Reassurance Traps: How to Know When Anxiety Is In Control

Reassurance traps:
“It’ll be okay.”

“Everything will be fine.”

“I’m right here.”

Our kids turned to us for reassurance, and anxious kids ask for a lot of it. When we tell them everything will be fine, it feels like the right thing to do in the moment. But is it? How does our well-meaning reassurance interfere with our children developing critical psychological skills? And what should we do instead?

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Show Notes

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Episode Transcript

Robin Hutson

It’ll be okay. Everything will be fine. I’m right here. Our kids turned to us for reassurance, and anxious kids ask for a lot of it. When we tell them everything will be fine, it feels like the right thing to do in the moment. But is it? How does our well-meaning reassurance interfere with our children developing critical psychological skills? And what should we do instead?

We’ll answer that question in this week’s episode of Flusterclux with Lynn Lyons, the show for real talk about worry and other big feelings in parenting.

Lynn Lyons  0:32 

Hi, I’m Lynn Lyons. I’m an anxiety expert, speaker, Mom and author. I’ve been a therapist for 30 years.

Robin Hutson  0:38 

You’re here because your family has some anxiety issues, or you want to prevent them. I’m your co-host and Lynn’s sister in law, Robin, and I’m here to ask your questions.

Lynn Lyons  0:47 

Parenting can be a Flusterclux, and I’ll help you find your way.

There are so many things that we do for our kids, things that are loving and caring and supportive. Things that feel intuitive. Things that we know make our kids feel better. Oh, but if you’ve heard me talk about these things, oftentimes when it comes to worry and anxiety, there are a few of these things that get a little bit tricky, a little bit sticky. And we’re going to talk about one of those. Today, we’re going to talk about reassurance.

Robin Hutson  1:22 

Isn’t that Lynn speak? You’re saying it can get tricky, but this is you kindly and diplomatically saying these are mistakes that parents are making that we really need to be careful about, right?

Lynn Lyons  1:32 

Yes. Don’t reassure your kids too much! You’re making them anxious! That would be the more direct way of saying it. Yes. Yeah.

But and here’s the tricky thing about it is that of course, we’re going to give reassurance to our kids. And it even changes developmentally, which I’ll talk about in a moment. But the problem is that if you have a worrier, and or if you are a worrier, so of course, we don’t want to create little worriers in your image, you just have to pay attention to this, because from a very basic place of talking about anxiety, and worry, worry, of course wants certainty. It wants to know everything.

So, when you’re little, like, if you have a little preschooler, even, you know, just like a little person in your house, and they’ve never done something before, of course, you give them the information, right. So, if they’ve never been on an airplane, or if it’s their first day of preschool, or if they’re going to get their hair cut for the first time, or they’re going to the dentist for the first time, you give them the information.

And so, you say like, this is what’s going to happen, and when we go just because they don’t know. And it’s even just like if it were your first day at a new job, you’d want somebody to give you the information about how it’s supposed to go.

I think of reassurance becoming problematic when it’s repetitive, and when it’s necessary in order for your child to move forward at all. So, it’s like they have to know so people who reassure a lot, or people, you know, parents who say to me, “Oh, I just have to go over it and over it, they it’s like a bottomless pit of reassurance, they just can’t do it enough.” And that’s when it becomes a problem.

Robin Hutson  3:11 

Parents who sort of are in this reassurance trap know exactly what you’re talking about. Because it sounds like it’s also probably very draining. You know, you’re constantly attending to this. But for the parents who aren’t quite sure if they do this, they probably need this spelled out a little more like what’s fair game here that you’re talking about.

Lynn Lyons  3:29 

Let’s take an example. So, you’re, I’ll do one with a with a little child. So, say the little child is going off to… it’s hard during COVID, right? I’m like, Oh, we don’t go anywhere. So, let’s just pretend that people can go places and do things.

So, your little child is going off to get their haircut for the first time, which is a big deal when you’re literally going off to get your haircut. And so, you tell them you say this is what it’s gonna look like, and you sit in the big chair, and they put this little sheet cape over you and blah, blah, blah. Now, that’s fine.

