Holding the Space - Media Focus

Melisa often speaks about the importance of holding the space, but what does that mean? And what does it look like to hold the space in a very screen and media-focused environment? Joined by her husband, Erik Nielsen; she answers those questions and shares stories from their family.

Scroll down for free resource links.


Watch Video Here

related videos:

  • Holding The Space: here
  • Struggling with Media Usage: here


Scroll to Read Transcripts 

00:02     good morning okay so we had like where

00:05     are cheaper phones we have them a dual

00:08     tripod and yeah we're a little late

00:11     today so sorry we're usually have on

00:15     here almost an hour ago and yeah no I'm

00:19     o'clock oh wow we got extra sleep it's

00:22     all good so um I'm almost to add Nelson

00:25     I'm I'm Eric Nielsen so if you are new

00:29     to us welcome if you are been with us

00:32     for a long time welcome today we're

00:36     talking about polling sites and we're

00:39     gonna talk a lot about media and and so

00:44     in Eric did a blog post on media so if

00:46     you've not caught that it's over at

00:47     peaceful foundations calm you did a

00:50     great web post at media it was a thank

00:52     you know well I thought it was really

00:54     good because we really sort of tackled a

00:56     lot of the things that we see and we

00:59     tend to be hyper aware of things just

01:01     because of the work that we do but I

01:04     think that there are there are things

01:07     that people wouldn't think about like I

01:10     think about that first time when we

01:11     first started going to Ikea when we

01:13     lived in Salt Lake and they wanted to

01:16     they would take the little ones in to

01:18     the end of the day care but the big ones

01:21     that couldn't go they offered them like

01:22     a game worth II remember I remember

01:24     thinking why would I do that

01:27     like why would that be okay for them to

01:30     walk like cuz I'm just seeing like

01:33     zombie kids walking with some phone or

01:35     tablet or something sometimes like the

01:37     Train of them yes did I go how are they

01:40     I don't know like it almost look like

01:43     there'd be a string tied between each

01:45     and so they would just follow and I

01:47     think oh my gosh I don't I don't want

01:50     that I just remember looking at doing

01:51     any key and I was like ah no no thank

01:55     you but I think that it's part of our

01:58     common culture so I think it's important

02:00     to talk about and it's not that we have

02:02     no TV you know right absolutely

02:04     absolutely but when it's like a holding

02:07     the space issue so so maybe we start

02:09     with like what is holding with space so

02:12     have you ever noticed when you try not

02:14     to me

02:15     phone call and your kids won't talk to

02:17     you or all the bad things happen when

02:21     you're trying to make that boat the hall

02:22     or you're having a conversation with

02:25     your your partner and then things start

02:28     to go to hell in a handbasket with kids

02:29     well that's the kitchen not holding his

02:31     face

02:32     so holiness I think about I was parked

02:34     somewhere waiting for you and Serena was

02:37     in the back and when you're on the phone

02:42     with me or something like that phone and

02:44     she forget the front seat and landed on

02:48     something I broke it just like boom yeah

02:51     she has this weird like we've been

02:52     living in it I don't know she's kind of

02:54     like a spider monkey yes so I think that

02:57     that really it's really understanding

02:59     holding the space means that that you

03:02     can understand the fact that when you

03:06     have taken your energy away from that

03:08     common space where your children are to

03:11     something else they feel it and it's

03:14     palpable and they can't go hey mom I

03:16     know I feel you're not only in the space

03:17     what that manifesting is like it

03:20     manifests in convenient fights it

03:22     manifests in just naughty stuff

03:25     happening it manifests like you don't

03:28     put me over me this season it manifests

03:31     in just just things in general

03:34     happening that should not normally

03:36     happen and so when we talk about holding

03:39     the space we're sort of talking about it

03:41     from a perspective of understanding that

03:45     you have and like this energetic field

03:48     and that's not woo woo that just is it

03:51     just is and if you don't trust us then

03:54     thanks remember that experiment that you

03:56     know hold the space of your kids and

03:58     then withdraw go into a book pick up

04:01     your phone

04:02     I think about the times that your phone

04:05     was broken before and it was because

04:07     like they were singing about the the

04:09     screen and it was like Oh daddy what is

04:12     dude usually what you're doing that kind

04:13     of thing yeah and and it's like I

04:15     dropped one of the times and and I think

04:19     about all of the times that that maybe

04:21     I've got into reading something and and

04:25     all of us and I'm like what the heck and

04:27     it's because when something

04:28     draws your attention away from this this

04:31     common space when you're holding it with

04:33     your children you are and you're cut off

04:36     so if you are engrossed in something

04:39     whether it be TV a book your phone an

04:43     adult conversation just talking to

