Eps 350 Self-care while raising teens with Elise Knox

Episode 350

My guest today is Elise Knox.

Casey and Elise share thoughts and advice on taking care of ourselves while connecting with our teens.  How do we keep it together during the turbulent teenage years?  Elise shares how she stays grounded, then Casey and Elise explore what a parent’s role is during the teen years & how parents can define and get their needs met.  They discuss how to show up helpfully, not hurtfully, in the most challenging moments, how to build relationship before the teen years, and how to show up when your teen isn’t feeling connected to you.  Elise touches on how we can have empathy and compassion for teenage troubles without projecting our experiences as adolescents.  Casey and Elise close by talking about what teens want & need from their parents. 

Guest Description 

Elise is a life and wellness coach, yoga teacher, and former middle school teacher who works with moms and teens. She is fascinated by brain development and the nervous system and believes that understanding these two things can make teen years so much easier for mamas and teens.

Elise offers mama-centered and teen-centered coaching packages. Her mission is to bring enjoyment back into family relationships by helping her clients connect with themselves so that they can stay connected to their loved ones. 

When not working in her business Elise loves impromptu dance parties, hiking to a sweet secluded swimming hole with her family, hot yoga, and cooking anything from scratch, while listening to one of her favorite podcasts.

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Takeaways from the show

  • Keeping it together during the turbulent teen years
  • Staying grounded & calm while holding boundaries 
  • Controlling your nervous system 
  • A parent’s role & needs during the teen years 
  • How to show up in challenging moments to be helpful and not hurtful 
  • Phases, behaviors, and challenges won’t last forever 
  • Showing up for your teen when they aren’t feeling connected with you 
  • Building relationship before the teen years 
  • Having compassion for teen troubles without projecting 
  • What teens want & need from us

What does joyful courage mean to you 

I love this question.  I’ve been really leaning into joyful courage, meaning really connecting with my true self and coming from that place more than what I think things should be or what other people think things should be.  I’m that person. I’m that kid who shared everything and then just stopped.  Adolescence was a darker place for me, so getting back to that true self of bubbly, joyous, little girl me – coming from that place as 39-year-old me, that takes courage and it makes me feel joy. 



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Elise Knox, Casey O'Roarty

Casey O'Roarty 00:04
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 already 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 it 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 01:28
Right, hi, everybody. Welcome back to the show. I'm excited to introduce you to my guest today. Her name is Elise Knox Elise is a life and wellness coach, yoga teacher and former middle school teacher who works with moms and teens. She is fascinated by brain development and the nervous system and believes that understanding these two things can make teen years so much easier for parents and kids. Elise offers mama centered and teen centered coaching packages. Our mission is to bring enjoyment back into the family relationships by helping her clients connect with themselves so that they can stay connected to their loved ones. When not working in her business. Elise loves impromptu dance parties hiking to a sweet secluded swimming hall with her family, hot yoga and cooking anything from scratch while listening to one of her favorite podcasts. Hi, Elise, welcome to the show.

Elise Knox 02:29
Hi, thank you so much for having me.

Casey O'Roarty 02:32
You're welcome. I love reading your bio and thinking about all the things that we have in common. I'm like, All right, you're my people. You're my people. Will you share a little bit more with the listeners about how you got into doing what you're doing?

Elise Knox 02:46
Yeah. So I think the truth is it started when I was in adolescence. Those years for me were far from graceful. And I think looking back, I was kind of kind of a mess. And from a wonderful family. But just really like struggling my way through all of it. Really, I think the more I learn about adolescence, the more I know that it goes on for much longer than I think we kind of assumed that it did. And when I looked at my life, it really didn't kind of completely and I mean, I'm still learning a lot and growing in all ways. But 25 was really like a time that things kind of started to like get themselves together a little bit more. And I think both myself and my mom could have used a lot of support during that time. And I didn't know that this was my path. And I've kind of tried to get off of it a few times. But here I am I without like planning on it. I became a middle school special education teacher in my late 20s. And then I started my family and wanted to be a full time mom. But then after a little while I wanted to keep growing and learning and I became a yoga teacher which led me to health coaching, that in my own I had some health problems that I kind of worked through the diet and lifestyle. So I did a functional medicine health coach training program. And coming out of that, though, diet and exercise and lifestyle really worked for me what I loved coaching on was I loved coaching moms and I loved coaching more on the emotional and mental and spiritual and just that kind of side of it. And so then I also found myself landing a coaching job at a middle school in high school. And I remember clearly having this conversation with my sister saying this is not like this is not what in the plans I want. I want to coach mom's wasn't planning on going back into a school setting. And she was like, just do it like, yeah, it could be part of the plan. I was like okay, And so I actually did that through COVID. So I was in the school and then I was virtual.

Casey O'Roarty 05:05
And then you were coaching the kids like coaching the tweens and teens.

