617: How to Become the Conscious Parent You Never Had With Bryana of Conscious Mommy

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How to Become the Conscious Parent You Never Had With Bryana of Conscious Mommy
Wellness Mama » Episode » 617: How to Become the Conscious Parent You Never Had With Bryana of Conscious Mommy
The Wellness Mama Podcast
The Wellness Mama Podcast
617: How to Become the Conscious Parent You Never Had With Bryana of Conscious Mommy
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This episode is one I’ve been looking forward to for a while! I’m here with Bryana of Conscious Mommy, a licensed marriage and family therapist, an infant family early childhood mental health specialist, a perinatal mental health specialist, and a certified conscious parenting coach. She also teaches parents to become the conscious parent they never had over at Conscious Mommy.

And today’s focus is all about conscious parenting and what that really means. Bryana shares so many practical parenting tips today from managing tantrums, to having a smooth bedtime, to how to get your kids to listen – without yelling.

I’ve followed Bryana’s work for a while and her approach to parenting has really resonated with me. A lot of you may be familiar with the gentle parenting movement, but this is different. Bryana defines it as self-aware parenting, and the idea is to take a deep look at ourselves. We discuss how this is different than permissive parenting (letting the child do whatever they want) and how it can help us have an even deeper relationship with our kids. As a mom of teenagers, being able to communicate and connect with my kids when they were younger has really helped set the stage for a strong relationship now.

We also talk about boundaries, what they really are, how to set them, and when they’re appropriate. There are lots of really good tips to unpack in today’s episode and I hope you’ll join me and listen in as I talk with Bryana of Conscious Mommy!

Episode Highlights With Bryana

  • What makes conscious parenting different from other approaches
  • How focusing on ourselves and our own emotional reactions and behaviors as parents is a more effective long term approach and is relationship first
  • Focusing on “how am I managing myself” as a marker of effective parenting
  • The magic of taking a pause during heated emotional encounters with our kids
  • How to understand what is getting in the way of being able to model these behaviors for our kids
  • What to do when “my kids will only listen to me if I am screaming”
  • Love withdrawal – what it is and why it is so painful to children, and how to break the pattern
  • The importance of saying sorry to our kids when we mess up without needing to defend our behavior
  • What a real apology and repair look like
  • Why conscious parenting isn’t just permissive parenting or falsely happy parenting
  • No parent has the intention to hurt their child but the impact is outside our control and how to understand this dynamic
  • How our relationship with our kids sets the stage for how they will exist in relationships for the rest of their lives
  • What boundaries are and how to effectively communicate them
  • Why if boundaries don’t come from a place of kindness, they are actually about control
  • Phrases like “I can’t let you” and “show me another way” for boundaries with young children
  • Why children need to understand the alternative when we put limits on their behavior
  • When we withdraw love, children will default to loving and trusting their parent even at the expense of self-love and self-trust
  • Trust is the first psychosocial milestone in a baby or toddler
  • Parenting is the opportunity to re-parent and become the parent you never had
  • “I am not raising you to be the person I want or expect you to be… I am raising you to be who you are”
  • What it means to be a cycle breaker in our parenting
  • Specific tips for bedtime struggles and reframing what this experience is like for kids
  • Strategies for tantrums that actually work – and how to focus on actually being with the child so they learn this internal skill
  • Approaching parenting struggles with curiosity instead of being critical

Resources We Mention

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Katie: Hello, and welcome to the Wellness Mama Podcast. I’m Katie, from wellnessmama.com. And this episode is one I’ve been looking forward to for a while. It’s all about how to become the conscious parent you’ve never had, with Bryana of Conscious Mommy. And I have followed her work, and really loved it, and appreciated it for a while. She’s a licensed marriage and family therapist, and infant family early childhood mental health specialist, a perinatal mental health specialist, and a certified conscious parenting coach. She is the owner and voice behind Conscious Mommy, where she teaches parents to become the conscious parent they never had. And she’s also a mom of two herself.
And in this episode, we get to go into some really important, and I think, extremely helpful parenting topics. We talk about what makes conscious parenting different from other approaches. How focusing on ourselves and our own emotional reactions and behaviors as parents is a more effective long-term approach, and is relationship and trust first. And so this pays long-term dividends. Focusing on how am I managing myself as a marker of effective parenting, instead of looking at how are my children behaving as a marker of our parenting. The magic of taking a pause during heated emotional encounters with our kids. How to understand what is getting in the way of being able to model these behaviors for our kids. What to do when kids will only listen if we’re screaming. We talk about love withdraw, what it is and why it’s so painful to children, and how we can break the pattern. We talk about the importance of saying sorry to our kids when we mess up without the need to defend our behavior. We talk about what a real apology and repair is when we have interactions that are less than ideal with our kids.
We talk about why conscious parenting isn’t just permissive parenting or falsely happy parenting, but what sets it apart. And she explains how no parent has the intention to hurt their child, but the impact is outside of our control. So how to be aware of that and to listen with curiosity to our kids about their experience in the relationship. We talk about boundaries, and how to effectively communicate them, and what they look like between parent and child. And how if boundaries don’t come from a place of kindness, they are actually just about control. We talk about trust being the first psychosocial milestone of a baby or toddler, and how to build this at different ages in our kids. How parenting is the opportunity to reparent ourselves and become the parents we never had. And she uses amazing quotes like, “I’m not raising you to be the person I want or expect you to be. I’m raising you to be who you are.” We talk about what it means to be a cycle breaker in parenting. And then we get to go through some specific tips for things like bedtime struggles, tantrums, chores, and so much more. I hope to do many future episodes with her because this one was phenomenal. And I cannot wait for you to meet Bryana. Bryana, welcome. Thank you so much for being here today.
Bryana: Thank you for having me, Katie. I’m so glad to be here with you.
Katie: As I mentioned before we started recording, I found you on social media and immediately loved your message, and the way you talk to moms. And I knew I could not wait to have a conversation with you. And we’re gonna get to talk about some really important parenting related topics today. But before we jump in, I have a note from your bio that you’ve been into pole dancing since 2012. And a couple of my close friends have been trying to get me into it as kind of just like a fun core body awareness thing. And so I would love to hear how you got into that and what your journey has been like.
