Eps 380: The art of surrender while parenting teens

Episode 380

A solo show explore the why and how of letting go.

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Takeaways from the show

  • Gratitude for the journey
  • Surrender as being with life as it unfolds
  • What it means to let go of our narrative
  • Trusting our teens are growing through what they’re going through
  • Letting our kids take the lead

Today, this week, Joyful Courage is about being willing to find flexibility. I get rigid. I hold on tight when I start to feel like I don’t have control, and then I remember that I never have control. When I lean into flexibility I am creating a space for my kids to step into their OWN responsibility and critical thinking. A space where they get to feel control of their own experience.

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I know that you love listening every week AND I want to encourage you to dig deeper into the learning with me, INVEST in your parenting journey. Casey O'Roarty, the Joyful Courage podcast host, offers classes and private coaching. See our current offerings.


Casey O'Roarty 00:05
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.

Casey O'Roarty 01:30
Hi, hi. Hi, I'm so glad to be back with current solo shows for you. I hope that you enjoyed and appreciated the throwback alternatives to punishment Series. I love that whole limited series. Because, you know, in positive discipline, when we talk about the idea that punishment and punitive consequences aren't really useful. People get really scared. As you heard me mention over the last couple of weeks people get scared because it's like, oh, shit, that's the only place that I feel like I have any control. Right? And that's the big reveal of the teen years, if you haven't already come to this understanding in your parenting, the teen years really delivers the fact that you don't have that much control. You don't? I mean? Yeah, you could say, but I have control over whether or not I make them give me their phone or hand over the car keys or whether or not I'm giving them spending money. Yeah, there's choices you can make around that. But the idea that taking things away and punishment, and all those things that many of us were raised with somehow is a sure thing on shifting behaviour and even more importantly, shifting our kids mindset around their behaviour. That's short sighted. Right. And you listened to the last six weeks of solo shows. So you know, you went through the throwback series, you know what I'm talking about? I want to expand a little bit on that. First of all, let me tell you, it is a Saturday morning, I typically don't sit down and start talking and recording myself on a Saturday morning. But I was so inspired today. I've been so inspired by the clients that I've had the privilege of coaching lately and people that are reaching out to me on social media, and email. I just feel so honoured to do the work that I do. And I feel so grateful for all of the experiences, struggles and challenges that I've been able to move through with my own kids, so that I can show up for people from a place of really knowing what they're moving through and supporting people in the work of trusting that everything's gonna be okay. Right. So total side story, I have this lovely morning routine that's really been serving me and I feel really good when I'm in the practice of it. I get up in the morning and I watch a Yoga with Adriene video on YouTube. If you don't know about Yoga with Adriene I encourage you to check her out but you probably do cause like the entire planet does. So I do a little yoga with her. I sit for a meditation. I then make my coffee