Elise Knox 05:09
I was, yeah. So it was this really interesting program. I was like an independent contractor for this homeschool charter hybrid. And it was amazing connecting with the teens, one on one, I liked that a lot more than being in the classroom and managing, you know, 20 kids behavior. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, this is what I've always wanted was to like, connect more individually. And it was really challenging because I was just coaching the child at school, and a lot of what we were working on involved, the family. But there wasn't a lot of connection between me and the family. Some families were like, Oh, my gosh, who are you? Let's get to know each other. How can we help? But a lot of them weren't like that. Yeah. And so. And I also found during that time that I wanted to be able to hold a wider container for these kiddos because they weren't saying like, I need to change my sleep patterns, or like my diets not working for me.

Casey O'Roarty 06:09
I'm on my phone too often. Said no teenager ever.

Elise Knox 06:14
Yes, actually, some of them do say that to me, which is so like, I feel like whatever is happening in the world, it's working. Like a lot of teens are starting to notice whether they're doing anything about it or not. They have awareness. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe with me and not with their parents probably know.

Casey O'Roarty 06:33
Right. The last thing they want to do is fess up to their parents about that, I think well, I mean, we have conversations about that here at the house recently, even but, yeah, I get that you're safe. Because you're not the one that's like, well, let's set some limits. Let me tell you why you feel the way you feel awesome. So you're working with the teens, you're growing the container bringing in the families, and is that where you're at now.

Elise Knox 06:56
So then I was like, I would like more coaching skills. So I did a very in depth, another coach training that was like brought Cymatics, and trauma and inner child work and all of that into it. And I felt like my ability to coach grew really wide and a lot deeper. And I also realized that I didn't want to be in the school setting, and I wanted to be on my own. So here I am.

Casey O'Roarty 07:26
Yes, here you are. That's amazing. I totally relate to doing the work and recognizing Oh, there's more that I could be learning and growing into. What program did you do? What was that last program that you did? Who was that through?

Elise Knox 07:40
It was elementum. It was with Christine Hassler and Alexei pianos, a lot of like really big coaches in the industry. And yeah, it was really amazing program like for myself, and just all of the connections that I made. And yeah, super amazing. And I want to go so much deeper in so many areas. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 08:01
I love that about, you know, getting trained up to do things, especially when it's interpersonal relationship work that we're holding space for, you know, I think that if you're not actively in the work of the space holding, you don't realize how deep and profound it is for the people that are holding the space, right, like I had the same experience going through the, you know, my initial coaching program. And like the whole first half of the program was being coachable. Meaning like we as the, you know, baby coaches had to be the client, right, and go through this, unfolding this peeling back the layers process, before we could then, you know, step into the role of coach and then I also got to be a part of a really special program for coaches to then support them and like most of our work was, because we needed the high reps, right. So we got to be clients, you know, we got to continue to further in our work. And I think with parenting, and I know I talk about this a lot, you guys. So here I am, again, talking about it. But I feel like parenting is personal growth and development workshop, lifelong. Like you didn't realize you signed up, but you're at in the training room. So you can either open up to what is here for you to learn or resist. I mean, you always have the choice, but man, it feels. I don't know if the right word is better. But it sure is an opportunity when you're open to the learning. Absolutely. So tell me how your health coaching has overlapped with the work that you're doing with teens and parents. Where do you see that overlap?

Elise Knox 09:42
Yeah, so I mean, I really look at that first program as like learning to be a coach and having the knowledge of how like everything touches everything, so there's, like I don't coach a lot on sleep. I don't coach a lot on food, but like when it comes up and where it comes up, it's always in relation to other parts of the teen or the parents. And I actually have a student wellness program that I run in school, like random my daughter's school, and in that, like, I kind of do some teaching on those things and try to just plant little seeds in the teens minds about like, what is an appropriate amount of sleep for them. And, and, you know, it is, like a lot of my teens I feel like tend to come to coaching are a little bit more down the path, whether it's through their parents or through something they've seen on Instagram, or whatever it is, you know, like, they're a little more aware than I was at that age. And so they will bring it up, like, I know, my sleep schedule is off. And then I feel like I have a lot of ground to just have a conversation with them about, about what like why they think that and what their sleep looks like and what they think it should look like. So I feel like that's really where it comes in is just having like a really solid foundation that I can lean back on when those kind of issues or questions come up.

