CK & GK Podcast

How You Can Set Healthy Boundaries for Kids: Kimball Lewis Empowers Parents

February 28, 2023 Jenny GK and Caitlin Kindred Season 2 Episode 58
How You Can Set Healthy Boundaries for Kids: Kimball Lewis Empowers Parents
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CK & GK Podcast
How You Can Set Healthy Boundaries for Kids: Kimball Lewis Empowers Parents
Feb 28, 2023 Season 2 Episode 58
Jenny GK and Caitlin Kindred

Send us a Text!

"You're in a new family now."

In this episode, Caitlin, Jenny, and Kimball Lewis cover: 

  1.'s history and mission, and how has it helped parents deal with difficult child behavior.
  2. Why setting boundaries for your kids improves their self-esteem and behavior.
  3. Strategies for setting rules and boundaries for children without having to engage in arguments. 

Kimball Lewis is the CEO of, a website offering free articles and resources to help parents of children exhibiting defiant, obnoxious behaviors. He is a parent coach and evangelist of the late James Lehman's Total Transformation program. He and the team at are on a mission to empower parents with the tools to deal with their children's difficult behaviors. coaches parents to help their children develop effective life skills, improve their behavior, and achieve higher self-esteem.

The best support is a rating and a share.


Support the Show.

View our website at . Find us on social media @ckandgkpodcast on
- Twitter
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- Facebook
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Thanks, y'all!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text!

"You're in a new family now."

In this episode, Caitlin, Jenny, and Kimball Lewis cover: 

  1.'s history and mission, and how has it helped parents deal with difficult child behavior.
  2. Why setting boundaries for your kids improves their self-esteem and behavior.
  3. Strategies for setting rules and boundaries for children without having to engage in arguments. 

Kimball Lewis is the CEO of, a website offering free articles and resources to help parents of children exhibiting defiant, obnoxious behaviors. He is a parent coach and evangelist of the late James Lehman's Total Transformation program. He and the team at are on a mission to empower parents with the tools to deal with their children's difficult behaviors. coaches parents to help their children develop effective life skills, improve their behavior, and achieve higher self-esteem.

The best support is a rating and a share.


Support the Show.

View our website at . Find us on social media @ckandgkpodcast on
- Twitter
- Instagram
- Facebook
- TikTok
Thanks, y'all!

It's Tuesday.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:00:03

We're so glad you're here. And today we're talking about parenting tips. So this will be good for most of our listeners, I think. So these are parenting tips that you're going to need to know with. Once again, the CEO of Empowering Parents, Mr. Kimball Lewis. We're so glad you're here. Welcome back.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:00:19

Thanks for coming.

Kimball Lewis 00:00:20

Thank you for having me again.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:00:22

Yeah, we're excited that you're back. We're excited that you wanted to come back and talk to us, given especially this morning's ridiculousness that's happening.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:00:32

Right? Us. Us recording in the morning. So today I will call Caitlin "Folgers."

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:00:38

Because she's the best part of waking up. 

Awww, that's a cute one. Well, Jenny over there will sing Soft kitty to you when you're sick, just like Penny does for sheldon on The Big Bang Theory. Such a good caretaker. I think you might be confusing that with smelly cat. That's a little different. Soft kitty. What are you trying to pull, mom?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:01:00

From the top.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:01:01

There you go. So let's just go ahead and catch up. Let's get into it. Yeah.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:01:06

Okay. So should we talk about what I'm obsessed with?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:01:09

Sure, go for it.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:01:11

Okay, so I am obsessed with makeup, and I'm not even wearing it, but I'm telling you, I went to a makeup masterclass this week.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:01:20


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:01:22

Yes. Well, as part of one of the organizations I'm in, we do a month of training opportunities for our members, and one of them was a makeup artist, and I was facilitating the class. But I'm also there for it, so.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:01:40

I might as well learn.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:01:42

And I have some great nuggets from this master class.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:01:47


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:01:48

The first one is when you are putting on eyeliner, and also, kimball sorry, I should have thought about this.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:01:57

Kimball is like, this is not applicable to me.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:02:01

Or he's like, generally wear makeup.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:02:04

And either one no judgment. Right? It is what right.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:02:08

Okay. So when you're putting on eyeliner, instead of, like, drawing it across your eye, you're supposed to smush it into your lash line. So imagine if you are holding the pencil or brush and you are kind of pushing up as if you're trying to flick on a light switch.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:02:28

Oh, weird. I always heard draw dots and then connect them. No, that's not it.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:02:33

Yeah, she was like, don't even draw and draw a line. Just up, up, and you start in the middle and you go out, and then you start in the middle and you go in.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:02:41

Okay, well, that's helpful because I was everyone's people who could do, like, the cat eye thing. I've never been able to do that, so okay, good to know.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:02:48

No, and she even said, like, we're not going to do that tonight. Tonight we're just going to put on eyeliner. It was perfect. It was wonderful. She did not try and take us to a place that we weren't ready for. The next one was apply more product than you think. You need. And I feel like this is just, like, for life. Not just for any type of makeup, but just, like, in general. Use more.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:03:10

Okay. Then you end up looking flownish. No.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:03:17

Because we were all so anxiety stricken and nervous about doing it wrong. She was like, you can always take that's true. You can always remove, but if you don't have enough on or you've missed a spot, it's obvious.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:03:30

That looks beautiful. You're right.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:03:32


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:03:33

That makes sense.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:03:33

Okay. And then my last little tip that she gave us that was, like, wipe off the tip of your mascara wand so that you can see a little bit of the silver metal that holds all the bristles in place, and use that tip to separate and kind of direct your lashes after you've applied mascara.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:03:57

What about all the product that's on the tip, though? I don't want to lose that.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:04:01

No, you wipe it into your container. Yeah. Okay. When you take the brush out yeah, just, like, kind of but then when you put the brush back in, it brings it back into the container. Okay. It was a total game changer. And again, start in the middle, work out. Start in the middle, work in.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:04:20


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:04:21

Now, here is my giant takeaway from the clock, and she must have said this, like, 22 times, and this is a woman who her insta handle is at Mdh Beauty. Okay. She has been doing makeup professionally for, like, 20 something years. She may or may not have done some people who are married on bravo.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:04:45

Really? You know that's going to peak. Yeah, that's what I'm saying.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:04:51

I've held onto this. I did not lead with this. I buried the headline on purpose. But she was like, yeah, their husbands are famous, and I did their makeup when they were on bravo. Like, she cannot say this, but we know exactly what she did.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:05:08

The glam squads. Right.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:05:13

So NDA mdh beauty.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:05:16


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:05:16

But she must have said this 25 times. It's no big deal. It's just makeup.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:05:21

Yeah. It's supposed to be fun, right?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:05:23

And I was like, you know what?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:05:25

You're right.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:05:25

Like, it is no big deal. It's just makeup. One of those girls I've been wearing makeup since before I was allowed to, but it was really interesting to have someone say, like, have fun with it.

