Well, hello there. We’re your hosts, Gwen and Kristen, nice to meet you. This is the very first episode of You Don’t Want a Hug...Right? If you’re looking for honest and often irreverent conversations about parenting humans with neurodiversity, then you are in the right place.
Our aim is to share the hilarity along with the hard stuff with other parents.
But mostly we want to remind you that it’s OK to be you, whoever you are, outside of being a parent. We’ll never tell you how you "should" be parenting. We WILL tell you stories and share what’s gotten us through the hard times, highlight the hilarity through it all.
In today’s episode, we’re giving you an introduction not only to us and our goals and values, but also to our children, because their voice is just as important as ours. We’re so excited to share from our proverbial couch to yours. Let’s get started!
In this episode, you’ll learn...
[02:15] How we met (spoiler: there was fried food & snark involved)
[07:13] Some quirky background info you should know about us
[12:51] The story behind the name, “You Don’t Want a Hug...Right?”
[15:25] Our goals for this podcast, especially helping you to remember that you’re a whole human being outside of being a parent
[20:30] Our values and how they’ve informed our lives and our parenting
[23:21] The structure you can expect from our episodes
[27:22] The Last Word (from our kids), explaining what dignity means to each of them
If you just can't get enough of us, don’t forget to join our newsletter and check out our other projects.
Links mentioned in this episode…
Bookstore: Marvelous Me books
[00:00:04] Gwen: If you have an appreciation for honest and often irreverent conversations about parenting humans with neurodiversity, you have found your home. I'm Gwen.
[00:00:14] Kristen: And I'm Kristen. And together we have 35 years experience parenting some fiercely amazing humans, which gives us an endless supply of stories of inspiring failures and heartbreaking wins.
[00:00:25] Gwen: Welcome to you two. Want a hug, right? We've been having these conversations for years, cracking ourselves up. We've always wanted to share the hilarity and the hard with other parents. So here we are.
[00:00:38] Kristen: Grab a cozy blanket and a beverage and go hide in a closet nearest you. Here we are.
[00:00:48] Gwen: Here we are. Hi.
[00:00:49] Kristen: It's our first episode.
[00:00:51] Gwen: It is? We have no clue what we're doing.
[00:00:55] Kristen: No, we really don't. But we do. Kind of think that's why you might like us. Because we're not professed yet.
[00:01:00] Gwen: Mm hmm. But we are fun.
[00:01:03] Kristen: But hopefully we are true to ourselves anyway. So that's a start
[00:01:09] Gwen: Sure. I'm Gwen:. This is the voice of Gwen:.
[00:01:14] Kristen: And I'm Kristen:.
[00:01:16] Gwen: We are just your guides.That is a good distinction, do you think?
[00:01:20] Kristen: Yeah. Or maybe just people you like to hang out with.
[00:01:24] Gwen: On the couch.
[00:01:24] Kristen: Who have done some stuff and who learned some things?
[00:01:27] Gwen: Yeah. So we like to consider ourselves a podcast from our proverbial couch to yours. And we are not here to teach you. We are not here to tell you how to do anything. We are here to be your friends and to entertain you marginally. We hope.
[00:01:49] Kristen: We hope. And we are here to, I think, kind of live through the power of storytelling. I think we both believe that we could give you a lot of information about resources. We could tell you about things that you should do. But we think telling you stories about what's been hard for us, how we find that joy in the things that are hard is something that might be meaningful to you.
[00:02:15] Gwen: True. We exist in a role of dualism in our experience, and that will be highlighted hopefully in every episode, because maybe I'll do a little backdrop on how we met. Yeah, Kristen and I were both living in the Denver area and I was raising my two children. You'll learn a lot about them. My son Rylan: is our oldest and he is on the autism spectrum and I was just kind of desperate for a community that understood the role that I was playing as a mom and a wife. And so I went to this dinner at a brewery restaurant near us and immediately found,probably 10 to 12 women sitting around tables with lots of alcohol and fried food. And I was immediately drawn in. And there was this woman across the table who had just the warmth about her, but also just this really appropriately placed irreverence and snark. And I was drawn to her immediately. And that was Kristen.
