#112 Is One-Sided Communication Killing Your Relationships?

#112 Is One-Sided Communication Killing Your Relationships?

The Person Who Really Gets You

Do you have a friend who really gets you?

They seem to know and understand how you think, how you feel, and they just get you on a deeper level than anyone else.

In addition to this, they seem to have your best interest at heart. They are eager to serve you.

They probably accept you just as you are!

This is a powerful example of how great communication makes great relationships.

If you want to improve your relationship with someone, improve your communication with them.

Seek to understand them first.

Work to serve and support them.

Accept them just as they are.

When Was Your Last Argument?

If you’re like most people, the last time you were in an argument with someone, you were probably more focused on what you were trying to get them to think, feel, or do then you were on what they were thinking, feeling, or doing.

The problem is, that this places your focus on things outside of your control.

Rather than focusing on what you are communicating, or the energy that you are communicating from, you are focused on how you want the other person to think, feel, do, or receive the communication.

There are two problems:

  1. You communicate from your own experiences.
  2. Your perspective is limited.

You have had very different experiences in your life than your teen has.

It’s only natural that you’d try to communicate with them from your experiences, you’re an expert in all things you, but it’s more powerful to communicate with your teens from shared experiences.

It’s more powerful to seek to understand them that to prove yourself right.

Lack of Communication Skills Strains Relationships

Look at the world right now. Even with all the resources to help us communicate and stay connected, we still struggle to communicate with each other.

Like I mentioned above, most people communicate from their own perspectives (thoughts) and from their own unintentional emotions (feelings) rather than considering the perspectives and emotions of others.

If you want a better relationship with your teen, learn how to better communicate with them.

This is more powerful that you might realize.

At the end of the day, human beings just want to be heard, understood, and to belong.

That’s it!

If you want a better relationship with your teen, or your spouse, or anyone really, listen to them, seek to understand them, and accept them as they are.

Powerful Communication Principles

  • Seek to first understand, then to be understood.
    • Listen
    • Validate
    • Seek to understand their model
      • What are their circumstances?
      • How do they think?
      • How are they feeling?
      • What are their actions?
      • What are the results they’re creating and what results do they want to create?
    • Understand your own model.
    • Show that you either understand, or that you want to understand.
  • Catch and reprogram your automated responses
    • Your automated responses are likely to be unintentional,
    • Catch it and replace it with an intentional response.
    • It helps me to explore different perspective.
    • It helps me to explore different driving emotions.
  • Tell the whole truth.
    • One of the things that kills communication is dishonesty
    • Be honest with yourself and others.
    • Tell the WHOLE truth, not just the convenient of soft truth.
  • Be committed to YOUR relationship with them.
    • It’s powerful to know that NOTHING you can ever do will change how someone feels towards you.
    • Commit to your relationship with your teen, no matter what!
    • Your teen just wants to be heard, understood, and to belong.
    • Commit to that.
  • Speak from a space of service.
    • This is a tricky one.
    • It’s not, “How can I fix you?”
    • It’s “How can I help you?”
  • Seek to first understand, then to be understood.
    • Part of communication is being understood.
    • We don’t want to ignore this.
    • How can you make things relevant to your teen.
    • How can you make things easier to understand?

Join The Firmly Founded Family!

The doors to the Firmly Founded Family membership are now open!

If you want a happier home, this membership is for you.

If you want to give your teen the gift of having a life coach in their corner, this membership is for you and your teen.

If you want this school year to go better than the last, and your not sure how to best support your teen, this membership is for you.

There’s no other membership that we know of that is designed to help both parents and teens.

Inside the membership both you and your teen will get support you need to stop the fighting and struggling and start thriving.


#110 The Power of Play with Amanda Walker!

#110 The Power of Play with Amanda Walker!

Amanda Walker is AWESOME!

Amanda is a member of the Firmly Founded Family, expert on the nervous system, and a parenting life coach.

I don’t really structure my podcasts guest episodes.

This episode is not different.

The show notes are going to be limited. So, if you want all the good stuff, you’re going to have to listen.

Connect with Amanda here:


Or on Facebook here:


People Connect Through Play

Use play as a tool to connect with your teens.

Find ways to take interest in things that your teen is interested in.

The power of play will bond you to your teen.

This will allow you and your teen to co-regulate.

Play Helps Harness the Power of Your Nervous System

Play helps regulate your nervous system.

Play helps engage your whole brain.

You can co-create things with your teen with play.

Come Connect with Us LIVE and In Person!

Our Summer Slam is Saturday, July 30th from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.

