21. Skills for Connection with Miriam Campbell

November 10, 2021

In This Episode
Social-Emotional Skills are so important to teach our kids and students, but FIRST, we have to learn them and practice them ourselves. Miriam Campbell is a Speech Therapist and Social Worker who trains therapists and teachers how to integrate social-emotional learning from therapy sessions to classroom lessons.

Highlights
00:51 Miriam Campbell was trained as a Speech Therapist and Social Worker, but she also worked as teacher to give social emotional learning. She also trains teachers and schools to implement skill constructs.
04:15 Bubble Double is Miram’s book that is coming out soon!
04:54 Skill constructs walk you through what’s happening physiologically.
05:55 Connection is built on skills, which inspired Miriam believes is the core of her company, Skills for Connection.
06:33 When we address ourselves and others as people with challenges and skills, we give ourselves the opportunity to grow and understand others more.
07:38 I see, I think, I feel, I choose is one of the constructs Miriam uses as a teacher and a parent.
08:54 In a real classroom setting, teachers, therapists or parents always hope that nothing will go wrong. However, this serves as an opportunity to model for the children.
11:29 Rebbetzin Bat-Chen models a lot with her own children and in the Marriage Mastermind.
13:19 Adults don’t need to be perfect. They need to be growing, and that’s it.
18:29 We always expect our days to go perfectly, and that’s why every little blip throws us off. However, Rebbetzin Bat-Chen believes that this is why we’re supposed to bring God into everything.
20:36 Accepting people as they are is a starting point for development.

Links

Miriam Campbell: Website | LinkedIn | miriam@skillsforconnection.com
5 Surprising Ways to Improve Your Marriage
Marriage Breakthrough Retreat

Let’s Connect!
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For more information about Connected for Real, visit the website!

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REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Welcome to the Connected For Real Podcast! I’m Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman, a marriage coach for women in business, and my mission is to bring God’s presence into your life, into your marriage, and into your business. Let’s get started. The following is one of the many conversations I had with experts and professionals about real life and how it affects marriage. Let me know your takeaways on Instagram or Facebook, @connectedforreal. Enjoy. And we are live. Welcome to today’s episode. I am Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman from connectedforreal.com. I am with Miriam today and I’m so excited to let her introduce herself.

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
Hi everyone. I’m Miriam Campbell. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be here with all of you. I’ve actually had the opportunity to watch some other podcasts so it’s like, “Well, I’m here being on the podcast. Whoa,” but thank you for having me here. It’s like a little bit like stardom like starstruck type of thing.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Yeah, it’s like if I—one day, I’m famous I want to be on this podcast then end up there like, “Okay, what do I do now?”

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
Yeah, I’m not so savvy with the social media, doing the live thing, but I’m so happy to be here and be able to share with all you guys. So, a little bit about what I do—I was trained as a speech therapist. I trained as a speech therapist and a social worker, and I was doing social skill constructs and social, like language constructs and cognitive constructs and then went back to school for social work to develop emotional regulation constructs and things like that. I was loving what I was doing in my one-to-one personal therapy sessions and found that generalization was not happening without support from outside because it takes a village to raise a child and to develop help, help kids develop these important life skills. So, what I would do is I would like go to the classroom afterwards or try and call parents afterwards, and when I would go to the class, I quickly bumped into the shoot, called the teachers—did not have an extra ounce of brain space to hear anything that I was telling them additionally to do. So, I became a teacher to try and see what’s going on here because the teachers are with the students all day long, so ideally they’re the best people to be able to give over the social emotional learning, yet it’s not really happening. So when I started teaching, I discovered that teachers are heroes and not only that. I got to experience what it felt like to be in the classroom, what it feels like when you have a class that suddenly the student runs the back of the room and shuts the light off or a student who is undiagnosed with ASD, ADHD, or not even having a diagnosis, but really struggling that day with emotional regulation, acting out. How do you, as a teacher, keep your calm and keep collected and not only that provide tools for your students to be able to do that? So I really got to dive right into that and even though I had done it for years, it was such a different feeling in the classroom when you have an entire class that not only are you thinking about the curriculum but also trying to remember when the secretary needs you to give in the photocopies so that way, you can make sure that you have the tests ready for the next day and etc.—you know all the different things that a teacher has on their mind and so I took a step back and I really dove into what it was that I was doing in my therapy sessions, what it was at the core of each of the things I was trying to teach the students, whether it was perspective taking, emotional regulation, cause and effect, flexible thinking or problem solving. The life skills that we need to have to navigate our day-to-day I tried to get to what is at the core of it and then from there to be able to train teachers, how to without another curriculum actually support themselves in the classroom and to model that for the students. So, that way the students would be able to integrate these concepts. So that’s the what I’m doing now—is I train therapists so that way they can go be their school liaisons. I do professional development so I can train teachers and schools how to implement these skill constructs, and I have worksheets that go along with them and a book that’s coming out soon, Bubble Double, so everyone should get it because it’s awesome but that—yeah, that’s what I’m doing now.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Wow, okay. So I love that you’re willing to get your feet dirty. They say hands dirty but here you put yourself in the shoe of the teacher so I’m totally mixing metaphors.

