June 21, 2022

How To Get Your Kids To Listen To You Without The Yelling, Ultimatums, And Bribes With Rebecca Rolland

How To Get Your Kids To Listen To You Without The Yelling, Ultimatums, And Bribes With Rebecca Rolland

Our guest is Rebecca Rolland, author of The Art of Talking with Children.

You want to be able to communicate better with your children, but you feel like you're struggling to connect. Rebecca Rolland has been there and we're excited to share her solutions with you in this episode.

We are parents, so we know how difficult it can be to get kids to help out around the house, clean their room, or just listen to anything you have to say. Over time, this can start to wear on your relationship with them. But our guest today says fixing most of those problems might be simple. Rebecca Rolland is a Harvard faculty member, oral language specialist, and author of The Art of Talking with Children. Today we'll talk with her about the evidence-based tools and techniques you can use to communicate more effectively with your kids.

In this episode, you will learn the following:

  1. How to have more meaningful and engaging conversations with your kids.
  2. The importance of conversation in building skills in children.
  3. The power of being vulnerable and modeling that for children.
  4. The importance of taking the time to have meaningful conversations with children.

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[00:00:00] Zach: If you've got kids, you know how difficult it can be to get them to help out around the house, clean their room, or just listen to anything. You have to say

[00:00:08] Jeremy: over time that can start to wear on your relationship. But our guest today says fixing most of those problems might be as simple as ABC 

[00:00:17] Zach: up today on the fit mass.

[00:00:19] Guest:  I think we're often kind of with the best of intentions, we just sort of on autopilot with our kids, you know? And so we started to say, , the standard questions of, , when did you do day or how was your day, or, , how was the test or something like that. but really thinking about the fact that we can do so much more in ways that are pretty simple and fun actually, and sort of can add into a store everyday. 

[00:00:38] Jeremy: Rebecca Roland. She's a Harvard faculty member, oral language specialist, and author of the art of talking with. Today, we'll talk with her about the evidence-based tools and techniques you can use to communicate more effectively with your kids. 

[00:00:51] Zach: The first.

[00:00:53] Jeremy: And I'm Jeremy, we've got a bunch of coaching certificates to hang on our wall, but really we're two guys who got sick of our own shit and made simple changes to have healthier, happier, and more meaningful lives. And each week we talked to world-class experts for advice to help you do the same. Zach, this one has been a real battle for me. Uh, you know, I've got two daughters, one's 11, one's almost seven, getting them to listen to anything. I have to say as a constant struggle, usually because they're on the tablet are buried deep in a book or something, making them understand as they get older, that we need more of their help around the house.

[00:01:24] Seems impossible. I can't promise we're going to solve any of those puzzles today, but we'll at least pick up a few of the pieces that might help. Am I alone? Here is everything perfect in your world. Your, your daughter listens to every word you say and does everything you tell her to do exactly when you tell her to do it. 

[00:01:39] Zach: Well, we were having that problem. I mean, I, I was having that problem for sure. , but then I decided to just to start withholding food and then all of a sudden she got really, really good about doing the things she needed to 

[00:01:50] Jeremy: well end of episode, I hope that was a helpful. 

[00:01:53] Zach: just kidding. I don't withhold food. that would be mean that's something my mother would do, but that's not something I would do.

[00:02:00] Jeremy: Way to break the cycle. Good job. 

[00:02:03] Zach: Nope. Yeah, no, I have the same problem. It is a, I mean, to be fair, like when she is in a book and she's not listening, I have a lot more patience for that. Then when she's on the tablet and not listening. And , my patients is even lowest when she's looking me right in the eye. With our ears wide open and I asked her to do something and I get a, and then she still doesn't listen.

[00:02:26] Jeremy: You know the thing I want. I, a lot of parents, you know, they have to use the swear jar for a, you know, you put a quarter in every time you drop an F bomb or whatever I want. I want a one sec jar. I want to, I'm almost done jar. I want to in a minute jar that's those are the three things my kids say all the time, whatever it is.