But if you’re a little person says over and over and over again, “Mommy, what, what’s the man going to say? What’s it? What’s it going to be? What How long is it going to take for us to get there? Is it going to be okay?” And you begin to hear this tone of sort of like, this is worrying me, then you want to pay attention to that a little bit.

Because what they’re saying is, I can’t step into the uncertainty. So that’s when it’s okay for you to say, you know, this is what we know about doing this, this or this is what we know about getting a haircut, and there are some things we can’t know.

Now, let me give you an example of what this looks like with an older child too. So, say you have a teenager, say you have a 13 year old say you have a 16 year old and they are going to go do something. And so, they are saying Mom, what time we’re going to leave. We’re going to leave at two o’clock. How long is it going to take to get there? I think it’s probably going to take us about 20 minutes. So, if we leave at two o’clock and then we it takes 20 minutes, we’re going to get there at 220 and it starts at 230 Right, yes. So, then you feel like you’ve sort of given that information.

And then five minutes later or two minutes later, they’re like, Mom, are you sure we’re going to leave at two o’clock?  Are you sure that’s enough time? And so, they keep going over the same thing over and over again. They’re asking the same questions, the information that you give them is not enough for them to feel confident moving forward. So, they just go back over it. And over and over again.

Another example might be say, you’re out and about, and you told your kids, you’re going to be home at three o’clock. And then 305, and you start getting texts. Are you going to be home soon? Yes, I had to stop and get gas. I’ll be home in a few minutes. And then another minute later, are you sure you’re going to be home? Did you say, Did you say you’re going to be home at 310? Or what time did you say you’re going to be home.

And it’s this constant need for information. And it doesn’t stop. Remember, we talked about worry as a doubt factory. This is the reassurance is I’m trying to get rid of doubt. I’m trying to create certainty.

Robin Hutson  6:01 

You know, the aha moment we’ve actually talked about this in one of our earlier episodes. But that aha moment for me was this example that you described before, where you and your sons were there in at the universal theme park in Orlando, and the Harry Potter ride that you had traveled to experience had shut down the night before.

Lynn Lyons  6:20 

This is a good memory.

Robin Hutson  6:23 

Sarcasm is dripping through my microphone right now.

Lynn Lyons  6:26 

For those of you been listening, you remember the story that we’re watching the Orlando local news after we watch Family Feud, or something, and they’re like, “We’re here at the Harry Potter Universal Studios, and the ride has broken down” and my kids are like, so we’re lying in bed. And they’re saying like, do you think it’s gonna be open? I’m saying I hope so. What will happen if it doesn’t open? I don’t know.

And I just I couldn’t give them enough information. Because they wanted to know exactly what’s going to happen. I wanted to know exactly what’s happened, you know, I had to get to this place where I said, we don’t know what’s going to happen. So, we have to not know, we have to go to sleep and not know.

Robin Hutson  7:04 

That’s what I love about that story. Because as you told me, this happened a while ago, and when you said that, what crystallized for me was so many parents would want to fake knowledge and assure them of like, of course, it’s going to be fixed. But they don’t actually know. And they’re creating this comfort by faking a sense of knowledge, faking a sense of control, all to make their child avoid that not knowing. And that was when it hit me that it’s the not knowing skill that we have to foster in our kids.

Lynn Lyons  7:38 

Right? Think of a child is going to, you know, again, let’s pretend that kids can go and do things. You signed your daughter up for a gymnastics class. And she’s a little nervous about it, because she’s never been to this gym, or she’s never, you know, she she’s not sure. She says, you know, do you think the teachers are going to be nice? And you could say, well, I assume that at this gymnastics club, that they’ve handled nice coaches, but I don’t know for sure. Right? And she’s like, What do you mean, you don’t know that they’re nice?

I mean, we want to say like, of course, they’re going to be nice, of course, I’m sure that they would only hire and what you’re doing by offering that reassurance, like you say, Robin is you’re giving them a sense of security, which is people are listening and saying like, well, what’s wrong with that there’s not anything wrong with that, per se.

