End the overwhelm.

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End the overwhelm.

Get a head start with my researched and field tested tool kit so that your child can thrive too.


Parenting Challenging Kids with Calm the Chaos Framework

Parenting challenging kids can be stressful, exhausting, and frustrating. Whether your child is strong-willed, spirited, explosive, or highly sensitive, you may feel like you’re constantly battling them. 

Today, you're in luck if you’re looking for a simple, fail-proof roadmap for parenting challenging kids. 

In this episode, I talk to Dayna Abraham, the life-changing Calm the Chaos framework founder, and creator of the Lemon Lime Adventures blog. Dayna is a parenting expert who has helped thousands of families find peace and harmony with their challenging kids.

Dayna shares her story of raising a challenging child and how she discovered the Calm the Chaos framework that transformed her whole family. She explains the five steps to calming the chaos and how they can help you build a safe home and support healthy children. She also gives practical tips and examples on how to apply the framework in different situations and scenarios.

The Fail-Proof Roadmap to Parenting Challenging Children

Dayna Abraham’s methodical approach to parenting challenging kids employs five key steps: safety, trust, calmness, proactive strategies, and defining family success. This road map ensures that parents can find peace and meet their kids where they are when conventional parenting tools have failed.

Grounding oneself, connecting with the child, understanding the catalyst and the issue at heart, and collaborating on a realistic solution suitable for a unique situation – Abraham’s model is backed by science and easy to remember, even when emotions are running high.

Dayna Abraham's Approach to Parenting Challenging Kids

Where conventional parenting tactics often lead to disconnection and mistrust, her Calm the Chaos approach liberates families from power struggles. By offering small, digestible steps, enlightening illustrations, and relatable examples, Abraham equips parents to uncover the root cause of challenging behaviors. This enables them to respond in ways that foster their child's growth and encourage family peace.

Dayna Abraham’s book “Calm the Chaos” is like a friend extending a supportive hand to parents at their wits' end. It offers a straightforward, non-judgmental understanding of even the most challenging behaviors. Her personal experiences lend an empathetic voice to parents facing similar situations. The book illuminates a clear, compassionate path towards understanding your child, honing your parenting skills, and positively moving forward.

As Dayna says, “You can do it. You got this!” Parenting challenging kids may be a daunting task, but with Abraham's five steps in her Calm the Chaos framework, it becomes manageable. Embrace the change, accept the challenges, and remember – you're not alone on this journey.

Learn more about Parenting Challenging Kids with Calm the Chaos Framework by tuning into this episode now.

Things You Will Learn
  • What are the standard labels and myths about challenging kids, and why are they harmful?
  • How to ground yourself, connect with your kid, and work with them to understand the root cause of their behavior.
  • How to get curious and find actionable solutions that foster growth and family peace.
  • What are the five steps to parenting challenging kids with the Calm the Chaos framework?
  • And much more…

Show Notes for this Podcast 

    • The truth about “challenging” kids that experts don’t want to admit. (13:02)
    • The 5 steps Calm the Chaos framework makes parenting challenging kids simple and customizable. (15:46)
    • An in-depth explanation of how parents can use the Calm the Chaos framework. (20:20)
    • Dayna Abraham shares 3 of the 5,000 success stories she received from the participants of her framework. (31:44)

Resources and Links

Where to buy the Calm the Chaos Book

Where to find Dayna on Instagram

Where to Find Dayna on Facebook

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The Parent Perspective: Dana Latter

Understanding Special Education Rights – What Every Parent Should Know

More about Dayna Abraham, the parenting challenging kids expert

Dayna Abraham, the bestselling author of The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day and Sensory Processing 101, is on a mission to create a more accepting world, one challenging kid at a time. Her latest book, Calm the Chaos: A Failproof Roadmap for Parenting Even the Most Challenging Kids will be released in August.

As a National Board Certified educator, parent of three neurodivergent children, and an ADHD adult herself, Dayna brings a unique and out-of-the-box perspective to parents raising kids in the modern world. 

She is the founder of the popular parenting website Lemon Lime Adventures, which has accumulated more than forty-one 41 million viewers in less than seven years.

Through her compassionate framework, Calm the Chaos, she has helped millions of desperate parents around the world, find peace and meet their children where they're at when conventional parenting tools have failed them.

With a weekly reach of more than 1.2 million people on social media, and more than two hundred thousand  200,000 parents attending her Calm the Chaos free workshop, she has become a proven and trusted leader in the parenting community.

