Revisiting Eps 319: Alternatives to Punishment Part 2

Episode 319

This week’s show is a solo show. It is the second of six in a series where Casey will dive deep into alternatives to punishment.

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Takeaways from the show
  • Reviewing the “why” of this series
  • Natural consequences
  • Personal awareness
  • Nurturing relationship
  • Becoming your most conscious self
  • Getting curious around what’s behind behavior
  • Powerful opportunities to grow relationship 
  • Having no agenda but curiosity
  • Punishment is a short term tool


Long-Term Parenting Questions

  1. How do I help my teen become capable?
  2. How do I get into my teen’s world and support them in their developmental process?
  3. How do I help my teen feel belonging and significance?
  4. How do I help my teen learn social and life skills such as problem solving and the ability to identify feelings and communicate about those feelings in words?
  5. How do I begin to honor that my teen has different ideas about what is best for her/him?
  6. How can my teen and I use this problem as an opportunity to learn from our mistakes? How can we learn and try again instead of giving up when we make mistakes?

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parents, behaviour, teens, feel, kids, punishment, discipline, support, relationship, teenagers, positive, grounded, moment, conscious parenting, choices, podcasts, permissive parenting, celebrated, adolescence, college
Casey O'Roarty

Casey O'Roarty 00:00
Hey all of you out there living with and loving teens and tweens, I'm really excited to let you know that I am offering up everyone's favourite free introductory workshop. Positive Discipline with teens, Tuesday, April 4 from five to 6:30pm PST. In this workshop, you will get the basics of positive discipline and how it looks. As your young people move through adolescence. We'll touch on brain development, move through a few experiential activities, and all of it will help you learn the mindset and the tools for being who your teen needs you to be. Check it out and register now at BS This is a useful and interactive 90 minutes with space at the end for some q&a with me. The workshop will be recorded and shared with everyone who's registered. So go now to be and sign up today. See you April 4.