It will include powerful lessons, fun activities, and an awesome evening filled with board games and connection.

See you there!

#106 Choose A Better Stress Response!

#106 Choose A Better Stress Response!

You Don’t Have To Be the Victim to Stress

Seems like lately I’ve seen a lot of posts about stress and anxiety being terrible and traumatic.

Stress gets this terrible wrap, and it seems like most posts talk about the stress response simply being the 4 “F’s”:

  • Fight,
  • Flight,
  • Freeze, or
  • Fawn

But these posts completely ignore all of the other possible responses to stress.

Human beings are capable of so many other options when it come to stress response.

Stress has gotten a bad wrap for years.

I remember learning in college that “Stress is a silent killer.”

One college class taught that I needed to minimize, manage, and avoid stress.

The problem, we live in a world were people, parents, and teens are doing everything in their power to avoid stress.

What If Stress Isn’t A Problem?

I want you to think about some of the greatest people that you know, . . .

. . . people who have really accomplished something and had a powerful impact in the world and possible in your life . . .

. . . people who really inspire and impress you . . .

Then think about this, . . .

  • What is so wonderful about them?
  • What about them has impacted/inspired you?
  • Have they experienced stress?
  • How did they respond to stress?

The current narrative around stress and anxiety makes it sound like stress equals “game over” or that it’s time to stop doing what you’re doing.

This narrative gives stress debilitating power to hold you back and limit your growth.

Recently, I watched a documentary about Steve Young, the legendary BYU and 49er quarterback.

Most of his college career was extremely stressful, then in the NFL he was engaged in a stressful and heated quarterback controversy with Joe Montana.

He mentioned how this stress pushed him to try harder, to learn new things, and to become more than he would have without the stress.

There are countless stories about the power of stress from professional athletes to movie stars, powerful leaders, to people in your own life who you look up to.

What if stress isn’t the problem?

What if stress is the answer?

Stress Can Make You Stronger

Recently I read an article that stated that stress isn’t actually bad, it’s the perception that stress is bad that makes it so harmful.

When you look at professional athletes, they regularly subject their physical bodies to physical stress to get bigger and stronger.

The professional athletes who go down in the history books the GOATS, are part of the most stressful high pressure games, and they thrive.

Just like professional athletes, your stressors can be the mental and emotional workout that makes you mentally and emotionally stronger.

Some of the greatest figures in world history were the product of very stressful lives.

Nelson Mandela was in prison for 27 years. He was subjected to a lot of stress, and this helped him become the man he was, and a global leader.

Stop lookin at stress as a problem, and start looking at it as an opportunity.

Options for a Better Stress Response

Earlier we talked about the main 4 “F” stress responses that people usually talk about, Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Fawn.

I want to give you some up-leveled options when it comes to your stress response.

Since the common ones people talk about start with “F”, I wanted to start my with “G”, as it’s one letter higher than “F”.

  • GUTS
    • This is the option of being brave and turning to courage.
    • Courage and guts need stress. No one gets medals for doing easy things when everything is easy.
    • It takes guts to do hard things in the face of some serious stressors.
  • GRIT
    • One of the things I tell myself and my teens all the time is, “You can do hard things!”
    • The ability to do hard things is grit.
    • It’s okay to do hard things.
    • Life isn’t meant to be easy all the time.
    • This one refers to sticking with it and not giving up.
    • In the documentary that I recently watched about Steve Young, he told a story of wanting to quit the BYU football team. His dad told him, “You can quit, but you can’t come home.”
    • Steve Young went on to become one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.
    • I’m not saying this is how I would have handled things as a father, but I love this example of grit and grind.
    • This is one of my favorites.
    • When I’m stressed, I like to turn to my support system.
    • When I’m stressed about my own life, I like to take my focus off of my problems and serves someone else and alleviate their problems.
    • Gather people around you who you support and who can support you.
    • This one is my favorite of the list.
    • Every stressor can be an opportunity to grow!
    • This is an opportunity for you to let go of things outside of your control and master the things within your control.
    • This is what causes individual growth.

Fight, flight, freeze, and fawn all have their places.

I’m not saying their bad.

But I am saying that you are capable of so much more. Don’t limit yourself to the beliefs of society around you.

Putting It All Together

Too much stress can totally be a bad thing.

I get it.

But seriously, What’s too much stress?

It’s an opinion.

Things that I thought were too stressful, upon looking back, I realize that it was exactly what I needed to grow.

Stress lives in the mind.

Stress is based on interpretations, expectations, thoughts, and beliefs.

Instead of simply reacting to the stress with the typical “F” responses, try intentionally approaching stress using the “G” responses.