Casey O'Roarty 11:12
Yeah, I mean, sleep especially right, I think there's so much mental health unraveling, that happens when sleep isn't a priority. And I live in a community where this is a place where I feel like our school district gets it like the elementary kids go to school first in this town. And then the high schoolers start, and then the middle schoolers start, so I wasn't here when they made that shift. But it felt, you know, coming into it, it's like, Oh, good. It's a community of people who get it and are respectful to that sciatic rhythm of adolescence, regardless of how, you know, disruptive, it may or may not be to families, I think it's so important. And then also the food thing. I mean, have you done any work around eating disorders? Because I know that that feels like, I mean, that was something we navigated in our family disordered eating, it's come up with clients, it's come up in my larger community and how I mean, God, that is a slippery, steep slope, right? Once the kids are kind of messing around with how they're eating and restricting it gets really scary. Do you work with kids around that much does

Elise Knox 12:30
I have I don't like specialize in that. I have worked with quite a few girls who really are, I would say, like at the beginning of that thought process. And I also just personally experienced a lot of that myself. And it is like so challenging and personal and scary and really lifelong. Like once it starts. And so I think like, all of the skills that you learn as a coach have like holding space, and being curious and non judgmental, like, those are what, like, those are the skills that can really support through that time, I feel like because one of the teens that I was coaching with that was kind of having some troubles. And it was interesting, because her family was seeking medical support at the same time that she was seeing me, which was great, because that's not my, you know, takes a village. Yeah. And it was interesting for me just to be able to stay in that really coaching side of it. And there were things that the medical doctor was saying that I didn't agree with, but like the ultimate goal as a coach of a team is to support the team on their process. And the parents that are supporting the teams. And so like, I think that's the one area that I feel are one of the areas that I just am so grateful that I've like grown into this coaching role that I can be like, Oh, like this is super, not what I would do for myself or what I might do for my child, but this is working for them. And I'm here to support them and to be in support of them on their journey in their process.

Casey O'Roarty 14:13
Yeah. Well, today, what I was hoping that we could talk about is the work of keeping it together during the turbulence of adolescence. I was on a call recently with my membership group, my mama's that I meet with and we were talking about the importance of reducing control during the teen years, which led to a discussion around, you know, just curiosity around what are our personal indicators that let us know when we've kind of crossed over the line into overly controlling versus holding an appropriate line for our teens health and well being. I mean, to me, that's kind of my mantra. Like how health and well being is where the line in the sand is. You know, most people were like, Yeah, where is the line? You don't know? And I said, Well, I'm noticing that everybody's nodding their head. And so I'm curious, those of you that, you know, when you feel like, you can see that and you're confident in your space holding, like, what does that feel like? And one of the moms mentioned, a sense of being grounded as supporting her. Like when you're in the muck with your teen, and you've created a boundary, or you're holding a boundary. And that sense of, you know, for me, it's like, yeah, I get that like, feeling grounded versus feeling frantic. or scared or worried. What does it mean to you? How would you describe that being grounded in the moment?

Elise Knox 15:43
Yeah, I mean, that's, I'm

Casey O'Roarty 15:45
guessing you use that word? Uh huh. Yeah, your type? I'm sure you're familiar with grounded as am I? But it's fine to tease it apart, right? And make sense of it. So what does it mean to you,

Elise Knox 15:57
to me feels like, okay, like, the line that I'm holding the decision that I've made, I made from a place of, like, awareness and presence and thought. So oftentimes, if we're thrown into something, and we try to make a decision on the spot, or we're reacting to, like a question or a trigger or something, and we feel like we have to have the answer in that moment, it's going to feel very ungrounded. And so I think it would start by like, having the time to think about the line that I'm holding, and also being okay with, like, if I think it's so important to be able to say, like, I'm not sure, right now, I need to think about this for a few minutes, so that I can come, you know, you don't have to say so I can come from a place of groundedness. But you know that that's why you're here. You can, yeah, you can Yeah. And so that's something that's really important. And just really, I like to I am a student of nonviolent communication. And so the feeling is grounded. And I like to ask, like, what is the need, underneath the feeling. So like, if you're feeling like you're desiring to feel grounded, you're feeling ungrounded you're feeling chaotic, like, what is that need under the chaotic feeling that you're having. And then each situation, it might be a little bit different. But then you can really ground into, like, once you know your need, that's where I start to feel grounded. Because I'm like, I know why this is happening. I know what I need. And so I can come from this place of like, Ah, I know what I need. And the cool thing about needs is that other people can get, like, they might not have that same need in that same situation. However, needs are universal. And so they can understand like your need for safety, which as a parent of a teen, oftentimes, that's your need, like you need to know they're safe, right? And so like, even though they're like Mom, of course, it's safe to go to this party, you know, like, they can still understand, oh, there was a time I didn't feel safe.

Casey O'Roarty 18:13
Yeah. Well, and I'm thinking to as I listen to you talk, I'm noticing something that I've been known that to say that I learned from a mentor of mine, like when we have a fist like this, like we're in the moment versus looking at the moment, I think when we start to consider what are my needs right now? How can I get to a place of calm like, that gives us a little bit of room to be an observer of our experience versus like, frantically like grasping for a sense of feeling of like safety control. What about nervous system, because I know you love nervous system stuff. So when you think about that experience, and even as we move into, because I think we all want to feel calm. We all want to feel that sense of calm and that sense of peace. And it's really easy to slide into the Blamey place of like, well, yeah, if my teenagers weren't off the rails, I could feel this way. Yeah. Right. But and I'm thinking you're gonna agree with me, I think that we get to be in charge of that, regardless of the external environment. So talk to us a little bit about that.

