornness to go your own way, even when you know that it's wrong. Then there's also rebellion of the heart. All three of those look very, very different. But all of them need to be addressed.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. And you did it beautifully in that chapter. It brought a lot of clarity and it was really great. You could tell that you wrote it after the rest of the book, which is good. It was as if you were saying, "OK, I've done all of this. I've gone through everything you're about to read, and you need to know what you're looking for here." You brought a lot of clarity to a hazy area of parenting. It's really sad and myself included. I think a lot of parents kind of get thrown into this whole gig. Everybody is super planned. Personally for my husband and I, I was told, "You're either not going to be able to have kids or it is going to be super hard." So we were just chilling together and pregnant eight months into our marriage.

And it was shocking and so you kind of fall, for lack of a more professional term, backwards into parenting. You just have a lot of fear of "I don't want to be too harsh. I don't want to be too relaxed. I don't want to have all these rules without reasons." But then, especially in the Christian atmosphere, very spare-the-rod, spoil-the-child. I'm very strict. My husband and I tend to stick out in that regard, which you address as well. And I love that. It's like you just have all these things. You're just trying your best and it's not enough. I think it is very important to shine a light on what we're looking for, what we want and what we don't want. And what is that verse? It's in Proverbs. "Without vision, the people perish." That is so perfect for parents, for everything. But for parenting, if you don't know what you're looking for, how can you effectively discipline, train or teach?

REBECCA: Even in parenting the added element is that what if you do have one of the kids who has like a "big mistake" in high school, you're in the middle of the emotion of it as well, right? You're in the fear, in the middle of the uncertainty of the "is this going to become a perpetual habit or is this just a once in a lifetime kind of big mistake?" And I think that sometimes parents need to be told there are kids who just make mistakes and it turns out OK. Kids who don't go into full blown rebellion.

And that was a big thing I tried to do with the book in general. It was just kind of showing parents that, "Yes, bad things can happen, but that doesn't mean there isn't hope. That doesn't mean that even if your worst case scenario comes true, it can't be used by God."  And that was kind of a point I was trying to strike, trying to hit again and again and again with the book because it's really scary. And that was one of the biggest revelations coming out of all the interviews that I did was just, "Holy cow parenting must be really hard."

ALLIE: So is being a kid, which is something that I took from your book. You forget so quickly what it was like. I read this book with two different trains of thought - which is why I had to read it a couple of times and will probably read it again - one was how I was raised and then how I want to raise my kids. And so it was really interesting to just notice, "Yeah, I did feel like that or I didn't." I didn't realize that's why I had done that or felt that way and then to reverse it and think forward with my kids. It's just so good in so many ways.

OK. Basically after chapter one, I think the rest of the book is really what made these kids rebel and what made them not. And what is the common denominators here? What happened? And so one of the first things you talk about is rules. I'm just talking out of memory. I think it's the chapter where you gave the example, which I loved, of your dad being allergic to all your dress up clothes and the feather boas and others.

REBECCA: Yeah, the really fluffy ones.

ALLIE: Yeah, and you had a sister, so girly things everywhere. It's just the way she handled it and it's simplest example, but I love it. It's so perfect and applies to everything. And your mom saying, "Let's not bring these things downstairs (or upstairs) because Daddy's allergic and we it sucks for him to come home and be allergic. Just keep them over here." And it was a reason instead of "I've told you we do not bring these things downstairs!"  Instead of having these set rules and nobody understands why. Kids are not dumb, they can handle it. They just want to understand. If you lay out for your kids, "oh, we're not going to do this in our house just because we need to respect Dad and that really sucks for him to come home from work after a long day and then have an allergic reaction. So let's not do that." And then you never did it because you understand why. It wasn't just an unwritten rule that was "because I said so." So can you talk a little bit more about that and how you saw that played out in positive and negative in the people that you interviewed. And in parenting in general, and why that's important?

REBECCA: Exactly what you said. Kids aren't dumb. What they really understand is cause and effect relationships, right? I do this, I get a cookie. I do this, I have a timeout, right? That's why we use positive reinforcers and positive punishment. Sorry, that's psychology talk. But that's why we use "the carrot and the stick" kind of mentality a lot of the time with kids. And so what I saw in a lot of these families is you have the two sides of the spectrum. You have families who have a ton of rules and you don't give any reasons at all. It's like "You do this because I am your parent I told you to." One person in particular who I talked about in the book, I call him Nathan in the book, the problem that he found was that the rules didn't have a clear cause and effect relationship, and the cause and effect relationship that was there didn't change as he got older.

REBECCA: For instance, he would be allowed to go downtown 45 minutes on his own after dark, but he wouldn't be allowed to go over to another guy friend's house and watch a G-rated movie unless there was parent supervision when he was 17 years old. 13 years old? That's one thing.17 years old? That's another. And for him it just felt so unfair because, as he said in his words, he was going to move out in five months anyway, so why wasn't he allowed to have at least a little bit of freedom. Was it that his mom didn't really respect him? Did she just like having the control? What was it? Of course, looking back on it, he understands a lot of the fear and the uncertainty that his mom must have been facing as a parent.

He was the first born as well. And I think it's always harder with a first born because you don't really know what you're doing. But it's really hard when you're the kid who is sitting there and you feel like, listen, I have the ability to get myself a job. I could legally move out if I wanted to. I'm going to be living on my own really soon. And I feel like my parents don't even see me. I feel like they can't see what I'm capable of doing and I feel like they're just trying to control me instead of getting to know me. That's what a lot of the really strict rules do because they create a power imbalance instead of a relationship.

ALLIE: That is so controversial. I thought it was, "I'm the parent of a child. You can do whatever I say because I said it." Really that is kind of what's happening, but it's not in that tone. You can’t come at them like they've done things wrong when they haven't. It's like being treated like a convict when you haven't done anything. You just want to go for a bike ride and if you can't that's fine. But can I know why?  

It's just changing our tone and our perspective to have these conversations with our kids, to have a relationship with them, to build trust and closeness, but also you're still being authoritative. You still are their parent. I love that you break it down to where you end up saying that authoritative parents are the ones who have the balance of warmth and respect in a relationship with their kids, but they're also the ones who laid down the law and say, what is, what goes and what doesn't. Yeah, go, who are you going to be there with? That's where you land is that's what our goal should be, is to be that type of parent that has the healthy balance.

REBECCA: Precisely. Here's what I've come to the conclusion after talking to 25 young adults, it was a lot of interviews. Yeah, there's a lot of footage out there. What I've found is that if the ultimate goal of parenting is blind obedience to the parents then what happens when they hit 18? Right? But the thing about authoritative parenting, is that you still have rules. You still have things that you do and you do not do as a family. Like my family, we didn't bring feather boas outside of our dressup room. Of course we had other things we didn't do as well, like swear and party and all those kinds of things. But on top of that we didn't only have the rules, we had the relationship and when I didn't agree with my parents or something, we could talk about it and there were a lot of times where I changed their minds.

There were a lot of times I did not. And then there were a lot of times where I didn't change their minds and my little sister got to not have the rules because I realized later that they were a little bit strict there. But having that mixture of the solid "No, there is an authority here" that makes you feel safe as a kid. You know what's expected. But that authority is going to listen to me and isn't going to put my needs and my rights second to anyone else's. Because the rules aren't there to put the kids' needs and right below the parents. It's there to help the kids stay safe and become the kind of person who God wants them to be. That's why that relationship is so important.

ALLIE: Right. And I think it's just a focus shift where if you're focusing, like you said, on just getting them to listen and obey to every single thing you say all the time, well yeah, there's ways you can get that. But it's going to turn sour eventually sooner or later.

But if your focus is, like you said, having the relationship, raising good humans who can think for themselves and know who they are. That's the thing too, is that if you're focused on just obedience, you're missing each child. I have four, so I know something about how different they each are. What works for Bella will not work for Leland, for Hudson and Emma and all the other thousands of kids (that I can just keep listing because I have so many kids), but it doesn't. They're all different and if I'm focusing on obedience on rules and I'm missing an opportunity to listen and see each of them in their hearts and their gifts and their struggles and then adapt. It's so much less pressure as a parent to do it that way too, to just play it by ear and follow the Lord's Spirit.  Play it by ear and listen to your kids and have a relationship with them and know your gut what's right or wrong for them right now.

REBECCA: Well, that's exactly it. It's a lot less pressure, but it can be a lot more intimidating to decide not to parent by parenting gimmicks versus parenting by the Spirit, right? Because how do you ever know for sure? There's no checklist if you're parenting by the Spirit, right? There's no formula. There is no group of people who can judge you and say, "Yes, you are parenting exactly like the Spirit." That's why it's so much harder for a lot of people, you know? That's why it can be so much more difficult, but it's so important. It's such a huge testament to kids to be able to see their parents who are living by their convictions and by the Spirit versus by a rules-based version of what they think the family should look like. I mean, I know that my prayer life and my faith is so much impacted by my parents, seeing them deal with the times that we really tested them.

ALLIE: I love that you said that you think there's a big gap in our generations of raising kids because we're like the first wave of parents raising kids in this overly tech-saturated, terrifying season. I was much like you. I was the oldest. My parents were great. Everybody has their flaws. I had a great challenge, great parents. I did not rebel, and they didn't have to worry about any of this stuff. I didn't have a phone until I was 17 and it was a little flip phone and it was ten cents per text or whatever. And now if you accidentally hit the microscope for the magnifying glass icon on Instagram and there's full on pornography right in your face. It's so accessible.

I've got three boys. That alone would send me careening into a pit of despair. It is so crazy. And on the girls side, the comparison game is at its peak. It's so hard and I don't have an example of how to raise a kid in that. And so you specifically chose kids who were raised in this tech-obsessed time. None of them are my age or older, they're all in their early…

REBECCA: They were all under 25 when I interviewed them.

ALLIE: Yeah, so after post Facebook, cell phones, all of that.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

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ALLIE: The next thing that I wanted to ask you about and just bring to light is the section about expectations, that children are a self-fulfilling prophecy. I love it so much. I want to bring up Monica and how you talked about her and her mom almost flippantly jokingly saying, "Oh, I only have a couple more years" until she starts to do whatever these awful things that teenagers tend to kind of do.

