Podcast Episode 278: How to Have Hard Conversations: Teaching Kids Healthy Conflict Resolution Transcript

Please note: Transcripts for the No Guilt Mom Podcast were created using AI. As a result, there may be some minor errors.

Kyle & Sara Wester: this is a process. And I was investing into that, , but for him to see that That’s not the wiring he had in his head. I’d been working on this for a while and he hadn’t. So I had to him That grace, so to speak, but that time and, realize in his shoes, it looked like you’re going to raise a child who’s out of control and he wanted his child to be successful.

JoAnn Crohn: Welcome to the No Guilt Mom podcast. I’m your host, JoAnn Crohn joined here by the lovely Brie Tucker.

Brie Tucker: Why, hello, hello, everybody, how are you?

JoAnn Crohn: We’re just coming back from the long weekend and we’re all energetic. So energetic. We decided to schedule three podcast interviews in one day.

Brie Tucker: Well, yeah, it kind of felt like that. It normally doesn’t, because that does. That, that wipes me out. I, and it’s funny, because like, between the two of us, I think we’ve kind of like, I’m a bit more of the extrovert consistently, but

JoAnn Crohn: People energize you usually.

Brie Tucker: yeah, but, but this much podcast recording, it’s honestly, it pushes my ability to, to pay attention

JoAnn Crohn: Oh yeah. No,

Brie Tucker: a long periods of time that I have to be 100 percent zeroed in and focused on what we’re talking about and I can’t be like all, Oh, look at that pretty thing right there.

Oh, look at,

JoAnn Crohn: I know, you gotta let the mind wander. Gotta let the mind wander. Well, yeah, we’re both like that. Usually I will have no focus or anything after.

Brie Tucker: yeah, yeah. We’re both spent afterwards. We’re like, okay, done brain is mush falling out of the ears at this point.

JoAnn Crohn: But this interview you’re going to hear right now, this is our first of the day. Our brain is not mush. Our brain wasn’t much during any of them, but we’re very, we’re very fresh. And this is a great conversation because if you have trouble with conflict, like if you are at all uncomfortable about conflict, this is a must listen to episode, also a must listen, if you have trouble talking with your husband or your parenting partner about getting on board with the same parenting kind a discipline scenario, also.

Really, really powerful. , we are talking with Sarah and Kyle Wester. They are the founders of the art of raising humans podcast and their private practice. They coach families all over the world through trainings and one on one coaching to help support and equip them to raise children that are self connected, respectful, and kind.

Sarah and Kyle are also the proud parents to three kids, 14, 11, and eight. And we are so excited for you to hear our conversation with them. Let’s get on with the show.

JoAnn Crohn: how long have you guys actually been working together? Like, you, you’ve been married and now you have a podcast together? Like, how did that go about?

Kyle & Sara Wester: well, we started out, we went through our master’s together. So we did that together, but I started out in, , the non, profit world with child abuse and I was a child therapist working with kids who had been abused. been abused and, you know, things like that. And he started out in the school system.

Yeah. And yeah, I was an elementary school counselor. So she was there, you know, really learning a lot of great skills, helping these kids in really hard situations. And, , as we did that together, of course, our own kids came along, but, the way all this other stuff got birthed was as I was helping these families.

And with the private practice, as I left the school, , there’s so many times I ran into issues I didn’t know how to help parents with. So I would come home and ask Sarah and then Sarah would give me this magnificent advice and I would come back to those families. They’d be like, that was amazing. Oh my gosh, that really helped.

And I’d be like, Sarah, we need to expose you to the world, honey. Like I’m, I’m getting all the credit, but it’s really you. So that’s when I secretly, I was like, Hey, listen, it’s no big deal. Let’s just go in our closet. We’ll just get a mic and we’ll just record some conversations about things.

And she was so nervous to do that because I, he’s, if you can’t, he’s the extrovert public speaker type. I’m not

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah.

Kyle & Sara Wester: Yeah. So,

JoAnn Crohn: Oh, well, I, yeah, I get that. Haha! Okay.

Kyle & Sara Wester: see within like 10 of our, our first 10 episodes of the podcast, I just kept reading her every text we got from friends that said. Kyle, , I like it, what you have to say, but I really am just waiting to hear Sarah talk.

So every time, every time I’m listening to a podcast, I’m going, okay, okay. I like, I like that thing Kyle said, but what’s Sarah going to say about it? So I kept reading that to Sarah, like Sarah, they want more Sarah, more you. So, so that, that was the plan was as we were doing more speaking stuff in Tulsa, where people were asking us to come to schools and churches and speak, I wanted us.

To be able to do this better on stage because whenever we had done it before the podcast, it was super awkward. And it was like, I would talk, talk, talk. And I would look to her and just be like,

Brie Tucker: And she just, and she smiled back at you, hi!

Kyle & Sara Wester: that’s my cue, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing right now. Yes. So I was like, honey, we’ve got to get this flow better because this flow stinks right now. Work in

JoAnn Crohn: It’s a hard kind of rhythm to get into. And I love how you describe the extrovert and the introvert. Because I mean, like Sarah, as you probably know by now introverts, like watch the world and have such amazing, amazing, insightful things to say. And when you say Kyle, that people are like, where’s Sarah?