04:47     somebody on the phone even even being at

04:49     the park and talking to another parent

04:52     and being too engrossed I'm being too

04:55     engrossed in in adult conversation will

04:59     take that space holding away and when it

05:02     does your kids don't feel safe and

05:04     that's why they act out so they act out

05:07     because they feel it they feel that that

05:09     mom or dad is not there and and with

05:12     that I would say moms and dads hold the

05:14     space differently like really

05:16     differently mom might be you know super

05:18     engaged in play and sometimes dad is -

05:20     for sure I mean smooth things that she

05:23     makes you do I'm like oh man never a

05:27     dull moment in the Nielsen house never a

05:29     dull well I think about the grocery

05:31     store are you trying to focus on what

05:34     you're getting now is a I use the Google

05:37     notes the Google rate to make the

05:39     shopping list because I could make it on

05:41     the computer and on my phone and I take

05:45     the kids to the grocery store and the

05:49     grocery store sometimes you know those

05:51     cartoons were like snippy and what

05:53     stocks are fighting and it looks like a

05:54     cloud and it'll look like that so I have

05:57     to go that's right and Sam's old enough

06:00     like I try to make a game out of it okay

06:02     yeah you go get this this thing right

06:06     and then I make a game out of it okay so

06:09     right we got this left to do and then I

06:11     make sure I say when we get in here this

06:13     is what we're doing we're gonna get out

06:14     right now I'm only buying what song

06:16     right but I think that's a that's a

06:20     perfect place where it can happen so if

06:22     you're not like in that energetic space

06:25     of them and you're really focused on

06:27     your grocery list it's really easy for

06:30     them to for things to happen calamity to

06:32     happen so I think that really what I

06:34     would do is if this is new to you I

06:36     would step back and look

06:37     the last five times that you've had

06:40     stuff going on then and and people

06:42     either getting hurt or being naughty or

06:45     kids getting into fights or you know all

06:47     of the calamities that happen at home

06:49     and ask yourself what exactly was I

06:52     doing

06:53     what exactly was I doing and and how did

06:57     that that fact that that energy shift

06:59     what did that have that affect my kids

07:01     and and really sort of owning it and

07:04     realizing that generally when there's

07:07     nothing in here it's stuff that we're

07:10     not doing but it's easy stuff that we

07:13     can do like really simply and making a

07:16     few little changes will really help that

07:18     situation I think so with regards to

07:22     media and holding the same so often what

07:25     happens but what we end up seeing is

07:27     moms that say well I play with them but

07:30     that just wants to turn on this phone or

07:32     watch TV with them and and I will say I

07:35     think that the television has its place

07:38     but not in a mesh and everyday life I

07:42     think that we pick something that should

07:44     be a treat or a relaxation thing and we

07:48     have it on all the time we make it the

07:50     main meal we make it I was sort of we

07:53     had to do it a family movie night here

07:54     and I secured watching Matilda yeah

07:58     Azariah was like really confused I think

08:02     at this family that ate in front of the

08:04     TV did everything in front the TV and

08:06     couldn't take their mind off of the TV

08:08     to see the little girls teacher or to

08:11     talk to the little girl about getting a

08:12     library card or any any of those things

08:14     and she was she was genuinely confused

08:16     generally you know and so I think that I

08:20     think that when we when we talk about

08:23     this this culture that we live in this

08:25     it's so tech oriented we really have to

08:28     to examine what we're doing with media

08:31     how we're using it and making sure that

08:34     we're understanding the best ways to use

08:37     media and and the best ways that are

08:40     sort of in line with the core values of

08:42     our family because I think that that's

08:43     the important thing if it doesn't matter

08:45     to you and you don't care if your kids

08:46     act swipe away

08:48     if you care about like how they are

08:51     acting and you're having behavioral

08:53     struggles and you're trying to sort out

08:55     why you're having behavioral struggles

08:57     and you're kind of got the media going

08:59     on then you should stay tuned in I'm

09:02     going to listen to this conversation

09:03     because I think it's really important to

09:06     sort of uncover that most people do not

09:08     think about media whether it be TV video

09:12     games phone tablet cuz I bet people go

09:16     oh I don't have TV I go but you got a

09:18     phone or a computer because that's where

09:20     they're watching their TV if you've got

09:22     a screen then you've got TV and even if

09:24     it's not commercial TV so I think you

09:26     have to really examine sort of how

09:29     you're utilizing it so you're gonna say

09:30     well there's the quantity issue right am

09:36     I not me that something is necessarily

09:39     bad that might just not be a good fit

09:43     because when we were first married it