REBECCA: Sneak out the windows?

ALLIE: Sneak out the windows to be with boy. I thought, "is that normal?" And there's another episode of my podcast where I talk about the power of words (I have seen it so many times in my life) and speaking positive things over our children, speaking blessings and abundance over their lives and Jesus over their lives in their hearts. And it was so painful to read that section.

REBECCA: I was kinda the opposite of that, right?  

ALLIE: Parents say that all the time as a joke almost. I wonder if it's almost like a self-defense thing. "She's going to do it because every teenager does that." "She's such a troublemaker." Or my least favorite thing about boys, "Oh, he's going to be a heartbreaker. He's gonna be a lady killer." Even on onesies now like it's supposed to be cute.  Maybe you can talk a little bit more about that and maybe some examples that you saw, what that looks like, how parents were doing that and what we should be doing instead.

REBECCA: Yeah. Well the big thing about expectations is that kids feel it very, very, very hard. Parents, I think. A lot of times the kid’s perspective was that their parents were always disappointed in them if they had those expectations of failure. So I had one girl in particular, we call Haley in the book, she said that she had never once heard her mom say "I'm proud of you" except for at her figure skating recitals and competitions and stuff like that. But her mom was always on her case about what she was doing wrong, if she had done anything wrong. What did you do wrong? I know you've done something and I know you're hiding it from me, but I haven't figured it out yet.

And it makes the relationship go from tense to bad to non-existent. It just does.There's no sugar coating it with that. For the expectations part, the thing is that we tend to treat kids like they're little juvenile delinquents before they've even done anything wrong. I see this over and over again where kids just want their parents to like them and all they get is this message of disappointment. Why can't you be more like your friend? Didn't I raise you better than this and all those kinds of messages of disappointment. Where as in families where there was a lot of expectation for the positive, even when there was failure, it went well, if that makes any sense.

So I had one girl named Parker in the book, her parents were very much like my parents. "Our kids aren't going to rebel because they're just not. They have Jesus, we trust Jesus and we fully expect them not to rebel." So when Parker would do something really dumb and screw up or gossip on a friend, or maybe she didn't study for a test and failed it when she really should have passed it with flying colors, it doesn't become this, "I'm so disappointed in you. I knew that this was going to happen. You are just like your father'" or any of those kinds of messages. It was more of, "Hey, we know that you can do better. You did so badly, but we know that you're better than this because we know who you are. We know who God has made you to be."

It isn't a shaming thing. Whereas like, "Man, you can do so much better than this. What's wrong with you?"  But more of a, "Hey, what's up? How can I help you? It's a symptom of a greater problem.

ALLIE: Exactly, a symptom. That's a perfect word. I love that.

OK, so my last question for you is in light of all of this and in light of the book and getting into why kids do or don't rebel, how does discipline look when your kids are young? Is that too general?

REBECCA: No, this is great. People ask me all the time about the book, "Is this a book on "teenagers?"  Really it's just a book about parenting in general.

ALLIE: Yes, because most of our listeners their kids are young, nine-ish and younger. Most of them.  I tended to think, "Oh, this is so good for when they're older," But no.

REBECCA: It's actually just the kind of thing where I had a lot of parents of teenagers email and say, "I wish I had this book 10 years ago when my kid was five years old." It's not a teenager book. It's just the kinds of things that helped us as teenagers, which goes way back into childhood. Most of the questions I asked kids (they're all adults at this point) but I asked the children was actually about the elementary school years.  

ALLIE: And I think discipline is one of those things where there are so many things that you can do or shouldn't do and it's just overwhelming. It really is. Especially when something doesn't work for one of your kids that worked with the older one.

REBECCA: That was the story of my parent's life, I was like the perfect kid and my sister was a little bit more difficult as an elementary school kid.

ALLIE: Maybe just give us a general idea of what does a plan would look like in terms of, you know, why I didn't rebel?

REBECCA: Yeah. Well the overarching principle behind discipline that I found works best from my interviews and I also talked to a clinical psychologist who specializes in parenting psychology with children with behavioral problems. So these are really difficult kids to work with. And I talked to a theologian. I really, really, really did my research. What I found is the major principle behind it is we need to work on discipline, not punishment. Discipline is all about teaching kids what is the right thing to do and punishment is about teaching kids what's the wrong thing.

REBECCA: Right? When we focus on discipline, the issue is always the end goal. What are we aiming for? We're aiming for a kid who is loving, who is caring, who is considerate. And so when we're talking about these kinds of issues, we can have five million kinds of things. "This will have your kid be the perfect kid at the end of the day. " But really it comes down to understanding what is your child's feeling at that moment? Why are they doing what they're doing? That's a conversation that needs to happen. Like I share in the book, I had a lot of emotional control issues my entire childhood and I still deal with emotional ups and downs. But a big thing my parents always did was, "What are you feeling?" "When we are feeling angry, what can we do instead of hitting our sister?"

And then also letting kids deal with the consequences of what they did. That's not the same thing as a punishing them harshly. A big thing in our family was if we didn't eat our dinner, we didn't get dessert because that's a natural consequence. If you don't eat your healthy food, then you don't get your unhealthy food. You have to eat the food that mom prepared for you first. That was a big one for me because I love dessert and I did not like peas. But these ideas of how can we teach kids what's the right thing to do instead of simply harshly punish them for the wrong thing. And that's something that can be really difficult to figure out in the moment. But the biggest advice that I can give, based on the interviews, is focused on what your child's perspective is.

Because molding behavior won't really do anything if you don't get to the heart of the matter, right? If they're hitting their sister because they're really, really, really angry and they learn not to hit, but they don't learn how to deal with the anger, then the anger is going to come out in other ways. But the other thing too is just relax a little bit and just let them deal with what comes, OK? I gave the example of one little kid who really didn't like putting on clothes and wanted to wear pajamas all the time, and so mom was like, "OK, you can go to preschool in your pajamas" and all the kids made fun of him in his pajamas and then he put on clothes after that. And he's not scarred from it. Just relax a little bit.

Your kid doesn't need to be perfect. It's not going to be horrible if other parents see your kid bearing the brunt of their own actions. So what if your kid has ripped pants because they ruined their pants and didn't take care of them properly? Then? Well, you don't get to have nice pants while everyone else has nice pants. These kinds of ideas where it's about doing the right thing, not about harshly punishing so they don't do the wrong thing. And a lot of that just comes down to getting to the heart behind it.

ALLIE: And that simplifies the brain clutter that we feel so much. This book was just a breath of fresh air and it really lighten my load as a parent in all the different ways, especially doing what I do. I talk to a lot of people with a lot of opinions and a lot of different methods for things. Really there is no one-size fits all method. You have to just, like you said, relax and take it as it comes and look at the heart and where you want to go.

REBECCA: Yeah, and get to know your kid. There are so many parents who don't really know their children because they don't take the time to really talk to them. And something I found again and again, (I wish I'd had more space to put this in the book), but out of all of the kids that I've talked to who rebelled, I asked every single one with them what their biggest regret was. And these are kids who had a lot of things that went on and their number one regret for every single one except for one kid was that they didn't have a good relationship with their parents.

It wasn't what they did in high school. It wasn't living with the ramifications of what had happened in high school. It wasn't anything like that. It was all about the parents because what kids really, really want is their mom and dad. They really want is that relationship and that is like simultaneously incredibly heartbreaking, but also so incredibly helpful I think for parents, just knowing that you are what your kid needs.

ALLIE: Absolutely. Absolutely. And one more quick thing I would love to ask. You were homeschooled?  I'm homeschooling my kids. We've done public school, homeschooling flopped back and forth as needed and there's all different kinds of ways to raise your kids in that regard. Christian school, private school, Public School, Charter school. How much do you think that has to do with how your kids end up or do you think it doesn't matter at all? It's all about you as the parent.

REBECCA: A mix, and I know that's such a cop-out answer, but I know kids who are homeschooled who are terrifying now. We're talking terrified, like I don't want to be in a room alone kind of situation and that's OK to say because it's true. I'm not exaggerating. But I also know kids who are homeschooled and are like me and who didn't rebel and that kind of thing. Also the same thing with public schools. I think no matter what you end up doing with your kids, if you aren't talking to your kids, if you aren't spending time getting to know them, it's not going to end up well. With homeschooling, it is easier to spend a lot of time with your kids and get to know them. I think that is a big factor and that was a huge factor in my parent's relationship with me. I am trying to think of all the kids who didn't rebel and how many were homeschooled and I think there was only one other kid.

ALLIE: You mentioned a lot when you were talking to them there was circumstances that came up at school.

REBECCA: I tried to get a really big cross section of different demographics as well because again, psychology research mind, but I didn't only interview homeschooled kids. It wasn't like all the homeschool kids were good. They're actually one or two kids who rebelled who are homeschooled in the book.

ALLIE: I get asked that a lot, especially because we put our kids in school last year and pulled them out halfway and everyone assumes "something happened." What happened? What were you afraid of? We just missed our kids and it just works out better for us. It's really convenient and flexible.  But yeah, it's good to hear that. I think people put a lot of weight on the parenting world on that decision and I think it will matter for sure, but it's not it. That's not your only job is to make sure you educate. They spend most of their day in the right place.

REBECCA: I'll be honest here, I didn't have a single kid who rebelled or who didn't rebel say that it was because they went to Christian school, didn't go to Christian school, were homeschooled or not homeschooled. I think that when we put so much emphasis on the kind of schooling kids are getting it's easy to put a lot of the blame or the "ownness" on what your kids are learning on the school, if that makes sense? Not just educationally, but in terms of their faith, spiritual development, personal development. Which is why to say no matter where your kids are going, if you just don't have time to talk with them, then change something.

ALLIE: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I love that. OK. Where can people find you? Where are you at?  Where are you writing? Where can they connect with you outside of your book?