Casey O'Roarty 01:04
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 at sprouted ball. 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 02:32
Hey, welcome back, my friends, I'm really excited to be back here with you to dig into all the goods, all the things around alternatives to punishment. I have a real time story to share with you about our topic today. But I'm going to save that to the end. I want to remind you about where we went. Last week, I talked about the why of this series. So many parents, especially parents of teens fall into the trap of believing that the way to ensure the best possible outcome for their kids is to make sure that they feel the pain when they make a mistake or get into mischief. Right? We get scared? We do we get scared that our teens will make mistakes that have devastating impacts on their future. Because some do, right? And so we lose our minds a bit well, maybe not our minds, but we lose our sensibility. And we forget that this time of life, adolescence that it's a big experiment, it's a time for our kids to really stretch into trying things out trying things on figuring out for themselves, the consequences of their actions through experience, right. And if we parents can stay in our lane, remember our role, right? Adolescence can be a time of really, really powerful growth. And it's it's tricky to do and sometimes when people hear me talk about being a positive discipline trainer and coach, their initial reaction is to think that it is permissive parenting, right? I've done whole podcasts about this, that being a positive discipline parent means that I'm always focused on the positive that I'm catching them when they're good that I'm super nice all the time, and that anything goes and it's a free for all. And it's not true, right? It's just that they missed the mark. People missed the mark when that's what they believe this is all about. When parents learn more about positive discipline. As you've learned more about it and taking classes and committed to the work and the practice. You find out that it's actually a lot of work. It's more work than Parenting from the hip. It's 100%, the opposite of permissive parenting, it's thoughtful, it's intentional. There's a reason this style of parenting is called conscious parenting because we're paying attention And we're in our consciousness around the way that we show up in relationship and response to the people in our lives. The goal is, again, that we're paying even more attention. And that attention that presents that consciousness, it allows us to see what our kids really need from us and who they need us to be. And it requires a shit tonne of personal awareness. Right? So if you're someone who's like, my personal awareness, I'm in the moment, right? If you're not someone who wants to look inside and work things out, yeah, it's gonna be really hard. Well, it's not gonna be really hard, it's gonna be really easy, because you'll be Parenting from the hip, and just be in reaction all the time. Which may be, you know, we're going to talk about this in another episode on this series, right? Like, in the moment, it might feel like getting big and bad and loud, and threatening solves the problem in the moment, but you know, what's really going on? Are kids submitting out of fear, are they getting sneaky? Are they you know, plotting to take advantage, the minute that your back is turned? Like what's really happening with that style of parenting? And what does relationship look like? So, traditional discipline, right? When we think of traditional discipline, the way that many of us if you're, I feel like you're all Gen Xers, right? I mean, do millennials have teenagers? Maybe if they had kids really, really young? I feel like you're all like me, Gen Xers. Whoo, whoo. So those of us that are in the Gen X raised by boomers, right, traditional discipline really looks a lot like power and control. And, you know, that's kind of the context of parenting that many of us were raised with. And it is an either or game with a winner and a loser. Either the parent has control or the child does, either the parent gets what they want and wins, or, Gosh, darn it, the child gets what they want, and the parent loses. Right? It's Parenting from the hip, and it's hurtful, it's not useful. Positive Discipline looks through the lens of both. And it is a win win collaborative, relationship centred solution focused way of being in relationship with our kids. Everyone's dignity and respect, is held as sacred. It is connection and responsibility, kindness and firmness. It's both of those things, all of those things. At the same time, the most powerful tool we have for influencing the behaviour of our teens, is the relationship that we nurture with them. doesn't like it. That's it. That's it. When I think back to being a teenager, my dad, God bless him and love that guy. My dad's go to tool when I was getting into trouble, which I did, I snuck out a lot. I threw a couple of very, very small team parties, but there was, you know, alcohol there. But his tool when he found out because he always did, because I was not very good at being sneaky, was to ground me. I would get grounded for insane amounts of time, like usually months, right? Not like you're grounded this weekend. But you're grounded for the next two months, and who cares of homecoming and holidays, and blah, blah, blah, anyway. I mean, it was super annoying. It was super annoying. And I knew I knew that sneaking around and lying about it. I knew I wasn't like doing the right thing. But I also knew like, I'm a teenager, I'm gonna do what I want. And my parents don't get it. So I gotta get better at being sneaky and lying. Right? The punishment didn't keep me from doing those things. I just tried and failed most of the time, to be sneakier. Right. And I just got grounded more often, including like, three weeks before I went to college, I was on a, I had to be home at 10 on weekdays and midnight, on weekends, before I left for college. Right? So what didn't happen that might have made a difference for me, and I get that I'm speculating who knows? Right? But, you know, my parents could have gotten curious with me about why I felt like I needed to sneak around and lie, they could have stayed really neutral and given me space to talk about, you know, the things I was going through about my perception of myself at the time, they could have helped me, you know, make sense of the decisions I was making in a way that allowed me to grow and my critical thinking I could have used more of that as I went off on my own in college, that's for sure. And, however, despite the ineffective punishment, one thing I can say about my parents during that time is I I knew that they cared deeply about me. There was structure and routine, we had a lot of quality family time. And it was important to them to know my friends, they showed up. Even when I was grounded, it wasn't sitting in a room and think about it. It was okay whole families going bowling. Let's go. Right. I remember, one time in particular, things were good. I was grounded. But things were good. We're having fun. And I, I was kind of saddled up to my dad. And I was like, Okay, Dad, I think your point is made, I don't think I need to be grounded for six more weeks. And he put his arm around me. And he smiled at me. And he said, Well, what lesson would I be teaching you case if I went back on my word? Ah, I totally can picture we're in the bowling alley, I can picture this so well, it was so annoying. It was so annoying.