Bryana: Oh my gosh. Well, first of all, your friends are amazing. And you should absolutely get yourself into pole dancing. So, for me, I saw Jenyne Butterfly do a pole dance to the “Dog Days Are Over,” which at the time was actually my favorite song. And I could not believe what I saw Jenyne Butterfly doing. It was a completely different idea of what I had for pole dancing. And I was like, “Gosh, I want my body to be able to do that.” Now, like, I’m a thicker woman, you know, I basically averaged pre-kids 155, post-kids, I’m like 175 and 5’5″. Like, I’m not some skinny, little, tiny girl. I’m pretty thick. And there isn’t a lot of positivity around, at least at the time when I started in 2012. There wasn’t a lot of positivity around our bodies being strong, and glamorous, and beautiful, and desirable, and, you know, awesome in that way. So I was really shy when I got started. I walked in there and I wore my yoga pants. And when I walked into the room, my teacher was like in this skimpy bikini. And I was like, “I think I am in the wrong place.” And she shut the door behind her and she goes, “You are exactly where you need to be.”
And she changed my life. My teacher, Draya, I mean, she changed my life. This experience of being a pole dancer for 10 years, really taught me how to feel my body, how to listen to my body, how to love on my body in ways that I just truly never received growing up. I never knew how to, you know, really appreciate my own physical being. And I just think pole dancing is just so much more than just what we think it is. Like, it is a real sisterhood. And I’m a big fan. And I think, for me, it’s like one of my favorite forms of self-care.
Katie: I love that. I’ll admit, I had resistance to the idea just because of my misconceptions and preconceptions about pole dancing to begin with. But from what you said, I love that idea that it’s more of like a sisterhood thing. And the body awareness thing, it seems like is a very big thing for a lot of women. I know for me, I’ve talked about it in other episodes, but because of past trauma, I had, like, largely detached from my body. And I have sort of reestablished that connection in the past couple of years through things like weightlifting, and pole jumping, pole vaulting. Not pole dancing, but things that, like, helped me learn to connect with my body again. And it’s been emotionally healing, which I didn’t expect, as well as physically strength building as well. So I love that you have a similar journey. And that’s definitely an encouragement for me to get over my fear of my comfort zone and try it. I love that.
Bryana: I think you’ll really love it. And you’re already familiar, you know how to vault the pole. Now you’re gonna learn how to climb the pole. There we go.
Katie: Well, that’s so cool. That is a fact I did not know about you. And what I did know about you is that you have amazing content around parenting. And I think you are a much-needed voice in this space right now. It seems like I hear from a lot of women who really get overwhelmed on the parenting side quite a bit. And I feel like your approach is so refreshing and very tangible. You give really practical, tangible tips to actually help kind of make a difference in families, which is one of the reasons I was so excited to chat with you today. For people who aren’t familiar with, you online, you talk about conscious parenting. So I’d love just to start broad and sort of establish a little bit of a foundation about what that term means to you and what separates that from maybe other parenting approaches.
Bryana: Excellent question. So, I define conscious parenting as self-aware parenting. I’m aware of my past, and how it is influencing me in the present moment, in the here and now with my child. And if I can’t make that connection in the moment, no worries, I’m going to take the time to reflect on my behavior, understand what was triggering me, what was driving me, and make the steps necessary to really shift myself. And, you know, where I think it kind of differs from even gentle parenting, which I love, conscious parenting is inherently gentle. But gentle parenting is not inherently conscious. Gentle parenting is focused on, you know, here’s what you do for the child when they’re having this problem, when they’re defying you, when they have a tantrum. Whereas I might take it one step further. What is that defiant sparking within you? Why is it so hard for you to handle that child’s tantrum? What does it bring up within you that is unresolved? How can we work through that, so that you are equipped to really see the child’s tantrum for what it is, a means of communicating something within them.
So I really think conscious parenting helps us to learn how to get out of the child’s way, and really let the child be the driver of their own life, and really us being the guide and the support system for them. And then the obvious difference between this style of parenting and a more traditional approach is, we’re really resisting those urges to label the child, threaten the child, control the child, punish the child. We’re trying to resist all of those more traditional behavior informed ideas of how to parent and shift into a relationally informed way of parenting.
Katie: Yeah, I love that. And at its core, in what I’ve read of your work online already, I love that it really seems to focus on us as parents and what we have within our control, which is something that is, I think, universally true in all aspects of life. Like, we only can be effective to the degree that we focus on the things that we actually have the ability to change, which are ourselves, our own reactions, our own responses in a given situation. And when we’re recording this right now, we’re almost at the beginning of a new year. And one of my things I do every year is, I do a seven day fast every January. And during that time, I always reread “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl.
And this was something I originally got from him, which was that, at the end of the day, everything can be taken from us, except our ability to choose our own emotions, our responses, and our actions in any given situation. And I know that was obviously not directly a parenting book, but it’s something that’s come to mind to me so many times in parenting my kids, like, when they have a tantrum, or when they feel out of control. And like you said, it triggers those emotions in me, taking that deep breath and realizing I only have the ability to control my own actions in this situation. And not only is trying to control theirs going to not be effective, it seems like it’s largely counterproductive as a parent as well.
Bryana: Wow. I’m just so struck by that quote. Can you repeat it one more time, because it was just so good?
Katie: Yeah. I think the actual quote is, “All can be taken from a man but one thing, which is his ability to choose his own actions, emotions, and responses in any given situation.” And I think I’m probably butchering a little bit of that, but basically coming back… And he was in the concentration camps in Germany. And that’s where that came from for him. And so I love reading it while fasting because I’m like, when I get woe is me, this is so hard. I’m like, “Oh, this is nothing.” And this recenters me so much.
Bryana: Yeah, that ability to choose, I think, is one of the most liberating and equally terrifying realities for us as parents. It’s terrifying because it means that that’s what we are able to control, is our own reactions. You know, I get a lot of negative feedback, especially on Facebook, where I don’t really feel like my audience is, but I do have a, you know, slightly large audience on Facebook. But I get a lot of comments like, “Oh, you’re raising future sociopaths.” Or, “You’re raising, you know, future school murderers.” I mean, just some really incredible comments that aren’t really, you know, accurate to what we’re really teaching. And I think about that, what is it that they’re hearing in what I’m saying? And what I think it is, is that they’re hearing, I’m asking you, as the parent, to look at your own behavior, and understand the impact of your behavior. I’m inviting us parents, us, I’m including myself in the process, to take accountability for how we might be impacting other people. That means we have to reconcile our own past, our own history with parents who maybe didn’t take accountability for their behavior, and all the guilt and shame that is absorbed because of that.
