Eps 357: Radical moves for parenting Gen Z

Episode 357

Today is a solo show that highlights shifting our thinking about how we are showing up for Gen Z and why this is crucial as we move through the adolescent years with our kids. I share three essential tools for making this shift in a way that strengthens relationship and provides space for our kids to discover who they’re meant to be.

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Takeaways from the show

  • Taking a stand for Generation Z
  • Pushing against the traditional box
  • Vertical relationships vs horizontal relationships
  • Tools for being in horizontal relationship with our kids
  • The power and vulnerability of authenticity
  • The connection between trust and acceptance

Today Joyful Courage means a willingness to embrace the work of figuring out the best way to hold space for my kiddos and to let go of the idea that I know better THAN them about what is right FOR them. I am getting a lot of practice in this right now!

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Hello, Welcome back. Welcome to the joyful courage podcast, a place for inspiration and transformation as we work to keep it together. While parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people. And when we can focus on our own growth and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already, I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at Sprout double. Also mama to a 20 year old daughter and a 17 year old son, I am walking right beside you on the path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it really real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is a solo show and I'm confident that what I share will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families around the globe. If you're feeling extra special, you can rate and review us over in Apple podcasts. I'm so glad that you're here. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Enjoy the show.
Hey, hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Welcome back. Hi, I'm so glad that you're here with me today. This Thursday solo show I love being on the mic and talking directly to you, which is what I get to do today. I'm going to talk today about a radical moves we get to make while parenting Gen Z. So I mentioned this in a newsletter recently, and I've been talking about it a bunch here and there with different people. I had a really, really powerful clarity call with a time mastery coach, her name is Nadine Nicholson and her business is called ascend leadership. And she and I got to do spend some time together last week. And it was so useful. It was such a useful coaching conversation, for many reasons. But one of the areas of clarity that really came up for me is my why, for this work that I do. I love working with and supporting parents, you. And I'm so glad for the ways that I get to create meaningful content for you, whether it's this podcast, or the membership or classes, or one on one coaching. But when I really consider who I am taking a stand for in my work, and actually isn't you it isn't parents, it's your kids. I am taking a stand for Gen Z, I'm taking a stand for a world that evolves into one that centers belonging and relationship and respect for our fullest expression, a world that allows for the next generation and the next and the next and the next to have the freedom to truly explore who they are, so that they can develop into who the world needs. Right who the world needs right now. And I feel like Gen Z they get this. I think for some of them. It's like a deep, energetic understanding that maybe they can't articulate but they feel it. They know it. For others, it might be a really clear, obvious vision, I think about like Greta Thornburg and how, you know, she's such a powerhouse for the environmental movement, versus, you know, kids that like my daughter, who just knew that the system that she was a part of was not serving her, she didn't feel comfortable in her own skin. And she couldn't really name it at the time. But she had to get out of that, that structure and that system. When I think of Gen Z and all the ways they're pushing against this traditional box that we try and put them in, I think it really mirrors the general unrest of society as a whole. Right? I mean, our education system is outdated. Our government systems are outdated, falling apart, the path to success is outdated. And yet we all continue to try and operate inside of these systems, hoping that we can create different results. And it's not right really working. So as they come of age and move through adolescence move through that transition towards adulthood. Gen Z sees that the box the adults are holding them in and expecting them to fit inside of isn't useful to them. And now some of you have kids that are temperamentally more easygoing and willing to follow the old rules and keep the peace and kind of move through the narrative that is being passed down. But others and I include myself here, my kids, we have kids that are saying, Nope, that doesn't work for me. And it's a load of crap. Right, this shows up as can show up as defiance, as pushing back challenges at school substance use mental health breakdowns, our kids are not thriving in the old box, and they cannot get to thriving, when we parents just try to create new and creative ways to get them into the old box. When we do