My guest today is parent coach Aly Pain.
Aly shares about her own tough teen years and how she started working with parents of teens. Casey & Aly dig into what misguided ideas parents of teens have and what new brain science is showing us, like behavior-based parenting (ie: punishments and rewards) leading to acting-out & defiance and how much brains grow & change during puberty. Aly explains what a boundary truly is, and why children & teens should not and cannot be responsible for parent’s feelings. She shares how common co-dependence is for Gen X and Gen Y and how that can lead to controlling or catering to your teen along with a sense of responsibility for others feelings and behaviors. Casey breaks down being kind & firm at the same time. Aly defines boundaries and expectations with examples as well as how & why to stay compassionate and curious with your teen. Aly wraps up by explaining what teens need to show their best effort, including in an antiquated school system.
Growing up, Aly was the smart, fun girl on the outside and a frantic anxious mess on the inside. She spent years healing the pain of dysfunctional family relationships including eating disorders and a suicide attempt to break the cycle, raising her own boys. Aly’s passionate about empowering parents with fundamental relationship skills to end the painful disconnection, emotional blow-ups, and stressful silences and build healthy relationships with their teens based on trust and respect, without giving up or giving in, even if they’ve tried everything and are at their wit’s end. Today she lives in the Okanagan Valley in B.C., Canada with her husband and two incredible sons. Aly can be found dancing up a Zumba storm, paddle boarding, hiking, and snowshoeing when she’s not behind her camera, with clients, or shooting videos.
Community is everything!
Join our community Facebook groups:
Takeaways from the show
- Misguided ideas about the teen years
- We parent the way we were parented
- The strategies that worked well with your young child will not work with that same child in the teen years
- 100% of behavior is driven by emotion; we must learn relationship-skills and how to connect
- Gen X and Gen Y were raised with a heavy responsibility for their parent’s feelings, leading to co-dependence
- Everyone, including parents and teens, are worthy and deserving of respect
- You are responsible for your own feelings and behaviors and not anyone else’s (including your teens)
- What really is a boundary? What’s the difference between a boundary and an expectation?
- Staying compassionate and curious with your teen
- Effort = belief in self + belief in a probable success + understanding the risk of failure
- Parenting is a process that starts with you: be gracious, let it be messy, & it’s never too late to change a relationship
What does joyful courage mean to you
It’s about having the courage to step into something. Doing it joyfully, to me, is a reminder that it’s going to be messy, it might feel hard sometimes, and sometimes I’m going to fall flat on my face. I’m going to give myself that permission to be a human being: growing, processing, and I’m going to joyfully have courage.
ResourcesSubscribe to the Podcast
Casey O'Roarty 00:02
Hello, hello my friends. Welcome back to joyful courage a conscious parenting podcast, where we tease apart the challenges and nuances of parenting through the adolescent years. I am your host, Casey over rd, positive discipline trainer, parent coach and adolescent lead at Sprout double, where we celebrate not only the growth of children, but also the journey and evolution that we all get to go through as parents. This is a place where we keep our real, real stories real parenting, the teen years are real messy and there aren't many right answers. But the more we trust ourselves, and trust our teens, the better the outcomes can be. The Parenting we talked about over here is relationship centered you won't find a lot of talk about punishment, consequences or rewards. What you will hear is a lot of encouragement about connection, curiosity and life skill development. Our teens are on their own journey. And while we get to walk next to them for a bit, we don't get to walk for them. Their work is to learn from the tension of their life. Our work is to support them and love them along the way. I'm so glad you're here. Enjoy the show.
Casey O'Roarty 01:31
All right. My guest today is parent coach Aly Pain. Growing up Ally was the smart fun girl on the outside and a frantic anxious mess inside. She spent years healing the pain of dysfunctional family relationships, including eating disorders and a suicide attempt to break the cycle, raising her own voice. Ali's passionate about empowering parents with fundamental relationship skills to end the painful disconnection emotional blow ups and stressful silences and build healthy relationships with their teens based on trust and respect without giving up or giving in, even if they've tried everything and are at their wit's end. Today she lives in the Okanagan Valley in BC Canada with her husband and two incredible sons. Ali can be found dancing up a Zumba, Storm, paddleboarding, hiking and snowshoeing when she's not behind her camera with clients or shooting videos. Hi, Ali. Welcome to the podcast.
Aly Paine 02:30
Thank you are so excited to be here. I'm so excited for this conversation.
Casey O'Roarty 02:34
I am so excited that you're here too. We already kind of geeked out on the fact that we are sort of neighbors we do. I love paddleboarding, and dancing up a storm. I'm not a Zumba girl, but I love a good dance party. So yeah, so We're a match made in heaven, we are, will you share a bit with the listeners about how you got into doing what you do with parents of teens?
