Episode 70: No Guilt Parenting with JoAnn Crohn
Brief summary of show:
Do you feel guilty as a parent? Do you feel like you could always be doing more?
You’re not alone in how you feel, in fact many parents feel this way and simply don’t share it.
In this episode, JoAnn Crohn joins me to talk about taking the guilt out of our parenting and raising kids that are smart, capable, kind and make empowered decisions.
JoAnn Crohn, M. Ed is a parenting educator who helps moms feel confident in everything from raising empowered, self-sufficient kids to dropping the anxiety and guilt out of modern parenthood.
She’s an accomplished writer, author, podcast host of the No Guilt Mom podcast, and speaker, appearing in national media and founder of the company, No Guilt Mom Her specialty is talking to both parents and kids - with her self-paced digital courses in handling big emotions, getting kids to help out more, creating a morning routine and conquering the homework drama.
JoAnn is a former elementary school teacher with a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction as well as a National Board Certified Teacher in Middle Childhood Education. She’s a mom to 2 kids - ages 13 and 8.
Listen in as we talk about:
[2:10] How to help our kids without jumping in to save them
[6:30] Gaining cooperation from our kids as we prepare for back to school
[10:00] Supporting our kids in making decisions that may have consequences
[11:20] Navigating ‘rescuing’ our kids in tough situations
[14:20] Cooperation methods to use as a family
[22:45] Mental health and supporting our kids’ needs
Notes from Natalie:
The free Happy Parent Checklist can be found at https://www.noguiltmom.com/hpc
Webinar: 5 Mistakes that Parents Make When Getting Their Family to Help Out
Connect with JoAnn
Connect with Me
View Transcript for this Episode
[00:00:00] Natalie: Hi everyone. It's Natalie. I know this struggle all too well, getting kids to cooperate without having trouble, but I have to tell you kids little and big it's their job to push back.
[00:00:12] It's just their nature. Getting them to understand when it's okay. And when they need to be on your team. That's the key today. I'm talking to Joanne Krone, a national board certified teacher with her master's in education. And she's also the head of the very popular website and podcast. No guilt mom.
[00:00:31] We're gonna talk about how to get our kids to cooperate when it comes to housework, homework, and so much more, you know, Motherhood doesn't need to be so difficult before we get started. Please hit that subscribe button and be sure to visit the show notes for more information, and to get connected to my website and my social media, where I give lots and lots of tips on health, happiness, mind, and parenting.
[00:00:57] Okay. Lots get started..
[00:00:59] Joanne. Thank you so much for being here today. I'm really excited because you offer so much to all of your followers, but one of the things I struggle with, and I know it's what others struggle with is getting our kids to cooperate and just pulling them in, get them thinking the way we're thinking.
[00:01:16] It's not an easy thing.
[00:01:18] JoAnn: It's, it's not an easy thing to get kids to cooperate because you know, when we were growing up as kids, it was kind of expected for us to cooperate like the adults tell us what to do. We do it else. We will get in a whole bunch of trouble. And that's just not how we're raising our kids.
[00:01:36] These days. We're raising our kids to be problem solvers. We're raising our kids to really collaborate in this global environment to think for themselves. And so. The tactics, our parents use to get kids to cooperate. They don't work on our kids and that's actually a really, really great thing because it opens up so much space for us to figure out what our kids need in the situation, what we need done in the situation, and then work with them to figure out a way that, you know, our needs are met and their needs are met as.
[00:02:09] Natalie: Yeah. Well, one of the things I say to my kids a lot is you can figure this out. I know, I know you can figure it out and yet they, they really want me to jump in and do it with them,
[00:02:20] JoAnn: so, oh yeah.
[00:02:22] Natalie: how do you suggest we,
[00:02:23] JoAnn: we go about that. That it's the hardest thing too, as a parent, because like, you'll see your kids struggle.
[00:02:29] And I call it, like, I hear, I feel this like clenching right in the middle of my chest, cuz I'm like, oh my gosh, like they don't know how to do this. They don't feel successful. They don't feel confident. What have I done as a parent that they don't like, feel like ready to take on this task. And there's all this like, fear that we really deal with.
[00:02:47] All the time. So one thing to do is usually in these moments of struggle in these moments of like, they want us to participate in it, it's really our own choice. Like I always say that, like, we don't really take our own needs as parents into the equation, much, a lot of advice out there. It tells you exactly like how to relate to kids and how to like grow them optimally.
