Eps 442: Developing emotional intelligence, parenting, and teens

Episode 442

This week is the first episode of an end of year wrap up. We are doing an inventory of past, present and future in the context of emotional intelligence development. EQ is EVERYTHING and this week I am not only defining what it is, but also sharing strategies for STRENGTHENING EQ, and how to encourage our teens to do the same. Listen in!

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Takeaways from the show

  • Defining emotional intelligence
  • When parents prioritize their own emotional development they support teens’ relational and mental health.
  • Emotional intelligence practices for parents
  • The importance of self-awareness and self-regulation in managing emotions and building emotional intelligence
  • Practices for develop more empathy¬†
  • Why it’s important for parents to get better at identifying and naming emotions
  • The power of continuous learning and emotional intelligence development in personal growth and parenting.
  • Ways parents help their teens develop EQ

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Casey O'Roarty 00:05
Hello, Welcome back. Welcome to the joyful courage podcast, a place for inspiration and transformation as we work to keep it together. While parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people. And when we can focus on our own growth and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already, I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead. It's browseable. Also mama to a 20 year old daughter and a 17 year old son I am walking right beside you on the path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it really real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is a solo show and I'm confident that what I share will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families around the globe. If you're feeling extra special, you can rate and review us over in Apple podcasts. I'm so glad that you're here. Welcome. Welcome, welcome. Enjoy the show.