Casey O'Roarty 11:00
relationship was there with my parents. But what was missing was the conversation and the reflection and the practice, and kind of the tuning into, you know, like, what was going on for me? I wasn't making good decision, I was actually making very risky decisions and manage to not have the worst thing ever happened, right, like, but I think ultimately, what kept me from going over the edge, even as I carried on in some pretty risky behaviour in college is that I did have a relationship with my parents so that and who knows? I don't know. But I think about that sometimes. And now I'm finding myself as a mom to two teenagers, I have so much more compassion for my parents, right? And love for them. Not because like, oh, it was the right move to ground me. But I just it's hard, right? I wasn't a terrible team, because it must have been terrifying. Those times that they came to find out like Oh, Casey's gone like she's not here. She's been out all night, or I don't know, maybe it wasn't. They always seem very mellow most of the time. But I feel the pull as a parent of a teen when my kids have gotten into mischief. And I felt it, especially 1516 much more with my oldest than with my youngest. And maybe that was because she also was really secretive and actively, like, trying to pull away from us and really, in rejection of the family. And I felt hard core the poll to lay down the law. Like I was so scared. I was scared. I was feeling rejected. I was worried like it was so mind blowing to me when she turned the corner and really just kind of gave us all the middle finger. I have a hilarious Father's Day picture of the family. For she's literally giving the middle finger. But it was I mean, it was such a huge turn from where we were at. And so yeah, I was desperate. And I was like, definitely contemplating, like, I wanna gotta grounder I gotta take her phone, I gotta punish her for lying. And she was so freaking skillful, like straight to my face. You know, but what was more concerning to me at the time. And really, when I'm in my most conscious present self is getting to the bottom of what's going on for my kids. Like, I want to know what beliefs are driving their behaviour. And I want to know what's happening under the surface. You all have heard me talk about the iceberg, right? I want her to think about like, I want my kids to think like, what is the reasoning behind this decision? You know, is there something else driving me? Is this a conscious decision? am I assuming the risks and the benefits here and by the way, when our teenagers look at risks and benefits, like risks are really, really small, and benefits tend to be like Bob 97% chance of me pulling this off and everything's fine. I'm going for it right? Or even like 75% That's just how they're wired. Right? That's how they're wired. And so I still I want to be with them in conversation with them and reflection with them in a way that grows and develops that inner dialogue that they're having with themselves. So that even when they are taking a risk, they've it's not just like, wow, let's just do it. Like there's some kind of dropping in around. Is this the best thing for me to do? Not really sure. Right? And that's what this series is about. That's what this series is about. It's about curiosity, and compassion, and digging deeper to find out what is driving our kids and getting, you know, and moving them into the mischief that they're getting into. And I am here to say lots of the bad choices that are Kids make are one offs to their experiments, the novelty seeking part of their brain is getting the better of them. And these moments these, like first time offender, for lack of a better phrase, these are such powerful opportunities. Because these are the moments where we have a choice, we parents, we have a choice, when we can keep it together, right? We can either go ballistic, out of fear, and get up all in their grill, because we're scared. And it's the only way we can think up to make sure they don't do it again. Right, we can transform the dynamic into a power game, we can let them know this is what the teen years are going to look like you do what I say or it's going down. Right? We think that we need to be big, bad and ugly. So that in the moment, our kids think, Well, I'm not going to do this because I don't want to get into trouble. And that is a game that we are going to lose we parents are going to lose. Because we lose our kids, it becomes us versus them instead of them. Learning to be thoughtful and reflective about the choices that they're making. The other thing we can do if we're not going to do that, which I encourage you not to is we can get curious, we can get really, really skilled at being curious with no agenda other than curiosity, we can stand side by side with our teens. And we can remain neutral and non judgmental and guide them into some critical thinking around what they did or didn't do. And help them make sense of it in a useful way, we can support them in learning how to reflect on their choices, on their behaviour on their decisions in a way that grows character and life skills. Right? When we respond this way, we actually strengthen relationship with our kids, we increase the likelihood that they will trust us to be able to handle it when they need to come to us with the big stuff, we pave the way for how we will navigate together. What lies ahead. Yes, absolutely. Punishment is a tool. It's a short term tool that adds to the pain our teens already are carrying when they make a mistake. And for some kids, that's motivation to not do it again, for some kids, but at what cost? I want my kids to have skills I want my kids to learn from their mistakes. Absolutely. Absolutely. I want them to reflect on where things went sideways, right? What they can do differently next time how they can show up as a positive influence on others, rather than following the crowd. This is what I want. These are not things that punishment teaches punishment does not teach punishment just adds on to the pain and suffering that they're already feeling. Because they know they've done the wrong thing, or they've hurt someone or they've hurt themselves. You know, natural consequences are really powerful. We don't need to add on. We don't need to add on. We can be with them in like I said last week, we can be with them in facing whatever comes their way because of their choices, which includes an F right one of the things that came up in the Facebook group is you know, homework and not getting their homework done and acting like they you know, don't have any homework and their grades are slipping and yep, that is a natural consequence. So So rather than taking, you know, quote, control, haha, rather than being the one that feels like you need to create motivation by, you know, narrowing the path and offering rewards if they do it and threats, if they don't, like what do they want? What do they want out of school? And are they getting it? How can they get to where they want to be, so that they can move into what's next and have choices and opportunities. That's the conversation I want to have. And I do have with my son, right? I want them to be doing the things whether it's chores, or schoolwork, or their you know, the way that they show up socially. I want them to do the things from a place of recognising you know, I'm a sovereign individual What do I want and how can I be inside of this situation in a way that gets me there? Like that's what I want to develop in my kids. I want that more than I want four point knows. Right? If my kid wants a 4.0 great, but if my kid who he does wants to get into, you know, UT Austin or you have a or UCLA or you know these colleges on his list my question to him is, what are you doing now? So that you look like someone on paper that these schools want to say yes to? Like, that's my question.