Kimball Lewis 00:05:38

It's no big deal.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:05:39

Yeah. As someone who's been smearing, you know, bonnie Bell, Dr. Pepper lipsmacker on my whole mouth since I was, you know, nine years old, that is kind of refreshing to hear. Right? Like right. Yeah. So I work from home now. I used to be the classroom teacher, and now I work from home, so I had to redo the office, which you've seen. You know what it looks like.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:06:04

They have this desk that has its own zip code.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:06:07

It's really big, but it's because it's for two people. Right.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:06:11

It's kind of like if a double vanity bathroom wasn't.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:06:16

Yes. So I have my set up over by the window, so I get some natural light, and then there's the other one in the corner, and there's two office chairs that match. And my office chair wheels were driving me crazy. And someone put on LinkedIn, like, hey, change out your office chair wheels. And so I put, like, those roller blade style wheels on my office chair. I'm obsessed.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:06:40

It's so much easier to do that.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:06:43

Oh, you just pop them off.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:06:44

Are they universal?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:06:46

Yeah, you could just pop them off. They have, like, a little I just hit my elbow on the desk. That's what that loud bang was. Sorry, guys. But yeah, you just pull them right off, and they have, like, just a peg that goes in, and they stay in because you're sitting on the seat, so it's like it's going to fall out. kimball do you work from home? Most of the time?

Kimball Lewis 00:07:02

I do. Since 2012.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:07:04

Doing it since before it was cool way back.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:07:07

You're like a pioneer.

Kimball Lewis 00:07:09

Yeah. We use skype back in the day.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:07:11

Oh, my goodness.

Kimball Lewis 00:07:12

But the company I was working with then, we was a startup. And we very quickly went from zero employees to 70 in 25 states in two years. And we had an office in Washington, DC. That was our main sort of headquarters, and then another one in Portland, Maine. But we hired everyone with the intention that they would not have to move. And that was by design, because we knew we needed really good people, and we weren't going to be able to find exactly who we needed in Portland, Maine, and Washington, DC. We needed a bigger and we weren't expecting people to get people to move is hard, especially for a small start up. We had, like, very high aspirations, but we didn't know how it was going to work out. And to get people to move is hard, especially now. It requires a spouse to quit their job. And the ideal at a start up, the ideal I could go on forever on this. But the ideal employee is, like, mid 30s. They don't need to be managed. But they're not managers themselves. Like, they haven't they know how to do the work. They're not they're not rusty. And that's that's the age that that parents usually have kids and other stuff, and moving is very difficult and whatever. So we just said, you guys could stay where you are, and we'll hire you. And if it works out, terrific. And if it doesn't, then you haven't moved. You haven't sold your house, you haven't up into your life.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:08:37

Wow. And for our younger listeners, 2012, we actually did have a life. Internet. At that time.

Kimball Lewis 00:08:46

Everyone used skype. That was the only way. A lot of options.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:08:49

Now, zoom was not a thing, honestly.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:08:52

Oh, yeah. No. When John and I were first dating in 2013, we would skype, and I was like, man, this technology is amazing.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:08:59

Oh, man. Did you hear that? This is a completely random sidebar, but did you hear that the very first model iphone, the one that came out in 2007 or something, just was sold at auction for, like, $64,000? It's, like, mint condition, new inbox, and someone bought it for $64,000 or something like that. Why? Anyway, all that to say, it's made a difference. My roller blade wheels on my desk chair have made a big difference.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:09:27

Oh, right, yeah.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:09:29

If you're annoyed by your desk setup and your chair is one of the things that bugs you, look into that. They were, like, $20 or something, and you just pop your old desk chair wheels right off and put these ones on. Took me ten minutes.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:09:41

I want you to wear wrist guards and a helmet and be like, Roller girl at work. Maybe you could get, like, some lace gloves or a cool name.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:09:54

I need a lot of neon. Well, the thing that really made the difference, I mean, aside from the fact that it actually rolls smoothly, is that the wheels on my desk chair were so loud. I'd be in a meeting, and it'd be like rain or rain as I'm adjusting myself, trying to make sure I'm facing the right way and all that stuff. So it's just a lot quieter. It's so much better, and it's a lot more smooth. So if that's something that might work for you, then you should do it.

Kimball Lewis 00:10:24

Where do you buy the wheels?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:10:25

Where do I buy I just got them off the Giant that, the giant store that sells all the things from A to Z that doesn't sponsor us. Super helpful. Highly recommend. I can put a link. I can send you a link in Bull if you want.

Kimball Lewis 00:10:44

No, I'm interested because I'm very picky. Like, I want a good chair, but, like, I've bought chairs for a corporate environment.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:10:50

They're like, yeah, good.

Kimball Lewis 00:10:51

$1,000 each. I mean, like, nice chairs in an office are not like they're really, really expensive. And, like, at home, I'm like, am I going to spend that kind of money for a chair? But then you buy a crappy chair.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:11:02

And you're like, yeah, right.

Kimball Lewis 00:11:04

This is terrible.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:11:04

And the wheels the whole episode of The Office where pam is buying for chairs, and someone else is like, oh, we need to get a copy machine, or whatever.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:11:13

Yeah, it's the chair model.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:11:14

Now that I know that chairs are $1,000.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:11:16

Yeah, it's a start.

Kimball Lewis 00:11:18

Like, minimum. You can pay up to two. I mean, they're really expensive, the nice ones. Nice ones.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:11:22

Good for your back and all that stuff.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:11:24

I also have are you talking about, like, a recliner?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:11:27

No, just a nice regular it's a lazy Boy. So no, it's made a big difference. And this is not an expensive chair. It just happened that these wheels were recommended, and I was like, all right, I'm going to do this, and it has made a big difference for me. So if you work from home, look into that. It's helpful. All right, well, do you have anything, any gems from the week? Because okay, those are good.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:11:53

Today we have Kimball Lewis, CEO of Empowering I have some kid quotes for you that I collected this week as my gems. Yes, do it. The first one caitlyn has already heard, so her reaction is going to be a little forced. The second one I have not told her about. So we will have an authentic laugh.