That’s a lot. That’s heavy. And nobody likes to change, right? We would just so much rather have the other person change. It’s so much easier. I can be happy and I can be good when my kid is happy and good. And I’m, like, coming in and saying something different. I’m like, no, your happiness, your sense of inner calm and your sense of inner peace does not rely on whatever is going on with your child. They are actually two separate things. Because we don’t have control over what’s happening with the child. We can be curious. We can want to support if they’ll even accept our support, especially as they get older. But we can offer that, we can make ourselves available. But at the end of the day, that’s not our domain. Our domain is, how am I managing myself? And I feel like that needs to be the marker of effective parenting. Not how well the child is behaving, but how well is the parent behaving. That’s the marker for effective parenting.
Katie: I love that so much, because I think it’s such a paradigm shift. But I would guess, when, as parents were able to internalize that, it also probably diffuses a lot of the pressure in the situation, because we’re not having that sort of escalation cycle of what they’re feeling. And now we’re being triggered, and now we’re feeling this. And they’re kind of sort of building on each other in those given situations. And like we talked about in the very beginning, it’s only within our control what we do. And so it seems like the other important side of that, to me, is that, we would want to teach our kids that as well. We would want to teach them that they’re only able to control that which they have actual control over, which is themselves. And while we could say that all day long, it’s, I would guess, in parenting, I’ve seen this in my kids, at least, what we model is always much more effective than what we say.
Bryana: Absolutely.
Katie: But that absolutely has to start with us in our actions, not just our words.
Bryana: Exactly. It’s monkey see, monkey do. It’s not do as I say, not as I do, as we were all probably raised. They are simply, especially in the first seven years, they are just absorbing our way of being, and they are going to spit it right back out at us. And so, this isn’t to make us feel ashamed, this isn’t to make us feel bad or guilty. But instead, can we replace that shame and that guilt with real compassion and curiosity for ourselves? I see my child acting out in this way that I don’t really like. And now I’m becoming more aware that I’m actually co-constructing this. I am bickering back and forth with my child. And I’m trying to one up my child, because I want to win in this argument. Oh, okay, I’m behaving like a child with my child. Okay. I’m not even going to judge myself for that. I’m going to just simply be aware that that’s happening. And then maybe I’m going to say, oh, you know what, kiddo, I need to pause this. I am just not loving where this is going. I think I need to reevaluate myself. Give me just a second and we’ll try again.
And now, because of my conscious awareness, I’m able to stop a negative, bickering, defiant, back and forth interaction, that’s just so freaking typical and common, isn’t it? I’m able to stop it in the moment and change the only thing I can change, which is myself. And I’ll probably steer the conversation and steer the interaction in a more fruitful direction, just because I was aware of how I was contributing to the problem. And I think that there’s something very liberating about that. Being aware of how we are adding to whatever problems we might be facing with our children. You know, I know that that statement, if we just kind of take it globally, it can get a little sticky. So I really want to keep that statement specific to parenting. I don’t want to be getting into a victim blaming state, or if we’re in an abusive relationship, and then apply that. No, I don’t want to be… So let’s really just keep that statement with parenting.
Katie: And I think something really important about what you just said as well is, by modeling as the parent, saying without anger, without flying off the handle, but just saying, “I don’t like where this is going. I’m gonna take a pause.” You’re also modeling that for them. So hopefully, in a future relationship, if someone else is yelling at them, or they’re having a heated interaction, they’re going to have that memory and that framework to say, “You know what, I’m going to take a pause. I’m not going to participate in this heated conversation until we can both be calm. Which I think…
Bryana: Absolutely.
Katie: I had to learn that the hard way for sure, as an adult. And I also think it touches on something really important I’ve seen play out, often even just like at the park with my kids. When someone else’s kid will have a temper tantrum and the parent will… The kid’s having big emotions, the parent will give big emotions back. And it always really struck me of, like, we’re expecting a young child who is in a rapid phase of brain development, but doesn’t have the same emotional regulation that an adult would. We’re expecting them to have emotional control. And we’re asking for that by ourselves not even having emotional control. And sort of, like, I’ve seen the, you know, threatening, or bribing, or all these different tactics, but not modeling it. And so I think your approach gives you that, like, the framework to be able to take a break and take a deep breath, and not give the emotional dysregulation back to the kid.
Bryana: And it teaches us to understand what’s getting in the way of me being able to model this. This isn’t an issue of, like, will, for neither the children or the parents. This isn’t because the parents want to be threatening, and reactive, and bribing, and punishing. Parents don’t want to do that. They do that because they feel like they can’t do anything else. And so when that’s the case, when I feel like this is the only way to get my kid to listen to me. And trust me, Katie, this is what people come into therapy. My kid will literally only listen to me if I am screaming at them. Otherwise, they don’t listen at all. We’re not working together. So now we have to really talk about, okay, so what is this about for you? Usually, it’s, you know, especially, like, with yelling, for example. When you grew up, did you feel… First of all, did you grow up in a yelling home? How did your parents communicate? Did you feel heard, as a child? And if so, what did that look like? And if not, what did that look like? Let’s deconstruct the problem, instead of making you the parent who can’t model the appropriate behavior for your child, the problem. That’s not the problem. The parent is not the problem in the same way that the child is not the problem.
It’s what’s happening between. It’s what’s happening in the relationship, that can be shifted, if the parent is open to doing a little bit more of that self-work. And really, like, sometimes it’s just shifting the dial, like, a tiny amount, that opens the parent and they’re like, “Whoa, I’ve got it.” I’ve seen it. I see it in a lot of my sessions. A lot of clients who come in that maybe aren’t hugely clinical, like, we’re not dealing with things like neurodivergence, ADHD, autism, that put a bit more of a strain on families. I’m talking, you know, families that are just kind of dealing with typical child-parent relational issues. I can see the shift in 3 to 12 sessions, if we are able to shift our perspective, understand ourselves better, and then understand where the child is coming from. It does change child-parent relationships significantly.
Katie: And that’s really encouraging to hear, because that was going to be one of my follow up questions is, how long does it take to actually see a difference in the way those interactions play out? And it sounds like it’s faster than I would have even anticipated? Is it at younger ages? Does that happen more rapidly? Or is it possible at any age of a child? Or is there kind of variation there?
Bryana: That’s a really good question. Listen, I would say, if we’re putting in the time and the effort, and we are committed to it, even if you mess it up, even if you’re working hard on controlling your own emotions, and then you have a vulnerable flip out moment. And then you repair, and you let your child share with you what it was like to experience you like that. And you really take it in non-defensively, and you commit, okay, these are the changes I’m gonna make. I need to do more self-care. That’s why I’m yelling. There hasn’t been any time for me. I’m overstressed, I’m overworked, I’m overburdened. I don’t have a ton of support. So I’m going to build up my support networks and I’m going to give myself more active time to self-care. And then I’m going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and change. A lot of the times, you will see changes fairly quickly in the child-parent relationship because the child is a passenger on the ship. You’re the driver. They have no choice but to go in whatever direction you steer. They do not have control of the wheel, you do as the parent. They might be standing back and provoking you to turn that wheel into a wave and go crashing and go under. But you don’t have to. You don’t have to.