Her work has been showcased in HuffPost, Scary Mommy, BuzzFeed, ADDitude Magazine, and Positive Parenting Solutions. She lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her three amazing children, her husband, Jason, and two huge Newfoundland puppies, Luna and Koda.

00:00 Tara Hunkin:
This is the My Child Will Thrive podcast. And I'm your host, Tara Hunkin, Certified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and mother. I'm here to share with you the latest research expert advice, parent perspectives, resources, and tools to help you on your path to optimizing the health and development for your child with ADHD, autism, sensory processing disorder,

learning disabilities, or other neurodevelopmental disorders. My own experiences with my daughter, combined with as much training as I can get my hands on, research I can dig into, and conferences I can attend, have helped me to develop systems and tools for parents like you who feel overwhelmed trying to help their children. So, sit back as I share another great topic to help you on your journey.

A quick disclaimer, please keep in mind that the information provided is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat your child and is not a substitute for working with a qualified practitioner. This episode of the My Child Will Thrive podcast is brought to you by the Autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit. You can sign up for free to watch 10 days of expert interviews and masterclasses at mychildwillthrive.com/summit.

Now on with the show. Hi everyone, welcome back to the My Child Will Thrive podcast. I am really pleased to have with me here today, Dayna Abraham, she's the bestselling author of The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day and Sensory Processing 101 and is on a mission to create a more accepting world, one challenging kid at a time. Her latest book,

which we're going to talk about here today, is Calm the Chaos: A Failproof Roadmap for Parenting Even the Most Challenging Kids, and it's going to be released in August, a National Board Certified educator, parent of three neurodivergent children and an ADHD adult herself. Dayna brings a unique and out-of-the box perspective to parents raising kids in the modern world. She's a founder of the popular parenting website,

Lemon Lime Adventures, which has accumulated more than 41 million viewers in the last seven years. And through her compassionate framework, Calm the Chaos, she's helped millions of desperate parents around the world find peace and meet their children where they're at when conventional parenting tools have failed them. And this is why I wanted to talk to her today because this book, and before we started to record Dayna,

I was just saying to you, I know how many parents this is going to help. It's so wonderful to have someone write a book like this that's been there, been through it, found that way through, and now has worked for so many parents to help them find their calm in their family unit as well, and help their children thrive. So thank you so much for being with us here today.

03:02 Dayna Abraham:
Well, I am just honored to be here, so thanks for having me.

03:06 Tara Hunkin:
Yes. Well, I want to start right from the very beginning because as I said to you before, parents are going to really relate and to your story and what, how you started out with your son and where you started. So can you just roll back to that time when you were in the chaos yourself and what was going through your mind and and happening with your son at that time?

03:30 Dayna Abraham:
Yes, so my, my son, you know, I'll go back just a little bit before having my son, I was a National Board Certified teacher and my favorite kiddos were the kids that came with a paper trail behind them.

And the ones that the teachers talked about in the teacher's lounge, the ones that the parents warned you about and the kids came with their heads hung low. Those were my absolute favorites. And so when I became a parent, I'm like, I got this gig figured out. I'm going to be the world's best parent.

Haha world played a joke on me, universe played a joke on me, whatever you believe, but I was handed a child that really pushed everything that I knew and tested everything that I knew. And so for the first seven years, I honestly felt like the world's worst parent, and I felt like an absolute just utter failure despite all my knowledge and my educational background. And so at, at that age seven, by that point, he had been kicked outta preschool. He had gotten in trouble in kindergarten multiple times.

I was getting calls, you know, at least weekly. By first grade he was starting to get suspended and by second grade he was suspended more days than he was actually in school. This kid was constantly in trouble and by second grade, it was no longer busy wild behavior and no longer the crawling on the floor or the not sitting still or the blurting out in class. Now it was starting to be aggressive meltdowns and running away and eloping across the street in a busy, you know, middle of Chicago.

And the school didn't have any resources to really support him or help him. And there was this one particular day, which I talk about in the book and open the book with this one, but it's, you know, it's just such a memorable moment where I got a call from school, I was nine months pregnant, this was super normal at this point, and the school was 45 minutes from where I lived. And so I drove as fast as I could without getting a speeding ticket or putting me in danger.

And I arrived to the school and there's just this line of people at the front door, just almost like a, a welcome committee, but it was not a happy welcoming committee. And it was the counselors, it was the teachers, it was the gym teacher, it was the principal, the assistant principal. And they had even called the police on my son.

