Eps 361: SOLO Finding our courage to parent our teens differently

Episode 361

This solo show takes a closer look at how parenting with Positive Discipline does NOT equal avoiding the hard stuff, instead it is about leaning into relationship WHEN the hard stuff shows up. Being brave is something we are invited into over and over again as we parent through the seasons of adolescence. Listen in as I explore what that looks like internally, as well as externally. 

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Takeaways from the show

  • How the old way/traditional parenting style stays at the tip of the iceberg
  • Having faith and trusting the process
  • Turning our lens inward and being curious about OUR experience
  • The power of being willing
  • Having the courage to be with our most honest selves
  • Using our strengths to help us solve problems

Today Joyful Courage means taking a breath and trusting that I can slow down a bit. Everything is ok and I can let go of the grip of life to see what is around me.

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kids, parenting, teen, risky behavior, strengths, courage, lean, conversation, feel, life, listening, questions, relationship, brave, friends, scary, iceberg, vaping, happening, feeling
Casey O'Roarty

Casey O'Roarty 00:04
Hey, welcome to the joyful courage podcast in a place for inspiration and transformation as we try and 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 O'Reilly, I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder, coach and adolescent needed sprouted. I am also the mama to a 20 year old daughter and 17 year old son walking right beside you on this 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 real, transparent and authentic, so that you feel seen and supported. Today is an interview and I have no doubt that what you hear will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, 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 all around the globe. I'm so glad that you're here. Enjoy the show. Hi, hello. Hello, my friends. Welcome back. It's a Thursday. So it's just you and me. I like it when it's just you and me Feels good, feels intimate, and connected. And yeah, I had a really fun call last week with someone who's been listening to the podcast for a long time. And she scheduled an explore call with me. And she said, Oh my gosh, it's so weird, because I feel like we're friends. Because I've been listening to the podcast for so many years and I are in my ear. And I feel like I've had conversations with you. And I love that I love it. When people say that, to me, it makes me happy to know that this feels like a relationship because that's how it feels to me. I mean, for sure I'm sitting here right now in my office space with my mic in front of me looking at my notes, but I'm thinking about you, I'm really thinking about you, I'm thinking about you, putting in your earbuds and putting the dog on a leash or pulling out the laundry, or cooking dinner or driving somewhere I'm thinking about you hitting play and listening, I hope you feel that I have you feel that. And by the way, if you have been listening for a long time, or if you just found me, I want you to know that there are lots of ways for us to connect. And one way is to book and explore call, which is a 15 minute call, where I get to hear a little bit more about you and I get to share with you what I got in store what I have to offer. So if you are curious, you can always go to the website, be spreadable.com/teens that will get you to this teenager section. And you can poke around there, or you can shoot me an email at Casey at joyful courage.com. And let me know what you got going on. And I can send you a link to book a call. So that exists for you, that exists for you. And you know, because I just want to acknowledge what we're doing here. What we're talking about here are the parenting that we're leaning into and moving towards. It takes courage. You got to be brave, to be willing to move through the adolescent years with this style, way of being that I talked about here on the pod. And it's interesting lately that's really come to light. I've had two different situations, two different experiences. One is I've had some epic podcast interviews with people where we're talking about things like the ego and re parenting ourselves and, you know, getting off the emotional freight train. Typical conversations that I have on the pod