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You can feel hopeful for the future. Yes, even in trying times, it is possible to feel that the future has incredible opportunities.

Every generation has faced struggles and challenges that have required new thoughts and preparations. Those who thrived were those who learned how to prepare for future challenges.

You can do the same. You can help your child do the same too. 

Think of yourself as an airplane pilot. When you’re able to predict and prepare for what is happening ahead, it’s comforting to your child. Not only do they see that they can trust you, they also feel empowered because they have things they can do to weather what is coming up. 

It’s exactly what the skill of Preventive Teaching does. It allows you to prepare your child for anything that may happen in the future and gives them strategies that they can use that will work. When children feel prepared, it will reduce anxiety and increase their confidence.

You will love this podcast. You will feel comforted by the fact that you can help your child and have a bright and beautiful future.

Episode Transcript

This is episode 97.

We welcome you to the ADHD Smarter Parenting Podcast. Here to heal and elevate lives is your Parenting Coach Siope Kinikini.

Hello, my friends. How are you? I hope you’re doing well. I am doing great. And I’m very excited today about what I am going to share with you. Now, my end goal in this podcast is to leave you with a sense of hope. A sense of feeling that you can overcome all the obstacles that you are confronted with right now. And this is all due to a conversation I had with a parent last week.

So, I’m going to cover during this podcast, three very specific topics. First, I want to talk about that coaching session. Because I feel like that coaching session really brought to the forefront what a lot of parents are experiencing right now with the world in pandemic mode. With the uncertainty of the future. With our roles as parents to our children. And our responsibility in carrying that out to them. 

The second thing I want to cover is, I want to share with you a story of William and his wife in dealing with the world in pandemic mode. I want to share with you that experience because I think we can learn a lot from William and his wife. 

And then, after that, I want to talk to you about the skill of Preventive Teaching. And how this all applies and connects with the world that we live in right now. So that’s the skill of Preventive Teaching. And this is something that you’re going to be able to use right after you listen to the podcast.

In fact, you can start using it immediately after the podcast, and it will give you that sense of hope. That sense of, “Hey, I can look ahead to the future, and I can bring my children into a place of positivity and of success.” So, those are the three things I want to cover during this podcast.

So, let’s go over those three things during this podcast, and then join me again next week for the next podcast, because I’m super excited to share this stuff. This stuff is really groundbreaking for me because when I’m able to coach somebody online when I’m able to receive a phone call from a parent, that’s where the magic happens. I’m able to hear from you, specifically what’s happening in your world, and I can relate it to what’s happening in my world. And we can come to a conclusion of how you can proceed in helping your children become more successful.

Let’s start off with my coaching session last week. Last week I met with Grant. And Grant is a father who, during our discussion, we started looking at everything that’s happening in the world. And this invitation for children to go back to school, amid the pandemic and some of the concerns that he had about that.

Now, during our discussion, we started talking about parenting as a whole and how difficult parenting can be, specifically now. So, if we look back at what our children are experiencing, there is a sense of anxiety on their end. There’s a sense of uncertainty. And during my conversation with Grant, we were looking back at how we raised our children.

Now, we have raised our children in a time when they have seen images from 9/11—trauma as a nation. We’ve raised our children through school shootings. How to prepare for that?  What to do in case somebody walks into a school with a gun. We’ve raised our children, and taught them, how to kick out the backlights of a car if they’re trapped in the trunk. We’ve raised our children in a world of human trafficking where we discuss these issues with them. We’ve raised our children during a pandemic.

And so, all of these things together have really made it a unique time for parents to raise their kids. And in some sense, there is almost a sense of anxiety that some children are feeling at this time. And it’s not that we as parents have done this on purpose. We, as parents, care for our children. So we want to prepare them for the future. And we want to prepare them to be successful and to avoid the pratfalls that may exist in the world that we live in. So, during our conversation, we were talking about this very issue. Wow. We have lived through all of these things and we are now moving this onto our children and helping them cope with a world that is very different than the world that we grew up in at least that I grew up in.

