Eps 417: Back-to-school conscious parenting with Sapna Rad

Episode 417

My guest today is Sapna Rad, and we’re getting into back-to-school season with teens. 

First, Sapna shares about herself & what kicked off her path to conscious parenting.  We talk about the shift from our small kiddos wanting to be attached to us 24/7 to the teen years when they start individuating and lean away.  Sapna helps me define what conscious parenting is and we discuss how that complements Positive Discipline.  

I ask Sapna what parents need to remember as kids head back to the classroom, then I bring up teens who don’t want to talk & share with their parents and ask what behaviors might manifest when teens are feeling anxious.  Sapna shares what “getting hooked” looks like and how we can start noticing our triggers.  We get into how routines look different with teens and how getting routines dialed in can help reduce stress all around.  We wrap talking about how parents can practice mindfulness.  

Guest Description

Sapna is a conscious parenting and life coach.

Conscious Parenting is a powerful and rare blend of Western psychology and Eastern wisdom, and it lends to deep healing and awakening.   Motivated to understand the roots of human suffering, Sapna helps parents develop the deepest bond with themselves and others around so that they wake up every morning with less worry and more joy.

Trained in NLP, EFT, psychology, wisdom teaching, and mindfulness, She helps parents and caregivers around the globe to connect before they can correct.

Sapna is the author of book “Yelling to Zenning” where she shows parents how to access tools to turn inward, reflect, learn communication skills, break patterns, and create a change that will catapult connection with children and others.

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Takeaways from the show

  • Anxiety in children 
  • Individuation happens in all teens 
  • What is conscious parenting?  How does that fit with Positive Discipline? 
  • What to remember as kids head back to school 
  • When your teen doesn’t want to talk to you 
  • Behaviors that manifest when teens are feeling anxious 
  • When to use silence as a tool with adolescents 
  • Tools to notice your triggers
  • Redefining what routines look like for teens 
  • Clues you might be missing a routine 
  • Practicing mindfulness

What does joyful courage mean to you

I would say it’s like having joy in your pocket and courage & bravery in your heart and go on this quest, this journey of life, and you have joy and courage in your heart. Imagine a life well lived.



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parents, child, conscious parenting, routine, talk, thoughts, son, kids, tools, feel, anxiety, work, school, teenagers, hard, hooked, knowing, told, sapna, started
Casey O'Roarty, Sapna Rad

Casey O'Roarty 00:04
Hey, welcome to the joyful courage podcast 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 already I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at Sprout double. 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 as an interviewer 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.

Casey O'Roarty 01:25
Hey everybody, welcome back. My guest today is Sapna rad, she is a conscious parenting and life coach. conscious parenting is a powerful and rare blend of Western psychology and Eastern wisdom and it lends to deep healing and awakening. Motivated to understand the roots of human suffering. Sapna helps parents develop the deepest bonds with themselves and others so that they wake up every morning with less worry and more joy. Trained in NLP EFT psychology, wisdom, teaching and mindfulness. She helps parents and caregivers around the globe to connect before they correct Sapna is the author of the book yelling to zoning, great title by the way, where she shows parents how to access tools to turn inward reflect, learn communication skills, break patterns and create a change that will catapult connection with children and others. Hi, Sapna. Welcome to the podcast.

Sapna Rad 02:27
Hi, Casey, thank you so much for having me.

Casey O'Roarty 02:29
Yeah. Fill in the gaps. Tell me about how you found yourself in the studying and the teaching of conscious parenting. What is your story?

Sapna Rad 02:39
When I was getting ready to have my son, I had these grandiose ideas about what parenting should be because nobody told me. I grew up in India, and they're the people around you. So when I grew up, my grandmother raised me with my uncles and aunts. And I didn't see my mother complaining much because she had a lot of support. And this wasn't the culture that was not. So when I came to the United States, I was here alone with my husband. And I had no idea I was told, Oh, it's going to be easy, you will know what to do. So I took that, and the stories I made up was, oh, this is going to be so wonderful. You won't believe it, the idea I had was we would be wearing matching clothes. And my child is going to be so cute. And I'm going to play with him or her and we are going to go shopping together and people are going to walk up, you know and say oh, your child is so cute. This was my idea of parenting. And when my child was born, he shook up every idea I had about parenting, like I would try to put on matching clothes. And he would barf the very next moment on his clothes. And I wouldn't be like, this was not my idea of parenting come on wine to following the script. It was driving me crazy. Because when I spoke to my friends at that point, all they told me was Oh, it'll be easy starting. It's going to be hard. Nobody connected with me. Nobody understood what I was going through, which was not knowing how to raise my child, because I was feeling all these feelings of helplessness, not doubt not knowing how to, because I thought children are supposed to giggle and laugh and sleep and play. I thought something was wrong with me. And maybe maybe something was wrong with my child and I was going to ruin this relationship. That was the seed of it actually, which started growing. And I didn't still look into parenting until then. But when I tried sort of growing up, I think three, four years old when he was getting potty trained. I had again, this idea that you tell them to do it and they do it. That's how I thought it's supposed to be and when he was getting trained, he had an act accident one time, my house was quiet. And I was wondering where he was. He was in the bathroom taking care of himself, so scared that I would know. And I would go into this rage mode. So when I walked up and saw him taking care of himself that kind of broke my heart kind of shook me to my core, like, oh my god, I must be some kind of a monster that my child is so scared, this young child, a baby, so scared to come to me is taking care of himself. That kind of broke my heart. So I needed to make some changes, take care of my rage, outrageous ways of reacting to small things. A child was growing, he's learning about his body, he's trying to learn about controlling his body. But why am I getting so upset? Okay, upset is fine. But why am I turning into a monster having these rage episodes, feel like I'm out of control, I had to make some changes. Otherwise, a part of me knew I'm going to ruin my child. And maybe this relationship that I so badly wanted to nourish. So that led me into this quest, sort of trying to figure out, okay, what do parents who have amazing relationships with their children? What do they do differently? I needed to find the answer. So that led me into this quest of figuring out the parenting. And that's how I landed into conscious parenting and all the tools that come with.

