DBT Presentation: Let’s Talk About Parenting Skills

(because being a parent is hard)

About the Presentation

Emily Wietmarschen, LPC, LCPC, psychotherapist and mother of two, has created a presentation on parenting skills that will leave you with practical tools to apply in your daily life. Using skills from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), you will learn how to communicate more effectively and manage the stress of parenting.

The presentation lasts for 60 minutes.

Have questions? Email Emily at [email protected]

Who Should View

This presentation is designed for parents of all ages who are looking to improve their overall well-being, connect more deeply with their children, and learn how to manage stress, regulate emotions, and stay present.

What to Expect

Viewers will leave the workshop with practical skills they can start using immediately in their daily life to feel better in their parenting style and connect more deeply with their children. They will also gain a deeper understanding of why and how these skills work to foster connection, ultimately improving their overall stress level as a parent.

Benefits of Watching

Viewers can expect to gain the following benefits from the workshop:

  • Practical parenting skills
  • Tools for successful relationships with children and co-parent
  • Ability to manage stress and regulate emotions
  • Improved overall wellbeing

Your Group Facilitator

dc-therapist-emily-wietmarschen-in-front-of-treesEmily Wietmarschen, LPC, LCPC

Emily Wietmarschen is the Clinical Director of Rock Creek Therapy. Throughout her career she has facilitated hundreds of skills groups for adolescents and adults, with an emphasis on DBT. Her teaching style uses directness, authenticity, and humor to reach individuals of all struggles and backgrounds.  Emily enjoys teaching skills that she can personally vouch make a difference in creating real change. Questions? Contact Emily at [email protected]

Transcription of DBT Presentation

Hi, my name is Emily Wietmarschen and I’m the Clinical director at  Rock Creek Therapy. I’m also licensed professional counselor in Washington DC Maryland and Virginia and today I’m going to be talking to you about parenting skills i am a parent myself of two children ages 3 1/2 and 1 ½. I also have a background in providing parent coaching, skills coaching, and providing individual therapy to families, children, and young adults.

I am trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and have run hundreds of skills groups based on this model. Today’s skills are pulled from Dialectical Behavior Therapy. And I’m also passionate about helping people to help themselves. So let’s get started!

First of all, I didn’t make any of this stuff up these skills are pulled from dialectical behavior therapy and there is a skills meeting training manual where the skills that we’re going to talk about today is pulled from.

Really briefly dialectical behavior therapy or DBT for short is an evidence-based therapy that combines skills training individual therapy and phone coaching using the balance of dialectic of dialectics (fun word to say) which is a both end type framework here at Rock Creek Therapy we do incorporate DBT skills into some of our therapists including myself incorporate DBT skills into our individual and group work, but we are not a full DBT program.

However, today’s presentation really pulls from those skills this is really intended to provide a very brief overview of specific skills helpful in parenting DBT skills are divided into four modules: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation.

For the purposes of what skills I find to be most beneficial for parents that today’s presentation will focus on the interpersonal effectiveness and emotion regulation with a touch of mindfulness because you’ll see as we go through these skills that that is a module that is incorporated throughout.

One thing to keep in mind as you are watching this presentation is that as agile hear me say throughout this presentation and it has I’ve already said parenting is hard I’m not perfect you’re not perfect and we’re all doing the best that we can.

Parenting is complicated and everyone’s parenting style is going to be different so I really encourage you to take the skills that I I introduce you to you today and what feels authentic to you and your parenting style. Work on applying and what doesn’t, don’t worry about it you’re doing just fine.

A couple of cornerstones and DBT that I think is really important to keep in mind as you’re going through these scales is that first we have to accept reality as it is before we can work on changing it. And that is what’s within our control to change.

As I mentioned DBT is based in dialectics and life as we know it is full of “both and” situations and feelings that are often conflicting changing behavior takes time including 10,000 hours to learn a new skill. So, all this to say is be gentle with yourself and keep an open mind.