You can just simply sit with, wow, my kid’s really provoking me. This is super triggering. This is triggering for me because… And then you fill in the blank. I was yelled at as a kid. I was hit as a kid. So every single time my kid motions to hit me or is physically aggressive to me, it brings me back to dark scary places. I feel unsafe. What do I need to do? Well, I need to rebuild safety within myself and I need to be incredibly clear about my boundaries with this child. I cannot let you hit. Hitting is not safe. I need you to keep your hands to yourself, please. Find another way to tell me what you need. That’s conscious parenting, even in that tone. So that’s a big misconception. A lot of people think conscious gentle parenting doesn’t have boundaries. Misconception. They also think that it’s always warm and loving, you know, like a Disney princess. Like, I’m so inauthentic. No, no, you’re clear. You’re authentic. You’re honest. You’re just not harmful and how you go about it. Right? I need you to keep your hands to yourself is more effective than get away from me. You’re not allowed to touch me like that. And withdrawing the love from the child because they made a mistake.
These are the patterns that we’re trying to correct. Love withdrawal is literally painful to the psychological and physical health of human beings. Love withdrawal, we feel it and process it on so many levels. And yet, it is one of the most common parental practices, is love withdrawal. I will only love you if you behave in a way that I expect you to, or that I need you to. That’s a really important cycle that we’re trying to break.
Katie: Yeah, so important, and so much to go into here. And I can say from my own work in therapy as an adult, I realized, I had to sort of, like, relearn how to have appropriate emotions and how to be able to say them. Because that was the thing I had internalized in childhood was like, okay, certain emotions are not okay. And they mean I’m not able to be loved. So I’m going to just not have those emotions, or I’m gonna definitely not talk about them. So it was something I was very aware of with my kids. And I think you brought up a couple really important points in what you just said, that I would love to understand deeper. The first being because, of course, none of us are perfect, and we’re never going to do this perfect 100% of the time. You used the word repair. So in those moments when a parent yells at a kid, or gives those angry emotions back, what does the process of repair look like? Because I also firmly believe in relationships, like, you can actually come back stronger after repairing something than if you had never had that. So, like, all is not lost. Everything is not terrible if we have these moments, but how do we repair?
Bryana: Yes, excellent question. Well, you always say you’re sorry. But do not rush to say that you’re sorry until you’ve really sat with your feelings, and you understand why you behaved the way you did. And now you can say sorry without needing to defend your behavior. So instead of, “I’m really sorry. I was just really exhausted. I’ve had a really hard day at work. And honestly, if you would have just listened to me the first time, I probably wouldn’t have yelled.” That’s not a repair. That’s not a sorry. Sorry, is, “Wow. I really don’t like the way I acted. And I can see that it was hurtful for you. And I’m really sorry for that. Do you want to share with me how that was for you when scary mommy or scary daddy came out?” And then you pause, and you listen. Your child is going to give you meaningful feedback about your impact. Now, something very important for parents to remember, intention. I know that your intentions are always good. I know that. I know that the vast majority of parents have zero intention to cause harm in their children, 99.99% of parents I have ever worked with. I might even say 100% have zero intention to hurt their children.
And yet, our impact is sometimes out of our control. We cannot control how somebody will receive us. So we have to be open if we’re going to be in a relationship with somebody, which, you know, you had a kid, you don’t have a choice, you got to be in relationship with this child. And the way we relate and the way we build a relationship with the child sets the stage for how they expect relationships to operate for the rest of their lives. So it is in everybody’s best interest to be devoted to how we’re being in relationship with these children. So when I get that feedback from my kid, “You know, mommy, I really did not like it. I did not like that you spoke to me that way.” This is something might my child recently said to me. “It’s really not okay. I was just looking to have lunch with you. And I just wanted to play a game of Go Fish. That’s all I wanted.” I had to take that in. “You’re right. You’re giving me valuable feedback in terms of how I’m impacting you. Thank you for sharing that with me. This is an effective repair. Thank you for sharing that with me. I really appreciate it. And I agree. I think that’s something could probably work on.”
You know, when you do that, and you do that over, and over, and over, and over, and over again for your child. What do you think you get when you have an older child? They’re not going to be afraid to take accountability for how their behavior impacts other people. They’re going to be able to take feedback, because they’re watching you do it. And then you make meaningful steps toward change.
You know, my child was giving me feedback on how sharp I can be and how snippy I can be when I’m busy. You know, because I’m a mom, and I’m busy. You know how it is. We’re too busy for you. Don’t bother me, I’m too busy. He was giving me feedback on how hurtful that feels for him, that it almost appears as if I don’t have enough time for him. So he gave me feedback, “Mom, I need you to slow down.” That’s not bad feedback. That’s actually really good feedback. I think you’re right. I think I do need to slow down. Now, had I been defensive, I wouldn’t have gotten that feedback. And I probably would have been unintentionally perpetuating more harm to a child who’s really sensitive to my busyness.
He doesn’t have to adapt to my busyness. We do that when were 15, 16, 17, and up, and we’re becoming adults. Then we learn how to adapt. But children, they just don’t even have the brain power. Their brain is still developing and still learning how to adapt to the different personalities and things that they will face. So it really supports when children see adults practicing this adaptive skill. And that helps build the future muscles for the children to also be able to be more adaptive as they get older. There is, you know, a longitudinal impact here, if we’re again, willing to be vulnerable.
Katie: Yeah. And then you’re also modeling for them, it’s okay and it’s human to mess up sometimes. And also, it’s important to then repair and apologize, and that that can actually lead to better growth in the future. And you also, a minute ago, mentioned boundaries. And I think this is a really important thing that you explain really well. I’ll make sure I link to your Instagram so people can see some examples. But I think you’re right. It seems like there’s a misconception when it comes to gentle parenting, or conscious parenting, or any of these terms, that it’s just permissive, and the kids walk all over the parents. And from everything I’ve seen of yours, that’s certainly not true at all. It actually seems like a more effective and more loving way to communicate how the relationship works and the interplay between the two people. But I would love to delve deeper into boundaries, and maybe some examples of how to set them in a loving but firm way, because it seems like a emerging pattern in adults as well. A lot of people have trouble with boundaries. And a lot of us maybe didn’t learn this as kids, of how to set up boundaries, and to hold them without… And I’m a firm believer, you don’t have to be unkind. But actually boundaries can be a very kind thing when they’re communicated correctly. So maybe give us some good examples of boundaries.