Aly Paine 02:56
For sure. So I grew up as a very troubled teen in a very loving home, which like most was, our parents doing the very best they could with what they knew, which wasn't half of what science knows now. And that created a ton of conflict and strife and emotional disconnection. And I acted out in lots of ways. One of as you said, like when I started diet pills at 12, I started drinking heavily at 13. I was skipping school at 15 going from an award winning academic student and award winning athlete to starting to fail out by 16. And then literally failing out in a suicide attempt at 17. And I thought, you know, as much as at the time, I wanted to blame it all on my parents, and they were such evil, horrible people, which is not true. I didn't think that number one being a teen needed to be so hard. Because even then I knew fundamentally what I needed. But it wasn't what my parents were ever taught, nor did they have the capacity for. And I knew that being a parent didn't need to feel so hard either. So when I became a certified life coach certified relationship systems coach back in 2006, I went back to school and did all my formalized training and certification. I knew I wanted to work with families. And that's what I did. I set out working with families, parents of tweens and teens. And the parents would always say to me, Oh, we have a really toxic culture. We have a super toxic culture. Can you come and do this at my work? So 10 years later, I'd also done a whole bunch of corporate work called on the culture to detoxify and humanize cultures. And then when COVID hit, I lost my all my in person business. And I decided okay, if I'm going to do this, I am seriously going to double down all online and I am going all back to families because that's where my heart is. That is where I truly believe I can be part of changing generations and changing the world because when we get relationships right at home, we can Change the world.
Casey O'Roarty 05:02
I love all of that. I love that journey that you went through. And I think there's something really special about just our own personal experience empowering us to create change in the world. So thank you for sharing that. I discovered you when you and I were both speakers for an online summit for parents of teens last spring, which was really fun to be a part of talk a bit about what you love about supporting parents of teens, because those are the listeners. That's who's listening.
Aly Paine 05:32
Right. You know, I think the part I love the most is knowing internally what it was like to be that troubled teen. And now having been a parent raising to incredible funds, all of the training and decades of therapy and personal development I've been through, I get to explain to parents in a way that they can understand what their teenager is actually saying, but not saying and actually wants and needs, but is appearing like a prickly porcupine. And I feel like I get to translate. And I want to say really clearly for all of our listeners, this is not because you were not taught, like you were not taught you cannot fail. It's something you were not taught to do. Right? You're not failing, you're not a bad parent. This is like one of the worst jokes, punch lines in humanity is where we as parents are attempting to raise other humans. And nobody tells us the fundamental difference that's going to happen between raising a child and raising a team. And that your teenager is not actually just trying to piss you off. They're trying to figure out how to do life in a new brain, which also pay us no one told them what's going to happen to them either. So they are rightfully angry. Yeah,
Casey O'Roarty 07:00
I talk a lot about you know, the adolescent years are messy. It's a rough terrain. It's not. When things go sideways, I was just saying this to a client today, things going sideways is not an indication that you are doing something wrong. Sometimes it's simply brain development, you know, and I really encourage parents to think about how to maintain relationship through those challenges so that when you get to the other side of the gauntlet, You've nurtured a relationship that they will want to come back to versus continue to pull away from. So I really appreciate what you're saying, you're right, there isn't a guidebook for it. I know. For me, I was working with parents of kids under 12. Really, when my kids were young, and figured, you know, the point is not going to be that hard. The teen years because I've been doing all this work, right? I've been figuring myself out. That's what I found. Listen, and my listeners know, because I talk about all the time, and my sweet sweet daughter gives me permission to do that. But man, teen years hit really hard mental health challenges showed up that I was unprepared for, and then how those mental health challenges manifested into behavior so that I didn't realize I was looking at mental health, I thought I was looking at defiance, and just was totally had the floor pulled out from under me. Got it together eventually. And I'm super grateful for the community and the support that I have. What do you think are some of the misguided ideas about the teen years that parents have?
Aly Paine 08:29
I love this question so much I can barely explain. Because I think this is the question that I hope listeners hear. What you said is, why aren't parents getting it? Right? Well, you didn't say that. You didn't say why are teens acting out so much? You didn't say you said what are the misguided ideas. And this comes from the actually the proof that again, as much as our parents loved and wanted well for us, they did not have the science of relationship study and physiological studies of the brain that we have now to know what we know. And so we parent, the way we were parented. And that also is not a sign of a lack of intelligence. It's because our brains are wired to repeat what is familiar, what is ingrained in our emotional brains. So we parent the way we were parented, sometimes even when we know it didn't work for us, and we swore we would never do it are bringing
Casey O'Roarty 09:31
raise your hand if you're relating to that statement, right? I
Aly Paine 09:36
no different and there I was, my mother fell out of my mouth. And that's what ends up happening. And it's not because of a lack of quote unquote, trying or wanting differently. It's because there's more to it than this. So the misguided principles I would say that show up the most in my work with parents of teens are these first of all, the way you are parented still works as a way to parent and unfortunately against my It says proven that that is untrue, that control and command does not work that behavior based parenting leads to short term change, if that generally more acting out defiance and disrespect, that it is not parenting from a behavioral perspective only leads to only short term behavior change, but doesn't address the actual problem, that you are not parenting the same person. Literally you are not parenting the same human that you did when they were up to the age of approximately 10. Because puberty can hit Gosh, anywhere between eight to 12 would be considered a tween these days, their brain is going through the second and final growth phase in their lifetime. And when I say growth phase, I need you to understand I'm not just talking about Yeah, yeah, we know it takes them till 25 to develop a no, no, no, that's not what I mean. They are actually growing all new hardware, and developing all the new software at the same time. So super inefficient. Plus, it happens at random times during random parts of the day and in random parts of the brain.
Casey O'Roarty 11:11
So that's why it's so much fun.
