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Home » Whose Fault When Children Disobey? – Kim Constable (Transcript)

Whose Fault When Children Disobey? – Kim Constable (Transcript)

Here is the transcript and summary of Kim Constable’s talk titled “Whose Fault When Children Disobey?” at TEDxStormont conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


Kim Constable – Founder at The Sculpted Vegan

One Tuesday night, when I was 25 years old, I knocked on the door of my husband’s apartment. Only he wasn’t my husband at the time; he was a stranger because we had never met. He answered the door in a tight t-shirt, biceps bulging, six-pack visible. I was a little taken, I have to say.

We went on a date on Saturday. I went to dinner at his place the following Friday, and I learned that Ryan had just retired from a life of professional rugby, which I knew nothing about, except I had heard it was played by men with odd-shaped balls. So after we dated for about four weeks, and I found out that rugby isn’t a game played by men with odd-shaped balls, I also found out that I was pregnant.

Corey arrived, followed by Kai, Maya, and Jack in quick succession, all of whom are in the front row today. After Jack was born, we bought a television. I used to have four theories about raising children, and then when I had four children, I had no theories because really, I believe it’s true what they say: that the only people who know how to raise a child are those who don’t have any.

Because even though Ryan and I hadn’t known each other that long, our story had a happy ending—or four happy endings, if we’re being really precise. That one went down like a level. Because Ryan and I shared a common value that would become invaluable in the difficult times ahead in our parenting journey, and that value was emotional growth.

There is a great quote by Dr. Charles Raison, and he says, “One generation of deeply loving parents would change the brain of the next generation, and with that, the world.” I love that quote because I believe that all parents want to be deeply loving all the time, but they find it impossible to be so.

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I didn’t know just how controlling I was until my first child wouldn’t sleep through the night. But I am the kind of person that when I take something on, I give it 100%. I do it with my heart and my soul, even parenting. And for the last 11 years, I have been using the tools of executive success programs to overcome the personal, emotional limitations that keep me from being the best I can be—as a wife, as a mother, and as a human being.

Executive Success Programs were founded by a gentleman called Keith Ranieri, an extraordinary human being. And Keith is a scientist and a mathematician, and he really is one in a million. In fact, that’s not true. Keith is one in 425 million because in 1989, he was honored by the Guinness Book of World Records in the category of highest IQ.

Now, Keith later became a mentor of mine, and just as a side note, have you any idea what it’s like to be mentored by the smartest man in the world? Oh, your insecurities rise to the surface. And using the tools that Keith developed, I have been able to completely transform not only my life but how I parent my children.

In our calm moments, when everything is working, when we’re not stressed, when we’re kumbaya, we are the best parents in the world. But when we’re under pressure, well, things can get a little out of control, can’t they?

I have no doubt that every single one of you here who has children is a fantastic parent when your children are behaving themselves. Kids know exactly how to push our buttons, don’t they? I mean, what is it about that?

Eckhart Tolle, the great spiritual leader, said, “If you want to test how far you are on the path to enlightenment, go and spend the weekend with your parents.” Because even as adults, we’re often irrational in relation to our parents, and psychologists call this phenomenon “ghosts in the nursery,” because children stimulate the intense feelings of our own childhood, and often we respond to them unconsciously and without thinking.

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One evening, I was cooking dinner, and it was about ten to five, and my two eldest boys were watching their favorite TV show in the living room, and they were three and one at the time. And I glanced at the clock, and you know when you have that moment of synthesis when you go, “Oh my God, it was ten to five, and I was supposed to pick up my dog Molly in the groomers at four o’clock.”

And I was, “Holy, oh my God, holy crap,” and I turned off the stove, and I ran into the living room, and I said to the boys, “I said, quick, quick, and I turned off the TV show. I said, quick, quick, come on, we have to go, we have to go, but mommy forgot to pick up Molly from the groomers, and we have to go.”

And they were kind of startled, and they were like, “No, no, we’re watching this.” And I said, “No, no, no, we have to go, we have to go. Come on, quick, quick, quick.” Have you ever tried to hurry a three-year-old child? So you’ll know that this isn’t going to end well.

Corey did absolutely not want to move. He wanted to stay exactly where he was, watching his favorite TV show. So Clive was only one. He was a little more movable. So I picked him up, and I ran to the car with him, and I put him in his car seat, and I ran back to the house, and I said, “Corey, please, please, come on, let’s go,” and I used all my powers of persuasion, and he was like, “No, I am not going.”

So I picked him up, and I ran to the car with him, and he was bucking and screaming and barking, and he was like, “No, no, no,” and I was trying to put him in his car seat, and it was like trying to stuff an octopus into your stringed bag. But I got him in, and he started screaming at the top of his lungs, and I got into the front of the car, and I started to drive, and the traffic’s heavy, because it’s nearly five o’clock, and I’m like breathing hard, and he’s screaming in the back of the car, and I’m trying to shush him, and I’m saying, “Shh, shh, be quiet, be quiet, it’s okay, shh, be quiet.” But that doesn’t make any difference, because he’s still screaming.

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