24. Parenting a Difficult Child (with Jami Amerine)

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a photo of Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors

When Jesse and I got married, I tried so hard to fix him. I saw all of his shortcomings, and I wanted to help him be better. Surprise surprise, this caused a lot of tension.

It took a while for me to realize that my job was to focus on myself (and there’s plenty of work to do there) rather than try to change or “fix” other people. This idea goes for our kids, too!

In today’s episode of The Crystal Paine Show, I’m talking with Jami Amerine about how easy it is to try to fix our kids and how ineffective and stressful this is as a parent.

Just recently, one of my kids was really frustrated over their grades. While I was trying to ask them questions to figure out the source of their frustration, they blurted out, “But I NEED to get all A’s!”

I stopped and quietly looked them in the eye and said, “Who put that on you?”

As in, where did the feeling that you need to get all A’s originate from? Is that something someone else is making you feel like you have to achieve?

When I talked more with this child, they admitted that it wasn’t us or their siblings or a friend or a teacher; it was their own self. They felt like they weren’t measuring up to a standard they had set for themselves if they didn’t get all A’s.

Mamas, I think most of us have done the same. We’ve created a standard of perfection we feel we must achieve to be a great parent or have a great kid. And if we’re not hitting that self-made standard, we are failing.

But, who put that on you?? While we might sometimes feel like there is pressure from outside sources, in most cases, it’s something we’ve put on ourselves.

And here’s what I want to gently say to you: “You don’t need to carry that any more.”

Lay it down. Let it go.

The sooner you stop trying to live up to an impossible standard, the sooner you’ll start experiencing deep joy and fulfillment in being okay with right where you are.

As I told my child, “So long as you are doing your best, that’s all that matters.”

If you are struggling with parenting or need some encouragement as a mom, you do want to miss today’s episode on the secret to being a more peaceful parent (it will likely surprise you!), the importance of raising your kids to be who they are instead of who we think they should be, and how to love a difficult child.

In This Episode:

[03:26] – What’s saving my life this week is my very favorite Apple battery case. I’m constantly asked about this when I’m with people and I am always singing the praises of it!

[05:21] – My book pick of the week is an oldie but a goodie: Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay.

[09:50] – Today’s guest was actually recommended by a podcast listener and I’m so grateful this listener took the time to write in and recommend Jami Amerine’s book.

[11:56] – I ask Jami about her early years of parenting and how she struggled with perfectionism. She shares honestly about the lessons she learned from this.

[15:17] – How was Jami able to let go of trying to do everything perfectly? She expresses so much wisdom for all of us — but especially for those who still have younger kids.

[19:04] – I was intrigued by the subtitle of Jami’s book and she tells the story behind it and how it wasn’t what she picked… but how we both think it fits so well. 

[23:20] – What is Jami reading right now? I love her outside-the-box answer!

[24:44] – And then she shares how she’s giving up sugar (and also gives us a little teaser about her next book that she’s writing… that I want to read ASAP!)

[27:58] – Today’s listener question is about emotionally adjusting to the reality of giving up being a stay-at-home mom for a new lifestyle.

Links and Resources:


How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player we’ll include in the show notes of each episode. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

Sponsor Spotlight

This episode is sponsored by YouNeedaBudget.com — the budgeting software we have personally used for the past two years and absolutely love.

We were introduced to this budgeting software by my brother-in-law, Justin, a few years ago. He and my husband, Jesse, are both what I would lovingly refer to as “nerds”.

You know the kind of people… those people who think spreadsheets are fun. And who geek out over features in Excel. Yup, those kinds of people.

You might as well poke my eyeballs out with a hot iron rod than get to me be giddy over creating spreadsheets. But nevertheless, I love Spreadsheet Nerds because they help keep people like me in line and on track! 

Anyway, it was around Christmas time and Justin started telling Jesse about YouNeedaBudget — what we call YNAB for short. Jesse and I had both heard of this software before, but we had been using Quicken for so long that we’d not considered changing to anything else.

Well, when Jesse saw the features of YNAB, he was intrigued enough to sign up for the free trial. And it was pretty much love at first sight.

Truthfully, I can’t even begin to tell you how often I’ve heard him exclaiming to me, to friends, or just to himself something about, “How cool and helpful YNAB is!”

I’m such a pen and paper and cash girl, but after all his raving reviews, I finally gave in and downloaded it on my phone and had him show me how it works. It’s really, really impressive. I love how we can see exactly how we’re doing in every budget in just one glance.

And since we have multiple budgets for our businesses and personal, it allows us to track them all in one app. Which is so handy!

They usually only offer a 30-day trial, but they are giving you all a FREE 60-day trial so you can really get a feel for it and see how well it works. 

Go here to sign up for your FREE 60-Day YNAB trial.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission — at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!


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