And, but my son was nowhere to be found. He was actually in the office in this glassed in room, and he was just banging, screaming, cursing, you know, doing anything to get out. He was acting like a caged animal, which, you know, he was kind of being treated like one. And I wasn't allowed to see my son.

They took me right by him. He's crying, mom, mom, you know, they take me back to the principal's office, she sits me down and she says, Ms. Abraham, you have two options. You can either A, take your son home and don't bring him back until you figure out what's wrong with him. Or B, let this fellow, the policeman take your son.

And you know, I know I had rights and I know that that is completely illegal for someone to say something like that. But I also knew that he wasn't safe at school. So after a few months of like going back and forth with school, getting him an IEP, trying to get him services, it was really evident he just wasn't going to be successful.

There wasn't an environment that was going to help him thrive. So I did the unthinkable and quit my job. And I really just had two goals. Goal number one was I don't want my son to hate himself because I knew that that would turn inward and he could hurt himself. And I didn't want him to hate the world for not understanding him because I also knew that the world wasn't necessarily their fault.

They didn't have the resources or the tools or the knowledge to understand him and to support him and create an environment for him. And I knew that if he hated the world, well then he's not going to have anyone in his life or people. So those were my two goals and that's how it all started.

07:47 Tara Hunkin:
So there's a lot there. Right. How were you like, I mean, how were you feeling at that point in time? Like what, what was going, I mean, I can imagine, but what was going through your mind about how you were going to make a change for your son?

08:02 Dayna Abraham:
I honestly didn't know how I was going to make a change. I didn't know what the future held for him or for myself.

You know, I was married at the time, but just a few short years before that, I was a single mom raising these two kids on a teacher's salary, resourceful. But for me to not work, that was really difficult for me. And, but for him in particular, I was like, what, how am I going to figure this out?

Where have I gone so wrong? How did I do this? And that's what I, the message I was getting is that if I had just, you know, been a stricter parent, if I had just used, you know, corporal punishment, if I had just, you know, taken things away from him, if I had just grounded him, if I like all these things, then he wouldn't be acting like this and he would quote unquote know better.

And, and so I was torn between things that did not align with what I believed in and things that I had learned and neither one was working. And so I really was, you know, just bare bones starting from scratch.

09:10 Tara Hunkin:
Yes. So, so here you are, like at the very beginning and then eventually you create the Calm the Chaos framework. Yes. So there's a lot that happens between A and point B.

09:23 Dayna Abraham:
We're 10 years down the road. Matter of fact, on Tuesday, this same kid who was seven years old, is graduating from high school and I'm going to try not to tear up because it's getting so close and so real.

And, and I sent a message to family and I didn't know if we'd make it here. And so my message to the family actually was, I know it's late notice, but I'm letting you guys know, Elijah's graduating and it's okay if you can't come, but I thought you should know because it was a journey to get here. We didn't know if we'd get here.

There were a lot of times where we didn't know what the future held. I mean, my son has been in every school setting from therapeutic day schools to residential treatment centers, to homeschool, to private school, to, I mean, you name it, he's done it. And, and so to be at the end of his educational journey, it's almost surreal.

And so I don't want anyone to think that this was like a magic button. And I'm not saying that I actually really despise that about parenting programs is like, I figured out the magic cure. And it's like, no, no, this took a lot of iteration, a lot of time, a lot of work. And you know, we, I spent the first few years just connecting with him,

just understanding him, just getting to the bottom of what made him tick so that I could create an environment he could thrive in. And once we did that, then he was like, I want to go back into school. So we put him back in school and it was clear that there was a lot more that still had to happen to make this work.

And that's about when I started five years ago, was when I started teaching this to others. And even then, there's been so many iterations, it started out as a framework that was actually missing one of the elements. And then we realized people were getting stuck. And so we added an element that I saw was really helpful in my life that I hadn't added before.

And then we iterated it again when we saw people getting stuck. And we added the roadmap because we realized that people needed not just a framework, but also this roadmap. So it became this two-part system, and this is actually the fifth iteration. It's had over 5,000 parents go through the program and all over the world, all different challenges, teenagers, toddlers,

everything in between. And so now I can firmly say this works, this works, it works, it works. I believe it to, to the, you know, to my core. And the reason it works is because we're shifting what we are expecting and what we're looking for. We're not looking to change our kids with this framework. We're not looking to change who our kids are.