09:46     was like you're not watching Spongebob

09:48     and a lot of people watch Spongebob but

09:50     it was like it's making you kids it

09:52     makes is crazy it makes you guys nuts

09:54     there's there's there's a handful of

09:56     things like that that I go okay it's not

10:01     this but there's not that many there you

10:04     know there are things that I may not

10:06     I might go y'all are losing brain cells

10:08     watching this but they don't it doesn't

10:10     make them crazy yeah so I'm not going to

10:13     fess so much pre watch what they're

10:16     asking to watch like every time every

10:19     time that doesn't mean like you know get

10:22     the real watch up pretty watch every

10:24     episode but definitely like if you're if

10:26     you're letting kids watch a new show

10:28     watch it first especially if it's a

10:30     series watch it first so you understand

10:32     the content you understand how the

10:33     characters act together so that you can

10:35     get some foundation for what you're

10:37     going to see act out in their play

10:39     because if you have a child between 4 &

10:41     8 you will see their TV shows acting out

10:45     in their play if there's no way for it

10:47     to not it's just because they're they're

10:50     beings of invitation and they love to

10:52     imitate and so there's really no way for

10:54     you to not see that acting out in in

10:57     their place so it's a really about

10:59     helping you to

11:01     understand like what is what's great

11:04     viewing and and the amount of time and

11:07     that's I think that's going to vary per

11:09     family but I know we're having to share

11:11     what we do and TV is not on every day

11:14     and it's not on I don't know maybe three

11:20     days a week

11:21     maybe maybe and if we can if it's not

11:26     rainy outside we might be like let's go

11:28     outside instead for sure I think that

11:30     that's getting a good healthy balance

11:32     between moving your body being outside

11:34     and spending time inside I think is

11:37     important but then you know content to

11:40     like go ahead you were gonna say

11:42     something well one thing also is that

11:46     being mindful about what's going on in

11:49     their life

11:50     I hate right there is a time in our

11:53     marriage where we were dealing with

11:58     dispute and as much as I'm a Star Wars

12:01     fan I wasn't letting them watch certain

12:03     Star Wars movies because of the family

12:05     issues that were going on right right it

12:07     wasn't that I was afraid that it wasn't

12:10     generally going to be

12:12     Ryall them and they were older at the

12:14     time they were like seven and nine but

12:17     they you know they were having some

12:19     daddy issues so that we didn't want to

12:23     come how's that yeah I was like that's

12:25     not you know what that's not the time

12:27     for that right I remember one time when

12:29     we didn't pretty watch something and it

12:31     was ricin that also where the wild will

12:38     the wild where the wild things are we

12:40     didn't tree watch it and and it really

12:44     affected our oldest in ways that we

12:46     didn't expect it to and and you know we

12:49     think that oh it's got a PG rating and

12:51     that means that it should it should be

12:54     okay but really we have to watch things

12:56     I think we have to really watch things

12:58     and you know there it doesn't mean we're

13:00     I've never been bit in the behind but it

13:02     definitely when we then start to watch

13:05     something and we can see that it's

13:06     unfolding we we're there and we can then

13:11     support what's coming up

13:13     and I think that that's really important

13:15     I think that you and I grew up in it in

13:17     an era we're in our 40s where our

13:22     parents just didn't didn't really pay

13:24     attention to what was on that TV it was

13:26     just go watch TV so they didn't really

13:29     have context to a lot of what we were

13:30     seeing what we were watching in well

13:33     we've had parents though I mean we've

13:36     had parents that we've talked to that

13:38     got bit by they've assumed that manga or

13:41     anime was all kid stuff yeah they go

13:44     home well that's a comic and often

13:46     libraries put them in the wrong place

13:47     manga should be in the adult section

13:49     generally not all of it but a lot I mean

13:51     there's lots of different kinds and

13:53     genres and that's about they're about

13:54     lots of different things but I've seen

13:56     parents go oh okay well that looks cute

13:59     and right and then there's kids that get

14:01     exposed of things they ought not and I

14:03     agree with that I think that

14:05     understanding where it comes from and

14:08     how that's it's very mainstream in Japan

14:12     it's something that they used to teach

14:14     all kinds of things it's a cultural

14:17     thing is to understand that that you

14:20     know there it's available in a vending

14:22     machine and it's available very easily

14:24     and and it's becoming more and more

14:27     mainstream here we've got graphic novels

14:29     and manga here but just because it's a

14:31     graphic novel or it looks do not assume

14:36     yeah whether it be movie or comments do

14:38     not assume that it's it's child-friendly

14:40     I was thinking about one that I got at

14:43     comic-con and I'm trying to remember

