The One Thing Kids Need Most from Parents
Filmed in front of a Live studio audience before COVID-19, the tired moms of the Faith & Family podcast discuss the reasons kids need to feel seen.
Mariel Gutierrez: Hello everyone, welcome to Faith and Family. We’re a Christian-family community that aims to provide Christian values. I’m Mariel Gutierrez, I’ve been a mom for ten years to two really, really, really cute kids- Matea and Massimo, they’re ten and seven.
Emirick Haro: Yay! I’m Emirick. I am a sleepy mom and I’ve been a sleepy mom for the past sixteen years. I have three boys, ages sixteen, thirteen, and ten.
Jewell Buenavista: And I am Jewell Buenavista and I am a multitasking mom to three active kids! Good adjective, right? Active kids- I have one daughter and two boys who think they are the Avengers.
Bernie Rosquites: I’m Bernie Rosquites and I only have one boy. I’ve been a mom- Jojo’s mom for four years. He’s four years old and he’s my man.
Mariel: So we’re the hosts of the podcast, the Faith and Family podcast- Tired Moms, which you can find on incmedia.org. And today is a really special day for us. Yea, a lot of people think that when we do these podcasts, we’re all together in one room but that’s not true.
Emirick: We’re miles apart.
Mariel: Some of us are in closets or like under the bed, hiding from my kids.
Emirick: I’m always in my kitchen
Mariel: Yea you’re always with your microwave. Yea, you know, but two of them, two of our panelists here today are coming from southern California.
Emirick: San Diego!
Mariel: Yea! So Jewell and Emirick are actually from southern California and this is the first time that we’re all together. To top it off, what makes it even more special, is all of you. This is the first time that we’re doing this in front of a live studio audience. Thank you so much for coming!
Everyone: Thank you!
Mariel: Talking to toddlers. That was one of our first ones, right?
Bernie: Oh, talking to toddlers and dealing with mom guilt, and so much more!
Mariel: And the goal of this podcast is to reach out to the demographic of moms and wives out there who are also crazy like us and to really build a community with them and fortunately for us, we’ve connected with a few people.
Bernie: We have
Mariel: They sent us feedback…do you want to hear it?
Mariel: Just a few. Ok so this one is from Christine Marie from Las Vegas, Nevada. When she found out she was pregnant with her third child, she was really anxious, but this is what she had to say:
“So one very important thing that helped me to find peace with this pregnancy was a favorite podcast of mine, INC Faith and Family podcast.”
In this specific episode the ladies touched up on why we’re gifted with having children and one of the moms mentioned in a story with her husband about how they decided to have a third child. [Looking into the audience] Ah, the dad is nodding, he knows! We can raise another child to actually serve God and have the ability to have other children to serve God as well. And that’s really our purpose, right?
Jewell: My husband convinced me to have our third child and now we’re third child in and it’s a rollercoaster ride. And now, yea, we’re done.
Mariel: You can only use it once.
Jewell: Kids- three, two parents…we’re done.
Mariel: Anymore? Do you think?…I don’t think
Bernie: We have one more.
Mariel: We have two fans?
Bernie: Yes we have two fans. Uh, Floge Heremo, she’s from Pacific Northwest, and she wrote and said:
“I got around to listening to the Mom Guilt Podcast. Now I understand why I have mom guilt. I am so emotional and love deeply for my children. What touched me was towards the end…my kids turned out alright, I have to feel good about that. And it is okay to cry…”
Look at me moms! It’s okay to cry. It’s ok to cry because she’s been holding back a lot.
Mariel: You can do the ugly cry, right?
Bernie: Where nothing comes out, it just…
Mariel: That’s why we’re a podcast.
Bernie: She actually feels like she can cry now. It’s ok moms out there, it’s ok. And she says, “keep the podcasts coming.”
Mariel: Ok, alright…
Bernie: Ok, we will.
Emirick: And you can find our podcast on incmedia.org/faithandfamily. You can also find us on iTunes and Google Play search incmedia and please don’t forget to follow and subscribe.
Mariel: Today we’re going to try and talk about what exactly our kids need from us as parents. So, it’s a lot of questions. Being a mom, and possibly being a dad, I’ve never been so I don’t know but i know that moms, because yes we are slightly crazy, we think about our kids…
Jewell: It’s not crazy, it’s “momster”.
Mariel: Ok monster. Fine we’re momsters. We think about the kids 24/7, whether we need to or not. For me all the time, like whenever I’m having a great day, and I’m eating like a salad, I’m like, “Oh! Fiber. It’s going to be a great day for me.” And then I think about my kids and I’m like, “have they had enough fiber? Do we have enough toilet paper? Are they regular?
Emirick: Are things flowing well?
Mariel: I mean it’s a great thing. It’s a great day when I’m having fiber. So…I’m just saying. But these are the thoughts. Just the tip of the iceberg.
Bernie: Right. ANd there’s too much screen time.
Mariel: How much too much?
Bernie: Well iPad battery runs out…no but I mean…
Jewell: We’re so guilty of that!