So, I think it’s important to before we get into the skill space let’s talk about some of the theory behind DBT. So DBT is based in what’s called biosocial theory and what does that mean? It mean It kind of says the answer to the question why do I or my child or my Co parent have so much trouble controlling my/their emotions or actions?  We actually have reasons for that.

So in DBT so first of all emotional vulnerability is biological so that’s just a fancy way of saying that some people are Born This Way. Some people experience emotions more deeply more intensely and they’re just driven to be more emotionally vulnerable than other people you may be a person like that your child may be a person like that your Co parent may be and we have to learn to kind of meet people where they at are at and understand that sometimes that we just might be emotionally different than the other people in our lives.

Impulsivity is also bio has a biological basis meaning that it’s more difficult for some people to regulate the emotions, so if we take someone who let’s say has a high emotional vulnerability and high impulsivity it’s not only are our folks feeling emotions very deeply or intensely but they’re also having trouble regulating their behavior associated with that emotion.

So, folks like this might find it difficult to restrain from behaviors that often get them in trouble IE children/teenagers, and it might seemingly be coming out of nowhere and it can be difficult to be effective in life in this way. Moods get in the way of organizing to achieve their goals and they have significant difficulties controlling behaviors that are linked to their moods.

Social environment makes a difference in someone’s ability to regulate emotions so a social environment that’s invalidating and we’ll talk a little bit more about validation later can make it really difficult to regulate a person’s emotions and actions.

And it’s in keeping in mind that it’s transactional. So, the transactions between the person and their social environment really can reinforce out of control behavior. So for example you yell at your child/raise your voice they asked they do what’s asked of them so you keep on yelling.

OK your child has a tantrum because they want a toy at the store you buy it for them so you don’t have to deal with it so next time they throw a tantrum a child forgets their homework you bring it to school. You don’t have reason to come up with a better strategy they don’t have reason to come up with a better strategy to remember their homework next time so these out-of-control behaviors of this unhelpful behaviors history kind of repeats itself because we reinforce them.

So, another thing to keep in mind is the states of mind. So in debt we refer to what’s called “wise mind” and this is kind of how we divide the brain into three spheres so I know that this looks a lot like one of those Venn diagrams that you probably saw in your language arts class in elementary school and that’s exactly what it is.

So just to become familiar with this idea reasonable mind is the part of yourself that’s cool rational, really task focused. That part of your mind is ruled by facts reason logic and how you feel and what you value is completely unimportant.  An example of perhaps making a decision or responding to reason mind would be I’m supposed to have the kids this weekend that’s the arrangement it’s my it’s my weekend and that’s what’s written on paper not taken into consideration that it’s the other parent parents birthday .

Something that I think we can all relate to as parents of being overburdened and having a lot to do is if I don’t pull the laundry now then it’s not going to get done at all and it needs to get done and you can replace that with grocery shopping meal prep etcetera not taking into account that you maybe don’t have the bandwidth to do that that you’re tired or taking into account how you feel emotionally about it.

On the opposite end we have emotion mind and emotion mind is hot mood dependent it’s ruled by feelings emotions urges facts reason and logic are unimportant.  And this can be on both ends of the spectrum whether that’s a uncomfortable emotion like sadness or anger for a more more comfortable emotion like joy or love. We can get caught in emotion mind and both of these excuses me these areas. An example of that would be these kids won’t pick up their toys so I’m throwing them away not into taking into account how much the toys cost how much your child maybe loves that toy or you know what maybe have gotten in the way of them putting it away, cancelling an event, grounding, vacation, family outings, in the heat of an argument— possibly things you were also looking forward to.

So what we really want to strive for is right in the middle. Wise mind which is you know a balance of both reason and emotion and what that does is it’s the wisdom within each person and that sees the value of both reason and emotion it’s the Gray area or the middle path all of us have our own wise minds.

So the specific examples for this are unique because what we respond to emotionally what we consider rational are different. So in order to kind of start to train yourself to make decisions and respond with your wise mind you really have to you know not make not lean in too much into emotion not lean too much into reason and really ask yourself like am I speaking or responding with my wise mind?

