The Nurtured Heart Approach to Parenting & Communicating with guest Lillian Reekie

In this episode of the Brainy Moms podcast,  Dr. Amy Moore and visiting co-host Sandra Zamalis interview The Parenting Strategist, Lillian Reekie.  Lillian shares her personal journey and challenges of raising a neurodiverse child and the transformative impact of learning and implementing Howard Glasser’s Nurtured Heart Approach to parenting and communicating with both her children.  As an Advanced Trainer in this extraordinary approach, she teaches moms (and dads) how to use it in their own relationships with their children. Lillian gives listeners some parenting tips to use right away, free access to her book, and information about her Facebook group and parenting classes.  Grab your tissues and listen to this heartwarming and encouraging episode!

Read the transcript and show notes for this episode:

Brainy Moms Podcast Episode 116
The Nurtured Heart Approach to Parenting & Communicating
with guest Lillian Reekie, The Parenting Strategist

Dr. Amy Moore:

Hi, and welcome to this episode of Brainy Moms. I’m Dr. Amy Moore, and Teri Miller is on vacation this week so I have a visiting guest host, Sandy Zamalis. Sandy is a married mom of two, a former homeschooler, probation officer, and USA swimming coach. She’s a board certified cognitive specialist and owner of LearningRx – Staunton Harrisonburg in Virginia. Sandy, I am so excited for you to co-host with me again today.

Sandra Zamalis:

I am so excited to be back. I had so much fun the last time. Who knew being on a podcast was fun? I’m a huge podcast listener and Brainy Moms is on my regular rotation, so I am just thrilled.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Well, we’re glad that you made time out of your busy training schedule to join us today. Sandy and I are really excited to introduce you to our podcast guest, the parenting strategist, Lillian Reekie. Lillian is a married mom of two boys, the author of six books, a former primary school teacher, a parenting seminar and workshop facilitator, a frequent expert guest on TV and radio and an advanced trainer in the Nurtured Heart Approach. A heart-centered way of communicating that she is passionate about sharing with families.

Sandra Zamalis:

Welcome Lillian. We’re so glad you’re here.

Lillian Reekie:

Thank you both, Amy and Sandra, it’s absolutely awesome to be here all the way from Australia with you today.

Sandra Zamalis:

Yes, I’m so excited. I’m still impressed you got up early to meet with us. I’m intrigued by your story, especially, how your son’s health challenges led you on your journey and I can’t wait for you to share that with our listeners. Can you tell us more about what it means to be a parenting strategists and how your son’s challenges inspired you on this path?

Lillian Reekie:

Absolutely. Well, I had no intention of being a parenting strategist, let me put it that way. I’m a teacher by trade. I started teaching in the early 1980s. So, yes, giving away my age. I had already had a seven and a half year old son when my second son was born. Unlike my first son, this youngest son was extremely hyperactive and just a very busy little baby. If he wasn’t feeding or sleeping, he was screaming. By the time he was a little toddler, it was quite evident that he was more challenging than the average child. He was diagnosed as early as three and a half years old with childhood depression, ADHD and ODD. Back then, he’s now 28, so I’m talking about over 25 years ago.

Back then, there just wasn’t as much holistic information as there is now. I guess you would say I’m quite a holistic person when it comes to health and wellness. Sadly for us, well I feel it was sad back then, was the only recommendations given to us, Sandra and Amy, was medication. Initially, antidepressants and then stimulant drugs, and I’m like, “My son is three and a half and you want to recommend antidepressants for him.” It just did not align. We really set upon our own journey of exploration. We had seen general doctors, pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, and the only recommendations that any of them could suggest was medication.

We had to go and seek our own answers. The reason I’m now a parenting strategist is because of that journey that we went on and the trials and tribulations that we had. I’ve given myself a pseudo qualification of a degree in TTP, which is tried and tested parenting. I just wanted to share, and people wanted to hear what we were doing with our son. It’s been a roller coaster journey, and it’s been an interesting journey over the years and we’ve had our peaks and troughs. It’s been a real roller coaster ride.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Sounds like it. I actually have three kids that are neuro-diverse and I was a teacher before I was a psychologist, and can absolutely resonate with your plight, for sure. Those sleepless nights and all of that frustration. What made you want to go from tackling your personal journey to sharing that with the world through your books and your workshops and seminars? What made that transition for you?