Kimball Lewis 00:12:13


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:12:14

As you know, we are deep into flag football season, and pretty much my kids are playing year round now, which is great and terrible so much. And it's these lousy Friday night games, right? Like, Kit, four years old, plays at 06:00 p.m.. abby, eleven years old, plays at either eight or 09:00 p.m.. Not okay.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:12:35

It's really not.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:12:35

It's not. It's awful. First off, the kids are tired.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:12:39


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:12:39

Secondly Friday night.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:12:41

Everyone's tired Friday night.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:12:42

But aside, we are driving home from a midweek practice and Kit and I are in the car and I said, oh, we should stop and get snow cones. So we did, and I got sugar free pina colada, in case you were wondering. Yeah, we're eating our snow cones. And I said, man, this snow cones a great dinner, isn't it? And he goes, nah, it's just my night breakfast. Totally called me out. He's like, Mom, I am not going to accept the snow cone night breakfast we're going to cook for me when we get home. This is my night.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:13:16

I tried to pass off a snow cone as dinner is hilarious. It's literally ice. Like, you can't.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:13:25

This one had gummy bears in it.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:13:28


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:13:29

It was ice and two kinds.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:13:31

Night breakfast of champions.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:13:32

Both the gummy bear and the bread and the syrup. Yes. Night breakfast of champions. I just thought maybe he'll buy it. Maybe he'll be like, yeah, this is a fun tired?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:13:43

No, I'll go to sleep right away when we get home. No, that's hilarious.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:13:49

No. Okay, so the second one is straight from the mouth of my eleven year old daughter as I'm making meatballs, which is really funny because last week's episode was about dinners that you make when you can't make dinner. Snow cone doesn't count.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:14:05

No, it does not. You've been called out, right? You have been called up.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:14:09

But meatballs was one of the ones I said like, hey, meatballs. Because you could pull them out of the freezer mid week and just depress them. So I'm making meatballs, and one of the ways that I do this is buying premade sausage, okay? Because it's already seasoned and it's already like a blend of fatty meat and lean meat, and they didn't have any ground sausage that wasn't in casing. So I just bought a bunch of Italian sausages, and then I was squeezing the meat out of the casing, and abigail looks at me and she goes, that looks like someone taking off their spanks.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:14:44

Excuse me. Just because it's £10 of meat in a five pound bag does not mean that you get to call me out for it. Oh, my gosh.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:14:54

That's hysterical and awful.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:14:57


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:14:57

Two thoughts went through my head when she said this. First is okay. Yeah, you're right.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:15:03

Yeah, it does.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:15:04

Number two is, besides me, how many people take off?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:15:09

This feels like judgment, and I'm not here for it. I don't like it.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:15:14

I love that you said people, but what she meant was you right.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:15:20

No, mom, I didn't mean you. Who else, though?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:15:24

Yeah, who else are you watching?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:15:25

Take off, Spain, and never come into my room again when the door is closed, because now I can't trust that you're not going to judge me about it. Leave.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:15:32


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:15:34

Oh, man, my heart is hurting. Okay, well, we've talked about this a lot. My ADHD is rampant, and my medication wear is off in the evening, so I am not particularly detail oriented in the evening as I need to be. So yesterday I am placing a grocery order, and I forgot a couple of things. And so after falling asleep with a computer on my lap last night, I remembered, oh, I need to order a couple of other things. I'm going to go into the app and just add to the order. And usually when you search, at least with this particular grocery store, I have an app. When you search, the first thing that comes up is probably something you've already ordered, right? Like, it knows that you ordered this thing already. So I was trying to order margarine.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:16:29

So you can make grilled cheeses.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:16:30

Yes. This is what I thought I ordered. Okay. This is what I thought I ordered. Last night, after falling asleep and adding to the order, this morning, my husband goes to pick up the groceries, and this is what I actually got, guys. This is the size of my face, what I thought I ordered. It is what I actually got.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:16:51


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:16:52

This tub of margarine is the size of my face. I'm not even kidding. Normal tub of margarine fits in your hand.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:16:58


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:16:59

This is the size of it.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:17:00

It was going to be one of those situations where I thought I ordered grape kool aid, but what I actually got was grape scented cleaning.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:17:11

No material. No. This is a tub of margarine the size of my face. Yes.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:17:16

She holds up margarine in a normal size and then says, what I actually ordered is this margarine. That is large enough for a family of 22 or a cruise ship.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:17:28

It is triple the size, triple the weight of what I normally buy. And this margarine lasts, what, like, a month or two at least, right? I don't know. We don't use it for everything. We usually use butter, but I meant.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:17:44

Like, what was the shelf life? I cannot tell you.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:17:47

Hopefully it's long enough. Hopefully it's get through. That eight or nine months. This says September 23. All right, so it's February now, so I got six months to eat.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:17:59

It's a race against the clock. Will she finish the Margaret butter on.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:18:03

Everything for the next eight months and not even real butter? Country spread. That is not it's generic country croc stuff.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:18:14


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:18:15

So that was me. That's my gem. This is this morning. My husband, he's like this. Let's just hope it fits in the fridge. So, yeah, we have to play tetris with the fridge now to try and get the butter to go in there. I was like, I can take it back. And he's like, why, it's probably cheaper per ounce. I'm sure it's cheaper per ounce, and we will use it. It'll just take nine months to do it. And when we're done, we'll have a nice bucket for when someone needs to get sick in the house, right? Because it's that big, right? Oh, my goodness. That's my life, guys. Okay. Yeah.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:18:50

Well, all right, we have to take a quick break. We're going to hear from some friends of ours at doom Generation, so stick with us. We'll be right back.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:19:00

All right, we all know ck and gk love to support fellow indie podcasts, so here's another show you might really love.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:19:06

Did you grow up with a lack of parental supervision? Do you know all the lyrics to the Fresh Prince of bel Air? Remember merriment Cheese and the pry guys have an inexplicable love for the California racists. Can you remember madonna's original phase? Then you might be a part of this. doom Generation laugh until you cry with us each week as we stumble blindly through the memories of the movie. Another random thing that doomed us to these salty, sarcastic sardonic lee. You want a hayworth? You know us, you love us. You can't live without us. doom Generation, available everywhere you find podcasts.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:19:38

Thanks for listening to our friends. Back to the show.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:19:44

And we're back.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:19:48

We're here. And kimball is here. Kimball Lewis, the CEO of Again, thank you so much for joining us and coming back with us. And last time you were here, we sort of got the overview big picture of some great, helpful, fundamental parenting tips. And you don't need to go through all of those by any means, but if you just want to give us a quick sort of overview of what you guys do at Empowering Parents and how that sort of came to be for you.