We're looking to create an ecosystem and an environment where our kids can thrive, where they understand themselves, they can advocate for themselves, they love who they are, and they love the people around them. That if that's all they get, then I'm, I'm really happy with where we are in the world.

12:34 Tara Hunkin:
Yes, that's, that's amazing 'cause it's really what we all want, right? We want wherever our kids are at and however they're doing and however they present to others, we want them to have that confidence in themselves, the ability to interact with others in a way that makes everyone, both themselves and others feel good about it.

So why don't you do have a different perspective of, of, you know, what people call, you talked about that they were saying, you know, challenging, challenging kids. So why don't you tell us what your perspective, that perspective switch that you had that started sort of led you down that path?

13:14 Dayna Abraham:
Yes, so a lot of times, you know, people will say, especially in the education field, they'll say, well, it's a child with challenging behavior.

It's, you know, remove it from the child. And for me, I think of challenges in every other aspect of our life. We challenge ourselves to do Whole30, we challenge ourselves to run a marathon, we challenge ourselves to do new year's resolutions. We challenge ourselves day in and day out to be better humans. And when our kids challenge us, somehow it's supposed to be a bad thing.

And so I actually call them challenging kids for that reason, because I believe they're here to challenge us to, you know, for better or for worse, you know, have us become better humans, to see the world differently, to try new things, to step outside of our comfort zone, to break molds that we've been holding onto for generations that just aren't serving us anymore as the world is changing.

And so for me, I, I hold that badge. I was a challenging kid and I think I'm going to challenging adult. I think I challenge a lot of the status quo, and I think that some of my favorite people in the world are challenging and they challenge the, the thoughts and beliefs of the, you know, of society today. And if we can lean into that for our kids, we can help them hone those abilities.

We can help them hone those challenges so that they're not getting rid of the things that are hard for them. It's two sides of the same coin. You can't have my creativeness, my empathy, my emotion. You can't have any of that without me being over sensitive, distracted, you know, scatterbrained.

Like, you just, you don't get one without the other. And I think for so long we've tried to stop the quote unquote bad parts about kids and embrace and celebrate the good parts. And then kids are left feeling broken. Like there's a piece of them that isn't right. And so for me, this framework really is about embracing the kids you have in front of you and helping them understand and navigate who they are as a whole instead of just the good part.

15:33 Tara Hunkin:
Yes, yes. It, it really does make you look at it holistically and, and accept and find solutions as opposed to trying to suppress something that that is just part of who they are. For sure. Yes. So let's, let's talk about the framework. The framework and the roadmap because actually, and how Calm the Chaos sort of comes to be.

Because like you said, you have had a program that you've had over 5,000 families go through that's helped you refined this. And in the book, obviously the book lays this out for everyone. So when you pick it up, it's going to walk you through all the parts. But let's give people an sort of an idea of what this is and, and why it works.

16:17 Dayna Abraham:
Yes, so it's a two-part system and I'm so used to doodling. So being on a podcast, I'm having to learn how to describe everything with my words. But, so it's a two-part part system and it's really built to do two things. One, or I'm going to say three things. It's built to give you a, a container to make plans, come up with solutions that work for your unique family, that build off of one, your unique knowledge and expertise and hard won, you know, information that you have about your family and your child.

And two, couple that with best practices and the latest science in relationships and neurodiversity and belonging and connection and all the different things, communication, all the things that make us human. And you're coupling that together so that it's simple to use. And then what the roadmap does is brings in this third piece so that it can meet you wherever you are in your life seasons. So if you are in survival mode, you can still access this framework, this container, these plans even, you know,

even when things are as bad as they were when my son was getting kicked out of school, you know, we were dealing with three to five epic meltdowns a day that lasted three to five hours a piece. So if you do the math, we didn't have much time left over, you know, in our day. And we were just constantly, like,

as soon as one would end, we'd have a breather and we were just waiting for the next one to start. And it was like that day in and day out, my husband and I were near, you know, brink of divorce. And so when you're in that stage, most programs will start you out at best case scenario. And they'll say,

if you want to have a great family, if you want your kids to listen, if you want your kids to be resilient and successful, then you need to create boundaries. You need to create routines, you want to love them and connect them and do one-on-one playtime with them, and they jump to the end of the roadmap, basically like this beautiful scenario at the end of the road.