I mean, like, I’m sure it’s that like, it’s this insightfulness that extroverts , bring the people and introverts are like narrow in right in there. So it’s, it’s a great partnership. I’m

Kyle & Sara Wester: Well, and there’s even times, JoAnn, where I’ve been coaching even recently in the past few weeks, I’m coaching a couple, helping them. And I’ll come back and I’ll, I’ll think I gave him some great thoughts of ways to switch what was happening at home, but then I’ll go home and run it by Sarah and then she’ll give me a couple of thoughts and I’ll be like, Oh, shoot, now I have to do a video.

So I’m like, I have to do a video for that couple and I’ll send it in the next session to be like, thank you for that video. It was so helpful. I’m like, I know I should have just spoken to Sarah before I gave you all this.

JoAnn Crohn: No, I mean like every, everybody adds their own things to a relationship, , and a partnership. And that’s what we’re talking about today. All about using those conflicts you have in parenting to make a stronger marriage. , because as we were talking before we started, like those conflicts and parenting can really tear partners.

Uh, I mean, like when my, I mean, I have two kids, one’s 15 now, one’s 10, but when we had the baby and trying to figure out who takes care of the baby, like you don’t have those discussions usually before you get married, when it comes to childcare and that can create a lot of drama and a lot of conflict.

Did that create a lot of drama and conflict for you both when you first had


Kyle & Sara Wester: I’m you know, I think the funny thing is you think us especially so we have been through grad school We have been through conflict resolution We’ve been through all these classes and you think you’ve talked about everything and then you have these little babies and you think wait There’s a million things.

We haven’t talked about yet and things come to light that you just never Our, our first really big argument, I mean, this one actually was pre kids, was about Santa Claus. and so, I mean, who would have thought that this, we needed to have a three hour conversation about Santa Claus? and then after we got married, I was in a whole different space than Kyle was with having kids.

Cause I, I’m so grateful. I, I got into this job working with families and children , and they were really hard situations and I got some excellent training and I don’t know how people parent without it, but so I wasn’t just in a very different space than he was. You can talk about the space. Yeah.

And, and, and so, so when we had the kids, I was kind of in this weird space of almost like. Listen, you have been trained really well. Zero to three. So how about you just take them zero to three and then I’m working with pre K on up to fifth grade and then we’ll just need to get some better training before they become teenagers.

So I had this like really stupid kind of compartmentalized way of doing it. But it actually was what I was doing. I mean, I look back with our oldest two, we’ve got three kids. We’ve got a 14 year old daughter, an 11 year old boy who turns 12 this weekend, and then an eight year old daughter. And so with the older two, I really had this kind of silly way of seeing it of like, I don’t know what Sarah’s doing.

I don’t know how she does that with the babies. I’ll occasionally help when asked to, but for the most part, whoever’s good at that age, you take over that age. And then I will jump in at like four. , and really it was because of just my own shame, my own incompetence. Like I had never held a baby besides maybe my niece.

Maybe my niece was the only baby I ever held before we had our own babies. Whereas Sarah grew up holding babies, working in the church nursery or all these kinds of things. So it looks so natural for her. And I always remember , one moment guys, that, , Sarah left me home with our oldest and she was like nine months and you’d gone back to work and she said, she’s on a bottle.

I mean, she needed a bottle and she said, this is real simple. You just feed her the bottle. It’s no big deal. And I was like, okay, okay. I’m kind of scared, but it sounds simple enough and it got so bad. I mean, I’m being like, it got so bad. I took her to the babysitter who had occasionally watched her. , because Abby would not take the bottle because I was so anxious about it.

I was so nervous and all the thoughts in my head were like, What I suck as a dad, like, this is horrible. How, what kind of dad can’t feed their own baby, you know? And then to watch what I gave Abby to the babysitter and the baby just fed like that, I was like, what is wrong with me? And I realized my lack of skills.

And that’s kind of why I was backing out in those early years was because I didn’t feel like I could succeed. I thought, you know, you’re, you’re good at this. You just do it. So if you need me to wipe a diaper, I can do that. But these other things. Are just too hard for me.

JoAnn Crohn: well, it’s so interesting because what you’re describing is a confidence issue too. And like you’ve described something that a lot of moms talk about when they first start breastfeeding Like they don’t know how to do it. They are right here. They’re stressed out No milk is coming out and many women are telling themselves, Oh my gosh, like I can’t even feed my own child because it’s this lack of not , I wouldn’t even call it skills.

I would just call it like lack of knowledge or lack of self compassion that we give ourselves when we’re parents that like, we don’t give ourselves that it’s okay. We can learn along the way. It’s more of a like, either I suck at it or I’m amazing at it. There’s no in between.

Brie Tucker: right?

JoAnn Crohn: So, like, did you, I guess, feel like, how did that go then in the parenting process?

How did you get over that, Kyle? And Sarah, like, I’m also interested how you felt, yeah, what Brie said, how, how did you feel during this when he’s just like giving up everything and saying like, no,

Brie Tucker: right, because like I imagine a lot of the conversation that you’re talking about, , Kyle, first of all, let me just say, wow, I, I feel related now because my background is in early childhood, so that was the exact same division up , my ex-husband now

Kyle & Sara Wester: Yeah.

