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Listeners Ask: Difficult Mothers-in-law and Middle School Slobs

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We talk difficult mothers-in-law and how to handle them and we also discuss middle schoolers who rebel by not trying.

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Show Notes

1:01 Robin asks Lynn a question from a listener who was reacting to the perfectionism episode a few shows back. Her middle schooler is the opposite of a perfectionist embracing sloppiness and mediocrity.

14:53 Lynn references Robin’s travel website Luxe Recess.

18:57 Robin shares why she uses a circle to manage her kids screen time.

Our affiliate link will get you $20 off a Circle.

17:41 Robin reads a listener question about a mother-in-law who is unsupportive and passive aggressive.

19:38 Lynn references her mentor Michael Yapko and his saying there’s a difference between something that impacts you personally, and something that you have to take personally.

26:26 Robin references Lynn’s books and videos as resources for parents and grandparents to get on the same page helping an anxious child.

29:46  Join the Flusterclux Facebook group, so that you can ask your question on a future episode.

Episode Transcript

Robin Hutson  0:00 

When your middle schooler is the opposite of a perfectionist— dirty hair, dirty room, indifference to academics, we discuss. And how do you parent your anxious kids in front of unsupportive in-laws? We’ll answer that question in this week’s episode of Flusterclux with Lynn Lyons, the show for real talk about worry and other big feelings in parenting.

Lynn Lyons  0:19 

Hi, I’m Lynn Lyons. I’m an anxiety expert, speaker, Mom, and author. I’ve been a therapist for 30 years.

Robin Hutson  0:26 

You’re here because your family has some anxiety issues, or you want to prevent them. I’m your co-host and Lynn’s sister-in-law, Robin, and I’m here to ask your questions.

Lynn Lyons  0:34 

Parenting can be a Flusterclux, and I’ll help you find your way.

We have been so impressed and so pleased with the great listener questions we’ve been getting. So, today’s episode is going two tackle to listener questions that we think are so relevant to many of the things that we’re dealing with right now.

Robin Hutson  0:57 

That’s right, I have the first question here.

Lynn Lyons  1:00 

All right, I’m ready.

Middle Schoolers And Rebelling

Robin Hutson  1:01 

Here’s a listener who was responding to our perfectionism episode from a few weeks ago.

“I especially enjoyed and learned a lot from your podcast on perfectionism. What advice you have for the parent whose child is the exact opposite of perfectionist, the tween-teen that is okay with mediocre grades, mediocre effort in school, mediocre cleaning their room, mediocre effort and hygiene.

They don’t want to try harder. They’re happy with good enough, even though good enough is often messy, sometimes crumpled clothes, unbrushed hair, food-stained, unedited work. And it just would not be sufficient for the child to achieve good grades or be self-supportive in the real world someday.”

Lynn Lyons  1:43 

Okay, so what a great question. And I am guessing, if I had to guess, that this is probably a middle schooler 13 or so, 12,13, or 14. Because there’s a lot of things going on developmentally with middle schoolers that can really cause conflict between parents and child. it’s the time when the middle schooler is stepping into their own identity. So, they’re sort of asserting their independence, they’re looking for autonomy. It’s also a time when they’re beginning to feel a little rebellious.

So for example, if it’s the way that mom and dad do certain things, then suddenly that middle schooler is going to be like, “No, I’m not gonna pick up my room, like you told me to,” or “I’m not gonna dress the way you want me to,” because this is a time in which they’re really figuring out who they are. And they do that sometimes by pushing back against what the expectations are. So, in that way, it’s a pretty normal developmental stage.

The other thing to pay attention to, and I don’t know if this is the case, but I’m just gonna put it out there as an option, because I think it’s it is the case in a lot of families is that if a parent is pretty perfectionistic, him or herself, so if they have high standards for themselves, if the child sees you working really hard, and even being hard on yourself, or hard on other family members, and if this perfectionistic parent is just really high achieving and could be very successful and good at what they do, then there can be some pressure or some pushback against high expectations.

