Episode 135 – How Trauma May Be Impacting Your Parenting (and Your Life) with Jinelle Watson – Part 2

In part 2 of a 2 part episode series, Dr. Toni continues a conversation on the impact of trauma on parenting with social worker Jinelle Watson. They discuss triggers for experiencing trauma responses, automatic reactions that can impact parenting, and how guilt, shame and judgment can follow. Listen in to learn what therapy can look like and how you can take the first steps towards shifting your parenting and trauma responses.  

Jinelle Watson is a registered social worker who holds a Masters in Social Work with a clinical designation in Calgary, Alberta. She has been working in the field of mental health for over 8 years. During her pregnancy, she developed a passion for understanding the impacts of pregnancy and postpartum on gestational and non gestational parents and their families. With her daughter being born in 2020 she has developed a special level of empathy for life with a new baby during a global pandemic. Prior to the birth of her daughter in 2020, Jinelle specialized in sexual trauma therapy and she has built on this experience by completing her perinatal mental health certification. 

Jinelle’s approach to therapy comes from an anti-oppressive, and person-centered lens. She is experienced in supporting individuals and families through areas including but not limited to depression, anxiety, big T and little t trauma, PTSD, addictions, grief and loss, sexuality, gender identity, self-image and self-worth. Jinelle primarily uses techniques from Mindfulness Based Therapy, Sensor Motor based Psychotherapy, Art based therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Feminist Therapy.

In today’s episode, we cover:

  • Potential triggers for a trauma response
    • Including specific pitch, tone, level of sound, possibly created by one or more of your kids
    • Interactions with your own parents, especially if they are part of your support network as a parent
    • Social media and mainstream media
  • How your instincts and automatic default reactions can create different feelings, including shame, guilt and judgment
  • How you can use rupture and repair to shift how you parent 
  • The importance of giving yourself permission to make mistakes in parenting
  • How to find the right mental health professional for you 
  • The importance of safety and stabilization, in addition to processing and healing, in trauma work
  • The importance of not forcing therapy on yourself or your kids if they are not ready
  • How you get to decide your growth or gain from working on your trauma responses
  • The importance of being curious about your behaviour, thoughts, body sensations without judgment or analysis
  • How curiosity towards yourself can be the first step to increasing your window of tolerance
  • The importance of boundaries and saying no

You can connect with Jinelle at https://www.jinellecounselling.com/ for a free consultation or Moss Postpartum House on Instagram @moss_postpartum_house

Today’s Mama Must-Have:

Dr. Toni is a big fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race and their quote at the end of each episode: “If you can’t love yourself how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

Jinelle finds building community to experience love and support from others essential. 

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety to support their natural instincts around labour and birth is happening this fall. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Join Dr. Lisa’s new Meetup group Wild Woman Adventures Toronto if you want to get out in nature, connect with other women and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Activities include: sunrise/sunset SUP, tree-top trekking, a new moon workshop and more!

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2022: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

You can also support us by visiting our Patreon page.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 130: Lose Your Cool Less: Parenting with Educator Tara Gratto

In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa discusses everyday tools for feelings and kindness with educator Tara Gratto to support parents. As parents, we have a whole range of feelings and our patience is tested over and over. Social and emotional intelligence is a skill like learning a language – it needs to be practiced! Listen in to learn more.  

Tara Gratto M.S.Ed, MA, OCT is the founder of Raising Resilient Children. A long time educator and former preschool owner, she supports parents with tools and skills for feelings, kindness and everyday mental well-being. Her signature framework, the Language of Kindness makes parenting easier while fostering connection and building essential life skills with children. Tara focuses on supporting busy parents with tools for today, tomorrow and life. 

In this episode, we cover:

  • How to lose your cool less
  • What you can do in the moment when you are losing your cool
    • Awareness of triggers (where and when?)
    • Breathe and counting backwards from 10 or 5 (model tools for emotional regulation to your kids)
      • Five Finger breathing, Butterfly breathing or Dragon breathing
    • Name it to Tame it
  • The principles of the Language of Kindness
  • kindness to self (your inner voice and self-confidence)
  • kindness to others (how we treat each others in calm and conflict)
  • kindness to the planet (to encourage thinking about food and consumption)
  • Setting yourself up for an action plan to deal with big feelings

Connect with Tara and access her free workshops for parents HERE.