Aly Paine 11:14
Oh, isn't it? One of the worst jokes on parents, I really do. Because what you knew, and we're good at for a decade isn't going to work anymore. And it's like, Well, jeez, Louise, could somebody have told me that? Could there not have been a meeting in grade five, grade six to tell me this was coming? Couldn't someone have told my teenager or my tween that this was going to happen? Anything anybody does for 10 years that gets pretty good at you think they're going to do some more of it. So that's a misguided idea, too, is that when your team starts to misbehave, if you will, or step out of line, or be someone who you don't know, our brains double down and do more of what worked, which makes the problem worse. So that's another misguided idea. And it's really unfortunate. So then, as parents, we take it all personally. And we do everything we can to oppress and suppress what's going on, without understanding that 100% of behavior is driven by emotion. 100% of behavior is driven by emotion. So if you actually want to make fundamental change, we as parents need to get in the mass and learn relationship skills, which nobody taught our parents that was a luxury beyond where our parents got to understand how to connect with your team, which is fundamentally where behavior changes where influence is built, I did not say control where influence is built, where trust and respect are built, rather than control, where behavior changes that's like, kind of push a balloon underwater and expecting it to stay or only like paying attention to the top 1/3 of the iceberg that you see above the water, it will do nothing. It is exhausting. It is fruitless. And it does nothing but disconnect you and your team. So there's just so many misguided ideas. And I truly having been through it myself. My oldest son has generalized anxiety, OCD tendencies and is mildly on the spectrum. So not only my own personal development work, as you said that you did, I literally thought I was going to be Mary Poppins. And I hope you had a good laugh because I'm not joking. That's how I thought parenting was going to be. Because I'm like, no, no, you don't understand. I've already done a decade of therapy, another decade of like, personal development. Like, I'm going to screw the Mary Poppins, this is gonna be fine. It's fine. It's gonna be fine. It wasn't fine.
Casey O'Roarty 13:45
How old are your boys?
Aly Paine 13:46
They are 19 and 21? No.
Casey O'Roarty 13:48
Okay. All right. Oh, good. Yeah, yeah, I mean, how much we learned from them. I like to joke that my listeners have heard me say this before, like parenting. And if we've made it through the first 10 years and haven't realized this, the adolescent years definitely lands that we are in a personal growth and development workshop that we did not sign up for, like, like, there's no memory of signing up for this training. And yet here we are having the opportunity to really and I think that's an important distinction, too. Because parents, I mean, the people that I tend to work with that stick around, really get that they get to be in the willingness and be in the choice of growing and learning and expanding their mindset around kids and themselves. And like you're talking about our conditioning, letting go of that behaviorist approach, thinking that consequences and punish or punishment rewards are how we like manipulate them into doing the right thing. I think that this is where we get to really lean into emotional development, which you mentioned. Like it's something that has to be taught to us emotional development doesn't happen without For adults supporting us in that development, or, you know, choosing in and being willing to grow that part of ourselves. So I'm really excited to hear what you're talking about, because I absolutely believe wholeheartedly in all of it as well.
Aly Paine 15:15
Yeah, it's like, there's a misnomer that kind of says, Well, I can scientifically prove that your brain is growing the capacity to know these things. So therefore, you should just know them. Just know them, I shouldn't have to tell you this, you should just know it. And this is what I tell parents is their brain is growing the capacity for a lot of these things like independent thought, critical analysis, decision making, empathy, skills, all of these things. But they don't wake up one night, having had the disk installed on how to use that new capacity. Yes, they're in the development. Yeah. And unfortunately, because our parents were not given the luxury of learning that, and it truly, in a lot of ways was a luxury and is still in many ways part of privilege to learn that to be mentored in those things. We, as a generation, are changing the next generation when we choose to get in the mess of figuring out what these concepts mean to you, and then how you will translate those concepts for your team to learn as well.
Casey O'Roarty 16:24
Yeah, I love that. You have a program and has a great title, becoming a boundary boss. Where do you see parents struggling? And I know this, I feel like this was kind of your talk in the teen Summit. Yeah. to do with boundaries. Yeah. So yeah, the parents that you work with, where are you seeing them and hearing them? Talk about struggling with boundaries? What does that look like?
Aly Paine 16:47
Well, the biggest thing is they don't know what a boundary is. And again, I'm not saying this is the vote intelligence, you're wildly intelligent, you're caring, courageous, you're here and you're listening. So I honor that, you can only know what you know. And our generation was raised believing that a boundary was a threat and ultimatum, manipulation, emotional coercion, or control. And so we are going around setting air quote, boundaries, unquote, can't figure out why they're not working, because that's not a boundary. And so we're using what I call unhealthy relationship tools to try and create positive change. And we don't realize those are not healthy relationship tools. So the number one place I see parents struggling is, first of all, with a lack of understanding of what they are. Why because we're not taught this. I mean, I skipped a lot of school, but there was no relationship class.
Casey O'Roarty 17:43
And you probably would have shown up for that one, because it would have been interesting. Heck,
Aly Paine 17:46
yeah. And then I would have gone home and preached it and it wouldn't have gone really well. So I also see them struggling with boundaries in this way. And this can be a little bit prickly. Because of the way you and I were raised in our generation, Gen Y Gen X. The statistics currently is that 80% of our generation is codependent
Casey O'Roarty 18:08
That sounds about right.
