Eps 264: Michelle Icard Shares about the Crucial Conversations to Have With Our Middle Schoolers


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My guest today is Michelle Icard.  

Michelle is a member of the Today show parenting team and NBC News Learn. The author of Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen and Middle School Makeover, her work has been featured in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, Redbook, Time, and People. 

Her leadership curriculum for middle schoolers, Athena’s Path and Hero’s Pursuit, have been implemented at schools across the U.S., and her summer camp curriculum is offered at more than twenty camps each summer. She lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Takeaways from the show:


  • Being the leader and designer of your life

  • Michelle’s new book: 14 talks by age Fourteen

  • How lots of little conversations are more helpful than one big conversation

  • BRIEF acronym 

  • Conversation crashers

  • Be specific with your kids

  • Isolation is a part of exploring independence

  • Sitting inside of having tough conversations with your child

  • Having trust in your kids that they will learn from their mistakes

  • Having a neutral expression while talking to your kids

Where to find Michelle:

Website | Instagram | FaceBook Group | 14 Talks By Age Fourteen Book

What does Joyful Courage mean to you?

When I hear Joyful Courage I think it has to do with being brave without worrying about the outcome, just for the moment of the bravery. Like the joy of taking the leap or asking someone out without worrying how it turns out.

See you next week!! 🙂


Parenting for the Season You’re In – MIDDLE SCHOOL AND BEYOND

I am super excited to announce that there is a BRAND NEW LIVE CLASS happening for parents of Middle Schoolers and BEYOND in March!

Each week will be a live session with me, where I will deliver content and facilitate learning, followed by time for parent hot seats – time for parents to share their real and relevant challenges and get laser sharp coaching from me!  AND, each week participants will get a downloadable guide as well as a companion audio meditation to use to stay connected to what they are working to integrate into their relationships with their adolescent.

Some of what we will cover includes:

  • Being with the roller coaster of the teen years

  • Recognize where we are adding to our kids discouragement, and how to step back into relationship

  • Communication tools that build resilience and connection

  • How kindness and firmness looks the same, and different as our kids get older

  • Being the parent you want to be

School, screens, peers, attitude – all of what you learn during the Seasons course will support you showing up to the challenges of THIS season in a way that aligns with your values.

Here’s what parents said about the Seasons course: 

“In these uncertain times I needed the grounding I get from Positive Discipline. Casey does a brilliant job of teaching the core concepts and guiding you through the challenges of putting them into practice. This program is for everyone. If you are familiar with Positive Discipline it’s a fantastic refresher. If you are new to Positive Discipline this will be a game-changer for your family. Your time and money will be very well spent. ”

— Mama Sarah

“I loved learning what draws us closer to our children and what pushes our children away. I know this stuff, however it was good to have it in a list that so clearly gave me visuals for how those actions show up in my life.”

— Mama Kimberly

Head over to www.joyfulcourage.com/seasons to find out more.



Joyful Courage is so much more than a podcast! I know that you love listening in every week AND I want to encourage you to dig deeper into the learning with me, INVEST in you parenting journey.

CONSIDER ONE ON ONE COACHING – The most POWERFUL of investments offered by Joyful Courage, one on one coaching allows for parents to really tease apart the current issues they are having with their child, while also developing a clear compass for guiding them in the direction they want to be going in. Coaching happens every other week, and is open for parents with kids 4 years old through the teen years. Go to my coaching page to book a free exploratory call and see if we are the right fit. → besproutable.com/parent-coaching


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Takeaways from the show


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