And then that leaves the rest of us. And I think there's a lot of, actually, I know there's millions of us out there who are in the earlier stages and we're looking at that going, well, that's never going to be me. I can never get there. And the roadmap coupled with the framework, allows every parent, every family to, to make it out of that deep dark hole that they're in.

18:57 Tara Hunkin:
I I, I really do love that because like you said, and I, I love how you, you look at it and give everybody the tools to customize it to their specific family. Because the reality is, is that no two family, no two children are alike, but also a parent's knowledge of their child and who they are. And that connection that you talk about in terms of,

you also talk about the, the importance of understanding where they are and where they're at. But when you have that knowledge, it, it makes sense to use it and leverage it in, in making an individualized plan. And we talk about that a lot here at My Child Will Thrive, because every child is different and all everybody's circumstances and where they,

where they started and why they're where they are today are, are different. So we have to take that into account when we're, we're treating each child or, or working with our, our children and, and, and treating them as individuals as opposed to a diagnosis specifically too.

19:42 Dayna Abraham:
Yes, yes. And there is power in intuition and your knowing as a parent, but there is also power in a plan to follow and a path to follow so that you're not having to figure it all out, get a PhD in parenting, right. That, that none of us should feel like we're having to do that and we shouldn't have to feel like we've gotta figure it all out on our own.

20:20 Tara Hunkin:
Absolutely. So can you tell us a bit about the plans that you're talking, you talk about setting plans and, and what types of plans you're talking about.

20:30 Dayna Abraham:
Yes, so as we've mentioned, the Calm the Chaos system is this framework and a roadmap. So the framework is four elements. It's a lot like baking a cake. And these four elements then build to create a plan that you can use in the heat of the moment you can use to get ahead of things you can use to work together as a family.

And those are the stages. So I can walk you through a few of those things. So the framework itself is those four basic elements. A lot like, like I said, like baking a cake, you know, you need your flour, your milk, your egg, your sugar, right? So you need those basic pieces and, and you can bake everything from a box cake to an elaborate wedding cake with those four ingredients.

But if you don't have the knowledge, the skill, the background, the capacity to build a wedding cake with those four ingredients you're going to end up on Nailed It. And so that's kinda what this framework is, is that, you know, these four elements, you need all four. And what we find is that a lot of advice, a lot of parenting programs,

they have one or two or little bits of here and there, but having it all together helps parents make sense of all the knowledge that's out there on raising kids. And so those four pieces, if you can imagine three circles, like a Venn diagram with the meeting in the middle, and the place where they meet in the middle is the core. That is you the parent,

the one person who is going to be there for your kid. And by listening to this, you are that one person. And then we have connection. And connection is about affirming who our children are, accepting our children for who we have, not for the children we wanted or were hoping we were going to have. Understanding is about digging under the surface. And I know your listeners,

this is where you spend a lot of time, is understanding what's under the behavior, what's really going on, what's causing this, where is this coming from? And then empowerment is where you're collaborating and you're empowering not just your kids, but also yourself to have this, this relationship where you can problem solve, you can skill build and you can advocate for yourself and others.

And so when you're in survival mode, that all sounds dandy, but how do you do connection? How do you do empowerment? How do you understand what's going on when plates are getting thrown at your head or you know, Legos are getting broken or there's holes in the wall, or your kid's getting called home from school every day. And so that's where the roadmap comes in.

And there are five distinct stages that we have identified that parents go through when they're going from surviving to thriving as a family. And that is where the plans come in, is that each stage has a plan attached to it that uses the UQ framework. So when you're in ride the storm, the UQ framework creates a plan that's so simple, you can remember it in the middle of like a category three storm,

right? Right. Worst case scenario. And then as you progress through the stages, the, the plans they build on each other, or in education terms, they scaffold, right? They start to make it easier and they get a little bit more advanced, a little bit more elaborate because you have more knowledge, you have more trust built, you have more relationship built and safety built,

so you can start bringing in more elaborate and advanced techniques. So we are, I'm happy to go into more detail into any of those.

24:15 Tara Hunkin:
Yes. Well why don't you start with just giving an example of a type of plan like what, what, what is one of the essential plans that you and and and what that looks like?

24:27 Dayna Abraham:
Yes, so the very first plan is the ride the storm plan in that survival mode stage. And that one for the you piece, we use something called stop breathe anchor. So this is about telling your own brain that you are safe, that you can get through this. And you do that by having that slight pause, by taking a big, deep breath and then recalling some sort of anchor.