Lillian Reekie:

Well, I love to help people always with whether it be in business or personal life, and when we went through such adverse challenges. It’s really challenging for me in this short time to express to you how challenging our son was. For example, when he was in preschool childcare, he went from center to center to center. We had five childcare centers in the town that we lived in, and he went to all of them because they just couldn’t cope with him. His behavior was very, very extreme. We started our journey out changing our diet, looking at food and food attitudes and eliminating sugar and wheat and dairy, etc. We then looked at that he’s toxicity, just the chemicals around the home, and we looked at nutritional support and all of those sorts of things.

In his earlier years, we got what I would call good results changing more the physical stuff. And people wanted to know what we were doing, what we were using, so we just started sharing. We started doing small seminars. We had people asking us to come and share with them. We started doing, my husband and I probably did hundreds of seminars over the years to groups as large as many, many hundreds and as small as 20 or 30. We were having really good results with him in his what we call primary school years here in Australia, so five to 12. Then when adolescence hit, the challenges that we had when he was younger, 10Xed. Like we really got into some really deep dark places with him. We finally found a mentor that helped us through that.

Just because it was so transformational, I really just wanted to share it with other people. I really just knew that there were so many parents like us who were hurting and I really wanted to share it. My parenting work has come in over the last 20 plus years because I’ve had other businesses as well, and I’ve been in and out of my parenting work. But I’m really back now with an absolute passion and wanting to stand on the rooftops to share what I know because I know so many families need what I’ve discovered.

Sandra Zamalis:

Yeah, they really, really do. I think the statistics now is, Amy can back this up for me, but is one in five kids and adults really struggle with attention or dyslexia related kinds of issues. Lillian, you were trained in Howard Glasser’s Nurtured Heart Approach, which at its essence seems to teach a philosophy and practice of creating healthy relationships with children. Can you tell us more about this approach and why it’s so powerful?

Lillian Reekie:

I love it. I love, love, love it. I was originally introduced to the Nurtured Heart Approach when I was actually at a youth training day. I met another psychologist and she said, “Well, Lillian, what do you do?” I was explaining what I did, and this is what we’ve learned from our prior mentor. She goes, “Oh, is that the Nurtured Heart Approach?” I’m like, “No, it’s a Lillian Reekie approach.” She said, “Oh, it sounds so much like the Nurtured Heart Approach.” So being the curious person I was I went home and Googled the Nurtured Heart Approach, and I found all of this… Like I spent a whole day Googling and listening and I’m like, “This is amazing. This is so in alignment with what I already do.”

But what I was doing wasn’t the Nurtured Heart Approach, but it was similar thinking. It’s a really funny story because it was already very well known in the States, but not very well-known in Australia. I reached out to somebody in the States and I said, “Look, we haven’t really launched in Australia, but we have a psychologist who is about to launch.” I’m like, “Oh, I’d love to connect with this person.” That could be anywhere in Australia, and they happened to live five minutes away from me. Anyways, so I started training in it with him, and then Howard Glasser came out to Australia in 2014 and I did my certified training intensive. And last week I’ve just done my advanced train course.

In a nutshell, for me, the Nurtured Heart Approach is a way of being. It’s a way of relationship and communicating. We’ve learnt, and I understood this before but I love Howard Glasser’s term that many of us are parenting upside down. That might be a weird thing to say, but we are focusing on the stuff in our parenting, and particularly for us parents with challenging children, we’re focusing on an energizing and relationship being on the stuff where the kids are not being compliant. Where they’re not being cooperative, where they’re not following the rules, and that’s where we come in and give so much energy. It’s like we are our children’s favorite toys and our children are very smart and they get to figure out how we best work when our bells and whistles come on, when our arms move and when we come alive.

