Ushering in 2021 the Way You Want It to Be with Deborah Davis
Welcome to this episode of The Determined Mom Show. I have a very special guest. Deborah Davis is a parenting coach. She’s an award-winning author and She is a speaker. She has had her WITS personal trainer certification since 2014, and she is just amazing. She has multiple books. Tell us how many books you have.
How did you get started working from home or being your boss?
I was a career teacher and I taught for 27 years. I’m a high school, and middle school student, and I love teaching. So I didn’t leave because of that. I loved the kids, I loved the teaching. But I had started writing because I got sick with Lyme disease, which had put me on the couch and I had to stop teaching in the middle there.
I started writing during the summers because anybody who’s a teacher knows if you’re teaching, that’s all you can do, you can’t do anything else. So I would write during the summers and all of a sudden I realized I had two manuscripts. I thought I’m gonna be a writer. I stopped teaching and jumped in with both feet here and then everything just kind of morphed because about five minutes after I left teaching, I missed it.
I missed the energy. If you think about it, I’ve been in school since I was four, and now it was just me and my husband and my computer. So he’s great, but he’s not the energy of 20 kids in a classroom. I wanted to go back to it. Connecting with people. And that led me to do parent coaching because basically, that’s what I had been doing all those years where I’d been teaching, you know, the parents would come and see me already upset about something behavioral or academic that was going on with their kids.
I had to figure out a way to make the angry parent and the defensive child talk to each other because if they were communicating, then whatever we discussed in the meeting was gonna fall on somebody’s deaf ears, either one. I figured out all these different techniques to kind of bring them together, just trying to solve the individual situations I found myself in.
But over the years, I developed this arsenal. Of techniques and strategies and people would walk in and I’d listen to ’em for a minute and I’d go, ah, let’s try this. And it would work. And so back then, I didn’t wanna date myself here, but back then it didn’t have a name. And now we call it parent coaching.
That’s what I’m doing now to work with parents and kids, and I just had a book come out called How to Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door. So when people don’t have time to sit and talk with me, there are all those techniques and strategies in that book. That’s awesome. That’s so cool and it’s kind of interesting.
So how old was your daughter during that whole process? I’m kind of curious about that timeline. So I started, Teaching. She was born when I was about my 10th year of teaching, which freaked me out because I was used to being with high school and middle school kids.
I spent her single digit. Worrying that I was screwing up her life, which I’m sure no other mother does, and I’m sure I’m the only mother who worries about screwing up her kids’ life. But by the time she got to, uh, middle school, I was ready for her. She was like right there in my zone.
I knew what was going on before she did, and that it was wonderful. So the book didn’t come out until she was out of high school? I didn’t start writing till she was. A junior in high school, because that was the year I got sick. So I started writing two YA novels.
That’s where I began. It was all fiction. Oh, that’s cool. And one’s called fairly certain and the other one’s called Fairly Safe. And they’re both humorous suspense, which I’m pretty sure is not a genre. But, it could be, I mean, I think it, that sounds actually like right up my alley and I always write things with surprise endings because I like surprise endings.
I got those two books, the two manuscripts I had when I stopped teaching. I thought, Ooh, I’m gonna be a fiction writer, but I missed the interactions with people. So it’s been about five years. I love that you have written the book about parenting daughters in particular because I find that that is a challenge.
I could, I think I could deal with boys as I’ve always. I’m like a tomboy like when I was little, I always played with my cousins, and I understood boys better. So here I am with like three girly girls and I’m looking forward to reading your book. It will help everything because, whether you’re parenting a daughter or parenting a son.
It’s all about the bottom line. It’s all about relationships and how you conduct yourself in a relationship and how you perceive the other person in your relationship. Because that whole perception is your reality.
Whether it’s a real thing or not, it’s your reality. So you have to figure out how to get past perception and find out what is real. So how, that’s a really good segue into our topic because I think all of our, I guess. Maybe the expectation of 2020 went out the window in March, like it just got thrown out the window.
Everything that we had planned, whatever was just gone. How about we go into 2021 with those, that type of mindset of expectation and reality and all of those things? The first thing I would say is that you have to wrap your mind around what the new normal is. The new normal is changing.
