Connect and Conquer
Connect and Conquer
2dt - "He would have been in prison": Raising Spirited, Challenging, and Strong Willed Children

2dt – “He would have been in prison”: Raising Spirited, Challenging, and Strong Willed Children

[00:00:00] Kyle Jetsel: They’re going to struggle now or they’re going to struggle later, right? How do we help them through it? How do we do? And they’re going to challenge now and they’re going to challenge later, right? They’re going to, they’re going to be strong willed now. We don’t want to break them of it. We want them to be strong willed later in a way that’s right, that’s directed and bridled.

How the heck are you?

[00:00:27] Cameron Watson: Better than I deserve. How are you

[00:00:28] Kyle Jetsel: doing? I’m doing pretty good too. I’m doing pretty good. Yeah, a lot of things going on I was a little late getting on the call this morning. So I apologize for that. I’m

[00:00:37] Cameron Watson: uh, I was Also worked out well, cuz I just had you I had this up and I was dealing with other things I said look at some point they’re gonna jump on I’m gonna have to Get off.

So yeah, we finished up just before you jumped in.

[00:00:54] Kyle Jetsel: Perfect. Perfect. So I think this week we were going to talk about, uh, challenging spirited and, and, or All of the above strong willed kids.

[00:01:09] Cameron Watson: Yeah. And I’m excited for a couple reasons. Okay. Learn. I always learn from our discussions about this. And two, I’ve gained some insight over the last couple of weeks that I haven’t shared with people.

[00:01:25] Kyle Jetsel: Oh, well, let’s just start with your insight. Cameron, because that’s that gets me going.

[00:01:31] Cameron Watson: Okay. So, um, just, just so everyone’s aware, I have three kids who have the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, and they, uh, and then I have five neuro neurotypical Kids or kids without the diagnosis and I suspect you know, there’s some things that can come on there Yeah, yeah, it adds up to eight.

So which you know when you’re talking to anyone else You’re the one that’s kind of weird because you have a big family too, but right. Okay. So here’s the insight

[00:02:10] Kyle Jetsel: Before you get into your insight Yes, there’s different levels of autism, right? I mean, for those, so it’s kind of a spectrum and there’s a lot of different ways to describe it, but let’s describe it this way for this conversation went into the spectrum is level three more severe.

Those are kids that may not be able to, that may be nonverbal. that have tremendous difficulty, um, communicating, understanding. It’s definitely a, it’s not a different way of thinking. It is a disability. Yes. Let’s let’s just, we’re going to put that on the table. And I have a son who’s more. Who is more severe and struggles with just common, normal things.

He struggled with those.

[00:03:02] Cameron Watson: And level three will require help and aid and support for living.

[00:03:10] Kyle Jetsel: For a lifetime. Yeah. Then there’s level two, which is kind of mid spectrum, that will still require support, but have the ability to manage things at a higher level. Yeah. And then there’s level one, which is, you know, people get offended when you use the wrong terminology, but I don’t care.

I’m just going to say they’re high functioning. They have some issues that are, they’re a struggle for them. There’s different things, but they are capable of things that typical kids are capable of. They’ll go to co, they can go to college, they can hold the job, they can do a lot of these things, but high functioning doesn’t mean easy either.

No. Okay. Let’s, let’s be clear. Nothing, none of this means easy because there’s all those for every different area.

[00:04:00] Cameron Watson: And for those who aren’t on the spectrum, that doesn’t mean easy either. You’re right. If they’re spirited, challenged, willed or challenging. So, yeah, I will say that it does help as soon as, as a dad, as soon as I had the first diagnosis.

It was a lot of fun for me to recognize how many of the attributes that I just thought were typical that I had that then my kids had that are not typical. And it’s just because I have some of the attributes of someone on the spectrum. I don’t have a diagnosis and I’m not claiming one, uh, but I, let me just say this.

I relate strongly to certain behaviors and certain things. And I’ll give this example. I didn’t realize that most people don’t have a number that bothers them or will not leave them alone. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you don’t, that’s okay. But those who do know it’s, it’s a number you see all the time.

And if you see a license plate. Your brain makes a pattern so that it reflects that number for me. My my number is 16. Why I don’t know Not leave me alone. Yeah, so all of a sudden you’re just gonna be doing things where it’s like 15 and 17 17’s the worst number But anyway, the numbers won’t leave me alone and I have a son and it’s seven and multiples of seven.

And when he was talking about it, I was like, well, yeah, in back in the day when we would reserve a movie theater seat. He’d be like, Hey, could we get that one? I was like, yeah, I was like, Oh, I see. It’s a, it’s divisible by seven. He’s like, yeah. And it’s a, it’s a good one because it’s, it’s two, but it, you know, yeah.

And I got it understood him. It wasn’t weird. Oh, I didn’t realize that that wasn’t typical for most people. I just thought that was normal. So then I’m asking my wife, I’m like, well, what’s your number that bothers you or won’t leave you alone? She’s like, I don’t have one. I was like, no, the one that when you’re.

When you’re not thinking of anything, all of a sudden comes to mind, and she goes, I don’t have one. I was like, Oh, okay. Let me, let me further explain, you know, when you’re like peeling an orange, the number you try and get the peels to come off it. Because then it’s, it feels right. And she was like, I don’t have that number.

I was like, I don’t, I don’t understand. How can you not have this number? Everybody has the number. And she’s like, no, they don’t. And then I’m talking to the therapist and he’s like, yeah, that’s, that’s one of those things that. Neurotypical people don’t all have affecting them. Some people do, but not everybody.

So, anyway, yeah. So, big spectrum, even within those three, there’s a spectrum within those three as you get closer to others, and I, I will say that it’s rare for someone to go from a level one to a level two, but it’s less rare for someone to go from a level two. Potentially to level three if they’re borderline and close there.

The diagnosis might change based on their ability to. Uh, overcome some of the challenges associated with that diagnosis, right?

[00:07:29] Kyle Jetsel: So let’s, so now that we’ve in a long winded way covered that together, let’s, let’s go into your insight.

[00:07:37] Cameron Watson: Okay. So,

[00:07:41] Kyle Jetsel: and this is challenging, spirited, challenging, spirited, or strong willed, and I’m not sure everybody uses these words, but we’re just going to use them for the sake of this conversation.


[00:07:52] Cameron Watson: Yeah. Cause it totally fits. It fits neurotypical kids and kids on the spectrum. So when, this is my insight and I’m just going to state it when you, it, you can have a much greater influence on the behavior of your children. If you give them. Nonjudgmental praise,

[00:08:20] Kyle Jetsel: so praise without qualification,

[00:08:25] Cameron Watson: praise without judgment, and I’ll give you an example if you’ve been working with a child to get them to take a shower every day and wash every crack in every crevice, you know, because sometimes that’s hard. That’s hard for them, especially, I tell you the stinkiest kids in the world are the, uh, 6th and 7th grade girls, because they, all of a sudden they start stinking and they don’t realize that they stink.

I have five daughters and all of them have transitioned and each one is like, Oof. Every day, not every other day, every day you got to wash and you got to wash every crack and crevice. But. When you’re trying to work on that, if you, and sometimes you have to put in some disciplines and sometimes it’s artificial disciplines so that the natural consequence doesn’t label them as the stinky kid in the class, you know, You got to do what you got to do.

Well, when they start to do that, sometimes when you praise them for doing that thing, that you’ve been harping on them, it feels like you’re still judging and you’re still harping on them. So if you say, ah, thank you for washing your cracks and crevices. Or thank you for not stinking. That is a judgmental praise.

You’re praising them but you’re being very judgmental when you say it. Hmm. Okay? So, there’s a way to do things that is not judgmental that seems to make a difference for changing behavior. And, uh, if your kid takes out the trash, Finally, right? You’ve been working with them to do it on their own and they do it and you’re like, woohoo, they did it.

You don’t go and you say thank you for taking out the trash with intensity because then they feel like, oh yeah, I’ve never done it, I’m never good enough and they feel judged. But if you say, oh man, I walked into the kitchen this morning and it was so nice. To be able to throw away X, Y, Z, because the trash was empty.

Thank you. So you, you make it about your life becoming better because of something they chose to do instead of them complying to that, which you’ve been trying to get them to do forever. Compliance, thanking them for compliance is just another way of you harping on them and controlling them, expressing how great it feels to have your life.

Be improved because of something they chose to do. That’s the difference. And I couldn’t figure out how to describe it except to say non-Judgmental. Yeah. Non-judgmental ways.

[00:11:01] Kyle Jetsel: So what you just said is, uh, a principle of marketing that I believe in. Right. And it goes like this. Okay. Uh, the first principle of, in any good communication, I’ll just say good communication in this case.

’cause that, that fits better. Alright. The first thing is to have something good to say, right? The second principle is to say it well. Ah. And the third principle is to say it often.

And it’s very interesting. One of the things that, that Shelly and I used to struggle with. And so, um, there was two items that my wife didn’t like to do housework items. that I realized that if I took them over, it would make her happy. And so, uh, I framed it in a certain way and it was kind of framed like this.

Uh, I love my wife. I know she doesn’t like to do this, so I’m going to do it because that’s how much I love her. And she’s going to feel my love because I’m going to perform the things that she just doesn’t like to do. And those were folding clothes and, uh, washing dishes. Now, when I first started doing this, she was very good about saying thank you.

But she was also very good about saying how I didn’t do it exactly the same way she was going to do it. And this, this caused some contention, right? Cause here I am feeling like I’m serving her and taking some things off her plate that I know she just didn’t like to do. And she was criticizing me for it.

And so we had a conversation where I said, Hey, listen, uh, the reason I’m, and I just described it to her the way I just described it just now, I know you don’t like to do these things. So. The reason I’m doing them is because I love you, and I don’t want you to have to do them if you don’t want to. You do everything else beautifully, I realize that, and you do a lot.

I said, but it doesn’t, when you criticize, I’m already doing it, you’re not. You can’t nitpick when I do it. Because the dishes are clean and the clothes are folded. So let’s, let’s come to some sort of an agreement here. Because what I don’t want to do is say, you know what? You’re going to criticize me in my mind.

If you’re going to criticize me. I ain’t doing it. Cause why am I doing it? I don’t, I didn’t want her reaction to me helping her make me stop. Right. So I sat down and I thought, okay, I’ve got something good to say, which is I want to do it for you. And I want you to see that I’m doing it for you because I love you.

And I want you to feel that. How do I say it? Well, right. And so I thought about it, right? How can I say this in a spirit of love? So she understands my point and she doesn’t feel attacked over it or any of that kind of stuff. Right. And, and, you know, the third part, obviously say it often, right? And she, after this conversation, I think she realized, you know what?

