The RESIST Approach


When we think of a common struggle or moment of disagreement in our families, our initial reaction / knee jerk impulse / socially-conditioned instinct tells us to dominate, plead, threaten, isolate, bribe, guilt, shame, reject, and micromanage our children's resistance.

In place of this more unconscious approach, we are trying our darndest to work the RESIST Approach, which counts 6 simple steps in a row (albeit flexibly). When we can Respect, Empathize, Sync up, Innovate, Set limits and Trust, we are ALL growing up together.

We LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING a downloadable Handbook very soon!


Respect is the primary lens we use to view our relationship with kids. It begins with the acknowledgement that we need to meet kids where they are— as separate people with their own unique needs, skills, body, mind and spirit.

Looks Like:

  • We are conscious of the impact of environment, logistics, limitations, etc.

  • We set up expectations and boundaries ahead of time so kids know the deal

  • We stay current on their crazy-fast development through self-education

  • We attempt to approach situations with calm neutrality and an open mind

Skills modeled & learned: leadership, non-binary thinking, self-awareness, respect

Mental Mantras: I do not own my child. Humanity over hierarchy. My voice will become their inner voice. They are not me. All our needs matter. They just need some help. I get to learn who they are! Is _______ appropriate / necessary? 



Empathize represents the power of connection. It begins with the acknowledgement that learning can’t take place until everyone is calm and receptive, and that our relationship with our kids is THE most important and powerful thing to nurture.

Looks Like:

  • We get close and make eye contact— or give them some space if they prefer

  • We briefly reflect and validate what they express without judgement

  • We project love to the best of our abilities, listening more than speaking

  • We try to stay calm so we don’t complicate or inflame the situation

Skills modeled & learned: compassion, patience, listening, self-regulation, empathy

Mental Mantras: Engage, don’t enrage. Their brains are still growing. All emotions are valuable. This isn’t personal. Once they’re calm, we’ll figure this out. Their feelings don’t have to make me mad or overwhelmed.



Sync up represents the power of collaboration. It begins with the acknowledgement that we each have a distinct point of view and unique needs that can be addressed when we work side by side using non-judgmental communication.

Looks Like:

  • We ask questions to help identify their needs, thoughts and feelings

  • We state what we’ve heard to clarify and show we listened and care

  • We briefly share our concerns - stating a reality, boundary, etc.

  • We emphasize that we want to find a way that we can all feel good

Skills modeled & learned: non-violent communication, perspective-taking, optimism

Mental Mantras: We can do this side-by-side. There is no one truth. We’re two people coming from different places. This doesn’t have to disconnect us. We both have needs to meet. We can do this!



Innovate represents the power of creativity. It begins with the acknowledgement that approaching challenges optimistically as a team is a critical component to staying connected, building skills and overcoming disagreements.

Looks Like: 

  • We request their ideas, helping them feel more invested in the solution

  • We get goofy and lighten the mood with silly ideas to engage them

  • We neutrally offer up some ideas or options that could work for everyone

  • We may compromise by creating a new plan or agreement that works for all

Skills modeled & learned: agency, flexibility, problem-solving, grit, collaboration

Mental Mantras: We need ideas. Everything is figureoutable. We can find a compromise. We all need help sometimes. We’re both building mad skills! 



Set limits represents the power of security. It begins with our parental responsibility to keep everyone safe and informed, often resulting in our loving follow-through— a verbal or physical boundary being kindly and firmly reinforced.

Looks Like:

  • We follow through early and lovingly to prevent injury or damage

  • We warmly state and briefly explain the reality, boundary, rule, etc.

  • We acknowledge the feelings that may result from our follow-through 

  • We non-judgmentally redirect them to alternatives that are safer

Skills modeled & learned: responsibility, consistency, risk-assessment, honesty

Mental Mantras: Firm and loving. I’m just the messenger. This is not personal. They just need help. We are both learning through this. There is no winner or loser.



Trust represents the power of perspective. It begins with the acknowledgement that everyone is doing the best they can and that moving through challenges is how we all learn, grow and connect.

Looks Like:

  • We circle back to process and plan what could be done next time

  • We storytell and model to create context and positive influence for the future

  • We search for humor, grace and gratitude in the chaos

  • We apologize and look forward to our next opportunity to grow

Skills modeled & learned: resilience, perspective, forgiveness, growth-mindset

Mental Mantras: Trust over fear. It’s going to be ok. This is good because:. Progress over perfection. Baby steps. We’re playing the long game.