And we have all different kinds that we talk about in the book, but one that's really powerful is a memory anchor. So that would be remembering your child as a baby, if that's a happy memory for you. For some people it's not. So you can choose a different memory, but having something that reminds you, oh, my kid just needs me.

My kid is struggling right now because when they're a baby and they're crying, we meet their needs, right? We feed them, we bathe them, we put them to bed, we change them, and we're constantly trying to read their signals. And so this is a good reminder of, oh, okay, right, if they were a baby, I would just be meeting their needs right now.

And so that helps remind your brain, okay, I'm safe. So that you're not going to be resentful or reactive when you go into the situation and it helps you ride out whatever you're going through. And because think back to when your child was a baby, you were able to ride out like sleepless nights, you know, and you know, crying for hours sometimes if you had a colicky baby like I did,

right? So we were able to ride out quite a bit, but as they get older, we expect it to be gone and not happening anymore. The connection piece is something that we talk about called moments of safety. And so you're not really going to play any games in survival mode in the heat of the moment. And again, this isn't like all day,

every day, this plan is what you're doing when the storm hits, when the argument happens, when the meltdown happens, when the tantrum happens, it's your plan of action. And so moments of safety is quick body scan of checking what signals is your body sending out to the other humans involved.

So is it saying, you know, are, are your eyebrows you know, scowling are, is your jaw tight? Are your shoulders raised? Are you tensed up? Are you using a loud voice or a groggy voice? Those are things that can send, you know, very triggering signals to our kids even if we are not angry. And so just checking that can be really helpful and add connection and safety in the moment. The understand piece in the moment, again, you're not going to ask 20 questions when things are flying at you or your kids are fighting with each other.

So instead what you're going to do is you're just going to get curious what could be going on, what's under the surface, and you're going to remove emotion. And my favorite one here is there's a song by Carly Simon, you know, you probably think this song is about you.

And so I sing that in my head, you probably think this meltdowns about you. Well it's not, it's not about you. And so if we can remove that emotion, we're able to ride out the storm a whole lot longer. And so just having that quick shift in the heat of the moment. The empower piece of the plan actually happens after the dust has settled.

So because you're not really going to do much, you're not going to say anything, you're not going to do anything, you're really just riding it out. It's all about getting to safety. And so then after the moment it's about focusing on those tiny glimmers of hope that things are getting better. That the meltdown was an hour instead of three hours that they yelled at you, but they didn't hit you, that they accepted your help today.

Whatever that small progress is, the more that you can focus on that glimmer of hope. And we're not saying pretend all the bad stuff is not happening, but it gives you enough strength to go through another storm again. So that's just a quick example of one plan, but each stage, the plans get a little bit more elaborate and a little bit more involving with the kids and things like that.

28:33 Tara Hunkin:
Yes, no, that, that's a great explanation and definitely can see there's so many elements in there that would be so helpful as you, like you said, if you have a set plan for when things go astray as they do, then it's a lot easier to, to move through.

I especially like the, at the end you're talking about, you know, looking at the really the wins, how, how, however big or small they are. And I think that goes, I love the, the book The Gap and The Gain, it's the Benjamin Hardy's Hardy's book and yes, yes.

And measuring that, that gain as opposed to being looking for, you know, the bigger picture and where you think you should be. It's just really important to celebrate all the little, little things.

29:19 Dayna Abraham:
And during Covid we actually had our community, I was writing the proposal actually for this book. That's how long we've been working on this thing. And so I was writing my second draft of the proposal and so I was trying to get through something and it was right before Covid and someone else in our community was really struggling and you know,

this parent was like, nothing works. Everything's terrible. I make no progress, none of this is helping. And if I just searched this person's name, I could see so many wins that she's posted and how her son used to not go to bed and now he does. And how he used to argue over homework and now he doesn't. But in this moment everything felt like it was awful and terrible.

And I know that it had helped her in the past to focus on these tiny wins. And so I put a challenge out to the community, let's start focusing on one win a day. Let's just post one thing that's going well. And I never thought it was going to take on the life that it did. We have parents who just crossed over 1000 days of wins inside of our community.

They've been doing it ever since, all through Covid, through diagnosis of MS, through like a loss of a parent through kids, you know, having struggles at school. But yet they have been able to find that one thread of hope each day. And they have said like, that's what got me through. That's how I was able to come out of this intact without losing every part of myself and my family.