Kimball Lewis 00:20:19

So we are empowering That's our website. And most people find us by doing a Google search. They're struggling with some kind of child behavior problem. defiance back talk all the way up to I'm scared of my child, because a lot of times we deal with parents whose kids can get violent also. And they find us because we have hundreds of articles on our site. Very useful practical tips on dealing with child behavior problems and the fundamental philosophy behind all of our articles that are free on our site. So if you go to, you can find all of our articles there. The philosophy behind all of it comes from the work of this guy named James lehman, who in the late 2000s, came out with something called the Total Transformation Program. And it's a how to manual for dealing with kids who exhibit defiant, obnoxious behaviors that a lot of parents are dealing with. With kids not just like your normal run of the mill stuff. It's the kind that when you're at your wits end, you start googling, what do I do about this? I don't know how to deal with this. These aren't because the parents are bad. Very often a situation is you have two kids that are fine, and one of them is hard. It's just really difficult, and you're not sure how to deal with that. So James lehman put this program together, and the reason he knows about this is he was one of those kids. He spent his teen and early 20 years very defiant. He ended up being in and out of jail. He lived in New York City. He was oppositional defiant. There's a diagnosis called Odd, which you'll hear about sometimes, oppositional defiant disorder. He was defiant with his parents, he was defined with the law, everything. So he finally, in his mid 20s, was sentenced to either go to jail or go through this accountability based program that they were experimenting with. And he went through it, and it changed his life. And then he went on to fordham University and then on to Boston University and got a master's in social work. And he spent 30 years working with defiant kids who were just like himself, mostly in group home settings, but also in a private practice. And after those 30 years, he had a formula down for how you deal with kids that exhibit these behaviors. And when he worked with parents of these kids, he's like, you don't need to get a master's degree, but there's some certain things you just need to know when you're dealing with kids like this. And he was able to put that into a course that if you do about an hour or two a week, you can go through it in about eight weeks. And that's what the Total Transformation Program was. And it's about understanding your kids behaviors, why they do those things, and then as a parent, what's effective and ineffective in dealing with those behaviors. And he articulates all this. So it's basically a how to manual on dealing with these kids that are just difficult, they're hard, and he had tremendous success. So it's a program of hope for a lot of parents that feel that they're in a hopeless situation with their kids because we have a tremendous success rate and helps so many parents. He unfortunately passed away in 2010, kind of unexpectedly at the very height of his popularity. So a couple of years after that, I came in and back then, the way you get content was not through podcasts like this. It was through books and dvds. And the whole program was a set of books and dvds that you worked with. And we had parent coaching back then also, so you could call and talk to a personal coach about your situation. But I came in as having a background in child welfare research, but also a technology background. And we put all this online, so it's modern now. My goal is to continue to evangelize and make available the concepts and the total transformation program for parents who are just struggling with these issues. And they've tried lots of things. They don't know where to turn and they need help. So that's where we are today.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:24:02

Well, thank you for that.

Kimball Lewis 00:24:04

I think we've helped. We've worked with about 500,000 parents over the last ten years or so. It's been a wildly imagine that if.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:24:13

You were to check your metrics, your Internet traffic is highest round about seven or 08:00 p.m., where the parents are pulling their hair out and saying, what do I do?

Kimball Lewis 00:24:24

Actually, we do this because we do mailings and stuff and we want to know when people are most likely to get them.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:24:30


Kimball Lewis 00:24:30

Mid afternoon, right? And then seven, eight o'clock at night, because mid afternoon people are at work or doing whatever. Not that anyone would look at the Internet at work, but they need a distraction. Mid afternoon, in the evenings, seven, eight o'clock at night, people are that's when they start googling us. And we see it on our website. Traffic too. We get about 7 million visitors a year on our website, so we have a lot of traffic. And we used to sell just United States and Canada. We're worldwide, so we deal with I mean, mostly we're englishmen, but we have lots and lots of customers out of the UK. Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and I think we've dealt with like 30 countries. We looked it up once. There's a lot of expats English speaking expats.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:25:18

Parenting is the same everywhere. Right.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:25:19

Universal, right?

Kimball Lewis 00:25:23

It is. The concepts are pretty much universal. There are some differences in how cultures deal with it, but in general, when parents are coming to us, it's it's kind of a universal problem. It's a human problem.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:25:33

Exactly. I can speak to just having been on the site myself looking for various tips and I mean, I might be accountable for like, you know, 25,000 of those hits that you're getting on that website. Just a few. But just the practical nature of what's available on is actually probably my favorite thing about it. It's like you see so many articles that are like, they say their how to articles, but it's theory and it's not applicable right away. And I think that's what sets your program is that it is something that I can go, okay, this is a tip. I can actually use this the next time I interact with my child, which is incredibly helpful for $0.

Kimball Lewis 00:26:23

Yeah, I'm glad you said that because.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:26:24

We for $0, right. You have all kinds of services that come with associated costs, but there's all kinds of free resources on your website as well.

Kimball Lewis 00:26:34

Yeah. You come sign up for our newsletter. The best thing to do is to come to our website, powerapps dom, and sign up for the newsletter and you'll get two to three articles that we'll feature each week and that will give you an idea of where you are. It's one of those things where if you sign up for the total transformation program, it's one of those things like the difference between reading some articles, read the class, the class often there's an accountability to do in the class and you see it from sort of beginning to end. So you get the whole picture. You get a little bit of the theory, but then you very quickly get into the it's really a how to manually tell you we actually give you the words to say, like when your child does ex, like, what do you say? Because if you've ever been in couple I think I mentioned this to the last podcast. If you've been in couples therapies before, you realize that there's communication problems is a big issue between couples. But it's the same with kids. A lot of times that we have issues with our kids and stuff, we're not communicating properly with them. And we talk about what words to say. That's the exact words. But basically you need to say this. And we'll also say don't say this. And I don't know if I talked about the Ytrap.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:27:37

We did discuss that last episode.

Kimball Lewis 00:27:39

Yeah. So the Y trap is don't ask your child why they're doing something. Just say these are the rules. Because when you ask why, you're asking for an excuse and you start realizing why I'm asking. I'm saying, why do my kid all the time like, I don't need to know why. I don't need an excuse. I need you to follow the reasonable rules of this house.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:27:55

And I think also you mentioned in that same sort of wiretap idea that not only do you not need to know why they're doing it, but also they don't need to know why. That's your rule. The rule is the rule because you said this is the rule. You are going to do this. And I don't need to explain myself to you because just like I don't need an excuse. You don't need an excuse from me either. You're going to do what I asked. So that was one of the ones.