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
I know what you’re saying.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

You put your shoes in between—whatever your feet in the shoes and you’ve got them dirty. I’m good, I’m good at this. That you’re willing to do that and you learn so much from the experience.

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
Yeah, and I was not always perfect at it and that was to me something that I had gone into the classroom to teach social skills and I quickly realized like, “Whoa!” Without having training or without having—and that’s what I did literally all day long, I’m a therapist. All day long, I would sit with my students and teach them these skills and then needing to actually in the moment be able to integrate them and generalize them and then I realized okay there’s some type of disconnect happening where cognitive you can have these concepts but until you’re actually acting them out. So, the skill constructs sort of walk you through how to address and filter the information that’s going in. So, that’s in a cognitive way. In a language way and feels physiologically like what’s happening inside my body when I’m feeling overwhelmed, like when the student turns the light off in the classroom suddenly erupts in chaos and mayhem. So, what’s happening? Suddenly am I in fight or flight? Can I still be able to think creatively of possible solutions and that’s really one of the things that we teach early on. The first thing that I always teach is the concept that when my company is called Skills for Connection and the reason why it’s called Skills for Connection is because I really do believe that connection is built on skills, that it’s not you have it or you don’t have it. People have different skills coming into it some people are starting off with no eye contact and some people are starting off with a little bit of stubbornness or a little bit of challenge with perspective taking. That’s just part of life and I’m talking to everybody out there. If you have figured out how to have a relationship without any challenge then please write a book because you will make a million dollars and don’t forget that I told you to write the book so I would like to have some of that. But the point is that every single person in their own, as a person, has their challenges and has their strengths and when we address ourselves as people with challenges and with strengths and that is part of our whole self and then we recognize that the other is also like that, that gives us an opportunity to be able to grow ourselves and also be able to understand who the other is better more compassionate less judgmental. Like okay, how can I communicate in a way that the other can understand this child only likes to talk about trains? How can I connect with this child even in this place? So, that way the therapist becomes somebody who not is not only preaching perspective teaching or taking or the teacher is not only preaching you have to understand it, they themselves are become ambassadors of it. The more that we’re actually able to do it, the more we can empathize when our students struggle with it and the more we can actually really guide them. So even though—

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Which I love because basically what you’re saying is if you don’t use the skills, then forget about teaching them and that is so profound?

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
Yeah, I find it profound for myself because first of all, as a parent, I all the time will find myself I catch myself like, “Okay, whoa. Let me go through my skills.” Let’s say using one of the constructs I see, I think, I feel, I choose, which is a prerequisite for CBT and it helps with self-awareness and it’s a prerequisite for perspective taking. So it’s called I see, I think, I feel, I choose, so I see it as objective information, I think is what’s my thought about it, what do I feel about it and my choice—what am I going to choose to do? So, I see the classroom erupted. I see the light is off and the classroom is erupting in mayhem. I think this class is going to fall apart or this is really bad. I feel panicky. I choose to run out of the classroom screaming. No, no. That’s not no. That’s not what we choose or I choose to, I choose to take a deep breath, so meaning what it ends up being that no situation is going to be the deciding of what I’m going to choose because my choice can be I choose a different thought. Okay, I choose to think I’m going to get this classroom back in order. I feel determined. I choose to continue teaching with my hand over the light and which is very hard when the kids prying my fingers off. No jokes, but in real classrooms that is what happens and the thing is that I feel like one of the things that educators and therapists and parents are always hoping that nothing will go wrong. So if let’s say something went wrong in the class, it’s like I had a bad day but it’s not necessarily the case because when we see these situations when let’s say that happened to me in my classroom the first year, I was teaching that situation was an opportunity for me to grow as a person and to be able to actually assess what was doing and just to make choices hopefully better for the next time or maybe even accept the choices I made but it also provides a model for the students. So, when there’s one student in the classroom that is having a tantrum or meltdown—I don’t know if any of you have ever seen one of those, they’re not so pleasant but they are part of life and just like, sometimes there’s a pandemic and now there’s no eggs left or there’s no toilet paper left, and sometimes bad things happen. Catastrophes happen. Now, when we allow that to be part of our experience instead of being like, “Oh, nothing bad is supposed to happen,” but instead say, “Okay, what are my tools to address them?” Now what are we teaching our kids? That’s an incredible paradigm shift to be able to experience things as differently, where things aren’t mistakes that are catastrophic or this behavior that my child or my student is displaying isn’t catastrophic. It becomes like, “Oh, what can I teach them in this moment? What can I teach the other students in the class when that student punched the teacher—which has happened in my class before and it doesn’t mean I had bad classroom management. This student was undiagnosed with ASD and was having a sensorineural—