Elise Knox 19:26
Yeah, I mean, the ultimate life hack, in my opinion, is to be able to control our nervous systems, because it's the only thing we have control over, right? Like we don't have control over what our team is doing. We do have control over the way we react. And with the nervous system, I like to think of it as kind of like the muscle. So if we're only trying to exercise the muscle in the moment of this regulation, it will not work. And so we have

Casey O'Roarty 19:59
Olympians don't Just show up at the Olympics.

Elise Knox 20:02
They're not just like, I mean, I used to think that that's kind of how life was. So I was like, well, these people are just gifted and those rights really calm, you know, but it's like, yes, some people are calling more than others. And some people have larger muscles than others. And they practice. And so it's taking like little periods throughout your day, whatever that looks like for you. I know, it shifts so much. Like when my kids were tiny, they woke me up every day, like I didn't wake up before them now that they're older, like that morning, quiet, peaceful time is my time that I can breathe. And I have a morning routine that I like to do and mornings don't work for everybody. So maybe it's evening. And throughout the day, little moments of like, holding your water, holding your hot tea, taking a smell, taking a drink, like being in the moment being present, connecting, I mean, breath for me is really important. And that I find if I don't intentionally take slow breaths throughout the day, I'll be like, ah, like, why am I saying right now? It's like, oh, because I haven't been checking in with myself. And I needed to do that.

Casey O'Roarty 21:26
Yeah. So is it true that if you take longer exhales than inhales that it slows your heart rate? Is that? Yes,

Elise Knox 21:37
yes, it is true. And it's just because like, when you focus on the exhale, the inhale just naturally becomes longer, too. So just focusing on the exhale, just slows everything down.

Casey O'Roarty 21:47
Okay? Yes, good to know, one of the things that I've had parents do in the past too, is just set a little alert on their phone throughout the day, as many times as they want, that's just with a little label, a little text reminder of breathe, or whatever the intended energy that they want to be creating in their relationships. Just a little a visual reminder on their phone, my husband's like, easy on the post it notes because I love post it notes everywhere. I'm all about the visual reminders. Yes, yeah. And so talking, you mentioned needs earlier, clarity around our needs and feeling confident and expressing them talk about because I think one place that I noticed things getting tough for parents is finding that balance, or balance might not be the right word, but recognizing our roles and responsibilities around tending to write. And when we're talking about teens, it looks different. Our role is different with teenagers than with littles. And resentment is real. Right? Resentment is real. And for me, that's an indicator that I am not speaking my needs. And that I'm, you know, saying yes, more than I should be? How is that showing up with your clients, people that you work with just that, you know, the expressing of needs and how it fits in with resentment?

Elise Knox 23:15
I mean, on a whole, I find women and mothers have a very, very hard time answering the question, what do you need. And that is for many reasons, one of them being like, there's a very good chance they never saw their mom, say what she needed at all. Or maybe say it in a way that was clean. And what I mean by that is, like, oftentimes, and I totally do this, too. I'm like, I've done this. And I've done this, and I've done this, and I've done this, so I need to go to yoga right now.

Casey O'Roarty 23:51

Elise Knox 23:52
And that in itself is like reinforcing that we feel like we don't deserve to get our basic needs met. Mm hmm. And going to yoga is a strategy that I use to get my need of like peace and calm and quiet in space. And so it's easier for others to understand us if we can actually say like, Hey, I really just need some peace and quiet and calm and space. So I'd love to go to a yoga class tonight. Can you help out with whatever's going on that night? If you're saying it to your husband's,

Casey O'Roarty 24:34
thank you for helping out. Thank you for helping. I appreciate that.

Elise Knox 24:39
Yeah. And so I think there's a lot and like, our language is so important. And we're not always as careful as we should be. And things get like we can we can end up in these patterns that just are triggering to those people around us. And so I think it really starts with like finding that clarity Be on what your needs are. And I literally have like a list that I look through of some basic needs. When I'm feeling like something is just not really, like I'm frustrated or like that resentment feeling is coming up. It's like, okay, I'm feeling resentful. What is underneath the resentment. And then from there, I can connect with myself first. And then I can come from that place of like that getting that need met, but not from the resentment. So you

Casey O'Roarty 25:35
have a checklist that you've created and share with people are your own personal checklist of like, what are the thing like what's on that list? Because I love that I love that idea of like, who I feel off, right, even just identifying like, I am mad at everybody right now. Like, I feel super irritated, and then having something to look at like, Okay, what's happening for me? I think that'd be really useful.