half my vitamins and I come upstairs to my beautiful office which used to be my daughter's room. It's no longer my daughter's room because she moved down. She moved out which can we just talk about that for a minute. You all have been with me on this epic adventure known as Being the mom of Rowan. And yeah, there were some really hard, hard days, months seasons in that relationship. And I am so thrilled I actually, just last night, my husband and I took her out to dinner. And the three of us just enjoyed each other. And Ben and I enjoyed her. And she's living on her own in town, and she started a full load of classes at the community college. She's got her eyes on the prize of a bachelor's degree. You guys, none of what is happening right now for her could I foresee 123 years ago. And yet here she is, right here she is really thriving, thriving and adulting. And recognising that she's adulting. And holding it with so much lightness at one point, we were on FaceTime just the other night. And she was like, Mom, I gotta go, I gotta make my bed, okay, I'm changing my sheets, you know, and she's just so funny about it. And she's enjoying it, she is enjoying being an adult, which, you know, two, three years ago, conversations around, hey, let's talk about the future. Let's talk about what you want. It was such a big, ask for her to project into the future that it would completely shut her down. So I'm sharing this as I do, because it's leading into what I want to talk about today on the podcast, which is surrender. And I've talked about surrender here before. And this work that I'm doing my morning routine really inspired me today to come on and talk deeper about this. There is so much to surrender to as I lived through my experience of mothering my daughter through her teenage experience. And there has been plenty with my son's experience. Most of you know that my husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2020. So there was a lot of surrendering there. And just really being with life as it unfolds. And I think that the better we get at that being with life as it unfolds, you know, bringing back that conversation around control. That's where we have control. And that's where we influence the experience we're having, being with life as it unfolds. Are we in resistance? Are we in fear? Are we in acceptance? Are we in possibility, because any of those different things that you choose, and it is a choice, we don't choose the events and experiences. Obviously, my family didn't choose for my husband to get sick or for my daughter to have this mental health breakdown. We don't choose those things. What we do choose is how we intersect with them how we show up to it, how we respond to it. Right there is choice there. And I'm not saying that it's easy. Like Charla, I'm just going to be in open minded acceptance around my daughter dropping out of school, like and smoking pot all day, like no, it's not like, it's a simple thing. But it does exist. And there is an opportunity to shift how you are experiencing what's currently alive in your life by how you choose to be with it or respond to it. And you know, I've been inspired so I'm doing this little course on Insight Timer. Do any of you use Insight Timer app, meditation app that I love. It has both guided meditations as well as this sweet little timer that you can create your own experience with bells and timing. And it also has some of the teachers on Insight Timer do courses. So I'm doing this course with Daniel rkeo. He is from Sweden. And he has a 29 day course called learn to master the art and practice of manifestation. Whoo, I'm into that kind of stuff. I think you all know that. I'm into it

