#44 - Emotionally Healthy Families & Managing Meltdowns with Emily Hamblin

Oct 01, 2023
#44 - Emotionally Healthy Families & Managing Meltdowns with Emily Hamblin
***For transcript of this episode, scroll down!

🌟 Emotional health is something we don't often give much thought to when it comes to our families. But let me tell you, it's become quite the hot topic lately, and for a good reason.


Episode Highlights:

🌈 The power of emotional health in families and its tie to emotional intelligence.

✨ Practical steps to cultivate emotional health within your family.

πŸ§’ Ideas for nurturing emotional intelligence in your little ones.

🌟 Celebrating neurodiversity and embracing unique needs in parenting.

🀝 Bridging the gap from authoritarian parenting to a more emotionally connected approach.

πŸ’₯ Pro tips for managing meltdowns and navigating those challenging moments.

🌼 The crucial role of resilience in kids and strategies to nurture it.

πŸš€ Empowering children to be emotionally independent, even when you're not around.

πŸ“š Resources to kickstart your journey into emotional health and intelligence.

πŸ’‘ Emily's ultimate gem of wisdom for our listeners.


πŸŽ™οΈπŸŽ™οΈπŸŽ™οΈ So grab a blanket, and a nice hot drink, and get ready to start making emotional health a priority.


Want to connect more with Emily? Check her out here:


Link to the Empowered Parent Bundle: www.drsamgoldman.com/empoweredparentbundle


πŸ“± Looking for more sensory & feeding tips & tricks? Join me over @DrSamGoldman on Instagram.


Episode Transcript: 

Sam: You know,

emotional health is something we don't often give much thought to when it comes

to our families, but let me tell you,

it's become quite the hot topic lately and for a really good reason it's

important. So today we've got a fantastic guest joining us on the podcast,

Emily Hamlin from Enlightened Motherhood.

She's going to break down what emotional health really means,

how we can help our families build emotional intelligence and how to tackle

these tough moments we all face. Emily's got some super interesting insights,

especially as a mom raising kids who have pediatric feeding disorders and

sensory challenges as she talks about in this episode,

and she shares some really neurodiversity affirming tips for handling meltdowns.

I appreciated how down to earth and relatable Emily is.

She's not afraid to talk about the ups and downs of real life parenting.

Before we jump in, let me give you the lowdown on Emily.

Emily is a mom to four children, age two to 12,

former foster mom and certified teacher that's worked with more than 1000 kids

across the globe. Working closely with neurodivergent,

highly sensitive and other emotionally intense children has given her the

opportunity to apply and develop outta the box compassionate tools

to better help all children to navigate their emotions.

She's passionate about helping moms to have more peace at home and better

relationships with their child so children can have a brighter future.

With that, welcome to episode number 44 of the Food Explorers Podcast.

Sam: Hey Emily, I'm so excited to have you here today.

We have not talked about emotional intelligence or emotional health on this

podcast yet, so I think it's gonna be so valuable,

but can you start by giving us a little introduction to who you are and what you


Emily: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for having me on your show. As you know,

I'm a huge fan and I love all of the work that you're doing and helping

families. Um, so you've said,

my name is Emily Hamlin and I am a mom of four.

My oldest is 12, my youngest just turned two,

and several of my children are neurodivergent,

although I didn't know it for years, for many years. Um, we do have a D H D,

we have autism, we have a pediatric feeding disorder,

we have multiple speech disorders in all of these diagnoses are actually very

new for a while.

All that I knew was that it was a lot harder to parent my kids than I thought.

And I have a background as a teacher, I'm a certified teacher,

and when I first went into parenthood I thought, oh, this is gonna be amazing.

Like I have this down, I have all of these teaching tools,

and I was really like thriving as a teacher,

had amazing reviews and parenthood, you know,

it wasn't the way that I thought and the thing that made it the hardest,

it wasn't teaching my kids their ABCs and one two threes. Right. Um,

it wasn't the academics pieces, it was a lot of the, um,

emotional regulation that led to really big behaviors or I

guess lack of emotional regulation that led to a lot of really big behaviors,

not just on my children's part, but also on my part.

I always said I wouldn't yell as a parent and I ended up yelling a lot because

I just didn't know what to do to get my kids under control. Right. So, um,

it was quite the journey and I've made so many positive changes to my parenting.

It feels a lot better. We still have some challenges.