And you know, we have people who have created scrolls with their family on paper and it's like the last time they measured for me it was 13 meters long. Like what? Like you've got 13 meters of wins with your family. That becomes your anchor when you're going through a storm and you've got a thousand days of wins behind you, you're like, all right,

this is a moment. Yes, I can get through this. Right? And you're, that's how it becomes very personalized, very adaptable to the family because I can give you a million affirmations right now. You go search on Instagram, you'll find a bunch of affirmations. It's not about having all the tools, it's about finding one that works for your brain, one that works for your situation that's going to help you ride out the storm.

31:44 Tara Hunkin:
So it's funny 'cause I was, as you were talking before that I was actually going to ask you what's one story that you could tell us that you know, that that has most either, most surprised you, you're so excited about. But that is, that is a phenomenal success in, in terms of hearing about people doing that because it does really does change our, our frame of reference.

It also helps us with their kids doing. And it's, it's very funny 'cause I actually just had a podcast that were released with Dr. Madiha Saeed and she was talking about just having, you know, and not a lot of people refer to that as gratitude, but it, I mean, celebrating those wins is part of, you know, being grateful for for those things.

So, you know, verbalizing that or writing it down or or celebrating it in different ways makes such a huge difference. We know that makes a difference on our mental health in, in the long term as well. So it's, it's amazing.

32:37 Dayna Abraham:
And in the book I even dive into six different ways to focus on wins because we found over time, right, some people it's super easy. I can say celebrate wins and they're like, got it done. And then other people are like, what are you talking about? Like how do I find a win? And so there are six different ways to celebrate wins inside the book so that you know, no matter where you are on your journey, you can find something that works for you.

33:03 Tara Hunkin:
So it's, it's, it's, again, I'm going to reference another book is, is Dr. BJ Fogg talks in Tiny Habits about, that's part of how you get success in terms of establishing habits is celebrating something once you've actually done that. So it's funny, it's probably all just building on each other in terms of the way your framework works and, and getting people to do that.

So that's really, really exciting and interesting to hear about 'cause I, I it's the same thing and people sometimes are like, well how do I celebrate that? I got up and did this little thing today, what's to celebrate? But it does actually change your brain when you do.

33:38 Dayna Abraham:
It does, it changes the way that your brain is wired, the way that it's connected and it, it is really amazing how much it can change, I mean, we have people who after one year their family is different or the way that they interact with their kids is different after three years they're radically different. They don't recognize themselves because they just interact with the world in such a different way.

And not only do they interact with the world a different way their kids do, so their kids start using these same strategies and they start saying, you know, like, one great, one of the stories, and I tell it in the book, but this story that I I love is of this one kid and he had 53 counts of aggression in a week at school and you know, within a few months or whatever of doing the, the framework and the roadmap and, and creating plans with his family.

He's at the playground with his mom and one of, he's one of these kids that you just have to watch nonstop because he might accidentally push a kid off or he might, you know, like off the top of the, the play structure on accident or, or maybe not on accident, you know, we all know those kids. And so, but in this case she overhears a ruffle at the top of the play structure. So she rushes over and she steps back and she's just amazed at what she hears and it's her son kind of coordinating and what we call huddling with all the kids at the top of the play structure.

So I notice that we all want to use this structure, but I see that there is not enough room for all of us, and I can tell that we all have concerns that we're not going to get a chance to play. And so I'm wondering if we can create a plan where we each can play the thing we want to play and they proceed to then have this conversation and have a grand old time playing pirates at the top of the play structure after he has empowered himself, advocated, navigated, communicated, and this kid was five years old.

35:49 Tara Hunkin:
That's amazing. Yes. I can't even imagine how she felt at that point in time.

35:55 Dayna Abraham:
Right, right. I mean, I, I get all proud mama and it's not my kid, you know? Yes. But it's stories like that over and over and over again. We have a story of a mom whose daughter wasn't going to school,

who was having afterschool meltdowns, found out that it was like masked autism and her daughter was really struggling and, and so she was, you know, getting calls from school all the time and all these things. And then what is so interesting is she went to a parent-teacher conference and the teacher was like, okay, I don't know what you're doing with this girl,

but we were struggling in class the other day. Mom gets ready like, oh man, what happened? And she goes, no, no, no, no, the other kids were struggling. And she, I look up and she's created this little group of kids in the back of the room and she's gathered around all the kids that are struggling and she's listening to their concerns and she's finding out what's going on and why they're struggling.