I grew up in a world where people could still smoke anywhere they wanted. In fact, you could fly on an airplane, and you could smell smoke everywhere at the airport. Smell like smoke. Restaurants smell like smoke. I grew up in a time when seat belts were not required inside cars. And those are pretty drastic comparisons to what I was talking about before. But it was a very different time when I was younger.

So, Grant and I were talking about this, and I had to think about it quite a bit. And I realized that, “Hey, there are some important things that we can be learning at this time. And also that we can be teaching our children at this time.” Amid the craziness that’s happening in the world, we as parents have a responsibility and a duty to help these children navigate it successfully.

Now that brings me to my next story. I want to share with you a story of William and his wife, and everything that they worked through during pandemic time. What they did with their family, and the outcome of that.

Now William, 30 years old, had five children. And during the pandemic, they were waiting for their sixth child. And amid the worry, the world was crazy as it is. The government was lagging in responding to the pandemic. There was a lack of communication about how to best treat it. The war was imminent. It almost felt like war was coming. There was this sense of dread. And so, William and his wife, his pregnant wife, in their expectation for their children, were constantly vigilant about protecting and caring for their children and teaching them very specific skills and how to move forward. Now, William’s sister passed away, and she had three children. So, William took in the three children and raised them and is in the process of raising these kids to be more successful and to care for them.

Now, the reason that we’re bringing up William’s story is because I am a history buff. I love history. I love looking back. And the William that I’m describing and his wife are a couple from where I come from, which is the Island kingdom of Tonga. Now, if you don’t know where Tonga is, Tonga is located in the South Pacific. It’s a beautiful place. There are three groups of islands. And so, if you’re thinking tropical paradise, Tonga is pretty close. It’s a tropical paradise.

And William and his wife are actually my great grandparents. They lived through the pandemic of 1918. My great grandfather raised his nieces and nephew because their mother had passed away, because of the Spanish flu pandemic that happened over 100 years ago, about 102 years ago. Now, what they were experiencing at the time is very similar to what we’re experiencing now. In looking back at William and his wife’s history and learning from that, I was able to draw some very specific conclusions, because my grandfather was a product of that pandemic.

My grandfather was a product of parents who grew up in a time of uncertainty. In a time of danger. And in a time of war. I was able to go and visit my grandfather in the Tongan islands many times. But I want to share one experience, particularly when I was a teenager. And I traveled back to Tonga as a teenager. I was roughly around 13 or 14 years old. My grandfather and I, during the summer that I was there, wanted to work on a project together. And my grandfather wanted to build a three-room bungalow on his property. So, just a small house on the side of his house, where he could entertain visitors who came from far away. They could have a place to stay. During that summer, spending time working with my grandfather was a very eye-opening experience, because I had lived in the United States for a long time, and had become accustomed to the way that we live in the United States.

So flying back to the Island Kingdom of Tonga, and being with my grandfather, very, very different. Very, very different. In fact, completely opposites of where I am right now. So, I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is a desert, and then going to a tropical place. And during the summer, as we built this house, my grandfather had other responsibilities in the morning, but he left me to work on this project. Building this bungalow style house on his property in the mornings. And what I observed from my grandfather is just how particular he was. And these are lessons that he learned from his father. He was very careful about waste. Very, very careful about waste. We would always reuse whatever we could reuse, and if we couldn’t reuse it then we found another purpose for it. So if we could reuse nails, we would reuse the nails.

If we could reuse wooden boards or planks, we would reuse those. And so, he was very, very practical. I noticed as we started painting some of the rooms, that the paint was paint that he had had for a while when he built his house years earlier. And he kept it. He kept it. And he was very, very particular about how he took care of things. And in preparation for the future. We would spend lunch together, and then in the afternoons, we would work on this bungalow together. And that gave us a lot of time to talk and to visit, and to spend time together. Now, of course, as a teenager, I wanted to run around the island and swim on the beach and go fishing. I wanted to do everything that most people want to do. I wanted to sit back on a hammock. Drink coconuts and just enjoy my time.

