By: Laura Petix, MS OTR/LEPISODE 78


Myla Leinweber B.Ed, M.Ed, PCI Certified Parent Coach

Myla is a mom of two young girls, a former kindergarten teacher and supports parents of young kids to enjoy parenting more and create long lasting connected relationships. 

When she’s not helping parents, she’s on her skis, mountain bike or yoga mat, or having a dance party with her family in the kitchen. 

In this episode, we talked about:

Repair & Restitution: why it’s important and how to do it
Myla (00:00): Well repair is, I like to think about it almost as the end of a the story. So we have a building moment with our child that we can all relate to. There's probably a peak moment that's really intense. There's lots of dysregulation, which we know comes with things flying, whether it...

Myla (00:00): Well repair is, I like to think about it almost as the end of a the story. So we have a building moment with our child that we can all relate to. There’s probably a peak moment that’s really intense. There’s lots of dysregulation, which we know comes with things flying, whether it be words or body parts or bodily fluids. And repair is the end of the story. So it’s how we bring things to completion. And also the beauty of repair is that we get to rewrite the story. So the big picture of the story of what happened. Speaker 2 (00:40): Welcome to the Sensory Wise Solutions podcast for parents where parents can get real actionable strategies to support kids with sensory processing disorder. I’m Laura, OT and Mom To Liliana, a sensory sensitive kid who inherited my anxiety and my love for all things Disney. Consider me your new OT mom. Bestie. I know my stuff, but I also know what it’s really like in the trenches of parenting a child with sensory processing disorder. Speaker 3 (01:10): Okay, mom, enough about me. Let’s start the podcast. Laura (01:17): Hey everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. Today’s episode is with Myla. If you don’t know who Myla is, she is at Joyful Parents on Instagram. She is a certified parent coach and a mom of two young girls. She’s also a former kindergarten teacher and supports parents of young kids to enjoy parenting more and create long lasting connected relationships. When she’s not helping parents, she’s on her skis, mountain bike or yoga mat, or having a nice dance party with her family in the kitchen. You can find more from And in this episode, we actually talk about the idea of repair and restitution, which I honestly didn’t even know how to properly define until she broke it down for me. And she’s also going to teach us why it’s so important to do with our kids, and of course, how to do it and what that looks like. (02:15)I love Mila’s approach because it feels practical and she always acknowledges that kids have different temperament styles and that what works for one child may not work for another. She just has a very gentle and respectful way in approaching this complicated journey that we’re on as parents. And she also, which you’ll find her when you hear her talk about it, she has a really good way of describing certain scenarios. And she has all of these fun terms, like spicy kids when she is talking about kids with who are highly sensitive and who might need a different kind of approach as we parent them. But anyway, I’m going to stop talking. I’m going to get into the episode. She’s great. Give it a listen and check the links in the show notes if you want to learn more from her. Laura (03:01): Hello, Myla. It’s so good to have you on the podcast. I know we’ve worked a few times now on Instagram, but never going to have this extended conversation. And on the topic today of repair, I am so interested in learning from you. Would you give us a quick intro to who you are and where you’re at in your parenting journey? Myla (03:22): I’m Myla Line Weber, and I have a bachelor’s and master’s of education. And I’m a P C I certified parent coach. And that’s like the not as exciting stuff, but I live in the mountains in British Columbia. I’m the mom of two young kids and I am often out on my mountain bike or my skis and being out outside in the mountains. And my whole thing with parents is let’s enjoy parenting more. How do we delight and enjoy and experience more joy in parenting, not without accounting for, yes, there’s moments that are hard. We can have hard moments, but there’s also joy there. And so that’s what I really support parents with. Laura (04:09): I love that. I think it’s so needed nowadays that to understand that you have to learn how to enjoy parenthood and that it’s not just you have a kid and you automatically enjoy it for some people. For me, I’ve definitely learned how to enjoy little moments at a time so that now I feel so much more confident in that. But I also want to backtrack and call out. I remember think DMing you one time about how jealous I was that you, I was like, you just can ski in your backyard. And you’re like, well, you go to Disney, you’re like, you go to Disneyland every week. And I was like, fair. Let’s train. Myla (04:42): It’s like, yeah. It’s funny. My kids, I’ve told my kids, I’m like, I know someone who lives near Disney. And they’re like, what? Laura (04:50): I know their Myla (04:50): Minds are blown. Laura (04:52): So I’m like, I just see, I’m like, is this snow? Do you just open your