Brie Tucker: didn’t have the

JoAnn Crohn: there’s more reasons for that than that. Yeah. Yeah.

Brie Tucker: set up was that like, he’s like, okay, you do birth to five. Cause that’s your thing. So you do that. but he also never really had, I’m going to come in kind of plan. I don’t think there was ever a tap out plan, but, , yeah, I always felt so isolated and alone.

Like I knew that he thought I had it. But at the same time, and I’m wondering Sarah, if you were like this at all, like it was so much pressure because it was like, Oh my God, he thinks I know everything. And I thought I knew stuff, but it’s different when it’s your own kid.

Kyle & Sara Wester: Yeah. No, uh, definitely actually even talking about nursing. That was a real stressful thing. Cause I had been through, you know, you go through the training and all that stuff. And I’d actually worked with a lot of moms. But when you’re there and your baby’s crying, your baby’s hungry and things aren’t working as planned , and that’s all very scary.

And I, and I felt, I did feel pretty alone in it, even though I had all this training, I was like, Oh, we’ve, we’ve got to work on attachment. And I had all these ideas and all these things I knew I really wanted to do. And I wanted him to be more involved in that, but he was in a space just where he wasn’t going to do that.

And that’s not where he would, I mean, I could hand him the baby and he would hold the baby, but it wasn’t this active engagement. And here, this is what we’re doing with our child. This is the kind of connection and relationship. And this is what, you know, we’re going somewhere together. It was okay. You’ve got this.

Yeah. Yeah. And, and so, yes, there was pressure and I just kind of also felt this little bit of sadness cause I knew he could have been more involved and enjoyed that connection with, our little ones when they’re little, you know, but that’s just the space we were in at the time and then as they got older, then you hit behavior challenges and no’s and tantrums and all that stuff, and that’s probably when our conflict really began to rise.


JoAnn Crohn: Oh, and I want to get into that conflict right after this break. We were talking a lot about how you took over a lot of the zero to three, Sarah and Kyle, you were a little, like, you were a little scared. You were a little, , hesitant to get involved there just because of your own confidence. , but then Sarah, you started. You started to say how the conflict really happened when your kids started to get older.

So , tell us about that.

Kyle & Sara Wester: once, you know, as we all know, when kids start to have opinions and sharing them with us, that can really bring things to light. , and our oldest one, not only that, but she’s got a very strong personality. And I love that about her, but she’s not afraid to let you know what she thinks and feels and, and two, three, four years old, that was big, as it is with all of that age group, and my way of handling it was very different than Kyle’s.

JoAnn Crohn: How is it different?

Kyle & Sara Wester: Well, well, definitely when I saw the bigness that Abby brought to the table, it definitely seemed like a challenge to me. , it seemed like I need to overwhelm her and let her know I am bigger and stronger and she will not boss us around. Right? So, so at like three years old, since, since this was a girl being raised by two therapists at three years old, we’d be up at, yeah.

We’d be up at like 3 a. m. And me yelling and telling her she needs to go back to sleep. Like Abby just loved to wake up at three and just stay up the rest of the night. If she woke up at three, she’d be like, I’m ready to go. And so I’d be,

Brie Tucker: Oh, people

Kyle & Sara Wester: she’s always ready. Yes. And so I would say, Abby, you need to go to bed now.

And what Abby would say to me, she pointed me and say, you need to apologize to me in the morning for talking to me like this. And then I would say,

JoAnn Crohn: her. I love

Kyle & Sara Wester: I will say whatever you want me to say as long as you will go to sleep. And like, it boggled my mind watching Sarah be so patient, so kind, so nurturing, and

Brie Tucker: at three in the morning

Kyle & Sara Wester: and she was and eventually it led to brie where, hey, if they wake in the middle night, you’ve got him, I’ll get up at like four or five a.

m. and take him the rest of the time. Right? So then we end up doing this kind of rhythm to that. But at that time we were both waking up and just how patient she was with the kids. And I started to judge that as weakness. You know, I started to judge that as her being passive and her being permissive.

, and in my world, in the home I grew up in, you just didn’t let kids run the house. Like dad needed to be the boss and the kids needed to know that. , and it was sort of that immediate, you know, one, you weren’t allowed to have big outbursts of feelings and you needed to obey, you know, those kinds of, I’ve said to do this,

JoAnn Crohn: Those kind of things, it hits home. Yeah.

Brie Tucker: way or the highway Kind of eighties.

Kyle & Sara Wester: totally. What, what, what, what, and Brie, what, what was frustrating me and Sarah and I would have conversations about this is I would come home from work and this is where it really started like blowing up in our house. I’d come home from work and I’d hear Abby being really upset and yelling at Sarah and Sarah would be there being all still sweet and kind and trying to help Abby and I would immediately come in and nothing but judgment and criticism would enter my head.

