Podcast Interview

gregg-902x1024It’s really nice for a guy who deals with social anxiety to get as much positive feedback as my friends and the listeners of this podcast have given to this conversation I had with Bob Schwenkler.

Case in point, I’ve written and rewritten a sentence here about five times. The gist of it was…I hope you listen to it HERE.

And like my friend said, “It’s a very touching and educational interview, especially for parents. But anyone who works with or interacts with other people will benefit. Listen in the car, at the gym, while folding clothes. Just listen it will change the way you think about your relationships.”

Thanks!

via http://reclaimingmalerolemodels.com:

This episode should be required listening for anyone who has (or wants to have) children.

I have never heard another person speak so articulately and with so much heart about what it takes to be an extraordinary parent who raises loving, emotionally intelligent children.

Gregg DeMammos reveals some powerful wisdom in this interview. Even as a non-parent it was a powerful and fascinating interview for me to listen to.

In this episode we talk about:

• How Gregg respects his childrens’ temper tantrums and anger, and transforms them into life lessons and deep love.
• Gregg’s journey of learning to use his emotions in ways that worked FOR him.
• How, despite growing up with no father as a role model during some of the most formative years of his life, Gregg later chose to be an extraordinary father who raised extraordinary children.

http://reclaimingmalerolemodels.com/rmrm020-how-to-be-an-extraordinary-parent-who-raises-extraordinary-children-gregg-demammos/

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Being People Together

One of the most valuable things we can do is to disengage with the roles we play in our lives – child, boss, parent, spouse, co-worker, etc. – and practice seeing ourselves and others as just people.

Get out of the haze of the morning rush, of what has to get done, of the reactions to what’s not getting done and see these human beings in our lives as complex, vulnerable, sensitive, less than sure people who are trying to figure this all out, too. Just like us.

I’ve never gotten more hugs and kisses in my house since I started practicing this. Being seen as a person is a relief (no matter how little or how big we are).

Are You Really Welcome Here?

armsfoldedREALLY wanting someone to understand something, especially when you think it’s for their own benefit, has nothing to do with them getting it. In the end, how much you want them to get it is what may impact them the most and usually puts our (work, family, friend, romantic) partners in defense, reaction and protection.

The willingness of your conversation partner is the most valuable currency there is in relating to each other. Cultivate it wisely and know when it hasn’t been offered to you.

Sometimes there is no in door. Knowing how to love and take care of ourselves when the door we want to be open is closed can be the most valuable currency for our own well-being and finally takes the pressure off the other person to take care of you by letting you in.

Brian Williams and Accountability

BWillCoach Talk – Accountability

Stop moaning about Brian Williams’ suspension. He lied and he is appropriately being held accountable so he can come back stronger. It will be his choice whether he takes that opportunity and makes the most out of the learning available here.

I was watching the #1 college basketball team in the country last night, the now 24-0 Kentucky Wildcats when another moment of accountability showed up. A star freshmen player, Karl-Anthony Towns, was called for a technical foul for doing a chin up on the rim in a tight, conference game on the road. Coach Calipari took him out of the game and made it very clear how much of an offense this is to the team and the mission and the potential costs. If you were watching at home, the way the coach addressed the situation might make you cringe and think that’s too much for an 18 year old kid on a big stage. That he just made an honest and understandable mistake.

CalTownsLike clockwork, LSU scored 16 straight points and Kentucky was losing, late, its perfect record in serious jeopardy.

Towns didn’t pout, he learned. He went back into the game and made some absolutely key plays on the way to Kentucky winning. After the game, he showed his youth, by photobombing his coach during the post-game interview, but he also showed his maturity when he was being interviewed himself. He was asked about the run-in with his coach and Towns said something like “that’s coach Cal, he only wants all of us to get better.”

NBC wants Brian Williams to get better and he needs to. Let him sit on the bench and learn and come back stronger, too. Hopefully, he has as much support as Coach Cal provides and as much maturity as 18 year old Karl-Anthony Towns.

Obedience Can Be Dangerous

reprimand

I was at a potluck dinner for the parents of kids in Marcus’ class this Friday night. I met the father of this very intelligent girl who is a bit of a chatterbox and doesn’t sit still well, but who is so lovely, so curious, so wonderful, so clearly well-equipped to succeed as well. Her father mainly wanted to talk about how disobedient she was, how her teachers in language school kept telling him how disobedient she was. He seemed shameful and wasn’t too interested in how great I thought she was. I was sure to give her a big smile Monday morning, happy to see her and now seeing the growing impact on her of being told she was wrong more clearly, the confusion building in her. She’s in kindergarten.