If you are waiting for the dust to settle and you’re saying, okay, as soon as the dust settles, then I’ll be able to get my ducks in a row and I’ll be able to move forward. That’s not gonna serve you well because your ducks are gonna get joined by other ducks and some of your ducks are gonna leave and some of your ducks are gonna wobble and you’re not gonna get ’em all in a row.
This is about change and people’s fear is making them want to be searching for normalcy. Repetition routine. Their fear makes ’em go that way. But the reality is if you are a parent, you have changed all the time. Every single time your kid goes into a new grade, it all changes.
It’s new teachers, it’s new rules, it’s new settings, and every time school ends, you end up with a different summer with a different age kid. It’s all different. It changes all the time. And then in August or September, it all changes again. Mm. And we’re okay with that because we’re expecting that change.
If we can wrap our minds around this life, this world is going to keep changing, then all we gotta do is say, I’m going to be like a person surfing a wave. You just keep adjusting and then you ride that wave. Yeah, it’s going to be okay. All you have to do is say, I’m not gonna try to keep holding onto something like it’s gonna be permanent.
Go with the flow, roll with the changes, and accept the change, and you’ll feel so much more comfortable and your anxiety will be reduced and you won’t be conveying that anxiety to your kids. Your kids won’t be assimilating. As soon as this is done, then things will be okay. You don’t want them to be thinking that way.
You want your kids to be. I see what’s going on and I’m okay. And the way you can convey that to your kids is you need to say to them, you know what? Things are going to change, whatever’s going on in your school right now. That might change, but it’s okay because we will handle it. And if I don’t know what to do, then I will find someone who knows what to do and we will handle it.
So you don’t have to worry, you could just relax. You could just be the kid. You can work on your studies and work on having fun. I got your back. It’s going to be okay. That’s awesome. And while you’re telling your kid that, What do you think that’s gonna do to your peace of mind? It’s gonna make you believe it and Yes.
And you know, start adopting those thoughts as well. That’s right. Yeah, that’s right. Your body doesn’t know the difference between fake words and real words. They just like, oh yeah, okay, we got this. It’s gonna be okay. Yeah, that’s good. Even if you don’t believe it in the new year. Yeah. Awesome. So even if you don’t believe it, you should be saying it and eventually, you’re gonna believe it and you know, feel that way as well.
Well, biologically, yes. I was a science teacher. I’m a science geek. Okay. Biologically, using positive words creates hormones in your body of a positive nature. Using negative words like cussing creates an inflow of negative hormones or stress hormones, I shouldn’t say negative hormones.
And you can fool your body in so many ways to produce those hormones, even the happy ones, even when you are not happy. And, even if you don’t believe what I’m saying is true, because your body isn’t able to tell the difference like smiling. When you smile, you use all these muscles and they trigger the nerves that talk to your brain and then your brain says, oh, we got to get out those hormones.
And you get these bursts of happy hormones. Well, if you fake smile right now, everybody is listening to this. Just make a grin. Just go, just a grin. You feel it in your gut. It’s just this little teeny little ripple. And if you smile again, you’ll feel it. See, that’s because your brain and your body can’t tell the difference between a real smile and a fake smile.
When you are feeling tense, down low, angry. Fake smile. You don’t have to let anybody see it. Just a fake smile. However, if you’re at work and people don’t know that this is what you’re doing, I don’t do it because they will think you’re a crazy person. You need to explain to them that this is a way I’m releasing stuff.
The thing is when a kid rolls their eyes, they are thinking, they’re not thinking anything. They are creating a happy hormone release when they like. They are creating a happy hormone release and when they grin at you like, okay, like they’re being sarcastic, they are creating a happy hormone release, we as the receiver of their happy hormone releases perceive that as disrespect and being thwarted, our authorities being thwarted.
I’m saying reframe this because if you can reframe this kind of thinking, those exasperated visions of your children, but also your significant other, or your parents or your siblings or whatever if you can reframe that as number one. I am witnessing the fact that this person is not coping.