[00:02:42] Hey, can you guys come down and eat, eat this delicious meal. I spent the last hour preparing, preparing for you. Yeah,

[00:02:47] In a sec, I'm almost done, you know, 45 minutes later, it goes like, come on guys. 

[00:02:52] Zach: I would like to add the, I know dad.

[00:02:55] Jeremy: yeah, that's another one. 

[00:02:56] Zach: And then when they finally come down and you're like, all right, we're late. We are,

[00:03:01] Jeremy: right. For what, what are, we doing?

[00:03:03] Zach: were late.

[00:03:05] Jeremy: And one of the most difficult parts about all of this is that. you know. when, when you do finally tap into some Jedi mind trick, that works, it works for like a day, day and a half. If, if it's a good week. And then all of a sudden whatever magic formula was, working. No longer works and TV had to go back to the lab and try and come up with something else that, that will work.

[00:03:24] One thing We were doing is we had, , their chores, like the things they needed to do throughout the day, we had it set up on Alexa. And so every, , 30 minutes or whatever, when it was time to do something else, the robot would tell them what to do. And they loved it. They would, they would do whatever the robot said.

[00:03:37] But then, you know, about a week later it was like, oh, what? I didn't even hear it. I wasn't paying. 

[00:03:42] Zach: so I guess that, that just really tells us that the more we talk, the more anything talks, the less.

[00:03:49] Jeremy: Right. So the key is say nothing. Maybe that's the 

[00:03:52] Zach: Or you change your robot all the time. 

[00:03:54] Introduce a new voice, 

[00:03:56] Jeremy: Oh yeah. That's a good idea. 

[00:03:58] Zach: Well, I can honestly say that, like, if we were coaching people on, raising their children, we wouldn't be great at 

[00:04:03] Jeremy: No, no, not our. 

[00:04:05] Zach: But, but we are good at a certain type of coaching. Before we get into the interview, we want to let you know about our new coaching program. We're calling it the fit mess method.

[00:04:16] It's for people who hear the kinds of conversations we have on the show and wish they had a way to get more help. We've been there. We wanted to make big changes in the way we lived our lives. We had each other and created a system of small steps we took to get where we are now. That's what this coaching is designed to help you do too. We're opening this up to a small group of people who want to collaborate and help each other grow. We'd love to meet with you and find out how we can help you pursue the goals that have been just out of reach for too long. You can find the link to learn more about that at our website, the fitness.com.

[00:04:47] Jeremy: All right. Well, I promise our guests has way better solutions than we've offered so far. Her name is Rebecca Roland. She's a Harvard faculty member, an oral language specialist, and she has a new book. It's called the art of talking with children and I started by asking her about why conversations with kids is something that's so important.

[00:05:02] Guest: So I'm the mother of two children who are now five and 10, as well as a speech pathologist and lecturer on education. , so I really wrote this book as a combined memoir and a guide book. Thinking about the fact that I knew so much about conversation with kids and their power to build so many of their skills, but then in my own life, you know, I didn't actually use a lot of that information.

[00:05:23] So I realized I was kind of on autopilot as many parents are. And I realized there was kind of a gap here, that really thinking about how much we know how much we can change with our conversations, uh, was something I really wanted to consider. 

[00:05:36] Jeremy: And so conversation is something that. I think a lot of us overlook. I think that we think the daily check-in after school and, and the kind of chit chat here and there is, is connecting with our kids and doing our part. But there's, there's a deeper conversation that we are often missing out on because of the hustle and bustle of our lives.

[00:05:52] Guest: Exactly. Yeah. So I think we're often kind of with the best of intentions, we just sort of on autopilot with our kids, you know? And so we started to say, , the standard questions of, , when did you do day or how was your day, or, , how was the test or something like that. but really thinking about the fact that we can do so much more in ways that are pretty simple and fun actually, and sort of can add into a store everyday. 