And I’d be thinking, what? Why is Sarah allowing this while I’m gone? And when I come home now, I’ve got to be a jerk. Now I’ve got to come in and be the heavy and I’ve got to be the one who insists that Abby, you know, not talk that way or whatever it is. Right. And so, so at this moment, this, I didn’t know in Sarah’s head, but I know she was thinking at this time that I don’t know how many more kids I want to have with him because like, he’s really angry a lot and I was, I was mad a whole lot.


JoAnn Crohn: to like pin, put a pin in something right there, Kyle. So first of all, like, I am so thankful that you are, so vulnerable about this and your inner thought processes, because I know a lot of women in our community talk about this dynamic between them and their partners right now. They say how like, they want to take things the positive discipline route.

They want to make sure they get to know their kids feelings and needs and problem solves while their husbands do come in and do the my way or the highway type behavior, and they’re not quite sure how to get on the same page. So I just wanted to thank you first so much for like talking about that inner dialogue, cause it’s really, really helpful for other people to hear.

And I, I want to know, like. Sarah, because so many women are, in this position, and you guys obviously were able to change your dynamic. So what happened that then led to the change that got you both on that same page?

Kyle & Sara Wester: Yeah, so like you said, you know, I was thinking about attachment. I was thinking about emotion coaching. I was thinking about firm but kind boundaries and allowing, realizing she’s going to need to process feelings and kind of sticking with her in those moments versus, you know, Isolating or punishing her or things like that.

and I know that Kyle just had a really hard time seeing that I I’d been studying it and reading it for a long time. And we had lots of conversations lots of conflict and lots of conversations around this. Cause he was having a heart in those moments. It looked like to him a failure , and he couldn’t, he was having a hard time seeing it.

I saw it as a success. She’s sharing these really big feelings with me. I am with her in that. And then we circle back around and she’s learning to regulate and yes, it takes time, but this is a process. And I was investing into that, , but for him to see that that’s not the wiring he had in his head.

I’d been working on this for a while and he hadn’t. So I had to him That grace, so to speak, but that time and, realize in his shoes, it looked like you’re going to raise a child who’s out of control and he wanted his child to be successful. And he’s afraid that if we keep going down my path, we’re going to have this child that’s going to fail in life and in the world.

And I could appreciate that perspective. You know, it was a familiar perspective for me. But, we had to have a lot of conversations , and the thing that, that he did, he eventually was willing to listen to some others because my voice wasn’t enough. I was saying it, but he’s worried. He’s scared. He needed some other voices to be saying that same thing.

And we found some other voices that spoke his language and that he could hear. He could hear that this isn’t going to be a disaster. This is going somewhere. So, you know, Yes. So, so what helped it was just this moment. Like I said, I didn’t know this was going on in Sarah’s head. I didn’t know that she was maybe second guessing this commitment she made to me.

Right. And so I, I ended up because I was a school counselor, , I was getting a lot of voices at school to help change the discipline at the school. So they wanted more of a unified discipline approach. So, so I actually talked to PTA. I didn’t know this was going to benefit me and my family, but I talked to PTA into flying me to Florida.

And learning from a lady named Dr. Becky Bailey, who Dr. Becky Bailey does an approach called conscious discipline. So I was going to learn her approach and, and the main thing about her approach, it came from Dr. Dan Siegel and , his research on the brain and the brain development, the brain States, and I’m at, the conference and I see up on the screen, what it looks like when the developing brain is scared.

And how the brain is just not open to learning or growing or changing. And it’s all about just survival, right? It’s all in fight, flight, or freeze. And when the brain feels safe and loved, how then any human, but specifically a kid in this case is more open, they want to change that they actually want to learn.

And I just teared up. I just was moved by emotion to see. I was trying to push my kid into that fear based state that I was trying to take my fear and impose it on them to make them scared, which was actually going to make it. Almost impossible for them to learn and change, which is exactly the opposite of what I wanted.

So I called Sarah from the and just told her, like, things are going to change. From now on, I’m going to believe what you’ve been saying. And what Sarah had been saying for a long time up until then was she kept trying to like, I took it as a shaming message, but she kept telling me , Kyle, lots of times the kids and I are doing fine.

And then you come home. And that’s when they start freaking out because you’re home. And like, what I would see is just, I would come home and they’d be more wild when I was home. And I’d be like, has this been like this all day long? And she’s like, well, parts of the day were, but most of the day was not.

And it’s like, your presence is powerful. And I took that as like, oh, she’s saying it’s my fault that I’ve messed this up when really what I heard from her after that and through the conference was she was trying to call something better out of me. She was trying to say like. You can come and in the presence and the power you bring, it can change everything in a good way to and like, if you come home in a different state kind of mindset where you’re, you’re ready to come and embrace the kids and connect with them.

Like the kids are hungry for it. You know, they want to do it so once I bought into that and I saw her as on the same team with me rather than us on opposing teams. That’s when the conflict switched everything. That’s when if I could hear if I could share one more thing, , That’s where this one night where I came home and we’re trying this new way.

Sarah’s back there. Abby’s screaming in her face and I come back there. I’m like, you will not talk to your mom this way. Like, and I did that whole classic thing. Right. And then we, yeah, we come out into the living room and we’re sitting on the couch. And this is something we got, used to doing where every night we would reconnect and talk about the conflicts throughout that day and ways in which we could grow together from it.

