Eps 329: Being With What’s Coming Up for Your Teen

Episode 329

This week’s throwback is a reminder that we get to show up for our teens in a way that is helpful, not hurtful. They are navigating all the things and they need to know that we see them, they need to be believed and to experience validation around what is real for them.

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Takeaways from the show

  • Difference between controlling our teens vs being with them
  • Punishments are not the only tool for navigating behavior
  • Trust your teens want to learn and evolve
  • Remembering life is unfolding FOR us
  • Ask yourself if your fear for your teen is valid
  • Look for openings to offer curiosity
  • Feel seen- when our kids are struggling it’s hard
  • Leaning into an energy of comfort
  • Keep showing up for your teen
  • Surrender to what is now while also holding onto the fact that nothing stays the same
  • Be curious and supportive about what your kids want
  • Get out of the way and trust your kids

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Casey O'Roarty 0:00
It is painful to be rejected by your teen. And please know, please know that the hurt your teen is throwing at you is probably the same amount of hurt that they're carrying around themselves, and they need to unload it. They need to unload it. And I know there are so many layers here and special flavors that are specific to your teen, and I want to honor that absolutely, and I want to encourage you to work on relationship as you can. Hello, my friends, hello, welcome to joyful courage, a conscious parenting podcast where we tease apart the challenges and nuances of parenting through the adolescent years. I'm your host, Casey overard. I'm a positive discipline trainer, and I'm the adolescent lead at sproutable, a company that represents not only the growth of children, but also the journey and evolution that we go through as parents. I'm walking the path right next to you as I navigate the teen parenting with my own two kids, 16 year old, 19 year old, here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, joyful courage is about grit. Grit represents growth on the parenting journey. Relationships that provide a sense of connection and meaning and influential tools that support everyone in being their best selves. I love creating this podcast for you. I love hearing that it matters to you. Thank you for the love and reviews on Apple podcast. Please keep them coming. Thank you for being here, for listening to and loving this show. We are over 1 million downloads and 300 plus episodes strong, and you've taken us to the top 1% of podcasts worldwide. That's a big deal. I so appreciate you. Enjoy the show.

Welcome back. Welcome back, listeners. Woohoo. I'm so glad to be showing up for you all here today, grateful that you are listening in. Did you catch last week's show with Kirsten kobabe? Oh my gosh. So good, so good. I loved being in conversation with her, and I trust that you enjoyed listening to that conversation. She is the dreamiest I am fresh from travel. I got to spend time on the East Coast and spoke at the positive discipline Association Conference in Alexandria, Virginia. And then I led a two day in person, teaching parenting, the positive discipline way training. Oh my gosh. So I trained new parent educators. I love doing this work in person. I love facilitating in person. I love all of you that I work with via zoom, and I'm really happy that that tool exists. And I love being in person. I love being with humans and everything that becomes available when we're in the same room and able to really be present in physical presence with each other. So yay. That's really fun to share today. I want to talk about being with what is coming up for our teens, versus thinking that we can control our teens. So you know, it might be kind of what I always talk about, but I try to get new spins on the concepts that I bring to you, because, you know, not everybody receives the information the same way, and maybe if I say things in a different way, then one of you that is listening that maybe wasn't getting the concept before is gonna get it and hear it and be like, Ooh, yeah. Okay, that makes sense to me. So we're gonna talk about the difference between controlling our teens or thinking that we need to control our teens, versus what it means to be with them, right be with them. So I just finished week four of my six week parenting class with a group of parents that I am so enjoying always. I always love my group that shows up for the six weeks, and what we focus on during Week Four is punishment, consequences and solutions and family meetings, right? And it's a powerful week, and I don't start with this because it can feel kind of confrontational to tell parents that punishments might not be as useful as they think they are. Even consequences don't need to be a tool, like our number one tool for navigating behavior. And you know, I want to just acknowledge that my foundation is in positive discipline. And people hear the word discipline and they think that it means, you know, to punish, right? Like what you do when they get you have to discipline them. You have to discipline your kids. They need discipline. And really in positive discipline, what we're holding as discipline is teaching. It means to teach. That's what discipline's about. And. Somewhere along the way, that got morphed into, you know, quote, teaching them a lesson, which actually isn't a terrible thing, like we want to teach our kids lessons about how to be in the world, but discipline became like, kind of like laying down the hammer, teaching them a lesson, making them feel bad so they never do that thing again, right? And you know, while that might be useful in the short term, time and time again, we find that the results of that kind of discipline, of teaching them a lesson, of punishing our kids might not actually have the results that we want. And so that's why, in positive discipline, we really focus on looking for solutions. We ask ourselves or ask our teens, how are they feeling? Where do they need some skill building? What are the assumptions that we're holding on to? How are we moving our kids and supporting them and moving in the direction of doing what's best for them? How are we supporting our kids in identifying what's best for them? That's what discipline means to me. I