It's not like perfect in our home, but, um,

things are just going so much better.

So now I try really to empower other parents to put in the effort to make their

own positive changes and have families that just feel a lot better emotionally

and, you know, in terms of their relationships.

I love how realistic you are about that though, that it's not always perfect.

There are gonna be, we're human, we're always gonna have regulation issues.

Our kids are always gonna have regulation challenges.

Sam: I love that you talk about how to make it through those tough moments.

Emily: Mm, thank you. Yeah,

I try to be re really real part of it's probably my A D H D,

which I didn't know I had until my son was diagnosed with it, but you know,

if they call it oversharing, I call it being authentic that I just can't,

I just can't not show up as myself.

And the imposter syndrome would take over if I was like, oh yeah,

we never yell at my house. No. Like, it still happens. It's just a lot better.

Sam: Oh, that's, that's awesome that you are authentic about that though.

So let's start at the very beginning because some parents might not know

what emotional intelligence and emotional health are,

but they are buzzwords lately. We're hearing them a lot.

So what do they mean and how does it tie into emotionally healthy families?

Emily: Oh, these are such good questions. I could go on and on about them. Um,

so in a nutshell,

emotional intelligence is just becoming more aware of our own emotions

and our ability to handle those emotions and also becoming more

aware of the emotions of other people. For example,

I know when I'm angry, I'm a lot more likely to yell at my kids.

I know what anger feels like in my body.

I'm aware of different tools that I can use to handle that anger

beyond yelling.

And as a parent that was fully mature by the time I learned

those skills. You know,

that's me gaining emotional intelligence in terms of emotional intelligence for

children, it's a lot of the same things,

just more at their level and with their, you know, level of,

um, brain activity in mind, brain development,

that's the word I was looking for.

Sam: Mm-hmm. Because we're not born knowing how to regulate ourselves.

It's learned, it's something we learn over the years,

Emily: Right. But we are born with all of the emotions.

Sam: Oh my gosh. Yeah. Yes, we are.

So you do talk about emotionally healthy families.

What does it mean when you talk about that?

What does it mean to be an emotionally healthy family?

Emily: That is such a good question. Um,

so when we think of like physical health, um,

there's a lot of different aspects When we say that somebody's healthy,

how do we define healthy?

Some people might say healthy as if you weigh a certain amount,

but then we can come in and say, Hmm, you know,

there's people that would probably be classified as overweight that are running

triathlons and there's people that would be classified as a healthy weight that

are actually quite unhealthy. Right?

And so there's probably, this could be a really huge debate.

What is an emotionally healthy family?

But to me it's this idea in my family of more working

on having good relationships.

Our home feels like a good place to be.

It's a safe space for my children to be able to express themselves.

And we're working on gaining more skills so that when we have those

big emotions, we can do so in a way that doesn't harm other people.

And that when we do make mistakes, we know how to handle them and how to repair.

So we're really working on what strategies can we use?

How can we be teaching emotional health and when it doesn't go how we expected,

what's that next step after?

Sam: Yes.

Emily: And I always say we're focusing much more on the progress than on the perfection

because whenever an emotionally healthy family is not a perfect family,

there is no perfect family,

an emotionally healthy family is working on that progress and it's a lifelong

progress that we're, we're hoping to, to be working on.

Sam: So for somebody who this is really new to,

maybe they haven't started out on this journey,

what's that first step to emotional health?

Emily: Hmm. So as parents, I know for many years this is, um,

I don't really like the word mistake, that's what comes up. But, um,

one thing that I was working on that wasn't super effective in helping my

children with their intense emotions was I kept going straight to my children

and trying to help them learn emotional regulation.

And I skipped over helping myself learn it first.

And so I would show,

they would be frustrated and I would show up super frustrated with their

frustration, and you should not be acting like this.

But all I was doing was telling, like my words were saying one thing,

but my emotions were saying another.

And so I was communicating to them with my emotions,

you totally should stay frustrated right now. Look, your mom's frustrated,

or look your mom's really angry, or look, your mom's disappointed.

Like whatever they were feeling,

I didn't realize I was often showing up with that same exact emotion.

And so I was just perpetuating it, staying there because science,

now I understand it shows that children hear an emotional tone like it

registers in their brain before they process any of the words that you've said.

And so the very first step is that we work on our own as parents,

we work on our own emotions first. We work on showing up regulated.

We work on showing up the way we want to.