But my grandfather had other plans, and I’m grateful that he did. Because he grew up in a time where work was very important, and you had to plan. My grandfather prepared me in a lot of ways, so I could work on my own without him present. And this is a part of Preventive Teaching that I thought was super helpful from him. Because as he would leave in the morning, it was up to me to carry out the responsibilities until lunch when he returned to work with me for the rest of the day. And so, one of the examples that I remember from him is how to use the tools that were around our house. So, how to effectively use a hammer. How to effectively use a saw. How to use a level. And then, how to double-check my work. And he was very adamant about me being able to measure things consistently correct.

Because when you started to put different pieces together, all the smaller pieces have to work, and they had to function their own. And so, he would prepare me by teaching me and showing me first off and then allowing me to practice in front of him so he was sure that I knew how to do these things. And then, he would let me do them. I remember when I first initially learned how to do this, with the level. I measured something, and I was checking the levels of a board that I needed to cut. And I didn’t check it twice, which is something that was part of the steps that he taught me what I needed to do. And so, I ended up cutting the board, and when it came back, it didn’t fit where I wanted it to be in the room.

And he asked me if I measured it at twice. And of course, the evidence told him that, “No, I didn’t.” And so, we had a discussion about being sure to follow each of the steps along the way in this creation. Now, I haven’t really talked a lot about my grandmother. But my grandmother grew up in the same era as my grandfather. And so, she was very specific regarding instructions and using Preventive Teaching. This idea of demonstrating and teaching me what I needed to do before the situation arrived in order to move forward. She was a warm, wonderful woman, very supportive of her husband. And someone that I could turn to. So, I’m very grateful for my grandparents, for the things that they were able to teach me while I was young. And it was through these lessons that I have gained a greater appreciation for this skill preventive of teaching because I learned from them how to engage with young people. How to teach them. How to demonstrate. How to allow them to experiment and to learn. And then, how to double-check, and be sure everything is going well with them.

So, very, very grateful for my grandparents for being able to teach me this. But specifically, for them preparing me and teaching me, educating me in a good way to do this. Building that house was an eye-opening experience for me in many of those ways. Because I learned from him that as he grew up a child of a pandemic time of uncertainty for his parents, he was always prepared. He planned for the future. He didn’t waste things. He was very careful. He was very deliberate in his approach to problem-solving issues about the house. And he was an educator. So he wanted to teach and be sure that I was prepared in the future.

I want to share with you what this has meant to me in my life right now. Now that I am a father. Now that I have my own child, and I’ve been working with children for years, and with families. This whole concept of being able to use Preventive Teaching to help children learn what to do has become invaluable.

When my daughter was very, very young, we used Preventive Teaching a lot, for anything that was going to happen. And currently, my daughter is getting ready to return back to school. And so, there is a lot of uncertainty in what that’s going to look like and how that’s going to play out. And of course, we as parents, we don’t know what the future holds.

However, in using Preventive Teaching, we are preparing her for things that may occur. And it’s being able to prepare a child for the things that may occur, that calms their fears and their anxieties. And it gives them an idea of what they can do when something arises. So, with my daughter in school, we’re talking about every scenario. We’re talking to her about, “Okay, what happens if you get to school and somebody shows up, and they’re coughing, and they’re sick. What should you do in that situation?”

And we demonstrate it and Role-play it and practice it. We talk about things that she may hear at school. My daughter’s heavily involved in Hope Squad, which if you don’t know what that is. That’s a peer leadership group that reaches out and helps other students, peer-to-peer. And we Role-play what she should do if she hears anything. We’ve taught her at a very young age, very specific behaviors that we would expect from her, and rarely has she veered from those things. From what we’ve been able to use or teach through Preventive Teaching. And so, it’s such a powerful tool for parents. And it’s one that I would highly recommend that parents use consistently. I’m using it now. My grandfather used it with me. My parents used it with me. And now I’m using it with my child. And the feeling of safety for my daughter is there. She’s very comfortable in different situations that may arise. And so, it’s a great benefit. Great, great benefit.