REBECCA: My personal website which is updated sporadically at best is  lifeasadare.com. The best place to find me right is my mum's website, which is tolovehonorandvacuum.com. I know you have had her on the podcast.  I post pretty much once a week on there, once a week or once every two weeks. That was a place to find me right now.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. Well, we'll link to your site. We'll link to your mom's site and, your book for sure. But thank you so much for taking so much time. I know this was a longer episode, but thank you for being here and taking your time and sharing with us. We just are so grateful. I'm so grateful to have you and I'm really grateful that you took the time. I know you initially didn't want to write this book.

REBECCA: Write the book? Yeah I was very, very hesitant.

ALLIE: Yeah. Thank you so much, Rebecca. You are amazing. I'm so impressed by you. You just, you shine and I know you're going to do amazing things. Continuing to do amazing things. So thank you for being here.

REBECCA: Thank you so much for having me.  

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

BONUS 02: Transitioning Between Home and Public School

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For our family, we take it year by year when it comes to whether we homeschool our kids or send them to public school. And I get asked a lot about how we handle the transitions. It is such an adjustment for everyone. Sometimes the adjustment is easy + other times it is a little more challenging. In this episode I want to share my experiences with the transitions but also want to give you some tips on how to make public school or homeschool easier on you + your family. And remember that no matters what decisions you make about schooling for your kids, you are an amazing mother!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • Tips for transitioning between homeschool + public school and vice versa.

  • Her experience with transitioning kids in the middle of the school year.

  • Different ways to make the most out of your schooling experience, whether it is public school or homeschool.

 

Mentioned in this Episode:

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The Developing Rhythms Workbook will help you figure out what rhythms are, how they are going to help you, what yours should be, and when you should do them. The whole shebang! If you go through this workbook you will end up with an amazing set of rhythms that will help you in your life and in your role! 


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hello ladies! Welcome to another Bonus Episode of The Purpose Show! This is Bonus Episode 2 and I am really excited to dive into this one. I am going to be talking about transitioning between homeschool and public school.

Whether that’s from public to homeschool or from homeschool to public. We are going to cover all the things that I think are most important about that. We have done both. I get asked about it all of the time and I want to lend a hand.

In case you are not sure (maybe you haven’t listened to one yet), Bonus Episodes are really neat. They are episodes that are so exciting for me, and so full of good stuff for you, that I can’t wait to release the content. As you probably know, the podcast is planned out pretty far in advance. Sometimes I get a good idea and I don’t want to wait until three months from now to release that episode, so I will make a bonus episode. Or if I get asked about something so often I will make it a bonus episode.

This one is the latter. You guys have asked about this so much because I have been somewhat open about sharing our journey between home and public school and back again over the last year or so. I am going to talk about that.

First, let’s discuss going from homeschool to public school. I first want to say to those of you who have been homeschooling and have decided to put your kids in public school that I am not here to help you make that decision. I am not going to be addressing that.

For me and my husband, we have followed the peace of God each year. We take it year by year. We never say, “O, we are always going to homeschool”, or “this is how we are going to do things in our family when it comes to the kid’s school.”

It’s a lot to homeschool. It’s a lot to have the kids in public school for different reasons. There is a lot that goes into it. There have been a lot of different things that have led to us homeschooling, putting a pause on that, putting the kids in public school. We always knew that it would be temporary, but we weren’t really sure. We thought it would be for a whole school year, but it ended up being much shorter, and was just for one semester.

We do our best to be spirit-led parents. We prayerfully make our decisions. I will not be addressing that – that’s all your decision. But I will be talking about if you have already made the decision to switch from one to the other. I will help in all the ways that I can think of.

So, going from homeschool to public school: The first thing I want to say is the whole point of homeschooling is to go slow and lean towards child-led learning in order to give your kids a passion for knowledge and learning. This is not the way the public school system in most states is set up.

Nothing negative about them. Nothing against the public school system. I am definitely not one of those homeschool moms who has terribly hard feelings about the public school system. I really think that it is a lot to handle over there. And I think they do a great job on a lot of things. I think teachers are some of the most amazing human beings on the planet. I am very grateful for them. I don’t homeschool because I am trying to keep my kids from something.

Having said that, giving your kids a passion for learning, going really slow, leaning into each kids individual needs and what they want to learn about, and doing that child-led learning is not the way the public school system is set up. Homeschooling generally is.

You are probably going to encounter some push back from the way you did things as a homeschooling mom as you transition your child or children into public school, and that’s OK.  You were doing what you believed was best for your child during that homeschooling time. That’s the best thing you could have done.

Now here you are with life happening and things changing, shifting, and again you are doing what you believe to be the best thing for your child and your family in a different school year, or half way through the school year. It is just an adjustment for everyone, and it’s OK if it is a little hard. It is OK if people let out a sigh, or make a passive aggressive comment, or make a face. Maybe they aren’t rude, but they don’t seem like they really get it when it comes to you homeschooling, where you are at, what they learned and how you taught them.

I think it is important to remember that it is your teacher’s job to help your child. She works for you and for your child, so don’t let anyone put you down or make you feel badly. You are an excellent mother.

I feel like some of you need to hear me say that to you. I feel that with my whole heart. If you’ve even listened to this podcast. If you have even attempted to homeschool your kids. If you’ve even taken your kids to public school, kissed them on the cheek and bid them goodbye, you are an excellent mother. Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.

I think it is really important to be as available as possible for your kids after school, especially if you are worrying about how this is going to go. Maybe you are used to spending all of your day with your kids, but now this (afternoon's) is now your time together. I know it is near the end of the day and you are all exhausted, but this is a crucial time for creating a safe space for your kids to talk with you and for them to connect with you after a day spent apart.

Set up a system for all the things that come with going to public school. There is going to be more paperwork than you could ever imagine. Set up a system for that. For me, I had a wooden paper sorter, that I got at Target, right by the door. When the kids walked in the door, they had a job. They had to hang their backpacks on the hooks and get out any paperwork that the teacher put in their backpacks and put it in their file.

You will have a lot of paperwork; come up with a system that works for that. You will have backpacks, shoes, jackets, and just stuff. When the kids get home, the first thing they are going to want to do is strip it all off and dump it. That will be their habit unless you set up a system beforehand. Get a system for paperwork. I highly recommend that you keep it by the door where the kids come in, even if it is not super pretty.

Have a system for the paperwork. Hooks for backpacks. A bin for shoes. Where do you want your kids to put their things when they come home? What system do you want to set in place so that your house isn’t overwhelmed with the things that the teacher sends home?

The other thing I would say is set alarms for pick up times. I know it might seem silly and obvious to pick up your kids from school, but when they are gone and you get into your own quiet-time headspace, or you get caught up in a younger child, it is amazing how easily you can get busy and almost miss leaving in time for pick up. Or totally miss it like I did once for Hudson. Poor little guy was sitting in the office with his little feet dangling from the chair because I was ten minutes late to get him.

Set up alarms for pick up times. Set a really annoying ringtone. Make it a repeat alarm every day, if even it gets annoying. There will come a day you will be thankful you set that alarm.

Speaking of pick up times, make use of them if you can. These were some of my favorite moments when my kids were in public school. I would leave early so I could get a great parking spot. I would use that time waiting for my kids to read a book, or listen to a podcast, and have some amazing self-care and personal growth time. It was a great in-between-the-day time for me.

It would have been easy to work and leave at the last minute to get the kids. Or send my husband and keep doing the housework. But it was a really great anchor for me in the day for self-care. It was a great time to hit the reset button for the rest of my day.

Establish open communication with your kid’s teacher. Be pleasant and friendly, not harsh and judgmental. Not every teacher, but some teachers have reservations about homeschooled kids.  It has become a kind of “war zone”.

I think being really sweet, kind, and establishing a good relationship with your child’s teacher from the beginning is incredibly helpful. It will serve you and your child well throughout the year for your teacher to like you, and to have open communication.

With each of the kid’s teachers, I sent an email after the first day to thank them for being there, ask if they had any questions. I included a little note about each child that I thought would be helpful for the teacher. I made myself available and that really helped to establish a good relationship for us.

Also, establish a set time every day that you help your kid with their homework, especially in the beginning of this transition from homeschooling. Maybe your child will be further ahead than the school, or maybe the school will be further ahead than your child. This is a transition. You are used to doing school together.

One mistake that I made was thinking all the school stuff would be off of me, and I wouldn’t have to do anything. Maybe that sounds self-centered but that’s what I thought.

Being available to help your kids with this transition during the time that you are with them, is really important because they are going to have questions. They may not be used to the different curriculum, especially if it is common core and you haven’t been using that. They may feel really dumb and feel like the school is way ahead of them. They may feel incredibly bored and unchallenged because you were further ahead than the public school system is.

I wish that I had scheduled time in my afternoon. I wish I had done more crockpot meals so I had nothing else to do when the kids got home from school but just sit with them. Be with them. Help them with their homework. Everyone was in a different level. Each child, in different ways, struggled with this transition.

Block out some time and don’t schedule any other things. Create a couple hours of space to be available to help with their homework.

Also, figure out what you want to do with your weekends. Homeschoolers are used to being together more than public schoolers are. You might find that during the weekend you are excited for some awesome, much-needed family time. You might find that your kids are bogged down with a giant load of homework that the teacher has sent home for the weekend. Set up a system for doing homework on Friday nights so that your weekends are free. Or you can have a fun family night on Friday and dedication a portion of your weekend to homework, like maybe Sunday evening.

Either way, plan ahead. Realize what you are dealing with. Maybe there will be a weekend where they won’t have any homework and that would be great. But more often than not, they will have homework. Decide and plan ahead of time so you are not feeling disappointed. That negativity and negative emotions about your kid’s school, teachers, and their homework will rub off on your kids.

Also, Bento Boxes for your kids lunches. I am going to share my affiliate link in the show notes for these because they are AMAZING. I cannot say enough about them. I shared them on my Instagram story when my kids were in school. I still have them and we use them a lot for park days.

They are basically metal boxes that have dividers in them. There’s a sandwich area, fruit area, crackers, etc. They are just awesome. They slip right inside basically any lunch box that you can get at Target, or anywhere.