And again. And also we talked about family meetings, which I did a little while, not too long ago, a couple months ago, I think I did a solo show about teasing apart family meetings, and that family meetings aren't a place to talk about, like, you know what's going wrong? It's not like, oh, everything's hitting the fan. We need to have a family meeting. Family meetings are about connection and finding out what's going on with each other, talking about schedule, planning, time together, acknowledging each other and our gifts and our skills and yeah, we solve problems in family meetings. However, we come from a place of curiosity. So anyway, that's was the topic for my class this last week, and I just got me thinking, and I've had a few coaching calls and just some different conversation. And I'm always kind of dancing with this concept and supporting parents and recognizing when they're kind of stuck in seeing tools parenting tools, as tools for getting their kids to do what they want, and how that really kind of misses the point of what I try to bring to parents, what I'm holding parenting. It's not about, I mean, you know, like, we want cooperation, right? We want space for cooperation. We want to invite our kids into relationship and contribution, absolutely, and we want to get a deeper understanding of our teens, absolutely, also, but parenting is simultaneously the space that we hold that allows our teens to get a deeper understanding of themselves that allows our teens to start connecting the dots between, you know, their response to life and and what it's getting them right, we get to hold that space for them. So, you know, when I ask parents to consider what do you want most for your teens, you know what you want for them. You know, the list will include that they, you know, they want their kids to develop a sense of confidence, responsibility, a sense of self. Parents want teens to feel fulfilled, to feel happy, to be exploring passions. They want teens to learn how to develop healthy relationships and self sufficiency. Parents want their kids to practice and learn self control and accountability. They want them to play well with others, right? The list goes on and on. We could add to that list. We have to remember. We get to remember that we can't give our teens these qualities. Like that would be great, but we can't give them these qualities. We can't talk these qualities into our teens. We can't force them to develop these skills and these qualities. What we can do is we can trust that these are things they might just want to learn, right? Like, if you ask your teens, do you want to feel happy? Do you want to feel a sense of self control? Do you want to explore self and healthy relationships? Chances are they're going to be like, Yeah, I'm into that, right? But remembering that these are things that our teens will learn to grow into as they meet life unfolding, as they meet life unfolding. I'm sure you've heard me talk about this, right? I talk about this in my own practice of meeting life as it unfolds. And sometimes life is unfolding meaning, like my kids are struggling or having a hard time or getting into mischief. Sometimes life unfolds and it looks like somebody's sick, right? Somebody's sick, somebody's been diagnosed with something. Sometimes life's unfolding, you know, and the economy crashes, or somebody loses their job, or our partnership feels shaky, right? Life unfolds in all different ways, and we get to meet life as it unfolds. We get to learn about ourselves. And about others and about what we're capable of as we meet life unfolding. The same is true for our teens, right? Life is unfolding for them as well, and well intentioned, loving parents can get in the way of that unfolding. And why? Why do we get in the way? Right? Literally, we jump in front of life sometimes and say, No, I'll handle this. You don't need this. I don't want you to feel this pain and suffering. We think we know better. And when you consider a behavior or an experience that's showing up for your teen, I want you to consider something that's happening right now in your family, and it could be something around you know, whether or not they're being helpful around the house, all the way to if your teens are lying or engaging in risky behavior, getting sneaky. And I want you to ask yourself these questions, what am I afraid of? What am I most afraid of in the context of this challenge? And is this fear valid? Right? Is this fear valid? Are there other possible outcomes that are equally as likely as what I fear most? Does that make sense? Are there other possible outcomes that are equally as likely as what I fear most? Worst case scenario is a scenario. Are there other possibilities that could unfold? What are the strengths that your teen is currently showing you, even inside of this behavior, what are their strengths and what are the tools that your teen might be lacking? Right? What's getting in their way? What does your teen need from you, and how can you approach them in a way that allows them to feel seen and heard and loved and accepted, right? We are confronted by the challenges with our kids. We're confronted by the challenges with our kids, and then we spin into fix it mode or consequence mode, and we forget to sit with what is happening. And these questions are designed to support you in sitting with what is happening, what you're seeing and what you're feeling about your teen. What are you afraid of? Is it valid? Are there other possible outcomes? What are the strengths that are showing up here, and what are the tools that are missing. What does your teen need from you, and how can you approach them in a way that leaves them feeling seen, heard, loved and accepted? That's my favorite question. That last question, how can I approach my teen in a way that allows them to feel seen and heard, loved and accepted? When I think about this, I think about looking for openings to offer some curiosity, because, and you've heard me say this before, often we believe that we have all the information, that we know what's going on, that we know what our kids need, and so when we drop into curiosity, we get to possibly learn something new and get Ever more clear on what's actually happening under the surface, because all we see is the tip right of the iceberg. You've heard me talk about the iceberg, and so curiosity, true curiosity, allows us to paint a more detailed picture of what's happening with our kids, right? If we are in a dynamic that is tricky, right? We get to own our part of the dynamic. How are we influencing what's happening with our kids? How can we let the message of love get through? We want to be kind and firm, right? And invite the teen and to create a win, win together, right? That's kind of in our approach after we've moved through the questions and we're approaching our teens, these are the ways that we help them feel seen and heard right, when they know that we love them no matter what, when they can feel the structure, the boundary of our firmness as well as connection and seeing them, and when they know that we're looking for a win. Win. This isn't about me getting what I want, and you not getting what you want. It's about, let's figure out something where we can meet in the middle. And it can be hard, like this, stuff is hard when our kids are struggling. It is hard, and it doesn't matter if you look around and say, Well, you know that kid's having bigger struggles than my kids, so what's my issues? Right? No, it's all relative. When our kids are struggling, it's hard. So I want you to take a deep breath and feel seen. Now you may be a parent who is saying as I'm talking, yeah, yeah, this is all great, but my teen won't talk to me. And I know you exist. I know you exist, and some of you are in my membership group. Some of you are clients of mine, or you've reached out on social media to tell me how painful it is to have kids in the house that are in full rejection mode. It's painful. It is painful to be rejected by your teen. And please know, please know that the hurt your teen. Is throwing at you is probably the same amount of hurt that they're carrying around themselves, and they need to unload it. They need to unload it. And I know there are so many layers here and special flavors that are specific to your teen, and I want to honor that absolutely, and I want to encourage you to work on relationship as you can, as you can. So let's look at some places to consider. All right, if you have a teen that is reluctant to be in conversation with you, where you're making those bids for connection and they're rejecting you, I want to know. I want you to consider, do you have anything to clean up or acknowledge