but I don't know they just have felt. I don't know, up leveled. They felt deep. And what's also happening is I'm working with my membership Mama's and one on one clients through some really challenging experiences. And, you know, I had the great pleasure of doing a kind of SOS call with a gal that I've been working with for a long time for almost a whole year. And she had some things come up. You know how our kids like, sometimes, it's like, they get naughty they get into mischief, right? And then it's more mischief. And then it's more mischief. And it can feel really, once you figure out everything that's going on, it feels so out of control. You know, that feeling. I know that feeling. It's the same feeling that they're having, like, our teens are also feeling out of control. And it feels like a free fall for them. So that when it all comes crashing down, which could also look like, you know, mom and dad, finding out, mom or dad, mom and mom, dad and dad, when parents find out caregivers find out and then they're like, whoa, what's going on, that in and of itself, can be somewhat of a relief to our teenagers. And so I'm having this conversation with this client of mine. And, you know, she's been spinning out through the week, what's going on, with my kiddo, all this stuff is coming to light. And, you know, we weren't able to talk till a few days later. But when she and her partner finally sat down with their child, she said, you know, it was a really different experience, than it would have been a year ago, because a year ago, she would have gotten right into how could you behave like this? How could you make these choices? And really stuck with what was the scary stuff at the surface? And she said, But you know, instead, I said, What's going on with you? What's hurting you? What is this pain that you're acting out through your behavior? And she said, it was such a powerful conversation. And she was so funny, because she said to me, you know, I've been really resistant. I've been really skeptical, this last year of everything that you've taught me. I was laughing, because I was like, Yeah, I know. You're not subtle. But really, you know, she trusted the process. That's what I want to talk about today. Because, you know, I have to remind parents who hire me, by let them know, before they hire me to work one on one with them. I am not someone who's going to offer new and creative ways of punishing your kids out of bad behavior. I am not someone who has a formula to prevent bad behavior or mischief making, teen brain development is going to happen no matter what, which is, you've heard me say, I really lean into going into the surface of the iceberg and developing relationship as our biggest tool to influence the choices that they make. Again, this is not the status quo, like status quo, society culture, what it looks like is, you make a mistake, you get punished, you do the right thing you get rewarded, like that is the system. That is the traditional system that we live inside of. And it's broken, it's not useful. It doesn't teach skills, it doesn't, you know, truly get to what's happening under the surface. It doesn't necessarily change behavior for the long term. It doesn't offer a reflection, it doesn't help our kids develop into whole, both physically, emotionally, mentally whole human beings. So parenting with positive discipline, conscious parenting, positive parenting, gentle parenting, whatever you want to call it, new school parenting, this is parenting against the status quo. Right? This is doing things different than how they may have been done before than how you were raised. Right. And it's important to remember that the systems that are currently alive, out in the world in society are not useful for everyone. They're outdated. And they're harmful. And your home does not need to mirror the outdated, harmful systems that are currently continuing to be employed in society. I think I've talked about this before on the pod that dad I had years ago who said, wow, when my kid is in front of the judge, the judge isn't gonna say, tell me about what's going on for you. The judge isn't going to say, let's create an agreement together. The judge is going to hand down the punishment. And I said, Yeah, that's probably true. And the goal is raising our kids in a way so that they have the tools. They have the emotional intelligence, they have the mental capacity to not end up in front of a judge.