Aly Paine 18:10
Now, let me explain. Here's how this relates to boundaries. Here's what I'm talking about. codependence as relative to how previous generations were raised is that I was responsible for how my parents felt. So if my parents were angry, I was told it must have been something I did. Or I was told preventatively You better not do so and so or you'll make your dad mad. So I had to constantly police my own thoughts and feelings in order to caretake someone else's behavior and emotions, which were never mine to take on. They were never my responsibility. So then, now take me as a child, now I'm a parent. And now as a parent, without understanding unconsciously, I am now projecting the same thing on my child. I'm trying to set a boundary or quotes boundary. But what I'm doing is saying to my child, you should be more responsible for my feelings. You're not being we're doing the way I want you to be so I can feel the way I want to feel hold the beliefs about myself. I want to hold and have the experience that I want to have. What is your problem? Yeah, why aren't you being the way I want you to be and here's where then it goes to the other side. So that's the control side because they both come from the same source codependence and being responsible for someone else's feelings. There's I can come out that as control or I can come underneath of that via catering. So I'm trying to set boundaries but I still have this fundamental message in my brain that says I'm responsible for my teenagers feelings. And if they're mad at me, I must be a bad parent. So I'm going to have to constantly abandoned or betray what feels right for me to make my team happy. So then I raise an entitled team, all coming from the belief that somehow either they are responsible for my feelings and behaviors, or I am responsible for theirs. Neither one is true. And that is where I see the perversion, if you will, of what boundaries were when you were a child relative to what science has, and relationship studies have shown us boundaries actually are. So a lot of that has to do with looking at myself first, and what is an issue? An issue, it starts with me the way I perceive myself and that maybe I am responsible for all of my thoughts, feelings and behaviors. And also, maybe I am worthy and deserving of respect. Even if someone told me, I wasn't or someone never told me I was.
Casey O'Roarty 20:53
Okay, we need to sit with this ally this huge I so appreciate this. Because it is so slippery, like we don't even realize and shout out to all of my Gen X brothers and sisters. Heck, yeah, we are the best generation and we've got some shit to work out. You know, like, I think about knowing very clearly, the things about me that were disappointing to my parents, not because they even said straight out loud. This is disappointing. I mean, sometimes I heard that. But yeah, you know, I think about all the things that we say to our kids, I'm thinking about how, you know, I've worked with parents who are like, you know, I'm trying to get my teenager to understand they are in charge of their emotions. Yeah, they are in charge of how they feel. Yes. And then on the flip side, also, those same parents being like, I need them to know how angry it makes me when they XYZ or how hurt I Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. So I appreciate that you highlighted both that control piece, as well as the catering piece because it can go, you know, some of us lean more towards controlling some of us lean more towards catering some of us, you know, my hand is raised, kind of pendulum swing when we're not in our most present aware, self regulated state of mind. Yes, and both are damaging, both are not in service to the full potential of our kids and of the relationship that, you know, everybody that's listening knows, like, that's what we're here to do is nurture relationship. This is where we have influence and when it gets tainted, you know, by this codependency, which, by the way, I am working through codependent no more, which is an old, amazing book.
Aly Paine 22:51
It's like the Bible of codependence.
Casey O'Roarty 22:53
Yes, it's so good, everyone, Google it, get it off Amazon, I'm listening to it. But you know, it's so useful to start to pay attention to what's happening for us. Right, like you said, your issues, my issues, the parental issues, because when we can take care of ourselves there. And I use the iceberg metaphor all the time. So my listeners know what that means. When that's an under the surface of the iceberg issue, the like, that's where we go and can actually influence what's happening at the surface, is when we go below the surface and do our work. So I really appreciate that. And, you know, one of the foundations, I'm a positive discipline trainer. And one of the concepts of positive discipline is being kind and firm at the same time. And I think sometimes kindness gets misinterpreted as being nice all the time. And that is not what I'm talking about. Kindness is about being connected to the person in front of you treating them with dignity and respect, and firmness, be being connecting to and respecting self and the needs of the situations. You know, like there's the boundaries, and you set it having boundaries around how I'm willing to be treated. Right, how am I willing to be treated? How else do you see because I think boundaries, like it's, you know, there's rules. One actually, this is where we're going, that difference between boundaries and expectations. Can you tease those two things apart for listeners? Oh, sure.
Aly Paine 24:26
And I think this is a fabulous question, because if I were to answer the previous question is where do they struggle? It's the boundaries versus expectation. So here's my definition. The first part of this is from Prentice Hemphill, which is the quote in Dr. Brene Brown's most recent book Atlas of the heart, love her. A boundary is a place where I simultaneously love and respect you and me. Now, I also describe that as a boundary is a negotiation and this is where you're going from this kindness and people come at me and my comments and say, Oh, you're raising a bunch of snowflakes, you're trying to be your team's best friend. So, a boundary is a place where I know my bottom line. But I'm willing to negotiate up to the bottom line in service of understanding what's important to the other to my team, and what respect looks like to them, because I guarantee you define it differently. It also says, boundaries are a come from a place of ownership. In other words, whose feelings are they? They are your feelings? Whose experience is it? It is your experience, and whose first move is it yours. Boundaries come from ownership, they are your feelings, your experience you want to create and it is up to you to make the first move. Okay. Expectations.
Casey O'Roarty 25:48
Wait, can we go back to that really quick? Sure. So it's up to you to make the first move. Tell me a little bit about that. What do you mean? Okay, so think I know, but I want to hear you say it. Okay?
