How to Talk To Your Kids About Being Proud Of Who They Are, With Rick Clemons, RFL019

How To Talk To Your Kids About Being Proud of Who They Are – Episode Overview

You were born awesome. This isn’t just some feel-good talk. This is a fact. You were born with unique talents, strengths and passions – your identity is yours – and whatever you got is just right. On a planet of over 7 billion people, your uniqueness is your built-in performance and competitive advantage – the way to find your way in life. You are unique on purpose. But to tap into what is great about you first have to discover it, then develop the courage to embrace it.

As the saying goes, “be an amazing original, not an average copy”. Our world constantly tells us who to be – to look, act and think like others – it wants us to be copies. What if, instead, we were able to be who we truly are, and were able to help our kids do the same? Imagine how it would feel to bring to today’s world that thing or things that only you can deliver?

Being proud of who you are means you must discover who you are, then accept and embrace it – whatever it is. In this acceptance, you allow yourself  to then start to sort through life for the places that really fit you – not the ones that other say you should connect with. It’s your life – you must own it and act as its leader – this comes only after you know who you, accept it and be proud, regardless of what others say.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on discovering who we are – down deep. And my intention is to help parents learn to be true to who they are so they then can guide support and coach their kids to do the same. You can’t live a great and amazing life pretending to be someone else.

Rick Clemons being proudMeet our guest Rick Clemons

Rick Clemons is a talented life and identity coach, speaker, podcaster, author and blogger. He is the host of the Coming Out Lounge podcast, author the soon to be released book, Frankly My Dear, I’m Gay – A Late Bloomers Guide to Coming Out and of 2 other upcoming books, is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Your Tango and Healthy Gay He is the creator of the .1 Project, an awareness that we are 99% alike and 1% different – and that we should embrace this difference. As an openly gay coach and dad, Rick coaches others in self-acceptance, getting past limitations, authenticity and embracing our uniqueness and differentness. See the links for more on Rick.

Guest Links:

Episode’s Key TakeAways

  1. You have to do your own work to discover who you are. Once you discover what makes you different, unique and amazing, it is then up to you to live it. This is where parents are tremendous help to kids – to help them discover and embrace who they are, so that they show up right, big and interested in their lives.
  2. One-size-fits-all parenting doesn’t work. Modify how you parent with each child to help them connect with and find their own uniqueness.
  3. You already have everything you need – the right talents, passions and strengths – for you to have your great life.  Can you be open enough to see what you have, and courageous enough to live it? This is for both parents and kids.
  4. The greatest negative voices about us come from ourselves. We let the outside world influence what we think of ourselves. What if we were able to give ourselves and our kids permission to be who they are – with no other requirement? How might this change how you approach your life – and how you help your kids approach theirs?
  5. Give your kids permission to create their own blueprint, roadmap for life. Watch when you successfully guide them and when you are pulling or pushing them in your direction.
  6. Celebrate your kids’ differentness whenever possible. Honoring it creates a safe space for your kids to be who they really are.
  7. Security and stability are not key in your kids minds (these are in our minds as parents); what is in their minds is curiosity, adventure and exploration. This is how they discover who they are and start to find their place in their world.
  8. Millennials are most fearful of not having the freedom to be who they really are – they are most afraid of needing to blend and be like others.
  9. Ask more than tell with your kids – it creates the ability to get your kids minds to sort through information, to share their perspective and to create the safe space to discuss things. In the absence of this, they may not deal with what they feel makes them different until it becomes urgent or a problem. A high number of teen and young adult suicides come from kids being unable to discuss and deal with their uniqueness and differentness.

Some question for parents:

  1. Do you embrace your “differentness?”  How can you encourage and support your kids’ “differentness?”
  2. How can you be okay with allowing your kids to be who they really?
  3. How is your fear of our world stopping your kids from being who they really are?
  4. Could you ask your kids these questions:
  5. If there were no judgments who would you really be?
  6. If you knew the impact you could have could change the world, how would you act?
  7. How can I help you be courageous enough to think your own way?
  8. How can you see that what makes you different is what makes you great?
  9. How can I create a safe space for you to discover, understand and accept who you really are?
  10. Can you allow and support your kids to be different than what society tells you – could you accept them as gay, wanting to follow a different (or no) faith, move to another country, think about a career that isn’t in line with your thinking?
  11. What needs to change in you as a parent to be able to accept and support your kids as they are, not as you need them to be?

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1.    Stop and Notice one thing that is different and unique about each of your kids. What are you doing to help them see, develop, accept and embrace it?
  2.    Stop and Notice when your fear of the world is holding your kids back from discovering and living who they are. What can you do to address this fear?
  3.    Stop and Notice the change in your kids when they are encouraged, supported and accepted to be who they are. How does this make you feel as a parent? How does this make your kids feel?
  4.    Stop and Notice how the world constantly tells you who and what you should be – and that it does it to your kids. How will all of you trust your own voices more than the loud voices of others?