He’s doing it because he loves me and I don’t want him to stop doing it. I want him to fold clothes when there’s clothes to be folded. And I want him to wash the dishes so I don’t have to. I’ll figure out how to do it on my end, right? But it was because of the communication we had, right? And I think you’re, one of the points you’re making very clear to me is we need to be thoughtful.

We need to take some time and be thoughtful in how we approach our kids. In a lot of different areas, right? Just don’t flap our lips at them, right? And it’s, I call it, you’ve heard me say this parenting by default, right? I didn’t grow up with perfect parents. I learned a lot of stuff from them that may or may not have not been great or good.

I’m sure I learned a great, a bunch of good stuff, but to parent by default is to me, not a great idea because there’s, if you take a little time to think about stuff like you do with, you know, the trash and you reframe it and resay it. Your kids, they’re, they’re performing the, the activity that you ask of them.

Why not get everything you can out of it? As a parent, right? Yeah.

[00:15:21] Cameron Watson: And I love that principle that you, that principle that you just hit on is get the most out of it. You can, that is interwoven into all of the lessons that you teach. Um, whether you’re, uh, hop up and hustle is one of my favorite articles of all time.

In fact, I just went over it with one of my kids explaining to him, Hey, you’re going to do this for your mom anyway. Get the most out of it that you can. Why, why, why do it with a grumpy face and kick in the dirt? You know, just hop up, hustle, get the most out of it. You’re going to do it anyway. You know, you’re going to do it.

So get the most out of it. By the way, she liked that idea.

[00:16:07] Kyle Jetsel: Well, and it, the thing is too, is if you, if you personally, there’s two parts to get the most out of it, right? Yeah. The internal get the most out of it. I’m going to do this in the right spirit, because if I do it in the right spirit, and make it fun, I’m going to enjoy it more.

Yeah, that’s the productive narcissist. Yeah. Right. And then the other side of that is if I do it in the right spirit and do it at my best and, and the person that I’m doing it for will feel that get elevated as well. Right. It goes back to, we talked about this, the, the, the, uh, the bar graph, right. Or I think it’s right.

There’s, there’s a horizontal line and a vertical line.

[00:16:52] Cameron Watson: Yep. Get as many squares,

[00:16:54] Kyle Jetsel: as many squares as you can. Right. That’s right. And get as much as you can personally out of it. To me as the vertical line, if I’ve got to do something to make it fun and I’m going to enjoy it to its utmost level. And if I have to do it and I’m going to enjoy it, I’m going to make sure the person I’m serving or working with gets as much enjoyment out of it, too.

Right. And if I get a lot of enjoyment and they get a lot of enjoyment, there’s a whole bunch of squares filled in. Yeah. Because you’re going to perform it anyway. You have to. There’s things you have to do. Yeah. And you can get one square, which is, I’m not going to enjoy it. I’m going to make sure the person I’m doing it for with doesn’t enjoy it.

Yeah. Or, you know, Phil, a hundred squares, 10 high and 10 wide, right? Yeah. And it’s such a, it’s such a powerful framework to look at service or really anything, you know, because people, people see that one of the things I taught my kids is whistle while you work.

[00:17:48] Cameron Watson: Oh yeah. I love that. I, and I love the example of them.

Immediately having results while doing it at work and, and you called me out on it when I, I was working at a warehouse, you know, and I’m doing, I’m cheerful. Um, this morning I got called in. I, um, I wasn’t scheduled to work this morning and 3 20 AM. I get a call from my soup and I, I didn’t answer the phone.

I said, good morning. And you, man, his tone matched mine, right? He was excited to talk to me knowing that I started off with good morning and then I was able to come in. So,

[00:18:36] Kyle Jetsel: yeah, it’s, it’s really a, it’s really a powerful thing. Right. My son’s one summer came home from college and went to work on a construction site, mixing cement by hand.


[00:18:48] Cameron Watson: that’s carrying bags, carrying bags, bags of yes.

[00:18:53] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. And when they went to work, I said, now you got, this is going to be hard work. I said, the good news is you’re going to get strong. I mean, this is like, you’re getting paid to exercise. Yeah, I said, but whistle while you are, whistle, the two of you whistle while you work and see what happens.

And they were like, come on, dad. I’m like, just do it. See what happens. Just right. See what outcomes result from that. And sure enough, they did. And at the end of the day, they got called in and said, you know, we’re bringing back you guys. And it wasn’t long before they weren’t carrying bags anymore. They were doing other stuff.

Right. Simply because they acted like they were enjoying their work. Right? I mean, it seems like an unfair, to me it’s, I tell my kids, it’s an unfair advantage that you can create for yourself in this world. Just by, you know, getting all you can out of it and giving all you can out of it. Just giving everything you can.

So, so easy to do.

[00:19:51] Cameron Watson: Yeah, and I love how it influences everybody else. Um, so in the family, One of the things, uh, I did not enjoy camping, right? That was not my thing. Frankly, I despised it. I hated it, but it’s something my family always enjoyed. And so, as I’m loading up, as I’m doing all the stuff that I would rather not do, to go do something that I would rather not do, I had, I couldn’t, I could whistle, if you will, figuratively, while I worked, or I could just be solemn and be all disgruntled.

I chose to whistle. And in the end it, it not only changed what I was getting out of it, it also made it some of the best memories for my family. And now I actually do enjoy camping because I have the stuff I need to make it enjoyable. And, uh, you know, now when I go to load and unload, those are the hardest things, but I know that I can get it done.

And get set up and then everybody can go have fun and I can just recover, right? I can, I can be alone while they’re all having fun and I can recoup. And what I’m actually looking forward to now is I’m much stronger than I used to be. I’m in much better shape, so I’m curious if this makes camping even more enjoyable where I’m not going to be exhausted after setting up camp.

So anyway, yeah,

[00:21:27] Kyle Jetsel: that’s a great point. And let’s go back to your insight because we’re away from a little bit. Yeah. And the insight being, say it well, it’s, it’s not really what you say, it’s how you say it. Right. And then what you say. Right. And, and that, and that, and that became become hard. The point is that can become hard if you struggle, if you have to fight your kids for long periods of time to get them to do something, when they finally do do it, it feels.

Right. To say it in a finally way. Yeah. And it’s, it’s, it’s a hard, it’s a hard thing to overcome, but thoughtfully thinking through it is, is very helpful. Yeah.

[00:22:12] Cameron Watson: You know, I’ve also listened to you talk about, um, how people who are advocating for their kids, they’re so used to fighting the system, fighting doctors, fight, trying to get the help their kids need.

It bleeds over to, into all the other areas of their life and they’re at risk of actually fighting their kids when their kids are doing that, which they’re, they should do.

[00:22:35] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. You know, it’s really interesting. I heard something yesterday, as a matter of fact, that, that pounded me between my eyes. Right.

And, and, uh, you know, I’ve got this, I think, I think I, I think I, I’m a pretty good at forgiving myself and giving myself grace, but I also, Feel the fiery darts sometimes, right? Right. And even when it’s not directed towards me, and I wrote it down, and it says, Kids cannot rise above the constraints of their parents.

True. I thought, oh no, right? And it was really the idea that, you know, what I’ve been thinking about ever since then is, You know, we’ve got these parents that face these challenging kids, you know, and, and some, I think some parents, my wife, for instance, was a, a sweet, angelic little girl, right? My wife was, I’m sure she challenged her parents here and there.

Yeah. But, but. But generally, she was just a wonderful daughter, right? And her brother was generally a wonderful son. I mean, and they, and I’m sure there were challenges that I don’t know about that, you know, they were defined occasionally. As a whole, I think my wife grew up in a, you know, kind of being pretty compliant and pretty good, not really wanting to fight with her parents and those kind of things.

[00:24:17] Cameron Watson: So in my first two years Go ahead. I was going to ask if it surprised her when all of a sudden you guys had your two oldest boys who were assertive. Was that surprising to her? Oh, she

[00:24:29] Kyle Jetsel: had, she, she thought she was the worst mom in the world. Like what the crap is going on? What the heck is right. And I had to, and you know, it didn’t cross my mind because they were just me as little boys, right?

Yeah. And I’m like, why are you getting so bent out of shape? You know, who cares if they. Chopped the tree down in the backyard. It was only six feet tall anyway. It wasn’t really started, you know, but they used an axe. Where did they get an axe? I said, well, they found it where the axes are. They’re six and four.

What are they animals? And I’m like, yeah, they kind of are. Right. But, but it didn’t really cross my mind that this was new. This was absolutely new for her. Right. Yeah. And so she had no experience whatsoever in dealing with, right, those, she saw those people growing up, but she was like, I’m not doing that.

I know the result of that activity, right? I can see where that’s going to lead those people. That’s trouble. Right. And she didn’t want to get in trouble. She just wanted to write, be a happy little girl and do her things right. And so for her, it was really. It was, you know, first she thought she was a horrible mom and I said, no, no, no, they’re, they’re animals.

They’re just feral little dudes, man. And she said, well, what’s okay. And what’s not okay. And I said, well, I’ll have to hide the ax because the ax probably, they could have chopped the leg off. That’s probably, I said, but you know, I mean, they are going to have broken bones. They’re going to, they’re going to, there’s going to be pro there’s going to be things that are going to freak you out that you got to just throw at my feet.

Right. I mean, just, but the point is she was with them all day. Right. I’m at work. Yeah, she’s rattling these two freaking animals. And this is a feminine Southern bell, right? And so for her, it was a whole new thing. And it, and it, it made me realize how she had to learn as an adult, some different dynamics, right?

She couldn’t parent by default. She had to say, Oh, I got to figure this out. Right. And for me, it was, it was a different figuring out because for me, I’d come home and say, you boys better act right. Or I’m going to whoop your rear ends. And they would, they would stand, get in line. Right. And that was okay initially because they were scared of me, but it didn’t take me long once my number three son came along to realize that fear was not a great way to lead my boys.

Right. And so I had, and especially my number three son, who’s more severe on the spectrum because he would, he would just as soon fight me. He was not afraid he would, if he felt threatened, he’d pick up a brick and hit me with it. Right. There was no line he wouldn’t cross. So I realized pretty quickly.

Yeah, that, that. Leading through fear and threat, you know, it’s not a great way to do it because eventually I knew it was going to lead them to when you lead with fear and threats and kids feel controlled and they want to escape and that’s not what we want for our kids, right? Yeah. And so I realized early on that, especially when Eric came along, my number three son, that you have to lead with kindness and patience and love and then kids feel empowered.

Yeah. Right. But it’s really hard when your kids are challenging you to be kind and patient and loving when they’re. When they’re challenging you every moment, every day, everything is defiance. Why, you know, it’s tough hearing a, you know, five year old say why, why, why, why, why eventually you run out of patience.

Right. So it’s really something that has to be practiced pretty consistently.