Aly Paine 25:58
So an expectation is the projection of my values, beliefs, or how I want to feel and my experience where I should bet on someone else. I expect them to believe what I believe hold important what I hold important and to behave in a way that reflects that. So I feel better about myself. I feel less insecure and afraid. And it reinforces what I want to believe about me primarily, I'm a good parent. So there's a dichotomy by boundaries come from ownership. It's up to me. It starts with me, expectations are you need to change so I can feel the way I want to feel. So an example of a boundary your teenager leaves their wet towel on the bathroom floor. Every GED Loving Day, huh? I don't know anything about that. Oh, I'm sure you don't. I just worked on tapping for friends. We have friends who, right? Yeah. And you say to your team, pick up your towel, which is not an A clear request, by the way anyway, then you say to them again, pick up your towel. And every day you say pick up your towel. But every day you go in and pick it up for them? Because and then I have parents who say this mealtime, but if I leave it on the floor, the dog those and pees on it, I'm like, okay, oh, so put the wet towel in their room and close the door. Or if the dog pees on it, put it in their room on the floor. It's not about shaming, it's about, okay, natural consequence, which we'll talk about a little bit more in a second. But the boundary is I stop rescue rescuing them, and then pretending that they're making me pick up the towel. Since when is my teenager making nificant Patel, right? They're not making me pick up the towel. My kid doesn't put his dishes in the dishwasher after breakfast and he leaves them on the table. Is anybody making me pick up those dishes and put them in the dishwasher? No. So it starts with me. It starts with me deciding that I am worthy of respect and not being treated, or perhaps acting like a maid or a servant. That starts with me. Waiting for your teenager to come home and deem you as worthy of respect. Oh, good, Lord, you'll be waiting, like pour yourself a cup of tea because that's happening. You decide it starts with you. Then it starts with how you believe and hold yourself as being worthy and deserving of respect as an equal human. Not equal in authority equal human
Casey O'Roarty 28:37
with your team. Yep.
Aly Paine 28:38
Then it starts with your behavior. Stop picking up the towel, stop putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Yes, if they ruin a towel, then great, they can earn the money to buy another towel. If it destroys property like your bathroom floor or their quilt, then they can earn the money to pay to replace it not because you're being mean because you love them and believe in their capacity and capability as they learn healthy new habits to be a successful independent adult. That's what boundaries are for BS when you're parenting boundaries. Yes are about love and respect for each other. And showing your teenager I love and respect you enough to not treat you like you're to write. I love and respect you enough to treat you like a growing adult who is eventually going to live on their own and teach you healthy independence skills without rescuing you from the consequences. Yep.
Amy Lang 29:35
Hey, Amy, again, birds and bees and kids. I'm here to tell you a teeny weeny bit about our last session and our sex talks with teens series. It's about foreign foreign talks. You have to talk to them about porn. They're going to be seeing it, they're going to be using it. Their friends see it, their friends use it. So it's important for you to be able to talk to them about it. and help them navigate it, help them understand what's healthy use what's not healthy use. Sidenote, anyone with a brain that's not fully developed should not be getting porn in it, but they're going to be getting it in their brains no matter what. So we'll talk about why you need to talk to them, how to talk to them, I'm going to give you some stats, that's always super fun, and terrifying. Anyway, I hope you can join us. It'll be really, really great and helpful and supportive. So I will see you at our super fun series.
Casey O'Roarty 30:30
Yes, see you there, Thea there. Listen, this program starts tomorrow night, tomorrow night is when this program starts November 1. So you want to get enrolled. If you haven't already signed up, you can go to baseball audible.com/sex talks Again, that's www dot beasts browseable.com/sex talks to save your seat, there's still time, there's still time. So if you're hearing this show, and you're like, oh, shoot tomorrow, or even Oh, shoot, it's Tuesday today, reach out, we've got a spot for you sign up, get dialed in, it's all good. And don't forget, if you are just realizing, oh my gosh, this is happening tomorrow, or this is happening tonight. And you can't make it for the first session, sign up register, you'll get the recording. So you haven't missed anything, you're good to go www dot peace browsable.com/sex talks.
Casey O'Roarty 31:36
think an important piece of this, too is if you have a chronic problem, like my kid never picks up the towel from the floor or doesn't clean their room or won't take out the garbage or never gets their homework in or whatever right fill in the blank. Yeah, that's a place to where we get to circle back with them and say, Hey, I'm noticing that you're struggling with this thing. Let's talk about what's going on what's getting in your way. And let's come up with a plan together, let's go create a plan so that you can be successful, and we can create a win win.