14:44     what was called generation student

14:46     I think it's called generations and it

14:48     was a really well done like I really

14:51     enjoyed the graphic novel I passed it on

14:54     to a friend of mine but it was a graphic

14:56     novel about it was a young man who was

15:00     like nineteen twenty and and he was a

15:03     gay young women he was trying to sort

15:05     out like how do I fit into my family how

15:07     do I fit into because he had a very

15:09     traditional family the story took place

15:11     in Europe how do I fit into my family

15:13     how did they approach me everybody's

15:15     didn't think I'm crazy

15:16     I why I do I could see had to go home

15:19     after being after living away and and

15:22     that all of the emotions that come from

15:24     that

15:24     whether you're

15:26     not the emotions of going home after

15:28     being here and all of that but but that

15:30     was compounded because he lived in a

15:32     very traditional family and he was

15:33     struggling with what's everybody

15:35     thinking of me and then also has the

15:38     issue of he had the issue of you know he

15:41     had this partner that he had to leave it

15:42     was much older than him so there was all

15:44     of this this stuff that was that was

15:47     while it was an amazing story I really

15:48     liked it I think that had been great for

15:50     like a teenager an older teenager like

15:53     maybe somebody 16 and up or even 15 and

15:55     up so it was because it was not graphic

15:58     in that graphic sense it was it was

16:01     definitely though it was heavy it was

16:03     very heavy and so that's her that's a

16:05     really good term because I feel like it

16:08     was appeal it was visually appealing I

16:10     could have been late because they

16:11     remember there were a couple of times

16:12     that sir I was like can you read that

16:14     and I was like that no because it's not

16:16     one and it didn't have anything to do

16:18     with with the orientation of the

16:20     characters that had to do with the level

16:22     of development she needed to be at in

16:24     order to understand what was going on on

16:26     the book yes and and that's another

16:28     thing that we've always looked at how

16:31     old are the children or adults even in

16:34     the book what's going on developmentally

16:36     like for instance people laugh at me but

16:40     the first Captain America I'm not on

16:43     board with kids watching that until

16:45     they're at least 6 or 7th grade because

16:48     you have to get to a place where they

16:49     are understanding war and understanding

16:52     horrible people so that they understand

16:55     that there was somebody was worse than

16:56     Hitler because they think what you bring

16:58     up to a younger child they have no

17:00     contacts and then you kind of like ruin

17:03     explaining Hitler to them because you've

17:05     already got you know this bad guy and

17:08     they're trying to understand that that

17:09     contact so we haven't allowed that one

17:13     for numerous reasons but and I know

17:16     people I have people laugh at me that

17:18     way

17:18     oh really like think about the content

17:20     you know think about the content and

17:23     think about what's going on and it

17:24     doesn't have anything to do with the

17:25     graphic nature for me of the violence or

17:28     anything that's going on that maybe you

17:29     know I think it's a it's just about

17:32     where they are developmentally and

17:33     they're not ready for that

17:34     till they're about you know I guess

17:36     Wonder Woman was a similar it was

17:37     raining right now similar sound

17:39     something that either so you know I'm

17:42     thinking that there are things that that

17:44     we allow once they get to that like 1112

17:47     place that we didn't allow when they

17:50     were younger even though the grunts are

17:51     going to see it I wanted to I want

17:54     whatever they do get to see to make a

17:56     good impact on them and to help them

17:58     have like contextual understanding I

18:00     think about only took the big boys to

18:02     see the first Ironman and and you still

18:06     our boys were goshawk were they they

18:08     were maybe 11 and 13 yeah it's about

18:10     right so so one a little more immature

18:13     than the other Jacobs question was this

18:17     someone kicked them yes exactly like it

18:19     would email it and Harry was like he

18:23     just sold weapons to somebody than have

18:25     to go like he was like all about like

18:27     the relationships in the movie and an

18:30     understanding and yeah he was into that

18:32     like things blowing up and excited about

18:34     it being Iron Man 2 but it impacted him

18:36     on a much different level because he was

18:38     in that space of really thinking about

18:40     things where our 11 year old at the time

18:43     I was 10 years ago

18:45     that's really crazy that's really it was

18:50     a long time I know our oldest son that's

18:52     going to be 22 Sunday and that's really

18:55     crazy than it's not well then the circle

18:58     that back around to the holding the

19:01     space part lism back to the quantity

19:04     right right it's the biggest telltale

19:06     sign that they've had too much is when

19:11     you turn it off right right how they're

19:13     acting if they're like oh we've been at

19:16     not such fish there's been a few things