Today’s Mama Must-Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of having a public library card to get books and DVDs 

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety around labour and birth is happening this summer. Join her by registering HERE.

Join Dr. Lisa’s new Meetup group Wild Woman Adventures Toronto if you want to get out in nature, connect with other women and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Activities include: sunrise/sunset SUP, tree-top trekking, a new moon workshop and more!

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2022: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

You can also support us by visiting our Patreon page.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 86: Anxiety, Mom Guilt and Getting Out of Your Head – In Conversation with Kimberly Mueller (previously released as Episode 7 on Feb. 13, 2020)

Here’s another oldie and goodie pre-pandemic episode worth another listen! This episode is packed full of real talk about mom guilt and how your expectations and self-awareness can impact parenting and your attachment to your kids. This conversation between Dr. Toni and registered psychologist, neurofeedback therapist and SheWorth founder Kimberly Mueller was recorded in August 2019 and previously released on Feb 13, 2020.

In this juicy episode, we cover:

  • Lessening your egoic attachment to your kids
  • Awareness of how your experience with your own parents impacts how you parent your kids
  • The inevitability of mom guilt
  • Distorted thought patterns women can get stuck in
  • How mood follows action
  • How trauma, anxiety, sleep and nervous system patterns can shift with neurofeedback brain training

Powerful Mama Advice from Kimberly:

Are you anxious about what your child is doing or not doing, especially in regard to their grades in school, their behaviour in public or their activities like dance or sports?

Remember that your kids are not yours; they are with you right now for a period of time before they go out into the world. Your kids do not have to define you and your identity doesn’t have to be tied up in them. It can be helpful to loosen your egoic attachment to who your child is, what they are saying or how they are acting. This can lessen some of the stress and anxiety you may feel about who your child is becoming. As a result, this can give your kids the permission they need to be loved and accepted for exactly who they are without conditions and expectations.

This idea can be a shift from previous generations. Growing up, you may have felt the burden that you had to be a particular kind of person or fit into a specific mold and that it wasn’t ok to be different. You may even regress back to feeling that way when you go back to your childhood home now!

As an adult, you might still be healing from the idea that it’s not ok to be yourself or you have to be a certain way. Hopefully, we can all step into a new fluidity and looseness around the rigid belief system we grew up in. 

Your experience growing up with your own parents can colour how you parent your own kids. 

When you become an adult, there is a lot of value in seeing your parents for who they really are. We can begin to see the inevitable faults in our parents and their parenting choices. With increased self-awareness, you can start to be radically honest with yourself and be willing to see the tendency of your parents in your own parenting. If your mother yelled often when you were growing up, you might be yelling often with your children. If your mother was a disagreeable personality type and your father was an agreeable personality type, you are likely going to think it’s ok for one person to often succumb to another person’s opinion or desires.

By breaking down how your family of origin influenced you, you can see how some of your parents’ faults might be manifesting in your own parenting. Because of that conditioning on your nervous system over the years, changing how you respond to different situations doesn’t happen overnight. This is also the case with your partner, too! Give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn from them. 

Mom Guilt, Anyone?

The idea of the perfect, happy image that can be present on social media doesn’t help with some of the inevitable mom guilt that you can experience. While mom guilt is inevitable, it is manageable. You are knocking on some primitive parts of your brain when you are experiencing mom guilt. You are evolutionarily wired to want to protect your young. When you go out to seek out resources (in other words: working), you might feel some dissidence or the feeling that something isn’t quite right at some level. Even in the 21 century, you are still operating on the same software system from many, many years ago.

From an evolutionary perspective, your tribe was designed to help raise your young. You can look at it that way when it comes to having your kids in daycare or at school while you are working. Your tribe is helping to raise your young and helping with social skills. The research 

When you have those emotions, be curious about it. Go through the process of checking in with yourself. Are you working a lot of extra hours and being more short with your kids because of guilt around that? Even if you love your job, this can come up over and over again. Is the guilt coming from a place of your spidey sense telling you that something is off? 

