Scott Schimmel 0:20
Welcome back to another episode of the YouSchool podcast. My name is Scott Schimmel. I'm here to talk about how to raise our kids. Well, right now, the only real measurement that we have to see if our parenting and our educating is effective is likely not going to be discovered for a long time. So maybe in 20 years, around your Thanksgiving table, you will, you will then know, how did your parenting go? Not only are your kids there, but do you enjoy them? Do they enjoy you? Are they good humans? Are they kind? Are they strong? Are they forgiving? Have they worked through pain? Have they made something of themselves that makes a difference in the world? There's a lot of these questions. And today what we want to talk about is something that's a skill that every single kid needs. Every school, every kid can learn it. And it's the primary way to learn is through you. And we're going to talk about is grief. How's that for a warm intro? Grief, yay! I could hear maybe see you reaching for the close out to the next episode. But hold on before you do. Let me just paint the picture real fast. I've been through loss, and you have too. Loss is an absolutely inevitable part of life and growing up. And depending on how you define it, the scope upon which you look at it, the lens that you look through, will determine what you see. So obviously, there are losses that are more "significant" (using air quotes) more "significant" than others- death of a loved one, natural disaster, something that harms you. There's those kinds of more extreme things on the timeline of our lives. That I'm sure nobody would argue those are significant things that require necessitate grieving. You don't just move on from those things you enter into grief for them. But what else deserves grieving? And that's where we look at this bigger picture, this idea of loss. Now a lot of what I'm coming from, gosh, I forgot to bring the book, but I'll link to it. There's so years ago, one of my best friends good friend of the show in good friend of YouSchool Charlie Ruce. Now he's a organizational coach consultant on trauma and trauma informed practices and increasing your nervous system capacity. He's also a licensed therapist and spent many, many years doing that years ago, I was over at his house, and I were looking at his big huge bookshelf of tons and tons of books. And I just made that comment, like, wow, that's a lot of books, what would be the one book that you would recommend? And he pulls his little skinny book off the shelf of, I would say, 1000s of books. And he's like, "Easy- it's this one." And that book is called The Grief Recovery handbook, by James and Friedman, thin, I don't know, maybe not even 100 pages, a lot of white space, there's exercises, journaling stuff to do in there. And that book changed my life. Now up to that point, I would have said, Yeah, I've had some loss. My parents were divorced when I was in college. At that point, my two grandparents that I was very close to had died. After that, I lost the dog. I was seven or eight. You know, I had a girl kind of break my heart in high school. Other than that, I mean, it gets a little fuzzy. But through that book, it's really expanded my understanding and perspective on what loss is and I would actually say, like the authors would say, every loss deserves grief, requires grief, you need to work through it. Why? Why not? Well, if you don't, you actually take it on. You hold on to grief and grief holds on to you. Now what is loss? Loss can include lots of things. Like we mentioned before, you actually lost something, you moved, you moved away from friends. It could also be stuff that you maybe wouldn't necessarily see or understand like the loss of expectation, the loss of an ambition or dream, the loss of maybe what you didn't have but should have had like an engaged parent, a kind parent, a close friend through middle school years. Opportunity, safety. Someone who taught you things and you didn't, you know, I never learned my value. I never learned my worth. I never learned that I have something to offered to the world. I never learned my talents and strengths. I never learned how to learn. Like those are all actually losses. Like kind of what should have been if you compare and contrast what should have been or could have been or you wanted and didn't happen. There's, there's a delta there, there's a change, there's a loss there. And what one of the things that's really important to recognize is that we are taught lessons about loss, and about grief, that are unhelpful, and actually perpetuate harm. And I bet I'm gonna show you a list of six things from this short little book, Grief Recovery handbook, I bet I would, I would bet money that you actively believe some of these things and teach some of these things to the kids in your life, and they're not helpful, they're actually harmful, and will not help your kid or you lead a life that flourishes. So what are the six things? Here's what we tell people, here's what we believe about loss and grief. Don't feel bad. In other words, don't feel anything. Don't feel bad. And you could say that in a variety of ways-It wasn't your fault. Don't feel bad, you know, this happens to everybody. Number two, replace that loss. So what we're gonna do, because you're feeling bad, you feel a loss, we're gonna go get you something else, it's the friend of your shoulder says, "Don't worry about her. There's plenty of other fish in the sea. Let's go find you a new person." "Don't worry about the puppy. The dog that died will go get you a new one." A third- grieve alone. Just handle it on your own. Don't really bring that here. Don't bring that to work. Don't bring it to school. Don't bring that to friendship. Don't bum anybody out. Number four, of course, time heals all wounds, you can hear that with the inflection of Pirates of the Caribbean. Time heals all wounds. Just give it time. The fifth be strong for others. Don't let them see you cry, sweat, grieve. Certainly don't let your kids see that. Don't let your close friends the people that depend on