2 Mistakes Well-Intentioned Parents Make






This week we’re taking parenting tips from Hello Fresh!

In ways you may not have realized, being a parent is sort of like working in customer service. In our case, the customer isn’t always right, but the way we handle conflict may invite our child to ask for our manager! :)

Your goal as a parent is to build credibility and trust in your “brand” rather than bad reviews!  As I reveal the two mistakes well-intentioned parents make, you'll be invited to reflect on your default reaction and formulate a balanced response instead.

In this episode, I share…

  • How to embrace conflict even when it makes you uncomfortable
  • Two different ways you can take feedback, criticism or complaints from your child
  • A quote that’s shaped every single day of my parenting

Don’t Miss:

  • How my missing package was handled by Hello Fresh (and whether I recommend them or NOT)‌

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Danielle Bettmann  0:06  
Ever feel like you suck at this job? Motherhood I mean?  Have too much anxiety and not enough patience... Too much yelling, not enough play.  There's no manual, no village, no guarantees. The stakes are high. We want so badly to get it right. But this is survival mode. We're just trying to make it to bedtime. So if you're full of mom guilt, your temper scares you. You feel like you're screwing everything up, and you're afraid to admit any of those things out loud. This podcast is for you.

Danielle Bettmann  0:40  
This is Failing Motherhood. I'm Danielle Bettmann. And each week we'll chat with a mom ready to be real. Sharing her insecurities, her fears, her failures and her wins. We do not have it all figured out. That's not the goal. The goal is to remind you, you are the mom your kids need. They need what you have. You are good enough. And you're not alone. I hope you pop in earbuds, somehow sneak away and get ready to hear some hope from the trenches. You belong here, friend. We're so glad you're here.

Danielle Bettmann  1:13  
Hey, it's Danielle. Your Positive Discipline Certified Parenting Coach for strong-willed kids ages 2 to 10. I'm so glad you're here and listening to Failing Motherhood. I help defeated parents find validation support and proven techniques to parent their strong-willed kids with composure, connection, confidence and cooperation through a 3 month group coaching program based on the Wholehearted framework that I have developed over the years of working with families 1 on 1. And if you've just found the podcast, you can go to failingmotherhood.com to view a playlist of our most listened to episodes as well as where to start if you have a strong-willed child. 

Danielle Bettmann  1:58  
Now I do have a special announcement to mention. Starting tomorrow which is May 1, I am kicking off the annual drive in requesting ratings and reviews for Failing Motherhood. Now Failing Motherhood is turning 4 this month. And it's the month of Mother's Day. And ratings and reviews are huge for podcasts. They determine your search rankings, they invite potential listeners to tune in for credibility. And they really size up the quality of your podcast as well. So if you have been enjoying Failing Motherhood, whether it's your first episode, second episode, or 150th, please go ahead and rate it 5 stars inside Apple podcasts or Spotify. And I will offer you an extra incentive right now for leaving a super quick 2 to 3 sentence review inside Apple. After you type something in on your phone, screenshot it, and then hit submit, then email me that screenshot or send me a DM with that image of your screenshot. And you can find those ways to search and connect with me in the show notes. And then I will go ahead and give one listener a $50 Amazon gift card on Mother's Day. So you have between May 1 and May 12. And the key thing is, it takes like 24 hours for your review to process so you won't be able to screenshot it once you hit submit. And there's also no way for me to connect that review to you. Because usually there's like a handle or something more anonymous. So that is your way to get some incentive and to be able to take that to Amazon and maybe get yourself something that you've been thinking about since the glow up episode, I would be so excited to share that with you. 

Danielle Bettmann  3:57  
So I have some really exciting interviews coming up as well in June, we're going to do a Failing Fatherhood quick series before Father's Day, and there's so much good in store. So make sure you are following the podcast as well to get every new episode in your favorite app. It's also on YouTube. I just was able to convert everything. It's still audio only. But it's there as well if that is an easier way for you to hit play. 