Come Connect with Us LIVE and In Person!

Our Summer Slam is Saturday, July 30th from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.

It will include powerful lessons, fun activities, and an awesome evening filled with board games and connection.

See you there!

#105 Stop Reacting to Distractions!

#105 Stop Reacting to Distractions!

Distractions 101

It’s human nature to be easily distracted.

In fact, distractions aren’t necessarily all that bad.

It reminds me of this dumb game that my kids play. They pretend to punch each other in the face, and if the other child flinches, the first child says, “two for flinching” and slugs them in the shoulder twice.

Flinching isn’t bad. It’s a protective reflex.

Being distracted isn’t bad, it’s part of our human nature to always be on the lookout. To always be looking for the next amazing thing.

The problem is when our distractions run our lives.

The problem is when our distractions put us in a hyper-reactionary mode.

The problem is that our distractions aren’t likely to create the dreams of our lives.

It’s Not Just Your Teen!

One of the things that I’m noticing with a lot of parents is they they are worried about how distracted their teens have become.

Parents tell me things like:

  • “They’re always looking at their phones or social media.”
  • “They only think about their friends.”
  • “They don’t even notice what’s going on in the real world.”

Now, let me share with you what teens are telling me about their parents:

  • “They’re always looking at their phones or social media.”
  • “They only think about their work.”
  • “They don’t even now what it’s going on in the real world.”

Are You Driven By Distracted

Everything and everyone seems to be fighting for a little slice of our attention.

Everything is trying to be the loudest, brightest, most shocking thing, just to get our attention.

What is distracting you?

For me it’s things like the Will Smith Slap or the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial.

Sometimes it’s my kids grades or games on my phone.

What are you being distracted from?

Often I’m distracted from uncomfortable emotions or things that I don’t want to do.

How is distraction benefitting you?

It might be relaxing. It might be easier than doing something hard.

What is distraction costing you?

Sometimes it costs me relationships, my dreams, and my future.

Distraction Leads to Reaction

I Googled the opposite of distraction and this is what I found.

The Opposite of Distraction is Traction. Traction is an action that moves us towards what we really want.

If we dig into this we see that “traction” is an intentional action or (DOing).

Distraction is keeping you from being intentional.

Distraction leads to reaction.

Let go of distractions so you can be more intentional.

Your Distractions Program you and Define Your Reality

Advertisement, media, television and social media are all distractions.

These distractions are trying to program us to purchase their products.

Identify What distractions are keeping you from your desired results?

Distractions can keep you from having the relationship that you want.

Distractions will keep you from BEing who you want to be.

Distractions will keep you from connecting with your family.

Distractions will keep you from growing.

Come Connect with Us LIVE and In Person!

Our Summer Slam is Saturday, July 30th from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.

It will include powerful lessons, fun activities, and an awesome evening filled with board games and connection.

See you there!

#99 Connection Based Parenting with Crystal Haitsma

#99 Connection Based Parenting with Crystal Haitsma

Boundaries done well will make your life easier as a parent.

“What we are teaches the child far more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become.” ~ Joseph Chilton Pearse

What is Neurocontrast and Neurodivergent?

Neurodivergent is the opposite of neurotypical, often adhd, odd, dyslexia a diagnosis of some type.

Neurocontrast is a little more inclusive. Everyone’s brain is different.

Learning is Learning, and Your Teen IS Learning

Everyone’s brain develops differently. We learn at different speeds. We learn different things at different times.

Your teen is learning, whether you see it or not.

Crystal lets her kids learn to read when they are ready and interested.

Development happens at different stages. Let your teens learn when they are ready.

The human brain can’t help but learn and grow! And it learns what it sees as the priority first.

Learning happens naturally. You don’t have to make it happen.

It’s Not “Misbehavior” Kids are Always Doing Their Best

When we can see that our kids are doing their best, it changes how we parent.

When we can show our kids that they are learning, and they are doing their best, and that is good enough.

Your teen’s behavior is just communication. What are they trying to tell you? What’s the root cause?

Build a Connection

When you have a connection with your teen, you can model the behavior that you want your teen to learn.

Shift your focus from what you can’t control, and focus on what you can control, your relationship with your teen.

Think of your favorite teacher. The reason you liked them is because you had a relationship with them.

This is what your teen is looking for.

Believe it or not, you teen want’s you to connect with them.

Connect with your teen as they are rather than trying to connect as you want them to be.

Want More From Crystal?

Website: www.coachcrystal.ca

IG: www.instagram.com/the.parenting.coach 

12-week intensive: www.coachcrystal.ca/group