door? Cause I see you always your snowshoes and your ski. I’m like, that’s so cool. Yeah. Myla (05:02): Yeah, we’re very lucky. Yeah. Someone asks, what’s your favorite place to ski? I’m literally out my back door. Laura (05:08): So every time I see someone in the living, in the snow, I mean, aside from the sensory things like the sensitivity of putting all those clothes, the clothes on, but the actual playing, digging in the snow skiing, such good sensory input that some of us never get to have. So I’m a little jealous about that. Myla (05:25): You can come anytime we’re a guest week. Laura (05:29): I love that. All right, so today we’re talking about repair, the whole idea of repair, and I’m not going to do it justice enough to explain it. So can you explain what the idea is of repair? And really, I’m also curious to know why it’s so important and what this can do for relationships in general, but specifically, of course, today we’re talking about parenthood. So if you could introduce the idea of repair to us, that would be great. Myla (05:58): Yeah. So repair is, I like to think about it almost as the end of a, the story. So we have a building moment with our child that we can all relate to. There’s probably a peak moment that’s really intense. There’s lots of dysregulation, which we know comes with things flying, whether it be words or body parts or bodily fluids and repair is the end of the story. So it’s how we bring things to completion. And also the beauty of repair is that we get to rewrite the story. So the big picture of the story of what happened has, Laura (06:38): I really love that, Myla (06:39): Has a different narrative when we repair. And restitution is another piece that I work with. So I always think about restitution and repair and restitution are the actions that go into repair. So we also, as part of repair, we have restitution. What are the actionable things that we’re doing to repair the relationship? It’s not Say sorry, sorry. Laura (07:05): Actually I love, I was going to say, I’m like, I love that we don’t call this apologizing. Repairing and restitution and yeah, the It’s Myla (07:12): Repairing. Laura (07:14): Yeah, that whiny, sorry. Or just like eye roll, sorry, is like, Myla (07:18): Yeah, nails on the top. If they just say, sorry, that’s not making restitution. And the last part of the repair cycle is also what’s our plan for next time? We know these moments are going to happen again. So is there a way that we can kind of decrease the intensity, the duration, the frequency? And as I’m sure your community knows over time, we don’t just make a plan and then everyone implements the plan and then the plan works. Yes. Thank Laura (07:48): You for calling that out. Thank you for calling that out, because I was already hearing the voice in my head of some people that I’ve worked with and they’re like, well, we problem solve every time. And I’ve heard myself say this to my daughter course, where I feel like we’ve had this conversation a lot and we keep thinking about ways to not do this next thing and we got to figure something else out. But in my head, I’m just like, no, she just needs more practice. But for parents who don’t understand that, it’s very important to call that out that none of these strategies that any parenting person would say is a checkbox. Did it solved? Yeah. Myla (08:24): Yes. Right? Yes, totally. Totally. We return to them time and time again, and we also sometimes think, oh, we don’t need to return to that one, and then next week would do Laura (08:37): Then Myla (08:37): That should also be very normal. Laura (08:40): Yeah. It’s like progress is not linear, right? Myla (08:43): A hundred percent. Yeah. I do a loopy loop model for learning. So it means that we can go to the top of the loop where we’re about to break a cycle or a new behavior, and then we slide back down sometimes before we make it all the way around. Laura (08:56): I love it. You had really good visual language for a lot of your strategies. I always see you call them out on Instagram and I’m like, oh, she has her own little vocabulary, but it always describes everything so beautifully. I love it. Oh, Myla (09:09): Thank you. Thank you. Yes. So I mean, you also said what is repair and repair is something for both child and parent. So this is not just one person in the relationship engages in repair and restitution. It’s both parent and child. And then your second question was, why would we be repair? Cause I also, I just want to tell the story that stands out to me so much. I mean, I think my girlfriend told it to me 10 years ago, and I still think about it all the time, that she remembers the first and only time an adult apologized to her and repaired and someone, it wasn’t her parent, but someone picked her. I wonder if she’s listening. Someone picked her up late from kindergarten, and she was distraught, and she got down on her level and she said, I made a mistake. I didn’t manage my time well, and I should have been here. And it makes sense that you felt scared and worried that I wasn’t coming, and I’m sorry. I know I’m, gosh, right Laura (10:12): Now, I honestly have never thought, I don’t think I’ve ever been apologized to by my parents. I mean, they haven’t made tons of things, but surely that, and I can think of a few times, you’re way, you’re, she