Danielle Bettmann  4:24  
So in today's episode, we're going to talk about how parenting is so related to a customer service job. If you've ever worked in retail or hospitality, then you know what I'm talking about. But you might not know how that correlates exactly and it makes a huge difference in cooperation for strong-willed kids. So this week, we are taking parenting advice from HelloFresh. And I'm going to dive into an example of customer service that I had over the last week or two and see what they did that was really smart and that worked, that we can kind of take as parenting advice here. And I'm going to share with you the 2 big mistakes that well intentioned parents make, we're going to break those down, and we're going to learn from these customer service giants of how to kind of embrace that conflict. And then I'm going to share with you a quote that has shaped every single day of my parenting that I can't share enough. So we're going to wrap up with that, quote, are you ready? Let's dive in together. 

Danielle Bettmann  5:33  
So, I'm going to share first and open with reading the screenshots of my conversation with the customer service agent in HelloFresh. Now, if you're not familiar, HelloFresh is one of those direct consumer subscription services for meal kits and meal planning. And you get a box in the mail each week with you know, however many meals for however many portions that you kind of preordered, and they get delivered to your house. And then you have the recipe right there and all the ingredients and then you just make whatever that meal is when it's convenient for you. And we have been using HelloFresh for months. It is really, really nice. This is not a promotion for HelloFresh, there is no promo code. So this is just a story from my own life in hopes that it can be relatable. 

Danielle Bettmann  6:25  
But one week, last week or the week before, I can't remember, but I woke up on Wednesday morning, realizing I never got the box that we were supposed to get on Tuesday. So I pulled up there little chat feature inside the website. And I said, "Hey, my box hasn't been delivered." And so we went back and forth, you know, exchanging some information. And then I'm gonna go ahead and pull up the screenshot of what the Customer Service Representative shared with me at that point. And they said, Now, I don't know if this is a real person or AI or who they were at this point. But this is just what I got right. "After reviewing your tracking information directly so far I see a discrepancy in your delivery due to the box being marked as in transit, but with no estimated delivery date. I am truly sorry about this, when the box arrives, there is a chance for the box to already be damaged. Let me credit the full box and make sure you get taken care of right away. If the box does arrive, I recommend not consuming any of the items to avoid any safety issues, you are very important to us and we don't want to run any risk. Please allow me a moment. And I will soon provide you with the amount and the solution for this." Then in the next message, "I have your credit ready, I am issuing a credit of this amount, the credit will automatically apply to your next full price delivery on this date. The credit on your account does not expire and only applies to your subscription, which means you will still have to cover the shipping fees. I know this is not enough to compensate for the experience you have encountered as a customer. I wish I could do more for you, but I have to follow specific procedures. Since you were not able to enjoy your box, I'm also refunding the shipping fee to your payment method in the amount of blank, your refund will reflect within 5 to 10 business days."

Danielle Bettmann  8:15  
So then I asked, "Is it possible to resend a new box yet this week?" And they replied, "I wish I could replace the box myself but since we utilize local suppliers in the area and process the boxes for days prior to scheduling a delivery, we are not able to get another delivery with the same meals out to you this week."

Danielle Bettmann  8:37  
And so the reason I screenshotted that conversation was I just ended up texting that to my husband. So when he was traveling for work, it was the easiest way for me to just convey the same message of we didn't get a box this week. Here's what I asked, here's what their answer was, you know, by sending the screenshots. And thankfully, when I reflected on that conversation with him, he was like, "Oh, that's interesting that they said, first we're gonna, you know, compensate you for what you paid for the subscription. And then once you're asking, Well, what about the shipping fee? That's not fair. Then they swooped in with and we're going to come to you for the refund to the shipping fee. And that'll be a direct thing to your credit card. And here's where that was. So then they were anticipating what your questions were going to be what your frustrations were going to be."

