Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker

Modeling Emotional Processing

November 23, 2023 MaryAnn Walker Episode 70
Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker
Modeling Emotional Processing
Show Notes Transcript

I was recently interviewed for the Raising Confident Kids online summit. 

In this episode I am sharing that interview where I talk about the importance of modeling emotional processing, especially as it pertains to self care. 

Emotions are there to teach us where we are and what we need. The more skilled adult care givers at processing their own emotions, the more those in their care learn from their example, allowing both parties the opportunity to learn to act rather than react emotionally. 

Virtual Tip Jar:  Several of you have wondered how you can say thank you for all of the free support I offer on my podcast, so here is a virtual tip jar!  If you find value in the content you've found here, feel free to click to buy me a drink!  Thanks for the love!  I couldn't do what I do without you. 

Built-in Microphone-1:

Well, hello and welcome back. Now, I was recently interviewed for the online summit, raising confident kids. And I thought I would share the interview here with you. Now, in this interview, we're talking about the role of emotional processing and the role that it plays in self care. Now, this is beneficial, not only to help you to discover your own needs, but it's also very helpful in modeling this for your children. So they can learn how to fulfill their own needs, their true needs, rather than just buffering things away with. Screens or other things or social media. So I hope that you find it helpful. All right, I'll see you on the other side. Enjoy.