Bryana: Well, yes, boundaries are… If they’re not compassionate, and if they’re not coming from a place of love, it’s not a boundary, it’s us just trying to control somebody else. If the boundary isn’t about changing our own behavior, it’s not a boundary, it’s about controlling somebody else. Boundaries are how I teach you. This is how we get to be in relationship together, that feels safe and good for me. So when I tell my child, “I cannot let you hit.” That’s a boundary. “I can’t let you throw.” “Oh, honey, I know that you really want to use your big outside voice sweetheart, but it’s inside time. If you need to use an outside voice, you do need to go outside.” That’s a boundary. It’s clear. It’s developmentally informed, especially when it’s to a child. I’m not going to tell a two-year-old you need to use your inside voice because they’re two. They don’t know voice modulation. I can show them, this is me using my inside voice. I can comment, I see when you’re using your inside voice. “Wow, my goodness, you’re playing with your inside voice.” But in the height of a difficult moment, I am not going to be able to tell that two-year-old to modulate their voice. But I can talk to a four- or five-year-old like that. Absolutely.
So boundaries really need to be developmentally informed and appropriate. I feel like just the general phrase, I can’t let you, is appropriate. And show me another way, is also an appropriate boundary. So, especially when we’re talking really young children. They need the alternative when we’re putting a restriction or some kind of limit on their behavior. They need to know what else they can do. Especially if they are stressed out in any way. And if a child is yelling, or screaming, or kicking, or hitting, or hyperactive, kind of running all over the place, and they their body is flailing. That’s a child whose nervous system is stressed out. And they’re going to need us to come in and co-regulate, bring in my calm, let them borrow my calm. And then I can set the limit, and redirect, and guide the behavior. And can I do that in a boundaried way without losing the relationship? So, losing the relationship would be, “I’m not going to play with you if you act like that.” That’s me sacrificing the relationship with a child. And it’s not a good boundary. “Honey, it’s so hard for me to play here when your body is moving all around. It’s hard for me to focus. Are you still wanting me to play with you? Is that something that you still want? Okay, I wonder if we can find a way to play that would feel good for both of us.”
That’s a boundary, because I’m prioritizing the needs of really everybody in the experience, not just one person’s needs. And this is where things get really misconstrued. And this is why I prefer conscious parenting over gentle parenting, because I feel like gentle parenting really focuses on the needs of the child, and often does not really look to the needs of the parent. And traditional parenting doesn’t really focus on anybody’s needs. It just bulldozes through needs. Nobody needs anything. You’ve got food, and shelter, and clothes. What else could you need? So, yeah, does that make sense? Does that kind of answer your question?
Katie: It does. And I think it really touches on another important point, where you mentioned kind of, like, the removing yourself from the relationship, and how hard that can be on kids. And it seems like this is very common, at least in traditional parenting methods that’s used almost as, like, a universal corrector, whether you put the kid in their room, or you remove yourself from the kid, or you sort of cut off that relationship. And it seems like many of us were parented that way. And that’s just sort of now a default for a lot of parents.
Bryana: I mean, I was trained to literally coach parents to be, like, “Well, Johnny is sitting calmly in his chair, so I’m going to play with him.” And literally turn their back on little David, who is like, ADHD Energizer Bunny, bouncing all over the place. And then you would watch the soul and the spirit be crushed out of that sweet, misunderstood child. And that child would often have two options. So they can either acquiesce, mask up, and be exactly what their parent is expecting them to be, and get the parents love in return, which we can see the host of problems that is a result of that. Or number two, they become so distressed that they cannot manage the love withdrawal, that they end up acting out and misbehaving even more. To which the parent either withdraws their love further, or physically isolates the child. And not to mention the fact that an intervention like that causes so much sibling rivalry between Johnny and David. It makes Johnny the good kid, and David the bad kid. Johnny, the one who always gets mommy’s attention, and David, who doesn’t. So what happens when mom’s not around? David starts picking on Johnny. David takes his self-esteem issues and starts projecting it on Johnny.
Sibling abuse is a legitimate thing. And sibling abuse does not happen in a vacuum. Siblings don’t just abuse each other just to abuse each other. Siblings are actively learning social skills. Children learn social skills from the adults in their lives, and they practice them with children. And so, if children are learning social skills like this, love withdrawal, mask up, isolate when you’re feeling big, nobody wants to be around you when you’re feeling big, etc., then you’re going to go and you’re going to act that out onto other peers, until you get some kind of resolution. Whether you feel better about yourself or you feel worse about yourself, it doesn’t really matter. You’re simply acting out what is being modeled, and taught, and fed to you. And so it really behooves all of us to rethink these things. And that wasn’t that long ago, Katie, that I was trained like that. That was, you know, in 2015, that wasn’t even 10 years ago, that I was trained to do interventions like that. Now I cringe at the thought. I would never do anything like that now. But, you know, experience and being with families has taught me so much more than any protocol I’ve been told to follow.
Katie: And I’ve heard it said, I’m not gonna remember the exact way I’ve heard it said, but basically that because a child depends entirely on the parent for all of their needs. In those, like, love withdrawal situations, they will end up cutting off their own needs are love to themselves before they’ll anger the parent. Because they literally do depend on us for love and survival, and all of their tangible needs. And that really hit home for me when I read that, of like, wow, this is a survival mechanism for them. And when we use removal of our love as a weapon to get them to do what we want. In an interaction, like, they will modify their behavior to the point of hurting themselves emotionally.
Bryana: If we’re not loving, we’re not trusting. So when we remove the love, the basic need for the human soul… We’re all born connected to our mothers via the umbilical cord, and the moment they sever that cord, we spend the rest of our lives seeking that deep level of connection. So when we remove that love, what we’re really removing is trust. And a child put in a position, do I trust myself, or do I trust my parent? They will always default to trusting the parent, and they will lose self-trust. This is why so many adults struggle with trusting themselves, listening to their own intuition. They struggle with self-esteem, they struggle with self-doubt, they struggle with anxiety, they struggle with depression. Because this basic, fundamental need… Trust is the first psychosocial milestone of the infant year, birth to 12 months, we’re working on building trust. Trust for ourselves, trust for our environment, trust for our adults. That’s what we’re doing in the infant stage.
