Momentum Podcast: 329
Defending Brilliance: Time To Connect & Offload
by Alex Charfen
Entrepreneurial anxiety is real. The faster we come to terms with it, the faster we can do something about it. So where does entrepreneurial anxiety come from? It comes from people like you and I wanting to be in momentum, make progress, get things done, and not being able to. If we lean in and embrace the anxiety, it will help us move forward.move the business forward. You also need to recognize and eliminate where you are uncomfortable. Don’t deny the anxiety. It only makes it worse.
Full Audio Transcript
Brilliant children are sensitive. They're different, they have more questions than the average child. And above all, they need time to offload where they're uncomfortable and connect. Here's a simple strategy that could change everything for your brilliant child.
Anyone who knows me knows that one of my passions and one of the places I spend the most time is with my daughters Kennedy and Reagan. Reagan's now 11, and Kennedy is 9. They're both homeschooled. They spend the day here with us. They're actually out in another room right now. One of them is reading, and the other one's drawing, and they were both just talking about jumping in the pool in a few minutes. It's just amazing to have them around me every day. For most of my career, working with entrepreneurs with kids and watching patterns with entrepreneurs with kids, has been a passion of mine that has prepared me to be a parent.
I have created a lot of hypotheses and understandings about brilliant kids that I've shared with parents over the past 20 or 25 years working with entrepreneurs. Over that time, through sharing strategies and getting feedback, I've been able to deduce what are the most effective strategies to help a brilliant child. Eventually, all of these strategies and understandings are gonna go into a book called, Defending Brilliance. Because I believe brilliance is under attack today.
When you look at society's equation today, it's ridiculous. Because here's what society's equation is. If a child doesn't look like everyone else, talk like everyone else, walk like everyone else, learn at the same speed as everyone else, and act like everyone else, they are a broken child that needs to be corrected, medicated, fixed, diagnosed, and told they're disordered. However, if you look at history, it proves over and over again beyond any shadow of a doubt, that if a child doesn't look like everyone else, walk like everyone else, talk like everyone else, learn like everyone else, and act like everyone else, that is exactly the brilliant child that is going to change the world.
This concept of defending brilliance is something that I'm very passionate about, and I wanna share a strategy with you if you're a parent, that will help you with your brilliant child on a daily basis. It's finding time to connect and offload. Giving your child time to offload where they're uncomfortable and here's what I mean. Brilliant children see the world through a very unique lens. They have questions, misconceptions, concerns, challenges, that build up on a daily basis. And over time, you might actually see your kid start to act out. Act in ways that are frustrating and challenging and have behaviors that bother you and frustrate you. Maybe even create a lack of connection with you. Over the past 25 years, I've had countless entrepreneurs tell me how frustrated, or challenged, or irritated, or upset they are by the challenges that they're having with their small children.
And whenever this comes up in a conversation I ask one simple question. When does your son or daughter have time to connect with you and offload where they're uncomfortable? To connect with you and ask questions. To connect with you and get verification of what's going on in their lives. And unfortunately, due to the busy lives that we have today, a lot of the time there's a pause on the other side. Maybe a question of like, "What do you mean?"
And then, when we really start talking about it, there is no specific time where a child can count on being able to connect with their parent and get answers to where they're uncomfortable. And get clarity and offload what's going on and move forward and create momentum. So as a result, a lot of brilliant children carry around questions in their minds forever. They carry around misconceptions forever. And those questions, those misunderstandings, those misconceptions, those frustrations, can result in behavioral challenges.
So here's the suggestion that I've given to parents for over 25 years, and remember, this comes from a lifetime of really observing children and being involved with how you raise children. I was raised in La Leche League, which is a lactation and child raising support group. I would go to support group meetings with my mom, and I would watch the questions and watch what happened, what went on and see how they reacted to each other. And listened to the challenges women were having.
As a kid, I had three younger sisters, so I watched all three of my sisters grow up. I made observations there, then as a consultant, most of my clients had kids. So I made observations, and I share strategies there and here's the simple strategy that I share with parents that I have had parents come back to me countless times and say, "This changed everything," and here it is. It's simple.
Find a time where you and your child connect on a daily basis and if you can do this twice a day it's even better. If you can bookend the day by starting the day with a time for connection and ending the day with a time for connection, you may see everything in their behavior change. In fact, just to give you a little bit of a preview of how effective this strategy can be, before I explain it in detail, I actually, just a few months ago talked to a friend of mine that was having massive behavioral challenges with his son. They were getting letters home from school. They were actually setting up to have the meeting where they were gonna talk about what behavioral modifications had to be made, or what strategies they were gonna have to use. He was having problems at home. Problems with his mom, and also problems with his father. Fighting with his sister. Like across the board, massive challenges.
And I asked a question. When does your son have time to offload? There was a pause and then the realization that there was no time. So we started talking about exactly this strategy and here's what happened. My friend put it in place, and he called me back in two maybe three weeks later and said, "You're not gonna believe this, but there has been an almost miraculous 100% 180 change in behavior and all I did was what you told me to do. This has been the easiest thing ever."
