Inside: Honestly, at first, I didn’t believe Calm the Chaos would work for anyone but my own family. But after using it for years and trying it out with all sorts of families, even those with kids who have PDA, ADHD, or are on the autism spectrum, I can tell you it works every time. No matter what the situation is, our system comes through. In today’s episode, Jason and I are going to break down the two parts of the Calm the Chaos System: Calm the Chaos Framework (You-Cue) and Family Road Map.
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I can imagine you’ve tried every approach in the book (even those that aren’t in books) and everything under the sun (just like we did), but still, nothing has worked for your challenging kid.
It’s safe to say that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for parenting – especially when it comes to challenging children. That’s precisely why most mainstream methods fall short.
They don’t get to the root of the problem, and they aren’t tailored to each child’s individual needs and background.
That’s why it’s the perfect time to talk about other solutions… and by that, I mean THE SOLUTION – an out-of-the-box, customized, holistic approach that covers not only your unique family but also best practices.
Let’s dive in!
Calm the Chaos – Tailored to Work for All
Honestly, at first, I didn’t believe Calm the Chaos would work for anyone but my own family.
But after using it for years and trying it out with all sorts of families, even those with kids who have PDA, ADHD, or are on the autism spectrum, I can tell you it works every time. No matter what the situation is, our system comes through.
Calm the Chaos is the system I’ve come up with based on over 20 years of research and experience.
Because parenting isn’t just a guessing game (despite what you might see on social media). There’s a ton of science out there.
Hear me out. I absolutely agree that you are the expert when it comes to your kids, and nobody knows them better than you do.
But we still need some sort of guide, some kind of road map that will help us through this journey without feeling like we’re having to play a never-ending game of parenting Whack-a-Mole.
So today, I’m going to break down the 2 parts of the Calm the Chaos System:
- Calm the Chaos Framework (You-Cue)
- Family Road Map
We’ll explain the ins and outs of this unconventional approach, why it works, and how to use it.
It has helped hundreds of thousands of families – I bet it will work for you too!
Calm the Chaos Framework (You-Cue)
We started out with a basic parenting framework like everyone else. But we quickly realized we needed something more adaptable to fit individual situations.
I like to compare it to baking a cake.
Whether you’re whipping up a basic cake or a fancy masterpiece, you always need the same core ingredients – flour, milk, eggs, and sugar.
And that’s exactly what our system provides – the essential elements for success, no matter what kind of family or kid we’re working with.
You build on what you already know about your kid, your family, and your situation, so you don’t have to start from scratch.
It’s also forgiving enough that you can make mistakes and still see results.
And as your family grows and new challenges arise, the You-Cue grows with you.
The 4 ingredients of the You-Cue framework are: You, Connect, Understand, and Empower.
Imagine three circles that meet in the middle. The You-Cue framework is like these circles, with you at the center. As a parent, you’re the perfectly imperfect glue that holds everything together (no pressure, lol).
The key is to show up calmly and with empathy and curiosity so you don’t add fuel to the fire with your own judgment/anger/frustration.
You’re the calm and safe place for your child, the one who advocates for them, sees them for who they are and empowers them. The trust they have in you is invaluable.
The other three circles making the CUE part are all equal – Connect, Understand, and Empower.
Connection with our kids is more than just spending time gaming together or family outings. It’s those little moments of love, like a gentle touch when you pass each other or a hug for no reason in particular.
We want our children to feel like they belong, to know that we accept them for who they are, and to feel validated.
Staying connected means being present for them, even during the tough times, and using our body language and tone of voice to create a safe space.
Being there for your kids, whether they’re at their best or at their worst, is a vital part of maintaining connection.
It’s important to continuously strengthen the bond. That way, we have some reserves to fall back on when things are difficult. It makes the storm smaller and the recovery quicker.
When we can make that shift and accept them for who they are, it’s magical.
This type of deep connection ensures your child feels seen, heard, and understood so you can create the trust and safety necessary for your child to work with you.
The next circle is all about understanding the deeper cause behind your kid’s behavior. (And it’s not just, “Oh, it’s b/c he has [insert diagnosis here] – your child is more than a diagnosis).
It’s about going deeper and discovering what’s really going on beneath the surface. Think of it like an iceberg – what you see is just the tip, but there’s so much more going on below.
The real goal of understanding is to help your child understand themselves, so they can become their own advocates. This way, they become empowered to speak up for their needs and wants in a way that others can hear.
This step is building systems and habits. This is about teaching your child how to solve problems, self-regulate, and have the self-awareness to understand their needs and how to get them met.
It’s like creating your own superhero toolkit.
But first, you need to feel safe and connected. It’s all about understanding your role and what you need to do to support each other.
Once you’ve got that, it’s all about empowerment. And that means working together as a team to solve problems and make plans, both in the moment and for the future.
5-Stage Family Road Map
I’ve seen amazing results with this parenting framework – from avoiding bedtime battles to healing family relationships.
But let’s be real – when you’re in the middle of a storm, even the best framework can go out the window.
That’s why I created a simple, adaptable system that meets you where you’re at – the Calm the Chaos Road Map.
Together with the framework, this road map makes the Calm the Chaos System that takes you from chaos to calm.
The road map breaks down the five stages that every family goes through as they move from surviving to thriving together. And at every stage, you’ll use the same basic framework.
Stage One: Surviving the Storm
Stage one is all about surviving the storm. When everything’s falling apart, and it feels like you’re barely keeping your head above water, safety is the top priority.
Your job is to be the safe haven, to make sure everyone is out of harm’s way.
The You-Cue framework becomes super simple in this stage. You’re the only one involved because you can’t control anyone else, especially when everything’s really chaotic.
It’s all about connecting with your family, understanding what’s going on, and empowering yourself to take action.
It’s not easy, and it’s not pretty. But sometimes, all you can do is focus on the basics and take it one step at a time.
Stage Two: Your Energy Reserves
Next up: the energy reserves stage, where things are a little less intense and crazy.
You start a transformation from the inside out, and you’re no longer adding to the chaos.
But you can’t do that if you’re completely overwhelmed and drained. Think of it like your phone battery – you can’t use it if it’s on 0%.
This stage is all about you and using the You-Cue framework to find your own energy reserves. Even just one/five/ten minutes a day can make a huge difference.
It’s about building habits that fit into your regular routine so you have enough energy and time to handle the next storm that comes your way. With these reserves, you can stay calm and handle anything that comes your way.
Stage Three: The Calm at the Center of the Storm
Stage three is all about being the calm at the center of the storm.
It’s knowing how to handle things without escalation. It’s about defusing the bomb before it goes off or minimizing the damage when it does go off.
This stage isn’t about eliminating conflicts and challenges with your kids. But this is when you understand how to respond and react to their behavior in the moment and have a plan that works for your unique situation.
This stage is all about being proactive instead of reactive and having the tools to handle whatever comes your way with more patience and calm.
Stage Four: No More Storm Chasing
We call stage four “No More Storm Chasing” or “No More Parenting Whack-a-Mole” because you’re getting ahead of the chaos and challenges before they even happen.
Some people think it’s impossible if you’ve got a kid with ADHD, autism, ODD, PDA, or similar conditions. But by going through the earlier stages of the road map, parents gain a deep understanding of their child’s behavior, preferences, and needs.
Taking a team approach and involving children in collaborative problem-solving conversations, known as “huddles,” can help anticipate and prevent chaos from spiraling out of control.
(My Calm the Chaos Book provides more in-depth guidance on the various types of huddles and systems that can be used to stay ahead of the curve.)
Stage Five: Building a Storm-Proof Infrastructure
Stage five is focused on building a storm-proof infrastructure.
The goal is to create an environment where every family member feels heard, valued, and understood.
Rather than just working on building connections with one family member, the focus shifts to creating a whole family team – an ecosystem where every member feels heard, valued, and like they belong.
This stage is all about understanding each other’s sensory preferences and why each family member does what they do.
It’s like you’re all speaking the same language, and you’re all working towards the same goal.
By the end of this stage, each family member has a deep understanding of one another. And the family is better equipped to navigate any challenges that come their way.
These two parts of the Calm the Chaos System are the heart of my parenting program. We’ll be chatting about them a lot on the Calm the Chaos Parenting podcast.
In upcoming episodes, we’re going to dive deep into some real-life tools, tips, and tricks that you can use to handle all sorts of situations.
Got something specific you’d like to hear? Let us know – excited to hear from you!
Also, don’t forget to follow us on social media and tell us what topics you would like us to cover on this podcast. Let’s work together to build family harmony in your unique home.
Remember, we’re better together.
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Calm the Chaos Parenting is a podcast offering parents practical tools and strategies to navigate the challenges of raising strong-willed, highly sensitive, and neurodivergent children.
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