Welcome to the 59th episode of The Apparently Parent Podcast, and this is one you don't want to miss because today I'm talking with Sarah MacLaughlin. Sarah is a social worker, parent educator, and author of the award-winning, bestselling book, What Not to Say: Tools for Talking with Young Children, and she recently published her new book Raising Humans With Heart.

Sarah is an experienced educator who has worked with parents for many years and has made it her life's mission to help parents and children form stronger and more positive relationships, and you will sense that all through our discussion.

We Guide Our Children With Who We Are

Sarah MacLaughlin

Key Takeaways from the Conversation

1. Parenting as a Self-Help Journey

  • Parenting is not just about raising children; it's also about personal growth and development. It's a journey that requires parents to be aware of their own needs and emotions.

2. The Importance of Self-Relationship in Parenting

  • The relationship you have with yourself significantly impacts your parenting style. Being kind and understanding towards oneself is crucial for being empathetic and connected with your children.

3. Balancing Immediate Needs with Long-Term Goals

  • While addressing immediate parenting challenges is essential, it's equally important to consider the long-term effects of parenting decisions on children's development and the parent-child relationship.

4. Understanding the Brain's Role in Parenting

  • Knowledge about brain science is vital for parents. Understanding how the brain works can lead to self-forgiveness and a better grasp of why we react the way we do, especially under stress.

5. Modeling Behavior and Emotional Regulation

  • Parents guide their children through their own behaviors and reactions. Demonstrating emotional regulation and conflict resolution is key to teaching children these skills.

6. The Book: A Gateway to Parenting Knowledge

  • “Raising Humans With Heart” is not a heavy, technical read but rather a gateway into parenting, covering various topics from self-awareness to community building.

7. Parenting Across Different Stages

  • The book is relevant for parents of children of all ages, emphasizing the evolving nature of parenting and the importance of adapting to each stage.

8. Advice to New Parents

  • Sarah's advice to her younger self and new parents is to not panic and to keep taking care of oneself. Balancing personal needs with parenting responsibilities is crucial.


“Raising Humans With Heart” by Sarah MacLaughlin is a must-read for parents seeking a balanced, empathetic approach to parenting. It encourages self-awareness, understanding of brain science, and the importance of modeling positive behavior. This book is a valuable resource for anyone on the parenting journey, offering insights and guidance for raising empathetic, understanding, and heart-connected children.

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Ep. 59 - Raising Humans with Heart with Sarah MacLaughlin
Eran Katz: [00:00:00] You're on The Apparently Parent Podcast. And today I'm talking with the author of one of the best parenting books you can buy this year, it just came out recently. And I think it's a must read. Check it out. Stay after intro.

