The Science of Parenting

Emotions: The Good, Bad, and Ugly | S.8 Ep.3

February 17, 2022 Season 8 Episode 3
The Science of Parenting
Emotions: The Good, Bad, and Ugly | S.8 Ep.3
Show Notes Transcript

I've got a feeling that emotions play a big part in our interactions with our children. The hosts discuss the emotional process, and they dig back out one of their favorite concepts to explain the effect our emotions have on our guidance and discipline.

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Lori Korthals:

Welcome to The Science of Parenting podcast, where we connect you with research based information that fits your family. I'm Lori Korthals, parents of three in two different life stages. Two are launched and one is still in high school, and I'm a parenting educator.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And I'm Mackenzie Johnson, parent of two littles with their own quirks. And I'm a parenting educator. Today we'll talk about the realities of raising a family, and how research can help guide our parenting decisions. Hello. Yes, we still haven't figured out how to start an episode.

Lori Korthals:

We have to watch them first and let it play and oh, okay, now we know what to do.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Oh, yeah. Hi, guys.

Lori Korthals:

Hi, everybody. Here we are. Here we are season eight, episode three. This season, remember, we are talking about the great discipline debate. And we're looking at guidance and discipline from multiple perspectives this season, right? And our research is coming from that book.

Mackenzie Johnson:

The Handbook of Parenting. The volume is The Practice of Parenting.

Lori Korthals:

Lori's reading her notes. Only for the first time. No, not really. Yes, the Handbook of Parenting, right? There is a handbook, and it's edited by Mark Bornstein. And we're particularly looking at the chapter that was written by Dr. Jennifer E. Lansford, and this chapter is on parenting and child discipline. So having a great time in this episode three. We have several more. I really am enjoying the perspectives and offering multiple perspectives to parents.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, well, and not just looking at it as, do this, don't do that. Exactly. Like there's way more here is in terms of how we interact with our kids and try to shape their behavior. It's just like, don't do this, do that and helping us understand, why I might do that? Which is really what we did last week, right? Last week, we looked at those unspoken kind of influences. And you know, thinking about the quiet ways they show up that we may not have noticed before. Yes. And you know, the other thing, you know, we chat through these before. And then we talk afterwards and with our team, with Mackenzie and Barb, and the realization of okay, this season, we're not doing a, you know what, you're terrible at this. So we better get to what to do. Like, I hope everybody knows that. We've done, obviously, the reflection that the two of us have as we go through this as well, and so that it's a bit like an opportunity to feel more informed and to choose intentionally, right. Rather than like those default settings and stuff just happening to us. It's like, I can choose with intention to get the things I actually want. And so we hope that you know, it comes from a place of we're excited to share this information with you. So you can make decisions about what's best for your family.

Lori Korthals:

Right, right. And this week, particularly, we're talking about emotions, right? And so we titled it, The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly, right? Okay. It's a way we think about emotions and how emotions come up in our parenting, and how the emotions we have impact which parenting tools we pull out of our toolbox. Yes, super important, right? And lots and lots of different kinds of emotions, great, happy, you know, sad, fearful emotions, you know, whether they're big emotions, or small, little tiny emotions, they still impact the decisions we make around parenting our kids.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Mm hmm. And whether we even think of arguably, if I'm working on building a warm relationship with a kid, that's a part of guidance and discipline, and whether I feel like saying, stop that, or feel like saying, I love you, right? That's an emotion. It's emotion that drives that. Exactly, exactly. Oh, so we get to dive right in this week with the theory, right? Every week, right? A little bit of theory around parenting, and Lori is gonna kick us off with this emotion theory.

Lori Korthals:

Yeah, so a little bit of emotion theory back in 1991. Oh, PS, by the way, if you did not listen to the history last week, go back and listen to the history. So yeah, so here we are in 1991 with a theoretical model. It's kind of a framework, right, Mackenzie? And this model was proposed by Theodore Diggs and he describes three processes of emotions and how they impact our decision. So these three processes are activation, engagement and regulation. It kind of sounds like a rocket launch sequence.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Right? There's your word picture, activation, engagement, regulation, the emotions, they're gonna do those things. And then okay, I'm going to talk more about that because I like that. Yes. But, you know, really, when we were reading about this theory, the idea of like, this is the behavior reaction cycle. This chunk of emotions is so much of the parent reaction part. And I mean, honestly, your kids' reaction part too, but we're the adults.