Elise Knox 25:59
I do. Yeah. So I have a list. I have one printed out right here. And I actually just did this because it's summertime here. And I was feeling a lot of things about lack of child care for the summer, how was I going to get like, all my work done hanging out all the things and feeling like a bad mom. So now with my kids, and then feeling like, I'm not good at my work? Because I'm you know, and resent? Yeah, my husband and all the things. And so I really sat down and looked through it was like, Okay, what are my needs for my work? And what are my needs for how I want to be with my kids this summer? And then from there, I was like, Okay, well, I need support in these two areas. And I need a time of the day where I'm not working at all, and I'm with my kids, because and when I'm doing that, like that's what I'm doing. Because my needs with them are like calm and peace and freedom and joy, and connection. And my needs for my work are like growth and meaning and space. And so I have to like have those if I don't want to feel this, like stress, anxiousness all the time. Yeah, I'm listening

Casey O'Roarty 27:14
to you. And I'm thinking about how proactive it is. And listeners, I want to encourage you to think about this and make it work for you how proactive it is to put the thought into that. So that you have the tool because resentment, irritation, annoyance, being mad at everybody, like that's going to happen, you will have those days you'll have those afternoons like it is in your future. So if we know that this is something that's going to come up, again, why not create something that's just going to help us again, like I said earlier, get a little bit of space. So we're looking more at the situation then from it. And that really allows us to, if we're willing, you got to lean into your willingness to pivot in a way that aligns with what you want that intention and the energy that you want to create with your family. I love that you should make like a cute little thing on Canva. Like a generic list. Come on. I have so I have do you have that, like we can do a little you could gain some emails, like, we'll make sure there's a link can I promise a link in the show notes? So the people okay, listeners there, you haven't heard it. The link is in the show notes for Elise's beautiful checklist. And you know, you can make it work for you. Because I think that's really useful. You know, we all want to feel better, right? Like I get that we all want to feel better. But leaning back and waiting for everybody around us to change isn't how we feel better. Like there is proactive things that we can be doing. Hey, did you participate in the relationship reset last week, I am dying to know what action you took and how its influenced your relationship with your teen. I am not claiming any overnight fixes because that just doesn't exist. I wish that I could be selling magic wands, right. I'd be a millionaire. But when you do follow through with the work that we do together with what you hear on the podcast, when you're really committed to the practice, you will absolutely notice a difference. Even if that difference is simply how you are experiencing parenting. Relationship. Nurturing takes time and the ebbs and flows of the teen years can last days, weeks, months, even years and I speak from experience. I know you know that I speak from experience and I'm here to say that you can get to the other side. Join my membership program for the support you need as you move through whatever it is that you're going through with your teenager. Listen to what other moms have said about being a part of this program.

I feel like okay, now it now it's starting to click, now it's starting to click, I still make a lot of mistakes, but I don't give myself a hard time about it, I just kind of sit back and go, Okay, what would I have done differently.

Casey O'Roarty 30:13
And I always feel like better about myself about my parenting just about, I don't know, I always take away something and it just Casey app, something about how you run this and just your personality. And I'm always happy that I've come once I'm there, I feel less alone. And a lot of the things that I'm going through with my kids,

you're an amazing facilitator, and you've brought this group together, you've created this. And it's been incredibly helpful to me and my parenting and and just making it through to the scene in the brilliance and the messiness of my parenting.

Casey O'Roarty 30:52
Mark your calendar for January 1, that's when the enrollment doors will open space is limited, you don't want to miss the first day the doors get open, I'm guessing that we will probably fill up before the enrollment period ends. So get in there and you don't want to miss it get on the waitlist now just go to B spreadable.com/ljc. Again, to get on the waitlist, go to B spreadable.com/l. J C, sliding back into as parents of adolescents and teenagers. It's challenging, regardless of you know, how many times you go to yoga during the week and how great your checklist is, you know, it is challenging, no matter your parenting style and brain development, the transition from childhood towards adulthood. It's just so messy. And all kids have a different temperament, right? There's the easygoing temperament and the more intense temperament and different tools and skills that they have honed in on as supporting them on this ride. And it's hard. So, you know, what are some tools or tips that you use to support parents with showing up to those challenging moments in a way? That is, as those of us that practice positive discipline, positive discipline trainer, we talk about being helpful and not hurtful. So what are some like strategies, practical strategies that you share with parents around being with challenges and challenging behaviors?

Elise Knox 32:26
Yeah, I think, first and foremost, like, it's so hard as a parent, but like, not taking everything personally.

