Parenting for Connection: What Kids Really Want

10 mins read

Our kids are the leaders of tomorrow. 

Robbin McManne is passionate about Parenting Our Future—and that’s what her podcast is all about. 

She and her husband met when they worked at McDonald’s together. Two babies and a dog later, life had taken on new meaning for Robbin—as “mom.” She said:

“I’m somebody who loves to laugh. I love dad jokes that are mom jokes. I’m the funny one in the family… I just have a real love for life, for people, and for joy.”

But Robbin also knows what it’s like to be in the parenting trenches, right alongside her listeners. 

Robbin’s sons have grown up with some challenges. One has ADHD and learning disabilities and struggles with depression and anxiety. Robbin admits that it is truly debilitating for him and hard to watch as a parent who just wants to make her kid feel better.

Her 13-year-old son has experienced trauma, as well, and COVID-19 only exacerbated his anxiousness.                                                                                                                                                        

With COVID being an invisible predator making life even more challenging for everyone over the last couple of years, many have experienced burnout. Handling kid’s amplified behaviors is a challenge Robbin became all too familiar with. With that, she offers parents the following advice for adapting to the changes and overcoming these challenges:

“The first thing I would say is, go easy on yourself first. This is uncharted territory, and the feeling of anxiety that we’re experiencing is actually very appropriate. Anxiety is there to keep us alive. It’s a survival system… a tactic to deal with day-to-day life. So go easy on yourself. It’s okay.”

She also warns parents that kids will sense when they’re being more anxious, reactive, or withdrawn, and because they’re egocentric, they’ll presume that it’s their fault.

“We’ve got to start with us. It’s really important… to be the source of information for our kids, so that they don’t learn things from somebody else that could confuse them. Be a safe place for your kids at all times. If they’re worried about things, you empower them and explain to them the things that they CAN do.

“Keeping your family happy and healthy is really a full-time job, too,” she explained. “We definitely have to make sure we take care of ourselves first. Otherwise, we’re no good to anybody.”

Robbin understands the frustrations parents experience on a day-to-day basis. The beginning stages were particularly rough for her. 

Her son was 11 days overdue, and she ended up having an epidural and C-section birth. It was frustrating for her, because she couldn’t nurse, comfort, or calm him. From the get-go, then, she experienced a spiral of shame and disappointment. 

“I started out thinking I’d be like Mother Earth, barefoot with a flowy dress.” But as it turned out, she was actually a little angry, uptight, and lost… she didn’t know how to communicate with her kids and felt like she was failing at the parenting puzzle.                                                                                                                                

“I thought I was pretty much winning at everything else, but not parenting. I was so deeply ashamed of myself.” 

Robbin dove headfirst into the parenting space with curiosity and determination to be a great mom. 

“I tried to get help… but it wasn’t until I found the world of peaceful and conscious parenting that I realized it wasn’t just about my kid… it was about me, too. I had a lot of work to do to really heal myself. Then, I could see my kids for who they were.”

Next, Robbin founded the Conscious Parenting Community. Ultimately, she discovered how she could connect with the people she loved the most—her two boys!

It was summer of 2019 when Robbin started her podcast, Parenting Our Future.

“I was so excited… and so grateful to the people who listen. To me, it just shows that people are interested in being the best parents they can be. And that’s fantastic, because I truly believe if we want to change the world, it starts in the way we parent our kids. We can raise a beautiful human to be a contributing member of society with empathy, compassion, and emotional intelligence… and that’s what I aim to do with my show.”

For Robbin, “Parenting is the most important job we do. It’s also the one we do with no training or studying… no real knowledge of what it takes to be a parent.”

Robbin hopes her podcast provides the kind of education and guidance parents might not otherwise receive. 

“I didn’t go into podcasting thinking I would be doing mostly interviews. But as I started to get invited to interview people, I found it so fascinating to talk to experts… I’ve learned so much from them, and I love connecting with people. It’s incredible. So, I’m really loving it! And I think the fact that I’m a little nosy and a little curious helps me find out information.” 

Parenting Our Future has also become an integral part of Robbin’s business and brand.

She has also written another book, The Yelling Cure, partially in response to her own struggles to communicate effectively with her kids. In it, she covers how to stress less and get your kids to cooperate without threats and punishments. She talks about how to communicate with your kids and what they really need most (spoiler alert—it’s not lollipops or balloons… it is all about attention, affection, and communication!). 

The Yelling Cure also discusses parental needs, especially in regard to moms. Moms play a very important role in setting the tone at home. If they’re not okay and reactive, that’s how everybody is going to be.

Robbin shares more of her personal experience, as well, saying, “I share how I really did spiral into despair. I thought maybe I would leave my family, maybe even this Earth… it was a pretty dark place. But I think that we need to talk about it. As moms, there are some hard times, and you can get through them. And it’s okay.”

Robbin believes that kids’ behavior should not be looked at as “good” or “bad,” but as communication. 

What are they telling you? What are you not seeing? Because we all have blind spots. We’ve got to look at them in a different way, so we can address the behavior from what’s driving it. Then, we can bring the behavior back and say, ‘Okay, what should you have done instead? What can you do differently next time?’ So we do address the behavior, but not first. And that’s really what my book is about.”

Robbin’s teachings are all about aspects of communication, like getting your kids to listen for the first time and understanding why bedtime and getting them to the table is often so hard. She provides tips, tricks, and solutions that parents can use on a daily basis, so every little part of their day can get easier while growing more connection and harmony within the family.

To her fans and listeners who love her show, Robbin would like to say:

“Thank you so much for wanting to raise the best kids you can. There is no better feeling as a parent than when you’re getting along with your kids. When you’re connecting and having fun, it feels like you’re alive! It’s like, ‘This is why I did this. This is why I had kids.’ We can have more and more moments like that. They’re what makes life so beautiful. We are in a relationship with these people all of their lives, not just while they’re at home with us. So again, thank you, and keep up the good work. You are raising our future!”

 

July 2022 Issue

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