Da Ladies #9 | Navigating Parenting Conflicts

Da Ladies - Cover 9

🗓️ Recorded May 20th, 2024. 📍 Luxembourg

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About this Episode

Join us as we dive into parenting conflicts and discover how embracing disagreements can strengthen family bonds. We share our insights on handling conflicts, especially within unschooling and conscious parenting.

We discuss Luna's journey toward a conflict-free home, proving that avoiding conflicts doesn't mean suppressing emotions. Sarah challenges the myth that attachment parenting leads to perfectly well-behaved children, revealing the real dynamics behind it.

We discuss traditional authoritative parenting versus collaborative approaches, showing how mutual respect and shared responsibility can turn conflicts into valuable discussions. From room disputes to shared spaces, we offer practical examples of reframing disagreements as conflicts of interest, preventing power struggles.

Together, we highlight the importance of empathy, communication, and understanding different perspectives and share creative strategies for managing conflicts, involving children in solution-finding processes, and embracing differing viewpoints.

Tune in to learn how to navigate disagreements with love, patience, and fairness and empower your family to grow stronger through the art of conflict resolution.


Luna Maj Vestergaard: 

Carla Martinez: 

Sara Beale: 

Cecilie Conrad: 

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With love


Jesper Conrad 


00:00 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
We're here and again I am in this great company of really wise women and I'm looking very much forward to talking to you. Girls, today I have Kali with me. I call you Kali Flower. I know it's not your name. I'm going to call you Kali Flower anyway. It's fine, because that was what I noted when I first met you. Yes, you, yes. Carly always has this mild and and yet very, very, very intelligent way of just cutting through bullshit, and I love that. And I have with me Sarah Beale, as always outspoken, loud, amazing, strong, powerful woman that I always I'm always smarter after a conversation, and I love that. And then there is Luna, my unschooling partner in crime from Denmark, who saved me when I realized I had to unschool, and then I had a friend, which was really great, and it's still really great. So welcome, ladies.

01:00 - Luna Maj Vestergaard (Host)
We are going to talk about conflict today, as far as I know, and Luna will introduce I think we ended last time on a note about wanting to dive more into that whole subject of conflicts. I know that, like Sarah and I have been talking a lot about it, I think we might have some. So I don't know if the wording like what does the words that we use mean, or if we actually do disagree on some points of the whole concept. I'm not really sure, but I found that very interesting. I think that's interesting when people like us meaning friends and like people who like sort of view the world in somewhat the same kind of way, like people who like sort of view the world in somewhat the same kind of way. I always find that very interesting. When you then discover points where maybe perhaps you actually don't really see completely eye to eye, I find that very interesting and I think that the conflict subject might be one of those. So I think that's sort of why we kind of decided to get into it.

And yeah, I don't know. I think sometimes maybe because I usually, like I talk a lot about how there's no conflict in our house, which obviously, like that does not mean that there's never anyone who's angry or disappointed or mad or anyone screaming, or that I've never had a kid slam a door or anything. That's actually not what it means. But I guess for me, all those things, I just don't really view them as conflicts. It's like for me conflict is something else and I also think to be perfectly honestly, speak perfectly honestly with you always. I guess for me actually living a conflict free life is actually a goal of some sort, and I think that's maybe where it becomes interesting, because that's an interesting like. A lot of times people will say, oh, the goal is not to never have conflicts, and yeah, I don't know.

I guess I guess for me that is kind of a goal or kind of a like success marker for me in my family. I feel like like we're doing a great job together when there are, when there aren't any conflict, like when we are, when we aren't in conflict. But I think that's where we need to dive into it and like start talking about what it really means, because obviously I'm not meaning that everyone is just holding hands and dancing around the fire singing.

Kumbaya, and there's never anyone who's like that's absolutely not what I mean, and there absolutely is stuff like that going on, so yeah.

03:58 - Sarah Beale (Host)
Yeah, I think it's a super interesting thing to talk about. I do think it's important because, well, first of all, sometimes there is some um, we might use a word in a particular way and we have our own meaning for a word. You know, luna and I had a very um, uh lively conversation about something else yesterday where we were. We spent a lot of time trying to work out what is it you mean when you say this word. So if we use a word, any word, doesn't even matter what the word is, and we assume that everyone means the same thing by that word. Then we can end up talking at cross purposes.

So that's one point, um, I also think it's interesting as unschooling families, I would say that the vast majority of unschooling families that I've met in my life have come from like a conscious parenting, attachment, parenting foundation. And there is this understanding which I don't actually agree with, and it's not my experience that if you parent from a place of attachment and connection, that there won't be conflict, that the children will just come along and do what the parents want, because the parents have established yeah, so there's the rub interesting, so so, but people do, a lot of people do think this, and you'll even see it written in books.

You'll see it written in books in the same way as you might see someone say, um, if you foster strong attachment with your child and you keep them close and you sleep with them and you carry them, and you do do this, and that when they're two years old they'll gradually just be happy to separate from you, not true? So there's a lot of things that people are told in books by experts and to me, uh, I got a rude shock because I thought, oh, I found this other way. It's really beautiful and gentle and lovely and my kids are just going to be gentle and beautiful and lovely all the time. I don't know if it's used in other places, but in Australia we use this term gentle parenting, natural parenting, gentle parenting and I certainly had a misunderstanding. I thought that that meant I would have gentle children.

06:17 - Luna Maj Vestergaard (Host)
That's funny, isn't it? I do think you're touching on actually the very important thing right now, though, because when you said, then people think, if they do that, then the kids will just. And obviously that is not what I mean when I say, well, there are no conflicts at my house, but that is not because my kids are doing everything. I say it's because mainly because I guess what I view as a conflict or like I always also say like I, my kids have never and I mean that I have never had a kid talk back to me. Why does that mean my kid has never, like, rolled their eyes at me or said I was, oh, I think. Well, actually, they haven't actually ever said that I was stupid or something, but they've said like oh, that's stupid, or I don't want to do that, or whatever, something, something, but it's just that I don't qualify that as something negative. I don't hear that.