And if a child wants to really get under their parent’s nerves, if their parent is perfectionistic, this is the way to do it. Messy hair or crumpled work, not doing enough, because this really can get parents going. Again, this is not like your child sitting back and saying, “Gosh, let me think what I can do to really annoy my parents in that very conscious way.” But there is something about it that says, “Let me just show you that you’re not completely in charge of me.” Be aware of that.

The other thing that strikes me about this is actually the last sentence, the last words that you read, Robin. “The effort is not sufficient for this child to achieve good grades or be self-supportive in the world someday.”

If this is a younger child who’s not 18, who’s not 16, we don’t really need them to be self-supportive in the world for a long time. So, you’ve got a lot of opportunity to help your child figure out what he or she needs to do in order to be self-supportive in the world one day, but not self-supportive in the world right now.

I say to parents all the time because there’ll be complaining about this, like, I don’t know how she is going to be able to support herself, and I’ll say, “Well, she’s eight, so we’re not getting her an apartment yet. We’ve got some time.”

So just take a breath, slow it down. It’s good that you’re paying attention to this. But again, go back to that skill building part. What is it that you want your child to be able to do for him or herself, so that they can be who they are? They can figure out how it is that they’re going to move into high school, move into college. But don’t zoom into the future. And imagine that you’re going to have this kid lying on the couch eating Cheetos, and watching Judge Judy, when they’re 32 years old, right? Because then that sort of ups our anxiety.

Robin Hutson  5:24 

I would like to chime in and validate that as a daughter of a perfectionist, and I want to give you a real life example, with a happy ending. The child will absolutely figure out what matters most to the parent where they have their worst perfectionist issues, because my mother had the most perfectionist issues about her appearance. So, it was delightfully fun. To then completely go the other direction there.

I’m not sure if I was like 14, but I remember there was one summer I found this pair of swag. It wasn’t even… they weren’t even real men’s boxers. They were a promotional pair with the Purina Dog Chow red and white checks.

Lynn Lyons  6:12 

Awesome.

Robin Hutson  6:13 

And they were like men’s extra-large boxers. So, I safety pinned them on the sides so that they wouldn’t fall down on me. But it also gave me this giant bulge in the back like I was carrying around a soggy diaper. So, I literally wore those every day, because it made my mother furious. She would just say, “I’m just gonna come in there and burn them.”

And I was like, “Yes, and I can’t wait to put them on tomorrow.” And so, I would say that there were many ways I also didn’t brush my hair at all going to school, I also went to an all-girls school when I played that up because I knew it was such an easy way to drive her nuts. The flip side is the second I went off to college, and I was away from that environment, all of that went away.

But when I was able to work on my appearance in a way that I felt like I had my own freedom, my own power, my own standards, it went away. So, I would just say that if I had either of my children really rebel in something, it would make me pause. So, it’s a good lesson for us. Take the temperature of what we’re sending out based on what they’re showing up with.

Lynn Lyons  7:23 

And do you think, Robin, when you were doing that, if you can sort of go back into your mindset then, did it feel like it was a conscious choice on your part?

Robin Hutson  7:31 

Oh, totally. Because you knew it drove them nuts.

Lynn Lyons  7:35 

I wonder if we said to this mom, “Well, look, she’s gonna have messy hair, and she’s gonna have a messy room and her clothes are going to be crumpled. But at least she’s getting all A’s, right?” I wonder if that mom would say, “Okay, so yeah, I can let go of the appearance part. It’s just the grades that bother me.” Or if the mom would say, “Well, overall, I want to see her making effort in everything she does.”

So, this for me becomes an opportunity to plant some seeds, where you are giving your child room to make those differentiations. So, you can say, you know what, I am totally glad that you do not even spend any time brushing your hair. Because who you know, whatever, who cares about that. But it is interesting how you decide whether or not you’re going to do work or not do work. The other thing, too, is that a lot of times parents feel embarrassed around other parents or people at school because their child is not presenting in the way they want them to present.

Robin Hutson  8:42 

So easy to do. But I call it parenting from a place of ego.

Lynn Lyons  8:45 

Yeah. Oh, yeah. two things. One, is this child looking for some room to be who they are and rebelling, as Robin said against your perfectionism or your demands? Or what’s important to you?