that, right? When we do that, we are actually harming our kids, and no doubt harming our relationship with them. So let's take a look at relationship right? This is really radical work, right? This is a reframing, most of us were brought up in a system of vertical relationships. And what that meant was there was the boss or the leader or the parent who was at the top and had the most power, and the most power because they had the most wisdom, the most experience, and you did what you were told, or you were expected to do what you were told, I would also say that these relationships can fall into people at the top demanding respect, while not always infusing respect into how they're treating the people below them. Right, especially when the people on the top are feeling scared or threatened. And this tracks right. I mean, as a parent, I definitely have a tendency to lean towards the power card. When I feel like I have no control over the situation with my kids, especially early on. It's something that I feel like I've spent a lot of time because of the work I do, playing with working on and letting go of like using my awareness to recognize when I'm feeling out of control, and I'm noticing my tendency to want to like me or phone or you're grounded, or what can I do to you to make you do what I want, right? I noticed those tendencies and tend to not go there. And I see it in the community. When people talk about tough love. fucking hate tough love or punitive consequences to get our kids to do what we want doesn't mean that we don't have expectations doesn't mean that we don't have conversations that are hard. But tough love is BS. Right? What are we doing to our kids here? I had someone recently tell me that, you know, he has to work with people that he doesn't like. And he still shows up to work in reference to a situation where the kids were struggling with overly harsh leadership from an adult. And I was like, what? Like, how does that relate our kids? Having a threshold for dealing with deeply discouraging and hurtful adults isn't a character flaw? Okay, I'm gonna say that, again. Our kids, having a threshold for being able to deal with deeply discouraging asshole adults is not a character flaw. And the kids that can compartmentalize and deal with it. They're not winning either. They're, it's also hurtful for them. Right? So it just makes me crazy. It makes me crazy. Because when we talk about tough love, we talk about it. And I saw a post in our Facebook group about this too. Mom posted about her 17 year old having a hard time at school and a lot of anxiety in the team at the school saying, you know, you just got to, you got to do some tough love here and make it so uncomfortable at home that he has to come to school. And I'm thinking like, how does that address what's actually going on for the kid? Right? Or my own kid who dropped out of school and I was like, ah, and it was I got messages like that tough love case. You gotta make her go. And it's like, what is exactly does that look like? And am I willing to do that? No, I'm not willing to push aside another person's dignity and respect to get them to do what I think they should be doing. Right? So that's vertical relationship, horizontal relations. Ship is one where people are treated with equal dignity and respect, not just the leaders. Dignity and Respect isn't something that has to be learned. It's how we be with each other. It's a human right? There are leaders. And there are still differences in knowledge and experience inside of these relationships. But the way that we treat each other is such that everyone gets to have a voice. And opinions are honored and valued. We get to be curious with each other. Everybody matters. In a horizontal relationship, everyone, everyone matters. And it's not the same as everyone getting a trophy. Like, that's not what I'm saying. Which is annoying to me when I talk about everyone mattering and belonging, you know, can be misconstrued as like, oh, yeah, you know, whoa, right. So you're of the mindset, everybody gets a trophy, everybody gets a medal. Now what? Now, I'm just saying that the kid that wins the trophy, doesn't get more dignity and respect to the kid that doesn't even play the sport, right? Like, come on. Everyone matters.
And the way people the way our kids are treated is with dignity and respect. This is big. Generation Z is begging for dignity and respect. They are pushing into new territories around identity around schooling, around being in the world, they're willing to drag us along with them, if they need to, my daughter definitely dragged me. Or if they have no other choice, you know, they'll peace out and abandon us altogether. And when you think about that, depending on the extremes that they have to go through for dragging us or what they have to confront, through letting go of a relationship with them, you know, what kind of baggage is being created, that they're then going to have to work through later on in life? Right? I'm just I'm in awe of this group of kids. They are brave and creative, and they're so driven, right? So how do we be with this? How do we be with this, most of us are Gen Xers or geriatric millennials, which is a term I just learned, and were removed from so much of what is our kids normal. The world is different for our kids. It is like we cannot act like I was a kid, once I know how you feel. We did