They are a little pricey but we really love them. I found them from Robin Long of A Balanced Life. I saw her making her kids’ lunches in them and thought, “that’s super handy!”  They are worth the money and are so helpful. I love that my kids aren’t eating out of plastic every day. I love that they are divided. My son, Leland, hates when his food touches. I am like, so I totally get it. They keep his food separated. They are just really, really handy.

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When you buy something, you buy it with your time. With minutes from your life. Not just with your money. Studies show us that less clutter equals less stress and more time. It is really as simple as that.

This was the founding reason that I created Your Uncluttered Home. It has become my most popular, globally-praised, decluttering course that I designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they want to clean up after it.

It is truly the A-Z of minimalism.  Every room. Every area. Every nook and cranny of your house totally uncluttered.  This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist momma who is able to be a lot more present for what matters most.

To learn more about the course, go to alliecasazza.com/allcourses.  

This really is the short-cut version. The exact journey that I took as a mom, 5-6 years ago, that got me to this point of an uncluttered, minimalistic motherhood where I am spending the least amount of time on my house every day.

Motherhood is just way too sweet a time to be spent struggling so hard and living in survival mode day in and day out.  Our stuff is really the cause of that.

If you want to start this lifestyle, if you want to simplify your life… I believe that it all starts at home.

Simplify your life.  alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

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Enjoy your new-found time without your kids. I just want to give you permission. It is OK to enjoy it. It is OK to be sad that they are gone. Trust me. I balled my eyes out for the first day the kids went to school. I didn’t know for sure if there was an end in sight. I didn’t really have a strong desire to send my kids to public school. I have always had homeschooling on my heart.

But I couldn’t do everything and the business was very overwhelming. Brian and I had both made that decision that we needed something to give so we could focus and not be stretched so thin. It was very sad. It is OK to be sad. It is also OK to be happier. To enjoy the quiet time. To love it. To have some time for yourself. Time to be caught up on the housework and other things in your life. It’s OK to have a job. It’s OK to have something other than your children and enjoy this time away from them.

So now, let’s talk about going from public school to homeschooling. The first thing that I always say is to encourage you before you make the switch to research the different types of homeschooling. There are so many different styles. Find the one or two that really appeals to you. The one you feel would go with your personality and your family style.

What do I mean by that? There’s Charlotte Mason homeschool. There’s unschooling. There’s traditional homeschooling where you are basically bringing the classroom into your home. Find what works for you.

I would say you naturally gravitate towards things. For example, at first, I shied away from the traditional homeschool of bringing the school into the home. I really felt a pull towards Charlotte Mason, and unschooling. That really appealed to me.

My next point is to keep in mind that your homeschool style may change as you evolve as a homeschool mom and you get more comfortable. This happened to me. I was so drawn to the idea of unschooling. We did that for a couple of years and struggled through it.

That may sound funny, especially if you research what unschooling is. But what I ended up finding is that it just didn’t work for us. I love it. I think it is a great idea. I know a lot of people what it works well for. It just wasn’t working for us at all. I wasn’t happy. The kids weren’t happy. It just wasn’t working.

We moved away from unschooling. We kind of kept the Charlotte Mason style and I threw myself more into that. It is OK for you to change, shift, evolve. You don’t have to know it all right now.

Also, do not get sucked into the lie that you have to spend a billion dollars and have everything in the world right now. You don’t have to have everything figured out right now. I encourage you to have minimal school supplies. A minimal curriculum.

Stay away from homeschool conventions for now. I know they may seem really helpful. When we decided to pull the kids, there was a very popular homeschool convention really close to my house. I was so tempted to go.  You know what? I just got this feeling in my gut not to go.

I already knew what I was doing. I was simplifying this process for myself. If I went, I was afraid I would get falsely inspired by the wrong things. I was afraid I would be pulled to buy all this curriculum and spend money on things that are just going to overcomplicate this for me.  That was my problem in the past – that I tended to overcomplicate things, which made me overwhelmed.

I will link to a book that has been integral in shaping my homeschooling experience and philosophy since we pulled the kids out of public school and brought them back home. It is called Minimalist Homeschooling. It is by a doctor who is amazing. It is such a good book. I encourage you to read it.

The curriculum that I found had a couple of things that drew me to it. A friend, whom I really admire and I respect the way she homeschools her two boys, recommended The Good and The Beautiful by Jenny Phillips. If you go to their website you will see how homeschooling moms went from these massive piles of curriculum down to this one stack of books. It was basically a minimalist homeschool curriculum.

Of course, that drew me to it. When I researched it, I saw that, yes, it was a minimalist curriculum. They are getting a rich curriculum with amazing photos, beautiful stories and pictures. It is very Charlotte Mason inspired.

You can get digital products or paper products. I do well with paper so I ordered the physical curriculum, actual books. When I got it in the mail, it truly is as minimal as I think you can get.  I definitely have the least amount of books and stuff that I have ever had with homeschooling my kids. Bella is in third grade and we are getting to the levels where there tends to be more stuff, and there just isn’t. I have been extremely pleased with this curriculum.

Don’t get sucked into the lie that you need to spend all this money and have this “stuff.” (Check out my blog post How to Bring Minimalism into your Homeschool).

I want to talk about pulling your kids out mid-year. Perhaps you are feeling led, feeling that something just isn’t right. “I want my kids at home, but I feel like they should just finish out the school year.” Weigh that out.

It was really hard for me. It was in December. Winter break was coming.  We had put our kids into public school so we could take a year off. We didn’t want to try to be like Jesus and do it all perfectly.  We were both stretched really thin with work and schooling the kids. Tensions were really high at our house and it wasn’t working. We knew we needed to make a choice.

We took a year off of homeschooling to grow the business, delegate, and hire a bunch of new people to lessen our workload. We thought it would take us all school year but it ended up only taking us a few months. By December we were pretty much done. We had hired 6-7 new people. We were both working just a few hours a week and it was great.

We really wanted our kids home. We were torn between finishing out the school year or not. We prayerfully decided to let them get to winter break and then pull them out. They wouldn’t go back after winter break. That’s what we did and it has been the best decision that we had made so far.  I was so nervous about it. I didn’t want to damage the kids or hurt them. I didn’t want to hurt their teacher’s feelings. It was really hard.

Follow that peace. What’s going to work for you? Does it feel better to finish the year? To give yourself time and space to plan things out? Does it feel better to get them home and then figure it out? You have to prayerfully make that call.

I do want to say that I have pulled my kids out mid-year. If that is what is feeling best for you, I want to give you that empowerment/permission. You’re their mom. You know what’s best.

I would encourage you to talk to your kids openly about this transition and encourage them to be open with you in return. I think being really easy to talk to about the hard parts and not taking things personally is huge.

For example, if your kids say something like, “I miss my friends from school” or “I don’t like this homeschooling day” in the middle of a frustrating math class session, don’t take that personally. Don’t snap back at them. Don’t make them regret being open with you.

Encourage openness. Be easy to talk to. Take it as constructive criticism. Take a deep breath. Make appropriate changes. You guys are in this together. You are not perfect. You are not going to be perfect ever. You are going to make mistakes.

Everything is “figureoutable” as Marie Forleo says. This is “figureoutable” too. Take a break. Stop teaching if it gets tense. Listen to your child. Look them in the eye. Get down to their level. Talk to them. You can make changes as necessary together. You are not going to be perfect and have it all figured out right off the bat.

Also, let the kids’ previous teachers know that you are thankful for them. Whether you are pulling them out mid-year or not, I think it is important to keep that peace. Let them know that your decision to homeschool them doesn’t have anything to do with them failing or not taking care of your kids. Let them know that you are thankful for what they did for your child.

Allow time for “de-schooling” if your kids were in public school for a year or longer. Your kids get into rhythms. Kids respond really well to rhythms for homeschooling.

The schools are set up in a way that really does a good job of highlighting the fact that kids thrive under routine. It is very routine – you start school at a certain time of day, then circle time, language arts, break, then math, science, lunch, playtime. It is very regimented and scheduled and never changes.

Also group learning is totally different learning than homeschooling, even if you have a lot of siblings. It is a lot more one-on-one than a classroom setting is. You have to allow some time for your kids to adjust. That’s called “de-schooling” in the homeschooling community.

Let them get un-used to public school. Research. Look up the word “de-schooling” and find different ways you can do that. For us, it was an extended period of winter break. My kids were only in school for one semester, but I did feel like they needed a period of de-schooling, especially my son, Leland.

We had a 3 ½ winter break. It was great. We slowly eased in to homeschooling. I also have a blog post about “Why We Chose to “Soft Start’ Our Homeschool + How It Works  which I will link to. It talks about how you don’t have to hid it hard. Ease into this.

Find ways to bring those routines that worked well for your kids in public school into homeschooling without it being too regimented to where everyone is miserable.

On that note, I encourage you guys to come up with a flexible school schedule. We do a 5-day schedule. We school 5 days a week. If we skip a day here or there, it doesn’t make us fall behind in where we are supposed to be with the curriculum. It gives us some cushion.

We do homeschool through a charter school because I do really well with accountability. I like the idea that somebody is keeping records for me. That someone is watching me, making sure I do what I am supposed to do.

One of the problems with homeschooling was that I tend to get a little bit too lax, a little too focused on other things. I need that accountability. I need that checklist. “You guys need to be here by this date.” That is how I thrive in anything, but especially with homeschooling my kids. We have guidelines and deadlines. “You should be at this lesson and this subject by this date.”

We have a 5-day schedule but we don’t always do 5 days of school. Most weeks we do, but there are plenty of weeks where we do 3 or 4 days. That’s fine. It ends up all working out to where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be there.

Decide if you want to do a 4-day school week every week. Or do you want to do a 5-day school week and be able to have some cushion. Look up different types of homeschool schedules. There are a lot of ideas. Six weeks on and one week off. Ten months on and two months off. Year-round or traditional schedule.

We do 5-days a week and year- round because we have seen our kids get completely out of the loop with a summer break. Also, we believe that learning should be happening all of the time and be child-led. It feels weird to us, as parents and teachers, to teach during the school year and then just stop during the summer.

We do a lot of unit studies, beach-themed studies during the summer, but technically we are doing school year-round, although our charter school is not.