Casey O'Roarty 09:58
Right Yeah, and, you know, parenting with positive discipline does not equal avoiding the hard stuff, like I just said, and like I've shared with you time and time again, but I'm gonna say it again. There is no formula for avoiding risky behavior, right? Rebellion, pushback, withdrawal, closing their door not wanting to hang out with the family, there isn't a formula to avoid that. Because a lot of that has to do with individuation, a lot of that has to do with brain development, the novelty seeking, turning towards their friends, creative exploration, right. It's not like, Oh, you've done it wrong. And now they hate, you know, a lot of it has to do with brain development, and how we show up to that influences how often they open the door influences how willing they are, to let us in to their life, it influences how they respond to us 100%, but the brain development is going to happen, no matter what parenting with positive discipline does mean that we lean into relationship when the hard stuff comes up. Right? We lean into relationship, we lean into curiosity, we hold the container of I love you, and we're going to talk about this while also seeing them in the container, and recognizing timing, recognizing hurt and pain and suffering. Because kids that are angry kids that are you know, engaging in really risky behavior, kids that are pushing away from us, you know, in a, a typical way, kids that are really withdrawn, like they're hurting, there's some pain and suffering going on there. And I'm not saying it's your job to cure them of that. Because it's not part of it is the typical pain and suffering of this in between time, right of adolescence. And, you know, I just am going through something right now with one of my kids, where, again, I'm noticing like, oh my god, it's so hard not to swoop in and be like, you're gonna be okay, let me tell you why. Let me help you. Let me give you advice, I want to do that people. Listen, I want to do that. And I saw what she needs. And when I swoop in the messages, you can't handle this. So I'll handle it for you. And I gotta tell you, that kid of mine, that oldest child of mine, she's learned some skills. She's got so many tools. She is not the same kid that she was four years ago. And I get to remember that and I get to remember that every experience that our kids go through, allows them an opportunity to continue to fine tune their skills, their abilities, their capabilities, for moving through life, the more we get in the way, the less practice they have. Right. So I get to be curious, and I get to trust her. And I get to Zipit. Right? So yeah, leaning into relationship when hard stuff comes up. What does that mean? Right? It means allowing space for our kids to feel the tension of real life. Right? And not abandoning them, being there for them standing beside them. Being curious, helping them connect the dots coming back with what do you want most? I mean, I'm 49 years old, and I still am constantly like, what do I want most versus what I want? Now, what do I want most versus what do I want? Now? How do I show up to live the life that I want? Where can I be aligned? I mean, is is a lifelong process and the adolescent years is the start of that. Right? It is not the mastery of it. It's the beginning of recognizing, oh, right. I can look at this as this immediate gratification, or this people pleasing or this I want to belong to a group. So I'm going to do this thing right now. And I can also think about, well, what do I want most What do I want to accomplish? You know, what do I want the school year to look like? How do I want to feel?