And is it okay and an opportunity for you to help your kids see a differentiation, that there are places where we have to put in effort, and there are places where it’s okay to let it slide. Remember in the perfectionism episode, one of the skills that we want kids to have, if they’re struggling with perfectionism, and if you’re struggling with perfectionism is the ability to cut corners when it’s okay to cut corners.

Flash forward, and I became a parent and have a daughter, and I try and consciously think of what I learned from that experience with my mom. I think that kids hear these expectations, and they will just have reactions.

But you’re right, it’s so hard. When you say to a child, I want you to do this. And this is the message I’m giving you; these are the expectations that we have, are you giving them a message of, you know, you need to dress perfectly or you need to, you need to have perfect grades. It’s a tricky balance.

But I think if you’ve got a child, that is definitely showing you that they’re only going to put in so much effort and that they are going to not brush their hair, and they’re not going to work on their schoolwork. If you come into that and try and push that expectation of, I need you to work harder, I need you to do more, it generally doesn’t work.

You want to deliver a message of “You have to figure out what works for you.” And the reality is, is that not everybody wants to get A’s, I’ve got plenty of kids that I deal with that say, “You know what? School is not my thing. I’m going to get through school, because then I’m going to go and be an incredible auto mechanic. And it doesn’t matter what I get in chemistry, because I’m not gonna do that with my life.”

That’s hard for parents when a child is trying to figure out what they’re going to do and how much effort they’re going to put in. And perhaps it doesn’t fit with our expectations. But give them room.

Robin Hutson  11:39 

This child is 13, 14, even 12. The story’s not over.

Lynn Lyons  11:44 

The story is not over.

Robin Hutson  11:46 

Who someone is, at this point, is not who they’re going to be as an adult.

Lynn Lyons  11:50 

Absolutely.

I remember actually thinking about that with my son— with my older son, because he didn’t like sports. And so, I always did sports. My husband was a world class athlete, and my younger son, way into sports, loved playing sports, love sports.

And so, we have this, this boy who doesn’t like to do sports, and people shamed me about it. You know, people would say like, oh, you’re not making him do this, or you’re not… he hated it.

I think back on the stories of him playing Little League, and it truly, like I could choke up right now, if I let myself go there. This young man now is currently hiking to the top of a mountain with his girlfriend. He has hiked every one of the 48 4,000 peaks in New Hampshire. He rock climbs. And he eats healthier than all of us.

But I remember in the environment of kids are supposed to participate in organized sports. As a mom, I kept my mouth shut. But man, I am telling you, it was hard for me. I wanted him to be like me, and it wasn’t his thing. And boy, then he found a way to be active and healthy. And he’s incredibly fit and strong. It really is sort of, we take our own ego and our own expectations, and we just put them in there.

Robin Hutson  13:16 

You talk about differentiation a lot. What I’m realizing also is this is just another side of flexibility.

Lynn Lyons  13:23 

Right.

Robin Hutson  13:23 

It is, it is allowing a child to start being conscious that there are certain rules to be followed in certain circumstances. There are certain ways to be in certain circumstances. There are variations in how we behave in certain circumstances. And it’s allowing kids to recognize that we need to be nimble and adjust with whatever circumstance we’re in.

Lynn Lyons  14:22 

I love that word nimble. Because that’s what we’re doing. We’re paying attention and sometimes when you’re differentiating between what you do and what you don’t do, and what the expectations are. It’s also just being respectful to the other people who whose world you’ve stepped into.

Robin Hutson  14:39  

Well, when you are nimble, and when you consciously tell your kids that they are adapting to different circumstances, you’re reinforcing their capabilities of adapting.

Lynn Lyons  14:49 

Right.

Robin Hutson  14:50 

Which is something that they need to know that they are already doing. We want our kids to be as adaptable as possible. And so, you once told my daughter this. I’m trying to remember what the example was, but you said something like, “You’ll have to learn what’s great conversation to have at home, and what’s great conversation to have with your friends and their parents. And there’s a difference.”