[00:03:30] Kristen: Spoiler alert. It was me.
[00:03:33] Gwen: It was her and Kristen, turns out had originated this group of parents raising children on the spectrum. And she did that out of a desperate place in her own life, which we'll get to in a different episode as well. So she had founded this beautiful group of parents, and everything was allowed that night. And I just loved all of it. We could say whatever we were feeling with no judgment, which nobody else can do that, right? It's kind of an in the circle kind of thing stays in the circle. And we understand and Kristen and I became friends that night, and that was almost ten years ago. But I think it's important that our audience knows that we have just had thousands of hours of phone conversations, even when we lived in the same city. Right. Because it's hard to see each other in the roles that we played. And there was always a mixture of, oh, my word, you're not going to believe what my child did or said with hysterical pee your pants laughing, mixed with maybe crying because in the same breath it's so hard.
[00:04:47] Kristen: Yeah, definitely. It absolutely sounds accurate. And I think what I loved about our conversations and why we kind of got to this podcast is we started on Voxer which is kind of like a walkie talkie on your phones. So it was really like a moment. What was that?
[00:05:06] Gwen: That's what it sounded like. Every time you voxed me, I knew it was you.
[00:05:11] Kristen: That's upsetting. But anyway, I would never make a noise like that, so. But we would have these monologues with each other where we would talk about what was really funny, but then what was really hard. And then the response would be so supportive and touching, but also making fun of each other and trying not to take things too seriously. And that morphed into Marco Polo, which was video monologues of each other, which got even more hilarious, even better. I think we were talking to each other maybe, and still do., now that you're in Michigan. I'm still in Colorado, at least 3 to 4 times a week.
[00:05:48] Gwen: Mm hmm. Because it's the first thing we do if something hilarious happens. Because it does every day. Yeah. And I will immediately Marco Polo Kristen would be like, Oh, okay. I got one for you today.
[00:06:01] Kristen: Yeah.
[00:06:02] Gwen: And it's ridiculous. And then she'll respond, laughing hysterically and saying, okay, I can top that. Listen to this. And that's just what we do.
[00:06:12] Kristen: It's what we do for sure.
[00:06:14] Gwen: Or I'll be crying because I'm like entering a cycle of grief because they come out of nowhere as our community is going to understand. And I, and I might send a Marco about that, too.
[00:06:27] Kristen: So in years of doing this, we've always thought, God, wouldn't it be cool if we caught this kind of dialog and storytelling in, in a podcast and were able to share it with other people so that they didn't feel so alone? You know, not everybody has kind of an autism bestie, as we like to think of it. Autism soulmates out there who really get your life. And it just makes things bearable and it normalizes things. And we felt like we wanted to share what's special to us with all of you. So here we are.
[00:07:03] Gwen: Yeah. So if you don't have an autism bestie, you just found two.
[00:07:07] Kristen: Yeah. There you go. Boom.
[00:07:10] Gwen: That's what Ryan would say. Boom. Here we are. So are there a few things maybe that we should share about each other that we would like our audience to know? Like, I would really like you guys to know that Kristen is going to be a major data head on this podcast. A data geek. So Kristen has tons of degrees and a lot of her passion stems from.
[00:07:38] Kristen: Not really tons. Just a couple. Well.
[00:07:42] Gwen: Kristen is always wanting to get more degrees.
[00:07:45] Kristen: That is true.
[00:07:47] Gwen: And she has a moratorium on her just reaching for more degrees. So she's not allowed to at this point. She does have to get permission if she wants to get another degree. And the answer will be no. But she is a researcher and I think is fueled by data and research. That's a big passion of hers. And so you will hear a lot from Kristen, a lot of really smart words about research and data, and you're going to learn a lot from that for sure. So her insights are going to feel very different from mine because I hate data. I might just make a bunch of shit up and pretend like I did. So you're going to learn quickly that if you're going to be like, Ooh, that sounded super smart. And I really. Oh, I learned so much. That's Kristen.