And then I say, oh, you're talking back to me and you shouldn't be voicing you know disagreement, or you shouldn't be saying that this is stupid or you shouldn't be having this opinion and voicing it, which is what kids are doing. When parents qualify that as talking back. That is when kids are voicing their opinion, that's when they're challenging the parental authority. And so I guess, if you don't view that as that, if you don't see it that way, well then there is no talking back. So for me, there's disagreement, negotiation, discussions, whatever, lively debates, whatever, but there's not talking back and it's not. To me, that's not a conflict. It's like what I come from as a child, well, there was a lot of conflict and I don't want that. I don't think that's the way that was, I don't think that's natural, first of all, and I certainly do not want that, that vibe, that energy, that way of relating to each other.

I absolutely don't want that, so that's what I can like. For me that's conflict, and I don't want that and I don't want that, so that's what I can like. For me that's conflict, and I don't want that and I don't have that.

08:27 - Carla Martinez (Host)
so that also plays into it how like our history, and I guess I think so maybe, uh, we, we, we don't call the same thing conflict, because because you just said what I live, what you live, when you were, when you were a kid, that was conflict for you. Maybe it was hard or something, I don't know, but in my case that maybe I didn't have something like super bad, like little conflicts or disagreements. I think nowadays people call that conflict it's what I understand for conflict Like oh, now we have to talk, or the kid is yelling because he wants something and we, in my experience, what I see is that people don't like to handle this. They are not prepared to handle for a long time this situation. They just want to end, usually in what I have seen. So this is why then parents say you this and you that, so it's finished. So the first step when you enter in this kind of parenting is to have like the tools to don't act, like react fast because you want this to end, because you feel uncomfortable, you cannot stand this or sustain. Let me say you know. So then this is a handle. How do you say handle a conflict? So then you are there and you have to learn that. I think it's like the first steps when you enter in this kind of parenting.

For me it was never like something I have to do a lot of, like learning or changing. I really like it. I mean it's like I like the, the, when you have to get all the people so everyone can be good, feel better. It doesn't mean we have to do what one wants or the other one. I don't know, I don't have the solution, but I like these conversations where, okay, how are we gonna do it? So, so for me it always was a challenge, a good challenge, because I don't feel uncomfortable. I'm, I'm, but I know that most of the people and adults between adults, not only with kids is they avoid conflict or they just or you get angry, I don't talk to the other one anymore or if they are your kids, then I, I don't know. Then it would be like more yelling or more, or time, time without talking, and then you go and I don't know. So for me it's like conflict, conflict.

Also. I think it has to do with our culture, because I see, like in Spain is I would say we have conflicts, conflicts like all the time, I don't know, like because we talk very loud and yeah and yeah, and I need to hack. Sometimes it's okay but then it's not. I mean, there are like levels right In our volume, in our tone, but I know, like in Denmark, or if you go up it more, like you know, if you say, if I would say, if I behave or say how I behave here with my friends, maybe I will have enemies there. I don't know people like, they don't like me.

So I think it's also a culture maybe how we talk here to the kids know, when I, my kids were I have noticed this now when I I'm I'm hanging out with other parents with small kids that when my kids were smaller I talk different than now, because now I treat them more like I know I'm, that now I treat them more like I know I'm. Is you know? Now they know me and they know if I'm saying something it's a joke or it's irony or it's. But when they are kids you are more you take care of how you, how you speak. I think it's normal because they are learning and absorbing how you talk to them, I think. And then now I realize, when I have people with the small kids, they I think, like they maybe are thinking, oh, how she's talking to the kids, but they are not babies anymore, so I don't know.

13:20 - Sarah Beale (Host)
I'm I do think that the cultural stuff is relevant and important because in Australia the way people in general we're like louder, we're more brash, we probably swear more, we're like the way we talk, the energy is very different to other countries, including England and you know. In Spain and France I've noticed, you know, watching people on the road is such an insight into how people are In Spain and France in particular people are like honking and yelling and no one.

but there's no weight, there's no emotional charge, it's just honk, shout, shout, get on with your day.

uh, in england everybody is so polite but no one's saying anything but people are getting angry, but it's in here and they're like, and they like it on the road too.

You can see they're holding it all in, so it might look like everybody's polite, there's no conflict, and actually they could probably just do with a really big shout, you know. But in some European countries it's just like get it out and then they just get on with it, and that's how I see people kind of being Australia's a bit more like that too, and so this idea of conflict is maybe a bit different, because we're kind of can be a pretty noisy family compared to some other families who are quieter, but that's quite typically Australian and it doesn't mean there's necessarily conflict, although it might look like it. Sometimes it's just people having a bit of a shout or disagreeing. So yeah, maybe some more teasing out of what that means is helpful from a cultural perspective too, because we come from three different places here, Probably maybe even four, because Luna and I come from very different cultures inside our culture.

15:28 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I think our backgrounds are very different. Um, I'm just thinking we maybe we should root, so we could root it in trying to find out what does conflict even mean? What do we mean when we say conflict? But I'm also thinking we could do an easier kind of starting point where we think about the question you probably all got also. So how do you handle conflict? Just like, how do they have any friends and you know, if you don't play with authority and your kids can do whatever they want, how do you handle conflict?

And when I meet that question with with love instead of laughter, which is more fair then I understand how parents who more like rule over their children, parents who are used to establishing this kind of authority they are used to, you know do what I say style, which is that's what I grew up with. More or less that's what was normal for my mother when she was a child A few generations ago. That was what parenting was, more or less the if your parent tells you to get up, you get up. If your parent tells you to change your shirt, you change your shirt, otherwise there will be a conflict, and how do you handle that if you don't do authority? That's the question that I've met many times and I think even though all the other little lines on my mind map here are very interesting maybe this is the core of the unschooling angle to this thing how do we handle it when we disagree with our children and how do?

