Today on The Blissful Parent Podcast we are talking to faculty member, Robbin McManne. She is a Certified Parent Coach, author and speaker who works with parents from all over the world to help them build more connections and bring more joy and cooperation to their parenting.
Robbin is a former ‘Angry Mom’ and for over 12 years, Robbin juggled a full-time corporate career while being a mom and wife, prior to becoming a Parenting Coach. In her corporate career, Robbin has a background in marketing and public relations, training, and event planning. She understands firsthand how many moms struggle to balance work and family.
Michelle: Hello and welcome to The Blissful Parenting Podcast. I’m your host, Michelle Abraham. And today I am joined by special guest Robbin McManne.
And what’s so awesome about Robbin is she’s a certified parenting coach and an author and a speaker and she’s also one of our Blissful Parenting faculty members. She’s done a course with us at Blissful Parenting called, “How not to lose your …you know what!”. So you can that fill in the blanks there. Cause this is a PG podcast so you don’t want to say it but it actually is titled. And so back to Robbin, she works with parents from all over the world and help them and she helps them to be kind of have more connection and find more joy and cooperation in their parenting. So Robbin is a former angry mom. I can totally relate to that. And for over 12 years Robbin’s juggled full time corporate career while being a mom and a wife. Prior to becoming a parenting coach in her corporate career, Robbin had a background in marketing and public relations training and event planning. She understands firsthand how many moms struggle to balance work and family because of her struggles as a parent that she found the world of peaceful parenting and has dedicated her life to teaching parents how to build a strong family so their kids thrive. So Robbin, welcome to the show today. We’re so happy to hear from you today.
Robbin: Thank you for having me. I’m thrilled to be here. Thanks Michelle.
Michelle: Oh, no problem. Well, I’m so happy you’re here too. So Robbin’s an author, as we’ve mentioned before, and her, the name of your book is called “The Yelling Cure”. So what we’re really going to talk about a lot today is this yelling here. So how Robbin’s going to be able to help some parents with figuring out, oh, they are a yelling parent. Oh, you probably already know you’re yelling parent if you’re yelling parent. And what are some things that we can help to us to stop be yelling parents. And so if it’s okay with you Robbin, I’d like to dive right into the conversation and I want to hear a little bit more about your background. How did you get started becoming a parenting coach?
Robbin: Well, yeah, thank you. Yeah, I know I have a background in marketing and events and different things. And so this is definitely a departure from that. You know, when I first became a parent, I had no idea what I was in for and I, was really, it kind of rocked me to the core. You know, I had, we were lucky, to have a baby right away, but, you know, it really started as I was giving birth my journey into struggle in parenting. My sweet boy went up instead of down when I had my epidural and I had a c-section and was in so much pain as I know a lot of women can relate to. And I had heard stories of women who you had trouble reconciling the way the birth went with their child. And I thought that was ridiculous. Well, I got it. I got that lesson and I definitely knew what it was like, but the problem for me is that I couldn’t get over it. Not just the birth, but it was the start of the cycle of shame that I felt because I felt like I wasn’t good enough, right? I couldn’t nurse my child. I couldn’t do the things that I wanted to with my child. And it affected my confidence, my self-esteem. It affected my happiness, my joy, my connection with my child too. He wasn’t, this wasn’t what I thought it was going to be like. And I wasn’t the mother I thought I would be. And through the struggle over the years with my child, and we have another son as well, we have two boys who are just the best boys ever, and they’re now are 14 and 11. And they, you know, through this journey and through the darkness and the depression that I fell into, I found peaceful parenting. And I found a way to connect with my kids. But ultimately I found a way back to myself. And the transformation was undeniable that I had to, it changed my life so much. I had to do this, I had to do this because it brought me so much joy.
Michelle: So wow. And you know, with your, thank you. So I mean, so glad that you went through that as and being vulnerable now you can now share that experience. And I know so many moms can relate to that story. Yeah. The shame or not feeling good enough and not prepared like, oh my gosh, we didn’t get a bible or any sort of like book to come with this parenting gig. And it’s tough in the first little while, and I love that you say that you love your boys, you have the best boys and they’re 11 and 14 year old boys. So parents out there, I want you to hear that the all teenage boys don’t have to be difficult and crazy and hard and you know, please listen to Robbin. It can be joyful having teenage boys, I’ll think you know.
Robbin: But yes, it’s, well, yes, that’s true for sure. But the thing is too, right? And this is what I tell parents all the time, and I know we’re going to get into like the nitty gritty of the parenting stuff, but your teenagers, your toddlers, it’s the same in terms of their behavior. That behavior is just communication that’s letting us know that something is going on with them, that other, there’s a need that isn’t getting met or there’s an emotion that is unacknowledged or they don’t have a skill to do something right. So it isn’t even about us. It’s about them and them navigating to the world and how can we support them. So for teenagers, it’s a whole different list of things and struggles and topics that we have to face than we do with our toddlers. But essentially across the board, we, if we changed the way we look at behavior and stop labeling it good or bad, and start questioning it and saying, how come then that is what brings you closer and also helps you to work it out. And when your child is getting their needs met and their feelings acknowledged and they feel good, they’re way more likely to cooperate, and that’s the key right? We want cooperation, don’t we?