For many of us, as I said, especially, those of us with intense and challenging children, we come alive when the kids are doing the wrong thing. Then when they’re doing the right thing, we’re quiet. We don’t energize them, we don’t give them the juicy praise and recognition. The Nurtured Heart Approach is based on three stands, absolutely no, so not giving energy to the negative. Absolutely yes, finding every opportunity to come in with not just good job, well done, which we call junk food prize, but to come in with really nourishing, beautiful recognitions for what they’re doing or what they’re moving towards doing. Then the third aspect of it is absolute clarity. So having clarity on your rules and what you stand for, and also teaching what we call the reset.

So to get yourself back when you’re moving off track, back into the zone of moving towards success. Its focus really is on creating what we call inner wealth in children. Just building, it’s more than self-esteem and self-worth, it’s really just building a greatness within the children and knowing that we recognize them for the amazing people they are. It’s a beautiful approach.

Sandra Zamalis:

That sounds wonderful. I love the reset part at the end too because none of us are perfect, right? We’re going to get off track. I love that grace filled and of recentering and trying to get back into the groove of how to build [crosstalk 00:12:00]-

Lillian Reekie:

And for us too, Sandra. Yeah, for us too. Often, we could be heightened and that’s when we really come in with our negativity. But we have to center ourselves, we have to reset ourselves and teach the children to do the same.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Yeah, so I’m going to date myself now. But when I was student teaching, back in the ’80s, early ’90s, I learned Glasser’s choice theory in the classroom and found him to be a genius. In terms of being able to positively manage classrooms of young children, he was the theorist that I gravitated towards. Because he gave children so much respect. It was such a respectful way of approaching behavior. When I saw that the Nurtured Heart Approach was written by Glasser as well, I was super excited to hear more-

Lillian Reekie:

Well, he’s written about 15 books now. He’s such a beautiful man. I know him quite well and he’s so beautiful and heart-centered, and he just really wants children to flourish. He wants children to feel recognized and he wants us, parents and educators, to have great relationships with our kids. Which, at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. I look at my parenting journey and I can tell you, with total transparency, that we could have gone a very different path with our youngest son. Things could be very different, and as things stand, we have the most amazing relationship with him. My husband and he actually went into business together, so they have an amazing successful business as electricians.

He got kicked out of school at 15, was told he would never get a job, would never get an apprenticeship, would never achieve anything. Because of the work we started doing with him, he said, “You just watch this space.” He went out and made it happen. He’s an amazing, an amazing man, just so heart-centered, so beautiful. We still practice the Nurtured Heart Approach here as adults. We still use the recognitions and acknowledge each other. It’s just a beautiful way of relation-shipping in general, not just with young kids.

Dr. Amy Moore:

For parents to find out about it, do they need to go to a seminar or how can they start bringing that type of relation-shipping into their families?

Lillian Reekie:

Well, there’s a lot of information on the Nurtured Heart Approach. You can just Google like I did. But, personally, I feel doing something live and interactive is really beneficial. I run workshops here and I run training courses, and I’m actually just about to… Well, we just did our second last session this week, so we’ve got one more session left of my current run that I’m doing, my current course of the Nurtured Heart Approach. Then on May the 12th, we’re doing an introductory MasterClass, which is just a free MasterClass. I can certainly send you the link for that, and people can just come in and have a listen. If they register for it, they will be able to, if not see it live, if the timing’s not right, then they can watch the replay.

I love to work personally with small groups because I feel that each parent can, or educator, can actually bring something to the group as well as myself. I also partner with my oldest son who’s a naturopath herbalist and nutritionist. Because I feel parenting is very holistic and the Nurtured Heart Approach is definitely the aspect that I use for the parenting and relation-shipping side of things. But because of our experience with my son and just speaking to so many other families, there are other areas that I feel need to be considered as well like the physical health, looking at diet, looking at the gut, looking at food, at water, at toxins, looking at emotional health and wellbeing. We incorporate a lot of that in as well. What my son and I do together is quite unique. I teach the Nurtured Heart Approach and the parenting stuff, and he comes in with the health and wellness as well. Which is a really good kind of combo.

Dr. Amy Moore:

That’s an exciting combination for sure. Is there one tip, an easy tip, from the Nurtured Heart Approach that you could share with our listeners that they could walk away from today and put to use?