17:18 - Luna Maj Vestergaard (Host)
we handle it when they're not, because I don't think you can. I don't think you can answer that without getting into what is a conflict?

17:26 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
no, no, because I'm getting to it because we disagree with our children. The question that I meet is how do you handle conflict? And the answer I have to produce to that is your answer, luna. I don't have conflict because it is a. It might be a conflict of interests, but I respect that. My children have their part of this story. It's not. It's like I've heard. I've heard parents say things like don't ruin the floor in my house to their children, and I'm like you know what. You all live there it's not your house the father and then the children, of what guests or what are they?

And this is a perspective that is very different, I think, within all of our families, and therefore it becomes this weird conversation about what we really mean by conflict, and it very often changes to disagreement and it can be conflict of interest. And then we have the very interesting conversations. Like Kali said, how do we make this work? I call it the braid of the family, like and it's not only three. Right now we're six and two dogs and we have to think about everyone. How do we make this work?

And there will be conflict of interest sometimes. I don't know, one person needs silence and another person needs to game online with friends and shout and scream and laugh, and we're living in a van, so how do we square that circle? We don't, but maybe we take turns, but we don't need a conflict to break out between the children like shouting, shouting and this emotional rage that I think comes from not being respected. When they know they are part of the bread and their part is as big as any other part, then we don't have it. We actually don't really have it.

19:40 - Luna Maj Vestergaard (Host)
Conflict I think that's what I mean, and when Carla was, when you were talking before, I was sitting there thinking that that's a big part of it is this thing about? How do we walk into the thing? Because I guess I'm trying to clarify in my mind as we speak as well, and I think I guess for me, a conflict it arises when there's like a need to win or an expectation or something like I want something, you want something, and then who's going to win? That's kind of the conflict. So, since I don't enter into anything with my kids like that, it's not a conflict. It's yeah, yeah, a conflict of interest or or disagreement or or time of negotiation or whatever you want to call it. But there's, there's not this. It doesn't become a conflict until there's like, really, when you dig in your heels or you absolutely want it your way, or I don't know. I think that's yeah.

20:41 - Sarah Beale (Host)
I think that that word conflict, um, maybe, if we think about what it would mean as per a definition, probably it is about when one party if you're thinking about a war right, or an armed conflict between countries or a civil war or something You've got one party determined that they're right and the other party determined that they're right and no space in between. And absolutely in my family that can happen. There will be one child who is absolutely going to defend whatever. I was in this room for, I don't know, I'm just thinking of an example. I was in this room first. I don't know, I'm just thinking of an example. I was in this room first. I was already in here watching a movie, well, but this is the only room that we can, uh, play a game. I'm thinking of an action situation, actually. You know, we've got a lounge room. It's pretty big. One. One or two people might want to watch a movie in there and they've decided it's the best place to watch the movie and the other couple of people, oh, but it's the only space where we can play this particular game. There's this game going on currently with a balloon, and you need a lot of space, and someone always cries, anyway, and yet they keep playing it, which brings up another question about conflict and human nature. I can circle back to after. So we absolutely have those times in our family where one party will defend I am right. Whatever the logic that they have, I am right. And it might not even be. My needs are more important. It might be a sense of justice.

I was here first. I staked my claim first. I said first that I was going to do this. You know, I want to sit in the front seat. I said it first. I got to the car first.

I mean, I don't know, maybe you guys have never had children fighting over the front seat of a car, but absolutely for years we had like fighting over the front seat in the car and sometimes they work out all right.

If you sit in the front seat, um, I get to choose the music or something. One of the cars that we had in australia years ago, um, we had a dvd player in the car. It was very exciting. It was the first car we'd had with any kind of like technology in it, and nobody ever wanted to sit in the very back. So there was three rows. Nobody ever wanted to sit in the very back.

Really, for some reason, the seats were a bit smaller, it was more crowded, but they came up with an idea I didn't come up with. It was their idea. Um, if you sit in the very back, which is the least preferable place to sit, you get to choose the first movie that goes on the dvd. And then everyone kind of went yeah, that's a really good idea. But you know, it took a bit of. There was conflict while they worked that out, because one person had this idea I'm right, I'm staking my claim and the other person had the idea that I'm right, I'm staking my claim. And then, while they're working that out, there is some kind of conflict, because they both think they're right, they both think they have even even claim, they both have a strong sense of justice over the correct course of action and then there's a little bit of like warring in the middle.

that absolutely happens in our house, continues to happen in our house, and the reason I think this is really interesting and an important thing to talk about for unschooling parents is I still think that there is this idea sometimes that if you live a certain way and you relate to your children in a certain way and you do all of the right things, then you are going to get this product, and I don't think that's a helpful idea. I don't think it's a helpful idea for parents to think that they should do this particular thing, whatever element of unschooling or attachment, parenting or whatever, and you're going to get this thing over here. I don't think that's helpful because that's actually not what happened for me.

And there was some suffering there for me for a few years when I realized I'd been working so hard to be this perfect attachment parent and to listen to my children and to sleep with them and to breastfeed them until they were 65 and to whatever all the things, and then they still sometimes disagreed with me. I'm like, but the book said that wouldn't happen.