would’ve, right? I don’t think I ever have had that either, which is why it’s so hard for our generation to do this work. That wonderful human, that adult that you just shared, that I feel like that kind of example was way more the exception and not the norm even more than it is today. But it really feels like a new language that we’re learning with parenting these kids in this very specific way, which when I hear the concepts behind our parent, it it’s like, it’s common sense. Why have we not done this before? But it also doesn’t feel natural. It feels like hard to do, especially adult to child. Myla (11:06): And I think that’s important for us to say validating that if you’re listening to this right now and you’re thinking, oh, that’s really hard. I find that difficult. What’s wrong with me? It can be something we think when we, we hear parenting information out there, nothing likely we’re not apologized to in this way. So you’re learning a brand new thing. You’re learning a brand new schema. The schema of, oh, an adult can make a mistake is not perfect and repairs with child. So also why it’s important to repair is because repair and rupture is part of, sorry, rupture and repair is part of human relationship. So what we’re doing in child early childhood, we’re creating maps for what our kids are, how they’re going to be in relationship, romantic friendship, whatever. Even with Laura (11:55): Coworkers, Myla (11:57): It’s so all relationship with the person who cuts in front of them at the grocery store with all of it. All of it, yeah. So it’s a very human experience and we can’t expect perfection, so we can’t expect that every time our child’s disre, we access the perfect coping strategy and we remember to take a break and we lean against the wall and we do. I’m being facetious, but of course those are wonderful things to do. But no one expects you to do them all the time. And I really hope you don’t expect that from yourself, anyone who’s listening. And so of course there’s going to be times where there’s rupture and there’s disconnection in the relationship. And so it’s so important that when those moments happen, we can be gentle with ourselves and forgive ourselves when we know we have access to repair. Cause repair rewrites the story of what happened. Laura (12:56): I really love that. That is the one thing that allows me to sleep at night, where I take the pressure off of myself of, oh, I got to keep it together today. I’ve been yelling the past few days. I’m like, you know what? I am miss. Well, I could always do, I need an exit route or an exit strategy or a panic button where I know if I can’t do something perfectly that I could always do this. I need a plan B, and this is my plan B, where it’s like, if I cannot be the perfect parent today, I know a hundred percent of the time I have the opportunity to repair. And that lifeline is what gets me through some of the hardest days where I don’t feel, because that extra pressure of keep it together, Laura, keep it for me, does not help me keep it together. If anything, it makes it Myla (13:40): Worse. No, no one. No one, it does. No one it does. And I want to give a little reframe if I can, is calling on that best parenting part of yourself. So you said be the perfect parent, perfect Laura (13:51): Parents the Myla (13:52): Best. Instead, call on the best parenting part of yourself. Sometimes we call on the mediocre parenting part of ourselves. We’re like, yes, have three more popsicles. Laura (14:01): Yes, Myla (14:01): We Laura (14:02): Got to go day by day, day by day. So I want to give listeners a preview of how we’re going to lay this out. So first I think it would be good for us to talk about the act of repairing as an adult with your child, and then later on we can talk about what that would look like, how we would facilitate that more between kids or child to adult. Because I feel like this makes sense because as so many with the parenting strategies, how do I get my kid to X, Y, Z? Will you model it? So of course it’s got to start with the parent to model it. So let’s start there. My, I want to hear some examples of what repair would look like, but my big more logistical question is, I know there’s not going to be a hard and fast rule, but is there some sense of knowing how many times do we have to repair if we’re, we’re in a rough patch right now and we’re having meltdowns and daily dysregulation. Is it every single time? Is it only the really big ones? Is it once a day? Is it, what’s your kind of rule of thumb with understanding and knowing when, oh, I really do need to repair that one. How would you tell parents? Myla (15:12): I would say anytime that your intuition tells you you’ve made a mistake. Yeah. So a really big reframe in my parenting model is that yelling at our kids, our children doing the thing that they know they’re not supposed to do or kicking us or any of those sorts of things, them yelling at us, all of those, I call those mistakes because every human is on a learning journey that luckily never ends. It’s goes infinity. And it’s that loopy loop that I was describing. So when we’re learning, we’re going to make mistakes and then we learn from those mistakes. So the opportunity to learn after we’ve done something and teach our child the true meaning of discipline, which is to teach and to