Michelle: Absolutely. And I like that. What, you said is key is that, you know, the, the communication is that there’s something that is missing there. Like it has nothing to do with you. Like I know a lot of parents, myself guilty as well at points have been like, why you, why are you making mommy so mad? Right. Like, you know, and it has their behavior is nothing to do with you. So, you know, and we got to really like work.
Robbin: Why are you embarrassing me? Why are you trying to make me mad?
Michelle: Yeah. Nothing to do with you. Nothing to do with you. So that’s a good, that was a good lesson I learned. You know, I’m new to parenting. It’s still relatively in the first, you know, six years. So, that’s something that I’ve learned recently. So it’s really helped a lot to realize that that’s not all about you. And so Robbin, you know, your, you wrote “The Yelling Cure” and it’s because you were at angry mom. So tell us a little bit about that and how the book kind of came about.
Robbin: Yeah. So, you know, I was an angry mom because of my own issues, but I was also an angry mom because my oldest child is a really difficult kid. You know the stuff that I talk about isn’t just for typical kids. It’s for kids that have really high needs and he’s one of those kids. And so throughout the, the, the first few years we knew there was something off, but we didn’t know what it was. And so we talked to healthcare providers, we tried to find ways to help him. He was really anxious, he was really angry, he was really oppositional. And so we’re at a place now where we really understand what’s going on with him. And he has challenges that we as parents, my husband and I, we have to help him through. And it’s not always easy and I’ll never say I’m perfect and that I always have the answer because there are some days where I struggle sometimes, you know, because it is a lot.
So my son, just to tell you, and, and I want to be clear that I have his permission to talk about this because for a long time I never talked about this and I was, I was so ashamed of my own self and thought it was all my fault, which is why I didn’t want to talk about it. And now that we have some answers and I’m in a better place, I can. So, he struggles with intense anxiety. So an anxiety disorder that manifests itself as obsessive compulsive disorder and OCD is thrown around as, you know, sort of anecdotally like, oh, I’m so OCD, I have to make sure my bed is made every day or whatever. But you know, that’s not OCD. OCD is debilitating and my son has that kind of OCD and it’s, you know, it’s hard to see, you know, I know this is his lot in life, but as his mom, it’s sad to see, you know.
But I know that this is his calling to find a way to work through this, right? So we help them with that. And, there’s work that he needs to do. So there’s obsessive compulsive disorder. He also has some depression and there is also, an explosive anger just order that he has to. So sometimes he will have meltdowns and they last a long time, you know, not as much as he gets older, but they can be pretty big and pretty, pretty long lasting and loud. So all of those things put together with the regular overwhelm, you feel the regular busy schedule that you have, all of those things, it was pretty hard on me. It was pretty hard on me. So, and, and I consider him my greatest gift because if it wasn’t for him, you know, I wouldn’t want to have been a better mom or a better person. And he’s definitely opened the door for me to heal myself, you know, which is what I’ve already said. But I mean, it’s a really, I always believed that the pain that you feel, no matter where it is in your life it is your invitation for healing. So I’m so grateful to him for that.
Michelle: Oh, that’s so great. I love that. You can see it in that way now and it’s opened the door really for you to become a parenting coach and now help so many other parents as well, which is fantastic. So this is where “The Yelling Cure” came from, being frustrated, angry mom. And so what are some tips for parents that maybe are finding themselves in this particular situation? With, their kids right now where they just are frustrated and you know, just having, having some issues, keeping their own cool when they’re talking to their kids.
Robbin: Well, when parents are finding themselves in these positions and they’re finding themselves really struggling, you know, they’ve got to look at, and this is what I teach parents to do. Look at parenting from two sides, right? On the one side, we’re looking at your child and your child’s behavior, right? But we’re looking at their behavior. Like I always say, not as good or bad, but as communication, but we also want to look at them in terms of developmental stages. Brain science always comes into play. And then there is, I’m also recognizing that there may be a skill that they don’t yet have, right? So we want to look at the child’s right when you’re in this position where you’re frustrated, you’re angry and things aren’t going the way you want. We look at your child, we look at their behavior, and if behavior is communication, then the other side of it is you.