[00:03:09] But we are also human beings and we have emotion. And so in that moment, it's really like, what state are you in? How do you feel? Are you feeling like you can jump in and do this task with your kids? Are you feeling like it's called something Mona hook calls, the body budget where like, is your nervous system at a place where you are calm, you are collected and you are totally okay.
[00:03:34] Starting your child on this. Or is it at a point where you just need a break? You need your child to do this on their own. And if you have to stay there for one more moment, like you're going to lose it. Yeah. So like the first thing I think is really checking in with yourself, seeing how you're doing with your child.
[00:03:53] the second thing is that if kids are unsure about doing it themselves, it's totally okay. If we come in and kind of help them along in, uh, teaching there's a, the guided teaching practice is I do, which, you know, we demonstrate the skill first and then it's we do when we're doing that skill together. And then it transitions into kids doing it on their own mm-hmm well, that middle part that we do it.
[00:04:20] So much longer than so many of us think it should. So sometimes when kids like don't wanna load the dishwasher. For instance, I had this this morning, my son had all these dishes on the counter. He doesn't like that. The dishwasher is right by our big open window. We just move. We don't have blinds on it.
[00:04:37] There's like. Blinding sun. He's like, oh my gosh, mom, it is so hot. Like the sun's in my eyes, I'm just sweating. And I don't like this new dishwasher. I can't put everything in this new dishwasher. And I mean, he was gonna have like a full blown, just kind of like meltdown, just. Putting dishes in the dishwasher.
[00:04:55] And so I came up beside him and I'm like, Hey, you know what? I will work right by you. I'm gonna take care of these hand washes, let me know like any questions you have. And so he started one by one and just me being beside him, working next to him, but not doing it for him was the step he needed to complete.
[00:05:14] Natalie: that's so important. Sometimes it is just that I wanna know you're there. And then I'll do more. And for me, I had the same dishwasher thing this morning. really and we just moved that dishwasher. So we've got things going on and it was, but I don't know where everything is. I said, well, the best way to figure it out is to open every cupboard.
[00:05:33] And you'll be able to put those dishes away by just exploring a little bit, but he wanted me in the. With him and then it, and then he empowered himself to do it, but it is sometimes just being
[00:05:43] JoAnn: nearby. So, yeah. And that's all it is. And it's not so much doing it for them. It's just like being there is the calm force to help them regulate themselves when they're doing this thing.
[00:05:54] That's overwhelming. Well, let's
[00:05:56] Natalie: talk since we're, we're in the middle of summer, and I know your kids are already back in school, which is crazy to me first day, July. You've got that modified schedule. Mine go back in a couple of weeks in August and for some it's September, but it's never too early to start thinking about how we get the kids and their cooperation, because it's not a one day they've got all this flexibility in the summer.
[00:06:16] Boom, everything changes and we're scheduled again. So working them back into these schedules slowly I have always found more success with, so they have that expectation instead of the shock mm-hmm .
[00:06:28] So let's talk about getting cooperation from our kids. As we head back into a
[00:06:32] JoAnn: school year. So there's all these new things coming in in the school year.
[00:06:37] I mean, they now have the expectations of getting up at a certain time, getting themselves ready, getting their lunches, passed, getting out the door, getting the homework done and more will go. According to plan, it'll be easier. The more control that the kids have on their own schedules. So less about us kind of like dictating when they have to get up when they have to get out the door and more of them leading the way.
[00:07:02] Now that said before school starts. It's just having those conversations with kids. And one thing that I did this past week before we got them ready for school is we made sure, first of all, they're going to both new schools. So it's totally new school schedules for the whole family. And we looked at when they're supposed to be there.
[00:07:20] And I asked my, I started with my fourth grader. I'm like, okay, well, your gates open at eight 20. Like when do you wanna leave the. And so then we start backward thinking from there and he's like, okay, I wanna leave at this time. Which means I need to get up at this time. And just having him start thinking about those time schedules.
[00:07:37] Really smooths the process of this transition mm-hmm and puts it in his control. my son doesn't need to write it down, but. Kids like need that visual schedule. I recommend parents like write those things down on a whiteboard in the kitchen, be like, okay, we're leaving the house at this time.
[00:07:56] Or we have breakfast at this time. All set by the kids and all set by their, what they wanna do and how much time that they think they need to get ready. Same goes for homework. So it's like having that conversation before. Okay. School's starting. When do you wanna do your homework? Because a lot of times, you know, we're like, okay, come home from school, immediately do your homework.