But the flip side of it is we are trying to help our kids recognize that they can handle things that they step in, even though they don’t have all the information. And when things don’t go the way that they anticipated, they have the capacity to manage it. If you’ve got your reassurance, snowplow on and you’re in front of your kid, just making sure that they believe and they hear from you, everything will be fine, everything will be fine, everything will be fine.

Then when it doesn’t go fine. A) you’ve lost your credibility, but you haven’t given them the opportunity to just live with that uncertainty inside of them. Another example might be that your child is terrified of going to get a shot or going to get a blood draw, right. And that can be a really scary thing. And so, lots of times parents will want to say, Oh, you won’t feel a thing, or it’ll be fine. Or you won’t even notice, right, we want to give all of this reassurance.

And what we really should say is, if they’re worrying, you know, I bet your worry is making this much bigger than it has to be. It’s okay for them to know that they can handle it. And also, to know that you know, like getting a shot or getting a blood draw isn’t a fun thing. The way you want to reassure them is to say, I know that you can handle this, even if it doesn’t go exactly as you want it to go or even if there are components of this that are unpleasant.

That’s very different than saying you’ll be fine. Nothing bad is going to happen with social anxiety. Right? When kids are afraid of social stuff. We say to them, oh, nobody’s judging you Okay, well, Yes, they are. Because we’re human beings we judge all the time, we say, Well, I’m sure they’ll tell you the truth. Right? Well, how can you be sure people lie all the time. So, it’s not like we want to talk about the world as this dangerous place like, like, be careful, because people, people are going to lie behind your back, people are judging you. But you want to give them that balance before the social anxiety pieces interesting.

Robin Hutson  10:24 

But even before that, if you think as a parent, enough reassurance will stop the anxious mind of a child, it actually doesn’t.

Lynn Lyons  10:33 


Robin Hutson  10:33 

It’s a bottomless pit. So, I think that that’s very clear for parents to understand what’s wrong with making, you know, offering them comfort? Well, you’re not actually offering them real comfort, because the anxiety will keep needing more information ad nauseum.

Lynn Lyons  10:48 

Right. That’s the cult leader, right? The cult leader, the more you give it what it wants, the more it demands, more of it. The reason that parents reassure, oftentimes is just because they’re trying to keep the train on the tracks, like, we got to get out the door, we got to get this done, I’ve got to get you to bed. And so, we offer this reassurance.

Now, here comes another example of how I stay out of the content. We’re reassuring. So, your little child is in bed and says, I’m really worried that there’s going to be a monster under my bed, or I’m really worried that there’s going to be burglars coming into the house, or I’m really worried that I’m gonna throw up or whatever they’re worried about, we immediately want to say that’s not going to happen. Right, we immediately want to say that.

What we really can say is “Oh my gosh, your worry is coming up with things for you to be scared about again.” And then that’s when we talk to the worry. That’s when we we’ve named the worry Pete, we say Pete, can you just please leave Amanda alone? this is what you always do.

The reason I call it content based reassurance, is because we jump in quickly to say that’s not true, that’s going to be okay. It’ll be fixed. It won’t hurt, nobody’s judging you. And it really is okay, to let kids feel a little uncertain.

Again, it’s not all or nothing. But to be able to say, Oh, my gosh, you’re worried. And you know, your worry is really getting you going isn’t, isn’t it? And you might even say and I don’t blame you, because you’ve never had a cavity filled before for is going to show up. Right? That’s when it’s going to show up?

Robin Hutson  12:18 

What do you say to your high school student who says, Mom, do you think that I’ll be able to go to college in like a normal way?

Lynn Lyons  12:27 

Yeah, I’ve been hearing this a lot. So that’s when you have to say you want to say like, Well, of course, of course he will. Don’t even think about that. My response to that would be. I don’t know, I think so based on what we’re hearing about when a vaccine is going to be coming out and that kind of stuff. But boy, we are living in a real environment of not knowing what’s around the next corner.

I would say to your high schooler “And if I were you, I don’t blame you at all for having that thought. And having that concern.” You know, I talk about rolling around in the mights and maybes of life. Right? that it really is okay for us to say I don’t know. Or gosh, you might. Hard to say.”