Lillian Reekie:

Absolutely, and it comes back to the upside down parenting. I feel that it’s just not energizing the negativity. So no matter whether your children are fairly cooperative and compliant or whether they’re really out there and uncooperative, we do focus often on the stuff that’s not going well. My one tip would be energize what you want rather than what you don’t want. Don’t give energy to the disrespect, the behavior that is not in alignment. Just don’t give that energy. There are certain techniques that we teach within the Nurtured Heart Approach to help you do that. But just focus on what you can energize and give energy to. What is the child doing well, or even the baby steps that they’re making towards doing something well.

Because sometimes with very intense and challenging children, parents say, “But I don’t get many opportunities to recognize them for their success.” But we teach them to look for the smallest opportunities with the little baby steps, and even as much as what we call hijacking. So make a little plan to find a way to make them be successful in something that they were going to do anyway, and then recognize them for that. Yeah, just be aware of your energy, where are you placing your energy and where are you not placing your energy?

Dr. Amy Moore:

I love that.

Sandra Zamalis:

We used to call that finding the glimmers. Sometimes, as a parent, you do tend to focus on the negative and it takes real mental effort to try to see something good. Even if it seems benign or little, just I love the way you pass that so nicely to your sister. Even though the rest of the day might’ve been battle central. Just finding the glimmers that helped me as a parent to see, look for positive things. It’s a little too easy for me early in my parenting to find the negative things, so I love that.

Lillian Reekie:

Because what kids want Sandra is they want connection. They want relationship and they’ll get it any which way. Some kids learn very young to get that connection and that relationship in upside down way, and that’s what they continue doing. Then unless you have the strategies to undo that, then it becomes very challenging to overcome that pattern with the way the children connect and get relationship from you, if that makes sense.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Absolutely.

Sandra Zamalis:

Do you find with what in your mentoring families that sometimes it gets worse before it gets better when you’re transitioning these new parenting relationship skills?

Lillian Reekie:

It definitely can because kids are like, “Whoa, I’m used to getting attention and energy in this way, and you’re trying to get it in another way. I’m kind of used to that way.” But you know what, eventually, like there was one story, if I can quickly tell you that Howard shared, which I thought was just so simple and so profound. He was mentoring with a family of a very, very, very intense little boy. From the parents’ perspective, there were never any opportunities for them to recognize him. And he was in trouble at school, he was in trouble at home and he was just always in that negative space. They tried one of Howard’s techniques that we call hijacking. The kid was getting in the car to go to school and he was just about to close the door.

So dad said, let’s just say the little boy’s name’s Johnny, “Johnny, I need you to close the door,” just as he’s about to close the door, hence the hijacking. The door closes and then dad comes in with the beautiful, “Johnny, I love how you listened when I asked you to close the door. That shows me that you’re respectful and that you’re being cooperative and that you are ready to get in and get to school and have a great day. Thank you, I really appreciate that.” The kid’s like, “Ah, I was going to close.” The next thing, the seatbelt, same thing, “Johnny, I need you to put your seatbelt on. Oh, thank you so much, Johnny, for…” They just started hijacking him.

Within weeks, this little boy had just transformed because he was like, “I liked this toy better than the other toy. I like the feeling that I’m getting, this energy that I’m getting.” I think that’s what happens a lot for kids, particularly, who have not had a lot of positive before. They just really crave it, but you’re right, Sandra, sometimes they rejected initially because it’s different and they’re used to getting their energy in a certain way. You do have to be consistent and persistent, but mostly I feel that kids love it and respond really well to it.

Dr. Amy Moore:

I’m excited about that. I’ve heard a lot. Hey, so we need to take a break and hear a word from our sponsor.

Sandra Zamalis: (sponsor ad from LearningRx)

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Dr. Amy Moore:

We’re back talking to the parenting strategist, Lillian Reekie. So, Lillian, you’ve written six books. Tell us about your favorite and why it’s your favorite?

Lillian Reekie:

Okay, so my absolute favorite now, I’ve got it here because I was hoping you would ask me, is The Revolting Child: ‘a Blessing in Disguise’. This is our story from my pregnancy right through until my son was just prior to 16. The reason this is my favorite, so I wrote this book in about six weeks. It was just all in my head, it was my story, it was really easy to write. This story is so special to me because it came after we had transformation. When we went through the very, very challenging time from my son, particularly, between about 13 and 15, and he was in a really bad place. He was in trouble at school. Like he was constantly being asked to leave school, get suspended from school. He was in trouble with the police.