So I wanna share it with you because sometimes the simplest, minimum effective dose strategies actually give you the biggest results and here's what happens. When a kid starts having behavioral issues or challenges at school or anywhere else, we start taking out sledgehammers and atomic missiles to fix them. You know, a kid can't sit still in school these days, we give him medication that messes with their psychology, their hormone balances, their actual growing brain. We give them meth, like most attention deficit disorder drugs are almost molecularly identical to crystal meth, the street drug. And we got millions of kids across the United States today, taking stimulants to sit still in class. We have other kids that have been put on blood pressure medication to sit still in class.
Instead of using simple strategies that might modify behavior, we are literally killing an ant with a sledgehammer and using an atomic missile to demolish a house. It doesn't make sense. This is a simple strategy you can use with any child. Get up in the morning and go on a 20-minute walk with them. Get them moving physiologically. Go out on a walk with your child and let them talk. Don't inquire. Don't ask them a bunch of questions. Maybe the first couple days that you walk with them, they don't say anything. Maybe they're just gonna walk with you. Wait for them to engage with you and create a space where regardless of what they bring up, you're present and aware and you listen and you answer their questions and you give them the space to offload where they're uncomfortable and to ask you questions that they have about what's going on in their lives.
Remember your child is a tiny evolutionary hunter. They are momentum based being, that is driven to make things happen, to move forward, to create. To create their own outcomes, to figure things out, to understand things better. And if they don't have a place to inquire about what's bothering them, to offload where they're uncomfortable, get questions answered, their frustration level in the world is going to go up. And you will see this in behavioral challenges. So when you go on a walk and you allow a child to ask you questions when you're present, when you are moving around physiologically and they're stimulated, it will calm them down. Give their brain time to process, and let them start getting clarity from you.
I remember a time when my daughter Kennedy was younger, few years ago. And we experienced a family tragedy. My father-in-law, Mike Mayo, passed away after being diagnosed with cancer. We found out about the cancer diagnosis and he passed away within 72 days, it was cruel. It was difficult for my kids, it was difficult for my wife, it was difficult for all of us. I remember going out on a morning walk with Kennedy and she turned to me and said, "Daddy, did grandpa cut off his ear when he died?" And I was like, "What are you talking about, hun? I don't understand. What do you mean cut off his ear?" And at the time, she was in a traditional school and she said, "Well, my teacher said Vincent van Gogh cut off his ear, and then he died. And I wanted to know if grandpa cut off his ear when he died."
I slowed things down and I asked her questions and obviously, there was a massive misunderstanding, probably because there was such an emotional time that we were going through. It was such a difficult time for our family. My daughter had trouble really in school period, so she probably wasn't hearing all of the lesson. But this misconception that people cut off their ear and die, was something she was losing sleep over.
As we talked about it more, she told me how nervous she was and worried she was. She actually kind of teared up when she said, "Daddy, I don't want to have to cut off my ear." And I spent the time with her to unpack what she was thinking to help her understand what really was going on and what really had happened with Vincent van Gogh, to get clarity around her grandfather's death and to calm down the massive amount of confusion that she was experiencing and feeling. And it was calming for her, calming for me, and calming for our entire family.
I remember that day thinking, "My God, what happens to kids who don't have time to ask these questions?" Who don't get this time with their parents. Who don't have time to connect and offload what happens to kids who just carries these misconceptions around? And don't have anyone that they can talk to about it, or don't have that time with their parents where they feel comfortable enough. Where they have this space, where they're physiologically stimulated, where they know it's a safe space to ask questions.
And I think that's why we've had such a high increase in behavioral issues in kids and such a high increase in diagnoses in kids. Because we've become busier. Because we don't connect as much with our children. Because we don't have as much time. And because if we're not intentional about creating the time, a child might go weeks without attention and time to offload where they're uncomfortable.
So if you have a brilliant kid, a sensitive kid, find the space where they can ask you questions. Find the space where they can offload where they're uncomfortable. Since my kids have been tiny I have been taking them on morning walks and tucking them in at night and talking to them and making sure that if there's anything that bothers them, that they let me know. That I know that I can diffuse it, that I can answer questions, that I can help them understand misconceptions and help them get back into momentum.
Your child's a tiny evolutionary hunter. They need exactly the same thing. They want to move forward, they want momentum, they want to accomplish. They want to achieve. They want to be recognized for those things. They want to understand and be able to figure things out and you are a massive catalyst to helping those things happen. In fact, more of a catalyst than you know. You might be the most important part of helping those things happen. So if you don't have this time now, find the space where you can spend that time with your child, one on one. Not while your driving, not while the TV's on, not while you're eating dinner. But just you and your kid for 10 to 20 minutes walking or playing in a park, or moving around in any way where they can ask you questions about where they're uncomfortable and offload what's going for them.
You may see everything in their behavior change. If you're ready to start creating momentum for yourself and share that momentum with your children and find the time, so that you can do these things, we have a program called Momentum Master Class. It has helped parents and entrepreneurs around the world create the space and the routines and the processes, so that not only do you spend this time with your children but it becomes increasingly effective as you are more and more aware. Go to momentummasterclass.com, it is the exact keystone habits that our clients use at the very highest level to create the life that they want and they'll work for you as well.