To wrap up, let’s talk about rhythms. Rhythms will help you tremendously no matter where your kids go to school, but things can get chaotic in a difficult way when you homeschool. You need rhythms set up for basically everything. Your housework. Your work schedule, whether you work at home or outside of the home. Your laundry. Your schooling. Everything that has to do with you and your role.

Rhythms are going to cut your to-do list more than in half. Because it is no longer a to-do list.  You have rhythms set up for things that just need to happen for your life to flow smoothly. It is no longer a to-do list; it is just habit. That is mentally freeing.

I want you to get my free Developing Rhythms Workbook. It is one of my Fan Favorite free downloads from me. It is a workbook that will help you figure out what rhythms are. How they are going to help you. What yours should be. When you should do them. The whole shebang.  If you go through this Free Rhythms Workbook, you will end up with an amazing set of rhythms that will help you in your life and in your role.

Go get that!

I am excited for you guys! No matter why you are listening to this. If there is a transition possibly coming. If you are in a transition. If you just did a transition and it went terribly or it went amazing. I am praying for you guys. I know how hard this can be.

Remember, no matter what’s going on, what decisions you have made so far, or what decisions you are thinking about making, YOU ARE AN AMAZING MOTHER!!

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Ep 023: Tips for When Your Kids Are Sharing A Room

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Our family has gone through all kinds of seasons when it comes to room sharing. From putting all the boys together to turning our master bedroom into a room shared with 4 kids … we experienced it all! Room sharing fosters closeness. And you will find joy in watching them grow closer. One of my favorite things is listening to the kids giggle every night before bed. No matter how much they bickered during the day, they come together at the end of the day for bedtime. Sure, there are some challenges with room sharing! But I hope this episode helps you get creative with those challenges. The goal is to make your life simpler and easier, and to find what works for you!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The different types of room sharing situations her family has gone through.
  • How using vertical space over horizontal space is key for shared bedrooms.
  • Tips for utilizing closets to their full capacity in shared spaces.
  • The importance of thinking minimalistically when it comes to clothing between kids who share a room.
  • How you save space in shared rooms by storing things in other areas of the house.
  • How to deal with the challenges of room sharing.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over, something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood, so you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most. Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.


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Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's mini courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey friends! Welcome to Episode 23 of The Purpose Show! I am excited about this episode because I received a surge of questions about this topic right after I put it on my editorial calendar.

I am going to talk today about when your kids share a room. This can work if you have two kids sharing a room, or if you are a psycho who has changed their master bedroom into a room for four kids. Yes, we have totally done that and loved it! We have done all different kinds of “kids sharing a room.”

There are a lot of reasons that you might have to or want to fit multiple kids into one bedroom.  We have done that in pretty much every house that we lived in. We have never had a house with every person having their own room. Before it was out of necessity because smaller houses are cheaper. Now, it is not out of necessity but we actually really intentionally looked for a house that didn’t have more than four bedrooms because we have grown to love our kids sharing a room. They love it. We like what we see in families who have kids who share rooms even as they get older.

I do think kids need their own space. Especially for us, Bella is our only girl. I think that there are also other ways to get your own space. It is good for kids to learn how to do that. I just really love the benefits of kids sharing rooms. As of right now, we have no plans to ever have our kids have their own room. We love that they share. It fosters a lot of closeness.

Another reason that we ditched our previous ideals of wanting to have a large house is because having less space forces you to be together all of the time. You are never that far from each other.  

Of course, that can get a little frustrating sometimes, but all in all, it has really brought our family closer together. You always know where everybody is. The kids come together at the end of the day and go to sleep in the same room. It is really great. It is really fun. They have a lot of fun conversations at night. We loved when all the kids were together.

As you guys might know, we bought a camper, we lived in it and traveled the U.S. for about seven months. The kids were incredibly squished together in that little camper. But those are some of our best memories. It was super fun.

We also are minimalists who like to spend our money on experiences over square footage.  There have been lots of different seasons and different points in our family where kids were sharing a room for one reason or another, so I have some things to say about this. I hope it helps and inspires you to put your kids in one room if you haven’t already. Or helps if you have to have your kids in the same room and are having a hard time with it.

We have four kids. Bella is our oldest and our only girl. We have the three boys in one room.  For the most part, I would say it has typically been that way. We have had Bella sharing a room with Leland, and Emmett sharing with Hudson. We have had the baby in our room for a long time. We have just moved things around as needed. We have done it all.

Right now, Bella is nine. She is definitely getting older. Being the only girl, it has worked well with her having her own space. Although I have to say, because of all the times that we have changed things around and utilized small space to make it feel bigger and work so well, it kind of kills me that she is by herself in her room because it is huge. It is like another master room. It is a really big room. The boys are bunked up in the smaller room altogether. It is really funny.

When we lived in the Midwest, we ended up taking the smaller bedroom for ourselves and making the 3rd bedroom into an office. It was at the time when we were starting the business. We gave the master bedroom with the attached bathroom to the kids and did double bunk beds in there. That was really cool. They really like it and it worked super well.

I think, whether you rent or own, be creative. I feel like people get stuck in what the room is supposed to be for, and you can do whatever you want. Make things work in a way that works for you.

One thing that I have found to be super helpful is if the room feels too small for the number of people, use vertical space whenever you can. It is the best, most impactful tip that I have. Using vertical space over horizontal space is huge for shared bedrooms and small spaces.

This came in so handy when we lived in the camper. It was a very small camper. We wanted to test out the “tiny living” thing because it was fun, a challenge, and it’s what I do for a living. It was cool to show my followers that we could live in this tiny little space and travel all over, so you guys can do anything.

You can use vertical space in a lot of different ways. I encourage you to go on Pinterest and search “vertical space storage ideas”, or “vertical space decorating” for inspiration.

The perfect example of vertical space is bunk beds. You can fit two kids on a half wall because the kids go “up.”  You can also do a bunk bed with a trundle underneath it so you have three kids in two bunk beds.

Do hooks vertically instead of horizontally.  Shelves that go all the way up the wall. You can put things at the top that you don’t want kids into. Simply turning shelving units on their side, making them vertical rather than horizontal, is huge.

Get outside of the normal box in your head and think vertically when you are trying to make the most use out of a smaller space.

My second tip is utilizing the closet in a way that suits your needs best. Kids clothes are typically shorter, because kids are shorter, which gives you a lot of floor and wall space underneath the hanging rod.

Most houses (and our current house) just have the normal fixed shelf and rod below it. The rod is pretty high up and the kids can’t reach their clothes. I will either get it down for them or leave a stepstool there so they can get it. But what I am seeing is that the higher-up rod leaves a lot of wall and floor space underneath, because their clothes are not long like adults.

We fit an extra dresser under the hanging clothes in the closet. We have also used that area to store toy bins, shoe bins. We have hung hooks under there to store backpacks and hats.

Get creative. Ask yourself, “What can I do with this space that will help me?”  Think about what you need in that room. What are you keeping in that room that you are having a hard time fitting? Maybe you can attach some hooks for dress-up clothes, or hats, or sports stuff.

In the boys’ room, we have their clothes hanging on the regular, higher-up rod, which leaves a lot of space underneath. On the left wall in the closet, we have one of those plastic bins that is like a dresser you get at Walmart or Target. I think people use them in the garage a lot. This holds all of the kids’ shoes. There are three drawers which is one for each kid’s shoes. Then on the right wall, there is a really cute white dresser that is Emmett’s dresser. Leland and Hudson share the main dresser that is in the room. It has six drawers, so they each get three drawers.

Also, most closets have shelving above the hanging rod.  Utilize that. What can you store there without it looking messy? What works for you and looks great?  Really get creative and utilize that space.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over. Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood, so you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now.  How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries.  How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar.  How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course.  It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you?  Does this sound like something that would really help you right now?  Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course.  I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life.  It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out.  You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

 

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What’s great about that top shelf is it is obviously too high for the kids to use because of climbing, and a lot of the times it goes unused because of it. But I think it is a great space for that reason. Use it to store things that you don’t want your kids to have free reign with -  Legos, art supplies, puzzles. Things that are theirs and make sense to store in their room, but you don’t want them to be able to grab and go whenever they want.

The next tip is to apply minimalism when it comes to clothing when you are trying to fit your kids in one room. Minimalism is seriously beneficial when it comes to clothing in a shared space.

Our boys used to share one large Ikea dresser, all three of them. They have the clothes they currently need and wear. I never feel like we have too little clothing. I actually feel like we could get rid of a few things. It was an 8-drawer dresser. It worked really well for us. We got rid of that dresser when we moved because it was really heavy and not worth the move.

Now Emmett has his little dresser in the closet. The older boys each have three drawers in one shared black dresser in their room. I don’t think you ever, ever need more than three drawers per kid. If you feel like you do, you probably have too many clothes.

Share dressers. Find a dresser that works. Don’t be afraid to put your kid’s stuff in one dresser and find a way to make it work. You can put pajamas with pants. You can put shirts on the right side and underwear on the left side. Get creative and make it work. If you can’t make three drawers per kid work, you have too many clothes. They do not need that many clothes.

My next tip is to save space by storing things in other areas of the house. A lot of people say that they keep their kids’ toys in their room. For the first time ever, right now we are keeping their toys in their rooms. Toys can be stored in a bin that goes in the hallway closet or is tucked behind the sofa in the living room. Maybe you have a dedicated playroom. Get the toys out of the bedroom if you don’t have space for them to be in there.

What are bedrooms for? Getting ready for the day and sleeping. Coats, backpacks and school stuff can all be moved out to the entryway, mudroom, or the downstairs closet. Hooks can serve a wonderful purpose there.

You can opt for something with a bit of a statement like we did. We had a set of four vintage lockers that we painted a bright white. Each of our kids had an assigned locker by the front door for all of their daily stuff. Their shoes for the day, their coat, their backpack all went in the locker. Their bedrooms were just used for sleeping and clothes storage. They would make their bed and then come out of the room and be out of the room all day until bedtime. That saves a lot of space in shared bedrooms.