learn, that happens through this process of restitution and repair, both modeling it and then when we’re guiding our children through it. So just to actually answer your question, when do we repair, when we’ve created a rupture, when there’s been a disconnect in the relationship Laura (16:22): And Myla (16:23): Something we wish we didn’t say? Laura (16:24): Yeah. And if it’s all day, I’m cranky all day and I’ve been short, I haven’t been able to spend time with her, I use more firm words or language or maybe yelled and it’s on of all day. I can kind of repair once at the end of the day and just talk about, I had a hard day today. That could be kind of the end before bed or something like that. It doesn’t have to be after every little thing, right? Yeah. Myla (16:55): I mean, sometimes when we’re in that moment and then we come back down, if we repair, it does help us also go, man, I’m really needing something I’m not getting right now. I’m in this cycle of rupture and repair, so I’m really needing something right now, grandma. Or let’s go to the park. Let’s go get outside. Let’s add water. We know that strategy really. It’s helpful often. Yeah, I need to go exercise. Here you go. You’re going to and do a ate kids’ yoga or listen to video and watch something. So repair can also be this helping us almost go to this curious place where it’s like, Ooh, something’s going on for both of us. We’re in this cycle for sure. But yes, I mean really the important thing is repair. So some parents will be like, oh gosh, this thing happened two weeks ago. All parents will say to me on call. Yeah. I’m like, it’s okay. You can still go back and go. You remember when you were at the park, I told you you would never have another birthday party again. Yeah, I shouldn’t have said that. And I’m sorry, it’s not true. I was dysregulated. I wasn’t in charge of my body and words came out of my mouth that I did not mean, and I’m sorry, two weeks ago. Laura (18:13): Two. Yeah. I think that’s so important to hear because I often get the question or the thought or concern that it happens, so I don’t want to bring it up again. Why would I bring it up and have them remember it? So can you talk about that? Myla (18:29): Yeah. So here’s why this is a really good reason why to bring it up again is the alternative maybe. Cause I’ll never say with certainty, every child is different. So every child will interpret differently, but there is a possibility when we don’t make sense of a moment when an adult is dysregulated, a child goes, that must be a me thing. So the child thinks I must be a really bad kid. I’m not actually sure I’m lovable. I’m not actually sure I’m worthy of love and care. These are obviously subconscious. This is, I’m not saying your child could articulate this, and again, it’s not every child, but this is the power of repair because you rewrite the narrative and go, yeah, that actually wasn’t your fault. Yeah, that was because I had four cups of coffee before you went to the park and had to go to the, there wasn’t one. I love Laura (19:26): That. So, right. I love that. Even as far back as a couple weeks, you can rewrite the story and then I sometimes frame it for parents if they do it pretty quickly, I call it more filling in the gaps for them, because otherwise they have these gaps in the story and they’re like, well, that must be me. And then I’m like, well, let me fill that gap for a second. That was not you. But I love the idea of you have the ability to rewrite that narrative. Okay, so you gave us a quick example of what it might sound like to repair that. You can just admit that you shouldn’t have said that. That’s not what you meant. What are other ways that repair can sound like or more of setting the scene of maybe let’s just a day-to-day needing to repair of how, like I said, having a grumpy day Yesterday, I was so cranky with my daughter for so many reasons, none of them relating to her at all. Luckily, I had called it out beforehand and I told her, I’m feeling very cranky today. I’m overwhelmed with work. I’m not mad at you. If you hear me use that voice, it’s not you. But some days I don’t have that forethought to do it. What would that sound like, or what would that look like for parents who want to repair with their kids? Myla (20:39): I mean, literally just what you said is, yeah, could be helpful and could be helpful in the before or in, in after. Really the key parts are just ensuring that we don’t then blame the child. Well, you were being really loud. Well, you wouldn’t come from the park right now because that does kind of almost like a race. If you need to talk about their behavior, that’s great. It’s just a long pause in between or the word and Laura (21:08): Oh, okay. So you can have it in the same conversation. So sometimes I wonder if I need to start with the repair first and then it didn’t help when your voice was so loud. Or would you say there’s a formula, it should always start with your side of it. If you are the person who needs to make the repair, would you say that it should always start with that first before jumping into the behavior or the problem solving or something that involves the child’s part in quotes of the whole thing? Myla (21:42): Yeah, I mean, I think the biggest thing is that you are both regulated and calm. So if your child yelled and then