Casey O'Roarty 09:37
I've been moving through the course it they're just little like 10 to 20 minute audios and practices that he offers over 29 days. And so today, the lesson was all about surrender. And I was like oh yay. I love talking about surrender. I've been on other people's podcasts talking about surrender in the car. Text of parenting and life and I'm all for it. And he makes a distinction at the start of today's little audio that I listened to, that for a lot of people, when we hear the word surrender, it's like, okay, I give up, I'm done. I'm out. You know, that is not how I hold surrender. Surrender isn't about giving up or claiming defeat or any of that. When I talk about surrender, especially in the context of the unfolding of life, right? It is about trust. It's about letting go of the illusion of control. It's about being present with what is. Right. When I think about surrender, that's what I'm thinking about. And today Daniel talked about in this audio, four dimensions of surrender. So surrendering the what surrendering the how surrendering the when, and surrendering the why of the challenge that you're moving through. And I loved this. And of course, you know, this was in the context of manifesting what you wanted in your life and good fortune and good health, and abundance, but I really heard it through the lens of parenting, and specifically, parenting during adolescence. So surrendering the what for me, is that conversation around letting go of the narrative, right? And you've heard me talk about this before, you might think that you are holding a space that's really open for your kids to be exactly who they want to be their fullest expression. But then maybe your kids are leaning into who they want to be quotes. And it's not necessarily it doesn't look from your perspective as the way that they should be. Right. And that sounds kind of harsh. But it's real, it's subtle. I mean, I went into teen years with my daughter, like totally embracing all about her and expression, and who does she want to be, you know, and then things started to go from my perspective sideways. And I realised like, Oh, darn, I have a really big attachment to this narrative of, be yourself, be free, be you but stay in this kind of traditional pathway. And by traditional, what I mean by traditional is kind of like the same pathway that I took, like the pathway that we see everybody taking the mainstream the status quo, you know, you do your best in high school, and then you graduate, and then you go to college and to die, right. And I didn't realise how strongly I was attached to that narrative, until I was confronted by something different in my house at my dinner table with my child. And so I think there's a really big opportunity for us to do some self reflection, and personal growth work around surrendering the what surrendering, letting go thinking that we know the outcome that is best for our kiddos, right, and I'm really talking to those of you whose kids are struggling, whose kids are not on the status quo, traditional mainstream path. Maybe those of you with kids who are having mental health or substance use challenges, or you feel like you're being challenged by their mental health or their risk taking, or their friend choice or their self expression. And I want to speak directly to you and remind you that we all grow through what we go through. Remember my interview with Chris Willard, a few months ago, he wrote a whole book about this. We grow through what we go through, I was recently on the phone with a friend and colleague who is a coach and she's, you know, got this persona and her work is all around supporting moms. And one of her kids is really struggling with mental health. And we talked about how it is really hard to not feel like we have failed because our kids are struggling. What have we done wrong? What mistakes have we made? And I want to remind you that even those of you and you know who I'm talking about, I'm talking about myself, and you know, some of you that are listening, even when we are you know as if Okay, as if imagine you do everything right, right, everything right, you don't yell, you offer lots of opportunities to contribute, you hold a really encouraging home and space and climate, you do family meetings every week, everybody is knows the routine, right? You can be doing all of those things, your kids can still hit the teen years, and things get wonky. Because teen brain development, real mental health is real. outside influences experiences, relationships, as your kids navigate their world are real. And they're not good or bad or anything, they're neutral. They're all opportunities for them to grow and learn. You know, when I think about the depth of emotional intelligence, and self awareness that my daughter has, she would not have that without the dark nights of the soul, the support the baby steps that she has taken over the last four years to get to where she is today. So keep that in mind. Right? So letting go of the what? Letting go of the wet doesn't mean abandoning. You've heard me say this before, but it means like, okay, here we are, I'm going to let go of this outcome. I'm going to let go of the how, right the how being, like, I hear a lot of parents say, How do I get this to stop? Right? I talked about the iceberg metaphor. So sometimes we sit inside of the behaviour that we're seeing is what we want to eliminate the risk taking the negative self talk, the lack of motivation, the overuse of screens, you know, fill in the blank, there's an endless list of challenges at the tip of the iceberg. And we want to know, how do I get this to stop? And what if we let go of the how, and instead, we dipped down under the surface? And we got really curious about our kids? What if we got really curious about our kids? What if we trusted, that they can move through and grow through what they are moving through? And going through? Right? What if we met them under the surface and belt relationship and let them know that we were safe enough for them to express and share? And let us in on what's going on with them? What if instead of being so afraid of the tip of the iceberg, we saw those behaviours that are showing up as indicators that there are struggles happening for our kiddos that we're unaware of? And that's okay. Like, listen, you shouldn't be aware of every struggle your kids going through, like it's, you know, it's not a character flaw of yours or theirs that they're struggling. It is the nature of the landscape of adolescence, and of life. Really, I mean, do you have no struggles? Are you not going through anything? So letting go of how do I get the behaviour to change and really sitting inside of curiosity and trust and letting go of the when the when the timeline? Right, we get really anxious and antsy about the timeline. And, man, that is a tough one, right? Because there's this societal construct of, you know, elementary school to middle school, four years of high school right into college, then you're on your own fully baked adults having a career getting married, bla bla, bla, bla bla. And that timeline is not useful for all humans. Right? Not to mention pandemic, okay, there's been a blip, known as COVID-19, in the unfolding of what has been, you know, kind of this traditional timeline for our kids. And there is this more expanded view that there's many roads to take, right? There's many roads to take.