Most people tend to lean towards reason or emotion so regardless of what area you’re on is you want to tap into that part of yourself that takes the two because we all have all three of these parts and it’s best to make decisions when the emotional reaction has passed right and we received that message in a lot of different ways and basically what we’re saying with that is that you want to tap into your wise mind.

So the first area that we’re going to talk about is interpersonal effectiveness which is essentially looking into how do we have better relationships with people. how do we have the better relationships with our children? And with our Co parents with ourselves and what does it take to get there.

So this is the first skill that we’re going to talk about it’s really popular skill in DBT and this skill is an acronym Marshall Lenahan who created DBT loved acronyms and her and this acronym is DEAR MAN and this is something that is used when the goal is to get what you want.

So the D in DEAR MAN stands for describe so you want to describe the current situation sticking only to the facts.

The E for express means that’s where you want to express your feelings and opinions about the situation and don’t assume that the other person knows exactly how you feel.

We’re going to do an example in a minute so you can see how this might look like in parenting A is for Assert so assert yourself by asking for what you want or saying no clearly. Don’t assume others will figure it out no one is a mind reader. It would be great if that were the case if our Co parents knew exactly what we needed from them or if our children knew exactly what we wanted them to do, but the reality is is that’s not how people are, so we do need to make clear what it is that we want or do not want.

Lastly is to reinforce or reward the person ahead of time by explaining the positive effects of getting what you want or need and clearly identifying any negative effects or consequences of not getting what you want or need. And then you also have to remember to award after the fact. Now you know as parents we might look at this and say like well you mean I have to reward my child every single time I ask him to pick up a toy no that’s not what I’m saying but it is more you will have a more harmonious time where you can enjoy your time together you won’t you’ll be able to spend more time with them because you’re not picking up after them. Your rewards aren’t always tangible.

The second half of dear man the man part is how you want to appear and how you want to present yourself when you were doing the DEAR.  So the M in dear man which is a little bit of a stretch is to stay mindful remember that mindfulness word that I talked about in the beginning here.

What we want to do is stay focused on your goals don’t get distracted or off topic be a broken record and ignore text so if you’re talking about picking up toys off the floor then we’re not talking about how they didn’t clear the plate for dinner.

Right like we want to stay on task stay on topic appear confident, use a confident tone and physicality, make eye contact, try don’t stammer whisper or stare at the floor. You might have to practice you know if especially if it’s a difficult conversation for turn are what you’re asking for what you want is difficult for you or asserting yourself is difficult you know being in the mirror like do I appear confident how am I presenting myself when I’m asking for these things?

And lastly negotiate. Be willing to give to get offer or ask for other solutions reduce requests see no but offer something else or turn the tables. Like hmm that’s an interesting that’s an interesting idea I’ll give it some thought.

You know again when it comes to parenting we may not want it depending on your parenting style we may not want to consider like well I’m not negotiating with my child like I’m the parent. Well think about kind of what we’re doing is like this is the manner in which the willingness and openness to hearing the other person has to say is gets you more likely in a situation interpersonally what where you’ll get what you want.

So an example here in practice and I’m sure we could you know spend a whole presentation going up with examples of how to do DEAR MAN but in this situation you know a a teenager coming home past curfew first you would describe the situation I told you your curfew was 9:00 PM on school nights you just walk in and it’s 945. Those are the facts you’re not talking about you know what the heck were you doing who were you with what was happening you’re not asking questions you’re just describing the facts and the situation.

And then you’re going to roll right into expressing your feelings when you come home past curfew, I feel worried I worry about you. Again, remember keeping in mind appearing confident, being mindful, staying on task and then you want to assert yourself I want you to come home by 9:00 PM on school nights. Again, we’re not asking questions we’re not getting off topic we’re simply saying stating what the rule is and what we want the other person to do. And then we want to reinforce, you know, how is this going to benefit them if they come home by 9:00 PM.