All right, everybody. My guest today is a social worker, parent educator, and author of the award-winning best-selling book: "What not to say - tools for talking with young children." She also writes the parenting toolbox column for Portland Maine's parent and family.
And she's recently published her new book, "Raising Humans With Heart", which is a wonderful opportunity to finally have her on the show. This has been awhile in scheduling. So please welcome Sarah macLaughlin. Hi Sarah.
Sarah McLaughlin: [00:01:33] Hi, Eran so nice to meet you. I'm glad we finally made it happen.
Eran Katz: [00:01:37] yeah, yeah. Yeah. It's been a while and things happened here and around where I live, we had to reschedule, but, For those who listen, when this episode comes out, I, I did an episode, a couple of weeks back about everything that happened here recently in Israel. Rockets firing and everything.
At least I tried to gather some stuff that I could have learned while parenting under fire to,
59_sarah: [00:02:03] Wow.
59_eran: [00:02:03] know, take off with me, eh going forward. So I don't recommend that as an experience, but you know, when , life gives you lemons and all that. Yeah.
59_sarah: [00:02:13] That's that's more than a lemon, but I'm glad to know that you're going to be putting something out to to share about your experience. I'm sure we'll all benefit from your learning.
59_eran: [00:02:21] Thanks. So, as I've said, you were recently published, your new book, which is called raising humans with heart. And remind me, what is the tagline again? I liked that.
59_sarah: [00:02:31] Oh, the subtitle is "not a how to manual".
59_eran: [00:02:34] Yeah, because I think recently we are being like recently in the last couple of years being flooded, we've how to manuals and, you know, there's no, I, I tend to say to my clients that there's no real how to, for children and parents, you know, even us therapists, we don't have like a manual for that, which sometimes people find dissapointing.
I got to say when I shared that with them. So I wanted to start with asking you You call the book, raising humans with heart now you know, concretely speaking, we are all born with a heart, but what does humans with heart, what does it mean to you?
59_sarah: [00:03:15] Yeah,
well, the title sort of has a double meaning because there's the adults who are doing the raising, right? Because we have, as humans is very long and intensive, biologically speaking, compared to other mammals period where we're doing pretty intensive caregiving and parenting. So I think that it's important for us to, you know, be in our hearts or be connected to our hearts.
But that also, we want to raise humans who end up feeling that same way, right. That they have connection to their heart. And for me, heart is really a metaphor for connection, understanding, empathy all of those kinds of qualities that really help us, you know, know each other better and be better humans to each other.
So that's kind of where I was going with it.
Eran Katz: [00:04:00] Yeah, I love that because I think when I, when I started creating this podcast and thinking about parenting and what I want, where I want to take parenting conversation with my clients and here on the podcast. I started to think about the future and how we parents may need, or want to think about the future of our children, not only the here and now. I want to raise my children to have
hearts that are open to the world, but also to themselves. And think I can see a lot of what I don't want to happen with my clients because I mainly treat adults now. So I see like, you know, what's gonna happen in the future. It also ties with if your subtitle of not a, how to manual, because many parents are looking for.
59_eran: [00:04:49] How to just help me, you know, deal with what's going on right now, help me put these fires out and that's good to put fires out. We don't want the house to be burning, but we always have to think about a future. And sometimes that means, you know, you have to choose.
59_sarah: [00:05:07] Right. Or, or, or also like maybe a third path is to get curious about how to hold both things. Right? Like, I love what you're saying, because it's so important that there's what's happening in the moment, but then there's a long-term effect, right? That we're not, we're not raising children, we're raising adults.
Right. We're raising eventually fully formed functioning humans. And Markerhopefully.
that's the goal, but that there is sort of this piece where, you know, you could do something in the moment, you could do some sort of tactic or strategy, right. That's going to say curb behavior that you dislike, but then what's the impact on your child long-term but what's also the impact on your relationship with your child long-term. Like, even with our very extensive, you know, caregiving period, and the fact that human brains aren't really fully developed with a fully functioning prefrontal cortex until the mid twenties.
It's still important to think about how much more time you're going to have in your relationship with your child while they're an adult than when, while they're a child and that, you know, our interactions with them over those early caregiving times impact the outcome of that relationship and how.
How our kids may feel about us in the future, right? Like that's something to keep in mind for sure. And it's not, there's no formula. I mean, that is, it is disappointing. Like sometimes I have a small, you know, a full-time job as a writer, but I also have a small coaching practice on the side. And it is, it is the first thing I say to people when I work with them, like, I don't have a magic bullet and I'm sorry.