And we don’t like to say that to our kids. And you know, if you said that to your daughter who of course I know, because she’s my niece. If you said that to her? If you said I don’t know, I think we just have to wait and see It must be hard to be a freshman in high school and to not know exactly what is going to happen over the next few years. She would be like, yeah, I mean, she totally gets that if you were talking to a kid who was really worrying. And you said, I don’t know, they’re not used to you saying I don’t know they’re used to this constant diet of content based reassurance. They’re not going to like that response one bit. So, the temptation is to say, Oh, of course, of course,

Robin Hutson  13:43 

We’ve had that real conversation, I always say “Between now and then, so much can happen that we don’t know. We just don’t have the data.” Yeah, but part of me, I’m laughing as you say this, because I think to myself, you know, as your sister in law and being so aware of these parenting strategies. Yeah. So, I’m just thinking though, if you know that you’re not supposed to reassure with comfort. I wonder if Is there a way that other people we might go too far in the other direction? Like sit with that uncertainty and not worry? Let’s see where that goes., like I push too far in the other direction. So right, define the sweet spot for us.

Lynn Lyons  14:20 

The sweet spot is staying out of the content. That’s why staying out of the content is so helpful. Because say you took something like, you know, say a little kid was like, I’m worried that if I go to sleep tonight that the house is going to catch on fire. You’re not going to be like, well, it might, right? What you can’t do that or

Robin Hutson  14:37 

Night, night.

Lynn Lyons  14:38 

Night night. Yeah.

Robin Hutson  14:40 

Don’t wear pajamas that aren’t flame retardant!

Lynn Lyons  14:43 

Right, right, exactly. The example that I already that I always use when I’m speaking because I’ll say, you know what, if a little kid is like, I’m so worried that somebody I love is going to die and you’re like, well, people die all the time. You know, I mean, you can’t do that, right? It doesn’t really help.

So, what you want to say is Oh my gosh, Worry is so good at coming up with these scary scenarios for us to think about. So as soon as you start talking about the way worry operates instead of getting sucked into the content, then already you’re modeling a really important skill, that of course, we’re going to have those thoughts. You know, you hear about something happening then when you go to bed that night, parents, we’re all familiar with this, right?

I remember, several years ago, one of my, one of our friends who our kids all went to school together, their dryer caught on fire in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. They lived in this huge wooden New Englander. And the thing burnt to the ground in like 20 minutes. So that night, when I went to bed, you know, like, did I clean the lint out of the dryer?

Of course, you’re gonna have those thoughts, the way you stay out of the reassurance trap, the way you make sure that you’re not feeding the cult leader called anxiety is that you don’t instinctively just give the response without recognizing the repetitiveness of it. And are you missing an opportunity to say to your kids, yeah, this is what worry does.

Robin Hutson  16:02 

How many listeners including me just thought to themselves, when have I removed the lint out of the dryer last?

Lynn Lyons  16:09 

Okay, so there. Public service announcement.

Robin Hutson  16:11 

For all you fellow worriers out there.

Lynn Lyons  16:13 

Yeah, go do it. Now just hit pause. Everyone will wait.

But that’s the way human beings work is that we hear something and then we can relate to it a little bit. And it brings up that thought in our own mind.

So, let me give you some concrete examples of how this might come up right now in what we’re dealing with. So, Robin, you gave the example of your daughter wondering about college, but lots of kids right now are wondering, you know, do you think we’re going to be able to go back to school? Are we going to stay fully remote after the Christmas holidays? Right? Are they going to shut down our school?

Or, you know, certainly a lot of vaccine talk. So, any kids that are worried about getting a shot that’s going to come up? Or how long is COVID gonna last? All of these questions where there’s just so much uncertainty. So, if your child says like, Mom, do you think that when we come back from Thanksgiving, do you think that we’re going to get a whole lot of COVID cases at school?

That’s an opportunity for you to say, you know, that’s such a great question. And we really don’t know the answer to it. So, we can worry about it. And we can think about it, and we can go over it in our head and all the different possibilities. But I think what we really should recognize is that we’re going to have to handle whatever it is that the situation requires, right? We’re gonna have to do it.