And it was just such a great way, like I had never really thought about consciously showing them, or telling them or speaking about different environments have different rules. Because a lot of it is intuitive, but why not go ahead and be explicit?

Lynn Lyons  14:53 

Well, and then the other thing that comes with that is that so if we go one way, where we say, you have to wear that outfit, or, you know, I need you to behave in this way, or you have to hand in this paper in a certain way, that feels very controlling.

But if you say to a child, “I so appreciate that even though you don’t like to wear that outfit, when we went to Grammy’s for dinner, you were so kind and respectful to her. And I so appreciate you thinking about thinking about how to be adaptable, that was a very selfless thing you did for her benefit,” or you know, whatever the situation is, instead of it coming across as you being controlling and rigid, and that giving them something to rebel against, you’re actually really complimenting them for how observant and nimble and adaptable and oftentimes caring that they’re being.

Like when you’re telling your kids that you want them to brush their hair, because you’re doing some photographs for your travel website, they’re actually doing that for you. Because this is your business, and it was important to you. And so, you are saying to them, I so appreciate you helping me out with this. Right, it just gives you an opportunity to really, to really compliment them and to acknowledge their adaptability and their selflessness.

Robin Hutson  16:41 

When I come back to this listener’s question, I feel like if this mom had a conversation with her daughter and said, “I’m going to give you your room, or I’m going to give you your appearance, or I’m going to give you certain things where you know what it’s totally you and your call, I’m not going to say anything. It’s your space. I would really love for you to see how you can approach your schoolwork and approach other things that are helping you develop your abilities right now, because this isn’t about me, this is ultimately about you. I want you to learn how to do these things for you and not do these things to please me.”

And to just have that open conversation, acknowledge you’ve had those certain expectations that you are going to consciously try and ease up going forward. “Maybe I have had some rigidity here that you’ve definitely needed to push back against. So how do we shift to this? And where can we do this where you feel like you have more room?”

Lynn Lyons  17:58 

Parents sometimes get very stuck on the state of children’s bedrooms. My mom always used to say, “Well, that’s why they have a door.” I think it’s great to just have that very direct conversation.

As a parent, you can always come back in and say we need to make an adjustment. Or I can see this hasn’t been working for our family. Let’s figure out how to problem solve, rather than sort of this is the way it’s going to be. And these are expectations. And this is the way we’ve always done it. That’s the rigidity versus the flexibility. And I think the key thing that you said Robin is that this person is not nearly done yet. This is a way of them figuring out who they are. And there’s so much so much value in it, particularly for a preteen and a teen to have some space in this.

Daughter  18:56 

Mom, can I have more time?

Robin Hutson  18:57 

This is what you’ll hear when you use a circle to manage your kids screen time. What do you think of the Circle?

Daughter  19:02 

I hate it.

Robin Hutson  19:03 

Why do you hate it?

Daughter  19:04 

Well, I don’t actually hate it. But I feel like it’s good that I’m not spending as much time on the internet.

Robin Hutson  19:08 

It lets you set daily limits for different apps and social media. It also controls your kids Wi Fi schedules and you can adjust age appropriate filters for searches from Little kids to teens. Our affiliate link will get you $20 off a Circle. I love it.


Managing Difficult Mothers-in-law

Robin Hutson  17:41

Okay, so this next question is about a listener’s mother in-law.

“How do you handle difficult mother in-law relationships? On our summer visit my six year old, who is an anxious child, is having a meltdown and I’m calming thinking of the best strategies since extended family are there. And my mother in-law passive aggressively gives the sour look, shakes her head, and mutters in disgust “Please, who’s the boss here?

It stings unbelievably, in hindsight, she’s right but yet it’s super painful. It’s one passive aggressive comment after another. On that same visit in front of my child, she’s helping him stir pasta, and she says “Someone’s got to teach him to cook. So, I say, “That’s a dig at me, isn’t it?

She says, “Please, all we have here is mac and cheese.” Calling her out on things, but it hurts and strains our relationship. And again, often and reflection some of her suggestions might be helpful. She was a no nonsense parent, but she’s just not the person I can hear it from. And frankly, her delivery is the worst. No exaggeration. On the above, it happened in August.

