How to Stop Yelling, Lecturing & Power Struggles :: Kirk Martin {Ep 62}

Mar 2, 2015

After 9 years of struggling with his strong-willed son, today’s podcast guest, Kirk Martin, heard God ask:

What if your son is made like that on purpose? What if by trying to change his behavior you are frustrating My purposes for him? What if the key to changing your son’s behavior is  to change your behavior?


What a concept? Turning my control issues from my kids towards myself. Disconnecting my mom worth from my boys’ performance (reminds me of the whole “Let him be a jerk” lesson)


I love Kirk’s realistic approach to parenting. He understands what your home dynamics are like. And gives practical tips. After listening to today’s episode you will have at least three different “tricks” to apply.

Most of all, I’m thankful for the new perspective he has given me. Kirk helped me recognize how emotionally invested I was in my boys’ behavior and freed me from the need to regulate their behavior for them.

The last couple days I’ve enjoyed the boys more. I’m also less tense and frustrated when we are out in public. In fact, I may need to go back and listen to this episode more than once, so it sticks!

What we chat about:

  • Kirk’s realization that he needed to focus on his own behavior and stop trying to fix his son’s strong-willed behavior.
  • The switch he made from training 1500 kids in his home to training parents to calm themselves.
  • The one thing you can do today to de-escalate a tense situation in your home.
  • How to calmly handle your child’s meltdown

I can only control one person in life, and that’s me.

  • How motion changes emotion–helping little ones calm down b/c they don’t know how to “think” their way out.
  • What to do in the middle of Target aisle 3 when your child freaks out
  • Handling a tantruming child when his siblings are fighting and another needs help with homework and dinner is cooking (Heather’s daily 5 pm reality).

If you don’t care enough about yourself, to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually. . .why would anyone else care?

  • How sometimes parents want good behavior so badly, they are too invested in it and give children too much control.
  • How to be an impartial giver of wisdom.
  • Heather’s light bulb moment. . .
  • Write down your emotional triggers & do the opposite of what you normally do.

Connect with Kirk:

Site :: Twitter :: Facebook :: Podcast

Links Mentioned:

Here’s a video sampling of Kirk’s teaching on discipline:

(click here if reading via email)

In this episode I admit one of my emotional triggers. What is one of yours?

How to listen to the podcast:

1.Listen on the blog. Click through to and click the play button at the beginning of this post.

2. Listen on your smartphone, iPad or iPod Touch – There are a lot of great podcasting apps. Apple has a free one (that I mentioned) in the app store, there is also one called Downcast. It allows you to search for shows, subscribe to them and even speed up the audio. If you don’t have an iDevice, you can listen via Stitcher.

3. Subscribe to the Podcast – access the podcast in iTunes (Click here to access via iTunes). You can also search for it on your smartphone app (like the ones listed above) and subscribe.

*If you missed past episodes, you can listen via iTunes or click on this page of the GodCenteredMom site to find a listing of all the episodes.

**Check out this page for instructions on how to leave a rating or review on iTunes: 


  1. Ginny

    Thank you for your podcasts! This one especially! I prayed this morning for some help with my kids. God heard my prayer. I so needed this! Thank you !!!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Thank you Ginny for taking the time to comment. God constantly amazes me with how He uses content on the internet for His purpose in people’s lives. blessings friend!

  2. prestigiousschool

    It’s painful to admit that there are times when how I want my children to behave is more about my pride than what is best for them in that moment.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      yes! that is exactly true for me as well. I know it’s true when I discipline differently at home than in public.

  3. Lindsay

    I love sll of your podcasts it this one especially! You should have him on again!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      thanks Lindsay!! I 100% agree. I learned so much from Kirk and wouldn’t have kept talking for another hour if I could have! If he came back what topic would help you the most?

      • Ginny

        I would love to know more about disciplining a strong willed child. My son tends to be disrespectful and very defiant when I’m trying discipline him, or the discipline is a result of disrespect and defiance.

        • Heather MacFadyen

          great idea ginny. I already am talking with Kirk about our next episode together and possible topics. discipline is one he suggested. i’m sure you are not alone in the struggle of disciplining a strong willed child. hard to set boundaries and not crush their spirits. thanks for sharing!

  4. Lindsay


  5. Tasha

    Heather, thank you so much for this podcast. I am continually finding great resources from you! I checked out some of Kirk’s videos on his YouTube channel and they are so helpful also. I am realizing that a trigger for myself is when I am getting my toddler and 7 month old dressed and ready to head out, I often cut my time short for this process and in turn get frustrated when my toddler cannot put his boots on in less than 3 seconds. I have to admit that I am impatient and am way too concerned with what other people think. Thank you for asking us the tough questions!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      I can totally relate to the scenario you describe. I’m not very good at time management or estimation. Recognizing the reality of getting several young people ready to leave takes years (still learning actually). And yes, the over concern about what others think. Ann Voskamp says, “life is not an emergency”. . .yet sometimes I am rushing and acting like it is because I’m so concerned with what others think. thanks for sharing your story!

  6. dana

    Thanks for this! I’ll be listening to this one again!

  7. Sarah @ Journeying With Him

    I love your podcasts and have listened to many of them, but I haven’t ever left a comment. This was awesome!! I tried Kirk’s “sit down with Legos during a meltdown” tip today, and it worked like magic! I can’t wait to look up more of his stuff. Thanks so much!!


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