What can you get out of there and move somewhere else so that the room is really just for sleeping and getting dressed for the day? Then you are not really in there much. You don’t have to have a shared bedroom where every kid has their own desk, and their toys and everything is in there. When you are sharing a space you really need to apply minimalism and think “real.” What can you remove from this space?

I hope that makes sense. That really, really helped us.

Now, we don’t really need to do that. The boys are in a shared room. Leland and Hudson have the bunk beds. Emmett has his own free-standing bed on the opposite wall. Then there is a shared dresser on another wall. At the foot of Emmett’s bed, we have a really cute Ikea toy bin that I love. I will link to it in the show notes. All the boys’ toys (except for the Legos) go in there. Bella has a few horses that she keeps in her room. It works really well.

Next tip: use wheels to make room sharing with young kids easier and quieter. This is something that really helped me when we had small kids and we were in the having babies stage. We had siblings napping and they were sharing a room with an older kid.

Put things that your kids like to use in bins with casters on them so they can roll it out of the room when siblings are napping. Make things movable. Put the Legos in a cart with wheels so they can be played with somewhere else. Make things transferable.

For example, the way things are in their room right now would not work if Emmett were a baby. The toys are all in the one room and he would wake up if the boys were to go in there and get something.

If it is on wheels, and the baby needs to take a nap, the older boys could wheel out their activity cart before he goes down (or while he is down) and use it in the living room.  We used to have two activity carts that we got from Ikea (link in show notes). It worked really well. I would tell the boys that Emmett was going down for his nap and they needed to get whatever activity cart they wanted. They would wheel it out, down the hall to the living room and play quietly. That’s one of my favorite tips.

Another thing I want to address is the problem of chaotic, early morning wake ups. When one kid wakes up, they all wake up. They wake each other up. It is so annoying. I had my kids sharing a room and I was forced to come up with a solution, because it was hard for me.

So here is what I did when my kids were little, sharing a room and waking each other up really, really early. Get a giant digital clock for a few bucks. Hang it up, put it on the table, whatever. Explain what time it has to say for them to be able to use loud voices or come out of their room. Get ready for a week or two of being annoyingly consistent with this rule. After that, all of the sudden, it works.

The kids will decide that it is not worth waking up if they can’t be loud, come out to play, and get breakfast right away, and they start to sleep longer, which is amazing. Or they will catch on to the rules and stay in their room somewhat quietly and play until the magic time appears on the clock. Stick with it and it gets awesome. I promise!

This is also how I have quite morning time with all the kids waking up.  You know kids wake up way earlier than we ever want them too. This is a good solution. I hope these tips can help you with babies sharing with older siblings, naptime, and things like that.

If you have two kids in the room that need to nap but they don’t nap when they’re together, I would always put Bella in my bed to nap and let Leland nap in their room.

Be creative. Just because it is not “ideal” or “perfect”, it’s OK. The goal is to make your life simpler and easier. Shake things up. Use the rooms in your house in a way that maybe it wasn’t designed for, but that works better for you.

Have a rhythm where the oldest goes down for a nap in your room, while the baby goes down in his room. If your baby goes to sleep earlier than your toddlers do, find a way to make it work for you. Maybe you could put the baby down in the pack-n-play in another room and when they are super asleep, transfer them.

Have a routine where the kids hang out with you until they are really tired and then help them make it a game, “let’s quietly sneak and go to bed.” It doesn’t have to be awful.

I hope these tips help you fit the things into the rooms that you need to fit. I hope it makes you feel encouraged. I hope it inspires you to enjoy the joys of having your kids share rooms. It really is an honor and joy. I love having the kids sharing a room, seeing their relationships grow.

There are nights where one of the boys will want to have a sleepover in Bella’s room, because she doesn’t always want to sleep alone. They just love being together.

I love that all the boys are in the same room. I love that they have that memory of brotherhood. Every single night, no matter if there was bickering during the day or it was a hard, busy day, they all come together at the end of the day for bedtime. They always talk to each other, giggle, and joke around before they fall asleep. I love that. It is really a gift.

It doesn’t have to be as complicated as we sometimes make it.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

BONUS 01: All About Our Home School

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Surprise! Today is the very first episode of bonus episodes I will be sharing!  Every rare once-in-a-while, I will put out a Bonus Episode that was just too good to wait. Or it could be a message that I really had on my heart for you guys. In this episode, I am sharing all about homeschooling - how it works for us, the curriculum we are using, our typical schedule, and what I think about it. I know it is really helpful to see how other people do things, so I hope this episode helps you, encourages you, and maybe even inspires you to think outside of the box.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • Why homeschooling works for her family.

  • The homeschooling curriculum she has been using + why she loves it.

  • Her routine for homeschooling 4 children.

Mentioned in this Episode:

 

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Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you're surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season you want it to be?

The Unburdened course is exactly what you need. 

THIS SMALL, STRAIGHTFORWARD COURSE IS EVERYTHING FOR THE MOM WHO FEELS LIKE SHE NEEDS A TOTAL OVERHAUL, BUT IS TOO OVERWHELMED TO START. 


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Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com and let us know you left an iTunes review. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's mini courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey friends! This is a bonus episode and it is the first bonus ever. Bonus episodes come about because I either came up with an idea for an episode, or I was asked a question a billion times and I really wanted to answer it for you. But because of our planning, editorial calendar, the backend schedule of the podcast and the business, sometimes episodes will not be able to be completed for months in advance.

We do have to plan in advance with guest episodes and the whole team working to get this podcast produced a couple of times every week. Sometimes it is just too long to wait. I don’t want to have a question that really needs to be answered. You guys might be really asking about something and I really want to help you. I might have it recorded but it isn’t scheduled to come out until June. That’s really hard for me, so every rare once-in-a-while, I will put out a Bonus Episode that was just too good to wait. Or it could be a message that I really had on my heart for you guys.

This one is one that is too good to wait. It is getting asked about constantly. I am so happy to finally be recording it. It’s all about our homeschool.

As you guys probably know, we have homeschooled off and on for forever. Last school year (fall 2017) we put our kids in public school because the business was growing so much. It was super high maintenance. Brian and I were both feeling really torn between all of these hours to get the business up and running and also homeschooling.

Homeschooling was falling by the wayside. It wasn’t what we wanted for our kids education.  We couldn’t balance work and homeschooling at the level the business was functioning. There was nothing we could do – get up early, stay up late. We could have done that, but it wasn’t sustainable. We didn’t want to live our lives like that, barely sleeping in order to do it all. That was just not what we wanted.

The plan was to put the kids in public school for one school year. Get the business up and running a little bit better.  Hire some new people. Delegate some new tasks. Get it to the point where we can both just work a few hours a week. Then get the kids back home for homeschooling.

We prayed and felt really good about it.  Made the decision. Put them in. They got into a great school and had great teachers.

After just one semester, we had hired 6 or 7 new people and we were feeling so amazing about how the business was running. Brian and I were working just a few hours a week. We had a really good rhythm.

Between all the different drop off and pickup times of the kids in school, it was feeling really stressful. It kind of backfired and ended up feeling like “Well, now this is actually less helpful.”  When winter break came, we pulled the kids out of public school and brought them back home much earlier than we had planned, which was such a huge blessing.

When people saw that was going on, I got a lot of questions about homeschooling. How was it going? What were we using? How does it look for you? I wanted to wait and dive into the new curriculum and see how I liked it. I had never tried it before. It’s new for us.

And I wanted to find our rhythm. It’s been a while since we had a house, normal life, home-base, normal schedule, running the business, and homeschooling because we did the camper-living thing. We explored the U.S. for a while. We were very mobile.

Then we lived temporarily in our apartment while we waited for a house. Now that everything is “deep breath” settled and normal, it feels so good. I am ready to open the curtain and show you guys the inner workings of our homeschool. I hope this is helpful.

Before we dive in you need to know that my daughter, Bella, is the oldest. She is in 3rd grade.  She was held back when she went into public school, just because with homeschooling you never really know what grade your kid is in unless you do a very traditional homeschooling, which we did not.

They did test her and she fell in between, so they decided to hold her back to 2nd grade.  I asked them to. Being new to school, I would rather her be way ahead than really struggling, and just having an awful year. It worked out really well and she basically was doing 2nd grade in public school.

Now at home she is doing mostly 3rd grade and just struggling a little bit in a couple of subjects, where she does 2nd grade curriculum. She is in a weird, limbo, in-between place with grades.

Leland is in 1st grade. Hudson is in kindergarten. Emmett is 3 ½ and in preschool.

We do homeschool all four of them. Emmett is very fluid. He is just busy working on his fine motor skills while I work with the other kids. It is very fluid and simple. It’s not a big deal. We don’t even have a schedule for him. We just have a preschool curriculum for him that is from the same homeschool curriculum we use for everyone else. We just work through it as we can with him.

The curriculum that we are using is called The Good and The Beautiful by Jennie Phillips.  She is amazing. The curriculum is incredible. I was very nervous ordering new curriculum.  I have tried something new every single year and I want to say that next school year will be the first year that we use the same curriculum twice in a row. I finally feel like I have found something that I absolutely love.

The Good and The Beautiful is a Christian curriculum, but I love that it is not overly religious.  It’s not really crazy or heavy-handed. The regular lesson is there. The history. The literature lesson is there. It is all educational but weaves in our faith in a seamless, unforced, beautiful way and I love that.

A bit of background for a side note. I actually grew up going to a Christian private school. While there were definitely some pros about that, there was also some huge cons. I have a hard time with overly religious-based curriculum and things like that.

The church we go to is very much not that way. It’s Jesus, the love of Jesus, and the way He was here on Earth giving an example of how to live. It’s very God-centered, and people serving. That’s what I believe.

I have a hard time when things are very rules-based, the law, overly religious. That’s what I have found with a lot of Christian curriculum. I really, really like this one because of that.

Please don’t be offended by what I am saying. This is just what works for us and how we are.  I am just trying to give the reasons I like this curriculum in case there is someone out there who would like to try it because of the way I described it. If this turns you off or you don’t like it, don’t get the curriculum.