There's no, there's no one size fits all because humans are really unique and we're very neuro-diverse and it's complicated. And emotions are messy and, and parenting is really, you know, I could give you scientific information, but the science is always evolving and there's, it's a science and an art, you know, there's an art to it.
And there's also just the reality of relationships and how complicated they are.
59_eran: [00:07:05] Yeah, I love what you just said because in the beginning of each episode, in my intro for this podcast, I said that this is the apparently parent podcast where we combine the art of parenting with the science of psychology. And that's my goal in a way.
59_sarah: [00:07:19] I love that. Yeah. It's so true. It's so, so true. And you gonna kind of both in one in each hand, right? Like it's not one or the other. It's really it's really that both together.
59_eran: [00:07:29] Yeah, I think that's, that's kind of the beauty of it. It makes things kind of more complicated and tough sometimes because you don't know what to do sometimes, but yeah. That's the beauty of, I think that's the beauty of life.
59_sarah: [00:07:41] Absolutely the mystery of life.
59_eran: [00:07:43] So maybe, maybe you want to share a little bit about your own journey into, you know, becoming someone who writes about parenting and how your previous book or this one came to be .
59_sarah: [00:07:55] Yeah.
So my background's in early childhood, I started off my college career studying early childhood and then, you know, took a couple of turns and curves, but ended up working in a preschool for quite a while at the beginning. And then I worked as a nanny for awhile. So I, I had the opportunity to not only interact with a lot of other people's children, but I also had the opportunity to watch other parents and other caregivers interacting with their children.
And so my first book really grew out of a frustration. Around seeing the way that people interacted with kids and spoke to them in ways that I found very, (A) disrespectful and (B) like counterproductive to their positive development. So I kind of started keeping this laundry list of things that like, you know, were commonly said things you know, like I'll give you something to cry about or, you know, even just stop crying or the ways that we sort of shut down kids emotional expression because it's loud, it's messy, it's inconvenient. It embarrasses us, et cetera. But I ended up with quite a, quite a list and that's what turned turned into my first book was the, what not to say. And then kind of what to say instead. And then you know, I just, I also just have always been obsessed with babies.
You know, babies just seem so beautiful and pure and innocent. And then, you know, I look around the world and there's certainly plenty of beautiful, pure, lovely kind people out there, but there's also some stuff going on. That's not so kind and pleasant. And so I honestly, from a young age have always wondered like what, what happened here
right? And we, we know, we know that like the outcomes of, you know, it's complicated, right. But that, you know, at a very distilled perspective, we have nurture and nature, right. And that they're both very important. And if we don't have control over nature, which is kind of like our predispositions or genes or whatever, then what we do have power over is the nurture piece.
So that's how I just became sort of focused on parenting too. Like we do have power to shift and change the trajectory, but how do we do that? And what do we do, right? Like the jury's still out on what the optimal approaches are, right? We're still talking about that. And I love that the conversation has gotten so involved and rich and, and whatnot, but, but basically ever since then, I've just been obsessed with parenting and caregiving young children, because we know that their brains grow and change really quite a lot in the first three years of life.
So then, then I discovered an organization called "Hand in Hand Parenting", which really focuses on listening tools. So my whole first book was about how we talk to children. And then I discovered this approach that was all about listening. And that was like a light bulb. I was like, oh, this is the other side of communication.
Like not just the talking that how we talk to children is really important, but also how we listened to them is really important and how we listen to their feelings and reflect them back to them and offer them containment and support and skills. And so that sent me in a totally different direction. And I learned a whole lot. And so I'm just, I'm just, I also joke, like I read all the parenting books, so you don't have to, you probably do that too, where you're just like every new thing that comes out. I can't wait to get my hands on it and learn, you know, what's being talked about in the area of parenting because, because I want to hone that art, right?
I want to help parents see things in a, in a different way so that they're going to also get their needs met. And they're going to be able to reflect on what's driving their reactions to their children. Because that can be a tricky piece too. I kind of set the stage at the beginning of this new book that we all come to parenting with a manual in our pocket.