24:52 - Luna Maj Vestergaard (Host)
The book said if I worked really hard and I was an amazing attachment mother and I parented instinctively and I didn't do this and I did do that and I listened to them and I didn't shout and I didn't punish them, but they would come around to my way of thinking and we'd never have conflict can I just say something really quickly here because I think that's very important, that I should have specified that, because when, when I talk about it, I wasn't talking about in between the children, I was talking about me and the so the parent to like or with the children, which is obviously a different kind of situation, because I've been doing a de-schooling process. I have a I'm all mature, like everything I'm. I'm older, like it's different, so that so, so. So yeah, absolutely there's been. When I said we don't have conflict in my house, I meant between me and that I don't do conflicts with my kids, but absolutely the kids in between them. Obviously they've had conflicts when they, especially when they were smaller.

I mean that's. I mean not maybe, not obviously. But yes, we have had that too, but that wasn't my starting point. My starting point was the parental sort of angle, like how do I handle my conflicts with my children? That was my just to specify.

26:07 - Sarah Beale (Host)
But I have conflicts with my children too. There's absolutely times where I'm positive, I'm right, I'm right about this, this is how you know whatever the thing is. And then they have the other idea and we don't agree and I'm like I'm definitely right about this thing. I can't think of an example off the top of my head. I don't even I can't think of anything, because there's not that many things but like. There will absolutely be times where I'm like no, I don't, I don't like, but is that a conflict?

26:36 - Luna Maj Vestergaard (Host)
Is that a conflict?

26:37 - Sarah Beale (Host)
Well, no, I think. I think that if this Well, no, I'm not screaming at them.

But there's definitely been times where I've felt frustration. Obviously, my capacity and I think all of us have capacity and our bandwidth for the negotiation and for the fluidity and the openness to changing your mind about something too, because if I think a thing and then my kids are like, yeah, no, we don't think that thing, obviously I'm very open to changing my whole perspective on something and I do that all the time. But I actually don't think I think it's human. Nature actually is what I think I see. Conflict in the animal world. There will be an animal that wants to eat another animal. There will be territorial conflicts too. Foxes who want to live in the same space will have a fight, cats fighting Cats fighting over territory, dogs fighting over authority, whatever Like.

To me, actually, conflict is natural. It's part of the natural world and it's part of the natural world and we're part of the natural world too. So I don't personally think conflict is bad or should be avoided. Actually, I don't think it's um, and kids, kids, sometimes they, they, they seem to enjoy something. It's like they oh, there's this like I'm pushing up against this thing and I'm I'm kind of liking it, I'm actually enjoying, I'm getting something out of that friction. They must do because they seem to. They seem to do it like well. An example in our house at the moment it's actually not, um, not my child, it's one of the other kids that's here. Every time they play this particular game she gets hurt Every time. Every time it ends in tears, literally every time. But she keeps playing it. She keeps coming back. It's like something is stirring in her. It's so fascinating to watch. So if we actually weren't supposed to have any conflict, why would we sometimes actually seek it out?

28:46 - Carla Martinez (Host)
I think it's natural to have conflict, and in places where everything is like peaceful and everyone is there are weird atmospheres for me.

28:59 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I mean.

29:06 - Carla Martinez (Host)
Are we talking about Sweden? About what? Is it? Sweden and England? I don't know, no places. No, because there's some. It's a movement of everything, it's um, I don't know, like balance and the universe and we are all. No, I'm sorry, but no, and it's fine. I mean, we don't have to see things the same way and it's fine, and we can get angry and it's fine, and then we will be the best friend, because then I, okay, whatever, when you make peace with the other person I don't know, but also I only have two kids and it happened what Sarah was saying about they have the truth and you have this yesterday, it's my turn. So they come to me and say I don't know, you have to.

I wanted to say one thing that maybe is useful for parents when you are starting to see handle this thing differently. Starting to see handle this thing differently and is also to take off the, because I think we feel they're responsible to solve things. We need to solve this conflict. So if you turn this, you put the responsibility on the kids, because also the kids are waiting for you to solve the conflict, because it's the way it's. It works. It's hard work, I don't know. So the the moment you say I don't know what can you do, what, what can what, what, maybe what she? I mean, I think it's our, I think it's how I how I did is to put the words for them to maybe to see, maybe she needs this thing and you need this thing. Ask her, I don't know. So it's like no, don't take part, or the part that it's convenient for me or what I think it's right, or so just put the responsibility on them and you can be there, you can help them. This is how I think you start when you handle the things.

I never have like a big expectation, because I never read one of the books that say there is a how you say a product. If you do this way, you will have I don't know. It's like um, yes to you are not the, the, the one to give the solution, but the. You are in the side helping them to to solve. And if the conflict is with me is the same, but I don't have the, maybe the aggressivity part that maybe a kid can have, or the yelling or, but still also we have, and I think I that was the other thing I wanted to say when we have like different views on something. Usually is the kid have one, something or I don't know. It only takes the time, the conflict or the situation last the time.

I need to put this demand in my scheme and I can see in a way that I can say okay, so it's the time. I don't know. I feel that way, like my maybe I'm in a position that I say no, no way, you are doing this or you're having this or whatever. And he's in my song, is in the other part, like, why not? Like doing all the reasons and explanations, and and if I have no reason, sometimes I say I just need time, I need time, please. Because it, yes, it's like I have maybe, oh no, yes't know, yes, put this thing in my view of my world, and they say, okay, it can fit here. And it's because, not only because I have to approve it, maybe it is, but it's like because in the end, we want our kids to be fine, to be good, to be safe, I don't know. So we're kind of the feature of everything in a bit right. I don't know if I'm going in another direction no, no, it's fine.

33:31 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I think it's very interesting.

33:33 - Carla Martinez (Host)
Oh sorry, go on, yeah, yeah it's only because it has happened to me and also because maybe my kid wants something and in my environment everybody says it's wrong for the kid, but my kid is. I listen to him and he's putting me some explanation and I don't have nothing to say against it. So I'm like, and I don't have nothing to say against it, so I'm like. So I have to to say sometimes like, okay, we'll do it, but I'll be there. I'm not sure why, but I don't like it.

