How To Set Meaningful Boundaries and Limits For Your Kids, with Erin Royer-Asrilant – RFL040

How to Set Meaningful Boundaries and Limits For Your Kids – Episode Overview

We want our kids to find their way in today’s wild world. And to do that, they need to learn, explore and discover. So how much is too much freedom and how much is too little? THEY want to be free, YOU want them to be safe – how do you blend the two?

Our job as modern parents is to get our kids ready for life. That means we need to walk WITH them – to guide and interpret our noisy and pushy world, to help them make sense of it – to be able to see their options then be able to make wise choices in school, work and life that need what they do best. To do this, we need to set up boundaries and guidelines. If these are too tight, our kids rebel. If they are too loose, they can get caught up in the world’s distractions. Finding the balance is critical.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on guiding our kids to be successful, happy and responsible in life. My intention is to have a discussion about boundaries and guidelines as tools to help our kids stay focused on what matters – to both fully experience the world and to know how to choose wisely in all of its noise and distractions.

Meet our guest Erin Royer-Asrilant

Erin Royer O Meaningful Boundaries For KidsErin Royer-Asrilant is a parent of 3 young children and has a masters in clinical psychology. She specializes in helping families resolve stressful parenting concerns such as negative child behavior, unproductive communication, and family organization issues. She is the founder of Your Village Online, a robust parenting site with 40 online education programs to help all parents learn to be more confident and successful with their parenting – by improving how they deal with discipline, boundaries and roles. You can find out more about this amazing mom who still makes time to train for triathlons and marathons at the links below.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. It is critical for us to help our kids be aware in today’s world without being afraid of it. We set boundaries and limits to help our kids learn how to be successful and safe in our world.
  2. We help our kids process and interpret life successfully when we help them discover and develop their talents and strengths. Make this an intentional component of how you raise them so they aren’t discovering this information later in life. The sooner our kids know their inventory of abilities, the sooner they can better understand how to find their way in life – to be confident to be present in it and wise to live it safely.
  3. Tune in to your kids to notice their abilities – to help them start to connect them with the opportunities in life that align.
  4. We constantly struggle as parents with the fear and danger we see and experience in our world. This can make us want to create stronger limits and guidelines for our kids which can sometimes have the opposite effect we desire. All great guidelines, limits and boundaries as our kids grow and mature are best done through discussion. You, as a parent, can always override what a child may want, but including him or her in the conversation opens you up to his or her reality, and creates the ability for both sides to share their real thoughts. This can’t happen if all limits and rules are handed down to kids.
  5. Safety, values and beliefs are usually delivered to our kids in a telling mode. All other events can be negotiated through conversation.
  6. Our kids are getting in over their heads because of the Internet. The internet is a doorway to the entire world – which includes many areas that our kids are not wise enough to know how to process, handle or ignore. Setting limits on access is important.
  7. Boundaries and limits – kids want freedom and choice and safety and security – make them reasonable and age-appropriate. This is one of the main ways we communicate that our kids are safe with us.
  8. Include your kids in your conversations about limits and boundaries so they know what you are thinking, what you are concerned about and what you know that they may not know. Explaining things helps create context so kids are more aware of the reasons in the limits – they may not always agree but they at least understand our thinking.
  9. Staying calm is so critical to effective parenting.  Peaceful parenting is about parenting, not the kids. You can’t be your best self (calm, peaceful) if you are not taking care of yourself.

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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 how you create boundaries, guidelines and limits with your kids. Is it one directional or do you involve them in discussions? How effectively are your limits or boundaries working?
  2. Stop and Notice what you talk to your kids about in a day. Is it negative and pessimistic like much of the news, or do you help your kids appreciate the dangers in our world but still be optimistic and willing to be fully involved in life?
  3. Stop and Notice how balanced you are in protecting your kids from the dangers and distractions in today’s world but open and encouraging to let them discover who they are and go live life like it matters. How can you improve this today?
  4. Stop and Notice how calm and stable you are as a parent. What do you need to do on a daily basis for yourself, to be a peaceful parent? How can being a peaceful parent help improve your parenting, particularly around setting limits and boundaries for your kids?

Our world has both great and dangerous things. In order to be safe and loving life, we need to help our kids learn how to know the difference. With the Internet, they have access to things we never dreamed of seeing at their age – some productive, and many that are unproductive. It is up to us to help them understand their world to known how to navigate successfully in it. This means setting meaningful and age-appropriate boundaries and limits – limiting access until they can wise and ready in their responses – and including them when they are ready in the discussions about those limits. This is just what it takes to be a modern parent.