Aly Paine 32:05
Exactly. So what you did there was first of all, you decided to have compassion, you can have the gift boundaries. And as a parent is about training your teenagers brain, which is wildly inefficient, and a COAG mire of chaos going on in there not because they're not intelligent, just as a function of their brain growth and development. And you are choosing to see them as such a budding brain. So when you got compassionate, you also decided and this is hard for a lot of parents, you have never, ever been perfect. When you were building a new habit. And even after you did it for 10 amazing years, you're still not perfect at it. And when you have compassion for remembering that they are in a learning phase, not a perfection phase, because you aren't so why would they be? Then it is easier for you to be curious to say to them, Hey, we had a talk about this boundary, I see that something's not working. Do we need to renegotiate maybe putting the garbage out of that time of day is really stressful for you, because you already have all these other things going on? You know, so few times teenagers are asked to participate in the negotiation, when most of the time they have some super creative ideas you would have never thought of. And you'd be like, huh, kid that feels really hard for me because aka it's not my idea. And that's how we operate as parents because that's how we were raised. Not my idea. I hadn't thought about it that way. That's kind of weird. But yeah, that will work. Okay, let's try that if you're willing. So I want to bounce back to expectations for a second expectations are also top down. They are tell sell command control, they operate in fundamental truth that are not capital T truth. They are beliefs. So an expectation I get this all the time, you should be at least a B student and if you're not, then you're going to lose all your privileges. Um, there's some really successful people in the world who didn't even finish elementary school. Yeah. So what is it about a B average? Well, probably you have that hammered into your head by your parents that you did not have worth and you had to earn through behavior you had to earn their love and approval. That's not what boundaries are. Boundaries are an emotional currency at a relational level expectations operate from behavior and forcing values and beliefs which also science proves even if you stand next to your teenager, you they will not ask most us all of your values and beliefs because they're an independent human being. Expectation say you do it my way or the highway. There's no negotiation. It's right wrong. And expectations operate from should. The root word within should is criticism. So you're actually attempting to criticize someone into being more like you are prioritizing what is important to you. Now, you might say, well, boundaries are the same, like I'm trying to get them to understand that it's important to take the garbage out unless they want to have a rodent problem or ants or whatever. Yeah, absolutely. The boundaries are coming at it knowing that there are different human being. It's not just about what you want. It's about that understanding also teenage brains if you this is kind of sciency for a sec, but the Yerkes Dodson principle, it's why i e. R. K. E. S. Dodson, DOD SLM Yerkes Dodson principle, is the principle in the brain that explains how all of our brains require a certain level of positive stimulus to move into execution or action. Okay. So this is one of the big struggles with parents setting boundaries for their teams is they say, I'd love for you to take out the garbage by seven o'clock or else they're just not specific, which doesn't work at all. You can't say I want you to take out the garbage, but that means nothing to attain because remember, they don't care anyway, one day, I will not one day I will one day. So Yerkes Dodson covers that the teenage brain requires an extensively longer period of time to build natural stimulus until they move to motivation or execution or behavior to action. Okay, that so if you look at the scale of the Yerkes Dodson principle, the fastest a type into action, guess what adult females, in general, these are general terms, then the adult male, and then further down the scale is the teen female brain. Then further down the scale is the male teen brain. And then if you look at neuro diversity, ADHD brains are even beyond and before that, particularly if a teen teen boy, do you
Casey O'Roarty 36:48
mean that? So let me just make sure I understand that I'm tracking so you mean, like, that translates to like, who gets cooperative quicker? Basically, yeah,
Aly Paine 36:56
who moves into action faster. So then you lay on top of the science of the level of stimulus required to move into action with a teen brain, an ad on top of that, they simply don't care about what you care
Casey O'Roarty 37:10
about, right, which is not a character floater,
Aly Paine 37:12
strap on some patience, my friends, because Welcome to parenting, it's not a character flaw. And I get so frustrated when parents label their teen as fundamentally lazy and irresponsible. When again, we are not told this science of how the brain operates, what boundaries are that your team will never care as much as you care. And so you're dealing with a different brain, you're dealing with a different development phase, you're dealing with different personality styles. And we conflate this with morality all the time. First of all, my team is obviously less of a moral character. So I must be failing as a team, which triggers my state of fight or flight because I need to believe I'm a good parent. So then I become more controlling, than you see how my team is behaving. And we were raised in the same way. So then you're like, Oh, she's kind of lacking as a parent, because parent shaming is in the Olympics. And now I take that shaming, and I place it back on my team.
Casey O'Roarty 38:09
Yeah, I think it's so interesting to just going back to the example of like, I have an expectation that you're going to perform a certain Yeah, with school sternal performance. The other thing I hear is well, and it's probably come out of my I'm sure it's come out of my mouth as well, which is, you know, your grades aren't important to me, what's important to me is that you're doing the best you can effort.
Aly Paine 38:33
Yep, effort. Yeah.
Casey O'Roarty 38:34
And we forget that, like when I lift up and out and look at my own effort, right? Do I show up to every workout doing the best I can? Am I doing the best I can for someone who is uninspiring versus someone who's inspiring, Am I doing the best I can at something that I feel passionate about versus something I'm not passionate about, you know, and we're throwing kids into the school buildings expecting for them to connect the dots around, just do what they're asking you to do. I promise, trust me, it matters, even as they're like, but this doesn't matter. Like the classic. I'm not going to have to do this math. As an adult, you keep telling me how important this is. And it's just so interesting how we get scared. I think a lot of parents get scared. And so like you said, you know, they double down on that expectation, and it's just not useful. Now. I do think in conversations, you know, especially around school, getting curious about what your child's expectation is like, how do they want to do in school? What is important to them? Is it important to them to graduate? Do they have certain colleges on the brain? My son is 16 and a sophomore so we've been talking a lot about, oh my god, he'll be a junior when that's weird, but we've been talking so much about college and he's got schools in mind. And so my encouragement is, well, you know, look up and see what is the average GPA, you know, and paper that the kids at the school are coming in with, what are the things that the school is looking at? And what can you do so that on paper, you're upping the likelihood that you get an acceptance letter, and then you know what it's his. And I asked him, I was like, Do you want me to take on a stronger role with you with school? And he was like, Yeah. And I said, Okay, well, I'm not going to pull you along, I'm not going to drag you along, but I will walk beside you right, towards the goals that you set, you know, so, you know, expectations, as I'm hearing you say, it is really the language that I use around that I think I talked about the narrative that we're holding, like, this is how you do it. This is how it goes, this is what it should look like. Versus and you know, it and I know it because of our own kids like unique wiring above and beyond just the typical development. Like we all have very unique people that we are raising. And so the idea that we can dictate what it's all supposed to look like, and somehow, like, bring in the guardrails so much that they're just gonna, you know, step in line. It's just, oh, sweet parents.