[00:28:15] Cameron Watson: Something else that’s really challenging is when they are, uh, on their best behavior for one parent and then the other, they don’t. They don’t do, they don’t do what they

[00:28:27] Kyle Jetsel: ought sometimes that’s because, for us early on, it was because they were afraid of me.

Yeah. Right? And so I would say, you know, initially I would say, well, you just got to lay down the law. And they were never going to be afraid of her. Right. She could lay down the law they want all she wanted and they were going to test those boundaries to me They wouldn’t test the boundaries with me, right?

And part of that is consistency But again when you’re when well, my wife really couldn’t she couldn’t lay down the law with fear, right? Nothing, and he really had to bring me along to her side Which is we got a we got to create consistency through love and kindness and patience and right all those things that really Tend to give our kids what they need to to propel themselves forward Right.

Right. Yeah. And also moms are at home. Some moms are at home all day with a minute. They just get exhausted, just exhausted. So that was a challenge you had to face too, because boys will run you, man. I mean, these little suck. And you know, I’ve heard, I’ve heard too. And I’ve seen this now a little bit. Boys are harder when they’re little because they’re, they’re just animals, but girls get harder when they become teenagers because they start to go through the different things that teenage girls do and the changes and all those things tend to happen.

The emotions become more intense for them and it becomes a little more true. Yeah.

[00:29:57] Cameron Watson: I, I have, um, my, my, I have five daughters and they’re all different. Uh, one of my daughters, I, when she was two I recognized that she was completely different than her older sister, and I, I described her as like, she can feel emotion deeply.

Um, and that, that was true then, and it’s, I think it’s still true today, but even as a, a little one. She would feel emotion deeper than her siblings. So other people, if I, for example, if I came down on the kids and you know, hey, that, you know, that type of in tone of the voice, uh, the other two would be like, Oh yeah, okay, sorry.

And she would just weep, you know, as if I had physically spanked her or physically done something. You know, that she could just feel the emotion deeper. So I’m looking forward to someday when she’s in a marriage, she’s going to be able to love far deeper. Uh, and show that far, that caring side, it’s going to be miraculous to watch on the other hand.

[00:31:18] Kyle Jetsel: I love the way you frame that Cameron. I love the way you frame that because

you know, this goes back to strong will spirited, challenging kids, right? The goal is not to, the goal is not to change them, right? Or to, to break their will, right? Because if the goal was to break their will, you would, you would have said her deeper emotions are going to cause tremendous problems down the road for everything’s going to be so emotional that she’s going to be an emotional wreck all the time, but you didn’t frame it that way.

You should, she, she, you said. She’s going to be able to use those deeper emotions to love deeper and right serve deeper and all those the positive parts of those Deeper emotions, right? I think all too often as parents We we want to break our kids of their strong will right because we don’t want to have to fight with them but that strong will is a powerful force out in the world if they Know how to use it correctly, right?

Those emotions are a powerful thing out in the world if they learn how to use those correctly and where else, what better place for them to learn how to use those things than in our homes, right? Which takes me back to, to my fear, right? Which is kids can’t rise above the constraints of their parents. If we, as parents are letting our emotions cause problems, you know, Shelly said this to me one time and it was one of the most powerful things she ever told me.

She said, I came home from work one day and she was grinning from ear to ear. And this usually meant something she had figured something out, or she was celebrating a success. Right. Right. And she said, she said, I learned something today. And I said, what’s that? She said when my emotions are more important to me and cause more problems for me, and that’s more important to me than my love for my kids.

I got to figure that out. Hmm.

[00:33:24] Cameron Watson: Wow. That’s deep.

[00:33:25] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. Yeah. When my emotions are more important to me than my love for my kids, that’s a problem because I’m in my emotions instead of able to serve properly. Right. Or when my emotions cause more problems for me and I can’t serve my kids properly or love them properly, that’s a problem.

Right. And I think we all, we all struggle with this as parents because we’re still figuring stuff out too, as we go. Right. Yeah. I mean, I have this intensity. I have an intensity to me that is frightening sometimes. Sure. And sometimes it looks, my kids were teasing me the other day. And on a couple of occasions, they’ve seen the intensity and they’re like, holy crap.

You look like you want to kill us, right? This is, and, and, and I said, no, I just need you to know how important this is. Well, a couple of days ago they were like, Hey dad, can you do that face you do whenever you get real intense? We want our friends to see it. I’m like, no, I can’t do

[00:34:30] Cameron Watson: it.

[00:34:33] Kyle Jetsel: And I realized that face makes them believe I can kill somebody.

Right. And that, I don’t want to be throwing that face at my own kids. Right. But I, I, you know, when, when sometimes I do, right, I try, I’m usually pretty level headed now. I don’t, I don’t think it comes out very often and, and I don’t ever want it to come out because I don’t want them to see me that way, but for them to tease me about it is a good sign.

Right. Cause then I know that they, We’ve talked about it. They realize I’m, I’m human and I’m not perfect, but it also, you know, her saying that, you know, leads me back to that, that quote, our kids won’t be able to achieve above our level of constraints. And sometimes we, as parents are driven by emotions.

Our emotions are too big. We let them take over and our kids are modeling that right. They’re watching us. I was just talking with a parent a couple of days ago and I said, how can you expect your strong willed child? To make adjustments to the way they do things and change when you can’t, you’re setting your ways and you’re telling this kid, here’s how it’s going to be.

And this, I’m the parent and you’re the child, and this is the way it’s going to be. And your child is going, I can’t wait till I’m a parent. Yeah.

[00:36:00] Cameron Watson: So I can behave like that and just

[00:36:04] Kyle Jetsel: throw my weight around. Right. And I said, you got it. You got to, you got to, you have to tell yourself, listen, if I want my child to change, if what I’m doing, Is not getting the outcomes I’m looking for.

I’ve got to change and let that kid see me change and adjust and start to think through how I’m going to approach these things ahead of time. It’s better to do it ahead of time, because if you wait till you’re in the emotion, it’s too late. Yup. Right. So have a plan going in and by the way, what, what should make you create a plan?

Is if you get frustrated or you lose your temper or you scream at your kids or whatever it is we do is that should be a trigger for you to go back and sit down and say, okay, the next time that little sucker does this, I need to have a better plan than screaming, yelling, act a fool. The next time my child says, I hate you, mom, it’s probably not a great idea for me to flip out.

And go in my room and cry and then tell my husband who gets home and spanks my child. That doesn’t really work. We’ve tried that. That’s not an effective tool. Yeah. So, maybe the next time my kid says, I hate you, mom, I should try something different and see what happens. Right? And be, and plan it. Be prepared.

And I think that’s a big part of not parenting by default, right? Is learning from, our kids are learning their velociraptors. They’re learning how, how the world works through how we behave. We got to learn what works for them to write and be able to adjust on the fly as well. Right. And just make sure that it’s principle based.

What we’re doing is in a spirit of love, right? That’s always a great place to start.

[00:37:44] Cameron Watson: So it is the place to start the spirit of love. Yeah. And what’s funny is, uh, as you know, each child is different. I have eight of them. They’re all different from each other. Uh, the, the three kids with the diagnosis are different from each other.

Kids without the diagnoses, they’re different from each other, and we all have issues, whether you’re 48 years old, like I am, or six years or seven years old, like my youngest child, right? We all have issues that we’re dealing with. Here’s the other insight that I’ve had recently. So the first one was to praise without judgment, which is hard, by the way, try it, right?

You gotta prepare, you said it well, you know. Anyway, the other thing is to lower the expectation to three areas, to three things. You have to lower the expectations to the child’s ability, to the child’s willingness, and to Oh, there was one other thing. Oh, my goodness. I can’t remember the third thing. It was their willingness.

Oh, oh, yeah. Yeah, too. And it has to be something that will have, uh, so there’s a gratification scale, right? Some as we get older, we have much more to look back on. And so our memory. Uh, can go further back and that I believe we can actually then see further ahead. The older we get, the further back we can look and it also expands our vision for the future.

With someone who hasn’t experienced life very much, their ability to project into the future is diminished. And if they have a cognitive issue, their ability to project in the future Is also diminished, right? So you have to lower the expectation to their capacity and to their willingness and then set either an artificial reward or have the natural consequence occur within their vision plane.

In other words, within the realm, how far ahead that they are able to see. And so for some kids that might be, I don’t know, in their teens, that might be a couple months. But for the someone else at the exact same age, that actually might just be a week or a day. So you have to set those expectations and the natural consequences to occur within their vision of play, their plane of vision, that how far out they can see.

And that you can figure that out by talking about their past. And if they’re able to process their past by several months, you’re good. You can go up several months ahead. If you, if they cannot process their past. Beyond a couple of days. Okay. It needs to be a lot shallower of a natural consequence. So those were my two insights over the last couple of weeks.

I like that.

[00:40:58] Kyle Jetsel: I like that. Cause I’ve, you know, I, I, I’m not sure.

I’m not sure about, so. I’m not sure about natural consequences in a, in a month range of time. Let me, let me explain what I mean by that. Sure. My two oldest, well, my oldest son, super strong willed, ambitious, type A extrovert. Okay. He could not see and really still, well not still, he’s almost 30 now, but he grew up in a world where he couldn’t see past today.

Uh huh. You know what I’m saying? Yep. I mean, he, and I liken it to a velociraptor that’s just trying to make it through the day, right? He’s, he’s trying to make sure he’s fed. And the problem with a lot of our kids now is we live in this instant gratification world, right? Where they can scroll on their phones and get whatever they want, whatever they want to watch right now.


[00:42:06] Cameron Watson: nothing, no

[00:42:06] Kyle Jetsel: commercial. Yeah. Yeah. Everything is immediate. Right. And so they have a tough time seeing tomorrow. Sometimes these kids might, right. Uh, my second son, by the way, was a passive aggressive, strong willed child, which means he would say, sure. Yeah. Whatever you say, dad, and then go do whatever the crap he wanted to do.

He wouldn’t fight with me. Right. He would just go do whatever the crap he wanted to do. True and be defiant on his own. Right. My first son would say, I ain’t doing that. No way. Right. He would fight me. Number two, would you say, yeah, whatever you want dad. And then he’d go do what he wanted. Right. And so it was, I had to face kind of both those, those animals, but I also realized my, my introvert would, he was driven by, you know, he would get energy from doing things on his own.

So he would. He’d hop on YouTube and teach himself how to play the guitar. Six months later, he’d come up and be playing the guitar, and I’m like, when’d you learn that? He’s like, I’ve been in the, been playing the guitar for six months in my room. I thought he was in his room, you know, planning my demise, right?

[00:43:19] Cameron Watson: Cause how to take over the world.

[00:43:22] Kyle Jetsel: If I was in my room for an hour at a time, you’re in trouble. I got, it’s going to be probably the same thing with my oldest son, right? So, so one of the things that I tried to do with my sons. is, you know, natural consequences are great, but also I would also preliminarily work through with them and say, listen, the reason I’m disciplining you right now is so I want, so you can learn to discipline yourself.