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Yeah, and what is your first year—what you decided to happen to you—it’s totally legit.

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
Yes, it’s legit but not only is it not and not only is it not just legit, you’re right but it’s even more than that because then that moment becomes an opportunity for everyone else in the classroom who is in a state of fight or flight and danger and what just happened and what the teacher walks back in after bringing the student out and what do they choose to say. What are they going to say about that experience? And they could say like, “Okay, let’s all pray for that student who’s having a really hard time right now.” Now, all the students have just had that catastrophic experience and now instead of condemning that student, every student knows that that wasn’t the correct behavior. No one thinks, “Oh, that was the correct behavior,” but now inviting them to have compassion for the other, you’ve just whooped that situation from being a complete catastrophe into a learning opportunity and we could do it for ourselves. Like, I really messed up let’s say I have terrible classes—

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
I do this a lot with parenting. I model all the time. My thought process—I’ll actually say, “Today, I did not feel like doing this, that, the other,” and, “I overcame,” and, “I decided I was going to do it anyway,” or, “I wanted to blah blah blah,” and, “I didn’t—” I walk them through my process inside so that they can have an inside look into what is going on behind the scenes because I think that and, by the way, I do this with my Mastermind also when I’m going through something, they know about it because I want them to learn. They’re paying me to learn from me so what, I’m gonna put up a facade of everything? Yeah, I know what I’m doing now. I’m gonna tell you exactly what I did when that happened and how I dealt with it and what I’m doing in order to heal and whatever because I really think it’s powerful to see someone else going through something especially if you look up to that person you can learn so much. So what I was—the way you said, “No, don’t judge me,” you have to know this is a very kind listenership—people audience. Yeah, no. The audience here is amazing. People are so supportive and non-judgmental, so we’re not sitting around thinking, “You’re a bad teacher. You don’t know what you’re doing.” No. We’re thinking you’re saying the right things, you’re willing to do the hard things, and it’s really important. It’s important because a lot of people are not willing to do the hard thing. They’re much more comfortable staying in their comfort zone, being one-on-one with a student, teaching them skills throwing them back into the world and being like, “I don’t care if you use them or not, or if you figure this out. I did my job,” but you really care.

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
Thank you.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
And those are the types of people I like having around, so welcome to the club.

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
Well, thank you. Thank you so much. It’s actually like one time I gave a staff training and the principal came up to me afterwards because we were talking about how when you think about your experience as this as a teacher then it’s okay to be honest like, “Oh hey, I yanked that kid’s arm a little bit too hard,” and she was saying how she felt grateful that I had presented it in front of her because this way all the staff members know that she knows that they’re not perfect. I mean, obviously, duh none of us are perfect and that’s really something that we that as human beings our whole selves with our beautiful and our challenging all together that we’re connecting with the other with their beautiful and challenging altogether. It becomes sort of what role models that we can be for our students and who are going to as you described like you do for your kids letting them see the process of what does that look like inside. It’s like one of the things like they’ll say retell their day like a teacher, will casually retell their day because I really feel that in order for these skills to be generalized we actually have to be using them. They can’t stay on the book. They can’t stay in the paper. They can’t stay in the cool little notebook that so many social emotional learning programs have. My program does not have cool notebooks. I think I’m a little bit jealous but the point is that I don’t want it in the notebook I really want it on their mouth, on their face, in their heart. That’s really what I’m hoping for so having exactly what you described, the teachers talk about their process and letting the students incidentally overhear them talk to their co-worker like, “Oh, I was in traffic today. I saw tons of cars and I was thinking, ‘Oh my gosh. I’m going to be late to school and I was feeling so stressed and I chose to take a deep breath,’” or I was at the photocopy machine I was trying to get my class to talk to the others teacher so that way they could just hear like, “Oh, adults are doing this process. Adults don’t feel the need to be perfect but they do feel the need to be growing,” and that’s something like I bump into all the time, especially with like—