Aly Paine 41:08
I know. Right? You're so confused. The problem is it worked for our parents. And it was fear, Bish? I
Casey O'Roarty 41:15
mean, how much therapy did we have to do? I mean, we're not officially done. Yeah, well, I just went yesterday. I mean, we're surviving our parenting. And I mean, you know, for most of us, there's definitely pieces that it all comes from a place of love. Yeah, having the skills that we have. But in the moment, and I would love for my kids not to need a ton of therapy, a little bit spine, because therapies for everyone, but
Aly Paine 41:38
I'm never going to be a perfect parent, I always tell parents pay for the first year of therapy and go from there.
Casey O'Roarty 41:43
I told my kids, I will pay for therapy forever. Because
Aly Paine 41:47
the same by the author of Tuesdays with maurey. He said, children are like a pristine piece of glass. There is no, absolutely no way to get your child to adulthood without tarnishing, cracking or scratching that glass in some way. Yeah. So this is what it is. And we be prepared to soften ourselves and apologize, not beg and plead your child for forgiveness, because that's a whole other topic, forgiveness and trust. But anyway, we don't fool ourselves to say, we're not setting boundaries around grades, because we know that's not good, but they are sure as heck going to put in the effort and fulfill their potential. Okay, I hear that on the daily in my DM 10 times a day. Here's what you're missing out on. effort. This is my math equation. Effort equals belief in self. Okay, after believe in myself, I must believe in a probable success. Like there has to be at least some chance that I'll succeed at it if I'm going to put in effort. And the third, which parents really, really misunderstand, I must understand what is the risk of failure? Okay, so effort equals belief in myself. Belief in a probability of success, and what is the risk of failure? So number one, teenagers, their self esteem drops up to 30% during adolescence because of the physiological changes within their brain as it completely rewrites their sense of identity. Okay, yeah, if that happened, if we were adults, there'd be serious drugs for that. And then we can't figure out why teens are leaning into substances. They feel like they're broken and going crazy, because no one's telling them this. So fundamentally, they don't always believe in themselves and worse off, if they're in a really struggling state. And they believe as I did, when I was a teen, that I was stupid, I was a failure. I hated every part of myself. I hated every word that came out of my body. I was fat, ugly, it goes on and on. Okay, well, there's one out of three that I did not have. Number two, the belief of succeeding? Well, I was an award winning student until I wasn't. And so I no longer believed that I had what it took to succeed, and I didn't know why. So I know now why I have a photographic memory. And PS a photographic memory does not make you a smart person or a great student. So I had no study skills, things got hard in grade 10, I entered the IB, the advanced program and all of a sudden photographic memory get no work. He doesn't tell me. So number two, I didn't believe I had what it took to succeed anymore. Okay. And PS trying anything. Where you feel as though that effort reinforces that you suck, and you're a failure? Tell me how willing you are to do that. Are you willing to do it every day? Would you go back and do it every day? How about today? How about now? No, you wouldn't
Casey O'Roarty 44:44
do you would not? Well, especially as like a 1516 year old who's already insecure and
Aly Paine 44:50
you are not going to do things that reinforce failure. You don't want to look like a fool. So then number three is risk of failure. If I perceive failure Feeling the risk of really failing? As failing a grade, reinforcing that I am a failure, proving that you don't love me if I don't externally achieve certain results. I won't try. Because not trying hurts slightly less than trying and proving I was right. I do suck. Yeah, all behavior, yes, driven by emotion.
Casey O'Roarty 45:30
Sometimes I wonder to just with the pandemic, and I'm looking at the time, I cannot believe how quick time. So I feel like with the pandemic, like everything that made the system of school, and durable for kids was stripped away, and all they were left with was the teaching and the learning. You know, granted, I know, teachers did the very best they could, and many teachers are amazing, and many teachers are not. And I feel like it kind of pulled the curtain back on that we have a system that doesn't work for all kids.
Aly Paine 46:06
It's antiquated, and it is broken. And that is not a cut against teachers. Yeah, there are many
Casey O'Roarty 46:12
incredible teacher No, it's systemic. But I think without inspiration, and without encouragement, I think inspiration, encouragement fits inside of this effort formula as well. Because I mean, I think there's kids that really are super self driven. And partly that's, you know, nature versus nurture, right? Some kids it is in their nature, like I know what I want to do, I'm gonna go do it, and nobody's gonna get in my way, versus kids that are a little bit or a lot bit less self driven. And then couple that with this external, you know, conversation around, well, you better do this, or you don't get this or this is what I think about you or this is disappointing to us, you know, and how that really gets in the way of them even being in the consideration of what is it that I want? And I heard you say it when you said the risk of failure when we know what our parents want. And it seems as though what they want is more important to them than we are as a human being it is the perfect outlet to stick it to them. Yeah, yeah, well watch this, watch what I can do. And it's amazing. It just heartbreaking to me. Because what kids don't realize in that dynamic is, this is your life. And yeah, you got the rod deal as far as the parenting that you're getting. But, you know, my goal is always I want my kids to make choices for them and not for me. I want them to always think about how does this gonna affect my life? Not am I going to disappoint my mom?