He was taking substances, let me just put it this way, that he shouldn’t have been. One day we found him in a drunken stupor in the gala that took him two days to sober up. We didn’t even know what he’d taken. He was completely defiant and a huge challenge at home, aggressive. Just he put strain on all of our relationships, myself with my husband, with my other son, who’s eight years older. When we came out of that, because of the mentoring that we were doing, I really just wanted to share it with people. I’d never been so transparent, so in my other two books, it was more instructional stuff but I didn’t get too personal.

There was a level of, and I don’t know if other people can relate to this, but a level of shame from a parenting perspective, embarrassment. I’m a very positive person and I love for people to look up and see me that way. I was in a really dark place when this was all happening. When we came through it, you know how you just get like an aha, a nudge from the universe that says, “You’ve got to share this.” I actually spoke to my family, to my husband, to my eldest son and my youngest son and I said, “This is what I want to do, but I want to tell the whole story, air all the dirty laundry and everything.” They’re all like [inaudible 00:25:48], and I said to my youngest son, “It’s mainly going to be about you love.”

He was only like not even quite 16 when I started writing this. Because I think I published it in May and he turned 16 in June, so he was nearly 16. He looked at me and he said, “Mom, if you tell the whole story and from everybody’s perspectives, I’m happy for you to share.” I was like pleasantly surprised. It goes through everything from my pregnancy right through to all of the challenges he had when he was in preschool. Then the journey that we had in between. But, most importantly, it talks about the journey we had in the healing and what we did and what we learned at the end. I recall, Amy and Sandra, when the book was published… because it’s self-published, it’s not fancy, it’s I did the whole thing from start to finish.

I literally just sent it to the printer and said, “There you go, print it.” I did that with all of my books, so they’re not professionally done. But I won’t call myself a book expert, but I’ve written six that way. Anyway, so when we were doing the, and this is why this is so precious to me, so when we were doing the… Sorry, it’s a bit of a story to get to the actual point.

Dr. Amy Moore:

No, no, it’s a wonderful story. We’re captivated.

Lillian Reekie:

When we were doing the book launch, and I have to contain myself because I still get emotional with this, so when we were doing the book launch, my son came along and my husband and I had shared our story. It was an audience of about 200 people, and then we had Q&A. A few people had asked my husband and I some questions, and then somebody put their hand up and said, “Can we ask your son a question?” He was just sitting quietly at the back, and I looked at him and he’s like, “Oh, okay,” kind of thing. Quite timid about it. He stood up and the person said, “Can we ask you, we’ve heard your story, we’ve heard where you were just 10 months ago because the transformation was so incredible, and we see where you are today. What was it that took you from where you were?”

I haven’t really talked how bad things were. They were bad. They were really bad. We were, my husband and I, were beside ourselves with worry about his future, and it was tough. We had this transformation, not saying it was perfect, but we certainly had a huge transformation. Caleb, my son, just I could see his mind ticking over and just took a couple of seconds, and my ears were like, “I need to hear the answer to this question. What a great question this person has asked.” He took a breath and he said, “Oh gosh. When I saw the effort that my mom and dad went to, to be the best parents they could be, I wanted to be the best son.” That was like, “Oh my God, this is why I need to get out and share this.” Because that feeling of knowing that effort we’ve made…

That’s still 12 years ago, he was 16, he’s now 28. Currently, from then until now, he writes me beautiful letters of recognition. He brings me flowers regularly. He and his partner live with us, and he buys her flowers, he buys me flowers. He’s just such a beautiful young man, and he acknowledges and recognizes me for the work I’m doing. Even though he’s not always happy about me talking about our journey, but he knows it’s my passion, so he gives me permission to share the story. Even though he goes, “Oh, it’s embarrassing mom.” But that’s why this is my absolute favorite book, and I would be very happy for you to give this away to your listeners. I think I’ve already sent you the link that people could… If you’re happy to share that, then they can actually just pop their details in and they can download this book for free.