Emirick: I’m concerned about the ingredients that my kids eat in their food. You know, I’m kind of obsessed about them not eating too many chemicals. My son, my oldest son, went through something with food and he has autism and so it’s one of those things I read about, I came across is just chemicals in food and the way for it is nowadays. You obsess about the different things that they’re eating, ingredients in the food.
Jewell: You hear so much stuff from society, right? You hear, “don’t sleep…do not co sleep”.
Emirick: There’s research on both sides most of the time so it’s like…
Jewell: You just have to do what works for you.
Emirick: I agree! You have to listen to your maternal instinct. Hey! I’m guilty of cosleeping.
Jewell: Hudson is sleeping in my arms tonight! You know what? You can be fifteen years old and you can still sleep next to me.
Mariel: I don’t know! There might be a limit…maybe thirty? I don’t know, girl, I don’t know.
Jewell: I’m not ready, I’m not ready.
Mariel: Ok, I don’t think we helped. We didn’t say exactly what, you know, parents need to provide to their kids. So we’re going to keep on asking. So we took to the streets. We brought it to the streets. You know, we asked other parents what they thought kids needed most from their parents. So, let’s take a look at what they had to say.[videos of people interviewed]
Woman: I think it’s a safe, secure setting. I think they can’t really learn or grow in any way if they don’t feel safe and stable at home.
Woman: First of all, I stopped working out and I decided to take care of him and for his education.
Woman: Taking them on trips to places so that they had good exposure to lots of things.
Woman: Probably a sense of independence and letting them know how to survive without us.
Man: Love is the first thing, but also support when you need to and that’s emotional as well as financial and we always said when they were born that it was our job to get them an education and no debt and after that, they’re on their own.
Woman: For me it was unconditional love. I wasn’t one of those people who was like, put them in a crib and cry it out. I wanted my kids to always know that I was there, and that I would love them.
Woman: You just love them so much and I think that’s just what you can provide for them is kind of a safe environment.
Mariel: That’s unanimous then, right? Yea, we need to make sure that our kids know that they are loved, right? And that they feel like they matter and that we understand them and that we listen to them.
Emirick: Yes that’s most important.
Mariel: Yea, so they need to feel seen is what we are getting at, right? Is that we really see them and there’s this article that we read from Psychology Today and it’s by Alexandra Solomon. She is a Ph.D. and in the article She talks about having briefly and she recalls the death of her father and everyone was asking what are you going to remember the most? About your dad? They were asking her and her siblings actually and they all answered the same thing- “We are going to miss the way that his eyes light up every time we walked into the room.”
Mariel: Do your eyes light up when Jojo comes into the room?
Bernie: All the time.
Mariel: Not with Rich?
Bernie: No, no, well…I don’t know. Well, you know as parents…
Jewell: He’s fun! He’s so cute!
Mariel: He is!
Bernie: You can ask him for a poem and I’m like, ok hold on.
Mariel: Let me tell you this.
Bernie: But let’s just think about that parents, let’s think about that for a moment. You know, let’s look away from our smartphones and think about this. When our children walk into the room, do our faces light up? And i’m not even saying a word, I’m just like that big smile on our face. Do they light up or are we already ready to like bark orders at them? Right? Like “Did you..why are all your toys all over the house? Did you clean it up?”. Mine was like, “did you cook the rice?”.
Emirick: Your parents or Jojo?
Bernie: No haha. Parents will do that. I walk in…”Did you cook the rice? Did you pull the laundry?”. Like…”but my day was good…”
Emirick: My husband’s really good. He comes home and after a hard day’s work, the first thing he does when he opens the door and he’s like, “Hello everybody I’m home! Where’s the line of people to greet me?”, and they just come rushing and they get in line to kiss him so…
Mariel: And it boils down to being seen. And you’re a teacher, is that correct?
Emirick: Yea, I’m a teacher, I teach fifth and sixth grade.
Mariel: So you see a lot of kids?
Emirick: I do. And there is a significant difference between the kids. The kids who are seen, the kids who feel their parents understand them and relate to them more- they’re just much more confident, you know, they’re much more confident and their academics, they work a little harder, they’re a little more focused, as well as they’re a little more stronger in their convictions. You know? And the choices that they make- they have a tendency to make better choices. And the kids who aren’t seen- it’s like they’re looking to be seen. You know? So they’re trying to get attention in different ways and sometimes that way is negative.
Mariel: But can we undo that? Like is it too late?
Bernie: I don’t think so.
Emirick: I don’t think so. I think there might be a little bit of, like, mending to do for some wounds from the past, but I think there’s always a chance.
Mariel: Yea, there’s always hope?
Emirick: Always! Always hope.
Mariel: You hear us all the time- conscious effort, conscious effort.
Mariel: How do you show them that they matter?
Jewell: Every week, my husband and I, we alternate who we take out to lunch, we go to their school. And so like Harmony will take like Jasmine and I will take Hayden and we alternate and we take them out of school so they feel all special. They feel special, like, “Oh are we going to go?”…
Emirick: They’re waiting for the phone call, “Jasmine, please come to the office…”
Bernie: They’re like, “See ya! Enjoy that cafeteria lunch, I’m getting McNuggets! Bye!”