I’ll be able to enjoy my evening as well if I know and expect you to be home at curfew. OK so this is this is partly you know what’s in it for you well I’m not going to worry about you and I’m going to be able to enjoy my evening as well and if you’re not able to follow this rule then I’ll have to reconsider if allowing you to go out on school nights.

Now that’s not a threat that’s asserting yourself that this is the rule this is what I want and if you’re not able to follow the rule then we might have to reconsider what happens here. So the benefit of the person following the rule is that they continue to get to go out at school nights. So again, how we do this staying mindful keep on topic the topic here is curfew on school nights and what happened tonight not about the slipping math grade that they also didn’t clean up after dinner or their bed isn’t made just keep making your point your curfew is 9:00 PM on school nights.

Appear confident show authenticity, avoid yelling, stay firm, compassionate, make eye contact. OK this kind of goes with like you get more bees with honey. And then negotiate let’s say your child is like :well it’s really hard for me to get home by 9 can I get by home by 10?” No, we can’t increase your curfew until 10:00 PM and we can talk about any special considerations that may need to be made for school events.

So, it’s noncommittal the negotiation like we’ll talk about it we’ll consider it again. The goal here is getting what you want which is your child to come home by 9:00 PM on school nights. OK you have to consider are you communicating with your child to make sure that you’re being heard or that they’re actually going to do what you’re asking. When it comes to child safety and things like curfew and our own anxieties as parents it’s usually around yes like we want our child to hear us, but the more important thing is that they follow through with what we’re asking of them.

So it’s not all about getting what we want in any relationship sometimes the priority might be keeping the relationship and keeping it civil, harmonious, engaged right and this can be true not only with our children but also with our Co parent. So, when the goal is around keeping the relationship some things to keep in mind with Give which again is another acronym is to “Be gentle” in your communication be nice and respectful no attacks no threats or manipulation no judging no sneering, we want to be kind we want be gentle to the other person and to ourselves. Even if our emotions are activated and we’ll get to emotion regulation a little bit later in this presentation.

You want to act interested OK so really listen to the other person’s point of view and appear interested in that even if again you are not super interested in why your child came home after curfew but actually you know appearing interested will help them feel heard and more likely that they will be open with you about what’s really going on for things in the future. So you want to lean toward them not interrupt to be sensitive if the person wants to discuss at a later time now granted with parenting we have a little bit more of saying that but we both want to be in a place where we’re able to be to hear the other person.

I think that sometimes we have this urgency of immediate gratification both in our lives and in parenting and it’s really important that we take the time to make sure that not only are we in a position to hear the other person but that they’re in a position to be heard. Validate more on this later because it’s really really important. But you want to show that you really get the other person’s point of view with your words and actions I realize this is hard for you I see that you’re busy I know that you have a lot of your plate that must be really difficult.

And again we’ll talk more about why that’s important in a little bit and you want to use an easy manner ,in other words be chill, use humor, lightheartedness smile you know again the softer you are the easier you are the more that people the more that your child or your Co parent will feel safe coming to you and talking to you and knowing that ultimately again when we’re talking about give that the relationship is the most important part of the conversation.

So Validation the big V so these are the levels of validation these are the things that we want to keep in mind when we’re validating.  Pay attention you know don’t multitask I know easier said than done. Even in this moment I’m sure there’s some million things running through your head or you may even be watching this presentation while you’re cooking dinner or folding laundry or a flood of other things right but we’re talking about validating it’s very invalidating if someone is communicating something to you and you’re staring at your phone it’s still listening we really want you to pay attention to what the other person is saying and doing.

Reflect back reflect back what you heard the other person say which essentially means in your own words you know what I’m hearing you say is this what I’m hearing you say is that it’s difficult for you to get home by 9:00 PM on school nights is that right. No judgmental language or tone of voice again it’s about understanding and validating the other person’s point of view. No we’re not mind readers but we do tend to know the people who are closest to us in our lives we tend to know when our partners are maybe not in a are in a bad mood even when they say they’re not we tend to know when our children didn’t have a great day. So be sensitive to what’s not being said–a person’s facial expressions, body language, what do you know about the person such as if you know that you know talking to your Co parent about a behavior of your child the minute they come into work it’s not the best time because they tend to you know need 10 minutes to acclimate to home life.