19:19     that Suraiya got excited about that was

19:23     on netflix and of course netflix is like

19:25     you watch an episode

19:27     like cliffhanger and then before you

19:29     know it you've been watching it for four

19:30     or five hours of Kizza what happened

19:32     with a grown-up or a kid yes yes we've

19:35     had instances where we're like we're

19:37     just gonna watch one and go to bed and

19:39     then like three episodes later

19:41     dang it Netflix but totally mess me up

19:45     Luke Cage all of those good Marvel shows

19:49     dang it but what sure not kid-friendly

19:52     no no we're just talking about our own

19:54     viewing not kid-friendly but there was

19:57     there's been things where it's like okay

19:59     so right you have no right right

20:07     even the anger comes out so if you've

20:10     got situations from there they're angry

20:12     after you turn off even they've given a

20:14     predetermined like this is when it's

20:16     going to be over this is one way to be

20:17     done then you're probably got too much

20:20     going on and so I always say if you have

20:22     a fit when we're done we guess I will

20:24     watch it tomorrow I might not watch the

20:26     next day and so that usually brings it

20:29     back in but I think also like you're

20:32     going to watch a show mom dad you've got

20:35     to know how long that show lasts if it's

20:36     on Netflix it's probably only like 23

20:39     minutes

20:39     well that's what happens is if you're

20:41     not paying attention right another one

20:43     will come on and they won't tell you and

20:47     if some of them happen like the

20:48     transition when so fast these they think

20:50     it's like 12 seconds after one stops

20:52     before the next one starts so you have

20:54     to be if it's 24 minutes you that is

20:56     like sex your watch no all right 20

20:59     minutes I'm gonna go wash the dishes or

21:01     whatever it is that I'm gonna go do and

21:02     then I'm going to be ready when 24

21:04     minutes is up and we're leaving we're

21:05     gonna go out where you go for a walk

21:07     we're gonna go play a board game we're

21:08     gonna do something active so that we are

21:10     not still mired in you know what's going

21:14     on here and and then sort of yeah just

21:18     crazy hey I'm gonna say something in

21:23     that sorry it's okay but uh

21:31     no no but I think you are worried when

21:35     we first got married because she had a

21:38     degree in film as your tinnitus and I

21:40     was fine with it because I've seen

21:42     houses where it just seems like yeah no

21:52     I was worried because when he's a gamer

21:54     and - he has degree in film so while I

21:57     was madly in love with him I was like oh

21:59     crap

22:00     there's this other element and I already

22:01     have three children and I they were very

22:04     excusing before I got divorced through

22:07     my ex-husband they were like TV free I

22:10     mean they might have have had one movie

22:13     a week in the winter because we lived in

22:14     Idaho and they're slick sometimes

22:16     nothing to do but sit and I fifteen

22:20     degrees below out yes exactly and it's

22:23     all and they watch things like little

22:26     women it's the sound of music so I was

22:30     genuinely worried when when we got

22:33     together that it would be an issue but

22:35     it wasn't it wasn't and you know a lot

22:38     of it was because you liked the way they

22:39     acted we was sort of talked about this

22:41     the first time we took we we were out we

22:45     went out on a date and we had kids with

22:46     us and and we had you know we we went to

22:51     the store and I had said to the two that

22:54     we had with us if you run from me we're

22:56     not going to X Y & Z place you know they

22:58     wanted to go there like it was like a

23:00     Chucky Cheese families and they ran for

23:02     me and he was impressed that I like held

23:05     the spaces said we're not going there

23:09     because even though I'd been single with

23:11     no kids for a long time I'd seen homes

23:13     where the kids seemed to be the ones or

23:15     the pants anyway that's like when that

23:17     when I'm married and have kids I do not

23:19     want them to be in charge of me and just

23:23     remember that night thinking oh man I

23:25     totally screwed up now he these kids

23:27     were so honoring today and this is so

23:29     like this was I was so worried it was a

23:31     deal-breaker it was like no it's great

23:33     I'm so glad you were able to

23:35     you know parent them through that and

23:37     yeah so it was really kind of funny but

23:39     anyways I think we when I just close up

23:42     and saying if you've got questions over

23:44     to the Pisa foundations Facebook group

23:47     and feel free to ask them there feel

23:49     free to DMS if you're on you're on

23:52     Instagram and let us know if you've got

23:54     any questions but we love talking

23:57     parents and we love sort of helping

23:58     families work through these issues so hi

24:01     a wonderful weekend bye

English (auto-generated)    



Actual Rhythm Chart: click here

Free Resources: click here

Planning for Peace: click here

Biz Schooling: click here

Parents In Sync: click here 


  Connect With Us!

@waldorf_essentials instagram icon

                                            Waldorf Essentials Facebook facebook icon




50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.