Kimball Lewis 00:28:22

I and if you're struggling with that at home and you go. To our website what's one of our most popular articles is. Explain yourself once and move on.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:28:29

Loved it.

Kimball Lewis 00:28:31

It's not your job to convince your child to agree with the rules, right? It doesn't have to be that way. We think you should have reasonable rules in your household based on what your values are. I'm not going to say what your values ought to be because it's up to your household. That varies by a household and it's whatever the house, as long as it's not abusive. But I can't say what your values are in your household and you can't say what they are in my household. Maybe it's not the perfect solution, but it's better than the alternative, which is that someone else is telling you what your values are to be in your household. So we respect parents. We respect the notion that parents get to make the rules and set the values within their household. That's going to vary what we don't recommend, and you're free to do this, we just tell you if you come to us and this is what you want, we're probably not the right place for you. And that is the kids make the rules in the household or it's a 50 50. It's not. We think that the parents have legitimate authority in the household. They ought to, and not everyone agrees with that. And I understand some of those arguments, but we're probably not the right place for you. And we would tell you that there's some other places you could go if that's your viewpoint. We just don't think that's effective.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:29:46

I think that's an interesting point. So I'm going to kind of pivot a little bit this conversation. We've both been classroom teachers. jenny's still in the classroom. And one of the things that we talk about for buy in for kids, for classroom rules is having them help you establish the expectations of the classroom, right? And especially in middle school, kids know what general classroom rules are. So the brainstorming session is not necessarily authentic, right, because they know what they're supposed to say. But there is a little bit more buy in when you do have kids say like, this is why we should have this rule. Right. So I get that piece of it, but I feel like that one in particular may not be as applicable to a classroom. But Jenny, I feel like there's something here for you.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:30:38

Yeah. So if you listeners are interested more in how the total transformation and is kind of applicable just in the parenting realm, I encourage you to go back and listen to episode 49 where we had kimball on the first time. But like Caitlin said, we're going to try and apply this in a couple of different unique situations, starting with the classroom. So kimball kind of talked to us a little bit about how the philosophy and the ideals of and the total transformation program can be applied in a classroom situation where there is a different dynamic, learning has to be at the center.

Kimball Lewis 00:31:24

Yeah. We will actually tell parents that are dealing with these issues to use a school as their model. Sometimes that's interesting because, for example, in a classroom, we'll say to parents, if you're having issues with your kids, write the rules down of the household and put them on the fridge. Right. So one thing in the classroom is that everyone ought to know what the rules are and should be able to point at them. So if your classroom doesn't have what the basic you don't have a thousand of them, but sort of basic rules of how you conduct yourself within this classroom. We highly recommend those are written down so you can point to them. And that's for a couple of reasons. One is sometimes some kids don't really know like you assume they do, because you'd think like, oh, that's just natural, you ought to know that. But sometimes they don't. And the other thing is, when they break the rule, you say, why am I getting in trouble? It's because you broke the rule and you point to the rule. It's not because I decided at this moment that I don't like what you did and now you're getting punished for it. That makes it a personal thing between you and the child. You want it to be between the child and the rules. Yeah, if that makes sense. I might have used example before about this, about if you get pulled over for speeding and if there's no speeding signs and it's up to the police officer's discretion as to what speeding is, you can again argument every single time. The police officer doesn't want that. The police officer wants to be able to say you were going 70. The speed limit is 50. There's the sign says 50, you were going 70. That's why you get in the ticket. Cuts down on the arguments to have the rules. So if your classroom doesn't have the rules clearly defined and you're having issues in your classrooms, make sure the rules are defined.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:33:03

I like that. And if you are a teacher who doesn't want to post classroom rules, I completely understand that. What you can do is kind of talk about what your community norms are or what your expectations or even your community's beliefs. Because if it says we care about each other's learning and someone is exhibiting a behavior that doesn't reflect that it's the same, right? You can point back and say, does your behavior reflect that you care about someone else's learning? So I love that. Even if you don't have the rules posted word for word, this is what we do, this is what we don't. Even having some core beliefs posted is very valuable. Keep going. Love it.

Kimball Lewis 00:33:43

If your classroom is generally fine, then you don't need that. This is for issues when you're having a problem and it's actually helpful for the we suggest these things. It's helpful for the child, actually. It's helpful for the child to know where the boundaries are and sort of what the rules and the parameters are. Kids actually don't like when things are completely wide open and loosey goosey. It actually causes stress. They don't know where the boundaries are. And our roles as parents and teachers are often to set limits. There are certain limits in life, and these are where they are. And kids job is to test those limits, which they do naturally. We should expect them to. The arguing with kids, we would say, don't argue with kids.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:34:31

Don't get to come to everyone you're invited, right? You don't have to attend it.

Kimball Lewis 00:34:36


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:34:38

I'm cheering because that was the theme of the last episode when we worked together.

Kimball Lewis 00:34:43

Yeah, that's completely natural as well. And the other thing I don't know if I talked about this in the last one, but all kids have challenges. Everyone has challenges. Whether you have adhd, whether you have odd, whether you're going through a divorce, whether you're the child of a single parent, whether you have financial difficulties, whether you're in middle school or high school and you've broken up with a boyfriend or whatever. Very few people make it through without having significant issues that they struggle with of various degrees or whatever. What we caution teachers and parents is to although we all have these things, don't let those become an excuse for the behaviors.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:35:34

Right, I couldn't agree more, because we're.