They are used to respect that also because we, in our experience, maybe I just need this time and they prefer to walk with ours in their side than not be like I don't know, just need time. So they wait and wait, while they are saying, please, can we do it now, please can we say that. But in the end I come to a place like, okay, but we do it this this way, I would like to see a bit, or whatever, what it is, the process, be there in the process so I can see also what it is. Because usually it's our how. You say, when you don't know anything and knowing something you don't know, so you, you always, you usually fear the things you don't know. So you just need to get used to something or put a fit in this. There are so many things new coming, so you just need to. Instead, usually, people is like, no, this is bad, because this, this and this but. And your kid is, but I want this, but I want this, or whatever, or I want to go somewhere.

35:23 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yes, I think it's always a very smart answer to say let me think about it. I, I know a woman it's erica davis pittra. She, she always recommends that you always answer. Let me think about that. If you know whether your answer is yes or no, just so that you know your children are used to, it's not a no because I'm thinking about it. Just give me a moment, because I'm not that smart. I can't strategize like that in my parenting. I actually just speak my mind. So I ask for time to think if I need time to think, and I say yes or no if, if I have an opinion already.

36:04 - Luna Maj Vestergaard (Host)
Um, but even also cecilia, then you also allow yourself to change, don't you? Because that's also a very traditional parenting thing is oh, if you said no, then it's a no, you shouldn't change, because then you're teaching your kids that they can manipulate you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. The whole thing, which is there's so much that we need to undo of like traditional thinking, isn't there in that as well.

36:33 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
There is, and I think we also have to maybe dissect the conflict a little bit. Let's just call it conflict. There's a disagreement and there's maybe some strong emotion and some conversation and people use I don't know arguments, logic, something like that. They push and maybe we have the willpower against willpower. We have the ego energy fighting for its right to get. You know, I want more kind of place to to work from. That happens or that I'm right.

Um, there's nothing wrong with it in and of itself. It's about the quality of the situation. It's about the energy of what's happening, and it can be a very, very dark and mean place to be. It can be very, very, very destructive for a very long time. It can hurt people badly and that's why conflict is something we need to talk about how we handle it. It can clearly hurt people badly to do it in a polite, peaceful, quiet, yet very authoritarian way. That's hurtful. And it can also be very hurtful if you have these open wars going on where people are mean and and and really disrespectful not talking in a disrespectful way, but really not respecting each other.

So I think there is an element of conflict to be avoided and I think it is a parental job to make sure that this element is avoided. I think sometimes this energy, this darkness, actually comes from the parents and it comes from their fear of the conflict itself, their fear of the disagreement they can't handle that. It's not all butterflies, and then this fear comes up and then suddenly you've poisoned the whole situation and that's really bad. So I think that's where we have to pay attention as to how do we handle it when we don't agree, or when we're busy, or or when there is something that, when it looks like willpower against willpower, or ego against eco, or or this sense of justice against sense of justice. Because if we can handle it in a kind way, with our hearts first, and in a in an authentic way I don't I don't believe in any strategizing of parenting you can't restrain yourself from becoming pissed. If you're pissed, you have to be authentic, you have to be real around your children, otherwise they have no reason to trust you because you're fake, and that's probably the worst thing we can ever do.

But we can always bring ourselves to a point where we meet the situation with love and in doing so we can avoid the darkness of a conflict, and then a conflict can be maybe what Luna doesn't call a conflict, just a situation where we discuss things where we disagree, where we come from different points of view and we might not arrive at the same point of view, but we accept. You know, there's your reality and my reality, and how do we move on with that? That's fine, I love you still. I mean, it's not a question of love or not, it's just a question that I see it this way and you see it that way, and that's fine. And well, that way, and that's fine, and uh, well, what, what's next? Um, if we can do that, I think in my family it's really been a growing point and it's also been a point where a lot of sort of not that we have rules, but family rules or family shared ideas has risen from these things, like the justice thing that we talk about for things to be fair.

It's not that everyone gets the same, it's that everyone gets what they need.

That's that's like a thing it comes out of people's mouths in my family very often, because we realize that when we have conflict and we talk about what's fair and we talk about justice, then we realize that these arguments I was there first, or you had an apple yesterday, so now I get to get an apple or whatever it is All these arguments?

They stem from some sort of weird logic that sometimes really doesn't hold in real life, and then we end up talking about real life and we end up talking about justice, we end up talking about social life, what makes sense and what's real, and and how we can walk through this life in a way that we end up talking about ethics, basically, and, and, and it becomes very interesting and we become very powerful, I think, from this. But we have to actually go through the disagreement and possibly the conflict and the anger and the feeling of you know you're overstepping my borders or you're taking something that's mine or you're not allowing me to do what's important to me. That can happen to me very often. Actually, I feel like my children are stealing my freedom and and it's really annoying this morning my daughter had drank my coffee.

42:36 - Luna Maj Vestergaard (Host)
I mean I take it back. That's definitely a conflict right there. I'm like what?

42:44 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
It's not just the children having these things. I have it and it's okay to have these emotions, and as long as we don't go to the dark side. I think that's that's my point, and I think that's maybe more interesting than trying to define the difference between a disagreement and a conflict. It's interesting to define the disagreement between the dark way of doing it and and the light way of doing it, and I have a howling dog. Just a second, can you go on? I'll mute myself while she's yeah.

43:19 - Carla Martinez (Host)
I think there is something I just come to my head like what is really important is that everyone in the country you can get what you are saying, cecile, about. You can get angry and you can express yourself. But the important thing is that, as long as everyone there in the room knows that your I'm gonna say love or your relations is not in the game. I don't know how we say in English, but I mean because when you're a kid maybe or no, not kid adults even you can see that maybe your relation is gonna break or you're gonna love the people, this person less, but it's not about that. But I not. It can be with you, but it's not like I'm gonna hate you forever or it's only in this moment, I don't know.