And when we conclude that I cannot trust, we are going to spend the rest of our lives working through that. And it’s an emptiness. There’s, like, a lonely, hard to describe, there isn’t really a word I can pinpoint to describe what it is like, viscerally, to be working through these kinds of trust issues for the rest of our lives. You’ll get there, they can be healed. Absolutely. That’s why I think parenting is so magical really. Parenting is the opportunity to reparent, to finally become for yourself, the parent you never had. And in doing that, you become the parent that the child in front of you needs. I’m not teaching you how to be the parent for your child that you needed. I’m teaching you how to be the parent for yourself that you needed, and how to be the parent for your child that your child needs. We are taking the projection out of the equation. I am not raising you to be who I need you to be, who I want you to be, who I expect you to be, who I believe you are. I’m raising you to be who you actually are.
And that requires us letting go, stepping out of the way, knowing ourselves, and really learning that art of trusting ourselves more. And it’s a process, and we have to trust in the process. We have to trust in the journey. You can equate it to weight loss. Go ahead, take a weight loss pill. Sure, you might lose weight quickly, but then, because the habits haven’t been changed, you’re going to put it back on. Or you can put in the time, and the effort, and the energy to really make a lifestyle change. That’s what conscious parenting is. That’s what becoming the conscious parent you never had is. It’s a real lifestyle shift. And it’s beautiful. It’s filled with self-compassion, gentleness, really looking at our inner critic, and seeing how hard we are on ourselves. Holy crap, we’re so hard on ourselves. And really finding inner gentleness to guide us, to lead us. It’s really beautiful.
Katie: And that brings up another term I’ve seen you use that I’d love to talk about, which is the term cycle breaker. And because I think we’re in a really cool place where I see this current generation of moms, even if they don’t understand that term, really stepping into that role in many ways. Whether it be with our health habits and our kids and nutrition, or whether it be with education, I hear from a lot of homeschool moms. But there’s so many… I feel like this generation of women is willing to be that cycle breaker. But can you talk about what that means in the parenting context?
Bryana: Yes. So, a cycle breaker is somebody who is examining the impact of dysfunctional patterns or problematic patterns from their upbringing. And they are examining how it comes out for them in their own parenting experience. And they’re deciding, I’m going to be the one to break the cycle. A big myth misconception about cycle breaking is that, we have to break all the cycles to have healed children. No. And you’re not meant to break all the cycles. Maybe, if you’re really blessed, you break two cycles in this lifetime. Cycle breaking isn’t new, it’s not new to Gen X and millennials. Every generation has been breaking some kind of problematic cycle. But now we’re in the age of breaking mental health cycles, psychological based cycles of abuse, and trauma, and harm, pain, inner critic, etc., inner child wounding, all the things.
So, you know, for example, I’m a cycle breaker and I have a long lineage of cycle breakers that I will not bore you with. But I will tell you that I am breaking the cycle of physical abuse and self-rejection. These were legacies that were passed on to me. I was abused for 12 years as a child. The abuse finally stopped when I finally hit back. It took me 12 years to be physical back. And I made a decision at that stage, I was young, I was 14 years old. But I made that decision, I will never do this to my own children. I will learn how to control myself. And that’s why I’ve spent almost the last 20 years in therapy to learn how to do that.
Now, self-rejection, that’s a new cycle I’m working on. But it’s an equally important one because I see the ways that even my own self rejection, my own, like, instinct to hate myself, or to think there’s something wrong with me, to think there’s something bad about me. I can see how easily I project that and I look for something bad in my kid. And I’m like, that’s how insidious these cycles are. That’s why I must be aware of it.
You know, I have a neurodivergent child. There’s going to be plenty that the world will be reminding my child of all the things that are wrong with him. He needs the inner voice that is confident to know, there’s nothing wrong with me. And you know who that starts with, starts with me. Really learning how to internalize that for myself. That spurred an incredible, enormous amount of self-work when it dawned on me about five years ago, that this is something that I’m struggling with and wasn’t aware of. And this is how I think about cycle breakers. I think of them as resilient, gritty, survivors, fighters, who are saying, “Done. I’m done. Enough is enough. Let me be the change that I wish to see.” That beautiful Gandhi quote. I think it was Gandhi. Don’t quote me on that, but I think it was Gandhi. But they’re really wishing to be the change that they want to see. And that’s, I just think, one of the most powerful and, for me, magnetic and exciting parts of being a parent, is that we really get to work on ourselves in ways that I don’t know if I would otherwise be pushed to do so.
Katie: Yeah, that’s so true. I’ve said so many times about, that my kids are my greatest teachers, and that certainly I think we will do things for our kids that we might never have the courage or the motivation to do, or just about us. But for that reason, I think that’s why one of the many reasons this is such an important topic. And like I said at the beginning, I love how your approach really centers on doing the work as parents and internally in ourselves, and the ripples that creates in our families, and hopefully the foundational skills that creates for our kids, having seen them modeled in our homes.
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And I know this could be probably a series of eight episodes in a row, and we still couldn’t even scratch the surface of all the things of parenting we could talk about. But I want to make sure we get to briefly touch on some of the things that are soon to be most common struggle points for parents when it comes to parenting kids at different ages, and just see if you have any practical foundational tips for parents with these different situations.
The first one being bedtime struggles. So especially for parents with littles. I hear a lot about bedtime struggles. And it seems like that’s the point when parents are low resilience and tired at the end of the day, kids are also tired. And, like, emotions can definitely flare there. So any kind of maybe proactive tips and/or what to do in the bedtime meltdown situation tips.
Bryana: Absolutely. So, we really want to see bedtime as the period where a child is gearing up for a long period of separation. And especially if you have a young child, that can be very anxiety provoking. So let’s be preventative. Let’s read the book, “The Invisible String.” And talk about always being connected by our invisible string made of love, even when we’re separate. If you want to be really creative about it, get some yarn, put some yarn on your kid’s wrist and yarn on yours. So the kid knows I’m always connected to you. And it’s a physical reminder of always being connected. Secondly, we’re going to be really clear about our expectations, the lights go off at this time, and your job is to stay in bed. You don’t even have to fall asleep, but you do need to lay down with your eyes closed, no words, no movements. Now, I’m a little bit of a sucker for just chilling with my kids. And I lay with my kids and let them fall asleep there. But I understand that that is maybe not always available to folks, or it’s the only time that they actually get to themselves. And they want to have a little bit more structure. So I think we can be flexible. If you are the type of parent that lays with your kids until they fall asleep, you know, set a limit for yourself on how long you’ll do.