But I was just mad. So I said to her, yeah, Like, why do you do that? Why do you act so passive when you’re with Abby? Cause it forces me to become aggressive. and then Sarah said, that’s funny because I feel like I have to almost be passive because I know you’re going to come in so aggressive. And I feel like one of them, one of us has to be there for our kid instead of both of us being against them.

So then I said, well, I don’t know how you did that. Like, I don’t know how you turn the tables on me there, but, but then, then what is your solution? And she said, Why don’t we just believe in each other? If you think I need help, come in there and ask me. If I say no, please go sit on the couch and just think some positive thoughts about me because I need to learn how to do this with Abby.

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah, what I hear is that like you were going in and looking at a problem and seeing as if you needed to fix it when Sarah totally had the situation under control, , the whole time. And so I’m interested to see what this dynamic has changed into now, and we’re gonna dig into that right after this. So we’re talking about this dynamic and how Uh, you guys were at odds and how you decided to raise your kids at first. And then Kyle, you went to this amazing seminar by Dr. Becky Bailey, who is the first I’ve heard of her, but I’m very, familiar with Dr. Dan Siegel, , about seeing the brain in this fear stage.

And then you had the conversation about trusting each other. Where did it go from there? I want to hear from

Kyle & Sara Wester: Yeah. Okay. So, I was thinking about what you were saying, sorry, my introvert, I’m all in, in the space of listening.

JoAnn Crohn: It’s all good. It’s all

Kyle & Sara Wester: now

Brie Tucker: oh, JoAnn’s like, I gotta get the introvert in here, man.

JoAnn Crohn: I, I’m an introvert too, Sarah. I’m an introvert who has learned to be an extrovert. and so like after these, after these podcast sessions, I probably will have to go detox and just be in my room and quiet

Kyle & Sara Wester: for hours or something,

JoAnn Crohn: for


Kyle & Sara Wester: back up. Yeah. So we were having these conflicts , and I really was in a space of being kind of really worried, worried about our children and worried about where this was going to go. And, and then he calls me. And says, you know, he’s like, things are going to change and I, I don’t, I don’t even think I can put into words how excited I was, but also, , we’ll see, you know, like, I want to,

Brie Tucker: Yeah, I know, right? That reserved excitement, that like, oh, yeah.

Kyle & Sara Wester: I really, I really hope this is true. And, but it seemed like he had found someone who he just connected with. He, he needed another voice, like I said, and he had found that. And so when he came back, we had all this material and it helped me cause I, he had someone he trusted outside of myself and that I could kind of point back to and say, well, you know, when he would come in and with, with the styles that.

He’s wired to do, this is, this is what he knows. You step into parenting this way without even thought, you know, it’s just, you’re on autopilot. And in those moments, then I, when we would come together later, cause we, like he mentioned, we got really good at coming back together later and saying, so when this happened today, you know, this is what I was thinking, or this is what I was feeling.

How did that go? And I had another voice to point back to and say, Well, this is the people we’re listening to. , this is the approach we’re leaning into. And you were kind of off there. And that wasn’t really where we want to go with our children. And he could do the same for me.

And we got much better at probably one of the greatest things I think we did is getting good with each other of saying, Hey, do you need me right now? We could see things maybe going, not the way we want them to go. And we had finally agreed to go a certain direction. So then we got better at saying, can I step in here?

Can I help? And it, and not just stepping in, but asking to step in. And then we got good at saying, yeah, you take over right now and let me step out. Yeah. So making that switch was really, well, we got into, like I said, being on the same team. There’s even times guys where obviously this change didn’t happen quickly for me.

You’re talking two or three years. It took for me to get much better at it. So there were still moments where I would be yelling at the kids and upset at them. And I’d walk back into the living room and Sarah be in there doing something like folding laundry or something. And Sarah would look at me and say, you realize what you’re doing is not what we teach parents to do.

And then I would say, Oh, I know that. And I know. And when I, when I come back, when I come back, I would

JoAnn Crohn: Do as I say, not as I do.

Kyle & Sara Wester: would love to hear all the thoughts you have about how to do it better. And so I think that’s where we started buying into this belief that these conflicts with our kids are actually gifts.

These conflicts with our kids are there to shape and form us into the humans that we have always wanted to become to help us have the marriage we’ve always wanted to create. And so, so I started seeing it and Sarah and I intentionally bought into this, that in these moments, there’s a couple steps is one, let’s start thinking good thoughts about each other.

So whether or not we’re doing it perfectly, as we’re there in those moments, that’s what we’re doing. Think well of me, but really believe that I’m doing the best I can in that moment. So that was really helpful because then I knew Sarah wasn’t judging me or Sarah wasn’t going to spend the rest of the night criticizing me or telling me how I did it wrong.

So I believe that in Sarah’s eyes, I was going to see her compassion and her grace and her understanding. , and then the second thing was, , We saw conflict as an opportunity, either it was an opportunity for isolation, meaning we were going to pull further away from each other like we had been, or it was going to create more intimacy.