But if it depends on your history, maybe you can doubt this like oh no, and this is why you want to. You don't want to people to. You want your friends or your family to be feeling I don't have the word now, yeah, so they are fine. You don't want the conflict to happen because you are. Maybe it's kind of insecure, or I guess so, because I see difference when I get angry, and maybe my husband get angry, and sometimes it's too much for the thing. What happened, it was happening. So sometimes like now it's there's. I don't see this thing like, so I usually go and put myself in the other point because it's like it's too much. It's like no, I don't have the word in English now, sorry.

The thing is if we can avoid the darkness of the conflict, then Maybe this is the darkness thing, what you are saying.

45:55 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I think if we pay attention, when we have the situations that are not all butterflies tension, when we have the situations that are not all butterflies, where there is a there is a conflict of interest or there's some sort of willpower happening or voices are getting a little more to the annoyed side, if we can learn first the adults and then later on, our children will learn it to not go to the dark side, to realize it. When we become mean or we sort of lose control, we sort of step into that fire of being really angry, because that's when it becomes destructive and that's when you can get hurt or you can hurt other people and and it becomes also very, very empty. Nothing's happening. When you think about it. You can spend days where you keep having this it's very distracting with my dog, that one, it's out um where you keep having this conversation going on about a thing. But it's not a thing. It's actually just the, the egos fighting and and nothing's really happening. And we have to pay attention to that. And if we do pay attention to that and we stay on the light side, that's when all the learning is happening and we also get the chance to really express our love, to really express that.

I disagree with you, but I respect your point of view. I disagree with you but I allow that's the wrong word, but I have space for you to be who you are and my love is not affected by it at all. That is a way also to make sure that we express our unconditional love and in that way the conflict is actually adding to, I would almost say, the goal of the parenting. But maybe there is not the goal of the parenting, but it's a very, very central part to make sure that our kids know that they are loved unconditionally. And one way of knowing that is that you are loved even when there is disagreement. And one way of knowing that is that you are loved even when there is disagreement, even when the children they want something or enjoy something or do something that I personally disagree with. That I personally really don't like that. I would turn away from if it was my life, but it's not and it's their choice and I love them anyway and I'll mute myself again and figure out what to do with this dog thing.

48:44 - Carla Martinez (Host)
I have another thing to say about also, um, coming again when you have babies, I don't know like two, three, four, five, because I have seen again with the thing of not being able to hold when a kid is crying, for example, or something, and I have seen parents just distracting the kid so they stop crying, because it happened to me with some friends and something was happened and the kids start crying and then I usually do, I usually go and talk with, I mean, dependencies, to like crying a lot. You just like try to calm a bit, but then it's like what, what is happening? Uh, if, if you are feeling bad, or if I see something I can put some words, is this, that, that? So the kid can express or try to put words or whatever.

But I have seen then the parents like taking the kid away because there was conflict with my kid. So they take the kid away and say what are you doing? It's like I don't want her to cry. So they just leave and talk about other things. So this kid never get the opportunity to to think about how he, how she was feeling and why, and so I think this is. I think it's a base for this little person to construct the way they are going to handle after when something is not right for her or she's feeling bad or whatever.

50:27 - Luna Maj Vestergaard (Host)
I mean coming that's a super important point because because, like, if we're talking about, okay, so how do we then handle these types of situations, whatever we call them? There's a lot about that, about learning to, like Cecilia said, allow or hold space for the other person's feelings, which is one of the big things. That's hard for a lot of parents, because when we were kids, our feelings weren't allowed. They were shut down. We weren't allowed. That's why it triggers people when their kids talk back and I'm putting that in quotation marks, that's why it triggers people because that sends them right back to when they were kids and they were shut down. They were told that was disrespectful and they couldn't voice their disagreement or their discomfort or whatever their disagreement or their discomfort or whatever. So, and which brings us right back to the whole de-schooling thing of ourselves in learning how to handle this. And the more we learn how to handle this, like you're all talking about, like we are talking about right now, in this light, like staying on the light side in this light, like staying on the light side in this way, where we hold space, where we're like open, respectful, all that, the more we learn to do that well, the less conflicts will arise. I mean so it's not a formula. I'll just reassure Sarah that this is not a formula. I'm not telling parents you will never if you do this, but it is a natural thing that happens that the more we learn to hold space and parent in this way, the more harmonious overall things do tend to get. That's kind of a natural sort of consequence, that kind of flows from that, I guess. So I think, yeah, for me that's what's happened.

I mean, when I look back over all of the years, like I've been a parent for so many years now and in the beginning honestly, in the beginning I came into unschooling I had heard the word, but I came into it with an idea. I thought it was gentle parenting, so a bit like what Sarah is talking about. I actually thought, oh, if I do this, then my children will do that. And I still thought that it in some way was a little bit about, in a gentle way, getting my kids to like comply, do what I thought was right, because I hadn't let go of the idea that I as a parent was right or had like some sort of superior right to decide things because or her definition, like I'm not saying parents shouldn't ever like say this is my decision. But but that's just a very, very, very, very different philosophy and a very different way of looking at life. Parenting, human relations, like the, the de-schooled way, is just so much different.

And we we have a saying, in Danish actually, which Cecilia might want to help me translate. The saying goes basically means you win, you'll be right and I get the peace, and I took forever to learn that. But but what it's what that's really all about, is really sick. That's not about backing down, avoiding conflict, being afraid of. It's about realizing and that's why I say I don't do conflicts with my children. It's like, well, how do I with the?

You know, there's also the whole pick your battle things and I'm like I don't pick my battles, I don't talk about, I'm not in a rhetoric of battles like it's a war rhetoric. It's like I'm just stepped out of that. It's. It's not about picking my battles, it's about I don't want any battles at all. I don't think it's a natural way to exist together as parent and children.