With holidays approaching this might be a good topic for other listeners. My in-laws live far, so visits are overnight and at least three nights. Using techniques I learned from your book, next time, I plan to tell myself “I got this. I can get through.” But is there additional advice?”

Lynn Lyons  20:38 

Yes, there is additional advice. Mothers in-law. So, this is a good question. Because in-law relationships are often very tricky. You know, it’s hard to navigate that, and we’re going into the holidays. And so, we’re going to be together with family. And we may be together with them in ways that are a little unique and challenging, because you know, 2020.

So, here’s my thoughts about this. Your mother in-law is definitely being passive aggressive, right? Because when we define passive-aggressive communication, it’s that we’re not saying directly what we want to say. We are delivering a message. And usually it’s a message that’s critical, or that’s harsh, and we’re doing it in a way that the message is delivered, and it has a little barb to it.

If, for example, your mother in-law was not delivering this message passive aggressively, she might say, so let’s just say your name is Lynn. She might say, “Lynn, I can see you’re really having trouble. His anxiety must be really challenging for you. I’m happy to give you my opinion about it.” Or she might say, “This is a really tricky interaction you’re having with my little grandson. How can I help?”

Or say that she is cooking macaroni and cheese with him, instead of saying, “Well, someone needs to teach you how to cook,” she might say, “You know what? I love teaching you how to cook. And I’m gonna do this with you, because it’s fun. And I’m a good cook, and I’ll show you how to do it.”

So, there’s all sorts of ways for people to deliver messages directly. And there are many, many ways to deliver them indirectly. The thing about this is you can approach it in two ways.

You can try and address this with your mother in-law, which it sounds like you’ve been coming back at her when she throws out this passive aggressive bard, you’re pushing back against it. That is not a terrible thing to do, but in the moment is probably not going to be pattern-changing for anybody.

If you want to address it with her, I would do it in a way where you talk to her and you say, “Do you know what? I think you have some valid points.” Now right now you may be bristling. Argh! Right? But she might, right?

So. if your child is anxious, and she’s watching that, and she’s seeing that his anxiety is running the show, and that you’re putting in some accommodations, and you’re stepping in and doing what the anxiety wants, and she’s witnessing that, she may have some valid points.

Her method of delivery is not what we want it to be, so you might have a conversation with her about that. And maybe that would go really well. Maybe you could say, “I know that you’re a no-nonsense parent. And you’ve probably got some really helpful things that I could learn from. And I’m wondering how you could teach me those things in a way that doesn’t feel so difficult for the two of us.”

She may say, “Well, I try and tell you directly, but you don’t listen,” that may be true as well. One of the hardest things when we’re dealing with relationships, and this is so hard with a lot of people, particularly with your in-laws, is you got to own your shit, right? So, own your shit, maybe she’s able to own it, too. And that would be a great outcome.

But the other possibility is that she is a passive aggressive mother in-law, I actually have one of those. And so, she’s not going to change her behavior. She’s not going to see her pattern; she’s not going to own what’s hers. And in that case, the onus becomes yours to be able to respond differently to when she is being passive aggressive. And to not take it personally. One of the things, I’ve said this before, that my mentor said, and boy, it was powerful is there’s a difference between something that impacts you personally, and something that you have to take personally.

Robin Hutson  24:30 

Yeah, I just want to defend all parents out there in the sense that we want to try not take something personally. But this is our kids we’re talking about. It’s our most vulnerable. Is there any area that we feel more vulnerable for judgment than who we are as parents? There’s not. I’m just acknowledging easier said than done.

Lynn Lyons  24:51 

For me, that that was just like, “Oh my gosh, I got to hang on to that,” is because that’s one of the hardest things to do. To be able to differentiate between what is impacts you personally and what you need to take personally, that is an enormously difficult thing.

It comes up in my therapy all the time with people. Yes, that’s an absolutely important thing to say that if we’re going to take something personally, probably about our parenting that’s going to be at the top of the list, right? If somebody says, Oh, I don’t like what you the color you chose for your walls, or, you know, my apple pie is better than yours. Okay, fine. But when they are doing it with your kids, that’s exactly true. So yes, that’s a very good point.