Casey O'Roarty 14:49
So there's this opportunity when we're nurturing relationship, to lift up and out of the day to day or lift up and out of the behaviors that are scary sometimes names and lift into a broader picture. And how useful that is not only for them, but also for you. Right. And again, they're unskilled. They're unskilled. And so for us to lift up and out and look at a broader picture, we have a lot. You know, like, my broader picture includes the 49 years that I've lived. And I can imagine, ish, you know, the next 510 20 years, a 15 year old or a 14 year old lifting up and out. Yeah, okay. They've only been like, in this semi grown not really period for such a short time. And it is hard for them to project, what do I want? Five years from now? What do I want 10 years from now? Like, they have no capacity for that. And so it's really about well, breaking it down, right? Well, what do you want? For this school year? What do you want for this quarter? How do you want to feel around your friends? What does reputation mean to you? You know, and not because I want to lead them, leading the witness to what I want them to think but really, like, helping them consider things that just aren't on their radar. Because as teens, they are really hyper focused in the present, I mean, ish, right? Like, in what's currently going on for them, right. And they're hyper self centered. Not because they have a character flaw, but because that's where they are in life. So the old way of parenting, the traditional way of parenting is really staying focused on the tip of the iceberg. And like, you will not do this. You know, you will not engage in risky behavior, no vaping, no weed smoking, no drinking, no fast driving, no sacks, you won't do these things. And if you do do these things, here's what's going to happen to you thinking that threats and punishment are what's going to help them not engage in risky behavior. The positive discipline way, the relationship centered way is one, recognizing ultimately, they walk out the door and make decisions for themselves, right? You don't really have control to it's this exploration, right? What's going on under the surface that's driving, experimenting with vapes, right? Taking a look at what it's like in a peer group when everybody's doing something. And you know, I think about the 80s, like, Don't give into peer pressure, just say no to drugs, it doesn't take in the nuance of what it's like to be that kid inside of that social circle, and how to navigate it in a way that doesn't ostracize you that helps you save face that helps you maintain relationship, if that's what you want. Like those are the conversations to be having. Right how to navigate the risky behavior in a way that does less or no harm, right, and supports them in that drive towards belonging and significance. And also shows that you can handle the conversation that you're not going to freak out. So takes a lot of courage to be that way. Because we are freaking out. Right? You find out your kids been vaping, you find out your kids been drinking, you find out your kids been shoplifting. It is like, Oh, God, I gotta shut this shit down. Right? And then we're in that desperate place. And then we lean into the false idea that the right punishments or consequences is what's going to do it. When, again, what's happening under the surface, what's driving the behavior, right? Because behavior is purposeful. And it is it centered around a feeling of belonging and mattering. So what's going on there that's given our teen this misguided idea about how to feel that sense of connection and mattering. So it's tricky. It's tricky, and it feels like, oh, my gosh, you have to have so much faith and trust in the process, which you've heard me say you have to have faith. You have trust in the process. What does that mean? It's easier said than done. But it's really about trusting that every single piece of what your kid has already been through and I know a lot of you that are listening are like shit, you know, my kids already. We've already been through some stuff. And there's more stuff to come. Like every bit of the stuff that you're going through is a part of their journey to discovering and rediscovering who they are, who they want to be and how they can get there. Right. Allowing our kids to be on their journey is brave. Takes a lot of courage. edge. And, you know, it also requires us to be with the fact that the future is uncertain. No matter what you do, the future is uncertain no matter what you do, there are no guarantees, mental health, friendships, school, how they're choosing to cope, right. And I've got clients with kids that are using substances, I've got clients that are moving into self harm, like, all of that is scary as it is, is also another thread in the tapestry of our kids lives. Right? So, if the future is uncertain, no matter what you do, why not increase the likelihood that our kids meet that uncertain future, knowing that they're worthy, that they're fully accepted, and that they're capable of making it whatever they want? Why not parent in a way that allows for them to feel those things, because I tell you, what, a kid who has a feeling of worthiness of knowing that if nowhere else, they are fully accepted in their family, and they are capable of making decisions that are going to design their life. Those are kids that aren't necessarily going to become addicts, or, you know, do the really creepy scary things, because those are things that we do when we're in deep pain, right? sexual promiscuity, drug use, risky behavior comes from a feeling of deep pain, and suffering, and wanting to escape that. And so if we are going to do anything to influence our kids, it's going to be how they feel in our home. How we hold space for them in our home, is like the antidote to the riskiest of risky behavior. Now, that doesn't mean that novelty seeking isn't a real thing, because it is, right, it's exciting. They're looking for something new and different. That's why they experiment. But when we start talking about, you know, drug misuse, substance misuse, habitual use, underneath it, there is some pain going on. And so, it takes a tremendous amount of courage to show up to that and to dig in and to find out and to be that soft landing, so that they can really share with you what's going on in their life. And they might not, they might not. But that doesn't mean that you can't be in a way that lets them know that they're loved and accepted and worthy. Like, you don't need to have really open, big conversations, you can be leaving them notes, you can be just in the way that you talk to them. Like I trust you, I know that you can get through this. Here's where I've seen you do hard things before. Right? I'm here for you when you need me, I am able to just listen without judgment or advice. Right, offering up those messages regularly. To remind them that they've got someone in their corner is really powerful. And you know what else takes a lot of courage, turning our lens inward, looking at what's happening for us. What's driving the emotional freight train for us remember that analogy. I used to talk about it a lot a few years ago, it was part of my book. The emotional freight train is when we have an experience and we become emotionally hijacked. And all of a sudden, we're like doing saying feeling experiencing things that we're not necessarily in control of their emotions have taken control, right. And we all have different things that pull us onto the emotional freight train.