Lori Korthals:

We are.

Mackenzie Johnson:

But so I want to break this down, these different parts in terms of where they fit in that little chunk of the circle of the behavior reaction.

Lori Korthals:

Yes. All right. So we'll start with activation. Okay. So activation really talks about which of the emotions we are experiencing. So which emotion is it? And then how strong is that emotion experience within us, the parent? Which emotion is it we're experiencing? And how strong is it within us?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And so, you know, I think of two different examples of, okay, let's say, it's the end of the day. I'm feeling tired and frustrated with my child's behavior. And whether I feel like a little bothered or raging. You know, like, that's activation. It was how strongly that emotion comes on. Versus, you know, in another scenario, whether I feel like, Oh, that was kind of cute if my child does something that I like, like a desired behavior. Versus like, I just love you so much. Yeah. That's a difference in activation, how strongly it comes on.

Lori Korthals:

Yes. Yeah. So then engagement, the second thing is how we adjust to the events or the behaviors, and how do we move these reactions that we're having into behaviors that we express? So taking in and recognizing the emotion, is it big or little? And then not quite moving out into the behavior, but recognizing what am I going to look like when I express this behavior?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And so if the activation is the internal reaction part of the behavior reaction cycle, I think that the engagement is whether that arrow is gonna be long or short. It's like the length of the arrow towards behavior of like, yes, is this gonna like engage and go? Yes. Or are we gonna have a third step here? And you know, if I do feel rage-y as an emotion that I have experienced from time to time. If I feel rage-y, is that going to engage right into behavior? Or gonna go to this third part of the process?

Lori Korthals:

Yes, regulation. So we talk about self-regulation in children where we hope to teach them how to control themselves and control their regulation. And so regulation for us as adults is similar. It's helping us understand how we express? How do we stay in control? How do we understand that emotion?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Absolutely. And so that behavior reaction cycle, it's what's going to determine what the behavior actually is. Mm hmm. Right? The regulation is right, that if we engage it, if that's the short arrow, our reaction immediately comes our behavior, which happens to us. That happens to me, that happens to us. We're not always regulated. Yes. But when we can get regulated, we can lengthen that arrow so like, okay, my reaction doesn't immediately have to be behavior. Let's say my activator motion was rage-y. Yes. Maybe I choose not to engage it, and I regulate. Maybe I Stop. Breathe. Talk. or I find some other way to get more in control. And my emotions get a little more regulated so I can behave in a way that's intentional.

Lori Korthals:

Yes, and I love how you're talking about the arrow and in case you're listening, maybe what you want to do is go back and check out our blog, because on our blog, we'll maybe have a little infographic of exactly the short and long arrows that Mackenzie is talking about. And another piece of that is I think that as we look at regulating our emotions, thinking about how does our temperament come into play? What's our intensity level? Right? This is a huge piece of our own personal guidance and discipline barometer, right? Yeah. So is our intensity a high intensity, which means that in that behavior reaction cycle, we probably have a really short little arrow before we behave. If we are less intense, there's probably a good chance that our arrow was a little longer meaning we have a little space between when we engage, react and think about that emotion behavior and what actually comes out for others to see.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Oh, yes, that's such a great point, the length, the natural length, that space we have in between reaction behavior, for sure. But so going back to that rocket launch, I have the word picture today. Okay, good. Okay, good. So rocket launch. So when we're thinking about our emotions as a rocket launch, activate is like, engines powered on. Like, emotions are ready, flipped on, ready to go, flip the switch. Engagement is once it's powered on, we have to make sure things are actually going to be prepared to go. Right. We're engaging that emotion. We're getting ready to get ready to go behave.