[00:06:12] Jeremy: So I want to start with talking about rich talk. This is a key part of the book. Let's talk about the ABCs of rich talk, what it is and, and why this is something we should be incorporating into our parenting.

[00:06:22] Guest: Definitely. Yeah. So I think about the ABCs of rich talk has really being a mnemonic that can help you do this, , on a daily basis, , a being adaptive, just meaning. You're always going with the flow of what your child needs at the moment and even over the longterm. So say your child is in a certain kind of mood and maybe isn't in the mood for a really long discussion, but once kind of a quick back and forth, , you're noticing that and responding to it.

[00:06:44] , B as a back and forth. So we often talk about talk, but we don't always talk as much about listening. And so thinking about how. Kids listen to us, but also how to help us listen to our children as they tell their stories, or as they explain what they're thinking and really taking the time for that, , and see being child driven.

[00:07:01] So we think about actually starting with what interests your child or worries your child, or it's kind of on your child's mind at any one time. And that's actually much more motivating to kids. It can lead to much more interesting discussion. Then if we come in kind of with our own. 

[00:07:16] Jeremy: Okay. I want to dive a little deeper on a couple of those. And one is the child driven conversation. This is something that I struggle with, particularly with my older daughter, she's 11. And there are times when the story she's telling me or the things she's talking about that she's interested. Is a completely other language to me.

[00:07:32] And so then I feel dumb and I feel bad because I'm asking a lot of questions, but I am interested in, I'm trying to get to the heart of what is it that she's really sharing with me. Cause it's, it's not about building the thing in Minecraft that she's so excited about, but there's something that she's trying to connect with me there.

[00:07:47] How do I, how do I navigate that kind of a conversation when I I'd just be like, I have no idea what you're talking about.

[00:07:53] Guest: Yes. Yes. I definitely have been there and I am there on a daily basis. I have a ten-year-old and she loves Robox. Um, and just to adopt me and, you know, we talk about her various pets, you know, and I'm like, she wants to tell me all of the things she's exchanging and, , and I think one thing is to really.

[00:08:08] The open. I think that kids like to hear, , even that sometimes we don't know, we totally have no idea what you're talking about, so you can even say it to them. So you're like, I'm really curious about this, but I actually have never heard of that kind of animal. Like, what is that like, where do you think it comes from?

[00:08:23] You know, and actually had a really funny talk with my daughter. She was watching a documentary for some reason about, , Egyptian mythology and it was coming kind of animal. Did. They actually had an adopt me and she got really excited because. That's the same animal. It isn't a dummy. Do you think it's like, they got it from that, you know?

[00:08:40] And I was like, Oh probably I, you know, think so. Uh, but that's actually just so fun. I think, to be able to say, you don't know everything, just say like, let me, let's explore this together. , and to realize that, , kids can learn more, but you can learn more too. And that's an okay thing. And I think modeling that is so important. 

[00:08:57] Jeremy: There's a lot of power, I think, in that vulnerability as, especially when we mess up as parents, I think. And so how, how important do you think it is when we do mess up or. Somehow regret and interaction to apologize and to share that like, Hey, we're, we're not perfect parents. We're not perfect. People.

[00:09:14] Guest: Yeah.

[00:09:15] I mean, I th I think that's really so key and I I've talked to so many parents and I've been there myself where you feel like, oh, I had to apologize. That means something went wrong. Right? Like I did this wrong, or I said this wrong. I regret that. And really, I think about the fact that you're apologizing means that something is going right, actually in your relationship, meaning that you're modeling for your child.

[00:09:35] That, Yeah. I didn't say everything I wanted to say. Right. I got upset in a way. Didn't really like about myself or something like that, but I'm able to repair it and I'm able to be open about that. And there isn't this sense of a power dynamic where I'm always right. And you're the one that, , is having a problem.