you yelled, stop yelling. The irony of that, of course. And then you go, oh, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have yelled at you in that big voice. But you look over and your child’s still dysregulated. We do. We get a sense. We have that feeling we’re that walking on eggshells. We know it’s just not a time where talking about their behavior is going to land on a child whose brain is learning or taking in information. We’re going to make this mistake a thousand times you guys, it’s ok. But the more that we can remember, oh, I actually want this to be a fruitful conversation. I’m not going to do it right now. Funny, my husband and I just had this conversation where I was like, we just went on vacation and we came back. Transitions are hard for my child who has a temperament, who has slow initial response and slow to adapt. So even though it’s home, she’s having a harder time. And I was like, Nick, how about our strategy is we just stop talking. And so as soon as she starts to show she’s dysregulated, we just stopped talking and we ran it past her and she was like, that would be so great. Laura (23:03): I love that you ran that past her. That is so smart because you’re calling it out right ahead. What did that sound like to run it past her? What did you say to her? Myla (23:14): She was well rested. So it was in the morning we said, Hey, we’ve noticed that you’ve been feeling really dysregulated really quickly, so we’re lot of, we’re getting a lot of zero to 100 s is what the result is. And we said, we want to help you. What strategies do you find the most helpful? We ran through some, and then Nick actually said, would it be helpful if I didn’t talk? And she went, oh yeah, that would be So, yeah. And I think I’m a huge talker. We probably have that in safe in common. And so I physically bite my tongue. That’s how I remind myself a physical reminder and I bite my tongue. So Laura (23:50): That a great, and she’s already starting. Well, because it makes sense from a sensory perspective. I am so auditory sensitive and my daughter for sure is, and anytime there’s any added thing, I will go even harder at you because I’m so dysregulated. So that strategy, this is away from repair, but I just want everyone to hear this cause it’s so smart. So she was already aware of it. And then did it happen that day when she would get kind of worked up and you can already know her signs of dysregulation and then you just, yes. You don’t announce it. You’re like, I’m going to be quiet now. You just stopped talking. Myla (24:25): I picked her up and I brought her to our bed so she could have a safe space to let it all out. And I bit that tongue so hard. Laura (24:34): Does she talk to you or ask you why you’re not talking? Because I’ve had some, maybe this is the key here is calling it out beforehand what you and Nick did, which was really smart. But I have, I’ve told parents more auditory makes it worse. But then they’re like, but my kid’s screaming. Why aren’t you talking to me? Talk, say this. You’re not saying, and they’re just mad that the parent is silent. Myla (24:56): So my thing would be my silence is still accompanied by a loving, nurturing face face and a low and slow body. So I’m like, oh, Laura (25:09): I know podcast Myla (25:10): Audio. But I’m going, Laura (25:13): Yeah, that’s kind of what I do Myla (25:15): Occasionally. Say, you’re safe. I’m here. So I do a lot of talking Right to our nervous system. Laura (25:20): Exactly. Exactly. And I’ve told parents to just like, you can ignore the words they’re saying. I was like, they’re going to ask you questions. They’re going to repeat phrases. That is not what we’re talking to. So if it helps to be quiet or silent or just say, I’m here or I know, but nothing more than that. And I think that’s way harder on the parent than it is the child. That was a really good tangent, but okay, we’ll go back to repair. I want to know, I have a lot of people in my audience, and I’m sure you do too as well, where not both parents or both caregivers are on board with the same parenting style parenting strategies. And I used to always take it, when I started learning about repair, I felt stuck when I wanted my husband to repair it with my daughter. (26:11)And he wasn’t there yet. He wouldn’t tune into the script and was not in that spot yet, thankfully, now he is. But I would try to repair for him because I didn’t want those gaps for my daughter, for her to have that. But I wasn’t always sure if that was the right thing. I think my therapist was also, if you are not the person who did the thing, you should not be the repair. But I felt so stuck where I didn’t want her to go to bed without filling in those gaps. What do you say to parents who, the adult who should repair you, you witness something and it doesn’t happen. Myla (26:50): Yeah. I mean, really complicated question with not a simple answer. I’m going to start off with that. Yeah. Yeah. Dr. Tracy and I actually have done a few workshops on same page parenting because it’s a pretty complex issue. But one of the pieces that we do talk about is, and it’s funny, less with the partner, but more with extended family. So extended family says like, oh, thank you for being a good girl, Laura (27:16): Or Oh yeah, Myla (27:18): Oh, you’re going to have extra ice cream, or whatever the