Hi moms! Thank you for joining me today.
I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day a few weeks ago, and hopefully some of you put my advice to the test. This week’s review is from a listener who applied my Mother’s Day episode into her life and she said, “Heather was so right and helpful this Mother’s Day today for me. Looking for a normal Mother’s Day and getting extra attention, which I was not expecting, made me so happy. Thank you, Heather, I love to hear you each time.” That is so great. I hope you all had a better-than-normal Mothers’ Day.
Is your child ever at a friend’s house and calls you to ask if they can extend their time there or go do something else with that friend. Or maybe it’s during lunchtime at school and they call you to ask you for permission to go somewhere with a friend after school. Did you know that sometimes your child feels completely pressured to go somewhere or do something with a friend and that they actually, absolutely don’t want to do? Sometimes they are tired and just want to come home and do their homework, and just be around the family. Sometimes they’ve been at a friend’s house so long that they just want to be with their own toys and food that they like. Sometimes the friend just makes them uncomfortable, they might not know exactly why, but they just don’t want to go with that friend.
We might think that because they’re calling us or texting us to ask to go somewhere with their friend or stay longer at their house, that that is something they want to do. But a lot of times, it isn’t what they want, they just don’t know how to get out of a situation themselves. They don’t know how to tell their friend, I’m tired, I want to go home and I miss my mom.
So that’s where you step in. First, we teach them that it’s okay to not want to go with a friend when they invite you. They don’t need to have a big reason for it, it could just be that they’re not feeling like going, and that is totally fine and it’s their choice. We need to let our child know that it doesn’t make them weird; it doesn’t make them anti-social. Sometimes we just don’t feel like doing social things, and that’s okay.
Maybe it’s a friend they really like, but they just need to take them in small doses because they get annoying after a while. Maybe the friend invited other friends too and your child just doesn’t feel as comfortable around them. Whatever it is, teach your child that they are allowed to make decisions for themselves.
The next part you can do is to help them get out of the situation that they don’t want to be in and they don’t know how to get out of by themselves. Of course, if they’re at home asking you for permission, they can tell you right then that they really don’t feel like going to that party and you can just help them come up with a reason they can’t go. But sometimes, they might not be with you beforehand to plan out what they are going to say. They might call you or text you from school or from their friends house desperately hoping that you will say no and that they need to just come home.
So this is when The Code works brilliantly. Teach your child that if it is something they want to do they say, I want to go to my friend Paul’s house after school to hang out and do our homework, would that be okay? And if they don’t want to go, they say, “PAUL really wants me to come to his house after school to do homework.” The code is not the name Paul. The code is that if they want to do it, they lead with them saying “I want to go.” And if they don’t want to do something, they say their friend wants them to do said thing.
That very small change in wording clues you in on the fact that they need you to come up with an excuse that that would be a No, not today. Paul is probably standing right there watching him text or listening to him call. It’s up to your child to get the code right and it’s up to you to listen for it.
This takes a little bit of practice and some role playing so it becomes really automatic and their brain can recall their words when they are under some peer pressure. But it is something that I encourage you to put in place with your child. It really will be needed someday, and even multiple times in their life. This has helped my kids out of some predicaments that they really didn’t know how to get out of. It really helped them feel safe, and like mom was a teammate and had their back and would always come through to save the day when they lacked the words or confidence to do it themselves.
With one of my kids, I didn’t come through and save the day, and I wanted to share that experience with you so you make sure not to make the same mistake I did. A lot of times with younger children, we’re making plans through the friend’s parent. So when the parent texted me and said, “Would it be okay if your child stayed longer?” and it was a really long time, I think it was dinner and a movie and having like a later-over. I said, “Oh sure, that’s fine. Just let me know when I can pick them up.” But then when I finally did pick up my child, he was like, “Mom, I did not want to stay. I wanted to come home when we originally had planned and it was just too long.” And I just felt so bad because here we have this great code in place where I could’ve communicated with him and figured out that he really didn’t want to stay. But didn’t even talk to him, I just talked to the mom. So whenever possible, try to get your child on the phone. And say something like, “Oh I’m not sure, let me talk to my child really quick and we just need to figure it out and I’ll let you know.” Or whatever you want to say. But try to have contact with your child, because we might think we know what they want but sometimes we’re wrong. And I just felt really bad about that.
I know I will get some comments on this about how we should not be the lawnmower parent, which is the parent who smooths everything out ahead of their child so their child doesn’t run into too many problems so that their life is just made easier for them. I’m not saying we should solve all our kids’ problems for them. It IS very important to teach our children empowerment and how to speak up for what they want and don’t want. But this kind of thing, this kind of strength and self-confidence can sometimes take a lifetime to learn. I mean, how many of us give into our pleaser mentality even in our adult years because we don’t know how to get out of doing something that we really don’t want to do?
So, yes, continue to talk to your child about standing up for themselves and feeling confident enough to be their own best advocate in friend situations, but in the meantime The Code can be a fantastic secret weapon that will not only get your child out of some sticky situations, but it can also be a fun undercover-like bonding thing they have with you!
That’s it for today! Short and sweet, this one is. Please leave a comment or idea you have in the apple podcast review section, a 5-star rating would be so helpful too. Or you can find me on my Instagram or Facebook, or even get a hold of me on my website podcast section. I always love to hear from you.
I have some interviews coming up in the next few months that you will love. But I also know there are some talented, amazing mommy listeners out there with some great ideas that might help my other listeners. If you want your idea to be heard, I’m putting together a Mommy Expo for one of my episodes and I would love to feature YOU! So, please reach out whether it be via Instagram DM’s, Facebook messenger, or email which is just email@example.com. Please send me your ideas that are working for your family. I can’t wait for us to have this chance to all learn from each other.
I really hope you take the time to teach your child The Code this week; you never know when they’re going to need it!
And remember these words of a Jewish Proverb (which I feel like partially applies to The Code): “A good mother understands what a child does not say.”
Thanks for being here with me and I’ll talk to you next week!
Now there are two ways to work with me, and I honestly can’t wait to meet you. Please make an appointment for a free 30-minute coaching call with me, you’ll be amazed at how much we can figure out for you and your family in just 30 minutes. And now I also have a free workshop to show you how to help your high school student earn college credits without changing schools or adding hours to their day. I’m so excited to share this with you. Go to the links in the show notes or go to my website the-mommywhisperer.com. Let’s talk soon.