And that's the way that we were parented when we were growing up. Cause that's our first model for parenting right? And if you don't acknowledge that and look at that and maybe edit it a little bit, that's going to be by default, the kind of parenting you pass on or on the flip side, sometimes people do like the exact opposite of everything that's in their manual.
59_eran: [00:11:48] And in either case you kind of operate not from your own values and what's important to you.
59_sarah: [00:11:55] Exactly. It's not authentic and it's not intentional, right? So, and it's not taking to account the, the neuro-diverse, you know, we have these, we have children who are, who they are. Right. And they're not us. They don't maybe need exactly the same kind of parents. That we think we needed. And so being able to be observant of that and connected enough to be present and responsive to the child or children that you have in front of you.
And as you know, you have two children, so that might be different for each child, right? Like you can't necessarily parent them exactly the same.
59_eran: [00:12:32] I had to learn that in the hard way. Yeah.
59_sarah: [00:12:36] Yeah. It's tricky. So that was a long-winded answer. To your question, I think.
59_eran: [00:12:42] Yeah. Yeah. And I love that. Because I get to speak with many different people in our major area of parenting and to see how, how different people go into these, you know, rabbit hole of what parenting is all about and thinking about parenting and talking about that, et cetera, from different places.
So where if, if we were focusing now on, on your recent recent book, so you, you did say that your previous one, and it's also in the title, it's, it's geared towards a younger children and this last one is also the same or who is it for?
Sarah McLaughlin: [00:13:22] Yeah.
It's really, for anybody. I tried to make it written in pretty broad strokes. As far as like how old your children might be. And I have a friend who's a therapist who actually very sweetly has told me she uses her books with adult clients. When they're working on reparenting themselves even if they don't have own children, just as sort of like, here's a different way of parenting might have gone and just as a different, as a different lens.
So I love that, but this book contains a lot anecdotes about me parenting my child when he was young. But I don't think that it's only for parents of young children. And, and as part of wanting to expand the scope, I actually reached out to a lot of my friends whose kids had already left home, who had, who had they had an empty nest just to kind of get that full range because I taught, I think a lot about like the relationship I want to have with my adult child and that that's in that's in my mind as I'm parenting him when he's two and seven and 13, right.
That, that I want to, and not this whole thing where, you know, there's a lot of criticism around parents who like, don't, don't be your child's friend. Right. Well, I'm not his friend because I'm not his peer, but I still want to have a good relationship with him.
59_sarah: [00:14:33] So, so I brought in a little bit of that perspective, just thinking about it. Thinking about that phase of parenting. And I actually included it an excerpt from a friend who wrote something really beautiful about it. So I think it's really for, for anybody on the parenting journey, let's say from, from baby to baby to grown up.
59_eran: [00:14:55] Yeah, which is, I think what's the beauty of the parenting journey is that it's always evolving and changing and you always are learning new stuff. So I think it's nice to have these types of books who are really not a manual, like a, how to manual of how to raise a three years old or
59_sarah: [00:15:12] right.
59_eran: [00:15:13] I think it's more and it kind of goes, I think, into my next question.
It's the type of book. I think that is relevant for the parents themselves. You know, how, how you grow into being a parent and you do go into very different, wonderful topics in the book. And I want to focus on one of them, which is kind of close to my heart. And that's chapter two, which is titled "The most important relationship you have is with yourself". So what do you mean by that?
59_sarah: [00:15:44] Yeah.
Well, speaking, speaking to, you know, being able to be empathetic and connected and responsive with your children.
Is, you know, it kind of all stems from how much we can love and care for ourselves. Right? Like if we, if we sometimes there's, I can't remember who I'm quoting, but somebody once said that, you know, if you had a, if you could hear how you talk to yourself, you would never talk to anybody else that way. That many of us who maybe grew up with, you know, less middle, you know, we were talking about being able to hold both as far as being a parent. And sometimes that holding both is around like firmness and kindness and, and that's really that authoritative parenting style that's kind of in the middle.
But many of us are received very different kinds of parenting when we were growing up and that may have built an inner voice that's, you know allowed critic or you know, is, is kind of tearing us down instead of building us up, whether or not our parents were directly speaking to us that way, those sorts of voices kind of creep in.
And I just think that it always, it comes out in our relationships with our children, if we're not able to be. You know, kind to ourselves or take care of our own needs. Right. There's also just a lot of narrative out there about the sacrificing yourself for your kids, kind of a thing. And that I don't subscribe to that.