And I really believe that’s what the kids want as well. Our kids want us as couples to be able to see that conflict as a way to grow closer. Not pull further away from each other. And as we made that, that’s the goal. You’re not saying just magically happened, but we made those conversations at night. The goal, the goal of us learning in this moment, wasn’t how I can point at you and tell you how you did it wrong and how I did it.

Right. It was, how can we become better people, but also become closer as a couple because of that. Temper tantrum that our kid just had , or whatever the instance was that we faced. And that to me really switched the script that now I’m, I’m being honest with you now, whenever Sarah was back there and Abby or Ellie, our youngest was yelling at her, I would just sit on the couch and just smile and just listen to how Sarah was doing it.

Cause I’d be like. Man, she’s so good. She’s so good. Like that, that poor kid didn’t even know, like, mom is so good at this. And so it was fun to grow in fondness and admiration for her. As I heard and heard, likewise with me, there was times where our conversations were, wow, the way you did that with Abby, I don’t think I could have done it that way.

And so it wasn’t like, I think the thing I had bought into is I had to do it like Sarah. I didn’t need to do it. Alexa, like, like, yeah, we, we understood the vision of where we wanted to go and how I was gonna get there. May look different than how she would do it, but eventually it’s gonna lead to the same place.

Brie Tucker: It’s funny you say that because I feel like there’s a lot of times I have, two people that I channel a lot when I’m trying to do my calm parenting because I have emotions. We’ll say that. I asked myself one of two questions. One is, what would JoAnn do? What would JoAnn say? JoAnn helps me a lot, like, between the two of us, she’s much more calm in the moment than I am.

We both know that.

JoAnn Crohn: I was an elementary school teacher.

Kyle & Sara Wester: Hey, Hey JoAnn. I worked with a lot of school teachers and not all of them rely on that , so

JoAnn Crohn: That’s true.

Brie Tucker: Right? So I’ll be like, okay, so what would JoAnn say in this moment? Or, my husband is also very good, so like you with Sarah, I would be doing the same. I’d be like, okay, what would Miguel say right now? And, if I can get myself to the point where I can logically take a step back for a moment before I react. And word vomit out whatever my past experiences have told me, then, , I can do so much better. So , it’s interesting to hear you. Like, I would always be like, what would they say? Okay, I’m going to try

Kyle & Sara Wester: yes.

JoAnn Crohn: Well, it’s interesting in that what you said, like, and Sarah, you mentioned this too about Kyle, like Kyle, you were just reacting how your brain told you to react, how you were raised to react, how it was wired to react, reacting in these ways that kept you safe in the past, as does Bri, like Bri, you react in ways that kept you safe in the past.

And so that’s how going forward. So it’s really. Understandable. something else you said about conflict though, is conflict. I used to view it as a way, like a good relationships don’t have conflict. Like that’s how I used to

Brie Tucker: right. Cause we were all fed that I think when we were like, that’s the, that’s the picture perfect Donna Reed and the, like, they never had

JoAnn Crohn: they never had conflict, but what you find is like, you’re almost walking on eggshells around the person and you don’t feel safe because you feel like you have to hide all of these emotions and feelings. Feelings within you and you can’t be a hundred percent open. And then when you actually have conflict and you go like head to head, and I’ve had conflict with my husband.

Now I’ve had conflict with my sister in law, with my sister, Bri and I get into fights a lot, but like you get into it. And then you realize how the other person treats you through the conflict, you now feel safe. even though you had an ego blow afterwards, it’s like, you’ve come to an agreement.

All is good. And going forward, you know, much more about the person. So like conflict even like has had , the great influence on me of making me feel safer in relationships and making me feel safer. Like how we go along at Kyle, even just now, like when I called you out a little bit ago, I even feel safer in the relationship I had with you because when you came back and reacted, You laughed it off instead of coming back and being passive aggressive, which I think a lot of people would.

And so having that conflict really helps you get better in a

Kyle & Sara Wester: wait, yeah.

Brie Tucker: well, and doesn’t that also help your

Kyle & Sara Wester: Yes. Yeah, it does. Yeah. Well, that’s just a model. I, I don’t want our kids to ever be afraid of conflict. I want them always to understand what conflict is there for. And if you think about, you know, JoAnn, you, brought out several different relationships. Every relationship requires conflict to become more intimate.

That’s just how it happens. If we ever want to get close to anybody in our lives, there are going to be conflicts. Why? Because we’re different people. Like , Sarah doesn’t see the world the same way I do. And that is good. She shouldn’t need to see the same way. So the conflict is actually. The very strength, the differences we have is the very strength of the relationship.

And so too often though, like you said, Brie, because we were taught to avoid it or be scared of it. We’re always teaching our kids to avoid it and be scared of it. And we’re teaching, you know, we’re modeling it as a couple, right? So I really, when we started doing this, that the one word I want to add to you for your listeners is , the word I started using a lot was I want to co create with my wife.

I want to co create with my kids. , so whenever you see conflict as an opportunity for intimacy, you can come together and co create a new story to what happened that day. And so instead of it being a moment where I really sucked and failed as a dad, Sarah would come and share a different story. About how she saw me grow as a dad that day that, yeah, maybe I messed up a little bit here or there, but she’s like, but man, typically you’d get much more upset and you didn’t get as upset as before.