not do active shooter drills, the climate was not going berserk. When we were teenagers, there was like global pandemic was never going to be a real thing. Like it was not something that was on our mind, technology. Everybody having a phone ready to capture any foolish move you make. Those just weren't a part of our existence. And they are for our kids. And it's real. We parents were raised by boomers who were very bought in to the traditional box of what success looks like in that traditional narrative, right? And even those of us that are so open minded, right? It's still a part of our wiring, right and raising these kids. We're raising these kids who are pretty much like, no thanks. Not gonna do it that way. And thank God, because we need some serious out of the box thinkers to show up right now. And to shake things up, because you guys, if you're paying attention, you know, it's freaking crazy out there. It is Caray Z out there. So we need our kids and just walked in there, he's given me some nods of approval. We need our kids to be able to expand who they are outside of beyond who we think they should be. Right? And how do we be with this? What does Gen Z need? Much of this has been talked about a bunch on this show, but I'm gonna kind of bundle it up here in this context. Okay. So the first thing that they need is they need deep listening. They need to be listened to. Yeah, it's giving me another thumbs up. Thanks, Ian. They need us to listen, to hear them. Yes. To understand. Yeah. They need us to listen in a way that allows them to feel listened to, okay, to create an experience where your team feels truly heard. And that requires us to listen without an agenda, without scrolling through our mind thinking about how we can respond so that our teens see our point of view. Right, not useful. That's not really listening. We need to listen To get to know our kiddo, we need to listen in a way that allows us to hear their wisdom, to hear their values and their desires. We need to listen and hear what they're discouraged about, and where their places of pain are. We need to listen for the sake of listening and holding a safe space for them to express all that they are. And all that they're wrestling around with. Listening to what they say, and what they don't say. And, you know, I was working with a client one time, and they were talking about, you know, they had a young teen who was kind of playing around and questioning their pronouns. And this client, she said, you know, Casey, I just, I don't get it, I just, I don't get it, I want to get it, but I don't get it. I don't get this, you know, this gender fluidity thing. And I said to her, you know, you can show up for your kid and help them feel connected and accepted, and still not get it. Like, you don't have to get it. You know, and I thought about how, you know, depression showed up and anxiety for Rowan, where she's been on and talked about it here on the pod Rowan's my daughter, and I don't get it, I do not have an experience of anxiety and depression, the way that she was experiencing it. And not getting it did not mean that I couldn't be there for her. Right? I learned about it, but I don't have the experience in my body of True anxiety and depression. And that's okay. Right. And so with this client, I said, you just get to listen. Listen, to understand your daughter better, right? Listen, to understand what she needs from you, what she needs, how she needs you to show up for her. Listen to understand her and her experience and what she's going through. Right. That's my first suggestion. I know it's super radical, right? Listening. But it is, because I'm telling you to shake up the way you're listening, you might think you're a really good listener. Ask your kids. And if they tell you that you are well done. And if they tell you that you aren't get curious about that. Ask them for more information. Ask them what they notice about you. And tell them it's okay. Like, front loaded where, hey, I'm really curious about myself. And I need your help in understanding how I show up for you. This is the safe space, right? Yeah. Second radical move is to be authentic, be real. Bring your full self to your relationship with your teen you. You're imperfect mistake making sometimes confidence, sometimes fearful self. Let them in on your experience of being a human, be honest. And take yourself off of that vertical relational pedestal, step out of that model. And stand by them sit next to them literally and energetically, and Quit acting like you know what's best for them quit acting like you have all the answers or better answers or a better perspective. Because you don't you have some thoughts, right? You know, one possibility for them. You have some answers, you have a perspective. But when we sit with our teenagers, and we hold a context where we know more, and they should just listen to us, they check out specially Gen Z because they're like, clearly, your generation in your grandparents generation did not know what the hell they were doing. Because look at the state of the world. Right? So we get to humbly sit with our knowledge with our experience with our wisdom. But unless your team is explicitly saying please share your perspective and wisdom about that thing. Don't offer it up. If you can't stand it, like I often can't, you could say I have some thoughts. Are you willing to hear what I think? Otherwise sit inside of the listening and be real. Just be real. If you're scared or nervous about something, share it. If you're struggling to understand something they're expressing tell Have them and then go back to listening. If you're having a hard time, knowing what your team needs, own it, and then ask them what you can do to be better, be real and raw with your teens. This is what they want. This is what they want. Right? This is what they want. And it's not about abandoning them. Like, I get so frustrated, when people sit inside of that either or either we're all up in their business, or we're like, okay, good luck. No,