But anyway, I took forever to learn that, but when I did Jesus Christ sorry, I mean holy moly it like it really does bring such a lot of peace, like it brought me such a lot of peace to let go of the need to be right, let go of the need to win, let go of the? And which circles back to the whole attachment idea that we've talked about so many times, about how the more attached you are to something well, the more pain and suffering that brings along the more frustration. The more attached you are to something well, the more pain and suffering that brings along, the more frustration the more. Because, well, I can't really explain why, but trust me, that's how it is.

And I think if I have to cite like a wise source. I think Buddha said something like that about pain and suffering being about attachment. I mean, you can look up Buddhism. I think there's something in there. But anyway, I mean in my personal experience that's absolutely true and like to be completely honest, if I had learned that in my marriage, I mean that might have gone a bit different. I was absolutely not able to do that like with my ex-husband. I could absolutely not let go of the need to be right. For some reason.

55:46 - Carla Martinez (Host)
It was easier for me to learn that in a parental way, but, um, yeah but in the end, you know, maybe we have a kind of a formula that we have talked before in this podcast that the thing we, we all, have learned is that this unschooled philosophy or way of living, it's about a way how you are in the world, how you know, the way you you are and you behave with the people and with you, and it's all about we don't usually like react, we reflection, we think, we make space, even for the things maybe we don't agree or we don't understand, so in the end we are, we feel comfortable. In places we were uncomfortable before. Because this is therefore we make, this is the intention we, we, we are doing, doing because of our kids and our families. So this is, I think, the the, the way we, we do it. This is the formula is it doesn't mean you will never gonna feel this anger, no, anger, no.

When you are angry with this and and disappoint or oh, now it's no, it will happen again, because your kids will bring new things and people are around around. You will bring new things that you didn't know, so you don't understand, but you, you take them from another point, you are in another point, so you know, you know you are comfortable with this discomfort, I don't know, with the conflict. I will say conflict because for me conflict is fine, but yeah, so, yeah, that's what I wanted to say I'm not sure if I missed some crucial points or if I'm Of course you did there are no points not crucial here.

58:05 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Now I'm offended Maybe I don't know whether.

58:09 - Sarah Beale (Host)
I'm going to say something that you guys have already covered, go on.

And I know we've spoken about this before and Carla did just kind of touch on this idea of capacity, the capacity and the space that we have, and that to me feels really crucial because it gives you a completely different perspective on conflict actually, because you know, as Carla said before, like she doesn't shy away from it, she doesn't feel a need to shy away from it.

It's actually part of, like the human condition, which is how I feel, um, but absolutely I do remember um a time where, you know, when my kids were small before I kind of understood really what my purpose was for them, um in in role modeling, some of this stuff that any kind of disagreement felt like an assault, so a disagreement or somebody wanting something different to me, there it felt like there was a violence to it when there actually wasn't, and that was because I didn't. I didn't yet understand, um, that that kind of unraveling that had to happen because I didn't have I didn't have anyone role modelling to me, comfort and spaciousness for conflict. All I had was people setting the rules and justice, understanding that I needed to follow them, which really was an avoidance of conflict in our family.

No one was comfortable with conflict because the parents said this is how it was going to be, so that was comfortable with conflict because the parents said this is how it was going to be, so that was them avoiding conflict. And the children said, okay, that was us avoiding conflict. And then I? So I grew up not actually knowing what it felt like to experience friction with love, friction and and and that rub up against each other, where there are potentially two opposing ideas, but actually you still love each other and you can still be kind and it's actually okay.

And I realised that that's my job as a parent, a very large part of my job, as we see a mother bird showing her baby birds how to be birds. That was part of my job as a mother to show my children how to be humans. And part of how to be human is how to navigate friction when you don't agree on something. How do you get through that? And absolutely, the times where I feel like I have to keep something in for myself, like Cecile was talking about her coffee, like someone took my coffee you know, there's times where I'm like someone's used my mug.

You know, luna knows how territorial I am about my mug. Actually, no one uses my mug. No one dares to use my mug. No, I only dare use.

01:00:56 - Luna Maj Vestergaard (Host)
Dylan's. Now, when I'm at your house, I always go for Dylan's mug. It's never about the mug.

01:01:02 - Sarah Beale (Host)
But you know, there's times where my capacity is less and I will know, oh, I'm taking something personally that isn't actually personal and that's when I know oh, maybe I do need a bit of space or I need something.

I need some tools, I need to bring something in to increase my capacity to where I would normally sit, because normally my capacity is pretty out here. Yeah, and I think a real gift that we can give our children and I do see this as being really core to unschooling is showing them how to coexist with other people who are naturally not always going to think the same thing as you, and how to live with that feeling, that friction, you know that tension, and actually be okay with it.

01:01:58 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
There is one thing we've not really touched upon that I kind of want to include in this episode on conflict, even though we already talked for a long time. If you did your parenting right, all the right peaceful ways, you would have children who would do what you wanted them to do, and this is very funny. We can all laugh. We've probably all been there. And Luna just said something about being attached to the outcome, which is a very deep wisdom of life. Whether it comes from the Buddha or not, it's actually not important. What's important is a lot of suffering comes from having an idea about how we think things should be and having the feeling that that's not how they are, and the distance between the two creates the suffering. So one general rule that's a very good rule that I unfortunately share with my clients, which means that as a psychologist I'm not making a lot of money is that the best way to solve a problem is to stop seeing it as a problem.

01:03:25 - Luna Maj Vestergaard (Host)

01:03:26 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
There you go. You no longer have a problem.

01:03:30 - Luna Maj Vestergaard (Host)
I guess that's exactly what I mean when I say just don't call it a conflict. You don't have a conflict, but then you can't just do that and you can't just stop seeing it. You need all the things around it, like what we've all been talking about for an hour now.