On that same link, Amy and Sandra, if people want to join my Facebook group, they can. Then that way they’ll find out information about my upcoming MasterClass if they’re interested in coming and having a listen to that. On that MasterClass, I’m going to have myself, my eldest son, who is the naturopath, and my husband, who doesn’t usually join us, but he’s going to pop on and share from the perspective of a dad. Because the transformation that my husband and my son had is even more profound than mine because my husband and my son are so similar. They clashed really badly when he was going through his challenging times. My husband was being protective of me because my son was very abusive to me, verbally abusive, and my husband wasn’t coping.

So my husband and my son have worked together now for 10 years in such beautiful harmony. They’re in business together. They’re electrical contractors. They have a really huge successful business because people are blown away, first of all, they don’t know their story, but they’re blown away that they’re father and son and they just have this beautiful respect for each other. In 10 years, they have not had one harsh word. Like they work up to 10:00, sometimes 12-hour days together and they have such a beautiful relationship. I can tell you what, 10 years ago or so, that was not the scene. Like that was that was 12 years or so ago. Sorry, they were clashing big time. It’s just such a beautiful thing to see.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Well, I appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable and open about your journey because we can hear about parenting tips and parenting strategies and guidance and discipline ideas all day and they all sound good. But when you put a face and a story to those strategies and tips, and you can see how someone can go from just such a deep dark place and struggle to coming out the other end successfully, and better it seems than it ever was. That is such a story of hope that moms want to know, they want to hear. So thank you for [crosstalk 00:32:37] your story, and I’m really excited and honored that you’re willing to give your story, your book to our listeners. I can’t wait to read it all.

Lillian Reekie:

You’re going to see a different side. Like it’s actually healing really because like even my sister who I’m so close with and my mom who was alive then, they didn’t even know the extent. We even moved states so that we could just get away. We just wanted to try and cope with it in our own little box. If there are other families out there like that, I just want to say there is hope that there are ways to improve this. Really the answer for us was so simple and I love what our parenting coach said, “If you have a…” That’s why I’ve called this the revolting child. There’s a story, and we could talk for hours, but there’s a story why it’s called The Revolting Child: ‘a Blessing in Disguise’. But the person who became our mentor did a talk called The Revolting Child, as in the act of revolt, not revolting, disgusting revolting.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Right, right.

Lillian Reekie:

Because people go, “Oh, that’s a very negative title for your book.” But, yeah, there’s quite a story there and you’ll get to read it all in the book. But the way we met our mentor was like, I don’t know if you girls believe in the law of attraction and the universe, but the way we met our mentor was just absolutely incredible. Just the thin threads that can change your life. But learning from him that if you have a revolting child, then it’s not the child we need to look at, it’s us as parents. It’s the way that we are communicating with that child, and one child could react okay to regular upside down parenting as in my first son who was compliant, cooperative, etc.

Lillian Reekie:

But, once again, you’ll read in this book, you’ll need your tissues because there’s a few stories in here. My eldest son who was quiet, self-entertaining, very detailed, very deep thinker, he still is as an adult, very intellectual, he’s got three degrees. He’s such a detailed person, amazing man. But he went through a tough time, and this is something else I want to share with parents, if you’ll indulge me. Is that it’s not always the challenging child because the good kid or the compliant, the cooperative kid, once again without upside down parenting, they don’t get the connection and energy they want because all of the attention goes to the kid with the challenges.

When my son was about 13 and I did not know this until I asked him to… so I did not know this for 10 years, so I think my eldest son was in his early 20s when this was written, he’s now 35, he attempted suicide. He actually got up in the tree and made a noose and put it around his neck and was going to take his life because everything was too tough for him at home. He wasn’t feeling recognized and acknowledged. I didn’t know that until he was an adult and I’m like I knew… I knew that he was depressed when he was younger because of… He had eight years of no little brother who came in to disrupt the family.

Then, all of a sudden, this little brother came into the family and was totally making his life a big challenge. He struggled as well, and I didn’t realize how profoundly until this book. That’s another reason this is really special. When you talk about my book, like the other books are all awesome and there’s great information, but this is the book, this is the heart book.