You know these are things, use what you know about another person before discussing things with them, show that you understand through reflection and actions and make sure you’re right and let go if you’re not validating and we’ll get into this more in a minute is not agreeing but if you’re really not sure what the other person is saying actually be interested and want to know what it is. And if you really don’t get it. It doesn’t mean that you can’t validate it anyway.

Understand look for how the other person’s experience their thoughts their feelings their behaviors make sense given who they are given their past given the situation given their current state of mind. In other words you know in DBT we believe that all behavior is caused so you really want to seek to like it makes sense that you know this person might believe this about themselves or this situation given the experiences they’ve had in life given what’s going on in their life currently and it’s helpful to the more we also model this kind of thing for our children is they’re going to take this out into the world, and that is really important too.

We want to acknowledge what’s valid OK so look for the part of how the person is responding that fits the facts of the situation and acknowledge them. So yeah it would make sense that 9:00 PM feels too early for your child if most of their friends have a curfew of 10 PM on school nights that makes sense that they would feel like it would be hard to get home by 9:00 PM.

Show equality. I want to be clear here that parents and children are not equal we’re not saying that the dynamic is equal all the time, but what we’re talking about here is having an effective interaction. So in other words there’s no need to one up or one down in these kinds of conversations be yourself don’t treat the other person as fragile there doesn’t need to be a “because I said so type model” there doesn’t need to be 1 upping in this scenario or you’d have the final word. This is about having an effective communication with your child or with your Co parent.

So I can’t emphasize enough if you take nothing else away from this presentation is that validation is really really really important. So, I need to make a few more points on this OK and I mentioned this once, but validation does not necessarily mean agreeing with the other person. In fact very rarely are we completely agreeing with the other person it is not validating what is actually not valid such as something that’s not true like “you never let me go out with my friends,” you don’t want to validate something that’s actually not true. What it is it’s acknowledging, simply acknowledging, noticing, observing that a person’s emotions thoughts and feelings are based on their individual experience they are caused and knowing that that it’s understandable that they would experience something that way. It reduces pressure to prove he was right. Negative reactivity and anger and I think we can all use a little less of that probably in our families, right?

The goal isn’t to if we if we listen to our children and to our Co parents as though you know they are equals and not equals necessarily in again the dynamic of the family especially when we’re talking about parents and children but equal in terms of their experience is just as valid as my experience. That’s what we’re talking about. Invalidation is really painful. I would probably guarantee that every person watching this myself included has been invalidated at some point or another and it is really a painful experience to be invalidated. And we would we but just by nature of watching this presentation of wanting to be a better parent no one is intentionally wanting to invalidate their children. It also validation makes problem solving closeness and support possible. No one wants to work with someone who doesn’t understand them right so if the impression that you’re getting from another person or that they’re getting from you is that you don’t you don’t get it you don’t get them then it’s going to be really hard to move forward in in the relationship.

Some important things to validate: again what is valid and only what’s valid just the facts a person’s experience emotions beliefs opinions and thoughts and their suffering and difficulties. That’s what we want to be validating when it comes to validation.

And next here so we’re going to talk a little bit about emotion regulation which you know at one point or another all of us have struggled with. We talked about it a little bit we talked about this a little bit at the beginning that some of us are more susceptible to disregard emotional dysregulation than others. But at the end of the day, it’s all the same. So, we all could benefit from regulating our emotions. So first we have to kind of understand what do our emotions do for us like why the heck do we have these things anyway all they do is cause me problems well that’s not exactly true right? Emotions motivate us and organize us for action. So what that means is they save time by getting us to act and important situations are important when we don’t have time to think things through, they help us overcome obstacles, they help us act quickly, they communicate to and influence others, our facial expressions are hardwired aspects of our emotion and speak faster than our words. Our bodies, including our face, know/express emotion or experience emotion before our brains even register it. So body language and voice tone communicate, for better or worse, to the other people in our lives what we’re feeling. That could happen that can like it’s a dialectic right that is beneficial and consequential at the same time.