Casey O'Roarty 32:35
Yep. Like, let's just plant that flag everyone and realize you're gonna hear that every time I get on this podcast. Yes. Yes. All the experts are saying it. Yeah, quit taking it personally, we know it's hard. It's so hard. And we're talking to you, we're talking to ourselves,

Elise Knox 32:51
for sure. 100%. And taking care of yourself, you know, so that you can not take everything. So personally, that is something that's really supportive, I think another thing that I find that helps, is like, knowing that this is not going to last forever. So I have just one client right now that is going through a really hard time with, she's separated from her child's father and the child is choosing to live with her ex and a lot of like, just how I mean, split family homes are so hard. And I was a I'm a stepmom to a 24 year old. So I was on not the mother's side. But you know, like, it's so complicated, it makes parenting even more challenging. And so much of what was going on for her prior to working together was like, this is forever, like, she's gone. And so really like working through that with her. And part of it, too, is under like learning a little bit more about brain development. And then with a split family home, it's even more like she's trying to appease the daughter, so many different things, different people. So it's just challenging for her. And her actions are hurtful to her mom. And it may change like tomorrow, or it maybe a month or a year down the road. But like this really hard time isn't going to be forever. And I think that's another thing that just like don't take it personally is really hard as a parent because you're in it and it's so painful.

Casey O'Roarty 34:30
Yeah, I was that 15 year old. I did move in with my dad, and left my mom and it was not handled by the grownups very well. But it was temporary. I mean, granted, it wasn't till I had my own daughter, that things really started to mend between my mom and I. And now it's 20 years later and she's you know, the top of my speed dial and we're really, really close and I remember being a teenager thinking well I guess we're done. Like, just I guess we've broken up. And she hasn't always been super expressive about her. I think it's really hard for her to think back to that time, we've had a few really beautiful conversations around it. But I know that, you know, I'm guessing Well, she definitely was taking it personally. And I don't know what she thought if there was like a light at the end of the tunnel. And that is something that I say to parents a lot too. I talked a lot about that, you know, in these hard times, I think the gift of working really hard not to take it personally. And to trust that everything's temporary. I think the gift of that is that it allows us or it supports us in responding to the current challenge in a way that maintains an environment that continues to be inviting for when we get to the other side of the challenge, because I think it's so ripe for hurtful behavior and for things that we can't take back and things that we can say, that can do enough damage to you know, when it's all said and done, and the child has moved into late adolescence and maturities landed and like they're not looking for relationship with us, because the pain was so much. So I think there's something really powerful there around continuing to show up even when, you know, I have clients whose kids just don't talk to them, you know, and it's like, well, keep showing up and not obnoxiously, like, hey, you know, but like, keep showing up really means, you know, just trust that be a presence, and be loving presence and accepting presence. Yeah, communication, just really being everything. And I also talk this way about relationship as well. And there's a lot of parents of teenagers right now who feel like there's a wall, there's a wall, and a lot of that might have to do with years of, you know, parents with the best intentions. judging, criticizing, lecturing, offering unsolicited advice. I mean, I'm raising my hand like I, and I think kids get to a place where they're over it, and an age where they realize like, I love this, and I hate this about the teen years where it's like, Oh, I get to think for myself, right? I get to think for myself now, which means maybe I don't need to get all of my information from you, or I now have the autonomy or autonomy is dawning on me to where I can say no, thank you or shut the door, or I don't want to talk about it. What are your thoughts around that?

Elise Knox 37:45
Yeah, I have a lot of thoughts around this. Because I work with teens and I work with moms. And sometimes those moms have teens, sometimes they have younger kids. And so like you said, this way of being with our kids is most helpful if it starts before they're teenagers.

Casey O'Roarty 38:02
Right? Of course. And I know that there's listeners who are like, yeah, yeah, and and

Elise Knox 38:09
I think there's a few things that like turn that switch, part of it is just, you know, development like their kids, teens are so much more connected and aware of their peers and wanting to be like them to be the people that they bounce their ideas off of than their parents at some point. And the stakes are high when our kids come to us as teens and want to share. And so we have to be really aware of our expression or body language, and how we respond to them, or very quickly, like that door can close. And teenagers are very, like, they go negative, you know, a lot of them go negative, even if it's just like, you're busy. And you're just not like you know, so it doesn't mean that you weren't listening or you were angry. It just means that that's how they perceived it. And so it's really important that we're aware of that, right. The other thing that I think happens a lot, especially with moms is we project onto our teens, things that we experienced as an adolescent or a teenager. I am very aware of this and like, proactively trying to resolve this issue of mine, I had a really painful, horrible breakup. I was a freshman in high school that completely changed the rest of my life and like I think I'm still recovering from. So in some ways that gives me a lot of compassion for the teens that I work with and for my daughters when they may go through that. And it also I have an immense amount of fear. Yeah, terror,

Casey O'Roarty 39:50
terror really like where's the nunnery? Send her to the convent.