Sandra Zamalis:

I agree with Amy, I just love that your vulnerability just really shares that we’re not alone.

Lillian Reekie:

I’m a (inaudible) at the best time. I’ve done seminars in the past where men and women alike, I’ve had everybody cry because it does, it’s amazing how when you start talking about it again, even though it was such a long time ago, but just those memories. But it’s not even so much the memory of where things were, it’s the happiness of where things are now and just that little bit of a but where could they have been? How different things could have been? Even my eldest son and my youngest son, they clashed big time and now they’re best of friends. They hang out, they do stuff together, they travel together, they’re just really good friends. They have common projects that they work on together.

It’s like my whole family I’m so blessed. All of our relationships with each other are so beautiful, and I really believe anybody who takes on the Nurtured Heart Approach in their home. It’s not a set of strategies that you’ll just learn and go, “Oh, yeah, these are some good parenting strategies.” I really see the Nurtured Heart Approach as a way of being, and it’s something that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. It’s how I now communicate with people.

Sandra Zamalis:

It reminds me of I heard a talk from T. D. Bishop Jakes a couple of years ago, and he was talking about how your family is your love gymnasium-

Lillian Reekie:

Sorry?

Sandra Zamalis:

Your family is your love gymnasium, that if you can’t learn how to love the people in your family and love yourself, and then the people that God has placed around you, then how are you going to love anybody else? That always stuck with me and I love… the Nurtured Heart Approach seems like it would fall right in line with that kind of thinking. That you’ve got to learn how to love the people closest to you even in difficult times.

Lillian Reekie:

Especially, in difficult times. Yeah, because, let’s face it, it’s not just kids who seek recognition, we all do. We all love to be acknowledged, we all love to be seen, and I think, especially, in today’s climate, with all the negativity that’s happening, it’s just nice. Like I use the Nurtured Heart Approach when I go into a shop. For example, the other day I went into a shop and the lady at the counter was folding the clothes so beautifully. You know how sometimes you buy clothes and they just shove them in the bag. Well, she was folding them beautifully and she put tissue paper around and I just acknowledged her for her…

I just said to her, “I love the way that you’re taking such care of the way that you’re folding and presenting the clothes and really being particular with them. What that shows me is that you care about your customers and that you want the clothes to be unpacked, and that they’re nice and crispy,” or whatever I said. She looked at me as if to go, “Oh my gosh, I’ve never had anybody recognize me for how I fold the clothes.” Then we were chatting for about another five or 10 minutes after that, and we were getting on quite nicely. People just crave recognition, and it’s not just our children. We also have to look at our own greatness. On my Facebook page, if you go on my Facebook page, every day, I’m going through A to Z. I am the great and solve.

I’m just recognizing myself for my own greatness. And sometimes people call that ego, that’s quite egotistical to call yourself out on those greatnesses, but I don’t know why people are so unwilling to call out their own greatness? Why is it that we as adults don’t see our own greatness and don’t recognize their own greatness? It comes from, I don’t know, programming. We get to a certain age when we’re kids… I can remember when I was a teacher even, the little kids when they got an award, their faces would light up and they’d be proud. Then the older the kids got like they’d try and be cool like it’s not cool to be recognized. It’s something that actually fascinates me today.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Yeah, so true.

Sandra Zamalis:

Oh, go ahead, Amy.

Dr. Amy Moore:

No, you go ahead, Sandy.

Sandra Zamalis:

You had mentioned your parenting classes, although, and you told us a little bit about that. Who tends to come to your parenting classes? Who do you really love to nurture and reach out to? I’m assuming it’s parents with kids of all ages and all demographic backgrounds. It sounds like you had mentioned earlier before we got on the podcast that you were on a call in the States, so it’s global too, right? Can you tell us more?

Lillian Reekie:

Well, my thinking around that is who my ideal avatar is, who I love to attract is a parent who wants better relationships with their kids. So that could be anybody. In my current class, I have single parents, single moms, single dads, I have regular mom and dad families with three kids. I have two women who are on representing the family as grandparents, I have doctors, I have just about anybody who really just wants better relationships. I could probably just as easy call myself a relationship coach with what we do. I love to zone in on parenting, of course, because that’s my passion because what we teach really is beneficial for everybody and all relationships. But, yeah, I don’t limit who comes into my classes. Like anybody who really just wants to improve their relationships.