Um, hello and welcome to the Raising Confident Kids Summit. My name is Madhvi and I am a mom of three kids. And I think as any parent can agree with me, the parenting journey itself can be ups... And one of the hardest things I've had, to work with is figuring out how to instill confidence in my kids along with myself. So today I have brought on Marian Walker. Hi, Marian. Hi, I'm so excited to be here. Me too. This is, this is going to be great. Mirian Walker is a life coach and a podcaster. Her podcast is called Inner Work with Mirian Walker. Um, and it's for the helpers, healers, and people pleasers. It's awesome. She supports the individuals who often prioritize the wants and emotions of others at the expense of their own. Uh, e moms, right? Marianna has made it her life's mission to help women learn how to prioritize their own well being and fill their own needs, allowing to create a more sustainable, I'm sorry, a more sustainable way of loving and serving others. So welcome Marianne. I'm so happy to have you here. Thanks. I'm so excited to be here. Thanks for having me on. Absolutely. Um, tell us a little bit about yourself. I know I mentioned some of the amazing things you've done. Um, yeah. Good. So I'm also a mother of three. So I have three daughters and two of them are now adults, which is totally crazy. But yeah, so I've had to work through all of these things. Like, honestly, when I met you, all I knew was that we both had a shared passion. For supporting kids and their families. And that's all I needed to know. I was like, yes, like I'm totally in I'm on board. You know, my kids have had their own mental health struggles and we've had to learn how to navigate those. And so it's really become my passion to help other people to, um, increase their kids confidence, but also that really starts with the parent themselves. So I love that you're directing this towards the parents and really giving them the tools so that they can better support their youth. I love that. Yeah, well, thank you. I think part of it is also my own journey. So this is really helping me as well. And I am sure hundreds of people out there as well. So, um, okay, if you don't mind, I'm going to ask you some questions. I think maybe what most people are wondering about self care, um, and Having that help their kids, um, and get confidence. So how can you, uh, tell us how can prioritizing self care prioritizing what we do for ourselves impact our ability to nurture our, our kids confidence, right? If that's key, isn't it? Like we have to prioritize our self care. We talk a lot about, you have to put your own. Air mask on first, but we have a really hard time implementing it. And as you said, you know, I work with the helpers, the healers and the people pleasers. And so often than that group, they prioritize, everybody should just be happy. Everybody should be happy all the time. And so oftentimes parents, they struggle to prioritize their own self care because it's just like, no, but you have to be happy. You have to be happy. You have to be happy, but they're not happy themselves. So they're essentially not learning how to model. Processing emotions and taking care of themselves when really, ultimately, if they do want their kids to be happy, confident kids, they need to learn how to feel into that, how to process, how to take time and space when they need it, um, so that they are not just going through life with a mask on pretending that all is well, because our kids are going to pick up on that, right? So the better we're able to acknowledge our own needs, the easier it will be for our kids to acknowledge when they have a need so they can take steps towards meeting those needs. Oh, yeah. And now, is this something that, that parents can do alongside with helping their kids instill confidence? For instance, if you're already a parent and you don't feel have, that you have that confidence, or you don't feel like you have the time for self care, or you're not prioritizing, is that something you could be doing in sync with also helping your kids? Absolutely. And it's interesting you talk about confidence because what I've really been thinking on leading up to this is oftentimes we think that confidence just means that we're, we're happy and to go through life doing everything through this positive lens. But what I really want parents and our youth to understand is that confidence is actually just learning. To feel and experience all emotions and continue to move forward. Anyway, that's what true confidence is, is learning that I can navigate any emotion, positive or negative and come out on the other side. So as we're able to learn how to navigate those emotions on our own, that's going to actually model that for our kids. That is something we can do alongside them. I mean, even if you're driving in the car and you're talking about your day. Or asking your child about their day. Acknowledging the emotions. Actually giving them a name, right? So if you're driving down the car and they're like, Yeah, I tripped when I was walking to turn in my paper in class. And you're like, Oh, so how did that feel? Yeah. I remember one time when I was kind of feeling embarrassed too. And I felt my cheeks go red and, and I was nervous then every time I went to, to turn in a paper afterward and this is how it felt for me, but actually talking to them about those times when you experienced the same emotion or a similar emotion so they can see, Oh wow. Like my parents came through this on the other side, like this is going to be okay. This is something that happens. And it's going to be okay. I don't trip every time I go to turn in my assignment. It just happened one time, but it's going to be okay, but we can 100 percent model that with our kids. Yeah. And just to know, I'm not the only one who trips that day. I might've been the only one, but it is something that happens to a lot of people. And as you mentioned, that happened to her and she got through it. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so what about strategies that parents can use just in a daily routine to make sure that they're getting and to prioritize that they're getting their self care in on a daily basis? Yeah. Well, the self care piece, it takes a lot of conscious awareness, right? As to what is it that I actually need right now. Sometimes we think, okay, well self care means I need to have my hot bath and chocolate at the end of every day. But sometimes like self care, it can look a little bit different. It can look like actually sitting with your emotions. You know, it might not feel good, but it's actually raising your emotional intelligence by sitting with it and acknowledging like, okay, you know, we'll just go with the example of being embarrassed. Right. Okay. When I'm embarrassed, I feel my face getting hot and I feel kind of a little bit nauseous. And, and I just feel like I want to hide and that's really interesting. And then, but it's, and giving it the name too, like acknowledging like, okay, so I'm just going to feel and process all of these emotions and see what's coming up for me and, and modeling that for our kids by thinking about what is the actual need here? Because sometimes we're not even aware of what the need is until we have that emotion. Our emotions are what's going to give us the information to what our actual need is. is. So if we're feeling tired, asking yourself more questions like, okay, is this an emotional tired where I just need a hug? Or is this a physical tired where I need a hug, where I need a nap is this mental exhaustion where I just need to take a break from what I'm doing and go on a walk, but really getting clear instead of just. Simplifying the emotions, you know, a lot of people know basically three feelings, sad, mad, and glad, but there's so many other emotions. And as we're willing to lean into learning more about what's actually happening for us, we can get that information for what are my actual needs and expand our own awareness of what it is that we need. And of course, then that's modeling it for our kids too, right? Cause if our kids think my form of self care is just that I'm going to be on my tablet gaming. Okay. That's not going to actually be filling a need for them, but increasing your kids. To learn, okay, what is the actual need so they can feel their actual need rather than buffering their emotions away with their screens or social media and all of those other things that kids love so much. Yeah, absolutely. And I think as an adult, we do it as well. So it is important to model it. I think sometimes I remember as a new mom, um, I used to feel tired all the time. And I never actually knew if that was physical or if that was emotional, what was what it was that was tiring me out. And I think at one point I figured out it was really just a lot of emotional tiredness. And so for me, just taking a 10 minute nap really helped because that was the point where there was no way I could think of anything. Yeah. Um, yeah. And that's changed it. Yeah. Yeah. And when we are like very emotionally activated in that way too, sometimes we do just need that hard reset of a nap. And then other times it's just like, okay, like what is really coming up for me? I mean, it all again, comes back to just naming those emotions and figuring that out. Like science has actually shown that just naming the emotion that you're experiencing can help it to relax a bit and help you to process it more fully, just giving it a name. And so when the only emotions we know are sad, mad and glad, like really digging. Or into, okay, am I sad or am I feeling alone? Those are two very different things. Okay. Or am I mad or am I feeling betrayed? Um, and it's going to give us different information around what those needs are and what's coming up for us if we just are willing to dig a little deeper. Yeah. Because there's so many little prongs that are attached to each of the emotions that we don't really hmm. Yeah. Oh, wow. I love this. This is helping me very much. So thank you. I'm so glad. Um, okay. So how can we, I guess I would say in what ways does our own self esteem, our own wellbeing impact our children's confidence, impact their emotional development and their own resiliency? Oh, such a great question. I mean, ultimately kids are going to mirror whatever we're doing. Right. So if we're unwilling to, you know, oftentimes we want to tell our kids, no, go and try out for that thing and go in and put yourself out there. But if we're not willing to do it ourselves, our kids are going to see that our kids are going to see, oh, you know what? Like mom and dad, they're kind of nervous about doing that thing. They don't actually want to. want to do that thing. So why should I do that thing? Why are they telling me to do it? You know, it's kind of the, you know, do what I say, not as I do, but that applies to our self care and our emotional regulation as well. And so as we're willing to just admit like, okay, you know, I had an experience just last week where I was willing to put myself out there and I asked somebody, Hey, like I would love to collaborate with you on some mental health supports like for here locally. And I was pretty anxious about it. And I shared that with my kids. I was like, Hey, I'm really nervous to do this thing, but I'm going to do it anyway. And it turned out great. And I told him, I'm like, you know what? Like sometimes you do things and we think that when people are willing to put themselves out there, that they're already experiencing confidence. Yes. Oftentimes they're experiencing insecurity and fear, but they do it anyway. And that's what creates the confidence. The confidence comes after the fact rather than before, but so often we think I have to feel confident first, but that's reversing the order. Yeah. And I think the confidence you gain from doing something that you're nervous about is huge compared to other things that might bring us confidence. You know, this is an action that you're taking that you really are fearful of or not wanting to do, but you're stepping into it anyways. And it makes you realize, Oh, I can do it. I can do this. Yeah, which is so awesome, right? Like what a great example for your kids to show them to do this model that I'm going to be uncomfortable and I'm going to do it anyway. But yeah, I get nervous too. I get anxious too. I feel insecure sometimes too. And just being willing to model that is so powerful. It's, it's amazing. I, uh, this was a little while ago as a story. I did a marathon and my kids were young and now they'll say to me, how did you do that? I said, honestly, I was scared. I was nervous, but it was something I really wanted to do it. And so I went out there and I trained, I did what I needed to, and I did it. And when I got done, my husband tells me this, it sounded like when I got done, I ran through the finish