I don't think that it's healthy, right. because our kids need to learn that other people exist and have needs. And this is something that sort of slowly evolves because when they're little, they need us so much that our boundaries tend to get very, very squishy, right. When we're taking care of it.
And I don't know about you, but my boundaries got really squishy. And so being able to, you know, I think a huge part of having a good relationship with yourself is having good boundaries because that means that you care about yourself and you
59_eran: [00:17:31] Yeah, because if there are no boundaries, there is no you.
59_sarah: [00:17:33] That's right. Exactly. So.
That as a way to just as a framework for learning about what your needs are, where your boundaries should be. Like, you know, I learned where my boundaries , should be by default sometimes because I, I go to, I go too far into somebody else's space, or I say yes to doing something that I should have said no.
So it's always kind of like a learning a learning curve, but I feel like it makes us better parents to take better care of ourselves. I know there's so much out there right now. It can become sort of cliche around self care and, you know, mommy time and all of that kind of stuff. But I'm not even necessarily talking about getting out of the house and having time to yourself, although that's lovely, but just kind of factor yourself into the moment by moment, day by day of, of having enough space to, to meet your own needs and take care of yourself so that you can be more present
more fully for your kids for this job that, you know, none of us really can prepare for. It's just impossible to prepare for.
59_eran: [00:18:33] Yeah, but I think, you know, it's so important to, I think the listen to yourself and that really takes time because especially when, when you're a new parent you're so usually you're very immersed in the experience of, of having such a little creature that you need to take care of and that scary and all of that.
But with time with time, you know, and parents take this to many different places, but we kind of lose the ability to listen to what's important to us as parents and as human beings, and you can of enmeshing those two roles together. Like I'm either a parent or I'm an you know, I I'm at, at work, for example, a city.
59_sarah: [00:19:18] Right, right, right.
59_eran: [00:19:20] And, and, there's, we, we kind of forget like who we were before. Like we, we, we became parents like people with hobbies and needs and
59_sarah: [00:19:31] Interests of our own, fully, fully formed thoughts.
59_eran: [00:19:34] Yeah. And, and I know, I do believe that we, we need to do, you know, to give a lot to our children and they need us more than anything, but they also need us, you know, with our batteriesfull.
And there is the cliche is about self care and, you know, find 10 minutes a day to do some yoga and all that. And I actually, you know, believe that's helpful. and that's not the end goal. The end goal is that you learn to listen to yourself and it kind of reminds me, it made me think about a transition that I made me with myself.
Like probably in the last year, when, you know, we were home all the time with COVID lock downs last year and all that, and have two little kids at home and trying to work from home . And, and I'm very sensitive to loud noises. Cause in my family growing up, my mom always said that if she wouldn't talk, nobody would think there's anyone at home because me and my dad and my brother are very quiet people.
And, and, and that's in, it's not an argumentative household, no arguments, no one's screaming. So I guess I developed some kind of sensitivity to noise. And when my children can get very loud, it drives me crazy. And, and,
59_sarah: [00:21:07] Yep.
59_eran: [00:21:08] you know, on one hand I don't want to be the dad that always shushing them down and all that.
And you know, kids are kids and they're playing and they can be loud in. And I truly believe that they're allowed to have all their emotions, which sometimes are loud. then I also need to take care of myself and my own ears and sanity. So it's something that I had to learn to balance. W w w like when it's quote unquote, okay.
To ask them to keep the tones down, or maybe I need to take a break and, you know, go to another room when they're too much for me.
59_sarah: [00:21:47] right. Yeah.
Well, I mean, you bring up such a lovely example of, of the, the dance of balancing everyone's needs, right? Like, and that's why, you know, in my book, I encourage parents just make sure you're keeping yourself in that equation. Right? Like it shouldn't be all about our needs entirely. You know, it can be problematic, but it shouldn't be zero about our needs too.
And finding that balance again, is a place where there's really no formula, but, you know, and, and this is, this is an awesome place to talk about and model conflict resolution, because that's a conflict, right? Like you have a need that bumps up against something that's developmentally appropriate for them.
Right. So how do you solve that problem? And, you know, brainstorming maybe even with your children as a, as a. As an approach, but you know, there's not going to be any one, right answer. I will tell you, I, for years and years, I have recommended to parents who have noise sensitivity especially if toddlers carry earplugs in your room, just keep them in your pocket because then it starts you're then like, it's not like you're blocking everything out.