This 2020, this year and all of these things happening, it is a time of opportunity. And I know people like opportunity schmopportunity. It is a time of opportunity to talk to your kids in that way that says, “We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we can handle it.”

“Mom, when is the vaccine going to come out?”

“Well, according to what I heard on the news, they’re going to do tests and blah blah blah. So, we’ll have to see, you know, we’ll keep track of the data mom, when are we going to be able to see our friends again? Gosh, you know, we just don’t know that it’s really hard. And I get it that you’re thinking about the future and how things are going to go. But we just don’t know.”

All of this being able to say to kids, “We are going to be problem solvers rather than catastrophizers.”

Reassurance is trying to get rid of all the uncertainty, it doesn’t really allow your kids to be problem solvers. Which brings me to a very important point, if you are a constant reassurer.

So, if you automatically step in, and if you have a worrier, and they’re always asking for information, and you’re always giving it to them, you are getting in the way of them developing a critical skill, which is the ability to internally reassure.

External reassurance that we get from other sources, we’re looking at it from our parents, if you’re an adult, maybe you’re looking at it from your friends, or your partner, or whatever constant external reassurance gets in the way of you developing that voice inside you that basically says, I can handle this.

The goal is for your kids to feel like they can go inside and pull out the resources that they need. The reason we reassure them when they’re little is that we’re modeling that for them. We’re modeling saying for them, you can handle this, we’re modeling saying, I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but we’ll figure it out.

We want that voice to go inside of them. So then as they get more independent, more autonomous, that’s what they say to themselves. So, the danger of consistently externally reassuring is it gets in the way of them being able to internalize that very solid problem solving voice that we want our kids to have,

Robin Hutson  19:41 

When you think of the families who are in your practice who probably are needing more intervention to manage anxiety in the household. And then on the other extreme, there are families that really anxiety hasn’t been a big deal but maybe is starting to creep in this year because of what’s happening.

Lynn Lyons  19:56 


Robin Hutson  19:56 

If you recognize you’ve been reassuring, too much, how do you sort of correct it and talk about it going forward?

Lynn Lyons  20:03 

Yeah. So very directly, which I always say. You say to your kids, you know what it has been, this has been such a time of uncertainty, or there’s been so much going on. I think as a family, we’ve kind of gotten into the habit. And maybe I’ve gotten into the habit of just like trying to give you certainty where there’s no certainty. I’m just working, like, we’re all trying to just sort of keep things going and keep our heads above water. And I think I’m in this habit of when you ask me a question of saying like, yes, yes. I think I’m going to work on sort of letting me be in the uncertainty a little bit and showing you guys how to be in in the uncertainty a little bit.

Then what will happen, of course, is remember, anytime and it’s the same, I use the begging dog metaphor. Anytime you change a habit, anytime you interrupt a pattern, there is something called an extinction burst, which I call an extinction explosion, because I often say it ain’t no burst, right?

When you stop doing the thing that your kids have become reliant upon, they don’t like that one bit. And so, you have to expect that it’s going to be a little bumpy, particularly if you if you’re listening to this and you are a worrier. And you have been doing a lot of external reassurance, and then you stop. Oh, my gosh, they’re gonna get so mad at you.

They get mad at me in my office, what I say to a mom, now one of the things I want you to stop doing is I can see their little eyes get so big, and then their faces get so mad, they start whispering in their mom’s ear, and I know they’re saying bad things about me. It’s hard to break this habit once they become dependent upon it, but hang in there. It’s like, they got it, you got to break the craving, but be very direct about it.

Robin Hutson  21:42 

They’re like, Mom, we’ve got to get out of here now.

Lynn Lyons  21:46 

Yeah, I mean, they’re so cute, of course, but I’ll be talking, and everything’s going swimmingly. And they’re like smiling. And yeah, it is so nice. Then they start picking up on where I’m going with this. Like, they can see they can see the direction I’m heading.

And they’ll climb over onto the couch and like, put their mom’s hair behind their ear, and I could just hear like blah, blah, blah. And I know they’re like, you’re not gonna do that. Why do you have to listen to her? Yeah, I mean, it gets so and it’s just, they’re just so afraid, I’m going to take away the thing that they feel like they so desperately need. The other thing about reassurance to remember is that technology allows us to do a lot of this external reassuring. Pay attention to that to.