Casey O'Roarty 01:31
Hi. Welcome back. It is really morning for me. It's early morning for me as I'm recording, and I'm so happy to be starting it off talking to you my joyful courage community, our joyful courage community. It is such an honor to show up for you every week. And I'm super grateful that you listen. Speaking of listening, did you listen to Monday's interview with Amy and Christy Hall? Talking about sugar dating? I know oh my gosh, it was I loved that conversation. I love those two gals. They're friends of mine. They've been on my speed dial. They've been first responders for me more than once. And I was so excited to have them on to talk about, yeah, sugar dating. If you don't know what that is, you have to tune into the podcasts and prepare yourself to be both deeply entertained, laugh, but also be a little horrified. It's okay though, because we come together to support you and being able to talk to your kids about this stuff. So listen, listen in this week's show is actually going to kick off a month of taking inventory. As of this recording. We are in the first Monday. Well, I'm recording on a Monday, but you're listening on a Thursday. So it's the first Thursday of December the end of 2023. We're heading into a new year, it is super important for our growth, that we take a pause and check in with where we're at and where we want to go. This is how we do it. Right. And for those of us that are living with and loving our adolescents, our teenagers, we know that the teen years moves so fast. And for many of us there is this underlying urgency that nags at us and keeps us from really being in the present moment. Right, we can navigate that urgency and slow down time when we pause for a second or many seconds and do some reflecting. And that's really what we're going to do together this month on Thursdays during the solo shows. That's what we're going to do today, we're going to pause in the present moment, we're going to reflect on how things have been going we're going to look ahead where we'd like things to go, right and we're gonna figure out how to make sure we continue to head in the direction of what we want. Right? And we got to figure out what we want to sound good. So this week, what I really want to center is emotional intelligence, EQ, emotional quotient, and how important it is for nurturing healthy relationship and navigating the tricky terrain of being a parent of an adolescent. And, you know, this is what we're here for. Right? This is what we're doing. This is what this last year has been about right? Trying to nurture relationships showing up for our adolescent navigate Seeing the stuff that shows up that we sometimes don't see coming. And it's possible, I had a call with a client last week who she did my eight week, or my eight session coaching package. And we had worked together for a while. And then I it's been probably over a month, maybe six weeks or eight weeks. And when she finally had her last call, and we got on the Zoom, and she had so much to celebrate, right, our work had been integrated into her life, to the point where she felt so much confident authority, so grounded in her relationship with her daughter. Whereas when we first got together, things felt so out of control, and it didn't feel like she had any influence or authority on her young person. And so, yeah, it's really fun to talk to parents and to really take stock. And emotional intelligence is so key to the work that we're doing here together. According to Psychology Today, emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one's own emotions, as well as the emotions of others, ie our teenagers. Emotional Intelligence is generally said to include a few skills, namely, emotional awareness, or the ability to identify and name one's own emotions, the ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving, and the ability to manage emotions, which includes both regulating one's emotions when necessary and helping others do the same. Thank you Psychology Today. No big deal, right? I mean, I think the short version of EQ is keeping your shit together when it's hard to do. And having the wherewithal to look back and reflect and make sense of how your emotions influenced how you showed up in the world. Right. And there are so many opportunities to do that, during the adolescent years, there have been plenty of opportunities in the last year for you to reflect back on and think about, when did I show up with high emotional intelligence? And when did I not? Right? Emotional Intelligence is something that is developed over time with practice. And you hear me say here on the podcast, you hear me talk a lot about the willingness, right, our willingness to try showing up differently. Every time you're willing to reflect to problem solve, to take care of yourself when you become emotionally activated. And the times, you're willing to pause for a breath and get curious about how you're feeling, taking a broader perspective, leaving your agenda at the door. All of these moves are strengthening your emotional intelligence muscles. And it's a commitment, right? It's a long term commitment. Good news, though, being a listener of this podcast, and then integrating and practicing what you hear with your family is growing your emotional intelligence, right? So you are in this, you're working these muscles out already. Yay. Yay. Emotional Intelligence is crucial for any relationship. Right? And we're here on the show talking about the relationships that we have with our teens. Right? They need us self regulated, they need us to be able to tap into empathy and compassion, they need us to self reflect these skills are in development for our kids. So they truly need their healthy adults modeling what emotional intelligence looks like in the wild. Right. So again, going back to the interview that I did with Amy and Christie on Monday, right, talking to our kids about how they're holding their relational development, their sexual development, how to talk to our kids about choices they may or may not be making, that aren't ideal that aren't what we want. We we parents, I mean, we have to be in our emotionally intelligent place to hold and not become activated by the tough conversations that we're having with our kids. And I'm thinking also of those of you who have kids that are experimenting and using maybe misusing substances, your kiddos that are in their mental health spirals, like emotional intelligence is everything, when we are considering the relationships that we have with our teens. And we are imperfect, no doubt, but continuing to keep our compass pointed towards our own emotional development is everything, right? It's everything, we come into this parenting gig, and we're so focused on our kids and what they're doing. And time and time again, with my clients with people that come into my six week class, with those of you that are a part of the membership, the living, joyful, courage, membership, you are learning that the focus really gets to be on us, and how we are developing alongside of our kids. Right? So when we recognize and everyone can grow their emotional intelligence, there's no final landing spot, right? It's something that all of us get to grow and develop, how do we do that? How do we do that? So after having kind of looked over the course of the year, and identified some interactions, or experiences through the lens of your emotional intelligence, think about what you found, right? What are your strengths, when it comes to emotional intelligence? And where are there places to grow? And so when you hold those two things, I want you to really listen for your strengths, places of your strengths and places where you could be growing, right? So first, there's self awareness, right, we get to work on understanding our emotions, including recognizing what activates certain feelings, and how those feelings impact your thoughts and behaviors. We talk a lot about that here, that emotional activation, right and curiosity about what's going on with me when this shows up. This is the ongoing personal inquiry, right?