01:03:44 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
But in this triangle, I think the root problem is that parents want children to do what parents want them to do and parents want children to be what parents want them to do, and parents want children to be what parents want children to be. And when we let go of that and allow allow it's a ridiculous word to use, but I can't come up with a better one right now when we let go of that and have space for our children to be who they are and do what makes sense to them, and have space for our children to be who they are and do what makes sense to them and only comply and I'm almost opening our next episode, I know, but let's only negotiate when it's necessary for that braid to work, when it's necessary for coexistence to happen and when it's necessary basically for love. It's another thing that we have to say very often, living in a very small space, a lot of people together that it's better to have this community than to not have it. And of course I'll share my coffee with my daughter, of course I'll handle whatever is needed, because I'd rather have these people around me than not having them. And if the price tag is that I'm sharing my coffee and I'm sharing my space and I'm sharing whatever it is, at the end of the day, better than being lonely. So that's a little thing that we call it the price tag or the ticket, and that works for us to just say I'm not asking you to change, I'm just asking you now you buy a ticket to community. This is the price that you're paying right now. Are you willing to pay it?

And that little metaphor makes sense in our family, and I think the root problem really is parents who can't get out of their head that they are right. And that's the whole de-schooling thing that Luna talks about. Every time we talk, which is great, we think we are right and we can peel that layer off over and over and over. And you said before, luna, that you have been a mother for a very long time, and you have, and so have I. At this point I actually say I think I'm right, I'm pretty sure I'm right. I could be wrong, but I think I'm right Because I know that I don't know really, but sometimes if I say that and I say it that way, I think I'm right, I really think I'm right here. I could be wrong, but I I think I'm right, then they do respect it. I'm not asking them to, I'm not asking anyone to kneel for my perspective, but as I only say it very rarely and I only say it when I really really think this time I'm right, then I do get that respect, then they will listen to me.

Another one that really works quote unquote in my life is because I rarely tell them what to do. I very rarely shout out a no or rule in any way. Sometimes I have to. Sometimes I'm too darn tired and I just can't explain for two hours or stay awake any longer, or I'm stressed out by something else, something adult, something whatever, or the car is driving 100 kilometers per hour and there's no space for this right now. If I shout out a no in in that context, I'm being respected.

If, if I say just do what I say now in that way that I would never say because I say so, if I ever say that I do get the respect because I know they know I would never say that just because I say it, because I'm under extreme pressure and there is no space in my mind or in the time frame, or because the car is driving or whatever, the money is running out the door is closing. There's something I know that they don't know and I don't have the time to explain it or the energy to explain it. If I say, do what I say and do it right now, they will do it. And they don't do it because I'm the king. They do it because out of experience they know that I would never do it for no reason. And so when I do it, I have good reason.

And I think that kind of respect arises from, to begin with, not being right, to begin with, not wanting children to be what I want them to be to begin with. That is actually the root of the problem. The root of the conflict is that the parents want their children to be in a specific way. They want specific personalities, they want specific behavior, they want specific hobbies, they want specific dress codes. There are so many things that parents think they have the right to kind of guide their children into being, and this is the reason there is conflict. So can we let go of that? Then there is no conflict.

01:09:39 - Carla Martinez (Host)
I have a little story about being right and have the truth. Can I tell it? Yes, my kids were, I think, four and six, we were. I was cooking a custard I think in Spanish is flan. I was making flan and suddenly something happened. I don't know what happened, but I they were there in the sofa and one say no. And the and Greta, her superpower, always when she was little, it was shouting this really high shout and very strong that comes from here. And she just ran and went to the toilet and slammed the door and I was like I just turn off the fire of the cooking thing. And then what happened? He was the song.

Roberto was crying in the sofa, the other one was in the toilet. So I went. What happened? Are you okay? I don't know. Why are we with Greta? I don't remember. Then I went to the other Greta, can I go in? No, okay.

So I was there, going to one place to another, okay, and then I say, oh, I have an idea. Let's, let's draw something, let's draw what. What happened, I don't know I. So I give one paper to Roberto, one paper to Greta and one paper to me. But she just opened the door and take the paper and close the door. Roberto just left the paper there and I was in the table saying I'm, everyone have to draw what happened. That. He's what just happened here, because I don't know. So we are gonna draw. It was one an idea that come to my head. So then Greta came and took a second paper and then at some point Roberto came to the table. Okay, in the end, everyone draw his own history.

So, uh, when we finished I said, okay, now I'm gonna explain my draw. And I was. I I draw my my head with a lot of like, like this I don't know spirals coming out, like, because I was. And then I start explaining, like I was cooking, so happy when suddenly, suddenly I heard boom, boom, ah. So then the kids were like start laughing a bit and I don't know what happened years ago, two years ago. I have to go and running, because if I don't go and run and be in between you, you will kill each other. When they were little they used to like slam one to the other, so, but now everyone run to another direction.

So then Greta came to his draw, her draw, and she said this is Roberto. So she had drawn a like angry face like. And then Roberto said that's not true. I was crying. And they said, okay, how did you draw Greta? And it was also like a, very like angry or even more evil, and she was like no, I wasn't like that. So so then in the end I said all the pictures are true, it's how each of us lived that moment, but how? So it was super nice because everyone in there knew how I know how I felt, she know how she felt and he know how he felt, but he could see how the other watch you. So she watched me like her, but it was not like this. But all of them were true. So who is right there? So I think it's a really nice story. So who has the truth? All we have.

01:14:01 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
It depends on the point of view. It's always a matter of perspective.

01:14:08 - Carla Martinez (Host)
Yeah, so we make a space for the other to be and express and put in common all our truth.

01:14:17 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
And then the conflict becomes a disagreement and the point where we can teach our own how to navigate living with other people and it becomes interesting. I think with this story we should end this episode. It's been lovely talking to you.


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