Jewell: Just 25 minutes if you think about it but to them it means the world.
Bernie: For me, my husband’s really good at this. My husband always likes to include my son when they’re cooking. My husband is like, “Do you want to crack the egg? Sprinkle cheese on the nachos”, my husband is so good at that! For me, I’m like, “We just need to get this done. I got 45 minutes.” but my husband…
Jewell: It’s true!
Bernie: Right? But my husband, thank God, he’s so patient because he’s like you know, crack the egg and all that…
Jewell: That’s so my husband
Bernie: And after we eat, we’re eating the meal and we tell my son, “This is delicious, you did an amazing job.” and for those who have had the opportunity to meet my son, he’s a ham, ok? And he loves to do shows. He loves to put on shows and sometimes…my husband and I will stop…it’s only five minutes…my son will do a little show, he’ll do a song, he’ll do something, and we do standing ovations, I ask for his autograph, I’ll even do an interview sometimes. Sometimes it’s just five minutes. It’s not like a long show, but it’s just five minutes and those five minutes, I don’t ever want to miss out on that opportunity.
Mariel: I know that we have our different ways of including God, like, in our parenting style. For me, often, and maybe you out there, I often will say things like, “Oh you better not do that, God is looking. God can see you”, you know? And the thing is, I think that I had to make a conscious effort to not only include God when it was time to discipline the kids, and say that He’s only looking when they’re doing things that are bad, right? So we switched gears and then everytime like, there are needs in the house, or the household and the family, like specifically if the kids have needs like, “Help Matea on her test” or “Massimo is sick, Dear God, you see him, please heal his sickness”, and as it’s happening, he feels like, “God knows me?”, you know? When you say his name to God and they feel seen by God as well, or that’s at least how it feels, you know? And they build that connection with God and they feel understood like they matter to God.
Jewell: Well you know, also, in the Church Of Christ, I love how in the Church Of Christ we have children’s worship services, we have INC Kids activities, again, just built for the children, so the children really feel like they’re important. That they’re not just there, you know? That there’s activities specifically for them.
Bernie: Right. So, it’s important…it’s important that we make our children feel seen and that they matter because they do. So for the moms out there, don’t worry…don’t start worrying about, you know, “Should my child be speaking French by the time he’s two. What’s the proper age for potty training” and all that because we’re here together, we’re here for each other. We are a village, we are a community, and we are here to uplift each other. We’re not here to tear each other down. There’s no mom-shaming so if we see a child walking around with two different pairs of shoes on each foot, it’s ok because I’ve done the same thing last week- one was blue, one was brown, and I almost walked out of the house with this. So, you know…
Mariel: Were you comfortable?
Bernie: I was actually kind of comfortable because I didn’t even notice till I got to work.
Emirick: It’s fine. She was wearing brown and blue all over, it was all good.
Bernie: Don’t worry about it! It’s the latest trend!
Mariel: Alright, well you know, I don’t think that these are things or issues that our parents might have thought about. Like way back…like, “Oh, what’s in the food”, or…I don’t know. I asked my…
Jewell: It’s the internet
Mariel: Yea…it’s that we have all this information available to us now, right? But I asked my mom. I was like, “Mom, did you…when I was a baby in like, 1998, were you…did you really think about like, aspartame or like, co-sleeping?”. And she was like, “You know what? I can’t even remember if those things were really that important to me. And she said, “But if I could just do it all over again, all I would want is… I wish I would have just spent more time with you.”, you know?
Jewell: She was already at home and she still feels like…so does that mean we’re going to feel like this forever?
Mariel: It’s mom guilt, right? My mom has mom guilt. You know, but I think that’s the point. We say this, and we’re going to bring it up again- conscious effort, right? And in the end, it’s not like really about how much time you have, it’s what you do with it. And so, us Tired Moms in the panel, I think we all are going to challenge each other to see our babies in their dirty clothes, I think it’s like no shower day 3 for my kids, I’m not sure…but you know what?
Emirick: Like when their hair starts getting greasy
Mariel: It’s like paste now, but it’s ok. You know what? And really make sure that they feel understood and loved in all their forms, right? And in all their phases. And for us moms, too, always be conscious, love bravely, right?
Emirick: I love that
Mariel: And on purpose.
Emirick: Love bravely
Mariel: Yea bravely, Alexandra Solomon, Ph.D., hey! Hey there’s a reason.
Emirick: Don’t talk about the laundry all the time.
Mariel: So I’m sad because this is it.
Emirick: That’s it? We’re done?
Mariel: Yea, I’m sad because they go back to Socal and we go back in our pajamas, and you know, hide in the closet.
Emirick: Talk in the bathroom
Mariel: Yea, but I wanted to thank the panelists of course, Emirick and Jewell for coming up from Socal
Mariel: Bernie, for crossing the street, right?
Mariel: And everyone here, uh, we appreciate you being here so much, thank you for listening to Tired Moms and for being with us on this episode of Faith and Family