Lori Korthals:

Yes. The lights are coming on the panel. Like, all the lights are starting to come on the instruction mechanical panel. I don't know what it's called.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah, I bet that's right in a rocket, never been in one. But it is for sure. Yeah. All the lights are coming on. Love that. Okay, versus the actual regulation. It's like checking those gauges. Is this appropriate for where it needs to be? Yeah, regulating that emotion is like, okay, my activated emotion was very strong. If I engage it, it's ready to go. Oh, regulate it, dial it back, make sure it's at an appropriate level, you know, and sometimes it is appropriate for me to yell, stop, don't run in the street. Like, sometimes it is appropriate for my emotion, my fight or flight to kick in to keep us safe. Yes, sometimes that's appropriate. So regulating it to what is appropriate for a given situation. Yes. How that emotion process of like, we have an activation. Something gets emotion started and gets engaged in our body. We're gonna regulate it to an appropriate level for the situation.

Lori Korthals:

Yes. I wonder if Mackenzie can create that word picture for us. I don't know.

Mackenzie Johnson:

If you see a beautiful rocket on your screen right now, thank Mackenzie DeJong.

Lori Korthals:

Alright, so not only does temperament influence our emotional reactions, in any given situation, but Theodore Dix also in his model talks about that there are other things and how we think about certain situations is also going to influence that emotional level. So as the adults, we have these three things that kind of come into play, and how we think about what's happening is going to impact, whether we like it or not, our emotion, that first activation piece, right? So these three things are stability, controllability, and influence.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. So they talked about it as the stability controllability in it, and importance of the event. So the event that prompts my emotion, yes. So, you know, stability being maybe, does this happen all the time. Controllability is like, do I feel like I have any power in this situation? Or maybe it feels like I have no influence versus the importance being like, is this a big deal to me, this event? And so how that influences the way we respond and how strongly. Of course, temperament is a factor in there. How long our wick is? Yes. And so those three factors are still important.

Lori Korthals:

They are. So if you looked at those three factors, do you have one that you know, in particular, shortens that wick or increases your emotional response? Stability? Controllability? Importance?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah, I can give a specific example where I know one of those components is particularly important. When my kids step on my toes, when I had a child who used to head butt when they were a young toddler or older baby. Situations like that, even if they're accidental. Yeah, but things that inflict a surprising amount of pain make my reaction like, and especially because stability, they happen all the time. They happen all the time. Why is this always happening? Like when my child was in that phase of head butting all the time, where my kids are stepping on my toes with their shoes on, those things, just like...

Lori Korthals:

So that heightens your emotions?

Mackenzie Johnson:

It does. The strength of my reaction, even just like accidental. My child can be walking up to me to give me a hug a jump thinking it's fun and they smacked me in the face. And I'm like, it hurts.

Lori Korthals:

It does.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So all right, yeah. That was one. What about you where one of those factors comes in?

Lori Korthals:

Okay, so you know, my intensity is less intense than yours. And as you were talking through this, I was like, gosh, I need more emotion. I did. I was like, Oh am I emotionless? No. No. Because actually then when I thought about it, the importance of the situation, right? When it's something super important, man, my emotions, boom, they're hot and they're big. And especially when it comes to my daughter with a disability, my child who has a diagnosed disability. I know that there were times, and there are still times even at 22, I really, really want someone to understand her. And I really want someone to give her a chance. And I really want, you know, it's so super important to me that someone understand that the reason that this is happening is because of her disability. Yes, like, there were like, look at me. I'm breathing fast, and I'm talking fast. But it's important. It's important. And then what happens is you stop listening to my words. And then you're looking at my emotions that's getting in the way. And that's super frustrating to me as an adult, I think, okay, my emotions got in the way of this super important message. And now you just think I'm being emotional.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Rage-y. Yes, rage-y, a word I refer to often. But So yeah, those factors, like our temperament is there, but these other things that influence how strongly we react to it, honestly, almost kind of an unspoken aspect. And, yeah, but that influence our emotional response. Yes. And so then one other big one, the other kind of big influencer, if you will, and I thought the way they phrased this, I really like. Whether the undesired behavior and some people might say, misbehavior, whether it's related to a short term goal, like brush your teeth, or whether it's related to a long term goal, like the type of person you are, and the sense of right and wrong that you have. So which of those goals it maybe goes against, and whether those goals are being thwarted, or whether they're being advanced. So like, maybe my child is saying, I've told you guys before that we talk a lot about you're in charge of your body. If my child is resisting the short term goal, she's like, because I'm in charge of my body. Well, that aligns with my long term goals. Also, that I was also, whether they're resisting something short term, I might feel annoyed, frustrated, stressed, whatever. If they're resisting something long term, I might feel like, defeated. Hmm. Right. Like, you can prompt a different emotion. Or yeah, if I feel like you're thwarting the short term to get the long term, I'm like, Okay, that's fair. Well, that also influences our emotional response.