Casey O'Roarty 12:22
I think we could do every morning or every night, as often as possible. So it could sound like this. And these are just a few prompts to get you started. But you might already have some personal inquiry prompts that are useful to you. So the first one, I think that's really powerful is looking back on a situation or an interaction or an altercation that you have with your adolescent or anyone in your life, and asking yourself, What was I thinking, feeling and deciding about myself or the other person during that situation? Right? What was I thinking, feeling and deciding during that situation? When have I felt like that before? And what would I do differently in that same situation, if I had the chance for a redo? Right? So capture those questions if you want to, and use them, to better understand yourself and grow in your self awareness, build time for stillness, and quiet, you can journal, however, it looks for you to self reflect, and build that into your day, great create routine that supports you and understanding yourself better. That's big. That's big. And I mean, I feel like self awareness is the golden ticket, right to living the life that you want. And so notice how that feels in this moment. Right? You've reflected, notice how that feels in this moment? And what are the tools and practices you can put in place so that moving forward, you're working out that self awareness muscle, and then there's self regulation, another emotionally intelligent practice, right, a piece of EQ, and I went deep into self regulation last week, episode 440, it was a deep dive into self regulation, life gets so much better when we learn to manage our emotions effectively. And there's tons of techniques for this. Google will give you so many techniques for growing our self regulation, how to get better at that. Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or taking a pause before reacting to emotional situations. That's going to help us respond more thoughtfully rather than impulsively. And if you're like, yeah, yeah, I know. Okay, great. Are you doing these things? Take a look back. How much time are you Are you spending in the willingness of okay, I'm going to take some deep breaths? Or I'm going to do some meditating? How much of a pause Have you been willing to take in hard Moments with your kids. And again, this is also a place where we get to recognize where we're at, when we're there, right. So meaning if you're on the emotional freight train, if your lid is totally flipped, if you are emotionally activated, you in that moment of self awareness, you get to kick on the self regulation, by stepping out of the conflict and taking time to take care of yourself, be willing not to engage, be willing to let it pause, so that you can be in a better headspace to navigate the challenge in front of you. Right, another piece of EQ is empathy. So how can we work on developing more empathy? How can we do that? Well, yeah, it's real. I get it. I know, you know, I get it, our teens can leave us feeling so defeated and perplexed. And positive discipline is all about stepping into our children's world to understand what is happening under the surface of the iceberg. There are real beliefs behind their behaviors. And it is our job as parents to see that our kids are having a hard time and meeting them where they're at, we get to develop the ability to understand and share the feelings this is happening, when we make it a practice, to actively listen without judgment, to try and see things from their perspective and to validate their emotions. Right? So how has empathy looked over the last year? How committed Have you been to trying to see and excavate under the surface of the iceberg? Right? How often do you remind yourself, okay, there's more to this than this behavior? What's going on? Right? You know, and you might need to check in with your kids on this. But how have you been received by them? As far as you're listening? And you're validating? And you're seeking to understand? Right? So we're taking a pause here, for reflecting back? And then what practices can you put into place? What is your commitment moving forward, to grow in your empathy? You know, it's real work. It's real work. It's ongoing, we ebb and we flow are committed, we're not committed, right? We're living our lives. There's so many places to practice. And it doesn't always have to be with our teens, it can be in any relationship in our life. Right? And there's low hanging fruit, right? There's the people that are easy. You're to empathize with, practice with them, and then bring those tools into your relationship with your teens. And what about recognizing and labeling emotions? Right, that's a piece of EQ too. And it might sound weird, but I'm going to tell you, when I teach classes with, you know, to parents, and are working with clients, and we're reflecting on role plays, or we're talking about current situations that they're in with their teens. And I ask, how does that make you feel? How did you feel in that situation? How did you feel in that? roleplay? What is a feeling word that comes up? Most parents have a very limited vocabulary when it comes to emotions, right? Recognizing and labeling emotions is so important. It's so important that in the positive discipline in the classroom trainings, we actually do an activity with teachers to support them in actually doing the activity with their students. And it's called mad, sad, glad, scared. And the activity creates a chart where all those words are identified. And then we brainstorm what are other feeling words that fit with each of those four words mad, sad, glad, scared, and it's huge, right? There's a big difference between exasperated and defeated. Yet both of those emotions often are shared by I feel frustrated, but there's a big difference and there's a difference between feeling hurt and feeling provoked. But again, these emotions often get shared as anger. I was angry. It's important to expand our feelings vocabulary, so that we can be ever more clear or about our experience with others, whether we're doing that personal inquiry, or we're working to communicate how we're feeling to another person. Right? So how are you at recognizing and labeling your emotions? How explicit and clear? Are you with how you're feeling? Right? Take a pause right now. And how can you get better? What will your practice be to get better at that? In the in the new year, right? As we move forward, I think a big piece of emotional intelligence is also continuing to learn being willing to continue to learn, right, this is on going work and development, personal work and development, you get to read books, you get to attend workshops, or take courses on emotional intelligence to gain more insight and tools for improvement. You had to keep showing up here, listening, right, showing up in the different communities of joyful courage, you know, and participating, sharing, supporting, seek out communities and conversations that are centering and valuing emotional intelligence, right, we get to normalize this. And the more we normalize it, the more empathy there is in the world, right, the more understanding there is in the world, and the less pain, right, the less pain, it starts in our own body filters into our own families. And then it spills out into our communities and into the world.