that's not how it is. Step out of their lane. Let them have their lane. And like, you know, jog next to them, be close by, let them know you're there for them if they need you. If and when they need you. And they will move towards you when they need you. When they feel like you can handle it, when they feel like you're willing to listen. And when they feel like you're not gonna get up on your high horse around what you think. Right? Be authentic. And finally, my final radical tool for raising Generation Z is to learn how to trust yourself and your teen and accept who they are and the journey that they're on. And to me, trusting myself means listening to my gut, and finding the ability to be okay with not knowing and uncertainty. Because that's for sure, for sure. What's in the future is I'm not going to know what to do. And Life is uncertain. So if I can lean into that, and just trust that I'm going to be okay. With that. I'm doing good. Trusting my team is all about trusting that they can learn through what they're going through. They can learn through what they're going through, they can learn through mistakes, through decisions that go sideways, they can learn through messy relationships, they can learn through failing, right, or not being able to achieve what they wanted to achieve. When I think about who my daughter is today. And this podcast is actually going out on her 20th birthday, which is wild. When I think about who she is today, because of her mental health challenges, and who she has grown into, through the last four years of treatment and experiences. I am so so grateful for what we went through. She's amazing. She's self aware. She's got tools, she has clarity. She's incredible, because of the experiences the hard, the tricky, the slippery, the pain and suffering. She's incredible. And many of you are there with me on that journey. It sucked. It was the worst. And again, being on the other side being here today as the show goes live on her 20th birthday. And reflecting on who she is today. It's amazing. Right? And then my other kid, well, he is the poster child for trusting him to learn from his mistakes. And because our style isn't to come down on him and get on his case about bad choices. I mean, listen, I feel disappointment. I feel pain and discouragement. When my kids make mistakes, do the wrong thing or do stupid things in my opinion. But I work hard not to come down on them and instead stay calm and process with them about their choices and bring the conversation back to what he wants most and what tools would be useful for next time. He has learned and grown and I think is ever more thoughtful, even as the teen brain gets him into mischief. Right? And acceptance lives here to accepting that our teens are going to explore and express and find themselves through their experiences. Right? Can we accept that? Can we accept that they are going to that's how they find themselves that's how they develop into who they're meant to be is when they have space to explore and express accepting their process and who they are along the way is so supportive for their growth and their ability to live outside of the box and we want them outside of the box. Their spirits are nurtured and this guy can truly be the limit for them. And you know, considering the shitshow of the world right now we need this guy be the limit for our kids, right? We need them to have this expanded mindset around what's possible and who they can be. So yeah, that's what I got. That's what I got for you this week. There you go. There you go. Radical moves for parenting Gen Z, deep listening, raw authenticity, trust and acceptance along the way. I want to give a big shout out to my girl Rowan, who I love so, so much. She's such a beautiful human and she is designing her life on her terms. And I just love every opportunity to get to watch her grow and move through the world. So happy birthday sweet rally. And to all of you that are listening to you, you person that's listening. Thank you for hanging out with me. I'd love to know your thoughts. I'd love to know your thoughts about this and feel free. If you want to just shoot me an email Casey at joyful courage.com I hope you have a beautiful weekend. See you soon.
Thanks. Thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you so much to my spreadable partners, Julieta and Alana as well as Danielle and Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting this show out there and helping it to sound so good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay better connected at BT sprout. double.com. Tune back in on Monday for a brand new interview and I will be back solo with you next Thursday. Have a great day.

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