It’s difficult to change our emotions when and it is important that they are communicated and they have an impact on other people and again, for better and for worse. Emotions communicate to ourselves like I said that our bodies often our bodies experience emotion before our brain registers what it is so they can be signals that’s something good or bad is happening. Gut feelings are a response to something important and they can be helpful. So for as much of a pain as some of those uncomfortable emotions can be they actually do a lot for us and helping us to exist in the world and have our relationships.

So, it’s important to keep in mind that sometimes we treat our emotions as if they are facts and they are not. So the stronger the emotion, the stronger our belief that the stronger belief that the emotion is a fact. We see a lot of this in terms of you know when we’re passionate about something. If I feel confident about something, then I am right because that feeling of confidence is so deep how can I possibly be wrong.  It’s still important to note that just because you’re feeling an emotion doesn’t equal a fact if I’m overwhelmed with my child I’m a bad parent those are two separate things right?

I’m sure every parent watching this has been overwhelmed at some point probably hundreds of points or another with their child that doesn’t equal being a bad parent that of feeling not a fact. If I’m afraid there must be danger, we really want, and we’ll talk about this in a minute in terms of checking the facts but if you are afraid that doesn’t necessarily mean there is danger. That doesn’t invalidate the fear. It’s not validating something invalid which is that there is danger. So, if we assume that our emotions represent facts about the world, we might use them to justify our thoughts and actions, and this can be really problematic if our emotions become more important than the facts. Again reason/emotion/wise mind. OK we can’t have one being more important than the other.

So why is it so hard to regulate emotions? By understanding these challenges, it can increase our understanding of our children’s emotional expression and help us have empathy for ourselves.

  1. So, what makes it hard?

Biology, we talked about this, it’s just harder for some people. It may be harder for you.

Lack of skill, you know toddlers/children/teens, even some adults, right–people who were never taught how to regulate their emotions and were taught just not how to express them or how to express them appropriately. They just may not know another way right.

Reinforcement when giving in when highly emotional we talked about this a little bit earlier threats tantrums etcetera a lot of this is based in that biosocial theory right so if our how we express our emotions is reinforced then we’re going to continue expressing emotions in that way.

Moodiness mood versus wise mind sometimes we don’t have the bandwidth to put in the effort to really kind of balance it out and then emotion line takes over. We all have those moments those times in our lives when that happens and that makes it harder to regulate our emotions effectively.

Emotional overload such as that big O word overwhelm! Parents know a lot about this most parents I work with are overwhelmed and it’s a very common experience and yet we feel alone in it.

So being emotionally overloaded makes it harder to regulate these emotions that we just don’t have the bandwidth.

Emotion myths emotions are bad or weak which equals just equals avoidance it doesn’t equal regulation it’s just avoiding our feelings which is not the same thing. Extreme emotions are necessary or part of your personality. That’s not necessarily true. Some people may be more susceptible to emotion some people may be more expressive that doesn’t mean that “oh she’s just like” that is a reason for not regulating your emotions.

So we’ve talked a lot about emotions and now we’re going to talk about facts. And how do we know what the facts are?

OK so there’s actually a list or a protocol for how we can kind of check does my emotion fit the facts? OK and we’re going to talk about that a little bit now.

So first we want to look at what is the emotion that I want to change? Again this isn’t avoiding this is about regulating and this is just one of many skills that DBT has for emotion regulation.

I do think that this one is really helpful for parents because often because we love our children so much that it becomes difficult for us to actually take a balance that out with that reason mind to check our wise mind.

OK so you want to identify what is the emotion that I want to change, and what is the event prompting my emotions, my emotion and you want to really focus on one emotion right? you don’t want to necessarily, kind of like, “well I’m angry and sad and confused and hurt and heartbroken.” Yeah, all those things might be there but we want to focus on one at a time.