I love you. I want you to learn discipline and I apply that and I’m going to help you with that now because I’m your father and I love you. Yeah. The world doesn’t love you. If you do some of this crap out in the world, they’ll throw your butt in jail and there will be no mercy, no love. You’ll end up in a bad spot real fast.

So sure. I, I wasn’t above saying, listen, that’s not going to happen in this house. They’re going to be consequences. They might not be natural, but you need to know that’s. Right. A step over where, and I, and I, you probably agree with this. I mean, there’s certain things nipping the bud. Yeah. Yeah. So, but I also took the time to explain to my kids, right.

Tried to say, well, the reason I did you is so that you can learn that you can discipline yourself because I love you. I’m disciplining you because I love you. The world will not do that.

[00:44:52] Cameron Watson: Right.

[00:44:52] Kyle Jetsel: The other. Create some discipline for you. Help you create that discipline with our help. And I, and I think, you know, that’s a big part of marriage too.

Cameron is we need checks and balances as grownups. Sure. And, and our, and our spouses can be great at that, right? They, they keep us in line, they check us and we check each other pretty regularly. Not, and I’m not saying in a harsh or mean way. I’m just saying, you know, there are things that I thought, yeah, Shelly wouldn’t be real happy if I did that.

So I didn’t do it. Right. You know what I’m saying? I do. And it was a good check and balance, right? And I still find myself doing that, by the way. I think I’ve gone farther towards her than when she was even here. Oh, interesting. Yeah, because I don’t, there were things I would do because I knew she wanted me to do them that I just didn’t.

I probably didn’t want to do as much or right, but I find myself now going wanting to be closer to where right or things that I she wouldn’t want me to do. I don’t even consider now right or I and I think it’s because I, you know, like you said a couple weeks ago, we know we need checks and balances, right?

We need that person. And I don’t want to get away from that too far while I’m on my own. I want to stay close to that. So, so, you know, it’s how would she feel about this? How would she handle this? I’m leaning closer towards her than I did when she was even here. Right. The more, more aware of it, I think.

Yeah. I found my basketball game last night with my, my daughter. Okay. And she, her team is not great. And they are, they’re losing a lot of games and you could see it wearing on her. Yeah. Right. And so we’ve had these conversations where I say, you know, you gotta, you’re gonna have to play this mental game where you’re competing against your very best self.

Right. The goal is for you to get better and the goal is for you. Sports should be fun, right? Winning is fun. Losing is not fun. It never is, but you’ve got to play some sort of mental game that you stay in it and you keep having joy and you keep competing against your better self. Right? Because if you don’t, it’s going to beat the crap out of you and you’re not going to enjoy this season.

And that’s not what sports is about.

[00:47:25] Cameron Watson: So I’m going to just, I’m going to restate what you said. Cause I, I want to make sure I’m understanding. So. Winning is fun. Losing you said is never fun. So what you’re telling your daughter to do is to figure out how she can win individually or in small ways when the overall score is a loss.


[00:47:47] Kyle Jetsel: Okay. That’s exactly it. And it, and it goes back to let get everything you can out of this game, right? Yeah. If you can’t get a win, get some joy. Right. Perform try to perform at your highest level Right do everything you can work this way and also engage your teammates and say, you know what we can do this Let’s keep fighting.

We’re down by 20.

[00:48:12] Cameron Watson: Let’s see if we can get down

[00:48:13] Kyle Jetsel: by And work here teammates, right? And, and add them on the rear end and pump them up when they make a great play and, and, and lift them as well, right? Fill as many blocks as you can, because you’re not going to be able to fill it with a win. It’s obvious in a lot of cases, right?

[00:48:32] Cameron Watson: Yep. So I think that’s what I was talking about. The natural consequences is to mind the natural consequences that occur earlier. And if you can’t find them, you have to invent them. It becomes artificial consequences. I love token economies and I, I’m a big, I love that. I think it’s great. Um, one of the, you can, here, here’s the risk that I’ve seen some parents, they fall into the trap of.

Um, protecting their child from a natural consequence until it has now left their plane of vision. So then the consequence is going to happen. I, I truly believe that every consequence from your decisions will, there will be a con. If a parent steps in and prevents that, all they’ve done is they’ve delayed it and perhaps made it so that there’s not an opportunity for them to make a, uh, a connection within their plane of vision.

And so there’s, there’s some risks if. If you protect your child from a consequence that you’re not really doing that, they will have that consequence someday, but you made it so they can’t learn from that. So, um, one of the things I’ve started doing, uh, a couple of years ago is, um, I’m helping my kids deal with the consequences of their decisions of mortality and the decisions of others.

So I’m not protecting them from those things, but I’m helping them deal with, okay, therefore, what this has happened, therefore, this is how we respond. This is the situation. Therefore, this is what we do. You know, my daughter would love to be on your daughter’s basketball team, but the consequence of her back surgery is she’s not allowed to play.

Yeah. So one of the things we encouraged her to do is to support those. The team members who are playing, you know, to support the, who are able to play and to cheer them on and not to be that bitter, the temptation is just to ostracize and to protect yourself from the emotion of regret and fear of missing out by shunning it altogether.

And that’s not healthy. So deal with the consequence, not protect them from the consequence, just deal with it.

[00:51:08] Kyle Jetsel: I’ll think, you know, I love what you’re saying there because I, I saw this this week as a matter of fact, which is interesting, but, um,

I think you’re, you’re exactly right. If they don’t deal with, our kids are going to face hard things. Yeah. If we don’t let them face hard things in our homes where we love them and can help them through it. If we just protect them and, and guard them from any consequences, they’re going to get out into the world and it’s going to be a lot harder and they’re not going to be prepared.

They’re going to, it’s going to be really tough, right? The key is not to, you know, if your kid is a strong willed child and he goes to school and gets kicked out and you go to school and start screaming at him for kicking him out, it’s not going to help your situation. Okay. Right. I had a, I had a, I’m working with a company right now that.

I’ll just give you a scenario. A 15 year old is not doing her job.

[00:52:12] Cameron Watson: A 15 year old? 1 5?

[00:52:14] Kyle Jetsel: 15 year old. Yeah. 1 5. She’s working somewhere. She’s not doing her job. So the guy who is running the company basically says he’s going to, he’s going to have her in and saying, you know, here’s the problems. He’s going to, it’s going to be basically a, here’s what I need.

You’re not doing this, but let’s do it and it’ll be okay. If not, we’re going to have more problems, right? It’s a, well, the 15 year old decides to invite her mom into this thing. Oh,

[00:52:44] Cameron Watson: right. That changes it for me. Like, well,

[00:52:49] Kyle Jetsel: okay. Here’s the point. Optimist in me says, you know what? That’s good. And that’s what I said.

It’s probably good now. So what can happen is you can say, Hey mom, my goal here is to help your daughter become a productive. Employee. So I’m glad you’re here. We’re going to talk about some of the things that she’s not doing. They’re required. And right. If that, this is perfect, right? The pessimist in me, the realist in me says, mom’s coming in to protect her.

Right. And that’s where you went immediately. Right. Yeah. And that’s where he went immediately. He went immediately there.

[00:53:33] Cameron Watson: It’s a, it’s not a social norm to have a parent show up when you’re 30. To help you with a discipline issue at work. So when your child is 15, that is unusual. As well, but it’s not unheard of.

[00:53:51] Kyle Jetsel: So, you know, after considering it and thinking about some experiences I’ve had, I said, I want you to consider this. I want you to consider setting the stage for this mom.

[00:54:02] Cameron Watson: Yeah.

[00:54:03] Kyle Jetsel: Right. And say, Hey, listen, I’m glad you’re here. This can go one of two ways. If you are here to protect her from any consequences, it’s not going to go well.

It’s you’re probably going to be mad at me. That’s not really what I’m after. Your daughter’s going to be mad at me. She probably won’t work here anymore if you’re just here to protect her. But if you’ve come in and you realize this can be a learning experience and we’re gonna work together, this can go really well.

So mom, you get to decide how this goes, right? So it can go either way, whichever way you decide. Yeah, if you’re just gonna say I’m wrong, she’s right. Then we, we don’t even have to have this conversation and we’ll write, we’ll go somewhere else. But if you realize this can be a great learning experience for all of us, we can, we can handle this well.

Right. And, and, and, and I said, so after this meeting with the 15 year old and her mom, I have another recommendation. I don’t know what happened by the way yet. He said, what’s the recommendation? I said, don’t hire 15 year olds anymore. There’s a big difference between 15 year olds and 18 year olds. Okay.

That’s true. In my opinion. But this should be a learning lesson for you too, right? It’s something to the, you have to consider who you’re working with, right? And again, we, the parents that are having kids now are the first generation where everybody got a trophy, right? And, and I disagree with your, they’re teaching kids.

They are valuable just because they exist. And these kids have these. Extreme levels of self esteem for no reason whatsoever. Now, we are all valuable just because we exist. And you should have a healthy level of, of, of self esteem. But you also have to perform, if you want to be paid, you have to perform certain things.

And, and that, that’s, right, there’s a, we have to make sure we understand that you don’t deserve money for nothing. You deserve money for performance, right? There’s a different, we got to reframe this for these kids. Right. And for some parents, some of these parents grew up with, that’s, that’s all they know.

Right. I got a trophy for everything I did. Even if I, we lost every game this year, I got a trophy and they pumped me up and told me how great I was. And I’m going to do the same with my kid. And this kid has all this self esteem and, and because I know as parents, we see our kids potential, but the world sees their results.

[00:56:42] Cameron Watson: What’s really interesting, those things. Is, uh, I, so I used to run a company of, you know, 50, 55 employees and we had managers and supervisors. When I would hear a report from someone who was not, about someone who was not performing, and then I would hear the supervisor say, well, they’re trying really hard.

Yeah. That, I was like, okay, so. I’m glad you recognize that they’re trying really hard. So you’re, what you’re really telling me is they don’t have the capacity to perform no matter how hard they try. So let’s go ahead and end this. Oh, no, no, no, no. That’s not what I’m saying. Well, what are you saying then?

Because if they’re trying really hard and they’re still failing to perform, it’s not something that we can teach them because they’re trying really hard. And it’s, it’s really funny to call someone out and say, what you’re telling me here is we should fire them now and stop working with them because they’re trying their best.

This is their best. They can’t do more. Here’s what’s expected. They’re missing the mark, so they should go away. And it’s because they, the supervisors, these, um, adults have been raised in that mentality that all that really matters. It’s the thought that counts is one of those sayings that I disagree with.

Right. It, it, it does matter to some extent, but it’s really You know, Hey, I broke your leg trying to help. It’s the thought that counts. No, it’s the fact that you, you broke my leg. That counts. You know? Yeah. Yeah. I,

[00:58:32] Kyle Jetsel: I think you’re right. All too, all too often, and, and you and I have talked about this, right?