Casey O'Roarty 19:14
There's so many ways that our kids can roll into young adulthood and adulthood. And the more that we can be in acceptance, and be in curiosity around that, the better we'll feel about their timeline, right, the better will feel about their timeline. You know what I'm thinking a lot about this attachment we have to college right? This is really on my mind too, because I just, I mean, I've got one that's going to be a senior I've got another one that's just starting her college experience and we'll see how it goes. And so it's on my mind, right but we have this vision of college is the be all end all and I remember my dad Uh, in particular saying like, you can't take a break, or you're, you know, if you don't go to college now you'll never go, right, you'll never, if you take a break, you'll never go back. And I think that's a really outdated mindset for one. Because I did college, I did not do well, until I knew what I wanted to do. And then I went back to college, and I did really well. And so for some of our kids, it's going to take a little bit for them to feel enough life experience, intention to recognise, okay, you know what, now I do see the value in this trade school, or this certification, or this college degree. And so now, I'm going to make it happen, because it's what I want, right? And those are the kids that are going to thrive in those programmes are the kids that are there because it's what they want. And my kids, you know, that's anyone under the age of 30. At this point, so can we be brave enough? Can we be brave enough to let go of the timeline, let go of the when, and hold space for our kids to discover what they want? Can we do that? I think it would be really useful for them. And then, finally, the fourth dimension of surrender, that I learned about my little audio today. And this was, again, in the context of manifesting what you want in your life, but I'm dropping it into the context of parenting teenagers is surrendering. The why. And I think this is really big. You know, I think we spend so much time as parents asking that question, like, why is this happening? Why are they doing this? And then what have I done wrong? How did I create this experience, you know, we kind of put ourselves we like to really put ourselves in this place of like, Grandmaster of the whole unfolding, right? And we're just not, we're just not, it's not about us. And when we let go of the why is this happening, and sit inside, like sit as a witness set as a guide set as a soft landing, it really allows our kids to experience their experience, and to connect their dots and to start to make those inferences around, you know, cause and effect of their behaviour, and of their choices. And they get to really discover who they are. I think there's a lot of teens out there that are engaging in behaviour, that is more of a resistance to their parents, than it is ultimately what they want. Does that make sense? And what I mean by that is, maybe they're feeling the restriction of this vision that you have for them, and it doesn't fit, it doesn't feel like who they are. And without that freedom, you know, they're gonna push really hard against what you want. Maybe not because it's what they want, but because they don't want what you want. Does that make sense? It kind of feels like a little bit of a word, word salad, when we drop ourselves in that place of control, or what did I ever do to deserve this? Or why are you acting like this? Or how dare you or getting into punishments and punitive consequences? You know, in positive discipline, we talked about this the RS punishment being rebellion, resentment, revenge, and retreat for hours, right? Rebellion? Oh, watch this, watch what I can do you think you can control me watch this resentment? Like I don't trust you. I'm not going to be in relationship with you. Revenge, I'll get back at you. Right, I'll get back at you. Or retreat, which was my go to, you know, I need to get sneaky or I need to go underground or retreat can also look like reduce self esteem. So when we let go of the why, and we just recognise, okay, this is what we're moving through now. Right? What is my kid out need for me? Maybe that's the question instead of why is this happening? Why are you doing this? What if we shift into what do you need? How can I be here for you? Right? What if those are the questions? We're asking our kiddos instead of why are you doing this? Why did you make that choice? What if we're sitting with what do you need? I see that you're struggling, looks really hard. How can I be here for you? So surrendering that idea, that illusion of control, right? Surrendering? The idea that you've done something wrong? You've been a poor parent or made the wrong choices or haven't shown up great, and that doesn't mean that there isn't And there's always opportunity for that, like emotional honesty, to go inward and to really reflect on how you've been showing up. I always encourage parents to do this, like, have you been extra controlling? Are you judgmental and critical? Like, take an honest look, humble yourself to really take a look without the added conversation of Well, yeah, I mean, it's, of course, but my kid has done this way. No, no, no. How have you been showing up? So there might be some cleanup, right? I talked about this a lot. Because it's important. There might be some cleanup to do before. They're able to trust that when you say, I see you struggling, how can I be there for you, for them to trust you enough to hold what they're going through? You got to perhaps clean up the space so that they feel safe enough to allow you to hold it for them? Surrender? I mean, I literally have it tattooed on my inner left wrist. Thank you, Rohan. Yeah. So that's what I wanted to talk about today. I was super inspired to come in and speak into this directly to you. I would love to know your thoughts. I know it's hard. It's hard to let go. For sure. I get that and the freedom that exists on the other side of surrender the freedom for really deep meaningful relationship and your own well being lives inside of surrender. So I'd love to know your thoughts. Feel free to email me or DM me on social media. Let me know what you think about surrender. 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 B 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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