Doesn't mean we have to be happy all the time,

but we might show up calm or confident or in control

or curious or compassionate. I go to all the Cs usually when I'm like,

how do I wanna show up right now? Choose a C word. Okay,

I wanna show up compassionate.

And when I show up that way and I put in the work to be able to work on my own

emotional regulation, oh my, it just skyrocketed. In our family,

our emotional health is so much better.

And if you are regulated,

you can better think and process and react to your child too.

Sam: So I love that that first step for you is regulating yourself because

you know,

with co-regulation you're gonna be able to help somebody else so much better.

Emily: Yes, absolutely.

And I know we had you on our podcast and it was such a good conversation,

but much like you teach us to understand, um,

why is that picky eating there in the first place?

And I always put the picky in quotes, right?

But why is my child being particular about their food in the first place?

Let's understand the reasons. Um, it comes the same if, if I'm regulated,

I can think more logically, like,

why is my child screaming about not being able to find their shoe? Like,

what's really going on here?

I don't think that they planned on screaming at me about losing a shoe when they

woke up this morning. And why are they doing it? How can I,

how can I help them with that underlying need?

It's so much more effective than just trying to force my will on them to get

them to stop screaming about losing that shoe.

Sam: Yeah. And I would imagine too that they're watching you,

they're watching regulate, they're learning from you as you regulate yourself.

They're learning how to do it for them, like for them own, for their own bodies.

Emily: Yes. That,

that was definitely a moment where I realized my parenting had to change.

When my son was probably my oldest, I think he was maybe three or four.

And at the time we were a bilingual family. So, um,

we spoke to him mostly in Spanish growing up. And um,

I remember him looking at me and going, mama,

which is mom give me water now.

And I realized that it was the exact same intonation and the

exact same like word structure that I had done to try to get him to,

I don't know, probably like clean up a toy or brush this,

I can't remember what it was.

It was something like I was trying to get him to do and I was like, seriously,

get your shoes on now.

And he took it and totally turned it to request

something of me.

And the moment I realized that it was like almost an exact copy of me,

I was like, oh my goodness, if I don't want him to speak like this,

I need to change the way I'm speaking to him or it's not going to happen.

Sam: Oh, isn't it so

humbling and amazing when they used those same words that you used with them

back on you?

Emily: Yes, it was good. I needed it. I needed it to, to spur the change.

Sam: So let's expand on that a little bit.

So that's one way kind of of helping your child learn emotional intelligence.

What are some other ways for facilitating emotional intelligence and health with


Emily: Mm-hmm. So this is good. There's, there's a lot of different ways I kind of,

in my mind I put 'em into two categories.

One is structured like where you plan,

okay, my child is, um,

they have a lot of difficulty staying calm when a sibling takes their toys.

And so we come up maybe with a plan where we might even set a time in our mind,

okay, I'm gonna spend these five minutes or these 10 minutes,

it doesn't have to be long, and I'm going to sit with them and do like,

I'm gonna put a lesson in quotes. This is my teacher coming out. You know, um,

maybe activity.

Parents might feel better with that word than thinking of it as a lesson,

but I'm gonna sit down with this child and I'm going to do this activity with

them that will help them learn other skills on how to handle their sibling

taking their toy that doesn't include hitting or screaming or biting or whatever

behavior that they don't have. So that's one way is this really purposeful,

like, planned activity. And that's something, um,

like in emotionally intelligent kids, which is, um,

one of the memberships I have, like,

we have a lot of the structured activities with worksheets and they're fun and

we try to make it engaging and it's something we enjoy or else you're gonna lose

your kid. Like if it's just homework, you're gonna lose them.

So definitely wanna make it like fun, enjoyable, pull out toys,

get on the floor with them if you can, and if not, um,

just find a way to make it really low key. So that, like, planned activities,

definitely one way another is just like on the fly when you have in your

mind, okay,

I wanna teach my child different skills for handling their anger when their

sibling takes a toy and we're on our way to the store and we're at a red light

and there's a lot of cars and it kind of like can pop up then and be like, okay,

so man,

do you know what's really hard for me when I'm sitting there watching TV and dad

comes and takes the remote from my hands and I think, oh,

don't take that remote. How do you think I feel like, how would you feel?

And so they're more on the fly activities that, um,

discuss the same concepts,

but just in a not so much of a plan way. And I think both,

when both come together, it really helps our children soar.