When the desire for obedience crosses with another person’e true expression of themselves, you’ve got trouble. This is where darkness occurs.

A facebook friend of mine and fellow coach, Mike Hrostoski recently shared a letter he wrote when he was a teenager that was truly saddening. A young man writing about suicide. The conflict between who he was and who his community wanted him to be was so clear. He then detailed his drug use, his confusion and his pain that lasted for years. He posted it here – http://hrostoski.com/2014/11/everybody-hates-you-and-you-want-to-die/ (his site is currently down, maybe find it on his FB page)

No one could want Mike to go through this, to even have a memory of this and what’s even more gut wrenching is how many people we know are right where he was when he wrote that letter, who have gone through that, who are still wrestling with it and unfortunately, who may never truly try to free themselves, who get eaten alive by the ways they try to cope – power games, passive aggressiveness, controlling behavior, numbing out, withdrawal, acting like everything is ok.

Living in a society, a family, a culture is hard. These entities condition you. They ultimately mean well, but that doesn’t mean they are well-suited for the human condition. We need to teach each other how to cross the street without getting hit by cars. We don’t need to teach each other how to forsake our own self-expression, our lives. The results are heartbreaking and they lead us to transformation or unfortunate ends or both. As a father, this really hits home for me.

Mike is transforming his life with a fervor. Sometimes I can resonate with where he’s at, what he’s wrestling with today, sometimes not, but what I can always relate to is how vital his freedom is to him, how painful it is to be at the moments where it feels like life is in total disagreement with you. How desperate we are to get out.

Go on, Mike. Get OUT.

Me, too. You, too. We all have some of this in us.

Love,
Gregg

Let’s CREATE Our Relationships!

For most relationships outside of child/parent, there is absolutely nothing inherent about these relationships. We fall into norms of society, sure, but relationships are full of assumptions and expectations that do us no good.

This is why it’s incumbent upon us to CREATE our relationships, to decide what they are and what they are not and I believe this is the new and very exciting frontier in relationships. This goes for all areas of relationships, from what our shared goals are to fidelity to sexuality, to whom we will be for each other.

We’ve outgrown our roles, we live in a new world of gender equality (it’s here, even if it’s not complete by a long shot), of sexual relations being completely chosen by the participants, of all kinds of alternatives to what used to be that are increasingly out and in the open every day.

Empower yourself to create your relationships. Do not settle for old roles, old assumptions. We’re not built for them any longer. What we’re built for is exploration, finding what we truly want, respecting each others’ journey, growing and being grateful that we are living in this time of great opportunity.

Happy Anniversary

rings

I have been in awe of my 13th anniversary with my wife Rosanna all day. Blown away by what it takes for two people to create a marriage that I am so proud of. Not because it looks perfect, because it doesn’t, but because it’s been such a challenge despite both of us loving each other so much.

(My) Marriage has not been easy. We throw ourselves into it knowing so little about what it’s going to be like and what it will take to incorporate all of the changes in life. Kids, mortgage, finances, being close or near to your family, the growing stakes in your careers, simply just trying not to be an a#@h&%* all of the time because this life isn’t easy. It is such a daunting endeavor.

But all of these things fashioned me into a new person, a version of myself that I needed to become, that I am proud to be. If it wasn’t for the challenges and for being with Rosanna, someone I respect, love and admire as much as I do, someone who has always made me want to learn how to be a better man, whose heart has always been so perfect to me, if it wasn’t for our vows and our commitment to not just stay together, but to figure out how to keep our hearts open to each other despite life happening, despite being changing people, despite it being hard sometimes even in the midst of so many blessings and sometimes despite ourselves, I wouldn’t have become the person I am today. I credit my marriage, above all else, as being the structure for me to really grow up (and I’m still doing it).

When my wife tells the world that she loves me more than ever, after 13 years – and for those of you who saw us at the beginning, you know that first act was tough to follow because we were so in love – you could never know just how much that means to me, how grateful I am for what it takes and what we’ve been willing to do to make that so. I’m proud of us.

I love you Rosie, more than ever. Happy Anniversary.