The what’s your outcome? Yeah. Right? So you’re out in the world, you’re doing things. Yep. If you’re getting bad results. You might consider changing how you’re doing things. Now, this is harsh. This makes you turn, this makes you, this makes you work on yourself, right? But wait a minute, I’m valuable just because of me.

I just get to be me. I just, I’m valuable just because of me. I am. Well, if you’re, if your outcomes are not what you want, try something different, right? I mean, because you want, you want your results to reflect your effort and if they don’t, you should try. Be. Um, you know, you’re not going to be adjusting.

Right. So I’ll share with you something

[00:59:27] Cameron Watson: I was going to say the, the, there is an equation that is somewhat true most of the time. And that is, um, amount of effort in should equal more of the result. And if it’s not, you’re not relying upon true principles or you’re not applying things to their fullest.

Yeah. And I, I don’t know. That’s a controversial statement, and I tried to soften it, but I’m gonna make

[01:00:00] Kyle Jetsel: an even more controversial statement. Okay, that’s ready. That’s, um,

I’m gonna I’m gonna try to say it in there. Let me go back to what we said in the very first one. If this comes off as harsher mean. That’s not what we’re trying to do. Okay. Yeah. Uh, I’m not a fan of the word deserve. Okay. People say, well, I deserve better. Maybe you don’t now. Okay. I don’t know what you deserve.

I don’t know who you are, but if you think you deserve happiness as a family, deserve is a scary word. Okay. And you’re just default parenting or you’re just sitting back and letting you, I mean, whatever it is you’re doing. Doesn’t mean you deserve, deserve is a word that people need to really figure out what it really means.

Okay. And the other thing, and I’m going to say this out loud, and it’s going to come up as harsh and I don’t want it to, but I want, and I point my, when I’m pointing my finger this way, I know three of them are coming back at me. So I’m going to say this in this man. Okay.

[01:01:08] Cameron Watson: Which is why I talk like this.

[01:01:10] Kyle Jetsel: Yes.

Yeah. You got to do that. So it’s everybody else and not yourself. That’s right. Uh, You know, I, I, social media is the king of somebody comes on there and vents or complains about something to me. It’s the same thing. By the way, venting negatively is complaining. That’s the definition of, of complaining. If you vent and you do it in a negative way, it’s complaining.

Look up the definitions. People go online and they vent on people come and say, Oh, you’re a great parent. You’re a great parent. You’re doing the best you can. You’re exactly the parent your kid needs. Thanks. Yeah. Okay. Not everybody. Are there bad parents? Yes.

[01:02:00] Cameron Watson: I’ve been a bad parent.

[01:02:02] Kyle Jetsel: I have too.

[01:02:03] Cameron Watson: I think we all have been bad parents.

So there has to be someone who’s a bad parent more than a good parent. I just hope it’s not me.

[01:02:12] Kyle Jetsel: That’s my point. Quit. You may not check yourself on this. Okay? Say, and maybe don’t say, just say, how can I be a better parent? Right? How can I be a better parent? Everybody’s telling you, you’re a great parent.

You’re exactly who you need to be for your kid. Maybe not. Not everybody can be that. Maybe not. Give a little effort, right? Think about what you say. Consider things. You know, yesterday I was sitting in the stands and my son is six, five. My daughter’s twin brother plays basketball. He’s six, five. He’s a big, strong strapping man and he doesn’t get much playing time right now.

Yeah. And

[01:03:05] Cameron Watson: he’s a sophomore, right? He’s a

[01:03:07] Kyle Jetsel: sophomore. Yeah. Okay. But, but I’ve had people come to me and say. You know, hey, Jack’s six, five. I can see what they’re thinking, right? Why is he not getting more playing time?

[01:03:26] Cameron Watson: Right? Right.

[01:03:27] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. And it’s because my, my son Jack is a tender hearted, sweet. He is a great kid.

He is. He is loving and kind and buoyant and happy. And when I was growing up to play sports at that level, you had to have a nasty edge, right? I mean, that was, I was not a great athlete, but I made up for it with nastiness and grit and determination and anger, sometimes rage. Okay. And I’ve thought about this.

He doesn’t really have that. We go to the Y and I’ll see him over there taking shots and he’ll slide up next to a 10 year old and start smiling at him and shooting and mirroring him. He’s making friends with 10 year olds and they, they, they see what he’s doing and he starts making, now we go to the Y, he knows everybody.

Everybody loves Jack, right? He’s just. He’s the kindest, sweetest kid, and I love that about him, right? Yep. I don’t want him to be angry and, and mean. I want him to be a good man more than I want him to be a great athlete.

[01:04:46] Cameron Watson: Right. Yeah.

[01:04:48] Kyle Jetsel: And so my, my oldest son who was more physical and angry and that played with that mentality comes to me and says.

You know, you want me to talk to Jack about, you know, like playing nasty. I said, no, not really. And he says, what? And I said, I don’t, I’d rather him be a good man than a, than a great athlete. Right. I love where he is. Right. And so the idea, you know, we, we really need to think long term for these kids as well.

Right. We need to say. For me, I want him to be a big strong man. That’s a good man. That’s friendly and kind, right? I don’t want yeah, I don’t want to turn him into some stinking animal so he can be a good high school athlete You know, I’m sure it would help him, but I really want that You know now there’s a way for him to turn it on and off Which I think I think I’m gonna have him talk to you a little bit about that, right?

But but I don’t want to be that I like him just the way he is right. I Long term, it’s much more important to me that he’s this than this, right? And so there’s thought that goes into that for me. And I’ve talked to people and they’ve said, you’ve really thought about this. And I said, yes, you know what?

Because I think about all my kids and I spend time, you know, one of the things that. I mean, I just, I spend time considering each of them individually Right. And who they are and how to, to best parent them in the way that they need it. I, I, I like to, I think it’s important for us to do that. You mentioned this, you got eight kids, and they’re all different.

They’re all gonna present different challenges. They’re all gonna have different temperaments. They’re all gonna have different emotional levels. They’re all gonna Right. They’re different and they’re gonna be, need, need to be, you’re gonna need to lead and guide them in different ways than the foot.

Right. You know, I have parents come to me and say, how do you treat all your kids equally? Yeah, you don’t you really don’t man. You work with kids on a visual basis in my mind

[01:07:09] Cameron Watson: when when someone says equally What do you hear? Because I I’m I’m offended by the concept of equal unless it’s principle based so I equally apply the principles to my kids, but because they’re different Everything is totally different, but the principles, I apply the same principles across the board.

When I,

[01:07:35] Kyle Jetsel: when I think of somebody that says that, um, it’s somebody who’s, who’s a parent to a bunch of kids and not a parent to each individual kid, right? I don’t say that out loud. Sure, but I think it’s okay. I got this group here. I’m just gonna run them this direction, right? And I think we’re again. I’ll go back to not every parent’s great parent.

Some of us need a lot of work, right? To parent your kids as a group seems a little short sighted to me, you know, and and obviously kids are resilient You know, they can turn out good even I mean, I’ve seen some really good men come out of really bad situations I’ve seen some Really bad men come out of a great situation, you really don’t know the path, but I really, I really liked the idea of giving my kids as many unfair advantages as I can, but by trying to think through this stuff, right?

I think that’s why we do what we do, why we’re having these conversations is because we want, we really. Our goal is to, is to give them every opportunity. And that means we’re okay with the work that comes along with that.

[01:08:51] Cameron Watson: Are, are you the one who shared with me about the, the empty aspirin bottle, baby aspirin bottle, where you lined all the kids up, gave them Epicat syrup to have them all throw up into the bathtub?

[01:09:06] Kyle Jetsel: No, no, I didn’t

[01:09:06] Cameron Watson: do that. Oh, okay. There was some story. It wasn’t that you had done it. I think somebody told me the story about a parent found an empty baby aspirin bottle. And knew that they needed to get their kids to, instead of finding out who, you know, who did it, I’m sure they probably said, Hey, who did this?

And no one fessed up, but then they just, they made everybody throw up now. See, that’s equal. Yeah. I, I, you know, I don’t think that’s right. Uh, per se, you know, Oh, George ate all the aspirin bottles. So let’s make you all throw up to get the aspirin out. Well, I didn’t have any aspirin. Doesn’t matter. We’ve got to be equal.

That’s what goes through. My mind is just unfair on, you know, I like the way you put it where every. You taught your parent, each child individually. And I kind of feel that’s what our father in heaven. Has done for us. And by the way, I like your t shirt. Give us this day, our daily buckets. Does it have a reference underneath it?

[01:10:20] Kyle Jetsel: No, it’s a ax, ax, sports, ax, sport. So my son, my oldest son, Alec, by the way, this is why you don’t want to break your strong willed kids, right? Oh,

[01:10:36] Cameron Watson: yeah. Hardest. Yeah.

[01:10:37] Kyle Jetsel: Okay, go. He is so, he is so, one of the things I didn’t like about him when he was a kid was he was so creative in how he challenged me. Super creative.

That kid would come up with every idea under the sun to test my fortitude. I mean, he put me through it right now that he’s an adult and he’s married, he has all these great ideas that he implements. He tries. This is his new company. That’s a t shirt company that he does. Scriptures that he turns into basketball scriptures, right?

Yeah. So, so if you have a favorite scripture, he’ll turn it into a basketball scripture by changing maybe one word.

Yeah. And the idea, he calls it act, act sports, and it kind of is, you know, the acts, right? The scripture acts, but the idea for him is to he loves basketball and he loves the gospel, right? But he’s not a preacher. Yeah, but but he’s he thinks I want I want to I want to spread goodness and joy You know, so I’m gonna take scriptures and I’m just gonna change words to buckets or you know, and on the eighth day God created, you know, a hoop or whatever, whatever he decides to do.

But if you have a favorite, he’s so creative. If you have a favorite scripture and you send it to him, he’ll send you that scripture back in a, in a basketball term. And it’s so cool.

[01:12:08] Cameron Watson: You know what I like about that one? So give us this day, our daily bucket. So if you go back, um, when, during, when that scripture was written, give us this day, our daily bread, uh, sustenance to live, you had to concentrate.

On that, on a regular basis, the quote wasn’t give us this day, our daily error to breathe. It was give us this day, our daily bread, that which you worked for the reward for the work that you were putting into it. And what I love about this is it’s, it kind of modernizes it in a fun way. But symbolically it’s still, Hey, give us this day, our daily buckets.

It’s not, uh, it’s expected that you’re going to have to do something. More than just breathe to receive those buckets or those blessings. And I like that symbolism. So, you

[01:13:04] Kyle Jetsel: know what, here’s, here’s a story that you may not know. And this is why he gave me this shirt. Okay. He created this shirt. He, he, after I told him this story.

