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Hey, welcome back to another episode of The YouSchool podcast. Scott Schimmel here. I know that parenting and educating,
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or sports, would be a lot easier if the kids weren't there.
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I mean, in, if that's what we were doing, just try to understand these concepts, strategies,
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and then apply them, I don't think it would actually be that difficult. But the problem is there are real kids. And I think specifically, the problem typically is, there's a lot of them a lot of challenges, but the problem specifically has to do with kids emotions, and our own. Those are the variables that bring the hiccups to every best laid plan.
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Because kids come whether it's get in the car, or get into class, get into a small group, start giving a presentation, the dinner table, they come with stuff going on underneath the surface. And in this episode, what we're going to address pretty quickly, is this concept of, broader speaking, it's mental health skills, underneath that would be emotional intelligence. And specifically, another way to talk about emotional intelligence would be this- teaching kids the wisdom of their emotions. Teaching them to understand their emotions, and understand what they mean and how to respond to them. Which in the big picture, regardless, if you're a teacher, educator, coach, or parent we want and really need, kids need to have these kinds of skills. Now, can you think of adults, who have not yet learned to understand their own emotions, and seem to be ruled by them, governed by them managed by them? They fly off the handle, they don't understand the impact, that their presence or their tone of voice or their words or intensity has on other people. They lack the wisdom of their own emotions, of course. And so how do you how do we do this? One way, in this episode, we're going to talk about a concept of psychological distress, psychological discomfort. That's a fancy way of saying, in other words- I don't like this. I don't like this. You probably have heard that if you're a parent, and you're about to drop a kid off at practice, "I don't want to do this." You ask them to do a chore. You ask them to do what if you're a teacher, a warmup exercise, you ask them to do a drill, if you're a coach, and a kid would say "I don't I don't want to". Or maybe they don't use those words, they use worse words. Or they vote with their feet. They don't move, they don't act, because what's going on inside them. They're feeling distress, they're feeling discomfort. They don't like it.
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Now, what are we taught, and kind of a broad perspective- What are kids taught? And what are we teaching them about psychological discomfort? Because I have it. And I know you have it. Almost always, you know, you know, almost every day.
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There was a meeting on my calendar, ah gosh, I don't know. It's distressing, stressful. I don't know if they're gonna like me. I don't know if the ideas I have to share good enough. I don't know if I got that done on time. I don't know if they're mad, you know, a variety of threats that make me feel agitated, and uncomfortable. And then often comes through, how do I feel that? I feel that on a physical level-
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which can be I get stomach aches, I get headaches, I have trouble sleeping, I get an upset stomach, I get like kind of, I can't quite think of the words I'm trying to use, my limbs, my fingers might feel tingly. If I'm really in a moment. I don't like it feels uncomfortable. I want to get out of this. I look at that square on my calendar. And I think oh god, the whole day is ruined. There's also thoughts that are going through my head- worry.
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Questions. What if they don't like me? I find myself when I'm in experiencing psychological discomfort. I find myself being short tempered, quick to make critiques.
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Potentially rude. Sometimes just like focused inwardly, and I forget to engage with other people.
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It sucks. Psychological discomfort doesn't feel good. It's uncomfortable. And what are we teaching? What is the general message out in the world? Uncomfortable equals bad.
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If it doesn't feel good, you shouldn't do it. There's a message that certainly wasn't there, let's say in the greatest generation, or generations past. Hard work is called work for a reason- that those are some sentiments, historically, culturally, and generationally that has shifted and today our kids are being raised in an environment where the one of the primary messages- if it doesn't make up
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feel good, it must be bad. If that class is hard, or that teacher is difficult, there must be something wrong with the class or the teacher. If you don't like your team, maybe we should try to find another one.
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If you don't like that friend, stop hanging out with him.
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If you don't like that, that chore, well, okay, we'll find you something else to do.
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I don't know if you're you tracking? Would you would you agree? And I find myself of course, when I feel uncomfortable, I want to get out of the discomfort. It's natural, normal.