We are each born just right – we get what we get – and what we get is enough to be amazing in life. To access this, we have to get better at accepting and being proud of who we are, then to create the safe space for our kids to do the same.

Suggested Resource  – Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley


This is a masterwork from teacher, author, and featured speaker Mike Dooley. As the next step beyond his immensely popular Notes from the Universe trilogy, and his follow up, Choose them Wisely, this book contains even more enriching wisdom for living an abundant, joyous life.

Mike Dooley knows that we create our own reality, our own fate, and our own luck. We’re beings filled with infinite possibility—just ready to explore how powerful we truly are. Manifesting the magnificence of our dreams isn’t about hard work, but rather about belief and expectation. These principles transcend belief, realizing the truth about our human nature.

Your dreams are not accidental, nor inconsequential. And if someone were tell the truth about life, reality, and the powers we all possessed, would it be recognized? Our lives are full of adventures—and not exactly the sky-diving, mountain-climbing variety—but something better. Readers will laugh, applaud, and be inspired by Mike Dooley’s wit and wisdom.

This is a great book for parents to remind them that they and their kids are filled with infinite possibilities – if they just discover, accept and live who they really are.

How to A Mindful and Modern Dad with Dr Josh Misner, RFL018

Mindfulness expert Dr Josh Misner joins Jay to share how dad’s roles are changing and how to have the courage to be a modern dad – one who is mindful and chooses how he wants to show up as a dad to each of his kids. The same wisdom applies for moms.

How To Be A Mindful and Modern Dad – Episode Overview

Do you think a dad is supposed to be the tough guy – the John Wayne, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis type of hero that can battle with the toughest of foes, to be a hero to their kids?

What plays in your head at any moment is a voice of how to act as a dad. This voice may sound like your parents, your teachers, the news, a grandparent or even a neighbor. Those little voices come in and dictate how to be a dad. Well, maybe at the time you heard them they were useful, but how some of what you know about being a dad is now outdated. To be a modern dad means first means you are mindful – present, aware and tuned in. When you stop and notice, you tune in to new information that helps you determine as a dad (as a parent) what to do next that will help inspire happy, successful and responsible kids. This makes you open to whatever you need to do instead of following your default behaviors or the stories about what dads do that play in your head. This is what makes you a modern dad – one committed to showing up strong and right for the immediate situation – and in a way that makes sense for your kid, not concerned about what others may say about you. This is the definition of a modern dad.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on dads. My intention is to help them realize that their roles are changing – and you control this change; you have the ability to define how you want to parent.

Meet our Guest Dr Josh Misner

Josh Misner being a modern dad photoDr Josh Misner is an award-winning communication and leadership professor and mindfulness researcher. His research focuses on the impact of mindful presence, or paying careful attention on purpose, particularly with respect to fathers and their families. A husband and active father of four, Josh teaches methods to savor each and every moment with the intention of playing an active role in children’s memories tomorrow. He founded the Mindful Dad Project, a collaborative community effort aimed at reconnecting fathers who desire a deeper connection with their children. Find out more at

Guest Links:

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. As dads, we have a lot of expectations of how to be with our kids – they come from our history and many of these expectations do not help us in today’s parenting.
  2. A modern dad is simply a dad that is present enough in the moment to see what his kids need, and courageous enough to deliver what works best for the happiness of his kids, without considering what the conventional wisdom of “what dads do.” See the article, “On Being A Man.”
  3. Conventional dad behaviors are those we heard and saw from our parents. They were parents in different times. Their guidance and focus may not be useful today, to your kids. Be open to changing whatever needs changing to be the dad your kids need.
  4. Modern dads challenge the status quo. They are more concerned about doing the right thing for their kids than looking good for others. They disregard the question, “what does a real dad do?” They know that a great dad is the one who tunes in, pays attention and cares enough to show up to his kids in the way they need him – stern, tender, guiding, listening – whatever will matter most. See my article “The Softer Side of Dads.”
  5. Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment. It requires us to be in control of ourselves enough to look at the moments and events of life as information (not judgmentally). From this place, a saner, calmer and more thoughtful dad (and mom) can consider and then choose how to respond.
  6. Mindfulness prepares dads to shift from reacting (going with our autopilot behaviors) to responding (we approach our actions with attention and intention).

Questions for Parents:

  1. What behaviors do you have with your kids that are not that productive – that come from what conventional dad behaviors tell you – but you do them any way? Which ones will you start to change?
  2. How can you develop the courage to be the dad you want to be without caring what others say? How will this help your kids learn confidence?
  3. How would you define being a modern dad for you? Moms, how can you help dads be confident in developing their own definition of what it means to be a dad today?
  4. What can you do to show up more present and aware to what is going on with your kids to determine what to consider and ultimately choose to be a great parent?
  5. How can you become less judgmental with your kids – and see what they do as information – then use it to sanely, wisely decide what to do next?