Elise Knox 39:56
Like, when is my daughter's heart gonna get broken? Yeah, yeah. And I experienced that with the teens that I work with. They're like, you know, when teen for example, has like a puppy love boyfriend, they like hold hands, their friends, then they hold hands, you know, and her mom has gone to, like pregnancy, drug abuse, like all the way all the way down that road in a ditch. Yep. And the teen is like, I will never talk to you about this again in a moment. And then that can like bleed into other areas of life, too. So now she's not talking about the boys. But then now she's not talking about this. And now she's not talking about that. And so we're all going to, like respond in ways that are inappropriate, but repairing, you know, I think what is the saying, like, repair is much stronger than rupture. So, yes, you're going to have a moment where you respond inappropriately, and then you get the chance to repair. Yeah, and what are you teaching your kids by repairing? You're teaching them that they can do that? Yeah. And that you make mistakes?

Casey O'Roarty 41:02
Yes, I love repair so much. And sometimes you actually get closer. Mm hmm. Because it's an opening. You know, for me, it's not heartbreak, although, of course, none of us want our kids hearts to be broken. But I was super sneaky, and did all the things and so on high alert. Uh huh. You know, to remind myself, my kids are being raised in a different family system. We have very different relationships than I had with my parents. And they're like, Mom, I'm not you. And developmentally it is appropriate, some mischief making is appropriate. And not all mischief making is like, the superhighway to addiction to meth. You know what I mean? Like,

Elise Knox 41:49
well, because look at

Casey O'Roarty 41:51
look at me. I'm so high functioning, I only need therapy once a week. Oh, same. Same. Yes, no. But seriously, though, you know, when I can circle back and say, Hey, I responded, you know, I shot from the hip, I was in total reaction mode. I'm sorry. And this is how I'm helping myself do better. I just got really scared, then it opens a door to a different kind of conversation, which is, I think our teenagers especially, are dying for authenticity, and for transparency from their parents. And, you know, making repairs is a place for that. And I think, you know, because they have great bullshit radars, and they have great, you know, manipulation radars, and when they can sniff that out from a mile away. So if you're looking for, like, how do I get them to do what I want, I recently had to send an email to new clients. Like, I think you're understanding that my role is not to give you new and creative ways to keep doing what you're doing, because what you're doing isn't useful. Like, we're going to really shift and look at this through a whole new lens. Yeah, that really centers relationship and trust.

Elise Knox 43:02
Yeah, 100%. And I mean, I have a similar, like, I had a heartbreak. And then I just went off the rails prior to the heartbreak and after, with, like, doing all the things and with my stepson, I was like, we're gonna find out, you know, like, it was like, how do we find out all the things? Yeah, what are you doing? Yeah, how can you be so like, not caring about every single thing, husband? And

Casey O'Roarty 43:25
I'm like, I know what he's doing.

Elise Knox 43:27
I know, all of it. I'm gonna get to the bottom of that bit of I don't. And I don't want that. Like, it's exhausting. That is not a good nervous system to live with, you know? And so like, I can feel that in my body just talking about it. And how much I don't want to be like that with my kids. Yeah, yeah. And like you said, like, everything is different. Everything, the family structure, the human, like, they're not me. It gets to be a new experience, we get to learn and grow along with them. And part of that is like really working through our own stuff.

Casey O'Roarty 44:00
Yeah, I mean, I'm listening to you, I know your girls are a little bit younger. And I know, like, I don't want to be like that with my kids. And then it sits down at the table. And you get to, you know, the nice thing about being really into personal growth and development, which I'm picking up that you're super into it like me, the nice thing about that is, like you said, when you can start to feel that nervous system triggered and peaking, then it becomes like, oh, so what is happening here in front of me is animating this experience of mine. And isn't that a powerful place to get curious and to take care of ourselves? And really, if you're listening and you're like, God, I swore I wasn't going to be like this, you know, first compassion because I know we all said that and turns out it's a little bit more work than we didn't realize it was gonna be now that we're here like, God bless all the parents who are listening right now who are like, I just want to prepare for the teen years because It's like, I want to prepare for childbirth. It's like, okay, well, you don't really know it until you're in it. And you know, you keep preparing. It's all good. And when you're in it, you get to make some choices, right? Because you will be confronted by that shoot from the hip response, and you're conditioning and your own story and fear. And that's the Olympics. Yeah. And that's the Olympic race. That's when the practice that you were talking about earlier really comes into play. Yeah, I want to know, too, I'm looking at the time, but what are the teens telling you? So the kids that you work with are the ones that are kind of like, Yeah, I'm into this. So yeah, that's the sample, but what are they expressing to you about what they wish their parents would do more of as far as being in relationship with them?