How are you interpreting their communication, their behavior, communication? Are you, is it triggering you? Is it making you angry? Is it making you frustrated? Does your child whine too much? Does your child have meltdowns? Too many times, is your child rude or disrespectful? So, how do we interpret that? What’s really going on? And, what I always tell parents to do when they’re in these situations is to to look what’s under the behavior. Don’t look at the first, look at it as secondary, right? Don’t label it as good or bad. Look at it as secondary and find out what’s driving it. There’s always either unmet need, unacknowledged emotion, or they just don’t have the skill yet. Right? And so, then what, what I teach in, the reason I wrote the book is because I want parents to understand that there are eight core needs of a child that needs to be met at any given time and I’m not talking about the need to have a toy or an ice cream cone or whatever it is. It’s not that kind of need, but their basic core human needs, the need for unconditional love, for connection, for attention. You know, we blame and shame our kids for just needing attention or you’re just doing that to get attention. Well yeah, maybe they are doing that to get attention and that’s why they’re doing what they’re doing. And so we need to give them quality attention and really lean into that. And when your child is getting their needs met, they’re much more likely to cooperate. They’re going to be happier, they’re going to be more calm as well. So that’s all that I talk about in my book. It’s all in there on how to do that and how to get to a new place with your child.
Michelle: I have read part of your book and I’m looking for it to continue reading it. It’s got some great resources in there. It’s got those core needs I think are so fascinating and I think it’s something that every parent should take a look at your book because it really, it’s really not about the obviously not about behavior and some of the things I learned in there was really more about looking at those, those basic needs and like you know, you know I was one of those parents that used to say, oh yeah, bad behavior, good behavior. Okay no, it’s the attention they need or they need some more love or they just need you to look them in their eyes and talk with them and sit down and have that, that those moments. So highly recommend picking up Robbin’s book. Robbin where can we find your book can you tell us where that is.
Robbin: Yeah, you can find it in a couple of different places. One is on my website, which is just ParentingForConnection.com and it’s for not the number. So ParentingForConnection.com and you can also do go to RobbinMcManne.com. So either place, you’ll put that in the show notes I know, so people can get it. Can I add something really quickly to what we’ve just said? I just want to, I want to say that those, those core needs for a child are really important, but I also include core needs for you as a parent as well because that’s also really, really important. We’ve got to get your needs met, right? And I just want you to know that there’s a list of needs in there and call to action for you to identify which ones, which of your needs aren’t getting met. So that’s important too. That’s awesome.
Michelle: Thank you, Robbin, for that. That’s so important for parents to know. And so apparent important for parents to know that they have some support and they need to get their needs met too. And now Robin, you just started a podcast too. So parenting for our future, “Parenting Our Future” is the podcast, Robbin just started and I, it’s excellent. Go over to iTunes, check it out, make sure you subscribe, like and review her show because it’s really great to have continue this conversation on. If you’ll love what Robbin’s saying today, you’ll love what she says on her podcast too. So make sure you check that out. For sure. So Robbin, can you tell us a little bit about what would it be like for a parent to come and work with you? What does that look like and what’s the process you take parents through and who at what point should parents really reach out?
Robbin: Well, thank you. That’s a great question. When I work with parents, I work with them one on one usually. Like that’s the main way. I do have some courses which are more of a group environment, but really if you’re looking for individual help than working with me, one on one is what you do. And I work with clients for about three months and there are ten one on one calls during that time. And that’s where I really break down and help parents to move past the issues that they’re facing that are really unique to them and their family, right? Every family is different. Every set of circumstances is different. All personalities are different. So to find somebody that can help you with things that are unique to you. And look, I work with parents all day long. It’s exclusively what I do. I don’t work with the kids.
I just work with the parents. So you know, for me, this is about helping you to, to get unstuck and move forward. Because the idea is that we want you, or I want you to build a relationship. We want to have relationships with our kids and we want it to not be so much of a control and dominance over our kids as in relationship with our kids because we want them to see us as trusted allies that they can come to when they’ve done something bad or wrong or made a mistake. And we are there not to criticize them, not to judge them or shame them, but just to help them work it out. And what that does is that helps them grow into the kind of people who have emotional intelligence and resilience. And those are the kinds of people in this world, in today’s society that really thrive. So that’s what I help parents to do on an individual basis. So and it’s been such a rewarding experience working with parents that, you know, excitedly tell me that they got their kids to do what they asked them to do. They listen now. There’s not, as much as there’s no disrespect, there’s not as much complaining, you know, it’s really exciting.
Michelle: You don’t, you know, we’re not, I remember back in with your kids like it was like that the parents are the scary thing. Like they’re, you’re supposed to be afraid of your parents. And my parents never raised me that way, but I know a lot of my friends’ parents were like, they were afraid of their parents. How awful is that? Like that, that’s not what you want. You want to be able to have that be that ally person. And I like what you and I hope parents are listening at home. You want your children to be able to come to you as that trusted person to work out a problem. Now be ashamed by it, not get criticized for it and not getting punished for it, but to help them work it out. I think that’s so key. And having resilient emotionally intelligent people in this world is what we really need more of.