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Say that again. Say that again. It’s really important. If you don’t think anything here but you think that that was worth it.

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
And I’m talking to myself also. Adults don’t need it to be perfect. We need to be growing, so that—

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
And by the way, this I’ve said this before and if you’re a listener of this podcast and lives and all this stuff you’ve heard this before, but we are not raising children to be children we are raising children to be adults and that is the biggest difference that I find with the successful teachers and parents and people who are really trying to put the kids on their feet and in the right direction or trying to tell a kid how to be a kid, how to be a “good” kid. “Good.” I don’t know what that means even. I just remembered last week someone said to me, “Oh, your baby is so good.” We had a three hour meeting. I drove there, we had our thing whatever and then I went home and he was good the whole time he was really interacting and sleeping when he needed to whatever, and she said, “Your baby is so good,” and on the way home my baby was crying in the car and I said to him, “There is no pressure to be good. You can cry. You’re allowed to cry. You’re a baby. you’re communicating that something is wrong and you want me to stop and you want me to look at what’s going on. Maybe you have a diaper, maybe you have something—I’m here for you. I totally get it,” and he stopped crying. Okay, he’s three and a half months old. It does not make sense but I think that it was a lesson for me because it’s me that’s growing in this situation, but just me being able to verbalize when you wake up in the middle of the night it’s because you’re hungry or you have a diaper and it’s okay for you to cry. It does not make you a bad baby and it took me seven kids to figure it out. [Laughs]

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
But my bubby always says—my grandmother she always says like, “You can’t be good all the time.” That’s like whenever I was a kid acting out and people will be like, “Why are you tantruming? You can’t be good all the time. No one could be good all the time.” That’s what she would say. It’s a little different than what you’re saying I just reminded—

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Yeah, I know but I want to address what you’re saying here because I find that my kids are very good in school. They use all of their energies to really put themselves together and be a good student because they see that there’s value in that, right? You get prizes, you get points, you get nice smiles from the teacher, she likes you, whatever—it just feels nice to be good, right? But then they come home and they fall apart, you see their parts across the house until they get to me and then they have this entire explosion of I can’t hold it up anymore and I get it. It’s normal and it’s healthy and it’s okay and it just means that they feel comfortable at home they feel safe to be able to just be without having to put up any show. It is so important to remember it and things have been created for them.

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
What a beautiful relationship that you’ve created for them.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Thank God. It’s hard because then they feel too comfortable in my space but yeah, I think that that was also one of the things that I’ve been working on is just being there for them when they come and being able to listen so I put away my phone and I try to be really attentive. It’s cute. It’s wonderful. Don’t feel jealous took me years to get to this point, okay? And I’m not perfect—still growing. I want to double tap on something you said before we run out of time. You said we expect the day to go perfectly and that’s why every little blip throws us off. It is so huge.

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
My mother says that. She’s the one who taught me that after all the therapy classes I went to and after all the teaching courses and everything, her word of—her voice of saying people think that that things aren’t supposed to go wrong and that expectation is what throws people off. They’re not supposed to have discomfort. They’re not supposed to have challenges.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
I love the word supposed to. I’m a God-centered marriage coach that is what I call myself I bring God into everything because I believe that that’s we’re here for, so connecting to God and bringing him into our lives and into reality. So, a lot of times you hear it’s not supposed to be that way. “I wasn’t supposed to marry this guy,” or, “I wasn’t supposed to have this hardship or this challenge. It’s not supposed to happen,” and it’s like, “Oh, yeah? Well if you were God, you would decide but too bad.” We’re trying to be in control and making it the way we think it should have gone but really this went exactly as it had to be, right?