Yes. That I apparently like, you know, let certain sounds in, but they block out those like really annoying tones. So, so this is a common issue, apparently so much so that someone has marketed a specific product to these parents.
But I think it just didn't occur to you. Like, you know, you block out your child's voice, right. You know, It doesn't mean that you have to be ignoring them. You're just trying to get your nervous system calm enough, to be able to parent the way you want a parent, right? Like you don't have to be yelling or have a tone that's like so cranky because you're escalated and triggered by the noise.
Right? So if you can buffer that in any way, that's going to help keep your nervous system calm. You're going to be able to parent in a way that you want to, and that may, and that's just a matter of figuring out what's gonna, what's going to help with whatever, whatever the issue.
59_eran: [00:23:39] Yeah, and I think just, it's just one example and I I'm sure that every parent that we can track down in the middle of the street and ask him, everyone has some kind of issue if, if they are, if they are honest enough with themselves and can trust themselves to, you know, share that at least with themselves.
I think that's, that's where we need to start, like being open with ourselves.
59_sarah: [00:24:03] Right. And then exploring the complicated question of like, what needs to happen right. To my children is the automatic answer that my children's need to behave differently. Well, that might be part of the answer. They might, it might help if they behave differently, are they developmentally able to behave differently?
Right? Like there's just so many different factors to consider. And then how can you take care of yourself and get your needs met? If they aren't, like a two year old who starts loo you know, flipping out it, slips their lid and loses their emotional equilibrium, like getting them to be quiet immediately.
There's no real. You know, there's ways to do that, that are probably not very healthy to your two year old, but there's
59_eran: [00:24:42] no real mute switchyeah
59_sarah: [00:24:44] there's no, no, there's no mute button on it on a screaming two year old. So, so figuring out different ways to cope , and I, one of the things I talk about in the book is like shifting the narrative that you're telling yourself, because there's always sort of two things going on parellely is like, what's happening with your child, but then there's the story that you're telling yourself about the interaction, right?
That it shouldn't be happening. That's my go-to is like, this should not be happening. And well,
59_eran: [00:25:08] this is just wrong.
59_sarah: [00:25:10] this is just wrong.
You should not be behaving that way. This should not be happening. But it is happening. So telling myself that it shouldn't be happening is totally counterproductive to any sort of solution, but I might be able to come to in the moment.
And so that is like my first line of offense. It's like catching that story and being like. You know, there's, there's, there's probably, you know, all behavior, all of them are usually driven by emotions and emotions are just something that people have. And, you know, maybe there's some reason for this total meltdown, but it doesn't probably matter what the reason is, but it's happening.
So I might as well figure out a story I can tell myself what's going to help me stay as calm, cool, and connected to my child as possible. Instead of that other route where I just think this shouldn't be happening and I don't deserve this. And I'm the victim in this scenario. Yeah.
Blah, blah, blah. Right.
Like that's what I always start to do. So, and I still start to do it, like as much as I have known and written and all these books I read and et cetera, like I still do that. Right. I still have to stop myself and be like, oh, okay. I don't want this to be happening, but it is happening. So how can I reframe the situation or tell myself a different story about that?
To get myself less heated. Right. Cause if I join in the mess of my child's upset, I'm not, I'm not helping at all.
59_eran: [00:26:26] Exactly. So, and I think that's, I think that's why parenting is such a self help journey
59_sarah: [00:26:33] Yeah. I love that. I love
59_eran: [00:26:35] Yeah. Because you, you, you, you, you just have to grow in and when, when you don't do that, Eventually your kids are coming to people like me and pay them a lot of money to take care of their issues eventually.
So, and I guess that's why, why, why I do here, what I do, because I want to, you know, help parents move away from those places, which aren't their fault at all. Usually usually it's like a generation after generation of doing things.
59_sarah: [00:27:03] absolutely.
59_eran: [00:27:03] I don't even want to use the word wrong because sometimes yeah. Hmm, there are wrong stuff that you can do, but you know, usually it's because you didn't learn.
And you, you mentioned that before, you didn't learn how to do a better job because no one taught you cause they didn't know and all that.
59_sarah: [00:27:21] Yeah.
absolutely. I love that. A self-help journey.
59_eran: [00:27:26] Yeah. It reminds me, I, I, there's a quote from somewhere in the book you write. And I wrote it in my notes. "We guide our children with who we are".
59_sarah: [00:27:36] Yeah.
59_eran: [00:27:36] And, that's why we have to
59_sarah: [00:27:39] Right.
59_eran: [00:27:40] work on ourselves. Not necessarily to go to therapy for many years. I'm not advocating that for everybody, just being aware