Casey O'Roarty 21:41
And listen, it wasn't until I had my second kid, that I found myself slipping into emotions, that felt super overwhelming. And that was when I started my personal growth journey. So I was in my early 30s, I knew that there were ways that I wanted to be different than what was modeled for me. And, you know, having two small children, that's when I realized that my own conditioning ran really deep. And it wasn't enough to just declare, that I needed to grow, I had to seek out the information and really find the practices that were supportive to me, right. And much of the work I do with parents is, like I said, already is centered on how they are showing up and holding their teens, the beliefs that may be getting in their way and ways to shift so that the space feels safe for their teens to be their whole selves. Right? This is emotional learning. And I think the more we understand ourselves, right, the more whole self, we show up, right, the more whole, we can show up. And we want to do this because we want to cultivate this emotional intelligence in our kids, too. Right? And that is super key. And we owe it to them. Right? This is part of our responsibility. When you think about raising our kids, it helps them to in so many ways, right? We want to help them and create an environment for optimal development. So modeling and practicing and highlighting normalizing emotional intelligence helps our teens build better relationships with others by understanding and managing their emotions, empathizing and navigating gating social situations more effectively. Right. And we can support our kids with developing EQ by encouraging their participation in group activities, team sports, right classes, where they're interacting with others, developing cooperation, communication, and teamwork skills. And, you know, we get to do what we can to make it possible for them to spend time with others. And not only that, I think there's also something to be said for our curiosity, just around navigating social interactions, right, asking questions, how's that going? listening deeply to what's going on in their social development. And being in the inquiry, you know, of things like, what makes that person a good friend to you, I noticed that you're really close to that person, like, what