[00:08:16] And then we don't have to think about it anymore. And you're gonna have free time. Yeah. It doesn't work for a lot of kids because they're so tired. After a full day of school, their focus is gone and they need that kind of break in that time to relax in our. My kids do homework at separate times. My son, when he was in early elementary school, used to like to do it in the morning.
[00:08:40] And I freaked out about that. I was like, oh my gosh, like we could try this that's but I don't know. Yeah. it was, it feels last minute. I don't know. But since it was totally under his control, he did get up and he did it in the morning and it worked for. So leaving it up to the kids, figure it, like bringing them into the scheduled discussion, letting them set their times letting them see like, okay, when am I going to be able to do this?
[00:09:08] Or when will I have the best focus and concentration on this? It's really easier for you as a parent. And it teaches them the skill of monitoring their own needs. And putting in place what they need to get things done.
[00:09:23] Natalie: Yeah. With the one daughter who's in college or their senior year and one going to college, I know I feel better with them making those decisions and understanding their own decisions, their own bodies, their own thought process.
[00:09:37] Being on their own where I'm not there to dictate it. So it's kind of that like slowly letting go of control at, at, at an age, like where you said your fourth grader is yeah. Where they can start to make those. Now sometimes they don't make the best decisions, but then they have to learn the hard way, which you know, might be like, oh, I didn't have enough time in the morning to get that homework done.
[00:09:56] Maybe I shouldn't do that. You know, they, but they have to learn it that hard way to. To
[00:10:00] JoAnn: understand.
[00:10:02] Totally. And let's talk about that too, because that's gonna happen. Like when kids make these decisions, they're gonna run at a time in the morning and they're gonna experience that stress. And that's a good thing because I would much rather have my son be like a second grader.
[00:10:18] Experience that stress of not getting like five questions done on his homework, where the consequences are very, very low mm-hmm and he sees that, okay. If I don't get this done well, there are other options either to do it or like, or, or a way to handle the situation. I would much rather have him have it then than in high school when the workload is much, much harder and much more challenging.
[00:10:41] So when they don't get it done, It's okay. And as a parent, all we get to do is just be there as a supportive, like person in a presence and be like, oh man, like I have a hard time getting things done in the morning, too. That's really rough. It's really rough. I know you're probably pretty stressed right now.
[00:10:59] Let me give you a hug. And there's no reason to come in and be like, oh, I told you, I told you to do it in the afternoon. Yeah. When we come in and just be supportive, they're like, okay, okay. This is rough. And they'll make their own decisions and they'll figure out a way to do it. Yeah. But then they see that we're still in our, their corner.
[00:11:18] Natalie: you have parents that you hear about? And I have been guilty of this. I've learned my lessons rescuing. So, you know, rescuing saying, okay, let's get it done quick. I'll help you. And then getting the homework done. And then they start leaning on you to help rescue versus making different decision.
[00:11:36] JoAnn: Yes, totally.
[00:11:37] And I think this is natural as a parent, because again, it's that fear. We don't want our kids to experience pain as good as that pain and stress might be at times. But I think parents it's really typical to come in and rest. And then it's what you said. You run into the problem of the kids, then relying on you to rescue them.
[00:11:58] So if like a parent's listening right now and they do that, there is no shame. There's no shame in it, but now you can just step back. There's a great concept. It's a book called duct tape parenting by Vicky Hoel and she talks about the metaphorical duct tape, like duct tape over your mouth. Duct tape yourself to the chair, duct tape, like your hands behind your back.
[00:12:20] Just think of yourself, duct tape when those things happen. Mm. And instead of rescuing, just empathize with the stress that it causes and you're not jumping in. You're not trying to fix the situation. You're just there as a supportive presence. And you're gonna see that your kids. Grow to appreciate that, even though the first pushback's gonna be real rough, like they're gonna be real mad.
[00:12:48] They're gonna be real stressed out. It will get better. The more confidence that you show in them that they can figure these things out on their own. Yeah.
[00:12:58] Natalie: One of my favorite lines, I know I've said it on the podcast before is you were made to do hard things. Yes. That is just who you are. God created you that way.
[00:13:07] And so then they stop and they. Oh, that is hard. But you know, they don't like it to be hard. No, no one likes it to be hard, right? No, but we, we get better when it is and we, and we conquer that and we're better because of it.