Robin Hutson  25:28 

I just also want to say that parents can be these same people. It’s not just in-laws, you know, your parents, you could have a similar dynamic with Yeah. And I think that whether you’re talking about your own parents or your in-laws, not to sound all mushy, but I think that it’s so helpful to remember that these are the adults that that really love your kids as much as you do. And there’s a lot of love in what they do, even if the delivery isn’t what you want.

Lynn Lyons  25:59 

Right? Well, I think that’s often what it comes down to is, how do we recognize the intent? And there are a lot of people who talk about intent versus impact. And that impact matters more than intent. So when we talk about when you say something that’s insulting to somebody, or you say something that’s hurtful, or you say something that’s aggressive, or you say something that’s thoughtless, and people will come back with “Well, I didn’t mean it that way,” Right?

There’s a lot of talk about well, but the impact was this, even though your intent was this, your impact was this. So, it’s tricky in that way, too, because impact does matter. Even when intent comes from the best place ever. Again, we’re walking, we’re walking in that place where there’s a lot of balancing to be done. But it’s true to remember these are these are people that love your kids.

So, here’s the other option. If you feel like you can’t have a conversation with your mother in-law, you don’t have that type of relationship, or this has been going on. And this is just the way she operates. The other thing that you can do is to really work on your response internally to it. So how do you not take it personally? Very, very difficult.

But how do you change the emotional frame, so when it’s coming at you, you can respond differently internally? I will tell you a little story about something that I did with a client years ago now. So, her mother in-law was coming to visit. And this woman is saying overnight visits are hard for her, this mother in-law would come and stay for 10 days. So that was a good long time. And she said my mother in-law is really passive aggressive, like, I’ll ask her things. She’ll agree to it. But then she lets out this passive aggressive sigh. So now, again, I don’t know is it a passive aggressive sigh? Does a woman just sigh a lot? I don’t know. But I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt.

So, for example, the mom would say to her mother in-law, so we’re going to have pork chops for dinner tonight. Is that okay with you? The mother in-law would say, Oh, yes, that’s fine, dear. And then go Hmm. And then she would say “Is it okay if you watch James, while I just run to the grocery store for a minute?” or “While you’re here, I’d love to go take a yoga class, could you watch while I go do that?” And the mother in-law would say, “Oh, I’d be happy to help,” and then we go Hmm.

So, she said, “By day two, I want to wring her neck because of this passive aggressive sighing.”

So, I said, “Well, here’s what you’re going to do, I want you to take a jar. And every time just keep track, every time that your mother in-law does one of those sighs, your husband has to put $1 in the jar. So, you keep track and just put the dollars in the jar. And then when your mother in-law’s done with her visit, the two of you are going to go on a date night. Just the two of you. And you can only use the money in the jar. So, if your mother in-law only sighs five times during her 10 day visit, you guys can go, and you know, like split a footlong at Subway or something. But that’s all you get.

But if your mother in-law sighs 82 times, by the end of the visit, you’ve got 82 bucks. You guys can go out for a really nice dinner together. So, what happened was is that while the mother in-law was visiting, every time that she sighed, the daughter in-law was like psych, right? Totally psyched. She was just waiting. She was just anticipating when her husband would come back. She’d be like, “Oh, my God, your mom’s side 12 times today. Whoo-hoo!”

And it just made it this game where she wasn’t taking it so personally. And she also got this fun reward. So being able to have a different interpretation of it, or even have the same interpretation to say that, you know, yeah, my mother in-law tends to be passive aggressive, but to find a way to make it a little a little different.

I’ll give you another little example. My father in-law used to make Thanksgiving dinner and remember I’ve talked about how that was his show and his show alone and he was super rigid about it. And then at the beginning of every Thanksgiving dinner like you would try and compliment him but before you could compliment him, he would say either “Not bad for a beginner” or “Not bad for a little pick me up.” Right those were the two phrases he said he had just spent like five days making this Thanksgiving dinner, and so he would say this line which got under my skin.  Like it just annoyed me.