you. If you're leading somebody, don't let them see that you're weak and vulnerable. And the sixth and very important one is just keep busy. Don't think about it. Numb yourself. This is the Jedi mind trick. So again, look at that list. When you or someone that you know, or someone that you love and care for, like a kid, experiences loss- didn't make the team, didn't play in the game, didn't get the grade that they wanted. A friend that they trusted wasn't there for them. They weren't invited to a party. I'm just kind of giving you some very common, normal, ordinary experiences. You felt like someone talked poorly about you and you trusted them. You didn't get into the school or get the scholarship like someone else got. You didn't get invited. Here's what we say. Don't feel bad. Let's go shopping. Don't feel bad. Time heals all wounds. Don't feel bad. You'll find a new friend. Make sure don't don't tell him that you feel bad because then that'll make them feel awkward. Let's just stay busy. Let's go do something let's idle hands make I forget how that phrase goes. That's what we teach people. So what's the better way? This is what's in the Grief Recovery handbook. You need to feel. You need to feel now what you needed to feel back then. You need to feel now and process through because that stuff actually gets trapped and stored inside your body and it will leak out it always comes out when it's least expected least wanted. And I have experienced this through things like sleeplessness, insomnia, stomach aches. I remember, my wife will help me recognize that I have like sometimes these ghost phantom pains, no reason why, sickness illness. When something else triggers that thing that you went through, like maybe you never resolved the breakup, you never got over the friend that abandoned you, you never got over that feeling and processed through and you didn't feel what you needed to feel back then. And so your kid goes through something that's similar or maybe even a fraction that's similar and you over react on their behalf you feel again, and you're not sure why. It like that, like the the moment the occasion doesn't warrant to justify the explosion that you're having and the deep grief that you're having. And you're just kind of out of sorts. You know, feel what you needed to feel. You need to say what needed to be said. Feel, felt, say, said and you can do that a variety ways. I've done the exercises and that Grief Recovery handbook. I've written letters to people that I've mostly never sent. I have said things that I needed to say. I have acknowledged in writing gratitude for something. I've talked about it with friends. I've been to a therapist to work through these things. I've actually processed through these things, and I catch myself still going through something that's a loss, loss of a contract, loss...and this is kinda my adult world. Loss of a friend and friend moves away, I just kind of, and I forget, I forget that I actually need to grieve loss. I need
to engage and participate and do something about it, or else it's going to be stored and trapped, it's going to leak out somewhere else. I'm going to overreact in another situation. I'm overall going to be just swirling on the inside without any sort of peace. And I've never worked through that scenario, I don't want to do that. Your kids need to learn how to do this. Our kids need to be taught grief skills, we need to teach them that every loss necessitates grieving. To feel what you felt, to say what needed to be said, what you wish he could have said, or you need to let go, you need to forgive, you need to write. As my good friend Laing Rikkers, who has oh gosh I forgot that too. I'll link to it. A new book coming out on I believe, May 18, 2023, called Morning Leaves: Reflection on Loss, Grieving and Connection. It's a beautiful book of her poetry, and commissioned art, beautiful paintings, illustrations, after Laing suddenly lost her sister and the the grief that that sort of precipitated and triggered in her life. Her way of dealing with that not moving on, not just getting busy, not just ignoring was to three, she says three things, walk it out, write about it, talk about it. Walk, write, talk. Walk, write, talk. You almost remember that. We need to learn to teach these very necessary essential skills to our kids. We need to learn them ourselves and model it for them. And let them know that what happened on the outside, that there's an insight of what's going on the inside. And to allow ourselves and movement, walking, the pen and paper in our hands can actually start some of that process to get our feelings out, to say what needs to be said. Every kid needs this we're going to be going through a series of these critical life skills that every kid needs. These mental health skills like grieving, social skills, of course, career work skills, problem solving skills, conflict resolution skills. These are things that must be taught to our kids because we value who they become and what kind of lives they lead. They lead in and live. So thanks for joining. What do you the question, what do you have to grieve? What is still kind of trapped inside you what gets triggered sometimes when you see it on a show, hear it in a song, seat on your kid's face. And you realize you're not done yet. You still there's still some energy there, there's still something unresolved there. My encouragement charged to you is to grieve it. And then teach your kids to do the same. Back next week with another episode of the YouSchool podcast. Hey, thanks for joining in on the YouSchool podcast. we'd love to share with you the resources available on our website at theyouschool.com not just articles, ebooks, worksheets and other podcast episodes. But specifically you should know about a free course we have available called The Real Me course. It's digital, it's interactive, and it'll guide you to get clear about who you are in a great story you could tell with your life. So go register for a free account and get started on The Real Me course today at theyouschool.com That's the you school dot com.