Sam: Oh, I love that idea. I love both of those ideas. It was really funny,

a year or so back I was playing with my niece and we were playing with,

you know, ponies or animals or something,

and she had one of the animals hit another animal and then, you know,

cry and she responded with, she's like,

it's okay to be sad,

but it's not okay to use our hands to hit our friends. And it,

it didn't dawn on me on the moment, I talked to my sister about it later.

They had been practicing that with toys and how she carries that over into

life and into play with somebody else.

And I thought that was so amazing of that. Mm-hmm.

It was a more structured play, but it's also something they talked about,

like you said, in the car. It's something they talked about going to school,

things like that.

Emily: Yeah. So good. And sometimes we think, oh,

I just don't have time to add one more thing to my plate.

And I always teach parents, like,

we're talking about two to three minute bursts. Like,

it does not have to take a lot of time,

it just needs to be included and something that's consistent. Um,

and honestly like then my brain goes to this all or nothing. Well,

what if I like remember for a week then I don't for two weeks. I, I,

I'm not consistent, so it doesn't help. I'm like, no, no, no.

Something is always better than nothing.

So whatever you have to give and whatever your,

whatever abilities you have at this point in your life,

like something is better than nothing.

Sam: Yeah. And how can you fit it in, in a routine that you already do? I love that.

That you're like, we're in the car, we're on our way home anyways.

We're gonna be driving.

But I fit it into something that I do every single day anyways.

Emily: Yes. And I had a thought that it, it left.

Sam: So I wanted to talk a little bit more because, you know,

that I really work on supporting parents of kids with sensory

needs and supporting their diversity.

This can be really challenging for kids with sensory challenges because

they are often so unregulated already that then also regulating

emotions, of course,

that's also part of our interceptive sense can be really challenging.

And as you mentioned, you have had a lot of experience with this at home.

So can you you tell us a little bit about how this applies to kind of kids with

sensory needs and any tips you might have having experienced it yourself?

Emily: So yeah, I, I really enjoy, um,

viewing our children's emotional needs through a neurodivergent lens regardless

of where they're at.

Like each brain is like a fingerprint, right?

They're all unique and some children do have more sensory needs than others,

but even neurotypical children have sensory needs, right?

And so just putting that in as a big piece to the puzzle.

If I know that my child, um,

one of my children is more likely to handle a lot of his intense emotions

if his vestibular movement or need is being met a bit more. So, um,

we've practiced a lot. Okay,

when you're upset or when you're feeling overwhelmed in public, um,

come over to me and sit on my lap and I'll rock you.

And it's something that we practice a lot in different ways. And, um,

it was like three months into practicing and he had just finished a martial arts

class and he was corrected a lot in that martial arts class.

His body budget was probably really low.

Maybe he didn't sleep all the night before.

And I could tell like he was in prem meltdown,

which is very common for him at the end of a martial arts class.

But this particular day he came up to me when it was time to leave and he sat in

my lap and wrapped my arms around him and started to rock himself. And I just,

I just felt so proud.

Like my child is learning that that is one of his needs,

that when he's feeling this way,

that this is one of the ways to manage it instead of screaming or instead of

hitting his brother or instead of, um,

getting into things or crying over wanting screen time and not having screen

time right now or all of the other ways that he had been trying to regulate

himself. He had learned a healthier way to regulate.

And it just made me so excited that he had learned to recognize that he was

feeling that way and found a tool to help himself with it.

Sam: Oh, I love that.

I love when sensory strategies are able to be applied in the moment

too. Yes. That he was able to take that and you taught him,

this is how I can help my own body.

Emily: Yes. And of course that's like a piece of, it's a huge piece,

especially for children with sensory needs. Neurotypical kids can benefit,

but it's like, it's a smaller piece for them. And, um,

children with higher sensory needs than, um,

we're going to see more of them reaching for sensory, um,

related tools for regulation.

But sometimes the same child might have other tools like, um, what was it?

His language is a little bit different, but it's so cute. Um,

instead of just like launching into yelling the other day, he said, I was,

it's always like leaving for school is one of the big pain points in our house.

And that day my own body budget was small. I'd forgotten my own tools.

And I was like, seriously, just go get your shoes on right now.

I'm pretty sure I said it just like that to him. And he turned to me and said,


I am like 98% of the way to yelling and if you talk to me like that one more

time, it's gonna be the last 2% and I'm gonna start yelling at you.