Casey O'Roarty 24:21
And it has to do with old beliefs and patterns from our past. So it takes courage to be willing to confront those beliefs and patterns that are getting in the way that are hijacking us that are getting in the way of our relationship with our kids. It takes courage to be willing to try something new to notice. Oh, wow. I thought we were done with vaping and here it is again, and my whole body is tingling, and I'm so freaking pissed. I thought we were done. And instead of like speaking all of that to your teen, like really Really taking some time to regulate the body? And to get really curious beyond just I don't want my team to be addicted to nicotine, right, obviously. Beyond that, what else is happening? Right? And I have some questions that you can ask yourself, because I talk a lot about curiosity. And I recently wrote a post in the living joyful courage membership group about the power of turning our curiosity towards ourselves, and questions to ask. So now would be a good time to pause and grab a piece of paper, because these are good questions. The questions are, when we're being triggered, once we've regulated right, because we won't have access to the answers to these questions, if we're still freaking out. So once we're regulated, truly regulated, heart rates down, the body does not feel tense anymore. We've got our journals, asking ourselves these questions. Why is this so hard for me? What am I grieving? Here? How can I let go? What is the value or the vision that's feeling threatened by this challenge? What is here for me to learn? And how am I willing to change?

Casey O'Roarty 26:32
Listen, we have to be brave to dig into our most exposed, honest self, and answer those questions. We can stay at the surface and keep the focus on our kids, that's always a choice. But there is so much more information inside of ourselves to be discovered and considered. Right. And really what this is about, is being more available and concise and clear. When we're having that conversation around vaping, or substance use or, you know, sexual relationships, or whatever the hard conversation is, once we're clear about what's being rattled for us, we can be ever more clear with our kids, and ever more willing to be curious and to find out what's actually going on with our kids. Because, you know, dysregulation is what takes us to the tip of the iceberg when we are freaking out and pissed. We are like, that's when we are really focused in on how could you do this? How could you do this to the family to me to you? How do you know this is illegal that, you know, we're at the tip of the iceberg. When we can get regulated when we can do our own self reflection, we can come to our kids and we can say, Wow, you're really hurting. I really want you to know that I'm here for you. And we're here to help you sort this out. And we really want to know, you know what's going on for you. We want to listen. And we want to love you through it. Right? Can you feel the energy in that? Like it's grounded? It's grounded, it's present. And it's hopeful, right? Like, I know, we're scared. Right? I know, it's scary when we find out that our kids have been doing the things that we hoped that they would never do. It's scary. But we've got to move past the fear. Because if we're just sitting in our fear, we aren't being present with our kids and nots what they need, they need us to be present, we can say we can do the lip service of we are here for you. And we want to hold a non judgmental space, blah, blah, blah. But if fear continues to drive you, then that's lip service and kind of bullshit. And it doesn't mean that we can't say like, this is scary to me. I'm scared about this. And I'm working really hard not to let fear be a participant in this conversation, like own it be real, right, be real. And, you know, just as I say that our kids are on their journey. You also continue to be on your journey of growth and development. And your kids the adolescent years this is a season of growth for you as well. Are you willing to grow or are you resistant? Are you brave enough to open up to the idea that There's more for you to learn and grow into, are you brave enough to consider that actually spending the time it takes to learn to quiet your fears and your anxieties is actually being in service to your kids. And you know what you've got strengths and gifts. Like you come to this gig with strengths and gifts, you put them into practice, out in the world at work with your friends, at the places where you volunteer your time, like, you got some strengths, there are things you're really good at. That's true for all of us. So what I want you to do, is I want you to make a list of your strengths. Make a list of all your strengths, see, if you can't come up with 20 Things that are your strengths. Okay. And then pick your top five strengths. And however you define why they your top five, whatever doesn't matter, pick your top five strengths. And I want you to use them as a lens with a challenge that you're having with your teenager. So how can you harness your creativity of creativity? Is one of your strengths? How can you harness your creativity with a problem that you're having with your teen? If you're organized? If you're like, crazy organized? And maybe this might mean? Yeah, I'm organized at work not so much at home, it doesn't matter. It's a strength. So how can you harness your organizational skills with a problem that you're having with your teens? Maybe compassion is one of your strengths. How can that be something that you use that you lean on? With a problem you're having, or your willingness to forgive? Right, everything is figured out double. Everything is figured out double. I learned that word from Marie Forleo I love that word, everything is figure out of all people. And when it comes to humans, it always comes down to relation how we relate with each other. So whatever is real for you, right now, with your partner with your kids with a friend or a sibling, whatever. Where can you find solutions? relationally. Right? And how can you use your strengths, to nurture that relationship in a way that works under the surface of the iceberg? To navigate the challenges that are coming up at the tip. The main thing is to keep in mind why the challenges your teen may be going through is a problem for you. So dig in there, get brave. And when you do, you may find your biggest problem is how uncomfortable it is for you to be with the struggles that your teen is having. And if that's the case, breathe. Breathe and animate the courage that already lives inside of you. And go back to those questions that I shared earlier. Why is this hard for me? What am I grieving here? How can I let go? What are the values of vision that is feeling threatened? What's here for me to learn? How am I willing to change? To see what becomes available to you as you take the time to really consider these questions. And know that I've got you, I've got your back. I see you as a courageous human being. You've already done courageous things, right? Take a look back in your life. And notice or take stock of all of the situations that you had to step into with courage. Right, you know how to do this. And, you know, 10 years can feel like the grand finale of that. Although, you know, as I'm only a couple of weeks into having a 20 year old, it turns out. Yeah, you get to keep being in this effort of stepping into courage even as your kids get older, but you've got it, you can do it. You already are doing it. And the community has your back. I've got your back. We're all walking this path together. I'm so so honored that you take the time to check in here and listen to what I have to say. Know that you can always reach out to me as I said at the beginning if you are wanting to dig deeper into this through some coaching but you're not sure what coaching is all about, you can email me at Casey At joyful courage.com and we can set up an explore call I can tell you about the membership. You know you've got the podcast, you've got the joyful courage for parents of teens Facebook group, both of those things are completely free. There's resources we've got you. Got you. All right. I hope that you have a beautiful rest of your day. So glad that we got to hang out together and

Casey O'Roarty 35:33
thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you to my spreadable partners as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting the show out there and making it sound good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay connected at bees for audible.com. Tune back in later this week for our Thursday show and I'll be back with another interview next Monday. Peace

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