[00:09:52] , but we can turn it both ways. And that doesn't mean, you know, like to be apologizing nonstop, but to recognize that there are these moments that you can tell your child, well, I wish that had gone differently and even offers a chance to. Well, can we try that again? Can I try it? Can I try it differently?

[00:10:08] I didn't, I didn't really, it didn't come out the way I wanted to. And that offers your child, just think about that, , your child in the classroom or with friends, , being able to say that, like, oh, I, I didn't actually say that. Right. Can I, can we do that again? , I think could be so helpful For many.

[00:10:22] Jeremy: For sure. , getting into the, the back and forth, you mentioned in the book, the thirst for the chance to process thoughts and emotions through back and forth dialogue, perhaps with us as their parents, but. Uh, perhaps with others, their friends and others. But one thing that I think is funny is, you know, I watch my kids interact with their friends, particularly on messenger because we've all been, you know, having to remote connect with everybody.

[00:10:46] My kids, maybe this is a generational thing. I don't know. But their interaction in those platforms is a lot of sharing pictures, sharing wacky things. There's almost no dialogue, but they will be on the screen with that person for like a half an hour. 

[00:10:59] As a parent am, am I missing an opportunity to teach them to connect in a deeper way?

[00:11:03] Or is that just sort of how they communicate? And I should step aside and let that be.

[00:11:08] Guest: Yeah. I mean, I think there's something that I keep in mind is really considering just technology as either a tool of connection and interaction or a tool of distraction. And kind of recognizing that the same thing, the same device can be.

[00:11:21] either one at any time, ? So if your childhood, I have a similar, my child is on this group chat, you know, at school where they are constantly sharing me teams and things.

[00:11:31] And, you know, I wouldn't want her doing that all the time. I mean, I don't think that's a substitute for being in person and having that time. But I do think that, , we don't need to say. Visual information is information also, you know, and so I don't think we need to say, well, please do it in words, or please don't text with your text language, you know, use full sentences.

[00:11:49] Yeah. I think that's really artificial and it kind of negates the point that there's this culture of doing that now. , and for your child to be able to engage in that culture is just another way of interacting. So yeah, I actually don't think that that is a problem. 

[00:12:03] Jeremy: cause I am, I, I always, , we'll see them and we'll, we're kinda like feeding them, like ask, how was your day? Do you 

[00:12:09] have plans this weekend? 

[00:12:10] Guest: Yeah. I mean, I think it's, it's so tempting to put sort of what is our, our way of communicating onto our kids and Like.

[00:12:15] that's how it should be. , but yeah, actually that is their way of communicating at least after school or whatever. And I think that can be really fun for them as well. So Yeah,

[00:12:25] Jeremy: that's so interesting. So a lot of the conversations that we miss out on these, these rich talk opportunities, , come from the pressure that we all have just, there's never enough time. And I know I feel that, and , even now, like kind of working from home, We're not commuting as much. Maybe like there's still kind of always this pressure.

[00:12:42] And I feel like so many of the problems, whether it's communication or whatever, always comes down to not taking the time. So how do we cultivate that? How do we put that into our heads to really just take a step back and clear enough time for a meaningful conversation?

[00:12:56] Guest: Yeah. So I think one thing you talk about is so key, it's just recognizing that first we are under a lot of pressure and we have a lot of demands and that's sometimes it's just not going to be possible to sit and have this kind of meaningful conversation?

[00:13:09] and you don't need to feel bad about it. So I think sometimes say like working parents and, , you're trying to get something done.

[00:13:15] And your child is asking you to do something. For example, you know, that's probably not the time to say, okay, I have to drop everything and be here with my child. It's okay. Just say, well, I need to finish this. I'm going to finish my work. You can do your thing, and then we're going to take the time and come back and have this time.

[00:13:31] So I think to just be intentional and to really set boundaries and to make sure you do make that time, , at least for some part of the day and not feel bad if you can't make the time all of the time, because no one can do that. We all have our responsibilities. And I think having that guilt about not being there all the time, it's just adding to this. 