While nothing is perfect, often mom guilt can be turned down when you feel comfortable with the care that your kids are getting when you are at work. Honour your intuition if your gut is telling you to make a change. It’s helpful to have someone in your life to talk it out, whether it is your partner, friend, another family member or a therapist.

Could everyone benefit from therapy and seeing a psychologist? 

The biased answer is yes! Being aware of your emotions and putting a label on it is the biggest part of making change and feel better. You don’t need to have a problem or diagnosis to benefit from working with a therapist. It can help look at things in your life with a new lens that you may not have considered. Mental training and emotional agility is something that needs work, like training for your physical health and how brushing your teeth is necessary for your dental health and overall well-being. 

Do you get lost in your head?

Our minds can be a dangerous place! Our imagination can create stories and narratives that are not true. 

Examples of distorted thoughts include:

  • Mind reading – you think you know what another person is thinking, even though they aren’t thinking that way
  • Catastrophizing – you think that if one thing goes wrong, then another and another will happen and create a problem that is far worse than it really is

These distorted thoughts can be challenged by a therapist or a really good objective friend. Seeing a therapist can be a great alternative to talking to a friend because it can be hard for a friend to not be biased or not just say something you want to hear in order to affect the friendship and be nice. While your social tribe is there to unconditionally support you, a therapist is objective with no skin in the game. Also, you are wired to want to keep your status and position amongst your tribe to ensure survival. While it is great to share with close friends, you can say whatever is there for you with a therapist without worrying about the potential impact.

Mood follows action. 

You might not have the “perfect” mood to go out for a walk or go to a new place. It can be hard, but by not doing it, you are reinforcing the same pattern that there is something to be afraid of or is threatening.

Just talking about patterns around past trauma and anxiety (big or little) you might be stuck in sometimes isn’t enough to remove them. This involves the firing of neurons in different areas of the brain and different brain neurotransmitters.

Neurofeedback trains the brain and can help re-organize the brain at the subconscious level. As a result, the brain is no longer firing or stuck in the patterns that are causing anxiety or insomnia or keeping trauma stuck in the body. 

Your brain doesn’t want to exert a lot of energy. It takes a lot of energy to be anxious, depressed or ADHD. Neurofeedback helps the brain to become more efficient and resilient. Like the internet, neurofeedback is super easy to use but incredibly complex in how it’s organized behind the scenes.

Neurofeedback has been helpful for some women to wean off anti-anxiety medication. Also, Dr. Toni has experienced the benefits of neurofeedback while pregnant to calm anxiety, reduce the amount of waking in the middle of the night and gain better sleep quality. 

Today’s tip: 

Take a deep breath. Recognize that you’re doing the best you can and your kids are doing the best they can. Support each other and celebrate our successes. 

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Toni recommends having indestructible stainless steel water bottles for both moms and kids. She loves Klean Kanteen for herself and her daughter Frankie. 

Kim recommends having a guide for free, fun family activities in your area, like Calgary’s Child: https://www.calgaryschild.com/

Find out more about cognitive behaviour therapy, neurofeedback and Kimberly’s approach at www.psychologycalgary.com 

Connect with Kim and find out more about her organization SheWorth on Instagram @sheworth_women 

Thank you for joining us today! 

Have any comments, suggestions or burning questions? Visit our Website and connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, and Please leave us a review and a 5 star rating if you enjoyed this episode. 

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Episode 79: Listen to Your Body: Embodied Intuitive Movement with Sharmeen Abeysinghe

In this episode, Dr. Lisa talks with Embodied Intuitive Movement coach Sharmeen Abeysinghe about how to listen to your body and tap into your intuition so you can respond better to your emotions. Learn how the development of your nervous system is linked to how you parent and interact with your kids. They also discuss how to release emotions through movement and how to pause before reacting to your kids. Included is a 5-minute “movement snack” to get you grounded and focused.