And then she then advocated to me that it was too loud that they were getting distracted because too many things were happening, that they were feeling overwhelmed. And she asked if we could come up with a plan that worked for everyone in the room. She's like, I don't know where you're teaching her this. Like, where is she getting all of this from?

And the girl was like, well, you just need to know Miss Dayna, she has this program and this book coming out. I'm like, there you go girl.

37:28 Tara Hunkin:
That's awesome. Anyway, well it's, it's amazing. You're going to have this whole army of little kids running around in what a different world and isn't that, isn't that just, I,

I can only imagine how excited that that makes you and it, and it sounds, it's well and the relief for parents, right? I mean really it's, it's the relief because all they're trying to do is help their children thrive in whatever environment they find themselves in and, and giving them the tools to do that is, is really all we want to do in the end.

So that's why, as I said to you the before we even started today is that I was so excited to see that you had gotten, finally gotten to finish your book. And I know that you mentioned the doodling for those people that like the, and need that visual, which is most of us need some kind of visual all throughout the book,

you're going to see Dayna has, has done her own doodling and it's included right through, so if you, those visual references are right throughout the book, which is really nice to see because for those of us that, that really find, we need that sort of multifaceted. I I'm a, I'm a, I buy the paper, I buy the audio, I buy the digital, yes, I do the whole thing.

38:39 Dayna Abraham:
I'm an audio book girl here, but I really value having a, a book in hand, but I struggle when I open up a book and it's a wall of text because I know there's something golden in there, but I can't access it because I'll read the same page over and over and over again.

And so that is why, you know, I really fought hard with the editor to, and she fought hard for it too with the publisher so that we could like have white space on the page so that we could have the, the doodles with visual representation, the charts, the action steps so that it's accessible in, you know, because it's, it's, it's meaty. I walk through every single plan and every single step in the book and I, I left no, no, you know, stone unturned I think is the phrase right and it's all there, but I wanted it to be accessible.

39:32 Tara Hunkin:
Well, it, it, it is like I, I cannot wait to get that print copy in hand. I have a digital copy, like I said right now. I look forward to getting a print copy in hand and I encourage everyone to pick up a copy. There obviously will be a link in the show notes, but I know that you also have a page where everybody can go to get a copy of the book and some extra bonuses that you will be providing for those there too. Can you just mention everybody what the link is to go to?

40:01 Dayna Abraham:
Yes, so you can go to https://calmthechaosbook.com/ and there you'll find out all sorts of information about the book. You can even download a free chapter to check it out. And then there are bonuses for if you buy one book or if you buy multiple books. It is my mission to change the world one kid at a time.

And so I think that this is a book that every single person needs, every classroom, every therapist, every parent. And so it's a great book to get for back to school to give to all the teachers. It's a great book to give as gifts and, and so we do have some like bulk bonuses as well.

40:42 Tara Hunkin:
Yes, no, I, and I'm really glad to see that and I, I look forward to, the other thing is if you're listening to this and for some reason you're unable to get a copy yourself, go to your library, ask your librarian to order the book because they will, believe it or not, librarians, librarians really want to know what people want in their, in their local library.

So they will, they will likely order the book themselves if you aren't able to pick it up a copy for yourself right now as well. So I encourage people to do that as well.

Dayna, I'm so thrilled that we got a chance to talk about this today and the book. I can't wait to, like I said, it's, I'm not sure exactly when this is relative, but I think it will, will come out be a bit before your, your, the book gets launched so people make sure that you go and you order and, and it will come to you right as, as it as it gets launched in August the 15th. Is that right? That's the date?

41:33 Dayna Abraham:
August 15th is the day comes out into the world.

41:36 Tara Hunkin:
Yes. So yay, so exciting. It is book birthday. Well, thank you again for taking your the time to talk to us today. Again, all the links for the things we talked about today can be found in the show notes. But otherwise, go to https://calmthechaosbook.com/ and sign up for that free chapter and also for all the links where you can find Dayna's book and all the other great things that she does as well,

her program and everything else. Thanks again, Dayna, and I look forward to talking to you again soon.

42:07 Dayna Abraham:
Thank you so much.

Tara Hunkin:
Thanks for joining me today. If you've enjoyed this episode, please support us by subscribing and giving us a review on your podcast platform of choice. This is Tara Hunkin and I'll catch you on the next episode of the podcast or over at mychildwillthrive.com/, where you can find articles and the free My Child Will Thrive Toolkit too.


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