And I’d be like, Oh, okay. Now I look back and go, maybe it wasn’t that bad of a day. And I think it took us a while to, cause, , where he’s not afraid to jump right into conflict. I was very, very conflict avoidant. I don’t, conflict is, it’s, I’m trying to be more friends with conflict, but we’re generally not good friends.

But it took that, like you said, we’re, we’re stepping into a little bit of conflict for us to get good at conflict. If, uh, you know, cause at first we weren’t good at it, but having children gives you lots of opportunities. And we had to practice having those conversations and having that conflict and coming together on that.

so I could lean more into it and be less afraid because we want to model that for our children. It’s okay to have conflict and here’s how to do it. and this is what happens as a result, you can go through conflict and become closer. And we needed to do that because we have now this shared vision of how, where we want to go, but him parenting as a dad with his personality looks very different than how I look doing the same.

Even though we have this shared goal and shared tactics or techniques or skills, you know, we’re going to still look a little different. And when those things maybe brush up against each other, we’re able to talk about that and not that it’s always easy. It doesn’t always, you know, it’s bumpy, it’s definitely bumpy, but, but we have to be committed to looking at that conflict and moving through it.

and the kids have seen us do this. The kids have seen us in front of them work through this stuff and it helps them be able to do it as siblings. but also like so, so many families we help here in Tulsa. Who are maybe even going through divorce and things like that. The sad thing you’ll see is something that was about to happen to us, which is, you know, they seem to have a great relationship prior to having kids.

And then all of a sudden they had kids. And then because of the kids and the time it took to raise those kids and stuff, it really hurt the connection. And so they weren’t spending as much time together. So therefore they started like seeing each other in a more negative way, rather than positive way.

And then you slowly see the relationship start to fall apart. And then they’ll tell me. To tell the kids it wasn’t their fault, but it looks like it kind of is. You know, it looks like that all the conflicts, the kid brought about where the things they were fighting about the most. , and so even though I know it’s not the kid’s fault to the kid, it feels like it is because that’s most of the arguments we’re based on.

And so that’s where I really wanted to be intentional of saying like, I don’t want that to be the case. I want us to be able to come together and grow closer because of it. Then our kids will understand that, Oh, conflict, isn’t something we need to be as scared of. It’s something that can always help us go deeper with each other.

JoAnn Crohn: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, it has been a joy talking with you both about conflict in relationships. I love this conversation. It was amazing. And, , thank you so much , for coming on and, , we look forward to talking with you

Kyle & Sara Wester: Thank you. Thank you.

Brie Tucker: So we had a really good story that didn’t make it into the podcast because we hadn’t started recording yet. But, so Sarah and Kyle were talking about a time that, they were at a busy place in Kansas City, shout out to Kansas City. And, uh, Kyle,

JoAnn Crohn: And that’s how that story came about Kansas City.

Brie Tucker: Yeah. It came out because I was like, Oh, I grew up in Kansas city and they’re from the Midwest.

So they were in Kansas city. Like Kyle, it was in a busy place with the kids. His wife was off with one of their kids in the bathroom and he tripped and he had to decide in a split second whether or not he was going to fall on land on his, preschooler or if he was going to land on his six week old baby that he was holding on to.

And he, he went for the preschooler. He made the choice he had to make. But the point of this that I found interesting was, later on, , after this happened, they’re trying to decide whether or not they go to the ER or not to have the kids checked out, because , while there were no bones sticking out, nobody bleeding, the question was like, is there anything internal that could have happened?

Should we have them checked out when they’re talking about how they’re sitting there in the parking lot of children’s mercy, like trying to figure out like, okay, if we go in, this is going to, you realize how much this is going to cost us? , we are out of our network right now. . And the fact that we’re going to be in the ER for God knows how long with two kids that are crying.

Another kid is not even hurt. We haven’t eaten dinner, like none of that stuff. and one parent is like, yes, we absolutely have to have it checked out. And the other one is like, are you really, it seems like this isn’t worthwhile. And to me, that feels like a parenting conflict. Just like, That is, I, I’ve been in there.

I’ve been in that spot where you’re just like, what do we do? And you’re so at opposite ends of it. Like, if everybody could see me right now, I’m like pounding my fist

JoAnn Crohn: Pounding the fists.

Brie Tucker: you’re just so at opposite sides of it. Like, how do you get through that? And I feel like. But they really, like, that experience right there and the way that they were able to laugh and talk about it with us shows that this, like, coming back and discussing it, , can help.

But in that moment, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall and seen how that worked out.

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah, like I think that happens a lot in parenting, but sometimes it doesn’t come out quite. Explicitly, like you’ll see people who have two very opposite views and they’ll go like the passive aggressive nature where like, Oh, whatever, whatever you decide. And then it’ll come up like two or three days later being like, Oh yeah, well you did this and dah, dah, dah, dah.

It’s all your fault because, and that is so unhealthy in a relationship. And so them going like head to head on it, it is. The much better course of affairs than like keeping things in and not saying something and then have it explode out later. , I think that’s something like I’ve learned through dealing with conflict through the years because I used to be very conflict adverse.