[00:13:21] JoAnn: Exactly. It's the concept of you stress the EU stress, the good stress where it's the stress that causes us to grow.
[00:13:29] And it's the only thing that lets us grow. We don't grow when things are easy. Mm-hmm we only grow when we're challenged. So that's hard
[00:13:37] Natalie: for kids to, to grasp. Let's
[00:13:39] JoAnn: talk, it's hard for parents too. Yeah, it's
[00:13:42] Natalie: you're right. It's still hard. But we're still growing, still learning.
[00:14:17] Natalie: Let, let's talk about other cooperation methods and other ways that, that we can get the whole family onboard with what we as experienced and knowledgeable moms.
[00:14:28] want them to jump on board with.
[00:14:31] JoAnn: So a lot of cooperation, there's, there's a huge amount of stress for women in the home in particular. And especially when I talk to moms in my no guilt mom community, a lot of moms don't feel that they could be the quote unquote, good mom, and be self fulfilled outside the home because of so many risk.
[00:14:48] Responsibilities. They're now taken care of inside the home. And things I hear is like, they feel like they need to have their house decluttered and organized. Mm-hmm they feel like they need to have dinner on the table every night as they failing, they feel that if their kids are on their screens for way too long, That they're failing as a mom, too.
[00:15:05] And so first I wanna just like debunk all of those things right there. That a good mom doesn't mean that you're getting everything done and you're on top of everything and you have all the balls in the air all the time and you're juggling like a wizard. Like that's not a good mom, a good mom is just someone who is connected with their.
[00:15:23] And knows how to figure out what's going on. Maybe not have their P their finger on the pulse of like everything in their house all the time, but you know how to get it if you need it, if there's a challenge. So in terms of like household cooperation, it really starts with bringing the entire family board with the workload in the.
[00:15:44] And something that really changed in my house a few years ago is I realized that I was taking on the entire burden of running everything. Mm. And cuz I mean, we see things that need to be done and we just do it and it's a lot easier just doing it in the moment. That's mm-hmm than trying to explain everything but long term.
[00:16:04] Once we get that mental load off of our shoulders, like our whole world opens up. So the first thing to do is just to have your family together. I like doing this at dinner. We did this at dinner and we listed everything that needs to be done in our house. And I need to take a little back step because before I did this, though, I did um, I'm married.
[00:16:27] I've been married with my husband for like, oh my gosh, how long has it been? 14 years now, 16. Oh my gosh. I might get in trouble for that. but we, we talked together cuz we are partners in the house and I told him my struggles and we decided together that this is not my job. It is our entire family's job.
[00:16:44] Mm. And so he came into this discussion. We came in as a. So we sat down, we listed everything that needs to be done in the house. And then our kids saw it be divided up between me and my husband. And they took on their tasks as well. This is when my kids took over the dishwasher. This is when my kids took over the pets.
[00:17:06] This is when they took over the feeding of the pets, the cleaning of their rooms, the making of their lunches. Everything comes from this one conversation and just putting everything out on the table. When we bring our workload to it, then it doesn't become us handing out jobs. It's really okay. Here's what needs to be done.
[00:17:26] And how can we as a family come together to conquer the work? Yeah.
[00:17:31] Natalie: That is just so huge. I, and I am, I know you as no guilt, mom say we shouldn't call ourselves guilty, but I am so guilty of that. Like, it's just easier to do it. I'll just do it. And then I run around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to get it all done.
[00:17:47] What, and I've taken a step back and said, what am I teaching my kids as they grow into being adults about that, that kind of, I can do it all. Nobody needs to help me mentality. I don't want them to have that same type of stress. So being able to kind of be the leader and say, like you said, here's everything we need to do.
[00:18:07] How are we as a family unit gonna break that up and accomplish
[00:18:11] JoAnn: these things? And it's hard. And what you say right there. I think all of us experience every day, I, I just did it this morning. Like with first day of school stuff, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off thinking that I needed to do all the things and not communicating with everybody.
[00:18:27] Yeah. Cause it's just the mentality that we fall into. So being aware that we get into that, I. It's not gonna stop it, but it's going to help us put on the breaks and be like, Hey, I'm feeling really stressed. Yeah. I have a migraine coming on. What is going on right now in my head. And within probably like, it was right after drop off.