For us, we listen to Mr. Rogers’ “Bedtime” album. It’s about 20 minutes. It’s super meditative, very relaxing, and my kids fall asleep right away. But, you know, of course, this is my kids. So every child is going to be different. But set a little time limit. We’ll sing three songs, or we’ll read two books together. Set a time limit and then hugs and kisses. And remember, you lay down in your bed, eyes closed, no words, no movements. You don’t have to fall asleep. I will come and check on you. And when you return, bring your kid a little object or an item. It could be a sticker, it could be a Post-it note, could be a little blanket. If they’re asleep, and then they wake up and they see it, they know that you follow through, it builds trust. You don’t end up doing this every single night. You build trust through the difficult experience of being separated from you for 10 to 12 hours. And, you know, if they’re awake, then you give them that thing, and then you leave and you come back again. I’m gonna go take a shower, and I’m going to get myself ready for bed, and then I’ll come and check on you.
You got a kid that is really insistent they will not sleep in their room, you might have to be a little flexible. “Okay, honey, I can see that you’re not falling asleep. You can sleep at the foot of our bed. Here’s a sleeping bag. And the rules are, eyes closed, no words, no movements.” Set the boundaries, let your child know exactly what you expect. If proximity, so being physically close to you, is what the child needs to regulate and go to sleep, they will cooperate. They will. They will want to engage with you. But if that’s not the answer, then we have to get curious. Are they hungry? Do they have a bellyache? Are they thirsty? Like, what’s going on that’s preventing the child from doing, like, one of the most biologically driven things to do, which is to go to sleep? So I encourage parents to really think on this, you know, holistic way to support the child. And if it’s a real issue, if sleep is a real, real issue, like, your kid’s getting like nine hours or less, then let’s get an evaluation. Let’s see what’s going on with that kid’s nervous system. I don’t want to normalize nine hours or less of sleep at night in a totally dysregulated child, and thus dysregulated family, as a result of have some sleep issues.
Katie: I love that tip about the sticker or some little thing that makes them realize you are there even if they’re asleep. And that, I feel like, ties in perfectly with the focus about, we talked about earlier, about trust being that foundational skill. And I think even just that reframe as parents, if our goal is to build trust, and we keep that top of mind, even in the more difficult interactions, it probably leads to so much better relationships and better results than the control focus that we talked about at the beginning. And I feel like that also dovetails into the topic of tantrums, which we talked about a little bit. But these seem like a common potential occurrence with younger kids especially, and maybe one that is most likely to trigger the out-of-control feeling in the parents because of our own childhood. So what are some strategies you use with tantrums?
Bryana: Absolutely. First of all, gotta ground and get present in your own body, pausing. Probably one of the most important things that you can do. So that you do not escalate with the child. I really need you to feel your feet on the floor. I need you to relax your shoulders. I need you to feel your belly and your breath. And then I want you to get down, eye to eye, at or below eye level with your child. You’re going to talk low. You’re going to talk slow. And you’re going to talk very little. You never flood with too many words with a tantruming child. You can keep it simple. Acknowledge the feeling. You’re mad. You don’t want it. You don’t want it. You don’t want it. The child will eventually pause and look to you. Then you’re going to wait. That’s where you keep breathing. Try not to solve. That’s where we run into so many problems with tantrums. We want to go in, and we want to fix it, and we want to stop it. We want to make the behavior stop. We want to make the emotion stop. I just want to make you happy again. Resist all of that. Focus on being with, that is the goal of the tantrum. The child is learning how to feel the emotion, how to process the emotion, and how to release the emotion.
When they get the sense that the parent is uncomfortable and trying to fix them, it makes the tantrum bigger. Help me feel, mommy. Help me feel, daddy. That is what your child is saying to you. So be with. And if you’re very uncomfortable being with, then you come, you get some private sessions, or you go into my Instagram, and you watch some videos, and you learn why you’re so uncomfortable with being with emotions. Perhaps you didn’t have parents who knew how to be with your own emotions. And so your child’s emotions are really activating for you in an inner child wounding way, and not actually this child being a problem way. And then once you see the child’s front brain is back online, and you’ll know, there’s like a flicker in their eyeballs. There’s something where they look like they’re a little bit more connected, then then we engage. Want to try again? Should we try that again? Right? That’s a redirection and a great way to try again. You know, we could, “Let’s go outside honey. I think that’ll allow our bodies to feel really good.” If the kid is hungry. “You know what, sweetie, let’s go get a snack. I think that’s what your body is trying to say. I think it’s saying I’m hungry. Can you listen to your tummy? Do you hear that? Do you hear your tummy saying I’m hungry?”
So I always teach children in my engaging phase to listen to what their body is telling them to do. And that practice of learning how to really listen to your body, this is what mindfulness is about. It should be called mind body fullness. It shouldn’t just be mindfulness. Because, you know, the mind body connection is the art of mindful awareness. It’s being clued in to both at the same time. And a tantrum, the downfall, the aftermath of the tantrum is a great time to reinforce those skills in the child.
So I’m not going to be offering advice to coax a child out of a tantrum. I’m not going to be offering advice to get the tantrum to end faster. But here’s what I can tell you. With this approach, when you’re attuned and regulated yourself. Over time, you will see less frequent, less intense, and less timeframe happening per tantrum. If a tantrum is happening multiple times per day, 15 plus minutes a day, and, you know, we’re walking on eggshells around our kids, we need therapy. Call me. Let’s get some coaching. That’s an unusual presentation. Typically, tantrums are spurts, they’re moments. No more than really five minutes. Fifteen minutes if it’s a real serious issue. But otherwise, it should fizzle as quickly as it happened, generally speaking.
Katie: Yeah, that’s super helpful. I feel like there is an element of, as kids are learning their own emotions, tantrums do happen. Like you, we’re not aiming for perfection. I don’t expect children to never have tantrums. But I think the really valuable thing you just said is that, time after a tantrum, especially when we’re…like, if the child’s a little emotionally kind of open, and they’re a little bit raw, because they just had that big emotional experience. It’s a beautiful time to connect. And I felt like, that’s such a great relationship building time if we don’t run away from it. But if they’re in the room, and they get put in timeout, we miss that connection window that, to your point, even though it’s not the goal of this, it seems to shorten the intensity of those tantrums in the future as they, to your earlier point, build that trust back.