And I again,

was actually really proud of him that he didn't just start yelling and he

recognized it was close to yelling.

He knew what the trigger was and he let me know about it.

Now we can work on other ways of, you know,

him learning different tools to handle moments like that. Not just for me,

but whenever anyone talks to him like that. Um,

but I was really proud that he had recognized that that's what was going on in

his body and different ways to handle it.

Sam: Oh, that's amazing. I love that.

Emily: Yeah.

Sam: So something my community really struggles with is coming from a background of

authoritarian parenting.

And I think many of us grew up in that time where our parents told us,

I am the parent, you are the kid, you do, as I say.

But our generation tends to be looking a lot more at emotional health,

gentle parenting.

So I'd love to know your thoughts regarding this approach in regards to

emotional health and how parents can start to bridge that when they're coming

from maybe a background of I'm the parent and you do what I say.

Emily: Hmm, this is so good.

So I actually lean away from using the term gentle parenting only because it's a

little bit unclear what that means.

You can be a be gentle and not really

be helping your children with their emotional needs. Um,

you can be gentle and not holding boundaries in a healthy way.

Like it becomes like unclear. So I don't, I'm not saying I hate the term,

but I don't use it as much. Um, I know Mona Dela hook,

who I'm a huge fan of,

she uses the word responsive parenting where we see our children's needs and

we're responding to them. I tend to use the term, um,

like intentional parenting or conscious parenting,

although there's some things in the conscious parenting world that I,

I'm not necessarily on board with, so I'll just stick with intentional. Um,

in any case, it's just this idea to me of, um,

instead of parenting the way we were parented by default,

which is what's going to happen, our subconscious mind has in it, okay,

this is what I saw is what parents do with their children.

And so this is what I do with my children, um,

to stop and put a little pause in there and think, okay,

so this is the way my parents raised me.

If I didn't do what they asked right away, I got yelled at or screamed at,

or I was threatened or, um,

whatever it was that we were raised with and to stop and go.

So that was the way I was parented.

Do I wanna parent that way or do I not?

And there's some things my parents did that I do want to keep. Um,

I use the example a lot with my mom where she, um,

whenever something fell or she heard like a plate crash, she would say, um,

oh goodness, I hope you can't, you can hear there's a,

there's a meltdown going on in the background, but this is real life.

My husband's with them, they're safe. Um, but yeah,

anytime a plate would fall and crash, she would say, Emily, are you okay?

It was usually me that caused the plate to fall and crash. Um, I didn't know it,

but my proprioceptive scent is quite off. Um, it makes sense now,

but for a while I was just called clumsy and, you know,

absent-minded and that's okay. Um, she would say, Emily, are you okay?

And I'd say, yeah, I'm fine. And then she'd say,

okay, 'cause you're more important than that plate. And then she'd say,

Now what happened? So now you need to clean up the mess or whatever.

But she would always make sure first that I was okay.

And that's something consciously I do want to include in my parenting to make

sure that my children know that they're more important than any of the mistakes

that happen. But at the same time, you know,

recognizing that it doesn't feel good to me to be the

dictator of my children and to tell them the way that things will be,

number one. But number two,

it just plain does not work with my neurodivergent children.

Parenting them the way I was parented just doesn't work.

It doesn't get them to do the things or to stop doing the things.

It tends to make it worse. Our relationship was horrible,

which was leading to a lot of other problems. And so,

and I shouldn't say horrible, it was not as good as I wanted it to be.

And so when we're looking at the lifelong benefits,

it was just me consciously putting changes in there.

Sam: I definitely wanna steal what your mom said down the road. Yes.

That is that just that melted my heart. That is so awesome. Like, yes,

something happened, but you are more important than the plate. Yeah.

Emily: And then afterwards, okay, now we have to deal with what happened.

Sam: Right, right. And yes, I love that, that look at,

is this really the way that you want to parent? Are we doing it by default?

Is this really the direction you wanna go?

And also what you said about it not working so well with

your children,

I have definitely seen that in the population that I work in,

is that that approach doesn't seem to work for them so well. And when it's not,

where can we go instead?

And I think what you're sharing with us is so groundbreaking for so many people

because they didn't know that there were these other options.

Emily: Yes. And understanding,

just like we look for that why behind our children's behavior,

understanding the why behind our own behavior. Like, okay,

so you, you are so good at teaching us healthy food, um,

options thinking, okay, I want my child to eat more than just one food type.