[00:08:47] Kristen: I'm the data head.
[00:08:48] Gwen: She's like a collegiate teacher and works in university settings and leads a school for kids on the autism spectrum. So you should know that.
[00:08:59] Kristen: Yeah, you should know that. You should know that in my early life, I wanted to be a writer. My earlier degrees were in literature and English, and once I had triplets and was unable to write.
[00:09:11] Gwen: What, you have triplets?
[00:09:13] Kristen: Once I had three humans growing in my body at the same time, most of my humanity left, and I struggled to find a will to live outside of keeping my children alive and well. So I did take a detour into research. And I think at this point in my life with my kids at 19, I’m starting to really have a renaissance around being a writer and having a writerly life. So that's something I'd like you to know about me. Something I want you to know about Gwen is I think like she says, she's five, ten or 11, but really she's like six two. Like she's enormously tall.
[00:09:59] Gwen: No, I'm not 6’2”, I’m 5’10”.
[00:10:02] Kristen: She's really tall, though.
[00:10:04] Gwen: I am tall.
[00:10:06] Kristen: I'm tall, and she towers over me and she has piercing blue eyes and she looks like a Viking. And she fights like one, too, so.
[00:10:15] Gwen: Hmm. I don't think anybody's ever told me I look like a Viking.
[00:10:18] Kristen: You kind of do. I mean, I kind of feel like you give off that vibe. Like, definitely my ride or die. If I'm going to go down, I want Gwen: to come with me.
[00:10:28] Gwen: Hmm. That's true.
[00:10:30] Kristen: Yeah, She's loyal.
[00:10:32] Gwen: I really don't have a problem with conflict.
[00:10:34] Kristen: No. No problem with conflict. I'm fairly conflict avoidant, so I like to walk just a step behind Gwen:, if we're in that situation. Gwen is incredibly creative. She has a marketing and communications background. She is what we like to call a serial entrepreneur. Nobody I know in this world manifests things more beautifully than Gwen. She has an idea and suddenly she's talked to 17 people, she's got partnership agreements going. She's going to find a space, she's designing, she's designing logos, she has a color palette. It's all in the works.
[00:11:13] Gwen: All the works. But we should say that the serial entrepreneur is only because I'm an autism mom. Right. Like, that was necessary for me to quit that marketing career, to be present for all the therapies and all the diets and all the parenting and all the school monitoring. And we'll talk a lot more about that. But the serial entrepreneurship became a thing because of my role as a mom.
[00:11:40] Kristen: Yes. One of the amazing things that's come out of that serial entrepreneurship is the bookstore. So Gwen: is living my dream life, which is she has a bookstore. She has really carefully curated this beautiful collection of books that really focus on diversity and inclusion.
[00:12:01] Gwen: Children's.
[00:12:01] Kristen: children's books, that she is fiercely passionate about. And it's an online bookstore at this point, which I think works a lot better because it reaches a lot more communities.
[00:12:13] Gwen: No, the retail in-person setting wasn't a fit.
[00:12:18] Kristen: It wasn't a good fit.
[00:12:19] Gwen: It was beautiful, but.
[00:12:21] Kristen: It was beautiful. But you're too dynamic, too on the go.
[00:12:24] Gwen: I was too tied down.
[00:12:25] Kristen: Yeah.
[00:12:26] Gwen: Yeah.
[00:12:27] Kristen: So. Yeah, Gwen's pretty funny. She's the funny one of the two of us. So.
[00:12:32] Gwen: Not true.
[00:12:34] Kristen: Well, I only try to play up to your level of funny, you know, You bring my game up.
[00:12:39] Gwen: Okay, well, whatever. So that's us. Oh, and I do have a book in the world. I published a book with my son, Rylan, and we'll talk a lot more about that, too. But it's called If I Squeeze Your Head I'm sorry. Which leads to the podcast name You Don't Want a Hug, Right? We really embrace the quirks in our lives and that name happens to come from some of those quirks. The book title is because my son used to squeeze the crap out of people's heads if he really liked them, which was only cute like 10% of the time. So I was apologizing a lot for him. So he was sorry if he squeezed your hand, but only because I was so sorry that he was squeezing your head. He doesn't do that anymore, thank God.