However, in saying that Sandra, I do tend to attract families who are having challenges with their children. I get a lot of phone calls from people who, “Oh, I’ve heard about what you do.” They want to tell me their story of their challenging child. It’s really great from the perspective, and I think you mentioned this before Sandra and Amy, that I’ve lived this because people like to know that they’re not alone. When I tell my story and people probably go, “Well, I’m not even as bad as that.” It gives people a bit of hope, but they love to hear, I think, people love to hear a story of triumph, don’t they? Like somebody who’s been through the trenches and got through and actually come through with flying colors at the other end.

Yeah, and answer to your question, anybody really who wants better relationships with their children predominantly. I’ve had many of my course participants say, “This is much more than a parenting course, it’s also a personal development course.” Of course, when I bring my son in we cover a lot of health as well, health and wellbeing as well. So very holistic and I just zone into who needs me and just attract people that way.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Is it a one-time seminar or does it last over time? What does that look like for people who need assistance?

Lillian Reekie:

Great question. The current program that I’m doing, we did week 19 this week and next week will be week 20, and that will be the end of the course. What I like to do is I used to do the Nurtured Heart Approach, like the six week course in a weekend. It was just too much information for parents and it was just too overwhelming. What I’ve been doing in the last couple of courses is I really spread it out. First of all, we do a free MasterClass, like an introductory course, which is for people just to come in and get a feel for who we are and what we do. Then if they want to come and work with us, we have courses. I do a week, an instructional week, so where you learn stuff, and then home play to go and practice what we learn.

Then the following week is just an open Q&A, come and share your wins, come and share your challenges. What questions do you have? We don’t learn that week, and that’s actually probably where people get most from it because people are interacting, “Oh, Amy did this, Sandra did that.” When people interact and share and your question, Amy, could help Sandra like we just do that. Then the following week we go into instruction again. Whilst it might just be 10 weeks of instruction, I take it over 20 weeks, so that we really… and I get guest speakers in as well. I have some medical holistic doctors that might come in and share, or psychologists and different people who can bring value to the group.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Excellent, and that’s available through like it’s virtual?

Lillian Reekie:

Yes, we do it on Zoom, just like we are now. All of the sessions are available for the participants to watch again, or if they missed it, they’ll be recorded just within the private groups. I run a private group for that, so only the people who are doing the course are in the private group. I also have a public page where I share a lot of information as well. But the private group is where all the juicy stuff is, of course, because that’s where we have all those really personal interactions. I do offer one-on-one coaching as well. However, just with time, I just find the group sessions are more productive, but sometimes parents just want that one-on-one so I do offer those as well.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Excellent. Well, we are out of time and so we do need to wrap up.

Lillian Reekie:

That was really fast.

Dr. Amy Moore:

I know it did. This has been a fantastic conversation today. We just want to thank you. Parenting Strategist, Lillian Reekie, for sharing just your heart, your journey, your experience, and some takeaways with our listeners. I just really appreciate that you spent this hour with us. If you’d like to connect with Lillian or learn more about her books or her courses, you can visit theparentingstrategist.com.au. She is in Australia, so make sure you put that .au after that. We will actually put that link and her social media handles along with the link to download a free copy of her book, The Revolting Child. We’ll put all of that in the show notes for you.

Dr. Amy Moore:

So thanks so much for listening today. If you liked our show, we would love it if you would leave us a review or rating or both on Apple podcasts. If you would rather watch us, go ahead and subscribe to our YouTube channel, the Brainy Moms. Follow us on social media @TheBrainyMoms and at @dr_amymoore. Look, until next time, we know you’re busy moms and we’re busy moms, so we’re out!

Show Notes and Links:

Connect with Lillian Reekie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lillian.reekie/

Parenting group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingbreakthroughfromchaostocalm
Download a free copy of her book: The Revolting Child: A Blessing in Disguise

Learn more about Lillian and her parenting courses: theparentingstrategist.com.au


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