things are. And what’s the likelihood of a person who’s saying that to come back and apologize their, it’s not so likely. So exactly what you’re saying is just rewriting the narrative. So they’re going to bed and you say, I heard dad talk to you in a really big voice. And she goes, yeah, I wonder, what did that feel like in your body? I felt scared. It was really scary. Oh, that makes so much sense. I wonder if dad was feeling really overwhelmed. I know a really busy day at work. This is not about excusing behavior, let me be clear. But acknowledging that people have a need behind their behavior and the big message filling in the gap. This isn’t a you thing, this isn’t about you. He was dysregulated. And then you can say, I wonder if next time you can tell that dad’s feeling frustrated. If you can come ask me for the yogurt instead of yelling at dad to get the yogurt, whatever the scenario is, those I Laura (28:31): Wonder statements are really great. Myla (28:35): And just filling in those gaps again to rewrite that narrative. For sure. Laura (28:39): Yeah, that’s really helpful. Okay, so now we’ve talked about parents repairing with the kids, and so you’ve modeled it essentially for them at this time. How do you facilitate repair from a child? Myla (29:00): Yeah, so this is going to take practice. I want to be really, really clear about that. And I do have a free big feeling script where I talk about repair as the and restitution as the final step. Laura (29:13): We’ll put that in the show notes for anyone listening a link for that. Yeah, Myla (29:16): Thank you. But we want to do is we, first, we want to solidify the child’s identity. So this is why we get Sammy, and if we have a child with a uc temperament and we say, you need to say sorry, you’re probably going to get punched in the face, or (29:34)They’re going to run away, or they’re going to hide. So we cannot force a child to feel remorse. And a lot of parents will then say, oh my gosh, so does my child. They refuse to apologize. What does this say about them? And I can tell you that what it says about them is they’re probably in deep in a shame spiral and feeling intense shame. So in order for us, I like to think about it shame like a volume control. So turn down the volume of shame, because shame is a very normal experience. We can solidify their identity. And that might sound like, I know you were really missing me because you were at daycare all day, and so we solidified the identity, and I know you were just hoping that I would give you a hug when you came up and screamed at me for water. (30:25)That’s the need behind the behavior of whining is often live and belonging. So we seek the need behind the behavior and we solidify their identity as a good human who is trying to get their need met in not a great way. Once we identify you’re a good person, it’s going to one, they’re going to rise to this identity you’re creating for them. So they’re going to be like, you see me as a good person, I can kind of lift to that a little bit. It also helps you reconnect in that moment where there’s likely disconnection and then there’s space for them to make restitution. So then I say, it’s okay to make a mistake. Are you willing to fix it? So parents will say they’re never willing to fix it. And I’m like, well, couple things can be happening. One, you forgot about that first step of modeling repair to them. (31:19)They don’t know what it looks like to fix it, or they’re still too dysregulated, or they’re still too deep in their shame. So you need to, okay, I hear you’re not ready yet. We’ll come back, come in a little bit and check if you’re ready then, and give them some time. Then they say or say, yes, I’m willing to fix things. Say, okay, well how can you fix it? And this is where we get, move past the words, I’m sorry, which are just gasoline in the temperament of some kids. It’s just doesn’t work for them. So my daughter will often run and make these beautiful elaborate cards where she’s sounding out words. Yes, she will get an ice pack. She will go and get her sister’s favorite stuffy and pass it to her. She will hug us, she will give us a kiss on the cheek. She has all of these actionable things that help her repair the relation, oh, she’ll smooth out my heart. So we talked about how disconnection can be wrinkling a heart. So she’ll put her hand on my chest and smooth out my heart. So she has all these ways to repair that. Don’t drag her into shame and tell her she’s a bad person. And I always finish it, get ready for chills with Thank you for being the kind of person who fixes your mistakes. You are exactly who we need in this family. Laura (32:42): Oh, I do have chills. Myla (32:44): That’s so sweet. Because now in this narrative of, oh, I’m a kid who yells at my parents and causes chaos and whatever is I’m a good human who’s made a mistake and I’m needed in this family and I can repair relationships. Laura (33:02): So you have this wonderful foundation set within your family. And so between the siblings and between the parents, it’s just common knowledge. They’re going up with this. Yeah. How is this received, or have you seen this played out with peers who maybe they expect, and I’m sorry, or they expect a more traditional restitution thing to happen between peers and they don’t respond well to the smoothing