Danielle Bettmann  9:31  
And in my opinion, I think they adequately responded to the level of inconvenience and, you know, frustration that I could rightly feel as one of their customers that was planning on these meals for this week. And so, while I was still disappointed that we weren't able to get the meals, there's really no way around that. We did end up getting the box later that day and it was like really banged up. And I'm like what happened?!  It's so confusing, right when like shipping is just like a mystery of what happens between here and there. And so I did end up going through it and saving like the nonperishable items and, you know, kind of tossing some of the things that were no longer going to be food safe because of the temperature and all of that. But anyway, so I'm sharing this example because there are two big mistakes that good parents make.  You ready for them? The first mistake is underreacting. Under-reacting happens when we've dismissed their problem, when what they're coming with is not a big deal, when we see their complaint as irrational when we really don't have the time to talk them through whatever they're dealing with. And so we want to dismiss or distract, or completely move on without even addressing what they're talking about. And this is what happens in customer service. 

Danielle Bettmann  11:07  
This is the connection point here. When a customer comes with a complaint to an employee, when the employee, the customer service agent underreacts, says, Oh, oops, sorry, sucks for you, nothing we can do. Is there anything else I can help you with? Then the customer feels like they need to now escalate the reaction, ask for a manager,  double down, ask for more than just a refund. And they become very frustrated when they feel unheard. And when they feel like they're not being taken seriously. And when they feel like that customer service agent isn't even giving them the time of day or getting in their shoes at all. There's just no empathy. And there's a disconnect there. 

Danielle Bettmann  12:03  
But if a customer comes to a customer service agent, and that employee either adequately reacts or even almost overreacts in the way of how much they express concern, how they feel like they're going to the length of their power within their role to make this right for you. When they almost say, I wish I could go above and beyond this is what you deserve. This is what I would love in this situation if I were you. And they start to even offer things that you didn't even ask for. Then as the customer, you begin to roll it back under-react, say, oh, no, no, no, you're fine. It's okay. We can handle it. Like, let's pretend you know you're staying at a hotel, and you go to the front desk, and you say, hey, our room doesn't have any pillows. If the person behind the desk is like, they'll be there later, you're not going to sleep now, right? How does that sit with you? As a customer, right? You don't feel like you're listened to you don't feel like they are taking you seriously, they don't even appreciate your, you know? Money, Your patronage, whatever. You're gonna start to get more frustrated and say, well, this isn't okay. Right? I needed to put my child down for a nap, whatever it is, and you're going to start an escalated interaction. But instead, if that front desk person said, Oh, my gosh, I'm so sorry. I need to make this right for you. Let me go ahead and get someone right now. Would you like, you know, firm pillows? Would you like soft pillows? Can I add anything extra? Do you need blankets? Do you need this? Do you know? Can I get you a pack and play? Then all of a sudden, you're you're rolling it back? No, no, we're fine. All we need is two pillows. Thank you so much. Just a firm in a in a soft will be good. And then they're continuing to say is there anything else we can do for you? I'm so sorry that your room wasn't, you know, up to code. That's the exception to the rule for us. What else can we do? And then you as the customer have now not only have they mitigated this conflict, but they have built your trust. What started as a conflict has now created credibility and a trust point where you might even go and recommend this hotel because they were so responsive. And they showed that concern and they wanted to make it right as opposed to blowing you off when it could have been the same problem at a different hotel, it was all about how they handled it. And they may still have been only able to get you to pillows. But it's all about how they handled it, taking you seriously and hearing you out. 