Casey O'Roarty 20:22
Also, again, when I asked the community about what their challenges are around, you know, I said in the joyful courage for parents of teens Facebook group, that I'm creating this series, and I talked to parents in my classes and scroll through some of the posts in the group. And one thing that comes up too, with teenagers is general attitude, like the sass backtalk disrespect. So I want to share a story that I mentioned at the beginning. That just happened a few days ago. And I think it fits here, like what do we do with the attitude because it's annoying and disrespectful. Right? And if you're like me, man, that disrespect gets under the skin real quick. So just a few days ago, my youngest came home in a total mood, right? He was hungry, he was tired. He made some food and tried to escape to his room. And for whatever reason, I felt like it was important for him to stay upstairs. I knew he was going to watch a lacrosse game later, he had hung out with a friend after school, there was this little window of time, so I was like, No, you know, hanging out upstairs. He was super annoyed by that he was snarky. It felt like my experience of him was just like, so over it. Like how dare I ask him to hang around, right. And there were some comments made, there were definitely some facial expressions, shared that, you know, like I said, got under my skin. And I went into a full body response. I stayed calm on the outside, right? I gave a nice even keeled lecture on how Listen, buddy, I am feeling very frustrated. And I'm going to tell you why. Right? It's fine to be in a mood, right? We all get to be in a mood, but it's not okay to treat us meaning me, like shit. And I went on and on and on with very little response from him. I mean, he was looking at me, but I could see it, right, I could see his internal dialogue, like just let her talk, get through it. And then I'm out of here. And I was getting more and more worked up. Like I just as I kept talking, I was like, feeling my own fire until the end, I literally growled, I growled at him. I mean, I wanted to get up and get two inches away from his face, and just like really come unglued. But I didn't do that. I did growl, and then I left I walked away because I knew Wow case, get your kit together. I went downstairs to my room to calm down. He went downstairs. And I knew he was leaving soon. So I came upstairs and he was in his car. He had walked out the door. And so I went outside and I caught him. And I like owned my behaviour. You know, like, Hey, I kind of I went off in there. And that wasn't fair. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry, you know, and I was really vulnerable and real and genuine with him and worked on on connecting. And he shared his experience. He said, Mom, you say that, you know, it's okay to be in bad mood. But it's not okay. Like you get into a bad mood. He's saying this to me, like your bad moods we all have to live with and you're, you know, annoying and rude to us. And we just have to deal. He's like an I'm in a bad mood. I just needed some downtime. I just needed a little bit of alone time. Right, I had just gotten home, and you got all up in my grill about it. And you know, that's not fair. And as I'm listening to him, I know like he is right. He's totally right. He's nailing it. You know, it's a double standard. And what I celebrated in that moment was his willingness and ability to express himself to me. I celebrated receiving the feedback in a way that allowed him to feel heard, like I didn't say, Well, yeah, but right or I didn't try to justify my behaviour. And I celebrated feeling more connected after the exchange. Right? I celebrated feeling more connected after the exchange. Remember those long term questions that I talked about last week? So how do I help my team become capable? How do I get into my teens world and support their developmental process? How do I help them feel a sense of belonging and significance? How do I honour About my teen has different ideas about what's best for him or her. Right? How can I my teen, and I use this problem as an opportunity to learn from our mistakes like these, or I feel like, you know, once I got it together and came back, to make amends and own really take personal responsibility for my behaviour and connect with him, like, those are the questions that I was walking inside of. Right? Again, his practice around emotional honesty with me, knowing that he could be very clear and articulate around what he was experiencing. That's important. That's an important life skill, right? And feeling more connected, like modelling, myself modelling, coming back with humility and saying, Hey, I got that wrong, and modelling what that looks like for him. And like the repetition of, you know, sometimes we have conflict, and we can come back and connect. And I think that kind of experience is going to do a lot more for his attitude and behaviour than, you know, taking his phone away, because he was sassy and snarky when he came home from school, right. So, yeah, that's what I've got for you this week, we'll get into some different specific behaviours as we move through. But really, what I'm hoping is that these shows this limited series supports you in making that mindset shift, because it takes a lot of courage to recognise when we're parenting out of fear and desperation. And we let go of this traditional idea that we have to punish our kids, when they're not showing up the way that we want to show up thinking that that's how we support them and getting there, it takes a lot of courage to do something different. And to trust the process. So this week, what I really want you to do, is to look deeper and to get curious with your teen, what's going on for them that's driving the behaviour you're seeing. And you can't really that's not the question to ask. It's other questions and presence and listening and space for them to express that's gonna get you there. Because they might not know if the first question you say is like, why did you do that? Right? What's the typical response? Oh, I don't know. Right? So that's not the question. The question is like, tell me about what went down. Maybe not like that. Tell me about what went down. I'm really curious, paint me the picture of your afternoon and how things played out and how things unfolded? Right from a very neutral non judgmental place. And also this week, what can you own up to how are you a part of the problem? And where can you take some personal responsibility and make some amends? All right, part two complete. They'll be back next Thursday with part three of the alternatives to punishment series. See you then. 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 man 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 beat sprout 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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