Suggested Resource:

Scream Free Parenting ResourceScreamFree Parenting – The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids By Keeping Your Cool  – by Hal Edward Runkel, LMFT

You Can Start a Revolution in Your Family . . . Tonight

ScreamFree Parenting is not just about lowering your voice. It’s about learning to calm your emotional reactions and learning to focus on your own behavior more than your kids’ behavior . . . for their benefit. Our biggest enemy as parents is not the TV, the Internet, or even drugs. Our biggest enemy is our own emotional reactivity. When we say we “lost it” with our kids, the “it” in that sentence is our own adulthood. And then we wonder why our kids have so little respect for us, why our kids seem to have all the power in the family.

It’s time to do it differently. And you can. You can start to create and enjoy the types of calm, mutually respectful, and loving relationships with your kids that you’ve always craved. You can begin to revolutionize your family, starting tonight.

Parenting is not about kids, it’s about parents. If you’re not in control, then you cannot be in charge. What every kid really needs are parents who are able to keep their cool no matter what.

Easier said than done? Not anymore, thanks to ScreamFree Parenting, the principle-based approach that’s inspiring parents everywhere to truly revolutionize their family dynamics. Moving beyond the child-centered, technique-based approaches that ultimately fail, the ScreamFree way compels you to:

  • focus on yourself
  • calm yourself down, and
  • grow yourself up

By staying calm and connected with your kids, you begin to operate less out of your deepest fears and more out of your highest principles, revolutionizing your relationships in the process.

ScreamFree Parenting is not just another parenting book. It’s the first parenting book that maintains—from beginning to end—that parenting is NOT about kids . . . it’s about parents. As parents pay more attention to controlling their own behavior instead of their kids’ behavior, the result is stronger, more rewarding, and more fulfilling family relationships.

For those of you reading who are parents, know parents, or have had parents, the notion that the greatest thing you can do for your children is to learn to focus on yourself may sound strange, even heretical. It’s not. Here’s why: we are the only ones we can control. We cannot control our kids—we cannot control the behavior of any other human being. And yet, so many “experts” keep giving us more tools (“techniques”) to help us try to do just that. And, of course, the more we try to control, the more out of control our children become.

“Don’t make me come up there.” “Don’t make me pull this car over.” “How many times do I have to tell you?” Even our language suggests that our kids have control over us.

It’s no wonder that we end up screaming. Or shutting down. Or simply giving up. And the charts, refrigerator magnets, family meetings, and other techniques in most typical parenting books just don’t work. They end up making us feel more frustrated and more powerless in this whole parenting thing.

This practical, effective guide for parents of all ages with kids of all ages introduces proven principles for overcoming the anxieties and stresses of parenting and setting new patterns of connection and cooperation. Well-written in an engaging, conversational tone, the book is sensible, straightforward, and based on the experiences of hundreds of actual families. It will help all parents become calming authorities in their homes, bring peace to their families today, and give kids what they need to grow into caring, self-directed adults tomorrow.

In A Rut? Here’s How To Make Things New and Exciting

For many, much of life feels like we are in a rut. The same job. The same school. The same weekend activities. The same food. Boring. Bland. Blah.

Here’s the thing – you can’t change what you don’t notice. So noticing that things are in a rut opens you up to asking, “What could make this better? What is something new? How could I make a change?”

See, things don’t make themselves new and exciting – we have to author them. We have to first see what is and then choose to improve it. Attention and intention – see it, change it. And change it by asking the power question, “What could make this better?”

Some Real Life Situations

Your job – You know you have certain things that have to get done; you have job expectations. But what other things could you do, offer, suggest or implement? What collaborations could you start with others to customize your role and add new energy to what you do? How could one little change activate a greater level of energy and interest in the workplace for you?

Your family life – you have the things you have to get done – laundry, meals, maintenance, homework, shuttling kids to events – the list goes on. But how might you change any of them to be more exciting, to make it an adventure or to do something way out of the ordinary? What if dinners were a time to learn what and how other cultures eat – or getting chores done were redefined as a competition about both speed and accuracy – or if every ride in the car to a sports practice or activity included storytelling to expand imaginations and make the time go by? How could one little change activate a greater level of energy and interest at home?