Lori Korthals:

It does. And, you know, I think that right along with that is if you think about influencing your emotions is like that short term goal of getting ready on time. And you know, that they don't do that. And you just need them right this minute to get ready on time, that can bring up a strong emotion. And actually, what we know is that harsher forms of punishment actually can get to that short term goal. Yes, but they don't then help with the long term one. Right. So yeah, they didn't get ready for school in the morning on time, and you yelled, and it works. They got ready. But guess what, you're gonna have to yell every morning.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Oh, okay. The difference between the short term goal, the what I want you to do. I want you to brush your teeth. I want you to be ready. I want you to not hit your brother. Yeah. What I want you to do versus the long term is the why I want you to do it. Yes. So short term. So harsh punishment, corporal punishment, right, yelling, things coming on really strong like that harsh punishment can get you to do the what. I want you to get up off the floor. Don't throw a tantrum. Yeah, I want you to be home on time when I told you to, can be in the short term. But is it helping us with the why?

Lori Korthals:

Yeah.

Mackenzie Johnson:

I'm so proud of myself. That just clicked so many things for me, like, what do I want you to do versus why do I want you to do it. That's going to influence our emotions and how we respond to it. Like which of these reasons, which of these things are being thwarted. Thwarted. That's our word for the day. Word of the day is thwarted. So these things influence our emotions. There's these different, the process of emotions is not as straightforward as like, I feel. Right? This activation, engagement and regulation, and then all these influences that affect how strongly we react or how we react at all. So that's the internal, the internal process of emotions. Yep. But there is this external, right, when it actually translates into behavior, and so Lansford says that emotions can either undermine our parenting or can promote sensitive and responsive parenting, depending on if the emotions match a given situation.

Lori Korthals:

Okay, I'm going to stop you. That kind of punched me in the gut when you said that my emotions can undermine my parenting.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Oh, yeah. Let's pull out that specific phrase.

Lori Korthals:

Yeah, okay. Okay. Now, what was the second phrase? Now that I can move on?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah. So they can undermine or promote so good side, they can promote. But it depends on whether the strength of the emotion matches a given situation. Ah, so basically, if my emotions are strong, if my emotions are too big for a situation, like, you know, I said last week my kids were fighting over a plate and it made me very angry. If it's too strong for a given situation, I am more likely to react harshly. But on the flip side, which is not something I would have thought of because I am very intense, the flip side is if we don't have strong enough emotions, if our emotions are too weak for a given situation, if I don't respond strongly when my child is about to do something very unsafe, there's also negative consequences of emotions not being strong enough, because I'm not gonna address behavior. Yeah. And so the trick is about matching, what is appropriate emotion for a given situation? And of course, the way we do that is regulating.

Lori Korthals:

Yes. Kind of makes me think of when we were talking about consequences, like does the consequence match the misbehavior? Does the emotion match the misbehavior? Right?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah. And the reason that I disproportionately reacted to you fighting about the plate wasn't about you fighting about the plate. No. Yep. Yeah. That was a mismatch. Yes. Oh, okay. So we know that regulating is going to help us match those emotions to a given situation. But there's another trick here. So we want to move into our strategy for the week. Okay. Our not homework, not home activity, but the thing that you can do between episodes activity. But so the strategy for the week is to work on cooperation and aligning parent child goals is how they said it in the book. Aligning parent child goals and cooperating. And so they give us three strategies of how we can do that, of how we can more closely align our goals. But it says that emotions of parent child interactions are generally more positive when our goals are aligned than when they're divergent. Yes. Well, the word divergent was a little bit of a surprise. I like that word.

Lori Korthals:

Yes. Thwarted. Divergent. I mean, yeah, when they align, then yeah, life is easier. Yeah, life is easier when things are in alignment, right? I want to watch cartoons and so do you. Super.