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1. Stop and Notice you as you parent. What is effective, what is ineffective?
  2. Stop and Notice how your kids respond to your parenting? Does it connect with them and help the to be accountable, responsible and happy?
  3. Stop and Notice what you think it means to be a dad. How will you write your own definition and not be quick to take on the definition of others?
  4. Stop and Notice when you are not listening or not paying attention to your kids. What is stopping you? What information are you missing? How could being more aware improve your relationship with your kids?
  5. Stop and Notice how you and wife/partner parent. How do you support each other to be your unique and your best selves, not stuck in some other definition of what it means to be a mom or a dad?

Parenting is tough. The best parenting comes when we show up mindful, present and tuned in to our kids, non-judgmentally, so we can then assess and decide how we want to show up in this moment. This changes everything about parenting.

Suggested Resource

Mindfulness For Beginners – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness for BeginnersThe practice of mindfulness holds the possibility of not just a fleeting sense of contentment, but a true embracing of a deeper unity that envelops and permeates our lives. With Mindfulness for Beginners you are invited to learn how to transform your relationship to the way you think, feel, love, work, and play-and thereby awaken to and embody more completely who you really are.

Here, the teacher, scientist, and clinician who first demonstrated the benefits of mindfulness within mainstream Western medicine offers a book that you can use in three unique ways: as a collection of reflections and practices to be opened and explored at random; as an illuminating and engaging start-to-finish read; or as an unfolding “lesson- a-day” primer on mindfulness practice.

Beginning and advanced meditators alike will discover in these pages a valuable distillation of the key attitudes and essential practices that Jon Kabat-Zinn has found most useful with his students, including:

  • Why heartfulness is synonymous with true mindfulness
  • The value of coming back to our bodies and to our senses over and over again
  • How our thoughts “self-liberate” when touched by awareness
  • Moving beyond our “story” into direct experience
  • Stabilizing our attention and presence amidst daily activities
  • The three poisons that cause suffering-and their antidotes
  • How mindfulness heals, even after the fact
  • Reclaiming our wholeness, and more

The prescription for living a more mindful life seems simple enough: return your awareness again and again to whatever is going on. But if you’ve tried it, you know that here is where all the questions and challenges really begin.

This resource includes a complete CD with five guided mindfulness meditations by Jon Kabat-Zinn, selected from the audio program that inspired this book.

Living and Loving Life Your Way with Kimberly Travaglino RFL14

Living and Loving Life Your Way – Episode Overview

Kimberly-Travaglino-webToday we talk about living and loving life on our terms – and helping our kids do the same. This is hard work for parents as we feel we need to get our kids into the classic success model of work, house, family = happy. Instead, what if we were open to helping our kids discover whatever makes them happy and successful – and to support, guide and coach them in that Process. So, we connect with the suburban mom who, 5 years ago, decided to live her dream of spending all of her time together as a family, seeing the country. She sold the house, the cars and took her husband, 4 kids and 3 dogs on the road. Challenged by most everyone to shift back to living life in the “normal” way, Kimberly Travaglino holds fast on to living and loving life on her terms. Thrilled by the nomadic way of life in a 350 square foot trailer, she is courageous to go after her dream of sharing the learning and discovery of their world through the eyes of her kids – everyday, all day. The greatest gift we have in life is choice – are you living the life you choose, or are you pushed around by those who tell you how life is supposed to be.

Maybe living in an RV is not your idea of adventure, but look at the courage, clarity and commitment it took to reinvent life their way? How can this family inspire and engage you to find and live life on your terms?

Attention and Intention

This week, our attention is on how we live life – and our intention is that we have the courage to build it, create it, invent it and live it in a way that gives us our greatest joy and connects us to our greatest purpose.

Meet our guest Kimberly Travaglino

Wife to Chris, roadschool mom to four exuberant kiddos, author, Radio Show Personality, Blogger, Editor In Chief and digital gypsy at Fulltime, she just moved her life from the house to the road. She shares that her nomadic spirit may challenge what her parents and siblings think of her approach to life, but as you will hear in the podcast, this is one clear, happy, connected and living the dream person. As she shares, the Traveling Travaglinos have lived everywhere. Tune in to hear her story and may it inspire the courage in you to go out and live life your way.