He went home and made this shirt and gave it to me. And it, and it hatched this idea for him. And it was, this is, you know, when Shelly died, I almost died too.

[01:13:25] Cameron Watson: Right. You were sick. You were sick as I’ve ever seen someone who wasn’t in a hospital.

[01:13:31] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. And I could not walk up my own flight of stairs without sitting at the top and resting for 10 minutes.

And I was, my body was ravaged. Yeah, and I could not. I mean, I was in and I’m not a young, I’m not a spring chicken anymore, right? But the one thing that I could do was I could go out and and shoot a free throw and then I’d have to rest Right. All right, or maybe I’d shoot too, you know, but I love I love shooting shooting is something I love and if If you had a basketball to me, I’m looking for something to throw it in automatically, right?

Cause that’s, I love to do that. And I got a membership at the Y and I would go up there and sometimes sit for an hour and shoot for 10 minutes. Because I, I would, I was, my body was so ravaged. I couldn’t. Right. And over time, slowly, slowly, slowly. Maybe I’d shoot for 15 minutes and then maybe 20, but it took me years.

I mean, we’re talking about You know and and recently in the past couple of months my son went over to the Y with me and we’re shooting He’s like, oh my gosh, dad. You’re you’re like you’re getting around you’re back Yeah, he said you’re back and I said, you know what? I really think shooting buckets saved me.

It was my way of slowly restoring my health because, you know, I would get in, I would get in my own head and I knew it wasn’t a great place to be. So I’d go shoot buckets. It, it removed. The world’s, it removed the weight. No, I could. I could just shoot. I could just shoot. Right? And I loved it. And I said, I really believe that shooting buckets brought me back.

[01:15:28] Cameron Watson: That’s really cool. I didn’t

[01:15:29] Kyle Jetsel: know that. And he went home and made me this shirt and I’m like, ho, it’s my favorite shirt in the whole world, right? ’cause I really do it restored. Not only did it restore my health, but it kept me, it kept me, kept my sanity, right? It helped me cope through some of my most difficult moments.

I was shooting. Yeah. Just shooting. Just shooting. And, and so it, it means a lot to me. But, but when he said that to me, he said, you know, you’re like, give us this day our daily buckets. And I’m like, what did you just say? And, and he’s like, do you like that? I’m like, you have no idea. And he immediately ran open and made me a T-shirt.

Right. But, you know, it hatched this idea. But the, his creativity, if I had broken him, if I had said, you know, stop all that. Just stop challenging me. You know, it would have, it would have snatched some of that. You know, he writes screenplays for short films. He does all these really creative things in his life.

Because I never tried to break him with the creativity. I just helped him learn to focus it right in certain directions. And it’s really now he loves that part of his life. He’s, and he knows how to direct it in a, in a productive manner, right? The strong will that he has, I don’t want it to go away. Right.

I want him to use it for good. And so the kids that challenges their spirit, we really got to resist the temptation to make our lives easier by squelching it. One

[01:17:03] Cameron Watson: way, one way to go about that is to see how far into the future you can project your vision for your child. And, um, my, I have a daughter who.

Is very quick witted and she has been snarky is one term that people have used to describe her since she’s been very young. Uh, this is a true story when she was four years old. Uh, my wife was pregnant with, uh, our seventh child and, uh, she was at the dentist’s office going to get a cleaning, you know, four year old cleanings that.

You know, you got to make him feel comfortable. So the hygienist is like, so are you excited about your, uh, the baby who’s coming and at four years old, she said yes, but they won’t let me name him. And she says, Oh, what do you want to name him? And she smiles and says, Satan, she’s four years old. Okay, that has just grown and amplified as she’s gotten older.

And she is a creative writer. She’s actually, she just told me the other day she broke her novel that she’s writing. She hit 30, 000 words. I don’t know if I’ve ever written 30, 000 words on one subject or topic. Right. And, but. We, and so I actually wrote this down. Uh, I, the word harness is one of the words I love.

It’s a noun. You have a harness, but it becomes a verb when you, when you put into action. And, uh, for her, I hope she harnesses all of that wit, all of that. Internal all the things that she is now hopefully applying appropriately and not saying all the time She’s going to harness that and put it into her creative writing and put it into the way that she goes about things and It’s so fun, Kyle, uh, to not kill that because we could have, because it’s been edgy.

It’s been edgy her whole life. Um, getting up in, in church on fast and testimony meeting where it’s open to the congregation to come up and share their testimony about Jesus Christ. Sometimes her testimony was not about Jesus Christ and we were unsure what it was she was going to talk about and we had to look forward to the future for her and what it could potentially mean for her to be able to keep that but we would help her bridle it so that it would be appropriate when she would use it and it’s still a challenge you know she’s a teenager still and so But it’s fun.

The other day I had my wife plug her ears because, um, my daughter and I, we, I have a morbid sense of humor. She is a deep thinker. I don’t know if her sense of humor is morbid, but she can get my morbid sense of humor. My wife doesn’t like my morbid sense of humor the way that I enjoy it. So, uh, my daughter said something.

I had something to say back. I asked my wife, I was like, could you plug your ears? And so she plugged her ears. I said my snarky thing back to my daughter, we fist bumped, and then my wife unplugged her ears and we went about our day in doing that. I was modeling to my daughter, the appropriate. Audience.

Now, later I told my wife what it was, but I wanted my daughter to see that I was sensitive to those who were going to hear it so that she wouldn’t think that you can just say whatever comes to your mind at any given point. And we’ve had the discussion many times to harness and to bridle and to leverage all of the things that are internal.

And let them out when it’s appropriate, where you can get as much good as possible, right? But it can bring as much joy and happiness to others. And it’s not gonna, and it’s gonna cause the least amount of harm to others. Because my morbid sense of humor, it can hurt people. It can really hurt people. I, uh, and sometimes it hurts them without knowing.

Most recently I was talking to the sweet lady. She was asking me some advice and I was telling her what you taught with what you teach hook story offer, because she’s trying to launch a book. And I was like, well, it needs a hook, a story and an offer. And she goes, well, can you give me an example? I was like, well, I I’m working on some marketing too.

And my, my hook is I was sitting in my car watching my son wondering if he was going to end his life.

And that was devastating to her. That hurt her internally. I was like, well yeah, it’s a good hook. I, I don’t like it. It’s a good hook. Right. So, I, I’m teaching my daughter these principles instead of telling her to be different and to change. And it’s the one thing, I, my oldest daughter who’s 24 now.

Beautiful young woman, strong personality. I wish I had learned this lesson with her. That it’s okay. For her to be the way she is and not try and change and sculpt her into what I think she should have been. Instead, I could have guided and talked about when to let that which is part of her out and how to bridle it and control where it’s going and to harness it to get as much power from that as possible.

I, a lot of what I did was framing it into how she could be different and how she could change instead of she could apply it. And I wish I had done different. I’ve talked to her about it. So, and luckily I started to apply these principles that I’ve learned for my younger kids. So they’re, you know, my, my then four year old now teenager, 10, a decade later.

You know, we did not squash that. We, we, uh, accepted her that this was part of her and we’ve helped her to put it into the right frame of mind so that it’s, it’s, uh, appropriate and does the least amount of harm in the most good. Yeah. And

[01:23:43] Kyle Jetsel: I think you just described letting your child be who they are, but also helping them understand that there are.

Outcomes that they need to pay attention to right and helping them understand that is a it’s not okay to just be who you want to

[01:23:59] Cameron Watson: be right. You don’t be the Tasmanian devil spinning around and destroying everything that you come in contact with. That is not okay.

[01:24:09] Kyle Jetsel: Right, right. And, but you want them to be the, the core of who they are, right?

That’s an important part, but also learn from your successes and failures, right? In the world, right? One of the, one of the problems I have these days is people that, and this is going to be another. Probably touchy subject for some people is, you know, I believe there’s a cost to what you do in this world and people don’t like that.

Right. We’ve got my son’s best. One of my son’s best friends is an atheist who has big giant gauges in his ears and he’s tattooed up.

[01:24:52] Cameron Watson: And for people who don’t know what a gauge is, it looks like someone took a piece of PVC pipe. Cut it and then stuck it in their

[01:24:59] Kyle Jetsel: earlobe. Yeah. It’s kind of like some old African, like an African king or something, you know, that something it’s just, yeah, it’s not, it’s not an earring, but it stretches the lobe out, so there’s a big hole in it.

Yeah. Yeah. And, and, um, You know, he, there’s a lot of people out there that say, don’t judge me. And you say, you know, you’re right. You shouldn’t judge people, but the world does. There’s a cost. When you have a gauge in your ear, some people are going to, they’re going to say, yeah, I’m not talking to that guy.

Cause he’s got a gauge in his ear that there’s a cost to things. Now people want to do the craziest, wildest stuff. They want to put rings in their noses. They want to tattoo up their necks. They want to do all these things. They don’t want there to be any cost and they’re mad at you if there is a cost, but there is a cost.

Now, should there be a cost? Probably not. Maybe not. Who knows? I don’t curse. I don’t curse. Never ever. My, if I burn myself, I say, you know, I am all whatever I’ve got made up words. My kids laugh at me, right? Because I don’t want to pay the cost. Maybe the world’s okay with cursing. But if one person. Doesn’t like cursing and I curse and they go, I don’t want to be around that person.

I’m not really interested in paying that price, but there is a price for what you do and what you say in this world. And if whether it’s fair or not, I’m going to live in the world as it’s created, right? I’m going to do my best to create my own world, but I also have to live in the world that’s around me.

And we got to let kids see there, there’s costs to certain things, right? And let them understand that your outcomes are the cost you pay for saying things quick witted or, you know, being morbid in the wrong situation. There’s a cost and you need to, if you’re okay with paying that, right? There’s also a cost to smoking cigarettes, to vaping, to cigars.

There’s costs. to a lot of things, right? Not showering, having dreadlocked hair. There’s a cost to all this stuff. Nobody wants to pay it anymore. They’re mad at you if they have to pay it, but believe me, they’re paying the cost.

[01:27:17] Cameron Watson: You gotta ask yourself. One step further. Okay. They want the benefits of it and they don’t want to pay the cost.

So that’s exactly right. Yeah. I have a cousin who, uh, does dreadlocks and she always has. No worries. Right. But she dumped it to signal her peer group, something about herself and that the guy at work. Oh my goodness. It’s some of the most beautiful ink I’ve seen in ages. Okay. It’s an American flag on his forearm.

And it is so detailed. It’s gorgeous. Now I’m a fan of ink. I don’t have any tattoos for religious purposes. I won’t, but boy, howdy, do I admire his ink work totally different than there’s a guy on dry bar comedy. You should look it up. It’s on YouTube. It’s called, um, I’ve seen him. I’ve seen him. Okay. Yeah.