59_sarah: [00:27:49] yeah, it is true. We do well, I was inspired also in part to write this book by I mentioned it Jerry Paul was a PhD and author and she was one of the founding board members for the organization where I work. And she has this quote that we all kind of live by at, at work, which is how you are, is as important as what you do.
And so it really brought that point that you're making to the forefront that we do guide our children with who we are, like, how we handle it when we get triggered. Like that is we're always modeling. Right. I joke that the good. news is our kids are always watching us and the bad news is our kids are always watching us.
Right. So, so any growth that we make in any, even if it's messy, like, and even if we're having to talk about it out loud, as we're doing it, like, oh, wow. I'm totally reacting to the way you just talked to me. So I'm going to take any breath so that I don't say something I regret because I'm not feeling very happy in this moment.
And like, you know, it doesn't have to be eloquent, right. It doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, it won't be perfect. It will be clunky and messy and maybe even awkward, but
59_eran: [00:28:54] will meet her so much.
59_sarah: [00:28:56] it's instructive. Right. It's so instructive. And then you get better at it. Like that's the cool thing. Like you do get better. Yeah. At catching your trigger before it just explodes into a ignited firecracker or whatever, like it does get easier to kind of catch it.
The more that you practice.
59_eran: [00:29:16] And I think one of the things that I liked in your book, because that's something that I studied and I find interesting for me is that you go a little bit about understanding the brain. And sometimes I start to talk about the brain with my clients and they are sometimes like, what do you want from me?
Why, why does it matter? So why do you think it matters? Why, why, why parents should care?
59_sarah: [00:29:43] Well, to your point where you said you said it's not their fault, the parents, the way that they react to their children's behavior, or maybe do things that are, you know, we're shying away from the word wrong, maybe counterproductive or not emotionally healthy or whatever, however you wanna frame it.
I think one of the main reasons is that we didn't have this. We didn't have the information about the brain that we have now when, you know, even 30 years ago. Right? Like it's been, what was it like in the mid nineties that we gained all of this technology to be able to look at brains and see what they do.
And we've just learned so, much about why people behave the way that they behave because of their brain wiring. Right. We think that we are thinking creatures because we have all of this wonderful cognitive ability who sometimes have feelings, but the way that the brain is set up, we are feeling creatures first, who sometimes can think, and, and that is just like a fundamental understanding that helps us be gentle and forgiving of ourselves.
Right? Like it's not, it's not our fault that we are so triggered all the, you know, a lot of the time it's because of the way our
59_eran: [00:30:54] because something is wrong with us.
59_sarah: [00:30:56] Right. It's not an essence of becoming a bigger conversation. You know, Oprah just wrote a book called "what happened to you", right? Like that's the question that came out of the ACEs study from the nineties.
It's not about like, what is wrong with you? Like, nothing's wrong with you. Just something happened to you that wired your brain in a particular way, which makes you hypervigilant or hypovigilant, or, you know, triggered around these particular things. And these particular ways. That's where that piece around knowing yourself and around having a good relationship with yourself, come in.
Because if you can bring awareness to those pieces, we do have this wonderful neuroplastic brain that we can keep changing it, right? It takes, it's harder to change your brain when you're older than when you're two or three, which is why probably you and I focused on parenting, right? We want to help parents.
Why are those brains in those more calm, receptive self-regulatory ways from a young age, they don't have to like undo it and redo it. So I think the brain science is super important and I made this book, not, you know, theory and science heavy on purpose because I know that it's a lot for parents to sort through.
But there is so much research out there about emotional competence and emotional regulation with regard to our brains. And I think it also helps with with some self-forgiveness and forgiveness of previous generations, right? Like. It's not, and that doesn't mean we like let them off the hook or that we can't be upset about what happened to us when we were kids, but that they just literally didn't know.
Like they just, it was information that didn't exist. And now we have the information. So if the Maya Angelou quote of like, know better do better. like now we know better. So we're starting to slowly do better and spread the word about it so that we can. So it's just so much easier to wire those brains for emotionally intelligent responses from from a young age.
59_eran: [00:32:43] Yeah, so we are coming to the end because I want to be respectful of everyone's time. We are all parents and we are all busy.
59_sarah: [00:32:51] Yes.
59_eran: [00:32:51] So, yeah. So I just want to you know, maybe you want to share a little bit about where my listeners going to find more about you. You mentioned you have a, kind of a coaching, a gig that you're doing as well, or your other writings.