Sharmeen Abeysinghe is the mom of 2 boys and an Embodied Intuitive Movement Coach for emotional resilience.  Her areas of focus are the interplay between the body, brain, emotional & energetic self; and how we can influence these through movement. Having experienced developmental trauma growing up, and complex trauma in adulthood, Sharmeen has a deep understanding of how trauma can shape your life.  While being an educator for nineteen years, she is adept at simplifying complex information so that it is not only easily digestible but fun as well! Sharmeen is an advocate of mental & emotional health for all and in herself finds this through movement.  

In this episode, we cover:

  • How emotional releases can happen through movement, since emotions and trauma can be held in your body
  • How you can tap into your intuition and listen to what your body is telling you
  • The importance of paying attention to your breath and sensations in your body
  • How you can retrain yourself to associate different body sensations with fun and excitement instead of anxiety and fear
  • How to observe your emotions and lengthen the pause to stay calm and collected instead of reacting and yelling at your kids
  • The link between the development of your nervous system and how you respond to your kids 
  • Different ways to inject play and movement into your day
  • A five minute movement snack

You can connect with Sharmeen at https://www.myalignedlife.ca/ and on Instagram

Find out more information about Sharmeen’s webinar at https://www.myalignedlife.ca/services/webinars/

This Week’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of cold water at the end of her showers for hydrotherapy.

Sharmeen loves to wear shorts with dresses so she can still move and feel comfortable while wearing what she wants.

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety around labour and birth is happening on July 19. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa is one of the Experts speaking during the Mom Halo’s Body Talk Inside and Out event on tues June 29th at 7:30pm. Sign up link in her instagram bio and you can register HERE.

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 60: Parenting with Purpose with Tia Slightham

In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa talks with parenting coach Tia Slightham about navigating parenthood during the pandemic. They discuss the importance of responsive parenting (instead of reactive), why your kids are having tantrums and meltdowns (and how to prevent them) and how to learn the skills of parenting instead of feeling like a failure. Parenting can be lonely and exhausting, but with support, the right tools and community, it can be so much easier.

Tia is a mom of two boys and best-selling author of the book, “You’ve Got This Mama, Too”. She is the founder of Tia Slightham Parenting Solutions and The Parenting With Purpose Method, where she works with parents to teach them positive ways to decrease the daily struggles we all encounter as parents. Tia has a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education, is certified in Positive Discipline and has worked with kids and families for over 16 years. She works alongside parents to tailor a plan to solve parenting struggles with positive solutions that are effective, long-lasting and most importantly, will help parents re-connect with their kids.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The 2 pre-determined jobs of your kids
    • Pleasing you
    • Pushing boundaries until boundaries are found (getting out of the grey zone into the sweet spot)
  • The 3 C’s of boundaries, which are commonly used at school or other outside programs, are often not implemented at home. They are needed for your child to thrive.
    • Concrete, clear, consistent
  • The importance of a structured routine with age-appropriate charts so your kids can see what to expect during the day
  • How Positive Discipline differs from discipline using punishment
    • Training and teaching your kids life lessons with mutual respect instead of causing blame, shame and pain with yelling, time outs, force or power struggles
  • The importance of using a timer with visual cues to help with transitions and prevent tantrums
  • The difference between meltdowns and tantrums – it’s all about root cause
    • All behaviours have goals – your child is saying “help me meet my needs”
    • Key: shift your parenting to shift your child’s behaviour to be battle-free
  • Why you should welcome a tantrum in the moment if your child has one
    • Validate their feelings
    • Choice – offer to help them through their emotions
    • Space – give them space if they don’t take your offer
  • How Golden Time helps your child fill their attention bucket and power bucket
  • Why time outs are an ineffective parenting strategy
  • How to learn the skills of parenting instead of feeling like a failure

Join Tia’s Parenting with Purpose Program in February 2021 and get a special bonus of 8 extra weeks of coaching!

Find Tia’s Book Corner for parents and children at www.tiaslightham.com (under her “Resources” section)

Connect with Tia on Facebook and on Instagram.

Today’s Mama Must-Have:

Dr. Lisa loves her air fryer to get out of her menu-planning rut and try out different ways to make veggies for healthy eating.

Thank you for joining us today! 

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!