Mackenzie Johnson:

That's great but the challenge is, of course, they don't always align. Right. So what do we do to create alignment? And they give us three strategies. Okay, want to kick us off with some of those.

Lori Korthals:

Well, so our three strategies, we have cooperative strategies, empathetic strategies and forceful strategies, and stay with us because actually, forceful sounds negative, but it's actually okay. So cooperative strategies. These are things like negotiations, reasoning, right. Let's have a chit chat about why we are not in alignment. You want to stay here and play, and I need you to go upstairs to bed. So let's cooperate on this. How can we negotiate this bedtime activity?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Well, even I think of like finding common ground. When you said to your child, Okay, I need to do this. You need a ride? How are you going to get home?

Lori Korthals:

How are you gonna get home?

Mackenzie Johnson:

How are you going to get home? But so like, finding the common ground in a situation is also a form of cooperation. I want this, you want this. Yes. Where's the common ground? That's a form of cooperative strategies.

Lori Korthals:

Strategy one. All right, so empathetic strategies. These are going along with their wishes, empathetic, because you understand where they're coming from, and really acknowledging the reason for their behavior. This could be something like, wow, you are showing me that you're really mad right now. Like you are super mad right now. Empathetic. I'm gonna help you name what feeling you are feeling right now.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, yes. And I mean, with all different ages of kids, we can do this. You know, even like our older kids. I know you really want to do this. Like, I know you really want to do that thing. That's empathy, right? That's an empathetic strategy. I hear what you're saying. Yes. And sometimes it is, I don't like to use the phrase giving in, you know, but sometimes it is saying, you know what? You can do this. I don't need to, quote unquote, fight this battle. But yes, you're right. Okay. Yeah. That's a good reason. Yeah. That's empathy.

Lori Korthals:

That's empathy. Yes. It's not giving in. It's recognizing, you know what, right now they feel super strongly about this particular thing. Okay. You know what? I'm okay with that.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah, like, alright, that can fly today. Yeah, we'll figure that out. Alright. Yeah. Third one.

Lori Korthals:

Cooperative, empathetic and forceful. Tell us a little bit about forceful.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. So forceful is about us imposing our plans, through some kind of physical force. And so, you know, Barb even reminded us that it it's not always, you know, we might think of like spanking, you know, or hitting or something like that. But even like, if you don't get in the car, I will put you in the car. Right?

Lori Korthals:

Right. And not harsh punishment. That's not what we're talking about when it comes to forceful. We're talking about, you know, physically having to carry the child out of the street so that they don't get hurt.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, right. Yes. And so with forceful the thing is, kids are typically more likely to resist a forceful strategy. And so it's just like, obviously, of course they do. But I'm even thinking like, we often do the, okay, it's time for bed. Are you going to walk upstairs? Or are you going to choose for me to carry you if you choose not to walk? Yeah, right. If you don't choose, I will choose and I will choose this. Yes. And sometimes the I will choose this is me physically doing this thing, either for you or with you. Yeah, um, but it is just knowing that, okay, that's a strategy that we're using, our kids are more likely to resist it than if we can find a way to do a cooperative strategy, or an empathetic strategy.

Lori Korthals:

Exactly. And I would think with your kids, you know, sometimes the whole picking up the toys, so it doesn't even have to be picking up the child, it can be well, you can pick up the toys and put them in the basket, or I can pick up the toys and put them in the basket. And if I pick up the toys and put them in the basket, the basket is going on the top shelf of the closet. That's a forceful strategy. Like, I'm going to take care of it. And this is where I'm going to put it.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yep. Yep. And that it's physically, this is my plan. The plan is you're going to clean up. Yes, right. Sometimes we can cooperate and be like, Oh, you don't want to clean up right now. Sometimes it's empathy of like, okay, you know what, you're right. You're very involved in that. Let's wait. And then sometimes it is, if you don't clean it up, I will. And yeah. And so you're right that we have a variety of strategies to tap into what we do. And that sometimes forceful strategy is the necessary strategy. But knowing that when that happens, we will likely be meeting more resistance. Yes, yes. Yeah. So those are strategies, how we can use that emotion, recognize it, what influences it, the process that our brain goes through, and then looking at, alright, so how do I use that in? How to align parent child goals? Shaping behavior. Yes.