[00:13:51] Jeremy: Well, then sometimes it's not even the job sometimes I know in our case, again, I'm not trying to make this a personal therapy session, but here. , we have two kids, you know, and one definitely cause at times sort of dominates and needs more. She's younger, so she needs more attention, more hands-on and the other one I feel like gets neglected.

[00:14:07] So for other parents like me, how do you walk that line between not neglecting one, but still giving me other the attention that they need and how do you navigate that?

[00:14:18] Guest: Yes. I mean, I definitely relate, so I have a five-year-old and a ten-year-old. Um, and so a 10 year old girl who's, you know, pretty independent and a five year old boy does definitely need some more, more hands-on redirection support, et cetera. Um, and so I think one thing to keep in mind is just to, if you have multiple people in the family of their multiple caregivers to see if you can.

[00:14:40] I spend some one-on-one time with each of them. So recognizing that it might not be equal so equal doesn't mean, , exactly the same amount of time, but just at least to feel as if each one has been heard, each one gets their needs met in whichever way that happens. , and actually using sometimes you can sort of use one child to help the other child.

[00:14:59] So using the two of them to work together, to help them teach each other, something to even have the younger ones. Tell the older one and try to make the older run laugh or something like that, you know? So having ways that you can engage the two of them and actually help them feel proud of themselves or help them laugh with each other, I think can be one way as well. 

[00:15:18] Jeremy: Speaking of needs being met there. Th the number of times that they walk through the door and the coats and the shoes and everything are just left, scattered across the floor. And then the 

[00:15:27] snack is left on the table, then comes the inevitable nagging of kids, clean up, pick up the things. 

[00:15:34] Guest: exactly. 

[00:15:34] Jeremy: parent in the world wants to know the answer to this million dollar question.

[00:15:37] How do you get them to listen and participate in the functioning of a, of a household and the things that need to be done?

[00:15:44] Guest: Yeah.

[00:15:44] So I think there's a couple of things. , one is just that really thinking about, , Especially young kids actually do want to help sometimes. So it's not with the clothes, , they do actually want to figure out how can I contribute, , in some way, because they feel proud of themselves. So before it's kind of set in, as, chores are bad and chores, you know, have to be paid for and things, you know, to actually give kids the agency to say, well, let's choose what around the house you want to be in charge.

[00:16:09] , do you want to be in charge of getting the keys? All the laundry is folded and you get to yell at me if the laundry is not folded or something like that, but you're in charge of it. So you bet you better make that happen. , that kind of thing, obviously in a playful way, not, not actually yelling at, um, but, .

[00:16:23] , in terms of the thing you mentioned specifically, which I think is a constant challenge of just coming in the door, things are undone or toys are left, you know, , I really like to think about kind of this phrase of wins. So, , , what, what do they want next to happen? Do they want TV?

[00:16:37] Do they want a snack? Do they want whatever it is? And just to say, well, we can definitely do that as soon as, or when this other thing happens. So, and not in a way, sometimes we come. To that situation feeling very triggered. , so they're actually just tired. They're worn out. After the long day, they don't really care.

[00:16:55] They throw it on the floor. But to us, we often take that personally, you know, and we add a lot of emotion to that and feel as if like they're doing it to me, they're making my house messy. They're like ruining a floor, , which isn't really what they intended to do. They just were careless. , and so I think if we can sometimes separate our own emotion from that and stuff, Feeling like we're going to battle, but just simply say, well, the rule is no TV until this happens.

[00:17:20] So it's easy, , and you can even just leave for a second and say, oh, you know, I'll leave for one second, go to the other room. And you know, when I come back, I hope the clothes would be put up and we'll do TV. If they're not put up, we won't do TV. You know, that kind of thing. Um, so I think it doesn't always work, but that's one thing.

[00:17:35] Jeremy: I was going to say, then the screaming and the crying happens and then 

[00:17:37] things get 

[00:17:38] Guest: you've done it yet.

[00:17:39] Jeremy: like,

[00:17:40] Guest: I do think if you do it without a lot of emotion, if it's just almost like the robot laid down that rule, , or just, there's just, this is the role that comes from the sky. You know, a lot of times kids do respond to that. , even if you have it on a sign, sometimes I, you know, even write a little, , visuals on a whiteboard of just like,

[00:17:56] first socks, then shoes, then TV, you know, that kind of thing.

[00:17:59] Um, 

[00:18:00] Jeremy: Yeah, it's funny. You mentioned the robot because, we have Alexa and we have, the timer is set up. So like every 30 minutes time for this. And it's funny cause it, cause it'll work for a day or two and then all of a sudden, oh, I didn't hear it. Or, oh, I was distracted. So it is it's uh, I think in, uh, an ongoing challenge as a parent to find ways to reinvent those processes.

[00:18:19] Guest: exactly. 

[00:18:19] Jeremy: Throughout the week. Kids go through a lot of different stages of development. You talk about, uh, early in the book, uh, unlocks the power of quality conversations in the seven key areas of child development. Can you talk a little bit about those seven key areas?

[00:18:30] Guest: Yeah. So I really chose these seven areas?

[00:18:33] because I think. They're able to be acted upon. So you could actually work on them through language and conversation, and they're really meaningful for children's thriving. So there are things like children's creativity, , through play empathy, their confidence, their social skills, , their learning And even their temperament.

[00:18:50] So these are things that we can actually work on, , smoothing or work on enhancing through conversation. And there are things that if you could help master these or help kids with them, really, you could set your child on a path to thriving. 

[00:19:02] Jeremy: Again, not to make this about me in my situation, but, , my, one of my kids definitely has a struggle with, with making decisions. And I know I, I see it in myself , when there are too many options, the parallelization of that definitely takes over.

[00:19:16] What advice would you have for parents that are trying to help kids navigate even, even the, the. Most inconsequential decisions are just so overwhelming for a lot of kids. How can we walk them through that process and get them to a place where they feel comfortable with their decisions?

[00:19:30] Guest: One thing is to really start with, , their values and your values. So rather than just saying, well, here's all of these options. If it's something that, , It's important to them. So it's sort of a big decision you can think about, well, what are our values? What do you care most about?

[00:19:45] So if it's something like why I really want to be, , successful early on and say, well, it's like, well, let's choose a sport then that you are really good at mastering, you know, versus is it something where you really want a big challenge? Okay, well, let's try something that you've never. You know, then that might be a reason.

[00:20:00] So kind of coming back to the why, , why do you think that would be better? Why do you think that would be worse? , is one thing, , the other is just to help kids kind of pair away some of the options. So it can feel as though just having so many. Cause obviously can feel overwhelming. So sometimes if we can kind of think about, well, maybe two choices or three choices, you know, depending on the age of a child can be much better and easier to work with then say, well, here's all these different options.

[00:20:27] Kind of like if you're in the grocery store and you have, you know, 15 kinds of cereal, it's hard to pick any one cereal. 

[00:20:33] Jeremy: for sure. , you mentioned , the activities that they get involved with. I know a lot of parents, , feel a need to push them into sports because that's what they did and it built their character and whatever. And then there's other parents that push them into art or whatever. What advice do you have for parents that are trying to figure out how to navigate what's best for what their kid needs and , what they think they're going to need down the line based on their.

[00:20:53] Guest: Definitely I think sports and arts and all these activities can bring so many positives things to kids, obviously. So it can bring teamwork, bring the, , physical abilities and so on. But at the same time, we want to think about not overdoing it and not, , really pushing the pressure.