Elise Knox 45:49
Yeah, connection, truthfully, you know, like, and it's interesting, because I have teens kind of across the board that I work with. And so some of them are very connected to their families, and they're struggling socially, or like with food, you know, and then some of them are really craving for their parents, too. It's interesting how clients come to me and what their struggle, you know, like, the different challenges that they have, like an understanding of this new person they're becoming, I think it's one thing being really open. I think another thing is like, not attaching, like I have a client that I work with right now, and her mom was like, no, she sent these texts that I saw, they were so hurtful to me. And then when I talked to the team, she's like, my mom is amazing. She's great. Like, you know, yeah, we have our challenges, but she's like, I'm so lucky. And so that's like, an interesting point that I feel like is the benefit of working with both sides, is that I do see like, the actions that they're taking don't necessarily align with, like, what they feel in their hearts. So understanding that as a parent can hopefully make that don't take it personally, a little bit easier. And then another thing that's like, super just, I think, interesting for parents to hear and kind of funny, is like how many times a client will say, when I asked a little bit about their parents. It's an interesting dynamic, because typically, I'm hired by the parent. And so I do sense that some teens definitely buffer things and like are they don't share everything around their mom, usually who hired me. But across the board, they will say like, yeah, my dad's pretty cool. My mom is just super annoying.

Casey O'Roarty 47:42
Sounds about right. You

Elise Knox 47:44
know, and so that makes me laugh when I think of it. And also like, knowing that I'm going to be entering like, my dad's pretty cool. My mom's super annoying phase. Maybe it'll make this phase where it's like, none of them and mama a little bit easier. You know, like, well, this isn't gonna be forever. Yeah. But that's something that I also find. And it's because we're like that mother. Like the energy. We're taking care of business. We're taking care of business. We're holding it all together. Yeah. Which

Casey O'Roarty 48:11
means we're like, clean your room and make your lunch and get that thing turned in, which are all valid requests. Yeah.

Elise Knox 48:20
Yeah. And one other thing that I also find is important is like the energy that we come to our teens with. A lot of times like, it's needy energy. Mm hmm. And that is like a recipe for disaster. Yes, teenagers are like ill. Oh, like, I sensed that mom, like from across the room.

Casey O'Roarty 48:42
Yeah. Desperation. Yeah, the smell of desperation.

Elise Knox 48:46
Yeah. So that's something like if you're able to identify your true needs, and ask for them, either from your teen or from other people, or just like, know what they are, so you can meet them yourself and show up to situations a little bit less needy, that's also going to be supportive in communication and connection and all of those things.

Casey O'Roarty 49:07
Guys, that's a deep one. I love that one. Because if you're starting to notice, desperation, in the room, noticing that neediness for yourself. I mean, it just comes back to we can create influence, but we cannot control the outcome. We cannot like one of the moms last night was talking about, I want to know that my child feels loved, and I want to feel love from them. And I was like, would it change in your life, if you could let go of the need to feel love from them and just focused on offering up the love because you might not feel that for a while, like things are rough. And so anybody that's listening that's holding on to that kind of, you know, wanting that reciprocated dynamic. It's not a terrible thing. But if everything is waited on that, you're gonna be miserable. You might be miserable for a while. And so like recognizing that desperation, for me is also like, Where can I fill my own love bucket? Right, independent of what's happening for this adolescent in my life?

Elise Knox 50:21
I was just gonna say that, how can you love yourself a little bit more? Yeah, you know, with the client who's going through the child wanting to live with other parents. So I'm always like, what are you doing for you? Yeah, and the like, one other thing that I do is like, make a list of all the ways that you loved and, like, nurtured this relationship in this child. Like, that's all in there underneath their teenage angst Enos right now. Yeah. And if you're solid on that, like they're solid on that, they're going through some things, but underneath, there's like that really strong foundation and

Casey O'Roarty 50:53
yeah, trust it. Yeah. Yeah. So good.

Elise Knox 50:58
Yes, thank you.

Casey O'Roarty 51:00
I always end with the question, which is, what does joyful courage mean to you?

Elise Knox 51:06
Hmm. I love this question. I've been really leaning into joyful courage, meaning like really connecting with my true self and coming from that place more than what I think things should be or what I think other people think things should be. I'm that person. I'm that kid who was shared everything and then just stopped. And adolescence was really like kind of a darker place for me. And so getting back to that true, the true self of like, bubbly, joyous little girl me and coming from that place as 39 year old me. That takes courage. And it makes me feel joy. Yay.

Casey O'Roarty 51:51
I love that. Where can people find you and follow your work?

Elise Knox 51:55
So I'm on Instagram, at least Knox connection coach, and I like to make funny reels. And

Casey O'Roarty 52:03
for you. I'm still working on that.

Elise Knox 52:06
It's been such a journey of joyous courage.

Casey O'Roarty 52:12
For sure, for sure. I'm gonna lean into that.

Elise Knox 52:16
Yeah. And then I'm at least knots.com

Casey O'Roarty 52:18
Okay, great. And those links will be in the show notes. Thank you so much for spending time with me. This was so great. Thank you

Casey O'Roarty 52:29
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, will you 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.

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