out the heart or an ice, and they’re just, I’m curious if you’ve seen us play out with another peer Yes. Who does not get this part of prepare yet. What does that look like? Myla (33:39): Well, I, I’ll actually also reframe it. So even in our family, one person will say, can I fix my mistake with a hug? And I’ve taught my kids, so you can teach your kids. I’m not ready because I don’t know if you ever have this where you fight with your husband and you’re like, I’m not actually ready. Laura (33:57): No, I’ve had that with my daughter, honestly. I’ve had that with my daughter where she’s ready. And I have felt so guilty about guilty or shame. I don’t remember. I don’t know the difference between the two feelings well enough to call them out. But I feel terrible when she’s ready to hug. And I’m still fully dysregulated, still angry that I had spilled my coffee and now have to remake it, and now this, and I’m not ready. But I feel terrible that I’m this adult and this child is apologizing and I’m just in that second, I’m not ready yet. Myla (34:29): So just acknowledging. And my Elvis is, she’s like a little Buddha. She’s so good at this. She’ll say, I hear you apologizing, and I’m just not quite ready yet. And Laura (34:41): Oh my gosh. Myla (34:42): Yeah. And I’ll let you know when I’m ready. And then honestly, it’s usually five minutes later. Yeah. Oh yeah. (34:48)But sometimes you do need that moment. And then when it’s happened, and we’ve have had it, my kids are five and seven, so they’re a little bit older, and we have had friend interactions and stuff and then talked through, my daughter will say, this happened. And then she didn’t fix her mistake. And I said, you might need to go to her and say, Hey, that really hurt. And I felt like we weren’t going to be friends anymore. Are you willing to fix your mistake? And they have. She has. And people want the opportunity to be reconnected in disconnected relationships. It’s like how kids want to be loved by us. They’re never trying to annoy us because their greatest desire is to be loved by us. So people, kids just want an opportunity to repair. So again, if you’re trying these strategies and they’re not working, keep at it because they might need some more modeling and they might still just be dysregulated. So just give them some time until they’re calm. Laura (35:50): Are there some children or temperament styles that you’ve worked with where even when they’re calm, they still are stuck and they just don’t want to repair? Or they feel uncomfortable with the active repair and they’re calm, but they just refuse? Or have you ever come across that? Or what Myla (36:11): Would you say? No, I haven’t. And I was a kindergarten teacher before I worked with parents, and this was my master’s thesis work. So I’ve done this with kids for, Laura (36:21): Yeah, Myla (36:21): I’ll make myself sound really old, but 14 years. And I’ve never had children not respond to it. What’s incredible about it, because I used to implement it in schools, and what’s incredible about it is kids will come up to you and say, I made a really bad choice and I colored on the bathroom wall. Can you help me fix my mistake? Laura (36:39): Because when you Myla (36:40): Aren’t going to be shamed for making a mistake, just going to repair. And I also have this other great thing that happened is we were on vacation with friends and the dad jokingly went, oh, oh, you guys better stop that. You’re going to be in big trouble. And my daughter said, in our family, we don’t get in trouble. People just help us fix our mistakes. Laura (37:01): Oh my God, that’s awesome. Myla (37:04): I know. I was like, that’s so Laura (37:05): Good. Myla (37:06): It’s working. Laura (37:07): Oh my gosh. The work we have to do to try to convince people who are not in this space or in this part of their parenting journey yet, that what we’re doing is actually so impactful. The amount of times when we get doubt, where they’re like, so you’re not going to make them apologize. You’re not going to make them do X, y, Z. It’s so hard to not fully engage in that conversation just because I know it’s not always, we’re not in the same, we’re not speaking the same language. And what you were saying earlier, I look at everything that I teach my daughter and the skills and the strategies, not for a short term fix, but how is this going to help her in the long, because we get the que, well, I’m not always going to be there when they’re this old, and what are they going to do when I’m not there? I’m like, exactly why I’m teaching her this now so that when I’m not there, she can take ownership over that and repair with her partner, her boss, her friend, her coworker, her teacher, and know how to ask for repair if she needs it to give the other person an opportunity to, it’s well within their right to ask for someone to fix a mistake, how your daughter did to her friend. That’s lifelong learning. Myla (38:22): Totally. And I actually just want to add something on, cause I thought of an objection that parents might be thinking of as well. What about when you’re at the play date and your child hits the child and they’re still too dysregulated, so they’re not going to repair in the moment, Laura (38:35): So you can’t repair it then, right? Myla (38:36): Yeah. And so in that case, we borrow their voice. So my