We just had a little contest in our family, just our own little family. And you had to bet whether or not he was going to say, “Not bad for a little pick me up” or “Not bad for a beginner,” and then whoever guessed right won a prize. Then when he would say it at the Thanksgiving table, instead of me going, like, Oh my god, he always says that it’s so disingenuous, and he doesn’t even let me help with Thanksgiving dinner, we would all just look at each other and have a little secret giggle. So, you can play those games. You can do those little things that make it not so not so hard to manage.

Your two options, just to sum this up, listener, your two options are to really have a conversation with her and to let her know that you’re struggling with your son’s anxiety and you’re working on it. And that you really you really value her input and her support and give her permission to offer that.

If you do find it valuable, she may have some things to share. And then the other thing is, if that’s not an option in this relationship, if it’s not going to go anywhere, then find a way to sort of make it a little more playful, or make a game out of it or just have a different response inside of you so that you don’t feel like you’re in a constant battle about this. You know, what we focus on, we amplify.

So, if you’ve got it in your head that every she’s going to be passive aggressive, and you’re waiting for it, and it’s really going to bother you, it is going to impact the way that you can interact with your family. During the holidays.

Robin Hutson  31:26 

If I were this mom, and I had an anxious six year old, who was like having behavioral issues related to the anxiety that I was really trying to figure out a way, if I were one of your clients, I would absolutely drag my mother in-law into a session, too.

Because I think don’t underestimate the power of teamwork. Even if your mother in-law is really different in her style of parenting, she’s an ally, who wants the best for your son, even if it doesn’t come in the way that you want.

So, if she’s not a client of yours, and she can’t bring her to your office, there’s the books, the videos. And to say, “I’m really trying to figure out how to help Johnny here who’s got anxiety. I have found some methods that I think are helping. I would love it if you became versed in these methods, too. Because I think a united approach will be so much more effective.”

Lynn Lyons  32:20 

Yeah. And it’s just like you said before, Robin, it’s so hard to feel like you’re trying to help your child with something and figure something out. And then to get any whiff of judgment. It just boy, it just pierces deeply, doesn’t it?

Robin Hutson  32:34 

It does.

Lynn Lyons  32:35 

I love that. And I do have you know, I mean, you know, the way that I that I practice that for me, I’m bringing in to the office, whoever I need in order to support this, and grandparents who are involved in their kids’ lives and who are truly do have the best of intentions, but maybe look at it in a different way. It really is great if we can get them get them on the same team, for sure. I think that’s great advice.

My mother in-law will be one of the first listeners of this episode because she’s your mother. And she’s one of our biggest fans.

Mom, this is for you know. No, mom, I’m just kidding!

One time I was doing a talk. Afterwards, this woman emailed me to say that she really loved my talk and that she was also a personal stylist, and that my outfit was fantastic. And if I just paired my dress with a little with a pair of suede blank ankle booties, that it would have been spot on in terms of the trend.

I was like, Oh my gosh, because I do get criticized for my clothes. People. in my family have a lot to say about my outfits. And so, I said as I said to my mom, I could take it. So, I said to my mom. “Oh, you wouldn’t believe somebody emailed me that they loved my talk. But they also said I should wear suede ankle booties with my dress and my mom was like, ‘and she is exactly correct.'”

Robin Hutson  33:55 

I know. Your mom was like hurray!

Lynn Lyons  34:01 

I know. So, nobody, just so you know, listeners, the women in my family are not passive aggressive about what I should wear. They’re enormously helpful, and I just take it.

Robin Hutson  34:23 

But if you’re ever feeling a little rebellious?

Lynn Lyons  34:26 

Yeah?

Robin Hutson  34:27 

I have a pair of Purina Dog Chow checked boxers you can wear.

Lynn Lyons  34:34 

Mom, be prepared. I’m going to be wearing the boxers when you least expect it.

Robin Hutson  34:46 

Join the Flusterclux Facebook group, so that you can ask your question on a future episode.

Bye, Lynn!

Lynn Lyons  34:52 

Bye, Robin!

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