Does it have to be the way that I've been trying to do it?

Or is there another way that we can try this? And, um, the same like,

I want my child to like, they have to go to school in the morning.

Is the only way for us to be on time the way I've been doing it?

Or is there another way we can be on time?

Is there another way to go about this?

I want my children to learn to put their shoes where they belong instead of

leaving them in the middle of the living room floor.

Is there another way I could go about this because the way I've been doing it

isn't working. I do want them to learn that responsibility.

I want them to learn to pick up after themselves. If yellings not working,

if threatening, put your shoes away or else we're not going to the park today.

Like, oh, what do shoes have to do with the park? Right. And that wasn't,

not only did that feel weird,

it wasn't working and it wasn't teaching my kids very much.

Is there another way I can teach them to put those shoes in the shoebox that

feels better,

accomplishes the same goal and we have a good relationship by the end of it.

Sam: Oh, okay. I'm gonna put you a little on the spot here. Emily: Perfect. Sam: So what is that,

what is that alternative? What have you changed to saying instead?

Emily: Well, it depends on the kid. Um, um,

with my, um, youngest,

he is very much into play and he also has a very, very strong will.

So I actually have to change it up every probably like one to two months.

I have to find a new tool for him. Um, but for a very long time,

the thing that would work with him,

I realized he didn't wanna put them away just 'cause it was boring.

And a lot of us don't like to do things that are boring.

He also doesn't like to be told what to do. He is highly sensitive.

And so the stronger I would push,

the more his defenses would go up. If it became put your shoes,

I said put your shoes away, that kind of thing, which is how I was raised. Um,

the higher his defenses would go up and so he would actually go into like the

beginning stages of fight, flight or freeze.

Like I'm putting my child into survival mode over a pair of shoes, right?

And when I realized that that's what was happening, I was like, okay,

so the stronger I push, the stronger he's going to go into survival mode.

How can I do this in a way that feels better? So I am just like you with food.

I incorporated a lot more play. Like, oh no, look, there's two,

there's two dirty rats here in the middle of the floor. Oh, gross.

I do not want dirty rats in the floor. Oh man. Can you, can you find, oh,

look over there. We have a shubin where we put our shoes. Look, there's the,

there's the clean rush, the clean rat washing station. Can you,

can you help me get those rats over into the washing station so that we have

clean rats in our house instead of dirty ones? Okay. Oh, how could we do this?

Oh man. Yeah, it does take more effort, but it feels so much better for us.

And another one that we used with him was, okay,

I'm gonna close my eyes and I hope that your shoes are still there in the middle

of the floor when I open them. Because if you have put them in a shubin,

by the time I open them,

I'm gonna have to turn into a Pokemon and I do not wanna turn into a Pokemon

today. And then I'd like pause and wink at him and say,

I'm just pretending by the way,

I'm totally fine to turn into a Pokemon if you wanna play with me.

And then I'd go back and be like, okay, so I'm gonna close 'em.

Should I close 'em for 10 seconds or 20 seconds? And he would tell me whatever.

Sometimes he would want to have more control. So he'd say 13 seconds. Okay,

I'm gonna close 'em for 13 seconds. I hope they're still there, by the way.

I'm just kidding.

You can totally put 'em in the box and then I'll turn into whatever Pokemon you

want and do that. And he loved it. He loved controlling the time,

he loved controlling the Pokemon I turned into and he loved the game aspect.

So that helped a lot. I could keep going, but those are just two examples.

Oh, that's so fun. It's so silly. I love that.

But my older kid, like my 12 year old, I mean,

there's no way that would fly with him. So I, for him,

I just have to say things like, um, oh man,

there's some shoes in the middle of the floor. Hmm.

What's your plan to make sure that you know where they are when you need 'em yet


I'm building skills at the same time there, uh,

I'm not telling him what to do. I'm helping him make his own choice.

And that one's, you know, it's still a work in progress,

but that's where we're at.

Sam: Oh, thank you so much for sharing those. Of course.

So of course we kids are never gonna be regulated a hundred percent of the time.

There are going to be meltdowns, there are gonna be tough moments.

Can you share a couple of meltdown tips with us?

And before you get into that,

I do wanna remind everybody that we have our bundle that just launched the

Empowered Parent Bundle and Emily actually contributed a meltdown resource.

So I kept it open an extra day for those of you guys who are listening now,

wanna go over and grab it after this episode.