They’re not, this is not something they’re doing to me. This is something that is happening to them. So that should help you get on their side and not feel like they’re directing it toward you. And number two, if you understand that that’s what’s going on, especially with your kids, say to them, do that again.
I think that New Year’s Eve is kind of an arbitrary thing. That’s like the financial year for me as a teacher. It was always September and June because those were the beginnings. Beginning of summer, the beginning of school. Beginning of summer. I would pick some time to resolve this. Then something’s gonna change. So go ahead and do it in January.
Because that’s what we do traditionally. But think about doing ’em again on the first day of spring. There’s another change going on there and do another one the first day of summer or the end of school. I mean, pick the ones that are significant to your life. Yeah. Now the reason why resolutions fail is that people don’t understand what they’re wishing for.
Many times they are thinking, I just want things to be better, which is a wish. And if you have a magical fountain to throw a coin in, that might come true. But you have to do something specific to do it. So, you may have heard of smart goals. I learned about smart goals in school because we were doing them with our kids, with our, we were doing with our lesson plans.
The smart goal means. They are great. I’m not saying they’re not great, they are great, but they have a limit, which I’ll address in a second. But I just wanna go over what smart goals are in case people aren’t familiar with them. It’s an acronym, which of course, every time I have to do an acronym, I can’t remember what it is, but the SS was being specific.
So the whole thing about a lifestyle change, What you have to do with a New Year’s resolution. And people aren’t willing to do that. They’re willing to change something so they can have a short-term reward. And that’s why things fail. I’m gonna give you one more example. This is about using reusable shopping bags. I wanted to use reusable shopping bags. I was using my single-use plastic bags repeatedly. I was using those for garbage and for things like that.
And I think that is gonna help us all so much going into 2021 with different expectations than we had. For 2020 and be able to evaluate how we want to be and how we want our life to be. And I think that this year has given everybody that perspective, which is kind of a gift, even though it’s been crazy, but it’s been able to give people that like time to self-evaluate, evaluate everything in their life.
And so then that way, using your tips and your advice, we can go into 2021 and really. What we want and have those tools to know how, so that’s awesome. Exactly, exactly. And I’m not saying it’s easy because you’re saying, I want this now. Gets a lot easier if you get rid of that. If you get rid of that and you say, instead substitute it with I’m on a journey.
Then it’s much more positive. And if you do it and you are consistent all the way. You know, cheers to you. But if you’re on and off again, off again, on again, off again, then you need to be objective and look at it and say, this is part of the process. And this is expected and this is okay.
I am in the process of working on that, and if I look back at where I was this time last year, I’m actually in a better place than I was last year. Because I’m motivated to work on it. I wasn’t last year. That’s huge. I’m gonna read that book and I’m gonna read all of your books as well.
Oh, wonderful. So tell the audience where the best place to connect with you is. I have a couple of places. If you are on Facebook and a mom. I have a mom group there called the Mom Meetup, raising Confident Girls. You’re all welcome to join. If you go to my website,] Deborah and davis.com, that’s Deborah with an H.
You can get a free copy of How to Keep Your Happy. Awesome. How to get your weight on Yes. And there’s a little experiment at the back of it on how music and media affect your mood. So it might be a little eye-opener for people. Plus it’s a project you can do with your kids. Oh, that’s so cool.
And then of course there’s my website, Deborah Ann Davis dot com and my books are wherever you get books, so, okay. Amazon, or, or you can, if you ever wanna sign the book, you can send me an email at info Deborah Ann Davis dot com and I can get a book to you signed. Oh, that’s so cool. I might have to do that option instead of ordering it from some random place.
This has been such a wonderful episode and the insights that you’ve given us, even like the facial techniques and all of those things. I mean, it’s just, it can be life-changing. I struggle with anxiety all the time. I’m gonna start implementing a lot of the things that you’ve given us just in this one little tiny podcast episode, and I’m gonna start reading all your books so I can use the rest of the tools that you have and hopefully reduce my anxiety.
If you have any questions, let us know! Reach out to us!
Check out Deborah’s series of articles called: Making Wonderful Holiday Memories During A Not-So-Wonderful Time.
You can find them at https://deborahanndavis.com/merry-meddling/
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