The prisoner of ask or the, yeah. Anyway, very entertaining. Tattoos all the way up, all those things. Uh, he’s paying a cost, but there’s also the benefit of that. And if you’re, if you’re okay, paying the costs and having the benefit, that’s one thing, and Hey, more power to you. It’s when you want the benefit and you’re not willing to pay the cost.

Uh, sorry, that’s not how it works.

[01:28:43] Kyle Jetsel: Right. And I think way too many, way too many folks think there shouldn’t be a cost for anything anymore. Yeah. I should be able to put a piercing in my forehead. And if you don’t, if you pass judgment on me, something’s wrong with you. You know what? Guess what?

There’s a cost. There’s a cost. And if you, you got to be okay to pay that cost now. If it bothers you that people judge you when you do things that are outrageous or crazy, that’s the cost you pay now. And again, you got to pay attention to these outcomes, right? I had a son who was my oldest son, very quick witted, strong willed, would challenge teachers and paid a price and he would come home and he would say, she’s doing so and so and so and so.

And I’d say, well, tell me about what’s happening. And he would never give me the full range of what his part in it was. Sure. Right. I mean, I’ll, I’ll give you a fun example. He got into a fight when he was in elementary school and he came home and he was busted up and. I said, what happened? I got in a fight.

What happened? He told me what happened. So I went up to the school because I knew I was going to have to anyway because Both of them got busted up a little bit and I said, well, here’s what happened teacher said. Yeah, that’s not exactly what happened Really? Yeah. Now what happened was a variation of what my son told me from his perspective I’m, not saying he lied about it.

Although he may have i’m not putting it above him here Yeah, and the other kid had a different variation of it Completely different variation. And the teacher that saw the whole thing had a third variation. It was probably closer to the truth, right? Sure. And so, I said, oh, okay, right. Now, I could have gone up there and said, my kid said this happened, it’s what happened.

You guys are wrong. Action needs to be taken. But again, I went up and said, tell me, here’s what he says happened, what did you hear? I don’t want to protect him, right? I want him to learn from these experiences, right? Yep. And I went up and said, you know what, Alec? Here’s what we gotta do, right? And so we had this conversation and I let him suffer the, the painful outcome.

Again, I love him. It’s a lot easier to let them struggle in our presence through these difficult situations because we love them. Right. And we’ll work through, like you said, you’ll help them. You’ll help them deal with the consequences. But there are going to be consequences either now or later,

[01:31:29] Cameron Watson: you know, it’s funny.

I had a situation similar where one of my daughters did something and she was morally correct in her actions. She was morally correct to take action. Um, and I told her, I want you to do that again every time. Now, we’re not going to stop the consequence from happening. The song is choose, uh, choose the right, let the consequences follow.

It is not choose the right, prevent the consequences from happening.

[01:32:04] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. Well, that, that’s a, that’s also, you know, my son is struggling with a knee injury right now. My oldest six five son. Yeah. Oh, that’s too bad. He, he, uh, playing, he was playing high school football and he strained his left knee LCL. Okay.

And it’s time to recover and he’ll keep tweaking it during basketball season. And it’s, and so he’s, you know, it’s, it’s not making him happy cause he’s not at full strength. He wants to be at full strength. Sure. I’ll come home. He’s got ice on his knee. Yeah. Right and you know, we I can tell he’s good spirited about it.

He knows it’s part of life, right? I mean in a couple nights ago, I could see he’s getting a little bit down about it I said, how you feeling and we kind of had a little conversation about it And I said, you know what now is when you get to really I mean you need to really show the world who you are Right.

I mean, are you just happy because now everything’s going right? Mm hmm. Are you just a buoyant great kid when everything’s going your way? Right. Or, or, and, and frankly, no, he’s a great kid, even when he’s struggling with this stuff. Right. And I, and I was, and I, I think I was, my, my intention in doing this was to show him, dude, you’re, you’re, you’re going to face challenges, but you are this man and you’re growing into this man that faces challenges In a spirit, in a certain spirit.

And I love that about you. I’m watching you face this challenge, right? Yeah. Any, any, and I’m sitting in my favorite chair and he’s sitting in front of the fireplace, which is actually right next to me here. Right. And he’s sitting on the. On the hearth. Uh, and he says, you know what, dad, that’s what you did.

That’s what you do. Wow. And I said, I said, you know what, I appreciate that. You’re, you know, things get hard, man. We’re going to struggle. We’re going to face challenges that are overwhelming. Sometimes seem like they should break us. Right. I struggle with knee injuries as a kid too. So I can, I can talk to him about it and I can say, Hey, right.

Here’s what we got to, you got to ice it. You got to rest it. Rest, ice, elevation, compression, right? Rice. I mean, I mean, I’m, I’m working through this with him, but I know it’s a struggle. I felt it, but I’m watching him handle it so well. Right. That’s awesome. And go through these things. And my daughter last night, I could tell halfway through the game.

The first half she was struggling because her teammates, she felt like they couldn’t, they weren’t helping. She just was on her own. I could see in her eyes. Yeah. And she came off the court at halftime and I could see her eyes. It was in her eyes like, I, this is, I can’t do everything. She was right. She was really trying her hardest and she was just, I could tell she was feeling let down and she looked at me, right?

And I looked at her and I said, Hey, you gotta, now’s the time to play with joy. Stand up, right? You’re facing the biggest, this is the hardest part. What are you going to do right now? No, she came back out after halftime and had one of her best games, even though they lost, she, she fought, she struggled, she worked.

And after the game, I said, you know what? I don’t think I’ve ever y’all, you guys lost pretty bad. I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of you than to see you. At the breaking point, right? And then reframe this thing and go, you know what? I’m, this is not, I ain’t going down like this. You know, and to see my son do it and realize they’ve, they’ve started to, that’s what, that’s what they should be learning as kids, right?

Is how to manage those difficult things. We can’t hide them from them because the world will not allow that. There’s no way. They’re going to struggle now or they’re going to struggle later, right? How do we help them through it? How do we, and they’re going to challenge now and they’re going to challenge later, right?

They’re going to. They’re going to be strong willed now. We don’t want to break them of it. We want them to be strong willed later in a, in a way that’s right. That’s directed and bridled. And I think it’s really, it’s going to take a lot of effort on our parts to really work through that and to think about it.

How do we do this right? How do we, how do we let them grow that spirit in a positive way? Teach them discipline, teach them when it’s appropriate, teach them when it’s not right and not, and not be about us. It’s not about our emotions and feeling attacked and feeling challenged. It’s about teaching them how to.

Run that road.

[01:37:14] Cameron Watson: Can we talk a little bit about the risks of being, uh, so there you and I are very different. We, we grew up very different. There’s risks to being similar to how I was growing up as a dad, as a parent, and there are risks, uh, associated with being strong willed and spirited like you were growing up and now you’re a dad.

So you talked earlier about. That you started off with the first two kids kind of using fear as the, Hey, this is, you know, chill out fellas. I I’m bigger than you, whatever it was. Um, a lot of, a lot of my, the, so let’s talk about the risks from both sides because both have risks. Both have blessings.

There’s risks.

[01:38:04] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. So the, the real risk that I, you know, I was forced to change my approach dramatically when my number three son came along, severe autism, uh, he would, he was, he would not back down. If I got. If I tried to put fear into him, he would, it was like giving Godzilla electricity, right? He’d ramp up even more.

There was no line he would not cross in an attempt to control, right? And so I realized that the only way really to manage him was through, was really through patience and loving kindness and really creating Very specific strategies that I could use in situations that helped guide him

[01:38:50] Cameron Watson: now What what do you think would have happened if you hadn’t made the change?

Where where would he

[01:38:56] Kyle Jetsel: he would be either in prison or in a an asylum that had him heavily? Medicated so that he didn’t hurt people He didn’t try to impose his will on everybody else that I truly believe he he’s learned how to regulate himself by watching us and he’s learned how to control his emotions because he gets really ramped up and he’s.

So he knows, he knows there’s a line. He, he, he knows there’s a line he can’t cross in public, right? Sometimes I’ve still tried here, but it doesn’t work. So he realizes it doesn’t work and he doesn’t cross that. I can let him go out and do things on his own. I do, I know examples of other, I’ve got people that I know very close to my family who have kids that have challenged The parents have used, uh, fear.

The mom used fear until they got bigger than mom. Then she used a medication, heavy medication on him. Then she used guilt. And I’m telling you this from the perspective of the son who I ended up working with. All his brothers were on heavy medication, uh, two or three of his brothers have had drug addiction problems, uh, this one kid almost killed himself on purpose, uh, through a drug overdose, um, because they felt manipulated by, you know, and I’m not saying their mom was a manipulator, I’m saying that was their perception of fear didn’t work, so she used guilt, so she used all these things, again, I don’t think she was, had any inherently bad intentions.

I think she was just didn’t know what to do. She didn’t plan. She, she didn’t, she didn’t, she just would default to whatever came naturally. And in some cases it was guilt. And some, he told me a story about one time where, um, the mom wanted the kids to do housework and they just, they realized pretty quickly as kids, if they didn’t do it.

She would get overwhelmed and angry and frustrated and scream and yell, and she would create a new program. Program of the week. We’re going to try a new program. And they knew if they waited her out long enough, this is the sun telling me this. She would get mad, frustrated, angry, discouraged, cry, scream, and yell, cry.

And then all the kids would come around her and say, we’re so sorry. But then that program would fail and then she would try a new one. And he, the, the boy felt like this was a guilt trip. And after a while he’s like, I’m, I know what she’s doing. She’s trying to guilt me into doing this crap now. So I ain’t going to do it.

This is a really strong little kid, right? And so eventually she put them all in medications, heavy medications that. That just dropped that basically turned him into walking zombies. They still didn’t do the housework. They never did. All right. Right. Right. And so, you know, there’s, there’s been different.

One of the kids has grown up to be pretty, he has gone back and looked at it. I’ve talked to him and he realized that she was doing the best she could and is, and now he realizes he, there’s a different way to do it and he’s looking at it from a different viewpoint. Doesn’t it? He won’t do it. He won’t medicate.

Right. He’s really against medication. Another one of her kids hates her. They can’t get along. You know, it’s really a, it’s a really dysfunctional situation in a lot of ways. Sure. But the father was tried all kinds of different things too. And I think with the kids, the kids, when kids are velociraptors, they figure out what works to get their way.

Sure. And, and a lot, all too often as parents, we just default to letting our emotions take over. Right. And that could be anger or crying or whatever the case may be. And the kids learn from these experiences and I’m not, I’m not saying these kids are bad by the way, because that’s not what I’m saying at all.

I’m saying these kids are, they’re figuring out how to get what they want or do what they want or try to work within the world they’re in and we’re not perfect parents, right? So we sometimes we’re we’re figuring it out too. So really strong is it’s not that they’re being bad They just they just want they’re figuring things out.

