Parenting Outside the Lines with Meghan Leahy

Parenting outside the lines frees us up to connect with our children in an authentic way.

It allows us to skip over the “must do’s” and simply, instead, do the next right thing in any given moment. And if the “right thing” ultimately takes us a direction we don’t want to go, it gives us the opportunity to apologize and course correct. It encourages us to trust the wisdom deep within.

“I haven’t yet found a parent who’s really changed their parenting based on ‘studies say,'” says Meghan Leahy, a mom of three, parenting coach and author of Parenting Outside the Lines: Forget the Rules, Tap Into Your Wisdom and Connect with Your Child. “I’ve never told a parent, ‘Well, studies say if you don’t yell, your kid will be happier,’ and had the parent say, ‘oh my god, I didn’t know that! Now I’ll stop yelling.'”

Early in her career as a parenting coach, Meghan taught parents strategies they could use to manage their kids’ behavior. But only some parents were successful with those strategies. Other parents used the same exact techniques and did not see the positive changes they were expecting. She learned that “strategies are neither here nor there. One may work; one may not. But if the underpinning of compassionate, boundaried connection isn’t there, it doesn’t matter.”

In this episode, Jen, Janet & Meghan discuss:
  • The importance of connection
  • Learning to trust yourself
  • How modern culture has made parenting more difficult
  • Why it’s OK to not know what to do
  • What to do when your son doesn’t want to do an activity he once loved
  • Parenting during the pandemic
  • The link between kindness and resilience
  • Screen time (and why you need to look at your screen habits before tackling your kids’ screen time)
  • How to enjoy parenting
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

Parenting Outside the Lines: Forget the Rules, Tap Into Your Wisdom and Connect with Your Child — Meghan’s book

Meghan’s Washington Post On Parenting columns — Meghan’s website

How to Raise a Boy with Michael C. Reichert — ON BOYS episode mentioned at 07:11

The Neufield Institute — courses, events and resources from Gordon Neufield, PhD (mentioned at 8:47)

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids, by Kim John Payne and Kim Ross — book mentioned at 16:07

My Suddenly Sedentary Teen Seems Stuck. How Much Should I Push Him to Move? — Meghan’s column about the soccer player (mentioned at 17:24)

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