Kimball Lewis 00:35:37

All dealing with stuff. Nothing ever gives you license to abuse other people.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:35:42


Kimball Lewis 00:35:43

And we have this thing there's no excuse for abuse. I don't care how low your self esteem is. You cannot abuse someone else and be obnoxious and disrespectful for someone else because you don't feel good about yourself. And when you get to the phase of like you're training them as to what we're talking with them about what they can do next, next, next time this happens, that's acceptable behavior, not unacceptable behavior, because you're going to get angry in the future. Here's what you can do when you get angry instead of abusing other kids. And it's good to understand where they're coming from for that, but it should never be an excuse for that. And James lehman talked about this a lot, which was it's still going on now as much, but probably not as much, but he saw what they call the esteem movement was moving through the psychology world in the he didn't like that because he saw that. And the concept is this, which is true. It's true that bad behaviors and low self esteem, there's a very high correlation between those two things. And he saw the world trying to prescribe solving behavior problems by raising the kids esteem. And he's like, that's just not effective. It doesn't work that way. And he actually saw the opposite happen, which was that he felt strongly that very often the bad behaviors caused the low self esteem, and that if you can learn to behave more appropriately, your esteem will rise. His route to improving self esteem was to coach, hold them accountable and coach them on how to behave more appropriately. And kids who learned the basic life skills of how to behave appropriately develop higher self esteem as a result. He was always like and you coach them how to behave effectively when they're not feeling good, when they're feeling angry, when they're feeling frustrated, when they're feeling like something's not fair, they need to learn how to channel that appropriately. And then when they learn how to do that, their esteemed generally rises as well. And it was all around sort of effectiveness.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:37:44

You hear this kind of stuff in classroom management circles all the time, right? It's like when there's a kid who is considered to be like a high flyer or has issues with behavior in class, you find the good things that they're doing, and then you call them out for it because then eventually it's positive attention and they like getting them. It does build their esteem and it changes the behavior over time. I'm just hearing good teaching, right? You set the expectations. You have empathy for what the child is going through. But empathy is not the same thing as an excuse, right? It's a reason for the behavior, but it's not an excuse for what's happening. So just right now I have goosebumps on my arm.

Kimball Lewis 00:38:30

So that's really, really good, Caitlin. I'm really glad you brought that up because James lehman talks about this. He says praising a child for doing something that's easy or that they're already doing is not helpful to raise their self esteem. Like if he talks about this, like if you're twelve and they tie their shoelace and you go, oh, that's great, you can tie your shoelace, like, of course they can tie their shoe. They're supposed to tie their shoelace when they're twelve. When they're three or four, they learn how to do that, that's fine, or whatever. So he says, like, he's like, that doesn't help, he says. But he does point out one thing, which is that kids that are experiencing behavior problems are getting yelled at and corrected all the time. That's their life existence. They get it at home, they get it at school, they get it wherever. They're constantly having a negative reaction from adults who don't like their behavior. Now, obviously that would get better if their behavior improved, but when they do things correctly, he says, it's vitally important. When they do something correctly, you need to point it out and go, look, I saw that you got frustrated with Jimmy this period, and I really liked how you handled it. You didn't fly off the handle or whatever. He goes, you got to keep doing that. Keep doing that. You did it. See, you won't be 100%, but like you did at that time, you can do it again. And point out he talks about not doing it falsely over the top or whatever he says, but it's very important because they will have successes here and there. You have to point it out to them. It's exactly what you're saying, Caitlin. You have to tell them when they've done it correctly because they're 99%. They're getting not praised. They're getting correction, correction, correction.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:40:09

There's something to be said for looking at a child and saying, I know that you have X number of hard times or we all deal with challenges, but I believe you can do better. I am not going to hold you to a lower standard because you have a different story. I believe in you. I know that you can. And I want you to know that I believe in you just as much as the other kid down the street.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:40:34

And I think that coupling that with a powerful statement of not just I believe you can, but also I've seen you do it, there's actual evidence of this because I think that those kids also hear things like, I believe in you all the time, and it just feels disingenuous over time. You know what I mean? Or when you say you all have challenges, it's like, well, you're not experiencing my challenge. So if you couple that with, yes, I believe you can do it. And the reason I believe is because I have evidence to back it up. I watched you do it this time and this time and this time. So I know that you know how to handle yourself, and I'm just going to hold you to that because you can.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:41:08

That's awesome.

Kimball Lewis 00:41:10

Words are cheap. So if you tell kids something, it means much less than if you show them something. So if you tell them they're great but you don't hold them accountable for their behavior, then it's like you've given up on them and they start to internalize that. They're like, oh, wow, I'm on such a lost cause. They don't even get me in trouble anymore when I do something that's completely.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:41:29

Inappropriate or not completely inappropriate, but just a little bit.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:41:34


Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:41:34

If the standard for Jimmy is different than it is for John, because John's normally really well behaved, but John gets in trouble for chewing gum and Jimmy doesn't, well, that doesn't feel good to.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:41:50

Jimmy or John, right.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:41:52

The standard is the same and it doesn't matter what infraction has been made. I love that. All right, so looking at time and thinking about where we want to go, I am going to take the conversation out of the classroom and two single parent families, or families that are coparenting and are divorced or in two separate households divorced, talk to us about communication strategies. How do we deal with these kind of situations?

Kimball Lewis 00:42:28

Coparenting where the parents either totally disagree or are divorced or never married and then tagonistic towards one another is one of the most difficult situations. So if you're in that situation, it's not easy. And we tell you that ahead of time. It's hard enough dealing with a child with behavior issues when both parents are on the same page generally. But when the parents are not on the same page and the child behaving has behavior issues, it just makes it that much more difficult. So a couple of tenants that we tell parents early on when we work with these parents is in the case of a divorce situation where it's two households, you don't make the rules in the other household and you can't and you shouldn't try to.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:43:23

And you shouldn't try to because that is hard.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:43:26

That's a big one.

Kimball Lewis 00:43:27

It's going to use all your emotional energy for something that you don't have the legal right to do and you're 99% chance you're not going to be able to be successful at it. And we're all about do what's effective and don't use all your energies on something that's almost certainly not going to work. When you're particularly in an antagonistic situation with an X and you want to try to set what the rules are, what bedtime is in that household, it backfires. And in the same vein that X can't tell you what the rules are in your household, this is a less than ideal situation because you might want to set consistent rules and other stuff around like either phone user bedtimes or standards of behavior or what movies you're allowed to watch or not watch or whatever. And the rules in one house are different than the rules in the other house. And that stinks. It's hard. It's hard on the kids. It would be best whatever you can do if you can find a middle ground with your co parent, you got to try to find it. If you can, if it exists, if you can somehow for the sake of your child find that middle ground even though you have reasons not to like that other coparent or whatever. But the ideal situation in this when the parents don't like each other and this is what you want to look for. If they both share the same goal of they want the child to be better off and in a good position and dealing with their behavior issues, you want to aim for that because if you have the same goal, you can at least negotiate as to how do we reach that goal. But in general, very often these situations, there's so much animosity going on that the parents will play the kids off each other and do all sorts of stuff. But you can't make the rules in that household and it doesn't focus on the rules within your own household. And you need to explain to your child that when you're home, these are the rules in the household and your dad or your mom gets to make the rules in their household. But here's what the rules are and just focus on that.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:45:43

Maybe the starting point to that conversation is what do we both want out of, like, what do we both want for the child? Right. Because I always told my students, like when we were, when I was a math teacher, it was, I don't care how you get the solution. If the logic is sound right, you can use this problem solving method or this problem solving method, but if you get to the goal, it's fine. Right. I understand both. So I know what your thinking is. That's okay, so maybe it's something similar where it's okay, we both want to make sure that Johnny is successful. So at this one particular thing, or Johnny does his homework or whatever, so at least we know that's in common and let's work towards right. Think about the end goal and then work towards it from there. That's probably the only starting point that you have, I guess.