daughter actually sticks her tongue out, but she’s like, nah, here’s my voice. (38:46)And I’ll say, oh, you made a mistake. They are you willing to fix it gives me that look. I know she’s not, she’s frozen. She’s frozen in shame a hundred percent. And I say, will you pass me your voice and I’ll fix for you? And she’ll pass her voice and I will give the apology that the child deserves. So I’m really sorry I threw that toy at you. I felt overwhelmed. I wish that I had instead said, mom, I’m starting to feel overwhelmed. Can you help me? You’re still my friend and I still care about you. And I have another beautiful story where my daughter did that. I think she hit, her sister pulled her hair or something, and I was like, are you willing to fix? She was like, no. So I said, okay, can you pass your voice? And I gave this up, this apology that I almost started to tear up because they were such an, I know you’re such a good big sister to me. And in as soon as I was done, they just wrapped their arms around each other. It didn’t matter that the words came out of my mouth. They just needed to be said. And then so my youngest could identify, yep, that’s what I wanted to say. My eldest, yep, that’s what I needed to hear. And they could hug. It was so phenomenal. Laura (40:00): I love that. I also want to put a plug in for another opportunity to model this. It’s so helpful for them to hear you repair with your partner. If you have a partner who’s present at the same time, a lot of course you want to mitigate as intense of the arguments as you have, but for the day-to-day bickering, and even if there is a bigger argument that happens, it can be so helpful to have one of those repair conversations within earshot of the child. You don’t have to be sit down and watch this happen, but you don’t have to walk into a private room unless it’s a content subject that shouldn’t be for their ears. But there’s so many day-to-day things where you can just model it between adults. That is so powerful for them to see too. I wish I saw my parents repair. I never saw that. Myla (40:51): Totally. And I’ll, even if Nick goes to work or something, I’ll say, I want you to know that Daddy. And I said sorry to each other and told Laura (41:00): Each Myla (41:00): Other. So I actually report the repair. Exactly. Laura (41:03): I did that this morning. You weren’t looking for it. Yeah, I did that this morning. Last night we had a rough bedtime, and then my husband and I were hangry. So hungry, so hungry, and at the end of the night, and so she went to bed and we were still kind of in that space. And this morning she came in the room and I told her, and I said, oh, I want you to know I already fixed it with daddy, so we’re okay. Thank you for last night. She goes, I know you were both. She goes, I know you told me you were cranky and I know you were sleepy. And I, she, I heard dad say he was disappointed the food wasn’t like something. So she’s like, I already knew, but I was like, I wanted to know. We fixed it. And she’s like, okay. Just that’s, Myla (41:41): It’s Laura (41:42): So good to have that transparency with them. It makes me excited for them growing up and seeing them learn, having this different model in front of them. I mean, feel like I could talk to you forever about this, but I want to let other people know where they can learn more from you. Where are you hanging out? Where are all of your resources that they can find? And the most applicable resource related to this that if parents are hearing this and they just really want to dig deeper, where can they go? Myla (42:13): Yeah, thank you. So I’m on Instagram at joyful dot parents, and that’s pretty the easiest way to find everything. So I have a lot of different free resources. And then I also have a parent space that is kind of a complete, we were just talking about this before, we record a complete parenting space that helps parents of young kids just enjoy parenting more. Lots and lots of different resources. And we talked a bit about temperament. I have something coming soon about that. So are we, depending on when this is released, but everything I share over on my Instagram page, so best place to find me for sure. Laura (42:53): Great. Thank you so much for sharing all your wisdom with us. I hope everyone out there today is inspired to try this act of repair if it’s new for you, or know that you are already doing the right thing. Even if it feels like it’s not working, stick to it. Yes. Myla (43:07): I love that. Yeah, keep Laura (43:08): Adding. Myla (43:08): Thanks for Laura (43:10): Being here, Myla. Myla (43:11): Thanks so much. Speaker 2 (43:13): If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider rating it and leaving a review, which helps other parents find me as well. Want to learn more from me. I share tons more over on Instagram at the OT Butterfly. See you next time.




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Laura Petix, MS OTR/L

I’m an enneagram 6, so my brain is constantly moving. My OT lenses never turn off and I can’t “un-see” the sensory and other developmental skills that go in to literally every activity. I love taking what I see and breaking it down into simple terms so parents can understand what goes into their child’s behavior and skills.

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