Robin Hutson  22:26 

You mean like tracking.

Lynn Lyons  22:27 

Yeah, tracking and student, you know, parent portals at schools and, and feeling like, you’ll feel better if you just know everything. I’m talking a lot about you giving external reassurance to your kids. But as a parent, pay attention to how you seek that reassurance for yourself. Are you making sure that you know exactly where your kids are that you know exactly what their grades are that you know exactly what the plans are? Because you’re modeling that for them. Things have to go a certain way. I feel very worried or very afraid. If there’s some deviation from the plan. That’s that rigidity that shows up.

Robin Hutson  23:04 

You know, I always tell my friends, like, Oh, you should listen to this podcast. I’ve learned so much this year. And I really can’t imagine going through 2020 without the benefit of us talking about this stuff every week. But what I’ve really learned from you this year is if every parent remembers to say, “of course you feel this way,” or “you can handle it”. Those are like the two golden phrases of getting through all of this and something we should say to ourselves.

Lynn Lyons  23:31 

I’ve been saying that to myself a lot. Yeah, you can do this, you can do this. And you said that to me recently, you got this you can do this just felt so good. I will get through it; I will handle it.

Manage Your Kids’ Screen Time

Robin Hutson  23:44 

I talk about it a lot. So, I want to recommend what we use to manage screen time and internet safety in our house. We use the Circle and it ensures age appropriate filters for searches from little kids to teens.

And that lets you set daily limits for different apps and social media. It also controls your kids’ Wi Fi schedules, our link in the show notes will get you $20 off of a Circle, and I highly recommend one.

Try This Game

Lynn Lyons  24:11 

So, there’s this game that I play with kids. And there’s actually a video of me on my Facebook page. There’s actually a video of me describing this, I was making these videos with my pal Christine, so many years ago. Now I look at those videos. Oh my gosh, we were just babies.

So, you take a piece of paper. And it’s when there’s an event happening. So, let’s just use going to the dentist say your child has their first cavity and they’ve got to go get a cavity filled. You take a piece of paper and at the top of the piece of paper you write what the event is that’s happening.

So that’s the content you know, getting a cavity filled, and then you write down what I know on one side and you draw you draw a vertical line down the middle of the paper what I know on one side and then what I don’t know on the other side, so you write down what I know.

I know that my dentist is named Dr. Alby. I know my appointment is on Tuesday at two o’clock. I know that Leslie will be the dental assistant, I know that the office is you know, at such and such a place.

And then on the what I don’t know side you right, I don’t know exactly how long it’s going to take. I don’t know what dumb joke Dr. Alvey is gonna make, I don’t know what it’s gonna feel like when they give me the Novocain. I don’t know how long I’ll feel numb after they do it, I don’t know if I’m going to hear some different sounds or things that I haven’t heard before.

And so, you just start going through all of the what I don’t knows. Now, not by accident, we want the list of what I know, to be fairly short, and the list of what I don’t know to be much longer then with your piece of paper, you go through the event and everything that you figure out through experience, then you just take a little pencil or whatever and you draw an arrow. 

So, say it says I don’t know how long it’s going to take. And then after you get the cavity filled, it took 13 minutes you go up now I know. So, you take your paper and you draw a little arrow from what I don’t know over to what I know column, but we can put a link to the video so you can see it.

So, in other words, after the appointment, you learned that it took 22 minutes and you add that to the what I know column, you just make an arrow of that statement, because you’ve written it down, you’ve written out on how long it’s going to take to get my cavity filled. And then once you figure it out, you just take an arrow and you just draw a little arrow that indicates that it now gets moved over to the what I know column or you can circle it or whatever.

But the purpose of that is to show kids that when you’re stepping into a new experience, of course you don’t know how it’s all going to go. And that we learn to handle things. And we gather information by doing because remember, anxiety wants all the information ahead of time. Anxiety wants certainty before it steps in. And this is just a little exercise you can do with younger kids that very graphically very visually shows them that we learn as we go.