So I’m glad that you’re helping parents find ways to raise those kinds of children. Cause those are the kids that are really going to thrive in the future. It’s really what our future needs is for people that are emotionally intelligent and not broken. And you know, so that’s really great. Thanks Robbin. And I wanna talk a little bit about the course that you did with Blissful Parenting. So we can’t say the whole title, but it’s like how much you’re, you know, and, tell us a little bit about this course and what’s included in it.
Robbin: Okay, sure. So this course is a, I love it. I mean I do love the name too because I think that as much as parenting is serious and sacred, I still think that we could have a little bit of fun. Something happens when we become parents. We get really serious and we need to have some fun. So, anyway, and I know every parent can relate to losing your stuff, right? So in this course, what, I teach you is in six modules, it’s six modules. So it’s really easy to consume. I give you a full workbook too, so that the meat of the course that you’re going to watch online, they are video, the video classes, you get that all in the workbook too. So the first thing I do is walk you through setting your intentions for you and your child. Then I share with you a tool that I’ve created, which is four steps to keeping yourself cool and stopping a meltdown in its tracks. And that could be your meltdown or your child’s meltdown. Cause I know we have those too. Then I talk about how to really get your kids to listen.
And then I talk about the pitfalls of punishment. There’s a lot of parents that, you know, really up until this point in history, punishment has been the norm, right? You don’t do what I like, so I’m going to punish you. So the thing is is that it doesn’t work. It may work in the short term, but it doesn’t work in the long time to foster that strong relationship. And so I really want to unpack why we use punishment and how it ends up backfiring for us. And then also one of my most favorite things that I love to do with my clients is set up their values, their family values that are unique to them and the boundaries for their kids that correspond to those values. And the great thing is everybody agrees so everybody knows where they stand and everybody knows what’s okay and what’s not okay. So that is a module I love. And then the last one is something, of course, I’m passionate about, which is creating a plan for self-care. I’m not just talking about it, I’m helping you to create a plan to get your needs met. So that you can fully show in a peaceful way with peaceful responses for yourself and for your kids and your family.
Michelle: I just love the word peaceful parenting. It just sounds so nice. It sounds lovely,
Robbin: But it is also about boundaries. It’s about, you know them knowing what’s okay and what’s not okay. You know, this isn’t a free for all. You know, there are stick our kids need structure and boundaries so that they can flourish within that scaffolding of support.
Michelle: Yeah, that’s important. You know, as someone who I call myself more of a free spirit, I’ve learned this in the business world as well as now learning it in a parenting role. Like I always rebelled against the structure and the structure and routine and things that it’s so important, especially for the kids. They really, I really see my kids thrive with routine and structure and they, it wasn’t something that is natural to me. I had to work extra hard as a parent to do that.
Robbin: Well, and it’s funny because you know, you talk about that and you said that you rebelled. And what happens is we see the results of our parenting in the early years when kids are teenagers. Right? And you know, really in terms of the work that I do, it’s never too late. Right? So when, when parents come to me, usually their kids are at least two and older, right? Because two is kind of where they go from being cute to Kinda, making you crazy. But if you’ve got teenagers, you’ve got young adult children, it’s still never too late to mend that relationship and to move forward because you know, it’s okay that we’ve made mistakes, we can always go back, right? We can always go back and heal that relationship. So that’s really important for you to know too. I think for anybody who has kids that thinks, well, you know what, the ship has sailed. I can’t go back. Well, you can. You can.
Michelle: That’s great. That was my next question. What age group do you usually work with? So that’s fantastic to know that you can work with parents, with kids of all age groups. So anyone at any stage in any anywhere is never too late. It’s time to take time to rectify the shift and have a peaceful existence in your family. And how nice does that sound? Right till dinner, Nice Dinner, nice bedtime routines, nice school routines, all that kind of stuff. That sounds, that sounds lovely
Robbin: And it’s all doable without losing your, you know what?
Michelle: Awesome. So you guys will have to check out Robbin’s course on TheBlissfulParent.com it is on our site there and make sure you check it out cause I think it’s so many great tools that parents need to kinda, you know, take a look at and, and start using in a, in their lives and with their kids. So great. So, Robbin, I wanna thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and your wisdom today with us. I know you’ve enlightened myself and I know others have been touched by what you’ve said today. So let’s keep in touch with you, Robbin. Make sure you guys go check out her podcast, “Parenting Our Future”. Check out her website. It’s Robbin, it’s connected ParentingForConnection.com, right?
Michelle: Yup. Perfect. So make sure you check out Robbin. Follow along and stay tuned for more from Robbin as our Blissful Parenting faculty. We’ll bring her back again, I promise, and we’ll hear more from her down the road. So thank you, Robbin, for being with us today.
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