Bryana: Absolutely. I mean, if I feel safe to connect with you when I’m feeling big and strong, I’m going to eventually learn to come to you with the big strong feelings, but in a way that’s contained and regulated. If I don’t learn it’s not safe to feel connected with you, I’m going to keep acting it out until I can find that sense of safety and trust, because that’s what we’re driven for. We are driven, children are driven to feel safe, and connected, and trust the adults in their lives. And then it’s up to us to create the environment that allows that to happen.
Katie: I love that. And lastly… Well, I could talk to you all day. One more quickly I want to make sure we touch on, and it could be a very big topic to try to delve into, but is the topic of household responsibilities and contributing to the household dynamic. I know that’s quite a lot of different things, whether it’s chores or job responsibilities, but it seems like a point of contention in some households. And so, I’m curious any strategies you have from a young age up to building their involvement in the household, without it being a point of contention between the parents and the kids?
Bryana: Absolutely. We’re a family, we all work together. And this is how we support the needs of each other. And we all have different jobs. And your job is very important to the way our family functions. Now, what’s the problem? I noticed that, you know, if we say to, like, a three-year-old, “I noticed that you’re really resisting putting your food into the trash. What’s the problem? What feels so hard about that for you?” Now, instead of coming at it in a combative way, I’m coming at it in a curious way. “Tell me more about that. Oh, what purpose do you think it serves? Why do you think it’s important that you throw away your own food?” And then when you build on it, for a child, it’s about ownership of themselves, accountability, independence. It’s about them really, you know, feeling good about their contribution to the family. Now it isn’t about chores.
My kids, if I say I have to run the vacuum, they fight over who gets to run the vacuum. Because we’ve spent so much time really reinforcing that we are a family who works together. And this is how we support each other. And doesn’t it feel so good to support each other? So if my kid makes a mess, I let them know, “Hey, would you like my support on that? I’d be happy to support you. Let’s do it together.” Instead of, “Well, you made your own mess. Gotta clean it.” Right? “I’m happy to support you. How can I help you?” That does not mean that I end up doing the whole thing. I really don’t. I’m really just there for moral support. And sometimes I find when it comes to chores and household responsibilities, that for a lot of kids, they just need to understand the meaning of it. They need to understand why it is so helpful. It’s not something you do because you’re a certain age, it’s something you do because this is how you give back to a family. And it feels good to give to a family. That’s how we feel connected. That’s how we feel like we belong to each other. It’s a good feeling.
So emphasize the positive nature of it, as opposed to the oppressive, “Oh, now I got to do this because my mom said so or my dad won’t let me go to soccer, if I don’t.” No. “Just when would be a good time for you to do it? You still do need to do it, sweetheart. So when would be a good time in your schedule?” These are all good ways, especially as kids get older, but all good ways to really nurture that family accountability and support of each other.
Katie: And like I said, there’s so much we could talk about. I hope to get to do future episodes as well. But my encouragement would be to moms who just have littles right now. Now I’ve got 6 to 16, and so I’ve seen sort of these strategies over the last 15 years. And while it’s very intensive when you’re in those early years with the little ones, and it is definitely exhausting some days, and I feel like resilience can for sure be down. I’ve seen firsthand how it plays out, like, putting in that relationship time and that trust building in the beginning. Now, like, my teenagers are so easy. And they come to me when they have issues, and we can talk about everything. There’s no struggles about things getting done in the house. You know, like, they don’t even have to have a curfew because there’s trust in that relationship. And they’re not even trying to push boundaries. There’s a very clear communication and respect within that relationship. So I just encourage, like, you know, it seems very exhausting to acknowledge that with little ones, but it pays dividends so much in the long run. And I feel like I’ve gotten to see the yearly progression of that throughout all the ages of my kids.
And I just love that you’re bringing so much awareness and voice to this. Like I said, I hope we get to do future episodes because there’s so much more we didn’t even get to talk about. But before we wrap up today, I would love to… A couple last wrap up questions. The first being if there’s a book or number of books that have really profoundly impacted your life. And if so, what they are and why.
Bryana: Oh, great question. So I would say, as a child, the number one book that really impacted me was Lois Lowry’s “The Giver.” That book really taught me how easily conditioned we can be as a society to be something that we’re not. That we’re told you are born to be this, and breaking out of the mold is seen as unfavorable. And I was young, I think I was 12 when I read that. And I mean, it never left me how important it is that we break out of the expectations that others have for us. And as an adult, the book that has really changed my life recently is Glendon Doyle’s “Untamed.” Like, basically every woman of our generation. But that book really taught me a lot about what it means to will be myself and, you know, showing up in this world without, again, the expectations of what others perceive or need me to be. And really appreciating the fact that when we are our full selves, we bring something unique, and valuable, and worthy, and interesting, and important. And for me, I take both of these messages. And it feels so easily translatable into how we’re raising these beautiful souls that we’re entrusted to care for, our children.
Katie: I love it. Those are both new recommendations on this podcast, I’ll put links to both of those in the show notes, as well as links to all the places you exist online, so people can find you and follow you.
And lastly, any parting advice for the moms listening today, that could be related to something we’ve talked about or entirely unrelated?
Bryana: I want you to really focus on being kind to yourself, being gentle with yourself, and having a lot of compassion with yourself. I can tell you firsthand how much that changes you in how you just view yourself. But the impact that it has on the child is unparalleled. It teaches the child how to have an inner voice that is gentle, and kind, and compassionate. And I believe that if more of us were operating along these lines, we would have a transformed world.
Katie: I think that’s a perfect place to wrap up for now. Thank you so much for your time. Like I said, I’ve really appreciated your work for a while now. And it’s been an honor to get to chat with you today.
Bryana: Thank you for having me, Katie.
Katie: And thanks as always to all of you for listening, and sharing your most valuable resources, your time, your energy, and your attention with us today. We’re both so grateful that you did. And I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the Wellness Mama Podcast.
If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

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This episode is sponsored by Wellnesse, the personal care company I co-founded when I couldn’t find products I felt comfortable using on my family that worked as well as conventional alternatives. My focus was figuring out the 80/20 of products that account for the most harmful chemical exposure and making safer alternatives that worked just as well. We started out with oral care and haircare and now also have a safe natural deodorant that actually works. By changing out just these products in your routine, you can reduce your chemical exposure by as much as 80% and these products are safe for the whole family. Wellnesse has three types of remineralizing toothpaste, original whitening mint, whitening charcoal and natural strawberry for kids. The deodorant has a neutral scent and is designed to work without causing irritation like many natural deodorants do. And the haircare is designed as a hair food… focused on nourishing your hair and scalp for healthier and healthier hair the longer you use it. Check out these all the Wellnesse products at Wellnesse.com.

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About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

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