[00:13:30] Kristen: And the name of our podcast may seem odd as a choice, but really, two of our sons say these very words to us many days of the week, sometimes many times a day, because our children really, really like to interact with us a lot. So.
[00:13:50] Gwen: So much.
[00:13:51] Kristen: They're trying really hard to recognize some personal boundaries. And when they do, it's oh, and they're quite proud of themselves. You don't want a hug, right? Like, I get it.
[00:14:01] Gwen: Yeah, I did give you 130 seconds ago. So probably it's that time for another one, right?
[00:14:07] Kristen: Yeah. And we just just fist bumped. Fist bumped.
[00:14:10] Gwen: Fist Bumped. I like that. We just bumped 30 times before that.
[00:14:15] Kristen: So I'm good with the physical touch. I'm all good. Right. So we thought that was really apropos of our experiences as parents trying to carve out a little, a little personal space for ourselves. And we thought that a lot of parents could probably relate.
[00:14:31] Gwen: Absolutely. We do allow them to hug us. I don't want you to think that we're total aholes. But yeah, it's just, you know, once a day at this point, because they're grown, men.
[00:14:42] Kristen: They yeah, they are grown men. We even do it more than once a day. But I feel like once in the morning, once at lunchtime. And once at the end of the day is like a good, solid hugging day. The good solid quotient. So.
[00:14:56] Gwen: And if you're thinking how sweet that they want to hug you all the time, stop it.
[00:15:00] Kristen: Yeah, because it's not sweet. It's actually a compulsive behavior. It's not that they love us that much.
[00:15:06] Gwen: Right. It's part of the OCD in them. Go hug your stuffed animal because you still have 800.
[00:15:14] Kristen: Yeah. Or go, go squeeze the dog for the 80th time today.
[00:15:19] Gwen: Oh, don't squeeze the dog because the dog is so over that.
[00:15:23] Kristen: Dog is so over it. Oh. All right. So we've got some goals. We have some goals for this.
[00:15:28] Gwen: We do have some goals that we wanted to make sure that you knew. And really just to remind ourselves that we do have some clear goals for the podcast. And we've already talked about a couple of them. You know, there's a lot of great podcasts out there that really do aim to educate and inform and provide resources. There's a need for those in the world, but that's just not ours. That's not our goal. Our goal is, like we mentioned, to honor that duality of the hard and the hilarity of our journey. And there will not be an episode where we give you just one of those. That's a goal. Right. We are promising to honor both of those things in each episode, but then ultimately to bring it back to our unique role as human beings outside of being parents is really important to us because it's so easy to just lose ourselves in our identity on this journey and to only focus on the needs of our kids and how we're going to sustain and maintain the lives that we're learning to live. And the sooner that we realize that this life is bigger than just that, the more joy we're going to find and the more hilarity that we're going to recognize through the journey. And so that's a main goal of ours, too, is just to recognize that we are human beings outside of being parents. And if we don't put our own seatbelts on first, we're all going to suffer. Namely our husbands.
[00:17:01] Kristen: Mostly our husbands.
[00:17:02] Gwen: We also want to remind ourselves and our listeners to breathe. That's the goal. I don't think that I knew how to breathe until maybe a year ago, and I can feel the difference. Let's do it. Let's do it right now. Let's just take a breath in and out. That is what we consider a breath that you don't want to hold, right?
[00:17:30] Kristen: We try and do it often because I think I spent a lot of years holding my breath. Literallyand figuratively. Like waiting for the next, you know, for the other shoe to drop. I think we kind of white knuckle it through a lot of stuff and learning to support each other and to help each other breathe is part of the gig. It's part of why we want to do this.