Emily: Yay. Well,

my biggest tip is the resource that I put in your bundle that we learn

how to stay emotionally regulated even when our kids are dysregulated.

That is the biggest thing we can do during that meltdown. For me,

it was more than willpower. It was more than just saying, okay,

I'm gonna stay calm because my own instincts would kick in.

It was a lot of like, just a lot. Right? I go into it all in that,

um, masterclass there, um, is in your free bundle,

which is such a good resource.

I hope everyone goes and signs up for your free bundle. But, um, yeah,

that is my biggest tip that we're aware of how we show up. You know, when the,

the brain has these neurons, they're called mirror neurons,

that where our children, um,

reflect a lot of the emotion that they see.

And it's not a guarantee, of course,

that if they're screaming and angry or they're shut down and crying,

that if we show up calm, that they will instantly be calm.

But it does fire the calm neurons in their brain to suggest that it's an option

and it doesn't feed it. Um,

also understanding the root cause of the meltdown in the first place

helps a lot. It's really hard to do in the moment.

I know in the moment is when we want to solve the meltdown,

but most of the things that help with meltdowns are actually out of the moment.

Understanding their sensory preferences is a huge one. Having a plan in place,

your child can sometimes have a plan in place of how would you like to handle

whenever your,

like the afterschool meltdown if your kid melts down every day after school,

getting together with them when they're calm. And when you're calm,

understanding why that meltdown happens in the first place,

knowing that it may be coming,

having a plan in place for when it does come that your child helped create and

you're showing up calm after school with that plan that they helped create to

handle the intense feelings that might come. All of that is really,

really empowering. Although most of it happens out of that moment in the moment.

We just wanna stay calm out of the moment. There's a lot of understanding,

research planning that we can do to help when the moment comes.

Sam: Oh wow. That is a lot of really great things to think about.

And I even hesitate to ask you this because you just gave so much,

but with our listeners walking away today,

because we did talk about so much amazing things,

what's one thing you really want them to leave with?

Emily: Um,

this idea of Ross Green said in his book The Explosive

Child, which is a great book,

he coined the phrase kids do well when they can.

And, um,

that thought has been so life changing for me to realize that my child is not

melting down or being emotional as a conscious choice.

That they have entered survival mode, they're in fight, flight, or freeze. And,

um, they didn't intend to be there. They probably don't even like being there.

They probably aren't enjoying their meltdown any more than me. In fact,

they may enjoy it even less than me.

And understanding that they are doing their best. They just need more skills.

They just need more abilities to be handle.

To be able to handle those more challenging times for them has been life

changing. So instead of trying to control their behavior,

now I'm trying to figure out why that behavior's there in the first place and

what skills do they need to handle those times and those challenging moments


Sam: Oh wow. That one hit so, so hard for me. Yes,

they if if they could, they would.

Emily: Yes.

Sam: So this was so awesome. This was amazing.

I know all of our listeners are gonna wanna go connect with you after this.

So where can they find you?

Emily: I am on Instagram, Facebook, and somewhat on TikTok. Um,

all under the same name, enlightening Motherhood.

They're also welcome to visit my website, enlighteningmotherhood.com.

And I have a little freebie in, in there.

It's not quite as big as the freebie in your bundle,

but there's a small freebie on, um,

understanding the root cause of our children's meltdown.

It's a why is my child melting down cheat sheet and mini training to walk them

through six different areas that are probably causing their kids meltdown in the

first place. So they can go ahead and grab that.

That will put them on my email list and we'll be in touch from there.

Sam: Ooh, that sounds awesome.

Emily: Yeah, I I'm pretty proud of it. I'll admit it.

Sam: So I'm gonna link that for everybody in the show notes,

both the bundle if you want her contribution and your

checklist. And there was another part to that, your checklist and cheat sheet.

Emily: Cheat

Sheet and mini training. Cheat, yeah.

Sam: Cheat sheet and mini training. Yes.

That will all be linked for you guys in the show notes. Emily,

thank you so much for being here today. This was so wonderful.

Yay. Thank you so much for having me.

Thank you for listening to the Food Explorers Podcast,

a podcast about helping your child learn to become a confident and happy eater.

If you love this episode, please make sure to share it with a friend,

subscribe or leave a review wherever you are listening.

This helps parents just like you find this podcast and start bringing the

magic back into mealtime. Thanks again for joining me today,

and I'll see you next time.


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