The house that we built, the little bungalow house, still exists. And it has been years, but it still exists next to his property, and the house is still being used. When people come to visit, they can stay there. They can stay there. There’s a restroom. There are rooms and a kitchen. It’s a small bungalow house, but I took my daughter there a few years ago and showed her what my grandfather and I had built. Now, my grandfather passed away before he met my daughter. But being there brought back so many memories as an adult looking back, and seeing how he was able to foresee a future without him. But still, a future that was able to give and to produce something of value to future generations like mine.

So, I learned that from him. I learned how to be careful with what I had. To not waste. I learned to make do with what I had. I learned that even though we are feeling the pressures of everything that’s happening in the world, that if we can project and look ahead to the future, the future is bright. That there is hope. And that we are in the process of creating for our children, a future for them that is more hopeful, as long as we are able to guide them along that path.

Now, the last part that I want to talk about is Preventive Teaching as a skill. Because you’re probably wondering, how does this skill tie into all of this? Well, Prevent Teaching is all about looking ahead. It’s all about anticipating what is coming up in the future and how we can best prepare to meet those.

This is particularly important for parents who are raising children during this time. Your ability to look ahead and to help your child plan for the future is going to help them move forward. It’s going to help them really become successful in the world. Because when you can plan for things and plan ahead and look at possible potholes that you can avoid. You are thinking not only stuck in this moment, which is usually where anxiety resides, is here and in the immediate future. But you’re able to look and project and prepare for those things to happen.

I want you to think of what it’s like when you’re flying in an airplane, and the pilot comes on the intercom and says, “We are going to hit turbulence in 10 minutes from now. We’re just letting you know that we’re going to turn on the signal for the seat belts and please stay seated.” Now, when the captain says, something like that, automatically, you as a passenger are prepared for it. And so, when it happens, there is no fear. You feel confident in the pilot’s ability to guide you to your final destination. Whereas, if the pilot doesn’t say anything and you’re flying in this airplane. And all of a sudden you hit turbulence, and then the pilot announces things, there’s almost a sense of, “Oh no. What is happening?” That increases the anxiety that’s happening.

So, I want you as a parent to look at yourself as a pilot and looking ahead. What are the things that are going to be coming up in the next little while that you can help your child prepare for? To get them in a place where they can overcome and succeed, and that you can help them navigate through. That is the role that Preventive Teaching allows you to do.

I’m going to go through the steps of Preventive Teaching because it’s very important for you to know. I want you to be able to have this in your thoughts, and so you can use it with your child. Okay? So, the first step to Preventive Teaching. Step number one is to say something positive about your child’s behavior or express empathy about how they may be feeling. Step two is describe how you want your child to act. Avoid telling your child what you don’t want. So, you’re going to be descriptive in what you want them to do. Number three, you want to give your child a meaningful reason to behave in the way that you want them to. Now, that reason has to be meaningful for your child. Step number four is to practice the expected behavior. Now, this is the most important part of Preventive Teaching.

You want to practice it so your child really understands what it is you’re expecting. And you want them to go through it a couple of times, so they know how it feels. Step number five is to find something positive they did while they practiced. Now, you can correct them if they did something that was wrong, but then you’ll go back and you’ll practice. You want to practice until they get it right, at least three times. So, step five is to praise them for what they did well. Okay? And the final step is to continue to practice. This requires a lot of practice.

Now, again, you’re going to be the pilot that’s saying, “Hey, we’re going to hit turbulence ahead, prepare. I’m going to turn the light on for your seat belts. We want you to stay seated.” I mean, you’re giving them all of these preparatory steps and things that you want them to do before it happens, so when it does happen, there’s a sense of calm and a sense of peace. So, be very aware of your ability to do this skill with your child, and learn and memorize the steps. You want to be able to do this any time that you are preparing your child for something in the future, but as well as long-term in the future like my grandfather did.