[00:17:55] Gwen: Yup. What else? We will be irreverent. And so if you will be offended easily by irreverence, we might not be the podcast for you. And we understand that we're not going to be everybody's favorite cup of tea, and that's fine. So if you end up offended by our irreverence, I mean, we're not sorry, but we do understand that you might not want to listen to us. True. It's part of who we are. We like to think it's strategically placed, irreverent and very appropriate.
[00:18:29] Kristen: Really? It's not, though. Really. That's just a veil that we like to hide behind. It's really not always appropriate.
[00:18:35] Gwen: But we're going to try to make it appropriate here.
[00:18:38] Kristen: We're going to try real hard. We're going to try real hard. It's just our disclaimer.
[00:18:43] Gwen: We do have a producer who will be listening to this so that if it's really out of place and not called for, hopefully she'll call us on it and we'll edit it out, hopefully. But that is a disclaimer.
[00:18:56] Kristen: It is a disclaimer.
[00:18:57] Gwen: Mm hmm. I think the last thing we want to acknowledge is that we are always learning, listening and growing in our own journeys and that we don't know what we don't know. And we're not going to be perfect and we're going to say things that some of our audience doesn't like. And that may not be how they use terminology or identify with language that they don't use. So what we say is true for our journeys and our families and that's just that. So there's never going to be a blanket, anything.
[00:19:35] Kristen: It's true. There's been a real shift in our community and culture around talking about disability, especially in the autism community, where adults have told us that they prefer the term autistic to somebody with autism. You'll hear us use those interchangeably because our kids use them interchangeably. So we recognize and value lots of perspectives on how people identify. So just want you to remember that we're coming from our own perspectives when we talk about our family.
[00:20:08] Gwen: Yeah. And that we are always trying to use the most inclusive and welcoming language that speaks to belonging as we know how to. And when we don't, we're okay being called on that and saying that we have things to learn because we do.
[00:20:27] Kristen: Yeah. Speaking of which.
[00:20:30] Gwen: Now values. Do you want to talk about values?
[00:20:33] Kristen: I do. I want to talk a little bit about, you know, our goals may shift over time. Some of them are going to stay, but what isn't going to shift is that we're rooted in our values in this podcast and we really want to make sure that shines through. Because when we share things that are hilarious to us and things that are very hard to us or for our families, it is not meant to be at the expense of our children and not at the expense of their dignity. So we believe truly and deeply that dignity has to be the foundation of how we talk about and with our children who are neurodiverse. And dignity means different things to different people. So I just want to tell you a little bit about what dignity means to us. It means that we don't pretend to our kids that this parenting gig is easy or that the world is always going to get our family or always going to get them. Our goal is to really help them access their communities in meaningful and engaging ways. And so our focus on skill building is always about that. It's not about fixing them. They're perfect and they don't need to be fixed.
[00:21:43] Gwen: They are not perfect. No, I'm going to course correct that part of your statement.
[00:21:49] Kristen: They are perfectly themselves. They are perfect.
[00:21:52] Gwen: They sure are perfectly themselves.
[00:21:56] Kristen: But we do also really delight in their perspectives and the ways that they're experiencing the world. And we believe deeply that they deserve an enviable life. So our goals for them are lofty, but really are rooted in their goals for themselves. Right? So we're taking their rights, not just their desires into account. We're really following their lead and trying to provide the opportunities that are meaningful to them.
[00:22:22] Gwen: And we're really focused on not sharing stories unless they have been pre-approved by our kids. You know, I've done some recording with my kids already and they might say something that they don't like or I might say something that they're uncomfortable with. And we would never air that. Right? So know that as we laugh and cry through this podcast, that it is never at the expense of our kids. At least that's not the intent. And the information shared is if it's about them, it's with them.
[00:22:54] Kristen: That's right. We do believe nothing about us without us, which is an important belief among the disability community. And we also think that it's important for you to know that we are doing this as families together. They are engaging in the development of topics. And you're going to hear from our kids at the end of each episode, which we think is pretty, pretty special.
[00:23:18] Gwen: Maybe the best part.