Your kids – you have unique and amazing kids that could use some one-on-one time to help them feel special, validated and understood. I know a family with four kids – and each one has one day each month with the dad or the mom just to be alone together – doing things they both really care about. Think of the connection this creates. What can make your relationship better with your kids?

Your holidays – holidays are getting closer and with that comes the opportunity to do what you always do or to reinvent things to be different, better or more exciting. Who could you invite? What new tradition do you want to start? What will be a holiday hallmark unique to your family? Every aspect of the holidays is open for reinventing what you want to make them special.

It’s all your choice

So you see, you can choose anything in your life – anything about health, work, family, community, homework, activities, faith, etc – and ask the question, “What could make this better, or make it new and different?” Attention and intention. See it and choose to make it better.

Tired of the same old, same old? Then it is up to you to change it. Help your kids and fellow employees learn to ask the question “what could make this better?” to make a better workplace, household, community and world. This is how to be ready for life.

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.

Get your Kids Ready for College and Beyond with Devon Bandison, RFL017

Get your Kids Ready For College and Beyond – Episode Overview

For many parents, we are counting the moments until we can release our kids from the house and out to their own lives. It doesn’t mean we don’t love them or don’t want to spend time with them – we just know it is time that they fly. All kids need this. They need to spread their wings, find their place and move forward in their lives. And getting them to this place is a great focus of parents and the reason for this podcast.

Attention and Intention

This week, our attention is on how to prepare our kids to leave home with the intention that, when they do, they show up successful, happy and responsible in today’s world – in whatever comes next for them.

Meet our guest Devon Bandison

Devin Bandison talks about getting your kids ready for collegeDevon Bandison is a speaker, author, podcaster and inspiring figure for dads to step bolding into their roles and to show up as the leaders in their own lives. He holds a Masters in Public Administration and, over the past 15 years, has created and delivered nationally recognized community programs providing professionals, fathers, youth and families with the tools to become more effective leaders. He is known as the connector – the person who can help others connect the dots to find their way through challenges to a meaningful and purposeful life.

He is a high performance coach and speaker who is committed to individuals and organizations that want to maximize their potential in areas of leadership, productivity, fatherhood, and work-life satisfaction. Devon’s signature talk “The Most Important Question A Father Can Ask Himself” has gained national recognition and was a featured TED Talk at TEDx Boca Raton in March 2015. He is the host of the Father is Leadership Podcast.

Guest Links:

Episode’s Key TakeAWays – to help your kids be ready to move out and on with life

  1. Spend both collective and individual time with your kids to better know them. Do things as a family (collective) and make time for the all-important one-one-one (individual) time. Both share significant information about who your kids are and what they are thinking.
  2. Set up family rituals – these create grounding for kids. It also helps them see the value of creating rituals in their own lives. Rituals are more important in homes where the parents are no longer together.
  3. Modeling success behaviors is critical to help kids learn how to be when they are out and on their own – for the day or permanently away. Identify the behaviors that matter and live them. ”Your audio should match your video.”
  4. Kids who have been introduced to serving and caring for others as kids, develop a stronger and more inclusive mindset when living out on their own. Help your kids see the value of community and family service.
  5. Values of life leaders are excellence, integrity and service.
  6. Help your kids find their unique thing – their purpose, their gifts, their spark; It is up to parents to create an environment for kids to discover who they really are. This is one of the most significant things we can do for our kids – it helps them courageously move into the real world.
  7. When parents regularly acknowledge and validate their kids, they help their kids develop confidence, self-esteem and a personal sense of value.
  8. Great parents are the “guide from the side, not the sage on the stage.” Support your kids to make their own decisions, not to repeat back yours. This helps them find and appreciate their unique voice.

Some question for parents:

  1. What do your kids seem to stop and notice – what interests do they have?
  2. How do you connect with your kids to find out what they know and how are they making decisions?
  3. In what ways can you shift as a parent to being the “guide from the side” not the sage on the stage?
  4. What family rituals do you create to help your kids feel grounded and safe, so that they can develop similar rituals

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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 who your child has become. They grow up quickly – have you noticed who they are now as young adults?
  2.    Stop and Notice what gets your kids fired up and inspired. Are they connecting to these areas as they move out and move on with life or to go to college?
  3.    Stop and Notice the frequency and type of contact you have once your kids have move on in life. Is it done in a way that is meaningful for both of you?
  4.    Stop and Notice the wisdom you want your kids to have when they move out and are on their own. Do they have it?