[00:18:50] Me and my husband did it and I'm like, Josh, we need to go to like coffee. And I just need to sit and decompress because all of this stress has now built up in me. When we're aware of that, we can. We can take care of it. Yeah. But it happens. So I don't want you so much to feel guilty that you do it, but just market is a win that, you know, it's going on and you're aware of it.
[00:19:17] And I tell this to my daughter too, cause I don't want her seeing me doing everything. Like I saw my mom doing everything. Mm-hmm I tell her I'm like, you know, today I'm really feeling sad and stress. And she's like, why are you feeling sad and stressed? And I'm like, I just feel like I have so much to do.
[00:19:32] And I think I'm taking on way too much. And I tell her all these things that are going on and she's like, oh, and she'll come in and be like, what can I help with? Oh, that's great. Because. Well, when we share our feelings with our kids and have that inner monologue, then they see, okay, this is okay, this is a normal feeling.
[00:19:51] And this is something that I can share with people too, so I can get the help with it later. And that's my hope for it. At least I love that because we're
[00:19:58] Natalie: also, then you not only managing the moment, but we're modeling. Good communication and vulnerability. Mm-hmm like, like being able to say like, I'm, I'm not good at that.
[00:20:11] And I think my, my mom and my family probably wasn't able, I'll just do it. I don't, no one needs to know I'm stressed, but being able to model to our kids saying I'm stressed and I'm overwhelmed shows vulnerability that they need to have as.
[00:20:25] JoAnn: Definitely. And I think especially today for our kids, when they're so concentrated in schools, on achievement mm-hmm and kind of like being perfect, like it's something I worry a lot about with my daughter going into high school and all of the pressure in high school.
[00:20:41] And I mean, she just started yesterday and she's like, I'm gonna make sure I keep on top of my studies cuz now it matters. Now colleges are looking at that. And I'm just like, oh, I remember this stress load. And I remember this feeling of having to be perfect and seeing all of my classmates, like have as on assignments and me just struggling through it and nobody talking about the struggle and the vulnerability and what a gift can we give to our kids when we normalize that the struggle.
[00:21:10] Completely natural and that everybody goes through it. And then seeing people go through it and being able to overcome it, I think that's so much more empowering than making it all seem easy and good. Yeah.
[00:21:24] Natalie: And especially in, we know that the, the rate of mental issues with, with our kiddos, especially high schoolers today, like they have to be able to talk about their feelings.
[00:21:35] They just do. And so what better way to do that than to show them we can talk about our feelings and our stresses openly with our kids. We definitely hide that
[00:21:45] JoAnn: from them. definitely. And it's really, it's scary. What's going on today with kids because in my community alone in the Chandler community we, we had three high school suicides last year at the end of the school year freshman just with the kids under pressure.
[00:22:01] And so. Bringing this struggle to light letting kids know that other kids are struggling too, because there's such a thing in their peer group as well, where they're not talking about this. Yeah. They're, they're, they're, PAing it over. They want it to look good. They want it to look like they're striving and that they're doing great.
[00:22:19] And that we, as parents could start in the home just being like, okay, you know, these are our struggle. Especially coming out of a pandemic like we were talking about before and trying to get used to this new society where we haven't had practice dealing with all this stress for the past two years, in terms of achievement and schoolwork and managing all the schedules and bringing all that out into the open.
[00:22:44] Is such a gift, I think.
[00:22:46] Natalie: Yeah. Well, it, it's interesting cuz we, we set the topic today as as gaining cooperation and getting our kids on board with what we want. And there's something about, I believe that when we give kids a task, they accomplish it. They feel good about themselves and giving them these things, getting them to cooperate is actually helping this overall picture.
[00:23:10] I think that we're talking about in mental health, like when they feel accomplished, they feel a part of the system. Mm-hmm they feel all of that. I think that helps their
[00:23:20] JoAnn: overall wellbeing. It totally does. It gives them the confidence that they could tackle hard tasks. Yeah. See them through and come through the other side.
[00:23:30] Yeah. And when we have them cooperate with us inside the home and have them responsible for contributing to the home, knowing that what they do matters inside the home. I mean, even something as some simple as dishes, like we can't have a family meal, unless those dishes are clean and that's how.
[00:23:51] They're contributing to our family and how they're contributing to the success of that when they do it. Yeah. All kids need chores they totally do. And it's great as a parent, too. It's really great.
[00:24:04] Natalie: it's more than just getting stuff done. It's feeling that sense of accomplishment.
[00:24:08] JoAnn: Yeah. And it can be hard to because sometimes, like we don't remember.