[00:23:20] Kristen: Probably the best part.
[00:23:21] Gwen: So the structure, we are going to lead each episode with what we call Rylanisms and Grahamisms. Rylan is my son and Graham is one of Kristen’s sons. And these two humans, while they can't actually engage in the same room together because they're so similar that it doesn't work. It's hilarious, but it doesn't work, and their perspectives on life are so refreshing and funny. So we will be leading with stories like we lead our phone conversations and our Marco Polo conversations with Rylanisms and Grahamisms. And that's just going to be something insightful or funny that one of the two boys did that we think that you will appreciate. So we will start with our kids and then we will have a specific topic for each episode that is our storytelling and our research. And then at the end, the kids will get what we call the last word, and it'll be recordings with one or two or more of our five kids, between the two of us talking about something as it relates to the topic that we had just discussed during that week's episode. So the kids are kind of bookends of our podcast, and we think that is really important to hear from our kids. You don't hear a lot of kids on podcasts, but we believe that we can do that in a way that honors their dignity and that gives them a voice in the world because they deserve a voice in the world.
[00:25:06] Kristen: Absolutely. And we think that Gwen: and I will be much more tolerable if we begin and end with our kids, because they're really much more interesting and entertaining than we are.
[00:25:16] Gwen: They're so entertaining.
[00:25:17] Kristen: They really are funny.
[00:25:20] Gwen: And that will be the last word. And I think that you will hang out with us because you know that's coming. So please don't fast forward through us.
[00:25:29] Kristen: Yeah, please don't.
[00:25:30] Gwen: To get to the last word. I mean, if you have to, that's fine. But it'd be great if you listened to us, too.
[00:25:37] Kristen: That would be great. I mean.
[00:25:38] Gwen: We did shape them.
[00:25:39] Kristen: We did create them.
[00:25:41] Gwen: We created, shaped and guided them. So you're welcome. So before we go and give our kids the last word, we do want to guide our listeners to the website. Youdontwantahug.com. We will eventually have paid subscriber options there where we will offer additional podcast episodes, namely with our kids and a whole bunch of resources and some Facebook Live opportunities with Kristen and myself. But for now, for our launch, it's free to subscribe. So we're going to point you there.
[00:26:16] Kristen: So get in there.
[00:26:17] Gwen: You'll get some goodies in your inbox that will look really pretty because we're really into aesthetics here.
[00:26:24] Kristen: Slash Gwen is, but thank you.
[00:26:26] Gwen: Yes, you're welcome. What else are they going to find on our website, Kristen?
[00:26:31] Kristen: I think they'll find more in-depth bios about our backgrounds. They will find the ability to connect with us for consulting and coaching, and they'll get to see some of the other cool projects we're working on.
[00:26:43] Gwen: Yeah, you'll have a link to the Marvelous Me books where you can buy Rylan's book and just a lot of fun stuff. With more coming, we want to do retreats. I mean, there's a whole lot of things coming on You Don't Want A Hug,Right? It's going to be great. Can't wait.
[00:27:01] Kristen: Don't miss out.
[00:27:03] Gwen: Don't miss out. All right. See you.
[00:27:05] Kristen: Bye.
[00:27:07] Reagan: We know our moms are amazing, but they don't know everything. We think that you deserve to hear from the real expert. Their kids, who believe in nothing about us without us. So here it is.
[00:27:22] Gwen: The last word. Okay, Rylan, what does the word dignity mean to you?
[00:27:28] Rylan: Making sure everyone belongs in the world.
[00:27:31] Gwen: Hmm. Tell me more. Do you think that people are all treated with dignity?
[00:27:38] Rylan: No, no, no.
[00:27:40] Gwen: No, no. Who do you think comes to mind that isn't treated with dignity?
[00:27:45] Rylan: People of color.
[00:27:47] Gwen: Tell me more about that.
[00:27:52] Rylan: There are just a lot of stories about that. Too many.
[00:27:58] Gwen: Too many.
[00:27:59] Rylan: There should be less.