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And I want to I've got lots of different ways to make myself feel better. On a small level, I could pick up my phone and start scrolling through my golf Instagram accounts. I can literally go golf and play. I can distract myself. I can avoid things. I can get short tempered. And there's a little variety of ways to make myself feel better, go eat something.
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Adults, we can go drink something. We can avoid, we can numb. If it doesn't feel good, get out of it.
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That's not good. But what if, here's the point of this episode, what if our emotions and the way our bodies are feeling
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are trying to tell us something?
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For example, kid is feeling guilty, because they said something about a friend behind their back, a good friend that they'd like they said something negative, critical about them. And now they're feeling psychological discomfort, called guilt. They're feeling anxious, because they did not prepare for the presentation that's coming up, and it's uncomfortable. They're feeling trapped by a friend who's like really clingy and always wants to check in. Are we still friends? Are we still okay? They want to hang out with you all the time. They wonder why you didn't text them back. And a kid just feels kind of the sense of feeling trapped.
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They're feeling sad, because they are recognizing that a good friend that they had is not someone that they can trust. It makes them feel sad. They're feeling angry about a teacher who seems really unfair. What if our emotions are trying to tell us something? What if that psychological discomfort of guilt is trying to tell you something about your values? That's not how you treat people. What if your anxiety can be a messenger to prepare more next time?
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What if that feeling of trapped can propel you to realize that's not the kind of friendship I want to have? What if that sadness is inviting you to process that sadness through grieving?
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What if that anger
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is is sparking you to understand that you need to, you need to get asked for what you want more clearly. We know we know we know this. How do we teach our kids that your emotions, that discomfort you feel is not bad to escape from potentially, it's something to teach you. There's wisdom within the way our bodies and our emotions feel.
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Uncomfortable could be actually good.
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Let's look at any new situation. I lead classes and workshops for kids, they never really want to come. They don't like not ever. They don't want to come.
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Going to the dentist, I don't want to, it doesn't feel good.
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Going to hang out with a new friend. I don't know I feel stressed out. I don't know if I if I if they're going to like me. New, different things that stretch you. There's psychological distress, discomfort inherent in new experiences, and new settings, being displaced from what's normal for you, your culture going to another culture. These things are actually good for us. That is the definition that of growth- that there is no growth without feeling uncomfortable.
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So psychological discomfort number one might be teaching you things, wisdom in those feelings and emotions.
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Psychological comfort that you're feeling might actually be an indication that there's something good for you on the other side, might teach you something. But of course, there's a caveat. Now to teach kids to override their emotions- "No, even though I feel bad or feel guilty or feel trapped or feel anxious.
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my the adults in my life are saying don't trust that. Go with it. And something good will happen." Well, of course not. I mean, that's not it's this is not an overarching rule. If you're feeling uncomfortable in a friendship, psychological discomfort about doing something that you don't feel comfortable with, like pay attention to that. That's the whole point. That's the whole point of this. And here's the three steps. How do we teach our kids and guide them?
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By showing them and then by prompting them- asking questions to tune in to the way that they're feeling. What are you feeling? And the way you tune in really is to get curious. Where are you feeling this in your body? What is the emotion? And there's a great psychologist guy named Dan Siegel has written a lot of books on child psychology and attachment theory he talks he has this phrase- name it to tame it. If there's there's psychological ease that comes when you name your emotions, actually, your your brain becomes more congruent. And there's some peace and the activation that happens when you do that. So tune in, get curious, and then check out loud with somebody else, how you're feeling and what you're feeling, and allow someone else that you trust and that is mature and wise to shape that. So
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is this making sense? We need to teach your kids the wisdom of their emotions. And recognize that psychological discomfort can be a really good thing, and can certainly be a teacher for us. And the more we tune in, the more we get curious, the more we learn how to name and talk through these things and teach our kids how to do that, the better off, they're going to be, the wiser that they're going to be, the more connected with themselves they're going to be and it's going to lead to their flourishing. We'll be 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 the uscho.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 will guide you to get clear about who you are in the great store you could tell with your life. So go register for your free account and get started on The Real Me course today at theyouschool.com. That's the you school dot com.