Lori Korthals:

All right. So we might as well bring in Mackenzie, right. So this is a part of our episode, where we bring in our producer Kenzi DeJong and we let her know that we would like to take a moment to Stop. Breathe. Talk. and speak with intention. And that is our flagship strategy. Stop. Breathe. Talk. And so welcome, Kenzi.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Hello. Hello.

Mackenzie Johnson:

You seem serious.

Mackenzie DeJong:

No, I've really just decided that I'm just not going to have emotion. I would just rather, I would just rather not have emotion because it seems like there's a lot here.

Lori Korthals:

I was so nervous.

Mackenzie DeJong:

We're making it hard for her not to laugh. I'm just gonna not have emotion. I would rather just do without emotion.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Oh, okay.

Lori Korthals:

I think there's a piece to being calm, cool and collected. Because it's easier for me to be calm, cool and collected. Unless there's this importance piece, right? And so, um, I can totally buy into not having emotion. And then I think about all those celebratory times that I might have not had enough emotions. Like when my kid was super proud of something she did and my natural default at that certain moment in time was, oh, well, that's nice. And I could have had more emotion. Yeah, I could have had more.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Having no emotion is not something that's ever been on my radar. Like, that's not an experience I've had. I've always had a feeling.

Mackenzie DeJong:

I got a feeling!

Mackenzie Johnson:

So I guess, sometimes it's like, if you're so defeated, angry, overwhelmed over it with a particular behavior that sometimes it's just like fine, I don't care. And so that's a reality where we sometimes are just like just get away from me. But yeah, I don't care, fine do whatever you want. And so that is also a form I mean, we are still having emotion, but that is a form of us kind of almost numbing ourselves because emotions are hard. Yeah, it would be easier to not care than it is to deal with how I feel and how to regulate it.

Lori Korthals:

Yes, does that fall into the love withdrawal category that we talked about in episode nine?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah, fine, I don't care. You didn't ask a specific question really, Mackenzie. But I also feel like it got us to.

Lori Korthals:

Really got us.

Mackenzie DeJong:

So what if I just say I don't want to have emotion? Yeah. Oh, I also dressed the part today. I'm a little emo today.

Mackenzie Johnson:

You did. Mackenzie is wearing like a dark jacket and a dark green shirt and a dark lip and dark earrings. She's dressed for it.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Sorry I've got a serious face. I'll take that into consideration as well.

Lori Korthals:

Thank you. Okay. An emotionless Kenzi is not what I was expecting. No, that is not typical operating procedure. How about that?

Mackenzie Johnson:

That was an off the cuff question. I was caught off guard.

Lori Korthals:

I was waiting for her to tell us that we hadn't started recording and that we were gonna have to start all over. That's really what was happening in my brain, like, II'll have to go back and look at my facial expressions. We have to start over.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Oh, oh, but yeah, I mean, but she does bring a salient point of like, we have emotions. And it's a thing in like, yeah, you could choose to try to be numb to it. So, yeah, there's a different process of emotions, that I think understanding those different parts helps us better understand that behavior reactions, like we talked about of like, that's the activating and engaging and regulating and you know, in a future season I know, we're gonna have to be talking all about regulating. Yes. But yeah, we learned that internal process, and now we look at, okay, we can align goals, we can regulate, we understand what influences it. So we are working on emotion and how we can use it to harness it, I should say. We're gonna harness it more.

Lori Korthals:

We're not going to thwart it. Alright, so what's next, what's next? Next week we're going to talk about recognizing the parent child relationship. And we're gonna look at how the climate of our relationship with our kids really plays a role into how we guide and shape them and what tools and techniques we use. So that's next week. Looking forward to it right, come back. So thanks for joining us today on The Science of Parenting podcast. And in case you haven't heard, if you have a specific parenting question, you can always email our team at parenting@iastate.edu. And don't be afraid to reach out.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, we love your questions. Please do come along with us as we tackle the ups and downs, the ins and outs, and the research and reality all around The Science of Parenting.

Anthony Santiago:

The Science of Parenting is hosted by Lori Korthals and Mackenzie Johnson, produced by Mackenzie DeJong, with research and writing by Barbara Dunn Swanson. Send in questions and comments to parenting@iastate.edu and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext