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Award Winning Author: ” This NEW Approach to Family Communication will CHANGE Parenting FOREVER!”

Parents, have you heard these common myths about improving communication skills with your children? Award Winning Author Susy Lee is here to reveal the truth and change parenting forever with her NEW approach to family communication. Don't miss out o...

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Parents, have you heard these common myths about improving communication skills with your children? Award Winning Author Susy Lee is here to reveal the truth and change parenting forever with her NEW approach to family communication. Don't miss out on this game-changing advice that will strengthen your bond with your children and create a more harmonious household.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Embrace the power of role modeling to enhance your intentional parenting skills.
  • Master effective communication techniques for resolving conflicts within your family.
  • Unlock your child's full potential by encouraging creativity and character-building.
  • Utilize conversation templates to foster empathy and instill positive values in your children.
  • Discover valuable resources and guidance to support your journey towards becoming a better father.

My special guest is Susy Lee

Meet Susy Lee, the award-winning author and family communication expert who is revolutionizing parenting. Susy's book, "Raising Kids Who Care," has been praised for its groundbreaking approach to family communication, helping parents build stronger, more meaningful connections with their children. With a background in Peace and Conflict studies, Susy has a deep understanding of the significance of effective communication in fostering positive relationships. Her passion for helping families navigate the challenges of modern life has made her a trusted authority in the world of parenting, inspiring countless parents to create lasting bonds with their children.

The key moments in this episode are:    

  • 00:00:00 - Importance of Role Modeling         
    00:01:07 - Introduction         
    00:02:43 - Reaching Full Potential         
    00:05:19 - Proud Accomplishments                   
  • 00:09:10 - Susy Lee's Book                  
  • 00:15:22 - The Purpose of the Book         
  • 00:16:39 - Kids' Creativity           
  • 00:23:22 - Effective Communication           
  • 00:24:24 - Four Sections of the Book                 
  • 00:26:55 - Collaboration              
  • 00:31:05 - Benefits of Disagreement            
  • 00:34:19 - Approaching Communication with Humility           
  • 00:38:24 - Elements of a Great Conversation                 
  • 00:42:04 - Using Ears and Mouth in Proportion               
  • 00:46:21 - Supporting Dads in Their Parenting Journey                 
  • 00:46:47 - Building a Community of Dads              
  • 00:47:23 - Raising Kids Who Care         
  • 00:47:45 - Being the Best Version of Yourself               
  • 00:48:02 - Wrapping Up     

Get Susy's Book by clicking on the picture -

Raising Kids Who Care: Practical conversations for exploring stuff that matters, together


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S04E39 FP

[00:00:00] What is the most important takeaway you want people to hear from this conversation today? Your role modeling. Is the most important thing. I can suggest whatever I want, but your kids will learn from what you do rather than what you say or what they learn from other people. So being a person who cares is the most important thing, but take your kids on that journey.

[00:00:27] If you volunteer at a soup kitchen, take your kids with you If you, you know, care, care about anything. Talk to your kids about what you care about. That's the way you'll raise kids who care.

[00:00:41] Here's the million dollar question. How do men like us reach our full potential? Growing to the men we dream of being while taking care of our responsibilities, working, being good husbands, fathers, and still take care of ourselves? Well, that's the big question in this podcast. We'll help you answer those questions and more.

[00:01:01] My name is Brent and welcome to the Fallible Man Podcast on mission. Welcome to the Falbo Man Podcast, your home for all things, man, husband, and father. Big shout out to Fallible Nation. You guys make this possible and a warm welcome to our first time listeners. Thanks for giving us a chance and hanging out with us today.

[00:01:19] My name is Brent, and today my guest is author and professor Susie Lee. Susie, welcome to the Fallible Man Podcast. Thanks so much for having me. Now, Susie, I like to start pretty, pretty easy going here with just some fun. So what was the first animal sent into space? Was it A, a rabbit, B, a chimpanzee? C. A dog.

[00:01:40] R. D a Rat. I think it was a dog. All right. The, and I don't really know. C. All right guys. You know the rules. Don't, don't jump to the end. Play the little game and we'll get back to it at the end. Now Susie, I don't do huge introductions because that doesn't really give people a feel for who you are. Right?

[00:02:02] I can, I can read accolades. It's just a waste of people's time. So in your own words, who is Susie Lee?

[00:02:08] I am a mother, a brand new grandmother. I'm a dancer. I am a reader. I love to teach. I've, I haven't been trained as a teacher, but I. Every single job I've ever had, I've ended up educating in some way. I think I, what I really love the most is to discover new things and then shout them from the rooftops and share them with people.

[00:02:37] I think what I really want is to make the world a better place, and that's who I am, but I'm also enthusiastic and I get tired and I'm just a person. And. I live by the beach. That's a pretty good thing. I live in one of those beautiful places in the world. I live in Sydney. My dad came to Australia to build the Op Sydney Opera House, and I've stayed ever since.

[00:03:03] I've traveled the world and come back because I live on the northern beaches of Sydney and they are spectacular. All right. It's always good to reach out to your side of the pond. We've actually made several connections during this podcast out there. With just some amazing people. I'm, I'm just always overwhelmed with the people I meet from your area of the world.

[00:03:23] They're just, everybody I've run into is just so generous with themselves, right? I've just been impressed. I love reaching out to you guys, so I'm excited about today's interview now. A couple easy questions right before we get into it, cuz we like to know who you are. So if you could have a conversation with anyone in history, living or dead, who would it be and why?

[00:03:51] Wow,

[00:03:51] there's so many.

[00:03:53] At the moment, I'd like to speak to Brene Brown. I really like her work. I really think that if everybody, you know, followed the teachings of Jesus, not necessarily the church's teachings, but the teaching of Jesus Christ, I think I've got a few questions for him. Yeah, that'd, that'd be my, the main two that popped to mind.

[00:04:14] Nope. Nope. There's nothing wrong there. There. You can't go wrong with these. That's a good thought. Think about these questions and congratulations. By the way, I'm newly being a grandmother. Oh, thank you. Very exciting. I wanna say I have two fabulous sons. My husband's gorgeous. I've got a heap of really wonderful nephews.

[00:04:32] I have great relationships with my nephews, and now I've got a granddaughter. I'm so excited. Oh, it's a special time. My my mom lives with us, actually after my dad passed. My mom has been living with us for the last couple years, and Oh, bless you. I have, oh, she, she had a choice. We, we have, there's three or there's four of us, and anybody in the family would've taken her, but I have young grandkids.

[00:04:59] Mm-hmm. My older brother, his daughters are now adults. Mine are eight and 11. So perfect. She, she is loving being here with her granddaughters and getting to be a part of their lives, so I know that's a very special time. Mm-hmm. Now, Susie, what are you most proud of? I am most proud of the fact that I've brought generational change to my family.

[00:05:24] The family that I grew up in, my family of origin was pretty messy and broken and rehashed together and mixed up. And. You know, everyone did the best they could, I suppose, but it, it was pretty difficult. But my sons have grown up. Knowing who they are. In fact, there was I, we lived with my brother-in-law and his wife for six years while our four boys were all born in this one house, and they all went to the pri same primary school, elementary school, I think you call it.

[00:05:54] And I remember the librarians saying, oh, those Lee boys, they know who they are. And I thought that was so great, cuz I feel like because of my childhood, it took me a long time to figure out who I was. And I have raised these boys who, if I'm, you know, leave the kitchen grumpy and tired and about to cry, they.

[00:06:21] There was this one time where I said, I just have to go to bed. I can't cope. And my husband turned up in the bedroom afterwards and I said, oh, what are you doing here? Very unusual for him to follow me if I'm upset. Not so highly, you know, emotionally intelligent. And he said, the boys told me I had to be good husband.

[00:06:38] And go and see if you are all right. Okay. I have raised. Boys who know who they are, who are doing things that are changing the world and who know how to care for the person they love. Awesome. That's the thing I'm most proud of, that that's a good thing. We need, we need more of that. We need more young men who have been raised.

[00:07:02] Right. So thank you for that. What purchase of a hundred dollars or less have you made in the last year that's had the biggest impact on your life? Good question. It's surely a book, but there's so many to choose from. Neat. It's hard to narrow it down. Yeah. The one I just read was called Expert Secrets and it talks about.

[00:07:27] Taking, taking who you are and what you know, and turning it into something that can help other people. And it, yeah, it was pretty revolutionary. It's, it's very recent, but it's at the top of my mind. What's the name again? Expert Secrets. Experts Secrets, okay. What's one random fact that people should know about you?

[00:07:51] That they don't?

[00:07:52] I got married in a purple tutu. That's awesome. That's pretty random, right? That is pretty random, but I love it. I got to wear that dress again so many times. It was great that, that's awesome. What is one thing everyone should know about you before we dig into today's topic?

[00:08:14] I raised two pretty good sons. Well that's, that's, that's my major claim to fame. But they should probably also know that I did a Master's of Peace and conflict studies. I studied psychology, I've worked in education, I've taught kids of all ages, and I've worked for aid and development organizations, so I got exposed to.

[00:08:37] There's sorts of things kids are living through and conquering overseas in difficult circumstances, and I got to think about the effect that our rich western culture is having on us that makes a difference to raising our kids. All right, guys. We've been getting to know Susie Lee just a little bit so you have a feel for who she is as we start this very important conversation.

[00:09:02] The next part of the show, we're gonna dive into Suzie's book. Raising kids who care. We're gonna world our first sponsor and we will be right back with more from Susie. Now, before we go any further, I wanted to share with you guys, I don't always tell you how much I love doing my podcast, like I passionately love what I'm doing and one of the things that makes my life better as a podcaster is to work with a company like Grow Your Show.

[00:09:30] Grow your show is a one-stop podcast. Do it all. Now I use Grow Your Show for my marketing, but Grow Your Show is literally a one-stop shop. You can record your episode and just drop it off with them and they take it from there. It's amazing. If you are interested in picking up podcasting, it's a hobby, or maybe you're looking to expand your business and use podcasting in that aspect, talk to my friends over Grow Your Show.

[00:09:51] Adam will take care of you. I guarantee it. I trust him. He's my friend. He's my business. Colleague and I wouldn't trust anybody else with my show. All right guys. Welcome back. In the first part of the show, we're just spending some time getting to know who Susie Lee is and a little bit about her. In this part of the show, we're gonna dive into Susie's book, raising Kids Who Care.

[00:10:10] Now, Susie, I just for the sake of, you know, some things aren't all they appear, what specifically is the book about from the author's perspective? It's actually about changing the world, one family at a time. Ultimately I would like to help families become closer, more secure, know who they are but also understand what true happiness is and the things that distract them from that.

[00:10:44] And also have an understanding that we are here. To contribute to the world and so that families spend a little bit of time exploring the stuff that matters with their kids. The, the subtitle of the book is Practical Conversations for Exploring Stuff That Matters Together. The book is a bunch of family conversations for families to learn together, explore together about important things.

[00:11:12] Okay. I always have to ask cuz I, I've had some, I've had some book titles with some of my authors. I, I had one that was like, the title was like 15 or 20 words long. I was like, dude, that is like the longest title ever. He's like, I know, right? I heard of a, a book yesterday that I'm gonna get cuz it sounds amazing.

[00:11:35] You know how we have Generation X and Generation Y and Generation Z? Someone's written a book called Generation F. Like this generation is in trouble. Like interesting they saying that this generation has been really let down. Yeah, so interesting. So aside from the obvious answer, cuz I, I don't, I don't want the obvious answer.

[00:12:00] I want the why behind the why Behind the why. Why did you write this book? You said you wanted to help families. What is the driving force between? You put a lot of love. I mean, this is not a small book. Okay. I'm looking at this guys. If you're on the audio show, you're missing it. This is, this is 260 plus pages.

[00:12:19] A lot of love and devotion goes into writing a book like this. So what is the why behind the why? A lot of it is the conversation. So it's not jam-packed to, you know, 260 pages. The why behind the why is. That I grew up in a family that didn't prepare me well for the world, I guess. That didn't help me work out what my purpose was or even even help me know that I'm loved and worthy and.

[00:12:51] And then I had my own kids. And so I wanted to be really intentional about the way I raised them. Cause I wanted to do a, a better job. I wanted to do a good job. When I was young, I didn't wanna have kids or get married because it, it wasn't a great. Thing to aspire to. But when I did get married and then did wanna have kids, I thought, oh, okay, well I can't just rest on my laurels.

[00:13:14] And you know what most people do is they just role model from whatever their parents did they do. Without thinking about it, I knew I needed to think about it. And I raised my kids in, in a village, a church village. I've been there 35 years and, and I saw how. Helpful. That was for my kids, that we were a bunch of adults who had a bit of emotional intelligence or, or taught kids some skills for relationships who gave kids opportunities to to be involved in the world, to respond to problems in the world.

[00:13:48] And I guess I wrote this book for the me that I would've been if I hadn't had that. Help and development. I think I wrote the book for. For moms like me who want to do maybe a better job than, than they had in the past who care about the world and want their kids to be caring people, but just need a little bit of help.

[00:14:16] And I'm, I'm trying to be that help. I've, I love researching things and I've taken 20 years of my life and smooshed it into this book in hopefully simple ways. That, that families can use. In fact, there's 40 conversations in the book, and I've written them so that your kids can lead the conversations.

[00:14:36] They, they can read it themselves. Actually, that was a really fascinating part portion of the book, the way you put that in there, right after the appendix, or sorry, index or whatever you call that right after the con Yeah. Concordance. Contents, sorry. Today I actually love that you put that in there. I was, I was just reading through those again.

[00:14:59] And the fact that you have those in there just makes it very user friendly, very approachable. And now dad's pay attention because she said she wrote it for books for moms like her. I'm not letting you guys help the hook that easy. That's why she's here. This is for dads like us too. Okay. You asked me the why behind the why, and that's who I relate to.

[00:15:22] But I have not written this book for moms. I've written this book for families and so it could be single mom, it could be in fact a single dad I gave it to the other day cuz he's like, oh, you know, freaking out because now he's got the kids on his own. And he really liked the idea that he had some way, you know, some template to follow with the conversations.

[00:15:45] And like I said, this just quietly between you and me and anyone who's listening, this book looks like it's a parenting book, but actually it's a book. To teach parents because my utter conviction is that kids are amazing, that they are idealistic and curious and creative, and we lose these things as we get, you know, smooshed by the stresses of life.

[00:16:17] And I think that if we can stop and give enough time to listen to our kids about. You know, really important stuff they will fill us up with, with joy. With joy, their joy for life, with their idealism for life that we might have lost, you know? NASA did a study that sh that looked at where are we at peak creativity.

[00:16:44] We know now that you know, you can Google everything, then just memorizing facts is no longer important in education and in, in the workplace. What people are looking for is creativity. Right. So peak creativity. What, what age do you reckon, Brent? What age do you reckon is peak creativity? Hmm. Between 14 and 16.

[00:17:07] Four to five years old. Hmm, four to five. It's downhill From there, the average five year old asks 120 questions a day. The average 40 year old, how many do you reckon? Four. Four, four. That's a big downhill slide, right? Curiosity is a really powerful part of intelligence and, and creativity. So I think if families will have like learning experiences together, I'm not talking about parents talking down the, don't forget your shoes.

[00:17:42] Don't forget to your lunchbox. We get stuck in that mentality of telling our kids what to do or feeling like we are supposed to know everything and tell them, but if we stop and use our two ears and one mouth in proportion for a minute, our kids will fill us up. I'm, I'm curious I'm not entirely surprised, but I am curious if part of that number has to do with.

[00:18:08] The fact that at that age group, they're still learning a great deal of stuff that we take for granted every day. Right? Of course. I mean, they say you learn more in your first two years of life than you will actually learn the whole rest of your life combined statistically. But do we wanna be people that stop learning, right?

[00:18:25] My, my parents are now, you know, late eighties, and they're so self-absorbed. They never ask me a sim single question about my life or my kids, or I don't wanna be that person. I wanna be someone who's always learning, who's always open to what's happening in the world, to what's happening in other people.

[00:18:46] That's what makes us loving and lovable, isn't it? Oh yeah. No, no, I'm not, not disagreeing. I'm just curious if that has to do numbers always like rack around my brains like. Why is that? Why? Hmm. You know, my brain wants to level out and go, why are those numbers so much higher? Does it have to do, could it be partially influenced by the, like, my, it is, it is.

[00:19:07] My, my engineering brain wants to take everything apart and understand. I, I see most new experiences I have. Have you ever seen an exploded diagram? They use 'em for like, they use 'em for like cars or technical schematics. Oh yeah. All the pieces and it's, my brain sees things like this. Yeah. Yeah. And so I'm, I wanna put together all the parts and be like, what does this do?

[00:19:34] Right. My, my head just takes an idea and does that with it. Yeah. And that's, that's the lens I go through life with most of the time. Really great for engineering, really bad for annoying people. I'm surrounded by engineers. I hear you. There's a really great Ted talk. You know the, the platform Ted? Yeah.

[00:19:56] So Sir Ken Robinson is one of the most watched Ted Talks of all time. He's hilarious, but he's an educator and he, it's, I, I can't remember the exact title. It's something like, you know, schools Kill Creativity or something like that. And he does, you know, this drawing, he like, he talks. Somebody's drawing the whole thing out, so it's really great to watch and really funny.

[00:20:18] But he talks about how our whole education system, which is mostly about critically analyzing things, pulling apart, finding what's wrong, is actually. Dampening our, our creativity. So one answer to your question could be, you know, about why it goes downhill from five years old is, is our education system is actually stopping our creativity.

[00:20:38] And, you know, people who are really creative often don't do that well at school cuz they're not fitting in properly. I, I couldn't agree with you more. I've actually long held the opinion e even as a like teenager. I remember. Telling my parents was like, school just kills your creative thinking. Like E even in school, I was telling, saying, school kills your creative thinking because they don't teach us how to think.

[00:21:04] They teach us to memorize the answers, not to think on our own. Yeah, and it's always been a big pet peeve of mind, of the school system is I see it cuz I worked with teenagers for a lot of years and, and I saw that creative change, there's also that kind of brightness starts, starts to, yeah. Right. Yeah. As that creativity is crushed, as we're told.

[00:21:27] No, no, no. Don't look at it that way. Look at it this way. Right. This is how you have to look at things. This is how you have to see things. Yeah. It reminds me of like learned helplessness. If you put an animal in a cage, you'll try and get out, try and get out, try and get out, and eventually we'll just give up.

[00:21:41] Mm-hmm. And it. It learns to be helpless. It learns. There's no point. And you can just, you know, you can see these bright, bubbly five year olds coming into, you know, a school, their first year of school, and they're bright and bubbly, and the teacher's like, I can't have so bright, bubbly kids. You know, it's, yeah.

[00:22:00] So he has to smush them down a bit, you know, on anymore, right? It's, oh, well, well at least, at least a third of them have a D h D. That's why, that's why they're hard to handle. Not that they're five year olds. Yeah. And then, you know, I got a lot of love for teachers, but they're also handicapped by the system they work in.

[00:22:18] Absolutely. Yeah. I've known some amazing teachers that just the system they work in doesn't allow them to do anything else. Sarah says the title for his TED Doc was, do Schools Kill Creativity? Oh, good work. She, she's, I knew the minute you said, I knew she was in the background, taking notes and looking things up.

[00:22:36] Now, Susie, you, you broke your book down into, you know, multiple sections. Can you, we're gonna, we're gonna start segueing towards the next section of the show. Can you explain why it's so important for parents to have effective communication tools to communicate with their kids?

[00:22:56] I did this master's degree in peace and conflict studies, right? And I can save you two years of reading and essay writing because it boils down to this, whether we are talking about interpersonal conflict or international conflict is exactly the same. Cause internationally is still just people.

[00:23:14] Effectively, the only tool we have for conflict resolution is communication. The tool we have for relationship building is communication. The reason that we've progressed so well as a species is cause we can communicate and and cooperate with each other. So, Making sure that we are doing a really good job of communication in our family is important for all of those reasons.

[00:23:45] But it seems to me that it's not a skill that we teach. Listening is a skill. Ask any counselor, they, they have spent a lot of time learning how to, how to listen well. Listening is a skill. Three of the conversations in my book are progressive listening skills, conversations So, yeah, it's, I, the thing I came up with when I wanted to change the world and help families was a series of conversations that are, Informal, but intentional to be intentional about building these skills together and about going on a journey.

[00:24:22] There are four sections in the book. The, I start out with relationship skills because we need to feel safe and good at home. And whether we can, you know, run really fast or be really smart will be immaterial if we can't have good friendships and be loving and lovable. Right. And then, you know, my main aim is to get to the fourth section, which is changing the world, contributing to the world, being generous, and, you know, participating, not just being a passive observers of the world, but to get there, we kind of have to have an understanding of the effect our culture is having on us.

[00:24:56] Consumerism, for example, is telling us the way to solve all of your problems is retail therapy, but it's not, it won't make you really happy and it it. Won't last very long, but very powerful. Like the most highly paid psychologists paid by the advertising industry. So being, helping kids be aware of that, empowers them to push back against it.

[00:25:18] Technology, we could have a whole show talking about the effect technology is having on our kids. There's a couple of conversations in the book about that. And then the third area that I look at is, is our inner selves. Our. Our character building our spirit. And it used to be that people understood that, that our job in this world is to build our character to be better people.

[00:25:43] But that seems to have gone out the window, that now studies show that kids think that their main aim is to be rich or famous. 30 years ago, their main name was to be to have a good friend and community group and that's, they've literally swapped places. Kids are not gonna be happy if their aim is to be rich and famous.

[00:26:05] But if they know that being generous and being caring and being purposeful are the things that will fulfill them in this life, they're gonna be much happier and they're gonna be much more used to the planet and it's people. All right. Outta curiosity do you know Jim Fuller? No. Oh, you, you need to go look up Jim.

[00:26:27] He's there in Sydney and Jim. Oh, really? Probably the best book on communication I've ever read in my life. He travels all over the world teaching communication. Wow. Like you two, just, you, you guys need to get together and talk. It's this, this is a collaboration made in heaven. He wrote an outstanding book on communication and like his is geared more towards adults, I think, but, This.

[00:26:52] Yeah. You two will do amazing things together. This j e m, not j i m. Oh, Jim. Okay. Yeah. That was just from Mr. Remind myself, Jim. Jim is there in the greater Sydney area. I think he's on the west side area of Sydney. But him and his mate have, she has a, what is it? Birthing center. Or something for natural birthing kind of thing, and yoga leading up to it.

[00:27:22] So prenatal work. They have a studio together, but he is a, he travels all over the world talking about communication and I'm just like, just listening to you. I'm, you guys need to just talk. I, I, I'll be delighted. Beautiful things in your future with that. Now guys, we've been getting to know Suzy a little bit and talking.

[00:27:42] About her book now, right? This is a passion project to write a book. It takes a lot to write a book, and she put a lot of heart and soul into this. In the next part of the show, we're gonna start diving into having great conversations as a family. What that looks like, how you can implement that, and how you can bring this into your home to take your family to just a whole better place.

[00:28:04] As you communicate, it'll draw you closer, it'll make you stronger, and it will help you to enjoy your life together even more. We'll be right back with more with Su from Susie. After a war from our sponsor, how well do you sleep at night? Do you toss and turn and wake up more tired than when you went to bed?

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[00:28:38] Check out our forensic ghost bed.com if you're ready to get your best sleep. I love my ghost bed. I've been sleeping on one for a couple years and has made a huge difference in how I sleep. Hit ghost bed.com. Use the code, the Fallible man 30 to get 30% off your order and start getting better night's.

[00:28:52] Sleep tomorrow. Now let's go on to the show. Welcome back guys. In this last part of the show, we were discussing Susie's book, raising Kids Who Care, practical Conversations for Exploring Stuff That Matters Together. There I got the whole book title In that time. In this part of the show, we're gonna tackle the nuts and bolts of having great conversations with your family because as Susie said in the last part of the show, communication is everything.

[00:29:18] Communication really will make or break your entire family setup. And so putting in the time and effort to do it well is, is what will get your family through the good times and the bad times to an extreme amount. Now, Susie, the first question is, do you agree with everything?

[00:29:40] Sorry, I'm reading my rights wife's writing on this question back up. Do you have to agree with everything said to have a great conversation? No, absolutely not. In fact, the more disagreement, the better. Like anyone who who works in a team knows that if everyone on that team is the same, you've got problems.

[00:30:05] What you want for a really good team is to have a bunch of different people with different skills and then learn to cooperate together. So, And in a family, a family becomes dysfunctional when the, the people in the family gets stuck in certain roles. You know, someone's the joker and someone's the scapegoat and someone's the, you know, we want to have families that are fluid and people can, you know, move into different roles.

[00:30:32] So it's really important also for training kids for the world. That people will disagree with them, right? So this is a safe place. We're often worried about, oh, our, our siblings fighting with each other. But in fact, what's happening there is they're learning conflict resolution in a safe place because you can fight with your siblings, but you can't just walk off and have nothing to do with them.

[00:30:56] You can't cancel them right when you're a kid. And so you have to work it out. And that is actually training for the world. So, I, I did actually get somebody comment on one of my conversations. Oh, I, it was a reviewer of the book who said, oh, she's ob you know, she's, she hasn't told us what to do if people disagree.

[00:31:21] Cuz one of, one of the the world conversations is about climate change. Right. And I thought, Wow. I hope that there will be disagreement because one of the problems we've got now with social media is everyone's getting so polarized and stuck and in their own echo chambers. I just read a great novel called Echo Chamber.

[00:31:42] That's a satire and we get stuck and we are not hearing other opinions. It's good. Don't be scared of conflict. One of the biggest problems I have is people are so scared of conflict, cowardly, in fact, that they'll run away from it or they'll just yell louder or something. But conflict can build intimacy.

[00:32:02] If it's done really well, if you can communicate and, and listen to another person's point of view to such an extent that you can reframe that point of view, that you can say it back to them and they say, yes, that's what I meant. Then suddenly you are walking another person's shoes. Suddenly you are understanding that other person they feel heard and cared for, and you have a much better relationship.

[00:32:29] Does that make sense? Yeah, yeah. No, I'm, I'm a big fan of, I gotta, I gotta ask the questions because I'm a huge fan of having disagreements with people. I love to talk to people I disagree with. Probably a little bit obnoxiously, so, but, you know, I, I just enjoy that. I, I love a lively debate actually, but we want also to teach our kids to be respect, respectful in that as well, right?

[00:32:56] Yeah. Yeah, no, I, I always try and I'm, I try and be respectful, but I do actually enjoy a good debate with people. So I, I look for those opportunities to argue with somebody. I just sent a one of those memes right over to my, my wife and a couple of my friends, and this says there's no point in arguing with me.

[00:33:16] I realized you were right 10 minutes ago. Right now, I'm just trying to see how mad I can make you in the process, and I, I had a couple of my friends be like, Do they nailed you down? Well, didn't they? It's a possibility. Susie, which time when your friends and family understand that about you? Yeah, so again, there's more reason to communicate.

[00:33:38] So if you explain this about you, then oh, okay. We can have a healthy debate and I don't have to be worried that, oh, he is really mad at me, or whatever. Right. I rarely get mad anymore. Now I just think it's funny, Susie, I gotta ask, right? Some of us don't have the best track records and say we want to start improving the conversation flow inside of our family.

[00:33:59] But I mean, life hasn't always been sunshine and we don't have the best track record with these things. So naturally there's going to be a little bit of resistance when we try and bring this new concept in. How do we work with our family? To kind of start to approach this new attempt at better communication throughout the whole family

[00:34:20] with great humility.

[00:34:23] If we have not done a good job of communication in the past, it's probably because we have told our kids what to do. We've been in the position of power. We've talked down to them, and we haven't listened to them. My two best tips for having great conversations for, for rebuilding the communication skills in your family are to think.

[00:34:44] Firstly, think of a conversation as a creative space, as a positive space. We are not pulling things apart and finding problems. We are trying to create something together again, like a, a team at work where you come up with something greater than the sum of the parts We're actually seeking to learn from our kids to, to, to be part of something together.

[00:35:05] So coming at. Conversations as a way of saying, Hey, let's explore this together, rather than, Hey, listen to me. And the, the best way to do that is the second thing, which is to be asking questions to be, to be having an attitude of curiosity, to be genuinely interested in what the kids have to say, because most likely your little babies are two developmental stages ahead of what you think they are.

[00:35:31] And so your kids are gonna have something really useful. To stay in any conversation that you have and your job is to find that out. And they may be reticent in the beginning if they haven't been listened to well in the past. My dad, my brother did a conversation for me when I first wrote the book, and he has.

[00:35:51] Two teenagers who like to sit on their computers all day long and he literally bribed them to come and do a conversation. And he asked, he gave them my book and said, here you can choose which of these conversations we do. And they chose the climate change one. And. They ended up having a conversation for two hours because, and the kids led the conversation.

[00:36:13] They were the ones that opened the book and, and, you know, read, this is what we're talking about. They had no idea that their parents cared about this. And the parents had no idea that their kids, their kids were anxious about this and cared about this issue so much. And then together as a family, they decided to buy a, a hybrid car, Huff Electric.

[00:36:33] And so I thought, Wow. Changed the world. Fantastic. All right, now guys, let me, let me jump in real quick in here and, and say, part of approaching this conversation is what we've talked about in the past with relational conversations. When we come into the conversation as men, we need to set aside our base desire to fix things.

[00:37:02] Okay. As we know, as we've talked about many times on this channel, we want to fix problems. That's, that's our just go-to response is, solve the problem, fix the problem. Not every conversation is a problem. We've talked about that in a relationship kind of context with your partner, with your spouse, but this applies as well in family conversations.

[00:37:25] You're entering this conversation. For the sake of communicating and having a conversation, not to solve the problem, change the world, but to change the moment and the communication. So don't go in trying to fix it, cuz that's going to dampen your ability to listen to what's actually being said. Yeah, sorry, I I had to jump in on the man, speak on that one cuz that's, yeah, that's great.

[00:37:50] I know what I'm going to do. So hopefully I, which is why I've recommended that the kids lead the conversations. If your kids are, you know, eight years old. And up. Let them run the conversation. Let them choose the conversation from the list. Let them run the conversation. Let them be the leaders. You'll give them great leadership experience.

[00:38:12] But it will help you to remember, oh, we are learning something together. I'm not just here to teach something. Now, Susie, what are the key elements of a great conversation? Because you already got into that a little bit, but I mean, does it require a specific place, a specific setting? How do we set up for a successful, cuz this is a men's channel, right?

[00:38:35] So we're, we're applying this through in our head. So how do we engineer this? Do we need to have, be in a specific space, certain kind of setting? Is there a better time in the day? My suggestion is to be intentional and, and pick a time that works for your family. In fact, the first conversation could be, Hey, we are gonna have these conversations.

[00:38:58] When's gonna work for everybody? So everyone has buy-in on that. I have some families that have said they've taken it away on holiday with them, and as they're driving in the car, that's when they do the conversations. Other people that's, you know, at dinnertime or, you know, during school holidays. But the In terms of the conversation itself, what I've tried to do is, is give you a template.

[00:39:20] So imagine you're going on a family holiday, right? So you, you choose where are you gonna go on your holiday. So you need to know where you're headed. You need to, to have an aim in mind. So each of these conversations, you know, when you are having conversation, have an aim. What is it that you wanna talk about?

[00:39:35] Is it listening skills? Is it, you know, generosity? What you know? Is it. Technology, what is it? And then imagine, you know, you've, you're about to go into holiday, so you've gotta pack your bags. So you need something to stimulate your thinking. So for each conversation, I've given you a story or some research or something that, that's helping you learn together and prepare you for a conversation.

[00:40:00] And then once you jump in your car, you've gotta read the map. You've got to know where you're going. So you, you. You need to have some instructions about, you know, how the conversation's gonna go, which I've, I've put in each one and then you are on the road. So on the road you are asking each other questions.

[00:40:17] So I've, I've listened to things that you can talk about all the activities you can do. One of the activities is to run around your house with stickers and boxes to work out what, what things are important to you. But the, the two, that's the first four steps, the last two steps are absolutely the most important.

[00:40:34] I used to run these like experiential learning families, all, all together games. And the most important bit was at the end when we would debrief. How did you feel due during that experience where you had to pretend that you were living in a slum and you know, having floods and having nasty people come and, you know, take your money?

[00:40:53] And I would give the microphone to the kids and the kids would come out with these amazing remarks that flawed the parents. The debrief time in your conversation, which I call unpacking, is you, you now, how, how did everybody feel about that? We just talked about, you know, anger and how we express anger.

[00:41:14] I, is anyone feeling a little bit worried and. You know, is anyone's, is everyone still okay? After that conversation and then the final bit after you've been away on holiday, maybe you've had a, you know, a wild experience when you're on holiday and think, oh, I need to bring that back into my life. I need to make sure I don't lose that little bit of learning from on holiday.

[00:41:33] So making the journey matter is thinking about how you're gonna take that conversation. And bring it into your life. So actually really talking about some concrete examples, and again, you know, kids are gonna be your best guides in this. They're gonna be really great at knowing that sort of thing. What are the first three steps our listeners can implement right now walking out of this conversation to start communicating better with their kids and the whole family?

[00:42:04] Yeah, use your ears and your mouth in proportion. You have two ears. Practice, listening, practice, asking really good questions, and even saying straight up, Hey, you know, I wanna do a better job of this. I want you to pull me up if you think I'm talking too much. If you don't think I'm asking you enough questions, I.

[00:42:26] Saying to kids, I really want to know what you think. I'm really interested. I just found out that you are way more creative than me. I wonder if you could help me with this. In fact, I, I've got a little video on my website. I I sometimes talk to kids. I, when I run events for whole families, I say, right adults, I want you to just shut your ears.

[00:42:44] Now I want you to just listen to the kids. I mean, I only want the kids to listen, and I tell the kids, you know, your parents need help. Your parents are busy and stressed with all the things they have to worry about. You are gonna have to help them in this conversation by reminding them that they need to listen and be curious.

[00:43:02] And so being humble enough to say, I want to learn from you kids is gonna be a really great start. And you might have to do it a few times before they believe you, but they will absolutely love you for it. All right, what's next for Susie Lee?

[00:43:19] I am afraid to say that people often, lots of people have read my book, but like many things, we pick up a book and we read it, and then we sh onto the next thing without actually doing the conversations and. Really the conversations is where the magic is gonna happen. So I'm about to start kind of a mastermind group to try and support parents to give them a bit of encouragement and a bit of.

[00:43:51] A bit of accountability, I dunno about you, but I find as a parent, it's the most important thing I've ever done and the thing I'm least prepared to do. And so I think as parents, we're all a little bit insecure about are we doing the right thing? And so we don't wanna talk about our parenting with other people because oh, in case they might judge me or I might be doing the wrong thing, but actually.

[00:44:14] I think we need that to be really good, intentional parents and to, to be, yeah. Raising kids who care. Okay. Where's the best place for people to find you? I made a website for the book Raising Kids Who care.info. In fact, if you, if you go there, I'll put up a template that you can a, a conversation, the taming technology conversation.

[00:44:42] I'll put a little thing up there that you can gimme an email and I'll, I'll send it off to you so that you can, you know, have a place to start and see if you like it. Okay. Otherwise, the book's available on Amazon, vans and Noble, wherever you buy books. And of course guys, we'll have links in the show notes, and under the video, wherever you're watching this or listening to it, there will be all the links.

[00:45:04] So you can connect with Susie afterwards at our website, on our social media links to a book. And of course, the book will be listed in our library page on the fallible man.com. As always, Susie, what is the most important takeaway you want people to hear from this conversation today?

[00:45:20] Your role. Modeling is the most important thing. I can suggest whatever I want, but your kids. Will learn from what you do rather than what you say or what they learn from other people. So being a person who cares is the most important thing, but take your kids on that journey. If you volunteer at a soup kitchen, take your kids with you.

[00:45:46] If you, you know, care, care about anything, talk to your kids about what you care about that's the way you'll raise kids who care. Guys, you know, we're big fans of striving to be the best dad as we can be on this channel and trying to bring you content to help you in that journey. My kids are eight and 11 and being a great dad is always been the top priority on my list.

[00:46:14] Since I was a kid myself, I wanted to be half the dad. My father was, cause I have an amazing father. And so we try and bring you information to help you on that journey. Your kids are amazing. I, I don't even have to know 'em to tell you. Your kids are amazing and these conversations, whether it's the ones Susie has in this book, or you reach out to her and get this template to help you structure your conversations, if you're not sure where to go, it's okay to ask for help to be a better dad.

[00:46:47] All right? That is something, and you can come over into our private group and Facebook or whatever, or come to our new member site. Either one. We're here to have conversations with other dads about this as well, and support you in that journey because you're not the only dad who stresses out about being a dad.

[00:47:06] And if you're listening to this, it matters to you. So there is a community and there is more support. You can go talk to Susie, you can come talk to us. We wanna support you on this journey and encourage you because we know your kids are valuable and we know you love them and want to be the best dad you can be.

[00:47:23] Susie, thank you for coming on and sharing with us and helping further this conversation, helping dads and moms be the best version of themselves. We're grateful for that dedication, so thank you guys. The book is Raising Kids Who Care, practical Conversations. I have to read the subtitle down here, conversations for Exploring Stuff That Matter.

[00:47:44] Together, we will have links for it. Susie, thank you for taking the time to be on the show today. Guys as always, be better tomorrow because of what you do today and we'll see you on the next one. This has been the Fallible Man Podcast. Your home for everything, man, husband, and father. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a show.

[00:48:05] Head over to www.thefallwellman.com for more content and get your own valuable man gear. I ain waiting and wish.

Susy LeeProfile Photo

Susy Lee


Susy Lee studied psychology and theology and has a Master’s Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies. Her eclectic career twirls around the twin themes of social justice and children. It includes state and national education and consultancy roles with children and family ministries, international aid and development, and advocacy.

Prize-winning author of Raising Kids Who Care: Practical conversations for exploring stuff that matters, together, Susy is also an engaging presenter who has taught in churches, lectured at universities and run conference workshops for parents and families. She lives near the beach in Australia, dances whenever music plays, and has raised two caring sons with her husband Brian.