Kimball Lewis 00:46:31

Yeah. And, and when parents disagree on how you get to that goal because that's fundamentally they can just disagree on how to get there. What we often suggest is you have to be willing to try the other person, what they're doing. You may not agree with it, but we would like to frame it this way, which is say, okay, we can do what you're doing, but let's ahead of time figure out how are we going to know if it's working or not. Let's define how it's going to be working or not. In three months, we'll see if their grades turn around and if the grades don't turn around, then maybe we try my way and at least agree on what success looks like. But again, that's an ideal case where there's communication, both parents there's communication and the parents are more important for them. They both care about the kids outcomes. Or I should put it this way, they care more about the kids outcomes than they do about their winning the fight with their co parents, sticking it to the coparent. There's. A lot of people will use their kids despite their ex. We see that all the time when that's happening because that happens. One of the other tenants of this whole thing is, don't blame your co parent whose parenting you disagree with for your child's behavior. In other words, don't use that as an excuse for child's behavior because at the end of the day, it's your child who's not doing the studying. It's your child who's, who's being disrespectful or not following your cursor rules or whatever.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:48:26

So they have the capacity in your.

Kimball Lewis 00:48:28

Mind, you can say, well, this would be they do. Yes. You need to hold them accountable, keep it about them, and you don't want them to use the parent as an.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:48:38

Well, and ultimately those kids are going to love to be adults. Right, exactly. You don't want that cycle to continue into adulthood. So you have to put it on them. You just have to.

Kimball Lewis 00:48:53

Even if you're hard of heart of hearts you believe that the reason they're doing is because the parents not parenting them well, you have about 0% chance of getting that parent to change their style but you have a very high chance of having your child learn how to behave correctly despite having a parent who doesn't parent well. So again, it's all about effectiveness and who has agency. So we talk about agency as agency is who has the ability to make the change the child does. And so you want to keep the accountability on them and not let them use just like just like, you know, I explained earlier that you don't want them to use low self esteem as an excuse for their bad behavior. You don't want them to use the divorce as an excuse for their behavior. You don't want them to use the other parent as an excuse for behavior. And I want to point out here because this isn't always obvious but when we're talking about these situations we're talking about what we call good enough parents and good enough households. They don't have to be superstar parents or superstar households, whatever that is. But these are just generally households that they're trying to get by and they're trying to do usually the best for their kids. What I'm not talking about is if you have households for which there's significant abuse, there's significant drugs or alcohol problem or that kind of stuff, those issues are so damaging that a lot of the stuff we're talking about there's other stuff that's going on that's more important that you got to solve those needs. Like if your house is on fire, don't worry about your parenting until the right. But the vast majority of people coming to us are what we call good enough parents from good enough households, not anything else going on. You're doing your best. Yes, and that's the vast majority of these issues anyway. But there are situations where there's like really significant abuse or substance abuse going on that you can't have a normal household where there's like serious substance abuse going on. All of the stuff I'm talking about, when that's what the issue is and parents come to us, we actually won't work with them. We'll say you need to find some local resources that are dealing with this more specific problem. You've got some big issues that you.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:51:12

Need to address, get law enforcement involved and then when the issues are calm you can come back. Yeah, that makes sense, right?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:51:19

But triage is natural, right? You do have to deal with what's most important. It's just the same thing as making sure that the kid has breakfast before. Of course if a child is hungry they're not going to learn as well as a child who's fed that this makes sense, right.

Kimball Lewis 00:51:39

Trying to think of the other key things on the coparent thing. One is no matter how bad the other parent is, don't talk badly about them in front of the child.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:51:46

You said that.

Kimball Lewis 00:51:47

Don't keep them out of it. Keep them out of it as much as you can. If you're going through divorce, you can ask the kid, if you need to talk about it, let me know. But you don't need the kids have confusing enough lights growing up anyway. They don't need to be privy to what's going on in the divorce in terms of, like, what the issues are or anything like that. They're not your confident in this, and they shouldn't be. If you need that, find a friend or a therapist. Don't make it your child. Keep them out of it as best you can. My parents got divorced. I didn't know what was going on at the time. I'm thankful for them for that.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:52:24

I was in the dog, and I'm.

Kimball Lewis 00:52:26

Like, so glad I was a kid.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:52:27

Who'S going through that. You don't need to make it worse for them by dumping by using them as your therapist or a pond. Right.

Kimball Lewis 00:52:38

And they're not capable of dealing with that, their brains, and they're not capable of it. And we recommend that parents don't rely on your child to send messages back and forth to the coparent and don't accept messages from them as like, this is what my dad my dad said it was talking to the other coparent. Make sure you have that independent thing.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:53:01

That'S also relieving for the child. Right. In many cases, it takes away the ability to manipulate another. But it's also nice to know that at 14 years old, it's not your job to have to carry messages back and forth and get them accurate.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:53:16

Right. Well, think about like, a parent teacher conference. I mean, I used to teach in a school where there were 72 different languages spoken. So there were times when a parent would show up who didn't speak English, and I couldn't relay the information to them because I didn't have a translator on hand. And the kid would take it upon themselves to translate. Can you imagine how hard that must be for a kid to literally hear two people talking about them and have to relay the messages back and forth like that must be really difficult just in that setting. So imagine doing it between two parents who you love both of them, and you're now in this really crappy situation. So just what a relief to take that off their plate. Definitely say, I would think, hey, your dad has a message for me. Great, thank you for telling me. Tell your dad to get in touch with me or let's reestablish the expectation of okay, great. Thanks, dad, for telling me. But you need to tell mom, right?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:54:12

There's like 400,000 different just text.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:54:15

If you can't call, just text. Okay. What about those parents who are in the same household, but have different values about a particular behavior. So it could be anything. But, like, one that comes to mind for some families is, like, the use of swear words. Right? Like, one parent is like, whatever, just use it reasonably. The other one's like, no, don't say it at all. Things like that. How do you approach that conversation with your partner?

Kimball Lewis 00:54:42

So very often these happen because the couples bring a lot of baggage into the marriage, and that baggage often, whether positive or it sounds like a negative.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:54:50

Term, their own beliefs, right?

Kimball Lewis 00:54:55

Yes. That came from being a child in a household. So certain things might have happened in that household growing up that they just sort of took us like, this is how we did it growing up. And they're trying to imagine, like, we never swore in our household and then another household, we swore all the time. And then when you get married, you have, like it's a culture clash, basically, of what's going on. And I had I don't know. This is the neighbor. He was Irish. I noticed this the F word in in, like, the Us.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:55:31

On TV.

Kimball Lewis 00:55:32

It's like, yeah, use it all the time.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:55:34

I just spent two weeks in England and Ireland and what what they got away with putting on television. I was like, you could never do it. Like, you can't even put that on bluey. They sense they're bluey in the United States. Yes, you're right. Absolutely.

Kimball Lewis 00:55:50

This guy was a wonderful father. He was this colorful Irish guy next door, and every word is the F word. And then a company I worked at, we were bought out by a UK company, and a new CEO came in who was British, and he's addressing the now new company or whatever for the first time, and he's talking in front of the entire company, and he said the F word, like, five times.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:56:13

Wow. It's very different.

Kimball Lewis 00:56:18

And I thought about my neighbor. That's actually what I talked to about it afterwards on my question. What is it with you guys from across the pond from the UK or Ireland or whatever? Yeah. He goes, what? That's not a bad word.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:56:29


Kimball Lewis 00:56:31

So you have to work that out with your I guess it's like yeah. I would encourage parents to not minimize the other parents feelings about it. Generally, I would recommend that if you think swearing is fine and the other one's not okay with it, the rule is probably no swearing.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:56:54

Okay. So it's not necessarily a compromise.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:56:58

It's like a lowest common denominator.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:57:01

Lowest common denominator situation.

Kimball Lewis 00:57:03

Yeah. Accommodate that a little bit. Another one is some parents are very uncomfortable with sleepovers. That happens a lot, actually, especially lately. They want to stay over.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:57:16

It's a thing now.

Kimball Lewis 00:57:22

And there's good reason for that and just sort of be respectful of why they're that way. But the compromise might be like, okay, let's meet the other parents first. Let's understand what's going on. It is a tricky situation. Try to find common ground and try to respect the other person's concerns. And the other thing is realize you're in a new family. It's not the family you grew up in that's so hard. It doesn't have to be for me. We had certain cultural norms in my family that I realized after being married for a while, I'm not in my old family anymore. My wife comes from a different cultural background completely and what they see is culturally just different and you start realizing that I'm not my old family anymore. That was actually very important for me in terms of marriage or whatever, which is that my family is now my wife and my kids, not my parents, my brothers and sisters. I know they are part of my family but they're secondary. My wife and my kids, that's my family. And then you sort of learn how to define what the cultural I think.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:58:41

That that's an important shift, honestly.

Kimball Lewis 00:58:43

And you know what?

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:58:43

It causes a lot of problems when people don't have that reframed thinking when they still prioritize their former immediate family instead of prioritizing the one that they've made. Right? And that's a difficult thing to it's a really hard thing to justify in your brain. Right. So not blaming anyone who's having a.

Kimball Lewis 00:59:03

Hard time, they'll put their parents ahead.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:59:05

Of their spouse and that's the thing, is when you make a commitment to a spouse that's supposed to be your first priority, right? And so that is a hard thing to shift in your brain and I think that people often feel very torn between the two families. So I think that's a really good point.

Kimball Lewis 00:59:27

And one person in the marriage might think that way, another one right.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:59:30

Doesn'T but then you have conflict again.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:59:33

I just loved the simple sentence of you're in a new family now. That is something that can be repeated in a loving and kind way anytime these types of issues come up because I know I'm certainly guilty of it saying, well, when I was growing up it wasn't blah blah blah. Well, the answer to that is you're in a new family now.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 00:59:54

Yeah, families change. Everyone's family is different and mine is different from the family.

Kimball Lewis 01:00:02

And you kind of negotiate things a little bit as best you can and you don't always win. But that's swearing thing, it could go either way. But my general sense would be that you can find other words to use if it's important to the other person, but I don't know. Those are challenges. And if you can't figure out how to find a common ground on that as a parent, a couple of therapy is great, and it doesn't have to be one on one. The church I worked at, we did a.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 01:00:41

Reengage because my parents taught it too. Taught led and there's plenty of groups out there that aren't faith based if that's not for you. And there are lots and lots of specialists out there who work with couples that are in a healthy and strong marriage. They're not necessarily there to keep you from the brink of divorce. They're just there to guide you through communication, especially when you're facing a challenge together.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 01:01:12

Yeah. That's super important to think about.

Kimball Lewis 01:01:17

And reading they say reading certain psychology books and stuff that are meant for they're not like technical books that are meant for people that might be struggling with issues or whatever. That often is as effective as therapy because you can learn to understand stuff. So we recommend all those things, talk about it. You become somewhat, for me, like certain things. I became more open minded about certain things that I thought the world was like this. And really, that's just how I was brought up.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 01:01:51

That way I'm thinking about the baggage, whether it be positive or negative, but there's only so much room in your house, right? So some stuff has to be purged, and you want partner A and partner B to both have their belongings, so some of that baggage has to go.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 01:02:11

Totally agree. All right.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 01:02:13


Kimball Lewis 01:02:16

With your kids, too, when their kids go out, we're empty nesters now, right? Kids are making their own lives.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 01:02:21

They're in a new family now, right?

Kimball Lewis 01:02:23

Maybe. Who knows? They're going to find someone someday, and then they'll decide.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 01:02:28

And you'll have to be okay with that transition, too, of them making their own new family. So you're in a new family now. I love that.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 01:02:36

All right, well, with that, kimmel, we just want to say thank you again for meeting with us, for continuing this very rich conversation. And close for us. Tell us a little bit again, where can we find you.

Kimball Lewis 01:02:53

So empowering, and the best thing to do is just sign up for our newsletter, and you'll start getting featured articles every probably two to three times a week of very useful stuff.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 01:03:05

Awesome. All right, well, if you are listening right now and you haven't already touched all five stars, do that for us, please. We love, love when you do that. We hope that you have a fantastic week. Make a journal.

Caitlin Kindred, Jenny GK 01:03:20

Yeah. And tell us about how this episode was helpful for you. We would love to be tagged. Tell us all about anything that you've used from, and we'll make sure to share it with kimball. And you're in a new family now, so prioritize them. Okay, bye.

Interview w/Kimball Lewis, CEO of Empowering Parents