Aly Paine 47:42
Right? Right. There's a distinct difference when teens dig in their heels like that. First of all, they don't have the perspective on the rest of life, to know the true impact of the consequence. But here's fundamentally what they're doing. And I will tell you this, because I did this myself, when they dig in their heels, they are making a vote for themselves being pushed up against a wall, they are making a vote and taking a stand for what they can no longer tolerate or what they need that they cannot communicate. They are not taking a vote against you. Please don't construe it that way.
Casey O'Roarty 48:18
I mean, it might be semantics. I mean, I feel like we're saying the same thing. Because I do feel like we only have a capacity to hold so much hurt. And then we've got to get rid of it. And we've got to pass it around. Right. And so sometimes it looks like a kid or a person, a human, an adult coming home from work and not being able to shake off whatever happened at work that was painful. And so you know, there's some moodiness, there's some snarkiness passed around the family or a kid that, you know, that's doing that as well. But I do think that it's not, again, not a character flaw, but a dynamic that can be set up where kids feel like, it hurts me so much that the most important thing about me is the grades or the clothes or the achievements in sports that I'm going to show you and I think exactly what you're saying, like I'm taking a stand for myself by giving you the metaphoric middle finger by not performing in the way that you want me to perform. Watch this. Look what I can do. Yeah, I agree. Yep. Ali, I have like five more questions. I mean, get we're gonna have to do an Instagram Live or something, because I want to talk about natural consequences. You mentioned it early on, by the way, everyone, that book Tuesdays with maurey. I looked it up real quick, Mitch al bomb. Al BLM is the author of that. But before we wrap up before we wrap up, is there anything else that you want to make sure you leave listeners with today? Yeah, I
Aly Paine 49:45
want to say again, this is the hardest job in the world that you never got any training for. And your parents didn't either. So I know no matter where you're at in your parenting journey. No matter where your teen is at, this is not a moral judgment of you or them. This isn't about intelligence or care or love, you do love your child, you are an intelligent person and a caring and loving, courageous parent, you are I hold that as true. And I know for sure you're doing the very best that you can. Until people like you and myself, continue to preach and yell and do what we do, and get more of this information out there to empower parents to do things in ways that are less exhausting build more confidence and connection. What I guess I would say is this. It's a process. It starts with you. Take your time, be gracious with yourself, let it be messy. And know that it's baby steps over time, make a huge difference at the end. And it is never too late to change a relationship you can do and only what you can do, but it's never too late. I believe in you.
Casey O'Roarty 51:08
Yes, I believe that too. What does joyful courage mean to you ally.
Aly Paine 51:12
I think it means a little bit of what I just mentioned. It's about having the courage to step into something but doing it joyfully. To me is a reminder that it's going to be messy, it might feel hard sometimes sometimes I'm going to fall flat on my face. And I'm going to give myself that permission to be human being growing processing learning process. And so I'm gonna joyfully Have courage joyful courage.
Casey O'Roarty 51:39
Yeah, I love that. And I love thinking about human being versus human become Yes, I feel like we're all human human being Yeah, we are. Where can people find you and follow your work?
Aly Paine 51:50
You can find me on Tik Tok and Instagram at Ali Payne al YPAIN. That's, yep, like ouch spell it like it feels is my last name.
Casey O'Roarty 52:00
Um, can we talk about tick tock because Whoa, everyone. I mean, by the time this goes live, you might have like, worse but right now you've got like a half a million people that follow you on Tik Tok. So parents if you're on Tik Tok? Definitely, look, it's very inspirational to
Aly Paine 52:15
be on Rachael Ray even.
Casey O'Roarty 52:17
You did I know. It's crazy. So I always a big deal. So go follow her own
Aly Paine 52:24
mind. Yes, you can find it there or on my website, Ally pain.com. Those are the best three places to find me and my work. And I'm really grateful for being here. I hope this conversation has given a few parents some aha eyes and light bulbs to know that they're on the right path. Sometimes a few small changes make a big difference and that they really are doing okay.
Casey O'Roarty 52:47
Thank you so much.
Casey O'Roarty 52:57
Yay. All right. Thank you again for listening in to a another show. Please check the show notes for any links mentioned in this episode. If you liked what you heard today, we do me a favor and share it screenshot the show plastered all over your social so that other parents know that we are creating value over here for them. If you really want to earn a gold star, head to Apple podcasts and leave us a review this does so much for the show for the exposure. It's a great way to give back. Thank you to my team at Sprout double for all your support. Alana Juliet, I love you so much. Thank you to Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for keeping the show sounding so good. And you listener, thank you for continuing to show up. This is hard work that we're doing. I encourage you in this moment. In this moment together. Let's take a deep breath in. And follow that into your body. Hold it for a moment, exhale. And with that exhale, release the tension. And I invite you to trust, trust that everything is going to be okay. I'm so happy to support you. So glad to have spent time with you today. I'll see you next week.