Robin Hutson  27:02 

Let me ask you this question. I haven’t heard this game before. But coming up with a list of everything they don’t know before an event. If someone’s especially worried about the dentist, isn’t focusing on all that they don’t know. And all of that uncertainty in the short term going to make them more anxious? What I’m wondering is, I wonder if you introduce the game with something a little more banal?

Lynn Lyons  27:22 


Robin Hutson  27:22 

So that then you can use the game as a tool for something a little more important.

Lynn Lyons  27:26 

You can do it in a way that’s just like kind of a fun thing. Yeah, that’s excellent point is say you’re gonna do we don’t know, like, what I know. And what I don’t know, maybe you’re going to get ice cream at a new ice cream place that you’ve never been to before. So, then you’re modeling the process.

Yeah, that’s a very good point, you’re modeling the process of stepping in and learning things as you go. And then you can use it later on with something where the stakes are a little bit higher. The other thing that happens over time, too, is that you don’t even need to write it down.

So, when I’m working with kids, and I’ve got to worry or they learn the process, so as they’re driving in the car to go to this new thing that they’ve never done before, they’re like, Alright, this is what I know what I don’t know game. And then they just list a few things.

And what happens over time is that they’re not even really needing to do the exercise anymore. Because they’ve internalized the process of, I’m going to step into this thing. I’m not going to know everything and I’m going to figure it out as I go. Because that’s the message that I’m trying to deliver. Start with some more innocuous process,

Robin Hutson  28:26 

Trying a new cookie recipe or something.

Lynn Lyons  28:29 


Robin Hutson  28:29 

Yeah, ’cause I’m just imagining what you were describing that I was thinking of a really savvy, you know, six year old, like, will they know that that vest better cover me to prevent me from getting X-ray exposure?

Lynn Lyons  28:43 

Like, do they know that? Yeah. Do they know the risks of radiation for me? While they’re not right. Yeah,

Robin Hutson  28:48 


Lynn Lyons  28:48 

Have you gone to the dentist during COVID yet?

Robin Hutson  28:51 


Lynn Lyons  28:52 

Okay, so I have to go again, I don’t know what it’s gonna be like the next time I go, but I went, you know, so they have all these precautions in place and everything. But they couldn’t use at the time because they didn’t have all this air filtration stuff in yet. I think they’ll probably have it in now.

But they couldn’t use anything that was going to spew stuff into the air. Whether you’re at the dentist is that happens all the time. So, after she cleaned my teeth, the old fashioned way with like scraping scraping scraping, instead of using a little brush that policies your teeth, you know? That jjuushhh.

She took a toothbrush, and she put toothpaste on it ,and she brushed my teeth for me. It was so weird. I felt like I didn’t know if I felt like I was like, in a nursing home or what. It was so bizarre. So, I don’t know what’s gonna happen when I go back the next time.

Robin Hutson  29:37 

Did she brush your hair at the end, too?

Lynn Lyons  29:39 

Yes, she brushed my hair. And she put a little barrette in it. It was so nice. Just nice. She tied my shoes for me.

Robin Hutson  29:46 

It was nice to be three again.

Lynn Lyons  29:49 


Robin Hutson  29:50 

We’re in Massachusetts. And I don’t know if we do have another lockdown coming over the next you know between now and the end of the year. I mean, it wouldn’t surprise me either way. Right? Yeah, my poor daughter is supposed to get her braces off in December, and we both know that the lockdown will happen, like, the day before. She’s supposed to get a brace off.

Lynn Lyons  30:09 

I think that if you go online, and you to just google “self removal of braces,” I bet you can do it. I think you can do it.

Robin Hutson  30:23 

Here’s what I know. And here’s what I don’t know.

Yeah, she’s not gonna go for that. Make sure you’re caught up on last week’s episode on gratitude. And if you join the Flusterclux Facebook group, you can hear all about the Chippendales, Chippendale, and Chip and Dale.

Lynn Lyons  30:39 

It’s a little scandalous.

Bye, Robin!

Robin Hutson  30:41 

Bye, Lynn!

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