So, what is the event that is prompting this emotion that I’m having? You want to describe what the facts are and know what judgments or assumptions or absolutes are that I’m making about the event that happened. And then we’re going to really be looking at what are my interpretations thoughts and assumptions about the event? Are there other possible interpretations practicing looking at all other points of view test interpretations and do they do they actually fit the facts? Then you want to ask yourself am I assuming a threat? If you are label what the threat is assess the probability of that threat happening and think of as many other possible outcomes as you can.

And what’s the catastrophe? Imagine it really occurring like if that catastrophe were to occur and imagine yourself coping well with the worst thing happening.

Again, this is about regulating. And then you want talk about or you want to think about does my emotion or the intensity of the emotion fit the facts?

So you want to check out the facts for fitness of the emotion and check in with yourself check in with wise mind like does this actually fit? Is this balancing both emotion and reason?

So the intensity and duration of an emotion are justified by how likely the expected outcomes will occur, so how likely is the threat or the catastrophe how likely is that to happen, how great or important are those outcomes, like how significant are they in the grand scheme of things, and how effective is it for you to be experiencing this emotion right now.

Even by doing this process for yourself you’re going to you’re regulating your emotion. Even if ultimately, you’re deciding, “Nope the intensity and the emotion fits and the intensity fits like we’re good,” by doing this you’re still regulating yourself which makes it easier to solve problems.

So just some examples here of you know what fits the facts.

OK fear so when we’re looking at fear when fear is appropriate or that emotion fits the facts that is when there’s a threat to life health or well-being of you or someone you care about.

Anger and important goal is blocked or a desired activity is interrupted or prevented.  I’m sure we can all relate to that when it comes to parenting like trying to get out the door to work, trying to get to school, we’ve got to, you know, make the game on time. That is a desired activity being interrupted or prevented.

You or someone you care about attacked or hurt in some way or you’re around a person or group whose behavior or thinking could seriously damage or harmfully influence the group you’re a part of. So thinking here about you know significant groups like bipoc individuals, religious organizations, LGBTQ folks, when we when a group where part of our families right our communities our neighborhoods feel threatened that anger is appropriate .

Now there’s a difference between the emotion being appropriate and the intensity. So, you also want to think about like OK maybe anger is appropriate here but doesn’t need to be at a 10. Is that is that appropriate?

Guilt–your own behavior violates your own values or moral code.

And Sadness–you’ve lost someone or something permanently things are not the way you wanted or expected and hoped them to be this is not necessarily an all encompass this obviously isn’t an all-compassing list of every emotion, but I think it does a really nice job of at least giving you something to work with–about like Emily like how do I even know like if you know guilt fits the facts of being a parent? I feel guilty all the time! well but does that fit the facts of what’s actually happening?

So in a nutshell, parenting is really hard.  And though it can be hard to believe at times you’re doing the best you can and so is your child’s or your Co parent. That’s a cornerstone of DBT and internalizing that will make being a parent less hard. It’ll still be hard because parenting is hard but it’ll be less hard if you start to internalize that you’re believing what you put in.

And I skipped my slide there so I’m just going speak about it.

Again, validation extremely important for yourself and for your child. The more you validate and feel validated the better your relationships will be and the more effective they will be.

It took a long time to learn a new skill. If anything, that I’ve talked about today speaks with you take it one step at a time. Give it a try on something lighter. And if something doesn’t apply or doesn’t fit your parenting style like let it fly. You know, this isn’t an end all be all of parenting. Not everything needs to be equally important at a given moment.

So kind of going back to is the you know DEAR MAN and Give–is the goal here getting what I want or is the goal here to keep the relationship? These skills are designed in that way decide what the priority should be and use the appropriate skill that aligns with that priority.

And above all be kind be kind–to yourself be kind to your Co parent, be kind to your children this is hard. Each stage of parenting is fleeting and it comes with its trials and triumphs and so it’s just important to be kind especially to yourself.

I want to thank you so much for joining me today and for viewing this presentation. If you think it would be helpful to anyone you know please feel free to share it I can be contacted through my page here on the website again my name is Emily Wietmarschen and thank you so much for tuning in.

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