[00:28:01] Gwen: You're right. All right. Reagan:, do you think that people who have different abilities typically get dignity or respect, fairness and kindness when they're out in the world?
[00:28:16] Reagan: No.
[00:28:18] Gwen: What makes you think that?
[00:28:19] Reagan: Because sometimes they can look a little different than how we do, and they might act a little more different.
[00:28:28] Gwen: And do you think that people treat them fairly or kindly out in the world? A lot of the time?.
[00:28:35] Reagan: No. I mean, some people do, but most of the people don't.
[00:28:40] Gwen: Yeah. In what ways might people not be shown dignity?
[00:28:44] Reagan: They might like ask
[00:28:48] Gwen: Ask.
[00:28:48] Reagan: Ask them ahem questions. Like why do you look like that? Or make fun of them?
[00:28:54] Gwen: And do you think that people who have different abilities or neurodiversity or different special needs deserve dignity in the world?
[00:29:03] Reagan: Yeah. Because they're just like us.
[00:29:06] Reagan: Who needs love and kindness and don't need to get bullied all the time.
[00:29:13] Gwen: Thank you.
[00:29:18] Kristen: Hayden.
[00:29:18] Hayden: Hi, Mom.
[00:29:19] Kristen: How are you doing?
[00:29:20] Hayden: Pretty good.
[00:29:21] Kristen: Thanks so much for joining me today and talking with us on the Last Word. So our episode today was really about trying to we're just kind of introducing people to our world and what we're trying to do here. And one of the things we're talking about is our values and dignity is a big one for us. So our whole premise for this podcast is talking about the hilarity and the hard of raising kids who are neurodiverse, right?
[00:29:49] Hayden: Thanks for these topics.
[00:29:51] Kristen: Yeah, right. But I think when you're engaging with people and talking about your sense of humor, which is a huge coping strategy, you want to make sure that dignity is also a part of the plan, right? Because we don't want people to think that we're taking a cheap shot at you as our kids. And so I just wanted to kind of engage you in that conversation and hear what you think about using humor as a coping strategy and telling funny stories from things that may have been hard for us as a family.
[00:30:21] Hayden: Absolutely. So, I mean, first and foremost, I think humor is one of the greatest ways to get through tough things because, you know, it puts a smile on people's face and it just makes you feel better. And it's all in all just funny. But, you know, like you were saying, there's also just a fine line between laughing with somebody and laughing at a situation that's, you know, I think in nature is funny. But there's a difference between that and then, you know, straight up slandering somebody or making them feel less than what they are or making them feel bad about their disability. So I think the biggest thing to know is how a person's going to like, react to the jokes you make.
[00:31:02] Kristen: And we talked about how I'm going to talk to you guys about an episode that we're going to do and the stories that I'm going to relate and how I'm going to relate them to make sure that you guys feel comfortable with the way we're talking about things, right?
[00:31:15] Hayden: Yes. And that's for anyone listening, for everybody, the biggest thing you can do is to just kind of talk to people, be like, Hey, are you okay? Because like, I like being asked, you know, it's good to know that you care and people care about how I feel about it, because personally, I can laugh about it all I want. It's I get I like humor, you know, But some people are more sensitive that it really depends on the person.
[00:31:40] Kristen: Well, and I think it matters to you the way you're portrayed in the world, right. Because you have a certain feeling and perspective on the diagnoses that are meaningful to you and the ones that are no longer meaningful to you that you had when you were younger. Right?
[00:31:54] Hayden: Absolutely.
[00:31:59] Gwen: Thanks for joining us for this episode of You Don’t Want a Hug, Right? We'd sure love it if you'd subscribe to our show on your favorite podcast app. Missing an episode would be catastrophic.
[00:32:11] Kristen: And if you just can't get enough of us, join our newsletter and dig into all of our other projects and ways you can connect with us at. Youdontwantahug.com.
[00:32:20] Gwen: And food for thought. If you need to create a panic room out of your closet in order to find that parenting kindness, we offer our fullest support. See you next time.