Danielle Bettmann  15:15  
So we often make the mistake of under-reacting as parents, because you might think I don't want to feed into this, I don't want to feed the fire, I know that they're wanting something that they can't have, I need to shut this down. I can't feed into it, because then they're going to think that they can get it or you feel like you're taught that you need to ignore them. If this is a negative behavior, if you perceive it as negative, you need to pair that with something negative so that they aren't convinced that this works. And they'll do it again. So you might even just try to close your eyes, and dismiss it hope it goes away and stop or walk away. But what if a customer service agent did that to you? That's how your child's feeling. They're feeling ignored. They're feeling dismissed, they're feeling unheard. They're feeling like you don't care. Or you're not willing to hear them out. Or they are wrong or bad for wanting what they're thinking or feeling what they're feeling. And they begin to feel very injustified and like it's necessary for them to escalate, double down, ask for the manager tell you all these more reasons about why they want what they want, or they're feeling what they're feeling, because there's a sense of injustice there. And it's not right. 

Danielle Bettmann  16:41  
So the first mistake that well-intentioned parents make is under-reacting. The problem is there's a second mistake, and that is overreacting. And the overreacting comes when the parent sees and reads the situation and the meaning that they take from it when their child is wanting something they can't have or being quote unquote, irrational or continuing to complain or whine, is that they start to feel attacked or threatened their fight or flight response kicks in, they feel triggered. And they are reading the room as in -this is a blow to how I'm doing as a parent and I need to take this personally. And because they feel personally attacked, their defense mechanism kicks in and now all of a sudden, we have a full-on power struggle escalated to a war happening. And it could be about a granola bar that broke or, you know, pillows that they wanted. It's you know, relatively a simple thing that now has become a full-blown issue. So there's an element of embracing the conflict. And there's an element of being able to adequately respond, not dismissing, but not also taking something personally. So if you are the employee in the situation, and your child is the customer, make no mistake, the goal is not to have a happy customer who gets whatever they damn well please and you just have to keep giving, giving, giving and all of a sudden you're a permissive parent, that is not what I am saying here. Okay, hear me out. Your goal is to not have your reaction inadvertently escalate conflict, when it could just as easily be handled in a much healthier way that allows your child to have their needs met of being heard and understood. And at the same time, provide a sense of building the relationship, building trust on the other side of this conflict, rather than being all-out enemies on the other side. That's the goal. And I think that is what good customer service agents really understand is 'my goal is to maintain and even strengthen the relationship with between this customer and our brand, while also trying to hear them out and use my power to help them understand what I can do for them in this situation and also hold a boundary if there is limitations.'  Like they can't send out another HelloFresh box this week. They'd love to but they can't. That's also our goal as a parent in those situations is being able to empathetically hold those boundaries and not go bend over backwards for things that are non-negotiable. 

Danielle Bettmann  19:52  
So there's a quote that I found from a customer service book that says "Customer complaints are the biggest opportunity a business has to repair a fractured relationship with a customer." So they see them as opportunities where in parenting, these moments of horrendous conflict are not technically seen as opportunities and that's okay. We don't need to be walking around like, I'm so excited for all these opportunities I have at the zoo today to deal with whining, complaining, sad children. No, we don't need to, like, be super on the other side of that spectrum. But we can learn something from this perspective, we can think, Hmm, what is there that it could be a positive, especially if I as a personality, really am not comfortable with conflict, I really have a hard time especially maybe even between siblings, it's just extremely triggering, because it makes me so uncomfortable. Then this perspective is definitely a necessary one for you to rethink why that is, and be able to kind of heal that trigger as you go. Because it's gonna keep happening. Embracing conflict is a big piece of being able to keep your clear head on a swivel, and then be able to respond rather than react. Right?The other thing I learned from this customer service book is where it says the feedback from a customer is either permanent, pervasive and personal, or temporary, specific, and external. So let me read the exact quote of what they're saying here. Because otherwise, it's very hard to understand. And this is under a How to Handle Customer Complaints Guide. When you view a negative interaction with a customer as permanent as in - it's not going away, pervasive - as an everyone feels this way. And personal -there's a part of me that plays into this, you feel like you have little control. Things are happening to you. The alternative to permanent, pervasive and personal is temporary, specific and external. In this light, negative interactions become much more manageable and actionable. First, negative interactions probably aren't the norm. If they are, you are doing something wrong. Second, negative feedback is usually specific to a certain product or thing. And finally, it's external, it's generally not about you, or anything you are doing. So how do you put this into practice? Look for areas where you could have improved the interaction, practice self talk so these interactions don't feel personal. This prepares you to stomach any waves of negativity you might run into while you're navigating the queue. And then the step by-step is for dealing with a customer complaint. Number one, put your emotions aside. Very, very, very, very hard to do as a parent reading this. I'm sure you're thinking, Okay, I'm trying to look at this in a lens of how do I apply this to my own parenting. We very much take things as pervasive and personal, but the collaborative problem solving approach that I teach in my method makes you think that things are very much more circumstantial and external, and therefore manageable and actionable, though putting your emotions aside, avoid challenging their complaint. So many times we double down with logic and reasoning and explanation and defending ourselves and our decisions and why they can't have that thing, and why they're wrong to want it in the first place and why we're right. Not helpful. Number three, thanking them. Number four, acknowledging what they have to say, number five, problem solving. Number six, being flexible. It's okay to change your mind sometimes. Number seven, making sure your customers hear what you're saying and number eight, offering gratitude or an apology. So not 100% of that applies, especially in that order. And as you know , a extremely comprehensive recipe, but we can definitely find the parallels, right. So, here's my takeaways before sharing this quote that I absolutely love. 