[00:21:08] So there's a lot of. I forgot. They're actually suggesting that kids are starting to specialize in sports really early. So doing a lot of these, like traveling teams and all of this really, really early, and sometimes they can even get burnt out and even sometimes physically injured, just because they're really, really pushing themselves in ways that sometimes their.

[00:21:26] bodies and their emotions aren't meant to handle yet. ,

[00:21:29] so maybe even taking a step back, figuring out just kind of how you can check in with your child. So for some kids that might work really. So some kids are just really competitive at that age and they really thrive in that environment. But other kids, you know, that's going to be too much. So actually figuring out for your own particular child, it might be different for the different kids in your family, , what is the right balance?

[00:21:52] And that really does come from checking in with your child, just sort of regularly, you know, how are you feeling about things , are you really exhausted or are you just kind of a little tired from today? You know, that kind of thing. And to really recognize that it might even be different based on this season versus last, you know, based on this academic year versus last, you know, the things can really change and evolve. 

[00:22:12] Jeremy: On this reminds me of, of in the book. All of the things that we do, but all of those things sort of getting in the way of, of where we started with those, those opportunities for rich conversation. So are many parents overdoing it, perhaps with all the activities and things. And, and is it a good idea to scale back?

[00:22:29] Guest: Yeah. I mean, I do think there's a tendency, you know, to focus. It's so easy. I would say in the book too, that like we focus on things often where we can measure that, you know, to say, oh, we got, you know, my child did this and this practice, or they got this metal or they, you know, achieved this and that's great to a certain extent.

[00:22:45] Um, but at the same time, it's really easy to overdo and to focus on. Not necessarily kind of being with your child or having your child have downtime, but it's more thinking about, well, how much can they achieve and how little time. , and actually what's really interesting is more and more of the brain science is showing that kids and actually adults really need downtime and reflection time in order to learn in order .

[00:23:07] To rejuvenate for, even for their bodies to rest. , and so I think we can, , push too much of the, , sports academics just over a structured and not think so much about the benefits of scaling. 

[00:23:20] Jeremy: So a lot of the people that we talked to in the show, we, imagine that they are in a position where something, whatever whatever's going on in their life, isn't working. So in this case, connecting with their kids, they want a deeper connection. They want to be close to. , there's a lot of strategies you outlined in the book, but for somebody listening right now, what's just a couple of things they could do today to sort of correct course and get that closer connection with their kids.

[00:23:42] Guest: Yeah. So I think, , to really just stop and reflect first, I would say, think about the times that are working the best for you already. So if you're struggling say well, okay, well what times was I not struggling? What times do I feel like my kid is opening up to me? Or what times are they feeling connected to me And really thinking about, well, why is, that?

[00:24:00] And how can you do more of that kind of thing? So maybe it's just when your child isn't really tired and you're kind of not stressed out and you have alone time in the car or whatever it is, , to think about, well, how can you use those same skills and strategies and do a bit more of what you're already doing?

[00:24:13] Well, um, since I think every family has kind of certain things that are going really well for them. , and another thing is just to notice the balance of talk and silence. So how much are you talking? How much is your kid talking and is there kind of a good back and forth and a good balance? You might find that you're a parent.

[00:24:30] Tends to overtalk and kind of just talk over your child or vice versa. You might find that you actually do the opposite and you tend to be really quiet even when your kids asking questions. So just noticing that I think of the first good steps.

[00:24:43] Jeremy: And is, uh, is it ever too late? Eh, are 

[00:24:46] the kids 

[00:24:47] Guest: I definitely say no, it's never too late. So I think that, you know, even into adulthood, you can get started with this?

[00:24:52] and you might find that surprisingly kids are really responsive. 

[00:24:55] Jeremy: That's great. . Thank you so much for the opportunity. Where can we learn more about you and the work that you do?

[00:25:01] Guest: Great. Yeah. So you can go to my website. It's www.rebeccarowland.com. So there's just two CS and two ELLs. And you can also find me I'm on Facebook, just Rebecca Roland. Um, Twitter is, um, Roland underscore RG or Instagram is Rebecca dot G dot Roland. 