Guest Links:

Episode’s Key Takeaways:

  1. Don’t let the world tell you how to live. Though the world will try to influence your decisions, create a clear vision of what a great life is for you. Solicit ideas from your kids. As a family, talk about what amplifies life. Learn to hear and trust your own voice.
  2. Life is an adventure. Build adventures into your days – to connect your kids to dreaming and living their dreams. Notice and connect with your world – it has a lot to share about life.
  3. Invent as you go. Have a general plan and then ad-lib as you go. Opportunities show up in the moment so tune in and see what life is sending you – then decide what you want to do next.
  4. Use every opportunity in life to help your kids learn about life. All situations can help our kids learn how to show up to their lives, in their way. Coaching and guiding them to build their own lives.
  5. Spend as much time with your kids as you can. Watch your kids experience the world – to appreciate its wonder and to be there to help explain, support and guide through the experiences.

Some question for parents:

  1. How do you help your kids dream about what is a great life for them?
  2. How do you create adventures to show your kids more and more of the world? With there expanded view comes expanded opportunities?
  3. What courage do you need to develop to change the things in your life that need changing – to help you love life more and live on your terms?
  4. How are you (and how do you help your kids) learn to be the owners of your own lives – to live it in a way that matters?

Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1. Stop and Notice one thing you would love to have in your life but don’t. What is stopping you from going after this or making a change?
  2. Stop and Notice what your kids think a great life is – or a life that is lived on their terms. Help them dream, invent and imagine. What can you do to help them start to discover and go after their best life?
  3. Stop and Notice someone who is courageously living their dreams. What can you learn from them so this becomes your approach?

Find your voice. Live life on your terms. Be courageous. Teach your kids to go out and live life like it matters, building in adventures and living their dreams. We seem to need permission to go out and live our lives – what if the only permission you needed was your own voice – and that your kids learned how to develop and trust their voices.

Suggested Resource – Companion App

companion-app-alert-modeIt’s 11:30 p.m. and you’re walking home alone from the library. You’ve heard that some areas are unsafe. You think about texting a roommate to let her know that you’re on your way back, but decide not to because it really isn’t that far of a walk. Besides, this wouldn’t exactly be of help if you ran into trouble. Instead, you just hope that no one will bother you.

Now however, Companion, a free app developed by five University of Michigan students, gives that friend you reached out to the ability to actively participate in ensuring your safety.

Companion is simple to use. You plug in your destination and choose any number of contacts as your “Companions.” Your friends or family don’t need to have the app to watch and stay with you.

Should your phone’s already built-in sensors pick up anything suspicious — for instance, if you’ve detoured from your path, start running, or fall — the app notifies your “Companion” and gives them the option of asking, “Are You Okay?” You then have 15 seconds to respond with “I Am Okay” before an alarm is triggered on your phone to scare off any potential attacker or notify your companions.

  • If you feel unsafe at any time, you can also press an “I Feel Nervous” button that alerts your contacts, which can include your local police or 911.
  • It still requires great attention as we (or our kids) move through life, but an app like this can give all of us some additional sense of security and support.
  • The app is free and you can download it on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

How To Succeed With Challenges

Sometimes life seems to be too much. Relationships fall apart. We get sick. We fail at something at school. We get embarrassed. Life seems so unfair.

Actually, life just is – you interpret it as either fair or unfair

You can, however, get very affected by the events and situations of life. They can wear you down and trip you up – and make it difficult to land on your feet and keep going.

Without some tips on how not to let life’s events overwhelm you, you’ll just play the negative news over and over in your head. Pretty soon it goes so loud in there that you just can’t stand it. This is how life’s little events turn into big events, and big events never leave. They control the volume and ensure they get your full attention.

Between the technology and a busy life, you don’t ever get a chance to quiet things down. There is always some texting, calling, emailing or tweeting. There is always someone telling you do this, don’t do that, go here, don’t go there. Sure this is part of being in our world but for you to ever make sense of the events of your life, you’ll need to create some limits.

3 Tips to help you succeed with challenges

  1. Tune out to tune in. Tune out of your noisy, pushy and loud world to tune in to you. Build in some time each disconnected from technology and your world. Find a place to walk, sit, meditate, close your eyes, connect with nature – do something that allows you to spend quiet time with you. In creating some boundaries in life, you will give yourself the time and space to sort out life’s challenges. You can’t do this if you have the world and technology blaring in your ear every moment.
  2. Gather information. As life send you challenges, try to step out of them and look at them as an outsider. What information do you see? What options and opportunities come to light when you aren’t so involved and when you can see if more clearly, rationally, and calmly? You can see that before you can gather information, you really need to tune out.
  3. Make a plan. When you are clear, decide what you want to do and the first steps to get it done. Then go make it happen.

Notice, all of these are just ways to help you stay calm, gather information and use your best abilities to create a way to succeed with whatever life sends. Know you are braver, more talented and wiser that you sometimes think. Access this by taking the time, gathering information and building a plan. Go be great.