Casey O'Roarty 24:30
is it? What is the relationship there? That feels so good, right, helping them see themselves, helping them see, right, the experience that they're having through your inquiry that's going to help them develop emotional intelligence in relationships, and it helps them with their mental health to because teens who are emotionally intelligent are better equipped to cope with stress, anxiety and other challenges. that affect mental well being. Right? We encourage this with our modeling, but also, again, normalizing the conversations around mental health and well being. We're all stressed, right? We're stressed, they're stressed, everyone's stressed. And we all are coping with life, the best we can with the tools we have, talking about coping skills and stress management on an ongoing basis, including conversations around feelings and emotions. This is what fosters more of what we want. And it creates an environment where our kids know, they can talk to us about what's going on with them. And they're more likely to do so when we bring this practice of emotional intelligence into our homes and into our day to day, right. Emotional Intelligence also helps with decision making. Right? And listen, you hear me talk about making agreements, and family meetings. These are both really powerful practices for helping our teens develop EQ these processes teach them the importance of listening attentively and empathetically to others. And leaving their judgment at the door. We show them again, through our example of how validating other's feelings, fosters better relationships, collaborative problem solving guides, teens through resolving conflicts by encouraging open communication, negotiation and finding mutually beneficial solutions. Right, this helps our kids understand different viewpoints and the emotions involved, nurturing and developing their EQ. Right, I know, it feels hard to make those family meetings happen. I know it feels hard to engage your kids in the process of making agreements. And it's what they need. It's what you need, you get to do your own self regulation and self awareness in the process. But these are bigger than just problem solving techniques. These are really spaces and conversations where we are flexing and inviting our kids to flex their EQ muscles, right? And developing emotional intelligence early on, sets a strong foundation for future success. So think about the people in your life that you enjoy spending time with. And being with the ones who leave you feeling seen and heard and understood. My guess is, those are people that you would say have a pretty high emotional intelligence, and it makes them easier and more fun to be around. The world is full of conflict. Okay, that's one thing we can count on. The world is full of conflict. And conflict is simply when we disagree. It's when we reach a place of incompatibility. And we have to figure it out, right conflict can feel like the theme of the teen years. And this can be a good thing, this can be seen as a good thing, because it gives us high repetitions for strengthening our EQ muscles. Right? When we do positive discipline classes, and I start with the challenges list. And we write all the things that are making us crazy with our kids on the daily and then we look at who do we want them to be? As adults? What are the characteristics, you know, we hope that are developed in our kids, once they reach their late 20s brain is fully developed. Without the challenges, they can't develop the tools and the strategies and the characteristics that they need for being a collaborative contributing healthy member of society. Right, the challenges the conflicts, this is the training ground for those emotional intelligence, practices and qualities. And it's tricky, right? Because when conflict or challenges arise, we are humans. And we are humans with whatever capacity we have in the moment to navigate it. You know what I mean? Here's another place of being fiercely committed and lovingly detached, right? I'm going to be fiercely committed to my emotional intelligence practice. All those things that we've talked about, whichever piece I'm actively trying to enhance moving forward, and I'm going to work towards lovingly detaching for how well the person I'm in conflict with can access their practice. Okay. I think this is so important to keep in mind when we are in our emotional intelligence, even if we're the only one in the room who is practicing this way of being. We are actively in service to others. is through our model. And we aren't contributing to making the space any worse. Right? We're actively contributing, and in service to the whole experience, right? And we are not making it any worse. And sometimes I'll be honest, in my practice, it can get really frustrating. When we think about like, what about the other people? What about their contribution? What about their practice? What about their willingness, we can't control that, my friends, but the more we develop our own emotional intelligence, the less it matters, right? The less it matters, because it's you with you, right? It's your experience of the experiences you're having. And when we grow in our self awareness, in our self regulation in our empathy, when we grow in our ability to name our emotions, right? When we grow in our communication skills, which we're going to get into in another episode this month, when we grow in those places, we are shifting the experience we're experiencing, we are shifting our experience of the experience. Right. Hopefully that doesn't sound like super roundabout. Everybody's doing the best they can with the tools they have in the moments. This statement is so big, when it comes to relating with each other humans are messy, right? We're a mess. And we all have different degrees of self awareness. And even our self awareness is clouded by the conditioning that may or may not have been discovered and dismantled. Right. This is what I love about positive discipline, it is about being solution focused. It's about looking for the win win. It's about collaboration, and letting the message of love get through. Right. So here we are today, doing our inventory. How has emotional intelligence shown up over the last year? How am I feeling about it in this moment, right? And where do I want to point my compass? What do I want to grow and develop in the coming year? What am I committed and willing to practicing? Right? Have you grown this year? What have been your strengths? What have you been proud of in the context of your relationship with your teens? And where could you expand? Where could you get better? And what about with your teens? What are the areas that they could grow more of? And how have you been modeling those skills for them? Could you be more explicit? As you begin a new year with making space for conversations about the pieces of emotional intelligence that came up during the show? What could that look like? Right? We all can keep learning here. There's always more to this work. That this week, I invite you to take some time, do some reflecting on what emotional intelligence means to you what you're curious about yours and theirs and consider how you can kick things up a notch. Right, kick it up a notch. And thank you for your commitment to growing and your willingness to bring this work into your family and integrated into your family is making the world a better place for all of us. I'll see you next week.

Casey O'Roarty 33:34
Thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you so much to my spreadable partners, Julieta and Alana as well as Danielle and Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting this show out there and helping it to sound so good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay better connected at B sprout double.com. Tune back in on Monday for a brand new interview and I will be back solo with you next Thursday. Have a great day.

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