59_sarah: [00:33:06] Yes. So my website is my name, which is sarahmaclaughlin.com. It's Sarah with an H and I'm sure you'll put it somewhere. So I don't
59_eran: [00:33:13] Put it in the show
59_sarah: [00:33:14] my last name and Put it in the show notes but yeah, I have a contact form on there and I. You know, information about what I do and have a, I have a downloadable 28 day program for parents to kind of just like focus on getting calmer and kind of it's called the reset to get reset.
The, book is available now on indie bound Barnes and noble and Amazon. So those are places to find the book and I'm also on all the, you know, Twitter, Instagram, all
59_eran: [00:33:42] Yeah, and
59_sarah: [00:33:43] you those.
59_eran: [00:33:44] yeah, yeah, I have those and I will put them in the show notes so you can find them in apparently parent.com/podcast. And. I would put the show notes, the links also to the book. And I really recommend you guys to grab a one, one copy for yourselves because I you know, Sarah, you sent me an earlier copy.
So yeah, I didn't, I didn't have time to read everything and I, but I read some of it and I really liked how you structure it because you go into I think all the important places taunting from your own past and your own self as we, we mentioned, but also understanding communication and even how to create a community for yourself as a parent.
And I really like how you it's really not an it's not an, it's not a heavy.
59_sarah: [00:34:32] No, no on purpose.
59_eran: [00:34:35] It's not technical. And I love how you mentioned in, for every chapter you offer some other books that are, can be relevant in Ted talks and all that. And I think it's a wonderful, you know, gateway into parenting books
59_sarah: [00:34:49] Thank you. Yes, it is right. The gateway. Well, and it's about a hundred pages. Like my first book is really short too. I know parents. They don't want to read a three. I like reading 300 page parent book, parenting books, but not everybody does. And that's fair enough. And you know, parents are busy, so I try to make things short and digestible and you know, share my own experiences.
So thank you. I'm glad you liked it.
59_eran: [00:35:11] Yeah. So, and I would just remind everybody it's called raising humans with heart. And my side that my own subtitles for is, is the book I wanted to write, but didn't have time to yet.
59_sarah: [00:35:25] Thank you. That's very kind.
59_eran: [00:35:27] And before we wrap up, I want to ask you one final question, which is the question I ask everybody at the end of the shows.
So you have a teenage son, right?
59_sarah: [00:35:37] I do. Yeah.
59_eran: [00:35:37] Yeah.
59_sarah: [00:35:39] He's 13.
59_eran: [00:35:40] Okay. So, so I wanna take you back in time, like 14 years ago before you became a mom. And, and if you could have a little chat with yourself over a cup of whatever you like and, and, and share just, you know, one or two tidbits of knowledge or understanding about parenting that you want to tell your younger self, what would that be?
59_sarah: [00:36:02] Well, the first thing that comes to mind is don't panic, because I feel like I had such a tendency to do that as prepared as I was, I felt so prepared. That's the thing I had been in working with other people's children for so long. But like it's going to be different and don't panic. It's going to be okay.
Just that's really the first thing that comes to mind. Keep, keep, keep taking care of yourself. That's the other piece? Don't don't get, so it's so easy to just, as you mentioned earlier, get pulled into into their world, which in part we're supposed to, but then also
59_eran: [00:36:34] Yeah.
59_sarah: [00:36:35] keep catching onto yourself.
59_eran: [00:36:37] So as the Brits say, keep calm and carry on.
59_sarah: [00:36:40] Yes, indeed. Exactly.
59_eran: [00:36:43] Okay, cool. So thank you again, Sarah, for talking with us today about your book and your journey and parenting and all that. I really hope people will check it out and, you know, make a better, better parenting journey for themselves.

59_sarah: [00:36:59] Thank Okay.

Eran Katz: [00:37:00] All right. So that was Sarah MacLaughlin with her wonderful book: raising humans with heart. I really recommend this book. It's an easy read, but it's full of useful information. And things that you can really connect to. And I like that she made it short and simple to understand, and she references many other books or Ted talks. So she has you covered. And I really mean it when I say it's the kind of parenting book that I wanted to write, but didn't have time to write. Yet. In any case, if you found this interesting, I encourage you to visit Sarah's website and also to share this episode with other people in your area, other parents that you think might find this information useful.
If you share it on social media, please tag me at apparentlyparent.
And I will also appreciate it. If you would go to apple podcasts
and rate and review this podcast. It really helps me make a better job grading things for you and also get in front of more people. So. Couple of minutes of your time. I would really appreciate that. And I will see you again next week. With a fresh new episode ofthepod. I hope you're doing well.
If you're listening to this episode, when it came live, it's very hot, at least where he, wherever I leave. So I hope to summer is treating you well and let's have a wonderful parenting journey. See you next week. Bye-bye.

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