What I also love about the curriculum is that it is laid out in a minimalist way. That’s one of the things that really turned me on to this curriculum. I have a good friend, Jessie, and I really admire the way she homeschools.  I met her when we lived in Arkansas. She recommended this curriculum to me. When I went to check out the website, there were videos that described the curriculum. It was basically saying that you go from this huge stack of curriculum, all these different topics and subjects, and huge books for each one, all the way down to this condensed little pile of books. I couldn’t believe it.

When I ordered the curriculum, I found it was so true. Language Arts includes grammar, spelling and all of those things in one book. The way they have it laid out is so streamlined. I feel like a lot of the other curricula is very pricey and they feel the need to “bulk it up” and add “fluff.” This curriculum does not subscribe to that at all. It is really the perfect fit for our schooling style and our family.

I feel like I have never had such a small amount of curriculum but felt like there is so much depth in the content. I absolutely love it.

When I was outlining this episode, I had written down to go over the pros and cons of the curriculum that we are using. I honestly sat for a solid ten minutes to think about what I did not like about this curriculum. And I came up empty. There is nothing that I don’t like. I love this curriculum. I am definitely going to use it again next school year. If I ever do try something else, it will probably be out of curiosity and not because I don’t like this curriculum. I am so impressed with it. I absolutely love it and recommend it for sure.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend?  Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard.  I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood.  So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now.  How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries.  How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar.  How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course.  It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you?  Does this sound like something that would really help you right now?  Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course.  I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life.  It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out.  You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened.

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Having said that, let’s get into our schedule to show what we do in terms of our day. We do a pretty typical 5-day, Monday thru Friday school schedule, but we are just really flexible. Sometimes, I will skip a day and do some school on the weekend morning instead. We just go as needed.

This week we are going to Disneyland and we are not going to do school one day. We will probably do school on Saturday morning over breakfast instead. We did that a couple of weekends ago too. Sometimes it’s just needed.

We do school usually in the afternoon. I don’t work every single day, but there are a couple of mornings that are set aside for work blocks. If it’s a work morning, I will work and the kids will either read or do their own solo school stuff. Or they will play outside or go somewhere with Brian if he is not working that morning. Mornings are usually for work, errands, relaxing, and starting the day slowly. Just hanging out together. Taking care of the house. We usually do school in the afternoons.

Sometimes if I am doing some work, Brian will start his subjects for school. Fridays are my meeting days. By the time it is afternoon and I am done with my meetings, I can do my subjects and then we are done for the day.

He does science and history. I tend to take over Language Arts. We both share the load of the other subjects too. We take turns with math, because we both prefer to not do math. It’s not like Brian or I always do the same subjects. We share the load. Typically, that is what happens.

Doing school in the afternoon was a fun shift for us. It made the mornings great. I still get up early and have my morning ritual. But it is not because I am rushing into homeschooling or starting the day.  It’s because I want to start the day out strong. Having a really slow morning with my family has been so great. Sometimes I will grab my laptop and write my email for that week. Or catch up on social media comments while I am sitting on the couch and the kids are playing Legos. We are together and it’s a quiet, slow start.

Friday is the only morning of the week that is a little crazy for me, since that is “meeting day”. I do them back-to-back to get them “batched” and out of the way. The kids’ morning is no different.  It’s just really neat giving ourselves that space to start in the afternoon. It has been really nice.

We do our morning thing each day. Then we have lunch and “veg out” for a half hour or so and rest together.  Then usually around 12:30 or 1:00 we will start school and we are done by 4:00 or 4:30. We take a lot of breaks.  It just depends on the day and how everyone is doing.

None of my kids are really napping anymore and I haven’t found that doing school in the afternoon has been affected by a lack of energy, needing to nap, or being hungry and ready for dinner.

I think if my kids were a little younger I wouldn’t be able to do school in the afternoons.  I really like doing afternoon school. It works really well for us.

There are days where we might do school in the morning if they want free time or want to do something else in the afternoon.  Again, we are very, very flexible. It is one of those things where people ask what your typical day looks like and it is hard to answer because there really is not a lot of typical days. But I would say that’s what our typical day looks like.

Sometimes there are days where nothing seems to be working. People are cranky. I’m not feeling it; no one is feeling it. It is just not working. Then we take breaks. Sometimes we stop altogether and just have a catch-up day when we are more refreshed.

But sometimes it is better to push through and just sense when everyone needs to suck it up, have a drink of water, take a 5-minute break on the trampoline, and then come back and push through and finish school. I know when it is time for that and when it is time to call it a day and not finish. Just go and be separate and have a good family day. Not yell and lose your cool and ruin school for the day. Then come back tomorrow, even if it is a Saturday or Sunday, when you are more refreshed and finish that math sheet or whatever.

If things aren’t working change how things work all together. Maybe getting up earlier to start your day off better. Ask yourself, “What isn’t working and why? Change the way you are doing school altogether. For us, it was starting school in the afternoon instead of pushing it in the morning.

I was trying to do everything in the morning. I would get up really early and get a couple of work tasks done. Dive into school in the morning and be done by lunchtime. It just wasn’t working. I gave myself that space, gave my family that breathing room, gave ourselves permission to do something a little bit out of the ordinary. Just saying, “you know what? We are going to try something different and start school in the afternoon.” It really lightened the load and freed us up and the whole family seemed to take to it better.

That’s a look into how our homeschool works, the curriculum we are using, and what I think about it. And how our typical schedule works. I know it is really helpful to see how other people do things, so I hope that helped you and encouraged you.  Maybe inspired you to think outside of the box.

Definitely look into that curriculum.  I will link it in show notes for you for sure.  Alliecasazza.com/shownotes/bonus1

I hope that was helpful for you guys. Thank you for caring for our family, our life, how things work for us, and asking questions that lead to episodes like this. I love it!

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Episode 010: How to Be An Action-Taking, Problem-Solving Mom

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Being an Action Taking Problem Solving mom is about identifying the problems and taking action on them. It is writing out the issues and finding solutions for them.  

Louise Hay says, “I do not fix my problems. I fix my thinking, then my problems fix themselves.”

When something is a problem in my life and I notice it is consistently a problem, I won’t just leave it. I won’t just wish that it would change or put it in the back of my head to figure it out later.  I will take action on it. Write it out and problem-solve.

You have so much power as a mom. You can choose to change your thinking.  Fix your thinking. Change your mindset. Get into a place of positivity. Of being an action-taking, problem-solving mom and a lot of things are going to shift.  

 
 

In This Episode, Allie discusses:

  • The importance of changing the way you talk to yourself - internally and externally.

  • Why being in a prayerful, action-taking state of mind, is so important.

  • Steps to take in order to become an action taking, problem solving mom.

Mentioned in this Episode:


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THE SUPERMOM VAULT

A LIBRARY OF INSPIRATION

  • Replays of my very best online workshops (not available anywhere else)
  • Tons of actionable PDF's, downloadable with one click
  • More than 20 audio & video trainings!
  • Professionally-designed printables for your home to keep you focused & inspired

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Thanks so much for joining me! I’m so excited to experience the show’s progression with you!

If you’ve loved this episode, help me reach more mothers who want to leave a legacy of intention and joy by heading over to iTunes (or wherever you listen) and leaving a rating and review. And, be sure to subscribe while you’re there.

Reviews are everything for podcasters, so I truly appreciate it!

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at allie@thepurposefulhousewife.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


I_ve_got_you_2.png

Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey beauties! Welcome to Episode 10 of The Purpose Show!  In this episode we are talking about how you can be an action-taking, problem-solving mom.  This episode came about from Instagram which I feel a lot of the episodes (at least the ones that are planned through spring) will come from, just because that’s where I share most of my day-to-day life.  That’s where I am most active. I share how I do things.  If I am doing something and it pops into my head to jump on Instagram stories and show what’s going on, I will do it.

There was one time, a couple of months ago where I was sharing about when something is a problem in my life and I notice it is consistently a problem, I won’t just leave it. I won’t just wish that it would change or put it in the back of my head to figure it out later.  I will take action on it. Write it out and problem-solve.  

I use my Notes App on my phone to do this.  I was doing an IG Story about that and people just freaked out.  They were really responsive.  And that of course tells me that this is something that needs to be talked about. It also appeared when I was asking for input on episode ideas.

It just keeps coming up.  It is just something that I have always done.  I think that when something is routine you don’t really think too much that, “O this is spectacular! I need to share this.”  It is just something that I have always done and it just comes naturally to me. I definitely see a lot of benefit in being this way.

I am happy to share some of the behind the scenes of how I take action and solve problems, instead of victimizing myself, complaining and letting life happen to me, which is really easy to do. I definitely do that; it’s not like I never do that.  But typically that is not my mindset.

I want to start this episode out with a quote by Louise Hay that says, “I do not fix my problems. I fix my thinking, then my problems fix themselves.”  I think that really needs to be the foundation here.  I think when you are coming from a mindset of victimization - “everything sucks, life is so hard, why can’t things ever be easy for me?”- you’re going to see that.

You’re thinking that. You’re putting that out there.  It is inside of you. It is the way that your mindset is.  And that is what you’re going to see. It’s the return on investment of those thoughts, attitude and way of thinking all of the time.

I think it is really easy to victimize ourselves. But if we stop complaining and change our     mindset - that is doing something.  So when I say, “stop complaining; do something; take action” what I really mean is take action on your thinking and your mindset.  Change the way that you’re talking to yourself - internally or externally.  

Change the way that you’re speaking to other people about your circumstances and your lifestyle.  Take action where you can, physically, to change things.  Let go and pray when you can’t take action. Make sure that you’re taking action on your thinking and mindset because that’s what really, really, matters.

I feel like in any circumstance, in any problem, there is always something you can do.  The very least being - and I say the very least meaning that it doesn’t seem like that much effort - but it is actually the most effort and the most powerful thing we can do - and that is prayer and changing your mindset.

Telling yourself a different story about your circumstances.  I think having a general attitude of a “doer”.  Someone who takes action and seeks to solve problems. Someone coming from a  place of “the ready position.”