line. It looked like I had like won the Olympics. Yeah. But you know, to ourselves, we're very proud of ourselves and just love the fact that we had that confidence to do it. So um, even though, even though they were little at that point, they still asked me about it. So that modeling kind of goes for a while. It's not just while the, the, what you're doing is going on, which is really great. You can bring up things from the past, and that is such a beautiful example because not only were you modeling that you can do things even when you're feeling nervous about it, but talking about it creates that vulnerable connection that we all want to have with our kids right we want to have those connections where. How can we expect them to talk to us about hard things if we aren't willing to also share when we've experienced hard things? So that was a beautiful example. Thank you for sharing that. Thank you. It, uh, for some reason, it just always, um, comes back to me, I think number one, because I was proud of myself and I think that makes a big difference. And then number two, it is something that a lot of people, people feel is a very tough thing to do because it's physical. Um, and it was, but just to know, just to let the kids know, you know what, it's okay. Yeah. You do it and you, and you do it how you can do it, even if it's messy. Yeah. And I appreciate that example too, because it's showing like, I like to tell my clients, like life is 50, 50, it's 50 percent positive and it's 50 percent negative. And so when you're able to say it was hard and I was scared and I'm so proud. We're able to show the full range of emotion and that all of it's a part of it. You cannot run a marathon without experiencing all of those emotions, right? No, not at all. I think even if you've ran one, I have a couple of girlfriends who are addicted to them. It's still that a little bit of nervousness and a little bit of fear that comes into you every time. So for sure. Yeah. Hundred percent. Yep. Um, so will you provide us just some practical activities and habits? That parents can do just for their overall well being, um, and also fostering just a positive environment for their kids and for them to grow and understand how important this is. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. For a while then we were doing something around the dinner table that was. Actually kind of fun, where I purchased online an emotions dictionary. Okay. And at the dinner table, we'd have each, we'd just take turns picking an emotion. Yeah. And so that helps to broaden the vocabulary outside of the Sad, Mad, Glad. But then it was really fun and interesting where we could just be like, okay, so here's an emotion. How does it feel in your body? And when have you experienced it? Cause sometimes when we're having those big feelings in our body, we can't even give it a name, but to really think when you're outside of that emotion, cause they're emotionally activated, our cognitive mind is kind of offline and our primitive mind comes online, but when you're outside of that response and you're like, okay, so when is the time when I, and it could be positive or negative, right? When is the time? When I really felt cared for and nurtured. When is a time that I really felt anxious? And how did it fill in my body? And it was really interesting to see how much my kids enjoyed it. In fact, my daughter, they had an activity at school where they were able to make something on a 3D printer. And she made an emotion dice. For me, it's like an emotion on it. But it was really interesting. Created those experiences. experiences, much like yours with running the marathon, where we were each able to share a time when, Oh, I experienced that emotion before this is what was happening for me. This is how I navigated it. This is what it felt like in my body and just noticing the similarities and the differences, but it kind of created a safe space to feel and process and talk about that emotion so that then when they are in a space where they're having a very serious emotion coming up, we've already laid the groundwork where we can talk about those things. Yeah. And how nice for her at a younger age to know that there is more than mad, glad, and sad. Yeah. There is other emotions and to be able to put it in 3D dice. That's yeah. Um, you have three kids. You said that you have three girls. Uh huh. Well, I have to tell you, I love some of these ideas because my older two are boys. When you're talking, I can definitely see doing this with a girl, but it's more my mindset. I should be able to do it with boys as well. Um, and so I think it's a great idea to kind of open up our minds to, to realize that there's a lot of things you can do when you have a mixed, um, when you have mixed kids in the family, whereas boys and girls, um, And I loved your example because I think I would have, I wouldn't have thought of doing that. Yeah. And you're right that culturally we give girls space to fill their feelings. We tell our boys, man up, we really limit and stifle them. And it's been kind of a beautiful thing to see these kids growing up. I think that they really are as a whole trying to break free of that. Like they recognize that this has been some social conditioning and it's been. Beautiful to see these kids working on their emotional intelligence, but there still is so much room for improvement to just give people permission. To feel is so powerful. I'm giving them the words to articulate how they're feeling. Yes. I think even as adults, sometimes we have a hard time knowing what it is that we're feeling the right word for it. So absolutely. And to just know that there may be right now, there isn't a right word. But eventually we will find that and figure out how to, how to deal with it. I love this. This is so great. Um, so how as a parent, can I. Effectively, just make sure that I communicate to my kids how important it is for me to have my self care and that. It's also important for them to have it and how that works together for us to work as a good, you know, the best to our ability as a family. Yeah. And it's not a great question because again, it comes down to modeling that and having that be an example, but also asking your kids saying, Hey, I'm going to do some self care for 20 minutes, you know, or however long it is, or I'm going to go out with my girlfriends tonight for some self care. And, and. What is something that you enjoy doing? Having