[00:25:17] Zach: Our thanks to Rebecca Rolan, you can find the links to her book and all of her work in the show notes for this episode of the fitness stock.

[00:25:24] And going back to the very beginning of the show where we referenced the ABCs, right. A adapt to what your kid needs in the moment be back and forth. Listening is important. , and C it should be child driven. Talk about what they want to talk about as much as possible. And don't bring your agenda in every conversation.

[00:25:42] I know Jeremy, when I start talking to. My own problems that I'm having at work and my own personal problems. , my ten-year-old doesn't give a fuck.

[00:25:52] Jeremy: That's shocking. I can't believe that she doesn't give a rat's ass about your day at work. 

[00:25:56] Zach: the emotional intelligence on her is just non-existence from my perspective.

[00:26:02] Jeremy: Uh, I also like in the, and this is one that I've gotten really good at is don't be afraid to apologize when you fuck up because it just models, good behavior for them that they can take into their other social interactions. I fuck up multiple times a day. And it just, it's just so much easier and healthier to just go look, I'm just doing my best here.

[00:26:19] I'm I'm sorry. I should have said it this way. This is what I hope you got out of that interaction. Just a way healthier thing than just pretending, like you've just got it together. All right. 

[00:26:29] Zach: And also remember too, that when you do apologize, You're not going to have that, that magic moment of like, oh my God, like, you know how to apologize from your kid. They're still going to be pissed at you

[00:26:39] Jeremy: Yeah. Yeah. You don't get the full house happy ending moment. Every time you have those, have those moments. 

[00:26:44] Zach: No, but you, this is, this is like putting money in a piggy bank, right? Like 10 years later, when your kid knows how to do that, it's going to be really powerful.

[00:26:53] Jeremy: by the way, a full house for all of you listening. That's a TV show that was on a thousand years ago. So just showing me, showing my age there for a minute. 

[00:27:00] Zach: Oh, come on. Now. There's fuller house 

[00:27:01] Jeremy: Oh, that's true. There's fuller 

[00:27:02] Zach: new and all the kids are watching 

[00:27:04] Jeremy: That's true. , and finally, uh, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves as parents. We think we have to get it right all the time.

[00:27:11] There's just a tremendous amount of pressure on us with all of the things that we're doing. So it's important to take it easy on yourself not carry around the guilt for all the things you wish you did better because that is just toxic. And that is teaching again. You're modeling the behavior of feel guilty for everything that you do wrong. So just, this is a tough gig. Not everyone does it. So take it easy on yourself. 

[00:27:33] Zach: And remember, like they are. are highly resilient. So your little mistakes are not going to screw them up for life. They will get past it so long as you take point to and go back and apologize when you do screw up. 

[00:27:49] Jeremy: Exactly. All right, well, that's gonna do it for this show, but don't let the conversation end there. Join us in our Facebook group or you and fellow fitness listeners can connect for monthly challenges and accountability to reach your goals. Everyone there is just super supportive and we'd love to see you.

[00:28:02] That link is also on our website, the fit mass.com, where we will be back next week with a brand new episode. Thanks for listening.




REBECCA GIVENS ROLLAND is the author of: THE ART OF TALKING WITH CHILDREN: The Simple Keys to Nurturing Kindness, Creativity & Confidence in Kids. She is an oral and written language specialist in the Neurology Department of Children’s Hospital Boston and a lecturer at Harvard University. As a nationally certified speech-language pathologist, she has worked clinically with populations ranging from early childhood through high school and provided teacher professional development. As faculty and Module Director at Harvard Medical School, she lectures on topics of communication, mental focus, and creativity. She frequently consults with organizations working to design powerful learning experiences for kids and adults, including the World Bank. She has an Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, an M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from the MGH Institute of Health Professions, an M.A. in English from Boston University, and a B.A. in English from Yale. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and two children.