Like even just the thought of approaching somebody with a problem used to like make my heart want to pound out of my chest and give me such a headache that I couldn’t think straight. And through doing it, I’ve gotten a bit better. , so much better that I was okay confronting Kyle on the podcast something he

Brie Tucker: You were trying to, you were trying to lead him into a story and it was so funny. I

JoAnn Crohn: ad break and he, he talked over me.

He’s like, hold on a second. I have one more thing to say. And I’m like, I let him talk. And you’ll hear it in the episode. You’ll hear it. But what you might not hear, even though we should put it in, I don’t know. , what you won’t hear is when I went to the ad break, I’m like, Kyle, you gotta trust me here.

And I’m like, I’m making it kind of like comedic and he’s laughing as well. But that’s something like I would have kept bottled in for. So long and then have it be like spout out negative instead of just dealing with it in the moment, getting each person on the same page about what needs to happen and then moving on from there.

Brie Tucker: No, I totally love the message that they’re sharing about how like conflict is healthy and what a big like mic drop moment for me or I open or whatever you want to whatever your preferences there was when he talked about how Even though you may not be on the exact same parenting page, or maybe one of you is further along in the parenting process that you guys want to have going forward, knowing that your partner is knowing that you’re doing your best, that you really are trying to do your best, and that you’re not coming at it from a nefarious perspective, I think is immensely helpful, because I think, I think a lot of times it is real easy for us to think that, you know, if you are the more gentle parent in the household and you’ve got the other parent who’s doing a lot of the my way or the highway and the yelling and, or the harsher parenting, I think it’s easy to feel like that parent doesn’t even care.

And that’s why they’re acting that way and that I do right. And I do feel like they made, a really good point. , if you look at that person and be like, listen, I know you’re trying your best right now, and you’re using the tools that you have. I’d love for us to, like, try some more with this, you know, like, instead of saying, like, you don’t even care.

You’re scaring the crap out of the kids. , you don’t get far that way.

JoAnn Crohn: No, no, and it’s a hard, hard place to be because also, I mean, one of the reasons like I never used to share my feelings with people like about things that they did that may have hurt me is because I would be afraid that they would come back at me with everything that I did to hurt them. , and so , it wouldn’t be like, you know, Discussion about them anymore.

It would be a discussion of how I deserved it and brought it on myself. And I don’t know why I ever thought that that was never happened to me before, except maybe as a kid with like in parenting things, because that was just how you parented in the eighties. You’re like, well, you did this and you did that.

That’s why I acted that

Brie Tucker: insecurity. I think that a lot of people have that fear, like that is, I what I, what you just described is me to a t. Like I am so scared of conflict because I’m afraid of what’s gonna be thrown back in my face because I, I know that I am not perfect. I know I have got plenty of flaws and so, yeah.

Yeah, I 100% can where you’re coming from on that one. And I think a lot of people probably have that.

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah, and I think like the thing that I’ve learned is that I am pretty aware of the flaws I have because they have been told to me by many people,

Brie Tucker: Well, and you’re also

introspective. You’re

JoAnn Crohn: And I’m introspective and I’m constantly improving. And I know how things like relate, uh, you know, all of those things.

So now I come with a confidence. I’m like, well, if they say that about me, I’ll be like, yeah, of course I am. I’m working on that. I get that. Let’s go back to this situation right here though, because that’s what we’re talking about and also learning that’s unfair and conversations for people to do that and for them not to listen.

And that I have the. Right to be listened to as well.

Brie Tucker: essentially they’re just, they’re trying to redirect the conversation to something that is less threatening. So yeah. Yeah. That’s a, and as a parent, we’re pretty used to that. Our kids do that a lot, especially if you’ve got a teen, they love to redirect the conversation out of what? It’s being brought up, so,

JoAnn Crohn: Because it’s not their fault. It is always yours if you have a problem You have to let them think about it and then they’ll come back

Brie Tucker: And we’re saying that very tongue in cheek, but you know,

JoAnn Crohn: cheek It’s teenager. It’s the brain. It’s how it is. They’re not bad people. It is just how their brain is working at this moment That’s facts.



Brie Tucker: So, Hey, if you loved this podcast episode, do us a favor, just trot on over to the rate and review section of the podcast platform you’re listening to, especially if you’re on Apple, we love to hear feedback on our episodes, what you guys thought, , what you guys think of Sarah Kyle, who here are listening to us , as fans of the art of raising humans podcast.

I’m curious, like on that, that this is your first episode. What’d you think of us here at no guilt mom. And then if you really enjoy it, you can come join us in our podcast group. We have a free podcast group and Facebook. So we’d love to see you there.

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah. And until next time, remember the best mom’s a happy mom. Take care of you. We’ll talk to you later.

Brie Tucker: Thanks for stopping by. 

Brie Tucker

COO/ Podcast Producer at No Guilt Mom
Brie Tucker has over 20 years of experience coaching parents with a background in early childhood and special needs. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Central Missouri and is certified in Positive Discipline as well as a Happiest Baby Educator.

She’s a divorced mom to two teenagers.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.