the conversations with your kids. Like this is something that's really important to me. And I know when I need to do this because of this, this, this, how do you know when you need to have a break and what do you like to do for your break? And I think that that helps them to not only remodeling it, we're teaching them, like how to be more intentional about their self care, to feel the actual need and to give themselves permission, because it's interesting. A lot of parents, I'm so glad we're having this discussion because I think a lot of parents, they. No one recognized why they need self care, but they think the kids have it so easy. They don't need self care, but guess what? They're human and they have the same needs. It just looks a little bit different. So being willing to be really genuinely curious, not just, you know, talking to him about it while you should do some self care in this way, but being genuinely curious about how do you know when you need a break, what does it look like for you, what are three things that you could do when you're feeling really stressed that help you to feel better and helping them. To workshop that and to start to get their brain thinking to activate that prefrontal cortex to actually fill those needs. So that when they do have those feelings, they're not stuck in just their primitive mind. Oh my goodness. So I know you work with a lot of, um, adults, more, more moms. Have you ever thought about working with kids and children together? Cause you were just amazing at how you do, how you work with your own kids. Oh, well, thank you so much. Yeah, I'm actually meeting with somebody here locally to try to come up with some community supports to work with the youth, and I'm really working hard. I, my vision is to really include my kids in that and try to have some peer led things because it just feels different when it's peers talking about feelings versus. Some adult figure, you know, that they think that we can't relate to them, even though we've totally bought where they're at. It just shifts the energy of it. When it's somebody that's an actual peer talking with them and working with them and just having those supports in place, not only for the parents, but for the kids, there's, we, the kids, they see so much on Tik TOK that really isn't supportive for their emotional development. You know, everything is about likes, everything is about. Amplified emotion, but they don't really help to process those emotions. Right. And so I, yeah, so that's absolutely my vision is to be able to get the parents and the kids on the same page. I think would be a beautiful thing to give them the same vocabulary, help them to work on those things together, I think would be just beautiful. So I so love that you were creating this because I think that that is a huge step towards creating that as a community. Oh, I'm so glad I could see the passion when you're talking and when I talked to you first, I knew you had that passion for other parents, but as I'm talking to you today, I can see that you are just, you know, waiting to just open up and work with the parents and the youth because that's just how we're going to change this, right? Oh, absolutely. I mean, I am more than happy to coach with the parents and to help them to process those things. But if we could teach kids these tools earlier on, it'd be great to be out of a job, right? Yes. Let's give everybody the tools that much younger so that they can be aware of how their thoughts are impacting them, how to process emotions, what their actual needs are, how powerful to have that in your tool belt. Oh my gosh. And how proud would you be if you didn't have a job because everybody could do that. Right? It'd be amazing. Well, I just love what you're doing. Um, I really appreciate you coming on here. I think some of these subjects that we're going to have on this summit are things that people think about every now and then. But because our lives are so busy, we really don't have the time or don't prioritize. Going back to it and figuring out how to make the best of it or what to do or how to help ourselves or our kids. Um, so I, I am so appreciative of you coming on to help us give us some tools, some strategies, not only for us as parents, but for us to model it for our kids. Um, because we, as parents, we know how important that is, um, to model something for our kids so that they can also feel that that is something that's important for them. Um, so thank you, Marianne. Um, I would love, I know you have a couple of free resources that you can help our audience with. So please, if you could tell us what that is, it would be wonderful and, and where to find you. Yeah. So as you said, I do have a podcast interwork with Marianne Walker, where I can kind of put out, you know, little bits and pieces. I know sometimes when you show up at events, there's just so much information. And so I kind of break it down into little bite sized pieces there on the podcast. So you can come and find me on all the major platforms there. And then I also, and I believe you have a link for it. I have a link to a freebie on increasing connection through healthy boundaries. And so it's just kind of a little workbook to help people learn. Oftentimes, we think that boundaries are about control and that boundaries actually decrease connection. But really, when you know how to set healthy boundaries, it can actually increase that connection, which I think is especially interesting to do with our children, right? To learn how to set healthy boundaries in a way that increases connection, rather than just, well, because I'm the mom and that's why. Oh, that's so important. I find myself saying that once in a while, and I think to myself, that's not a good reason. Yeah. And as I get teenagers, they let you know, that is not a good reason. Yeah. My daughter's getting there. She's a tween. So I'm sure I'll be. Well, I really want to take the time to say thank you so much. I know I mentioned that, but it's, it's, I really appreciate it. This is a forum that is just going to help so many parents out there. And, um, I love the fact that. Anyone who watches this interview can go back and connect with you, can ask you questions, and listen to your podcast. So thank you for opening this up for us. Well, thank you so much. I, I am so honored to be a part of this. I really admire what you're doing. So thank you for having me on. Thank you, Marianne.