In baseball when my sons are playing, the coach always says, “Hey Hudson, get in the ready position.”  And it means being crouched over. Your knees are bent. Your glove is on.  Your hands are out and ready.  So if the ball is hit to you, you are in ready position to jump on it. To immediately act, take action, go and get that ball and make an awesome play. But if you are standing around in outfield picking the grass, your glove is not even on, or if  it’s on  but it’s just hanging there, and he gets a line-drive smacked his way - what’s gonna happen?

He wasn’t in the ready position. He is totally going to flounder. He is probably going to get hit in the face or something. At the very least he is going to be jarred because the ball went right by him and he missed it.  He will have to scramble to get his glove on, run to the ball and then the play is probably not going to be very great.  

So take prayerful action.  For me, praying without ceasing.  Thinking in an actionable way. Being mentally in a ready position in my life.  That’s been huge.  I basically take prayerful action in something all of the time. Weekly.  It is not something that I have to think to do.  Every once in a while I will get in a funk, get whiny.  Then I tell myself that I need to change the way I am thinking here- check myself before I wreck myself.  But typically, I don’t let things continue to be a problem. I am always in a prayerful, action-taking state of mind.  

Here’s a big example of this.  We just talked about this a couple of episodes ago.

For example, the problem of our lifestyle with Brian’s old job.  We felt so stuck. It felt like there was nothing that could be done. He applied for higher positions.  He took classes within the company to move up.  We followed all the rules and did the things they said to do in order to move up and get a better job. Better hours. More pay.  And nothing happened for years.  Instead of whining, being a victim, and continuing to wait and waste time, we prayerfully went another way.  

Even though it was really freaking scary and took a lot of risks, we took those risks. And we took action.  We were deeply rewarded with a new lifestyle that two years ago seemed impossible.  It didn’t seem that we were ever going to get out of that. We got married young. Started our family young. We have these four kids.  We live in another state. We can’t afford to do anything or go anywhere. We can’t afford to move. We can’t afford to take the risk  of starting a business. We can’t afford to take time off to seek another job and do interviews. We couldn’t even afford clothes for Brian to wear nice things to an interview.  We were really, really screwed.

We just had this prayerful, problem-solving mindset.  And it worked itself out.  Just like that Louise Hay quote, “I do not fix my problems; I fix my thinking and my problems fix themselves.”  For me, I have used that attitude and philosophy with faith. And coupled some really powerful prayer into that.

Here is a smaller, day-to-day example.  There was a time in my life that I had a problem. It’s a common problem and I use it as an example a lot. Everyone in my house -  just my house in general - felt very tense, cranky and just negative in the late afternoons.

Around 3:30 - 4:00 PM all the way till after dinner. It was just a really crappy time in our house.  Day after day, whether we were homeschooling or the kids went to school.  It didn’t matter what season we were in.  It was like this time of day was really crappy.

Everyone was in this bickering mindset.  Even Brian and I would snap at each other.  The kids were arguing and bickering constantly.  It was a really busy time of day.  It’s the end of the day. You gotta get ready for dinner. You’re cleaning up. If you’re homeschooling you’re wrapping up the day.  It is just a really important time of the day and it really sucked that it wasn’t  a positive time in our house. Again and again.  It felt like no matter what I did - it wasn’t changing.

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Hey friend!  It’s Allie!  Have you heard of the Supermom Vault yet?  The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you.  It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed  printables to keep you focused and inspired.  The Supermom Vault is only $39.00 and is available at alliecasazza.com/allcourses.  Check it out!  It is a really good, simple start.  Do you want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you wish there were more episodes?  Do you want more details?  Do you want pdf’s?  Do you want to download things and get your hands on something to get you started when it comes to minimalism, and simplifying your motherhood?  This is definitely the place to go.  Alliecasazza.com/allcourses.  Check it out!

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The idea of this episode’s title “How to be an Action-taking, Problem-solving Mom” is what I do for everything.  Take this example of cranky afternoons and see if this works for you.  I grabbed my phone, opened my notes app and literally just wrote out the circumstance.  What is the problem?  

Well, around 3:30 - 4:00 and all the way till after dinner, everyone  in my house is super cranky and bickering. I am breaking up fights. I am done. I am stretched really thin.  I am cranky and tired. I just want to have a glass of wine. I am not feeling good.  And everyone else seems to reflect that.  And even when I work on changing my attitude, when I have done my self-work to be in a good mood, still people around the house are just bickering, tired, and fighting.  

I would write it out. Identify the problem. Then I would start to brainstorm possible solutions.  

There was a problem section and a solution section.  Under the solution section I wrote things like:  maybe I could let everyone have some separate time away from each other for 30 minutes at the end of the day; maybe they just need a break from each other.  Maybe we don’t just jump right into homework. Maybe when they come home we could have candles lit, worship music playing, oil diffusing, alone time.  Maybe I do crockpot meals a few times a week so I am not having the burden of cooking dinner from scratch every single night.  

Maybe we have that 30 minutes of separate time. Instead of diving right into homework, we sit together and talk about our day for a bit and unwind. Maybe the kids get to have a little bit of technology time after school.  Just brainstorm out some possible solutions.  This isn’t a set-in-stone plan that I am going to do. It is just a brainstorm list.  

Some of the ideas might be totally ludicrous and stupid - that’s ok.  You’re taking action.  You’re being a problem solver.  Even if you aren’t writing down the solutions that end up happening, you are still taking action on the problem.  Writing it out, doing this braindump - is incredibly helpful.  It allows you to physically see the problems and get them out of your head and onto paper.

It is like a release saying it out loud and acknowledging the problem. Get it out of your head. Admitting that this is a problem. And then you are taking action, brainstorming possible solutions.  It is really really good.  It feels like a release. Just doing this act is helpful.  It always leads to a solution for me one way or another.  Even if it didn’t, just the very act of doing this is so helpful.  

So for this specific example of the cranky time of day in our house - it ended up working.  We fell into this rhythm where I put on worship  music, light candles, turn on the fireplace if it’s cold.  I set a timer and everyone goes to their separate quiet time.  The boys share a room so they go to separate areas of the house and just look at a book.  Bella will draw.  Leland will color. Hudson might do legos.  Emmett might watch Ninjago for a bit. When the 30 minute timer goes off, I call them down.  Everyone is a bit more decompressed.

Then we can slowly get into the end of the day routine - getting ready for baseball (if we have it), doing homework, cooking dinner.  And I take part of that 30 minute time too.  This is usually a time when Brian and I will sit and have couch time to connect and talk. Or if we aren’t feeling that, we will do separate things.  Brian might stay with the kids and I will go for a walk.  In some way, we are separate from each other.  I do crockpot meals a couple times a week.

This really solved the problem. All of those things contributed to helping. Now that time of the day isn’t such a sore subject anymore.  It doesn’t stand out as a negative time anymore.  It is not consistently a problem anymore because I solved the problem

As moms, we have a big job. We have a lot on our plates.  We have a lot of power. Don’t let the fact that your plate is really full take away from your ability to use your power as the mom.  

We are keepers of the home. We are the spine of our houses and our families. If we come at our life with an actionable mindset - seeking to fix problems, seeking to be in the ready position in our lives, taking action for the sake of our families - that’s really powerful.  

Being in that mindset instead of playing the victim.  Complaining that you guys never help me.  Everything sucks.  Why can’t you guys just remember to brush your teeth?  Coming at it from an action-taking, problem-solving mindset is so HUGE.

So be inspired.  Take this into your own hands.  Come up with solutions that work. Try out different things. Start brain dumping.

What are the problems?  You don’t have to sit and think about all the problems in your life.  Keep this episode in the back of your mind as you go throughout your days.  Look for things that seem to be chronic problems. Do you notice that a certain time of day seems to be a problem?  Do you notice that your marriage gets a little weird on date night days?  Like there is some kind of expectation built up and you and your husband start to argue the day before date night?

Look for clues for consistent problems.  Do some problem solving and brain dumping.  In a journal. In your phone.  Get it out on paper - physical or digital.  Just get it out of your head and onto paper and look at it.  Write it out.  Then start to brainstorm possible solutions. Even if you don’t come to something and start to take action physically on it, just getting it out on paper is good.  Something may come to you later.

I just want to encourage you guys.  You have so much power as a  mom. You can choose to change your thinking.  Fix your thinking. Change your mindset. Get into a place of positivity. Of being an action-taking, problem-solving mom and a lot of things are going to shift.  

I have put together something for you that I am calling The Problem-Solving Mom Brain Dump Guide.  It is a free download that will help you get into the habit of how to braindump your problems, identify them and have a solution section.  Print it out. Do it for the first couple of times.  I have a couple of examples from my own life to help you see the kind of stuff you should be looking for.  

Download The Problem-Solving Mom Guide to get started.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to Uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on the show head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes, and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you.  See you next time!

Episode 007: Creating Your Family Mission Statement

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Creating a family mission statement is a really great way to lay the foundation for what your purpose is as a family. It outlines the things you stand for and things you don’t.

A family mission statement is exactly what it sounds like, an intentional statement that you make together with your family. It encapsulates your priorities and your goals as a family.

When parenting gets tricky, and your kids start getting older, it’s a really great way to have something to go back to and compare things with. Your family is going to be raised, and your kids are going to grow and become adults, setting a solid foundation with a family mission statement, can help keep you all focused on your family goals.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie discusses:

  • "Where there is no vision, the people perish.” - Proverbs, 29:18

  • Allie shares her family mission statement that she and Brian created together.

  • How to begin the process of creating a family mission statement.

  • Why placing the mission statement where all can see it, is so important.

Mentioned in this Episode:

  • "Everyone ends up somewhere, few arrive somewhere on purpose." - Lara Casey


Words matter. 

Know someone who could use a little encouragement? Grab a print from my shop.

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Thanks so much for joining me! I’m so excited to experience the show’s progression with you!

If you’ve loved this episode, help me reach more mothers who want to leave a legacy of intention and joy by heading over to iTunes (or wherever you listen) and leaving a rating and review. And, be sure to subscribe while you’re there.

Reviews are everything for podcasters, so I truly appreciate it!

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at allie@thepurposefulhousewife.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram

 

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