in the relationship and remembering that our kids experience us through their filter, you know, and they're also looking for evidence once they've decided like, Oh, my mom or my dad, they're so critical of me. And you might not feel critical. You might just feel like, Hey, I'm just pointing out the places that could use a little work, but your teen is feeling like you are always critical of them and to stay safe, they shut down and they're not going to answer questions, because they know that that space is a place where they will feel hurt. Teens need to feel safe and understood. They need you to be vulnerable, and they need you to be humble, and they need to be taken seriously. So, you know, it can sound like babe, I recognize that in the past, I have been really judgmental of some of the choices that you're making, and I'm guessing it can feel like I'm really critical of you, and you feel judged, and I'm really sorry about that, and I'm really working to understand myself better and to pay attention to how I'm using language, because I love you so much. Notice where you can add a bit more one on one time with your team, even if you aren't actually talking out loud with each other, where can you be in space and you get to really lean into creating an energy of comfort, at least what's coming from you is ease and comfort and connection, right? Again? It doesn't have to be in conversation. It can simply be finding that pleasant energy, generating an energy of pleasant connection and ease while sitting next to your teen on their bed, on the couch, in the car, and keep showing up, even when they are rejecting you. And this doesn't mean like, you know, be obnoxious about it. It just means that you're gonna keep asking, you know, hey, you know, did you have a good day at school? Or, Hey, I'd love to hear about how your friends are doing, regardless of how they respond to that. Keep showing up. Keep letting them know I love you and I'm interested in your life. I love you and I'm interested in your life, and I'm here for when you want to share with me, don't take it personally. Don't take this rejection personally, and this is super tough, but I want you to consider that how you respond now will influence how things will play out later.