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
That’s definitely the case. It’s definitely—I think the thing that that parents will ask me and, especially nowadays, it comes up more and more is like that place between accepting what should be and or what is and pushing for more, where people feel like—so let’s say, “Accept me. Accept me. Create the space for me.” It’s a little bit more referring to you. I said before, “Create the space for me that I can just be myself. Let me just be myself. Respect me as I am. It’s my right. I’m a human. I have to accept me as I am,” and the space where we’re trying to help people develop and grow as humans and that it seems to be very challenging for people to understand the nuance there, where they it seems very black and white, so either you’re accepting people or you’re helping people grow and there doesn’t seem to be so much understanding that right that there is that it’s an acceptance for the sake of growth.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
I have an idea of what I want to say about that but I want to hear you. What do you think is the bridge? What is the way to be in in both places at the same time? Because people have this about business too, where they say, “If I’m grateful for what is, then I’m not gonna push myself to get more.”

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
Well, even from a religious perspective, it’s like, “If I’m accepting that everything is it’s supposed to be, then why should I pray for anything different?” That’s like the philosophical discussion that comes around religion very often. In my mind, the way I respond to parents who are saying, “Listen, my child has this diagnosis of ASD. why should I not just accept them as they are and let them you know live their life? They’re very happy reading a book by themselves. Why should I try and engage with them? They’re obviously uncomfortable with it. It’s obviously something that’s hard for them,” and I feel that we accept people authentically. We truly accept them as they are, and I find that we do that as a starting place for development, where from that place of acceptance and true recognition and you’re even valuing that the strengths that are there, really sitting in it what are the strengths of this person and then using those strengths to help grow the places where this person can develop, because if let’s say, we end our lives exactly the way we came in, then what was our life if we have not grown ourselves and we have not progressed? So, I find that trying to find this place between allowing us to be in our own present self and also supporting more—so let’s say, I see I think I feel I choose Model would be like, “Okay, so then at the end you still get to choose. I see that my whole community is x, y, z. I think that I must be because x, y, z, or other people think about me x, y, z.” I feel like, “Okay, now what do I get to choose?” And that end part—that’s the point. The point is that’s where we create ourselves and in that space, it doesn’t mean that you didn’t accept. Accept is it I think I see, I think I feel. Those are all accepting. That’s let me just see where I’m at, let me see what happened, then I chooses now. Where am I going to move from here? What can I do?

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
I love this. Okay, how can people get in touch with you, where can they find you, where are you at?

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
So, I actually have a free training demo. If you email me miriam@skillsforconnection.com You can get this free demo if you want to sign up for a cohort. You can go to wwww—that’s a lot of w’s skills for skillsforconnection.com, and if you’re interested in for your school getting professional development, for your teachers, and your therapist, either for your kids schools that you’d want to sponsor or for your own schools that you work in, feel free to contact me and I can set up a consult with you guys/ I’m excited to support you guys.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
That’s awesome. Okay, that is amazing. Thank you very much everybody who is live. You make feel free to comment by the way and say hi on live. and if you’re in the replay you could do a #replay, and if you ask a question we’ll come back and answer it or you can find us both on Facebook. I want to remind you about the retreat. It’s a seven day retreat where every single day we go live on Zoom for an hour and it is mind-blowing. It’s called the Marriage Breakthrough Retreat, and it’s not for nothing. It really is a breakthrough and I wouldn’t say it just because but over 200 women have watched it and have sent in amazing, amazing stories. So, please make sure you go to connectedforreal.com/retreat and sign up. Make sure you sign up. Yeah, it is very cool how it just suddenly pops up when you click the button. Make sure you sign up—is completely free—is a virtual retreat so you don’t have to leave the house and it is definitely life changing so go ahead and do that. Thank you so much Miriam for joining us and giving us so much of your wisdom.

MIRIAM CAMPBELL
Same, I enjoy yours as well.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
And I really enjoyed the four things of I choose that was definitely something I’m going to be using and implementing in my life and that’s it. We are done for today. Thank you very much. And that’s it! Thank you for listening to the very end. I would love if you can leave a review and subscribe to the podcast. Those are things that tell the algorithm, this is a good podcast and make sure to suggest it to others. Wouldn’t it be amazing if more people became more connected for real? And now, take a moment and think of someone who might benefit from this episode. Can you share it with them? I am Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman from connectedforreal.com. Thank you so much for listening, and don’t forget, you can be connected for real.

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