Danielle Bettmann  24:25  
The takeaways are when your child comes to you with a problem, which is what it is, it feels like a pervasive personal issue. But it's truly a problem that they need help solving. Don't dismiss it. And don't take it personally so that you can much more strategically come alongside them and problem solve through the conflict embracing that conflict, getting comfortable with it. So because a well managed interaction builds trust between you, the brand as a parent and your child so that they feel closer to you on the other side of that problem solving rather than so frustrated, holding grudges, building resentment on both sides. And the quote is from How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen, "The more we try to convince our kids it's not that bad, the harder they will work to convince us how bad it is."  It's so true, but it's not our default. It's not our first instinct. It is not the first thing out of our thoughts and our mind to be able to immediately hold space for their opinions and their lived experience that is completely different from how we see things with our 25-30-40 years of life experience. Putting that one little moment into perspective , for them it's the only moment that matters, it's the biggest deal that they've encountered. It's the hardest problem that they can't possibly believe they can solve. And it's our job to manage our temper, hold our nerve and be able to manage this customer service moment well, so that they continue to have that credibility and that cooperation on the other side. 

Danielle Bettmann  26:24  
So go ahead and leave a review on Apple podcasts or a 5 star rating inside Spotify before you go today, making sure you're following the podcast sending it to me over a DM and finding my free masterclass if you haven't yet for your strong-willed child, because if this still all feels like very ambiguous I don't know how this applies to me I can't even begin to implement it because I am have a patchwork quilt of little tips and tricks and you know picking up crumbs here and there from everything that I am hearing , because I know you are ravenous for parenting insight. You need more than that you need strategy. You need confidence. You need clarity, and you need one plan to follow. So if you are ready for that plan, go find that at my masterclass. The link is in the show notes. 

Danielle Bettmann  27:21  
All right. I believe in you. I'm cheering you on, and I'll see you next week. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of Failing Motherhood. Your kids are so lucky to have you. If you loved this episode, take a screenshot right now and share it in your Instagram stories and tag me. If you're loving the podcast, be sure that you've subscribed and leave a review so we can help more moms know they're not alone if they feel like they're failing motherhood on a daily basis. And if you're ready to transform your relationship with your strong strong-willed child, and invest in the support you need to make it happen - schedule your free consultation using the link in the show notes. I can't wait to meet you. Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I believe in you, and I'm cheering you on.



Tuesday, Sept 27th at 1:00 PM CENTRAL

Confidently parent your strong-willed child without caving in or dimming their spark so you can finally break free of power struggles, guilt + self-doubt!