Now, I want to go back to talking about Grant, and that parenting coaching call from last week. In speaking with Grant, I made a list of the things that he brought up that we have taught our children in preparation for living in this world. Which was, they’ve seen images of 9/11. They do drills at school for school shootings. All of that. And I shared that experience because I think a lot of parents are feeling this sense of dread or feeling overwhelmed with what’s happening in the world. And yet at the same time, every generation of parents have had unique challenges that they had to overcome. Every generation of parents have had unique challenges that they needed to overcome.

I shared the story of my great grandfather living through the pandemic. And the fruit of that through my grandfather and how it touched me generations later. And the reason that I point that out is because, in their unique situation, they were still able to move forward and to move on. And this is why I feel like there is great hope for the future. The children we are raising right now are going to be so resilient to changes that are happening around them. They’re going to be able to pivot and create even a better world than we live in.

I honestly believe this next generation is going to do amazing things. And they’re going to be able to do it because of you. Because of your abilities as a parent to guide them along the path. So, as a reminder, all generations of parents have had unique challenges. This is our challenge. This is your challenge. This is my challenge. And we’re up to it, because we have the resources. We have the knowledge. We have the information necessary in order to guide them through this whole process.

It gives me chills. I don’t know if you feel them, but I feel chills. I feel chills thinking about that in a wonderful way. We’re moving things in a positive direction. The world back in 1918, during the Spanish flu, was a very different world. And there were many things that were not in place to help in the prevention of what was happening with the Spanish flu, in the spread of the Spanish flu. In fact, in the Island kingdom of Tonga, for the Spanish flu, it got so bad. So many people passed away. It was just sad.

Tonga is ruled by a monarchy. And so, the queen at the time described what it was like during that time. This is quoting her own biography. “There was no social life in Tonga. People crept into their houses to die. And some died because they were too weak to get food. People were buried like dogs. No ceremonies, just bundled into graves. Many people were so distressed by having their dead buried in pits together, that they were going around digging them back up again to give them a family burial. There was no communication. There was no healthcare like we have today.”

During their time, they had their own unique challenges in dealing. And I want you to think of what we have to deal with, everything that’s happening. We have scientists around the world working on this. We have healthcare providers who are taking precautions. We have so many wonderful things that are in place that they did not have in 1918 during the Spanish flu.

So, we’ve come a long way. And again, I just want to reiterate, don’t be overwhelmed. Have hope, because the unique challenges that we’re facing today as parents are the things that are going to set the future generation apart from every other generation that has existed. It’s going to set them apart from everyone else. And from there, they’re going to continue to grow. It gives me chills to think of the future. What will it be like when my great-grandchild is living? And what kind of world will it be? And all I see is positivity and hope. That’s all I see. I see my great-grandchildren having a wonderful life in a world that is a lot better off than the world we live in today. And we live in a pretty good world. I want you to know that we have a lot of things to be grateful for, but for you parents out there who are struggling emotionally, and feel like things are not working out or that you feel overwhelmed, I want you to embrace the idea that this too will pass, and that this is a growing moment. This is a time when we pivot and we can help our children pivot as well. And that there is a bright future ahead. I want you to use Preventive Teaching. Okay? I want you to use it.

Anticipate what are the things that are going to come up this week with your child where they may struggle. And I want you to use the steps to help them navigate them through. Be their pilot and prepare them beforehand, so when they reach that point, they’re ready. They are ready to take on the world. All right? That’s it for me. I love you.

Thank you for joining us here at Smarter Parenting. And if you need individual coaching, sign up for individual coaching. I would love to talk to you. You can find that information on the Smarter Parenting website. That’s it for me. Have a good day.

 

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PODCASTS MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST

Ep #89: Special episode-Preparing our kids to navigate the world around them

Ep #51: Finding success with Preventive Teaching

 

RESOURCES

Behavior skill: Preventive Teaching

Steps of Preventive Teaching

Finding a meaningful reason worksheet

Behavior skill: Role-playing

Blog post: How to use Preventive Teaching to help your child’s anxiety

Blog post: Using Preventive Teaching to talk to your children about national tragedies

 

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Specific Diagnosis ADHD #97: Feeling hopeful for the future