Helping our kids be ready to move on to college or into life is our primary objective – to release them to the world to find their fit and go do amazing things with and in their lives. Celebrate their movement forward. Then, fill your life with new adventures with the space their departure creates.

Suggested Resource – Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be By Frank Bruni

Resource - BruniOver the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no.

That belief is wrong. It’s cruel. And in WHERE YOU GO IS NOT WHO YOU’LL BE, Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes.

Bruni, a bestselling author and a columnist for the New York Times (and one of my favorite authors), shows that the Ivy League has no monopoly on corner offices, governors’ mansions, or the most prestigious academic and scientific grants. Through statistics, surveys, and the stories of hugely successful people who didn’t attend the most exclusive schools, he demonstrates that many kinds of colleges-large public universities, tiny hideaways in the hinterlands-serve as ideal springboards. And he illuminates how to make the most of them. What matters in the end are a student’s efforts in and out of the classroom, not the gleam of his or her diploma.

Where you go isn’t who you’ll be. Americans need to hear that-and this indispensable manifesto says it with eloquence and respect for the real promise of higher education.

How To Be A Healthy and Active Family – With Shawn Stevenson – RFL009

How To Be A Healthy and Active Family – Episode Overview

Summer is a great time to become a healthy and active family TOGETHER. With the better weather, we can move our fitness outside and combine it with family events to stay more connected and build in more adventures. We can work together to make our outdoor celebrations and barbecues healthier. We can work together to show up wisely to life to feel and look good – we just need some simple and easy-to-implement strategies. To be ready for life, you have to have a health and fitness plan – it has to be intentional. Because if you don’t, you don’t feel well. And If you don’t feel well, you certainly don’t show up big to life.

Attention and Intention

Each week we focus on attention and intention. So for this show our attention is on health and fitness and or intention is that we learn a way to make summer health and fitness both simple and family focused.

And as always, consider leaving a review for us on iTunes. Here is the link for the instructions to leave a review.

Meet my guest Shawn Stevenson

Pic Shawn StevensonIn this episode we speak with Shawn Stevenson. He is a bestselling author and creator of The Model Health Show, the #1 Nutrition and Fitness podcast on iTunes. He is the founder of Advanced Integrative Health Alliance, a company that provides Wellness Services for both individuals and organizations worldwide. He is also a dynamic keynote speaker who has spoken for TEDx, universities, and numerous organizations. Connect with Shawn at and on Facebook at the Shawn Stevenson Model.  Check out his book Sleep Smarter on Also, hear him with Larry Hagner on the Good Dad project podcast.

Episode’s Key Takeaways:

Eat right – be healthy

  1. Eat food that you can identify. Stay away from processed foods. Get good at eating real food.
  2. Make food shopping a family event. Discuss food quality, read boxes together, be introduced to new types of vegetables and fruits. Find organic and natural foods.
  3. As a family, research where your food comes from.
  4. As a family start a garden to grow and appreciate what is involved in growing food and grow it organically.
  5. Go to a farm to help the family appreciate raising animals; talk about humane treatment.

Keep moving – stay active

  1. Get outside and keep moving.
  2. Make exercise a family event; have kids and parents do activities together to stay fit and to build greater connection – like yoga, backyard games, and outdoor activities.
  3. One of the greatest forms of exercise is walking. Consider a daily walk with your family; use the time to tell stories, notice new things along the walk, dream about the future, share favorite things in life, etc.

You choose how fit and well you are. Eat right. Keep moving. Use this summer to develop great health and fitness habits. This is how to Get Your Kids (and yourself) Ready For Life.

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. Notice how much time you spend together as a family – make one improvement.
  2. Notice how much time you talk about food, eating healthy and eating wisely – make one improvement.
  3. Notice how much time you spend outside staying fit, active and moving – make one improvement.

Suggested Resources

Helping our kids discover, develop and live who they are isn’t easy – the world is so loud, pushy and in their face telling them who they should be.

Free Online Personality Test - 3AboutMeI have found the way to fight back with this pushy world is to be really clear about your abilities. So I’ve built the 3AboutMe talent assessment – a free online assessment for both you and your kids (12 and older) to give you language around your unique and strongest abilities. You’ll find out if your words are competitive, decisive, easy-going, supportive or any of the other core talents. Once you know this, you will start to get clearer about what in today’s world is for you (and for your kids) and what isn’t.

Share this link to the assessment with everyone. I want everyone to know their core abilities to help them be Ready For Life.