They’re testing. They’re creative. They’re smart They learn what happens they learn how to how to work the system in there, right? We just have to create a system that helps them learn that being good being kind Being being friendly being helpful is the very best way to get everything you want in this world, right?

And if we don’t teach them that, they, they learn other ways to do things. Again, it’s a way to get everything you want and to make a judgment on the, on the parenting. I realized that it’s not that hard when you have kids, right? And kids are going to challenge you. But so default is, is not great, a great idea.


[01:44:18] Cameron Watson: so I’m going to read. I’m going to restate kind of what you’re you’re describing. So if you are a strong willed, uh, spirited parent and you’re raising challenging, spirited, strong willed Children, that conflict could escalate So much so that then you lose all influence over your child because they are either taken from you, heavily medicated, or put into a institution.

So you no longer have any influence. You, you’re, you’re no longer their parent. In the same way, on the other side of the coin, the passive coin, the go with the flow coin, Uh, the risk is that your child will then control everything and not learn any self control. And as soon as they are inter society, they will be locked up.


[01:45:12] Kyle Jetsel: yeah, and so to speak, they’re, they’re going to suffer consequences in the real world that are going to be a lot harsher than, than we want to see them suffer. Right. Uh, you know, your wife shared a story with me by the way, and she said to it, your daughter was struggling with some things. And your mom thought I’m going to treat her in a loving way and I’m just going to give her space.

I’m going to give her space. She just needs space, right? And she didn’t realize, and she thought that was the loving thing to do, right? And she realized later on that that was absolutely not helpful for your daughter. Right. All she was doing was giving in to her, your daughter’s, uh, your daughter was getting what she wanted, which was leave me the crap

[01:46:11] Cameron Watson: alone, mom.

Yeah. Because as soon as she had space, she could go do whatever she wanted. I didn’t know that part. Wait, with, with what’s funny is because externally it looked like she was in a structured environment or grounded, but internally she was free to do whatever she wanted internally. And that’s what she was going for.

[01:46:33] Kyle Jetsel: And again, we’re not saying, we need to be clear. We’re not saying kids are bad. They’re just doing what works right. They’re doing to, to figure out how, how the world works. And to, you know, here’s one of the things I realized with my number three son, I did some research. My son has oppositional defiance disorder, my number three son, more severe on the spectrum.

Yeah. So he really can’t really understand consequences very well anyway. So I read this, I was, I was studying this and it said that. The typical parent makes 50 commands a day of their kids. And I said, that sounds crazy to me. I don’t command my kid to do anything. Right. So one morning before he left for school, I counted.

And before he left for school, I counted 29 things. Get ready, put your shoes on, eat your breakfast. These are all me telling him what to do. 29 commands before he even left the house. Now, kids that are, that are strong willed or spirited or challenging, they think they want to control their worlds. They think we control their world.

So they’re going to fight that because they want to be in charge of their life. This is a natural thing for us all, right? The reality is we, as parents, don’t have any control of anything. And we know that because we’re. Wise enough to know we have no control of anything, but they think because they can’t see beyond tomorrow That we are controlling their world.

So they’re gonna create that resistance, right? And so my job is to give him as much control as I can in healthy ways I created a specific strategy for that to decide what really mattered Give him as much control as I could But also make sure that there were some things that were lines in the sand, right?

You know, I had control over everything in his life and I thought I got to give him more control over 99 percent of it because 99 percent of it doesn’t matter the 1 percent that’s really important to him in his life That’s where I need to give him structure the rest of it. The kid doesn’t have to make up his bed every day now Some people might not like that.

Does he know how to make his bed up? Yes, when he when he moves out of the house, is he capable of making his bed? Yes. Okay, that’s I’m gonna I’m not gonna worry about bed making up. That’s not a battle. I want to fight. That’s not a control I want to have do I is he gonna go to church with me? Yes, that is a that’s a line Then I’m going to draw now, how do I give him all kinds of control and going to church?

He gets to pick out his ties, pants, his shoes, his, which one are you going to wear? How many of the, you know, I’m going to give him 99 percent of the control. The only 1 percent I want is that he goes with me. Right? So it’s really, and this took me a year to develop this strategy. This was a long time because he would, if I said, Eric, let’s go get ice cream.

He heard that as I’m controlling you and you’re going to eat ice cream. And he would say, no, even though he loves ice cream. I’m like. Why would he not want to go get ice cream? And I realized I was saying it, let’s go get ice cream was a command, even though I’ve said it kindly, Hey, Eric, let’s go get ice cream.

He heard a command. Yeah. Because he’s so strong willed. Right? Yep. So I had to say, Eric, would you like to go get ice cream? It changed it for him. He said, of course. What am I, stupid? Right? I mean, or Eric, would you like to wear your blue pants or your brown pants to church? Would you like to wear this pair of shoes or this pair?

Would you like to wear this tie or this tie, this shirt or this shirt? It’s up to you. Would you like to brush your teeth now or five minutes before we go? Would you like to get. Uh, breakfast before we go, would you like to do right? I give him all this control over all these things that don’t matter. And then I say, all right, you’re ready to go.

Sometimes he would say, no, I would say, okay, you’re going to be ready in five minutes or 10 minutes, five minutes. Okay. Five minutes later. Hey, it’s five minutes later. You said you were ready to go. Are you ready to go? You said, yeah, I’m ready. Perfect. Right. And now that sounds like a lot of work, but let me tell you what’s worse.

Fighting over everything is a lot of work and it exhausts me. Right. But asking questions. Letting him control 99 percent of the interactions. And I think that’s the key with these kids that we got to really figure out. We got to write, I have a list of things that really matter for him. Everything else is up for grabs with him.

Do you want this? Do you want that? What about this? What do you think of that? And it’s all questions, right? This is a strategy that was a long, hard process to learn. But now that kid has 99 percent control of his life and he thinks he’s happy. The things that really matter are the areas that I give him the discipline that really matters.

Right now with your other kids, you don’t have to do 99 percent right? There’s a balance in there, but you got to find it. Yeah You know your kid may express their control by just not Wanting to make their bed And if you’re a mom that wants beds made you might have to consider that something you it’s flexible if your kids are strong willed Right, you got to consider you got it.

You know, you said it earlier lower your expectations with their ability with their willingness and And, and help them see the vision, right? Meet up. Sometimes, make your bed because I want you to, because I like all the beds made up. That, that, that may not be a fight worth having. Right? It wasn’t for me.

My kids don’t do chores around our house. Now here’s what does happen. I say, Hey, Chloe, will you help me do the dishes? She says, sure. I say, Jack, will you help me? Sure. Hey, Chloe, I walked by your room. It was kind of messy. I know. Can you clean it up? Sure. I’ll clean it up. I walked by the next day. It’s not cleaned up.

Hey, Chloe, you said you’d clean it up today. Will you do yesterday? Will you do it today? I’m sorry, dad. I’ll get to it today. I walked by the next day, Chloe, if you don’t clean up your room, there’s, you won’t be doing this. Okay. Okay. I got it. Right. So it’s, there’s so much flexibility in what I do with my kids because they’re all these powerful souls, these spirited kids that want.

Right. She knows how to clean up a room and when she becomes an adult, she can choose what she wants, right? I want her to learn what she cares about and what she doesn’t care about now, right?

[01:53:18] Cameron Watson: I’m going to say that I agree with you in all of what you’re saying. There’s one addition thing and that sometimes it’s good to develop a habit of being able to work within a system, doing things where there isn’t flexibility.

But, that’s one of those slides, you gotta choose, okay, is this one of those things, or not? By the way, my aunt who passed away this past year Uh, she was appalled all the time that Sarah and I don’t make our beds as adults. Yeah. And, uh, what, what was fun though is I was like, well, let’s, let’s give it a try and let’s see what, what the big deal is.

And I actually like having my bed made. I was surprised I didn’t, you know, I was like, what’s the big deal? Oh, well I tried it. So my aunt, she had influence on me as an adult and I started making my bed as an adult. But am I going to make my kids make their bed? No, but if it was important that the beds were made, that I would figure out a way either for them to make their beds or for their beds to be made, because if, if it’s not important for me to have them make the bed, but it’s important for the bed to be made, we can still make that happen without having to make it that person make the bed.

[01:54:35] Kyle Jetsel: I also want to add this. And I think this is vital. Do not ask your kids to do anything that they haven’t seen you do plenty. Okay. Cause you want to, your kids will screw, they will sniff out a hypocrite crit. So stinking fast, man. They will sniff out a hypocrite. So don’t, if you want your kids to wash dishes after dinner, make sure they’ve seen you do it plenty of times and you help them plenty of times.

Okay, because if they think you’re they’re doing your job, which kids do think that It ain’t my house. I just live here. It’s your house. By the way, I know this because I was a kid. I was that kid. Okay? I mean, it’s hard for me to remember some of this sometimes, but I’m like, yeah, I remember. Make sure your kids see you doing what you ask them to do.

And join them. Regularly in that right? I mean if you ask your daughter, I’ll ask my daughter. Hey, could you clean up your room? And if I see it not done the next day, I say hey Chloe I’m gonna go up and start cleaning your room. Look at it. I got it. I got it. Don’t do that. I’ll help you Okay, would you help me?

Yeah, I’ll help you. We’ll have fun. Right and we will we’ll do it together. Sometimes Okay, we’ll throw dirty clothes at the hamper. We’ll do this. We’ll do that because I’m not a They know I’ll do anything I ask them to do. I’ll do. And I’ve done it. And it makes a difference to a kid to know you’re not just trying to get them to do something.

They see you as lazy if they don’t think you’re willing to do it or they haven’t seen

[01:56:17] Cameron Watson: you do it. I think this is a great way to end it. Okay. If you have a strong willed Spirited or challenging child. One of the best tactics. Once you get the, sorry, real quick. What, what’s the, uh, acronym it’s, uh, uh, tactics was like number two or whatever, what it’s, uh,

[01:56:43] Kyle Jetsel: What’s the challenge?

What’s the long term objective? There we go. What is the strategy? And what are the specific tactics?

[01:56:50] Cameron Watson: Yeah. Okay. The tactics is the last thing. So you guys get the other things down, right? Spirit of love. Okay. That’s where you start with everything. But here’s a tactic that works exceptionally well if internally it’s true for you.

If it’s not true for you, they will sniff it out. You’re going to be a hypocrite and it won’t work. But if you can get yourself to the point where you’re willing to help your child do that thing, which they are having a hard time doing, the spirited ones, the strong willed ones will want to do it without you.

And so you help them a couple of times. Hallelujah. They start doing it on their own. It’s great. Yeah. Great way to

[01:57:33] Kyle Jetsel: end Cameron. I like that. I appreciate the time Cameron. Thanks for the conversation.

[01:57:38] Cameron Watson: You bet.

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