How you respond now to your teen and their behavior, whether they're pushing you away or having big, explosive meltdowns, how you respond now will influence how things will play out later. Will influence whether they move towards you in relationship, or if they're going to continue to push you away, take care of yourself and find a safe space to process how you're feeling. That's one of the things that I love about my membership program. Do a little membership plug. It's a space for moms of tweens and teens to feel seen and heard. It's a place to process, it's a place to learn and it's a place to support each other, that community is so key and important and special, let the message of love get through. It could sound like, Hey, I know that we are pretty disconnected right now, and I just want you to know that I love you so much. It might look like, you know, making a meal that you know your child loves without fanfare, without making it a big deal, just making sure that there's something on the table that you know is a favorite of theirs, or a dessert that's a favorite of theirs, or, you know, doing little things that shows them in action. You. That you see them, you appreciate them, you love them. And then another place to consider too is to surrender to what is now, while also holding on to the fact that nothing stays the same. Right being in the practice of accepting, surrendering to what is happening now, while also holding and trusting that nothing is going to stay the same, everything is going to change. Man, it takes so much trust, doesn't it? So much trust? Ah, so much personal work. And you know, there are ways of responding to our teens that are short term. You can see results quicker, you know, like punishment and consequences. But what are those actual results? And are they what we want most, or is it simply surface compliance, right? Or there's those long term the long term mindset, which is the idea that growth requires practice, right how we be with our kids and with what's coming up for them in a way that creates critical thinking skills, allowing them to learn through the consequences of experience, maintaining connection with a healthy person who's going to love us No matter what kind of mischief we get into. And so at the beginning, I want to talk about being with what is coming up for our teens, versus thinking we need to control our teens because we can't control them. And that's a tough one to really sit with, because it feels really like, oh god. So does that mean they're controlling themselves? Yeah, yeah. And our job is to create the space, to create an environment where they can learn what that means, what that looks like for them. Be supportive. Be curious about what your kids want talk about the future and how they see it. Find out what's important to them. Let them know you are there to support them in moving in the direction of their goals. Have these kinds of conversations. What do you want most? Tell me about what you're curious about, what you want to learn, what you think about when you consider leaving the house. Yes, have expectations. I'm not saying, you know, go Aqua thought like have expectations for your kids, but also notice and check your expectations. Keep them in check, right? Because one of the things that I hear a lot from parents, and that I want to push back on has to do with school and grades, right? And parents are great, myself included. I'm sure these words have come out of my mouth where you say, I don't care about your grades. I just want to know that you're doing your best. I just want to make sure that you're putting in your best effort. And I'm curious, do you always show up as your best? Are you giving every workout that you do, your best, every project at work, every chore you do? Do you phone it in? Sometimes? Are you ever thinking you know what exactly do I have to get done and what can I let go of, or how little can I do and still feel like I'm getting done with the things on my to do list I want you to really sit with how often you are doing your best. What do you give your all right? When are you motivated to do your best? Is it when you feel inspired when you have respect for the person that's inviting you into the project or into the expectation. And what about when you feel uninspired? Are you doing your best when you feel uninspired? What about when tasks feel pointless? How hard are you working on those things. How often are you putting them off? Right? Our teens are doing the best they can with the tools they have in the moment. They are doing the best they can with the inspiration that they're feeling in the moment. How about we expect them to make it work the best they can? How about if all they're inspired to aim for is a C and you're having conversations about what's important to them and what they need to do to get what they want? How about we allow them to be on their journey and let go and see what happens, let the natural consequences do their work. If that feels uncomfortable to you, I want you to come back to these questions. What am I afraid of? Is this fear valid? Are there other possible outcomes that are equally as likely as what I fear most? What are the strengths my teen is currently showing? What are the tools that they could be? Missing. What does my teen need from me, and how can I approach my teen in a way that allows them to feel seen and heard and loved and supported? Ah, this is the work right? Being with how things are being, with how things are being okay with today, and trusting that our teens are going to grow and evolve because they are. They are. Our teens are growing and evolving. They are maturing. It is happening no matter what. And of course, coming back to what I always say, which is, relationships matter, the tension of life unfolding is so powerful. So get out of the way and trust your kids. Trust their ability to learn, trust their ability to connect the dots. Step in to maybe support them in that reflection, but notice where you're doing the reflection for them. Be with them. Be with them in their challenges. What do you think about that? I would love to know your thoughts about all of this. It's a lot, it's a lot, and for some of you, it may push up against what you believe, and for others, it might feel like the permission or the release that you've been waiting for. So either way, I'm here for it. I'd love to hear it from you. I love this stuff. I love considering it. I love teasing it apart, rolling around in it, and I invite you to join me. So stay open to something different and reach out. If you need support, I am here for you. I have had some really lovely explore calls with potential new clients in the last few days, and I just want to extend the invitation to you if you want to jump on a 15 minute call with me to hear about what I have to offer parents. The membership is going to be opening up in July. So there's that. And I do have some space in my coaching calendar. I want you to use the link to book that explore call in the show notes, and let's talk. Let's connect, because I'm here for it, all right, and that's what I've got for you today. I hope that you found value, and I'll see you next time.

There you have it, another solo show in the bag. If you have any questions, you can reach out to me at [email protected], I read all the emails that come my way. If you love the show, please show your support by writing a review wherever you listen to podcasts to help our impact grow, or take a screenshot and share it in your story. Share it on your social media. Let people know that you love the show. Thank you to the team at sproutable for your back end help. Thanks Rowan for taking care of the show notes. Chris, you and your team at pod shaper. Thank you so much for your stellar editing. I'm so honored that all of you listen each week. We're all doing the best we can in the moment, including your teens, including you. Have a beautiful week, and again, I'll see you Thursday with a super special Thursday throwback. Love you. Bye.

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