Casey O'Roarty 06:30
And then you were telling me a little bit before for well, actually, before I go there, it's so relatable. I have two kids. And when I found positive discipline, I went into it thinking this is probably going to be easy. I was a teacher. So I thought that I knew everything I needed to know, what I didn't know, was how intense the emotional attachment was between parent and child versus teacher and student. And that really caught me off guard. And so yeah, the rage was right there at the surface. And there is nothing worse than that look, from your child, when you know, they're scared of you. Right? Like, I definitely saw that I've seen that look more than one time, and want to acknowledge you for recognising like there's gotta be a different way than this. This shouldn't be how it is. I'm grateful for my own quest to learn and be a student of the parent child relationship. You started to tell me before I hit record, and then we decided to save it a little bit about your son's experience of anxiety. So talk to me a little bit about that, as you started to learn more about conscious parenting and he continued to grow. What did you notice in that relationship in his behaviour? And how did conscious parenting how was that something that was supportive of you? Yeah.

Sapna Rad 07:57
So that gave me tools. The conscious parenting gave me tools, which helped me navigate my child's anxiety. I knew that it's normal children are supposed to be attached to the parents physically, do we grew up in communities where it was not just the father or the mother, we grew up with aunts and uncles and

Casey O'Roarty 08:17
the village

Sapna Rad 08:19
parents the village. Yes, though, we're not supposed to raise a child by ourselves. This is what we knew. Historically, we grew up and we still today, we say you need a village. So here when you're by yourself and Chai wants that body nourishment, that attachment, and you just have one parent in most cases, so he was attached and you will not go anywhere, and his eyes are all over me. So that gave me tools. Because if I didn't have those tools, it would drive me crazy. Imagine playing played or for the 100th time or you know, your my child would not sleep through the night.

Casey O'Roarty 08:59
I had that same kid Sapna I had the same, my daughter is the same way in the sling on the boob. Oh, my God. Yeah. Yeah, super attached, probably now knowing what I know, probably too attached.

Sapna Rad 09:12
Right? That's normal. That's how it's supposed to be because they're new in this world. They don't know. Yet. And every animal every species on the planet, if you see, they are attached to the parent, the mother, they're attached physically, they're attached. Only the species of human beings have been told, or they need to sleep separately, or they need to detach at a certain age, only the human but any other species you see in the world, the first few years, the month the parent is attached to the child and that's the normal development. And because we believe that it has to be another way and when the reality does not match that we feel something is wrong. Going back to that he was very attached to me and he would not sleep so So I had to co sleep with him. And again, I thought I was doing something wrong because we've been told, you know, you're enabling the child and you're spoiling the child. But at that time, I just wanted sleep.

Casey O'Roarty 10:12
Yeah, I'm a full supporter of co sleeping and the family bed Sapna so I don't know how I would have slept. Yeah, I don't know how that would have gone down. Had I been anti co sleeping, it would have been a nightmare. It was the path of least resistance. And fortunately, I was okay with it. My partner was okay with it. Our household our lifestyle fit with that. So I was really grateful for that, too. Yeah.

Sapna Rad 10:39
But I was still having rages rage when dilly dally crazy, I was loud screaming. So I had to look into that, which is just being a child. And but I was having these big explosions of, you know, anger. That's when I had to look into it. As I was doing this work, oh my gosh, the crap that came up. Which isn't a good way, I'm not judging myself or condemning myself in such a good way loving way the universe and a child or children bring this invitation for a student go inward. Because with that came my inner work. And with that inner working freedom, suddenly, I was not going back to those old patterns where I would repeatedly do the same things, expecting changes, you know, there's a code that says insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. No work gave me choice. But I could choose a different reaction. Yeah. So that's how it's been so helpful for me, the conscious parenting. And speaking of teenagers because of that attachment, when my son started to separate from me in a non physical way, it was so hard when you wanted to stick with me all the time. And suddenly, you want to be left alone, you don't want to talk. But that was very hard. When he was turning into a teenager. He's 16. Now, but it started when he was 14, I was clinging on to every little bit of whatever crumbs he was throwing, and I was feeling like, like a suppression a part of you is missing. So now I have to make a pivot now. Now it's another shift in the relationship in the dynamic in your growth as a parent, I takes you to another level and all this conscious parenting has been so supportive in my journey. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have the tools. If I didn't have the strategies, the tips and the psychology part and the mindfulness part that comes with the inner growth, this would have taken up a whole different route where we are constantly yelling, we are drawing the drift in a relationship, it could have gone a whole other way.

Casey O'Roarty 12:51
Yeah. Well, and I really appreciate like what you said and something that I say a lot here on the podcast, whether you're conscious parenting, your positive disciplining, whatever your approach is, individuation happens, they pull away, teen brain development goes on. And I think that there is some sometimes parents think, well, if I do everything, right, you know, zero to 12, then the teen years aren't going to be that bad, or they're not going to get into mischief. Or, you know, and it's just, oh, and I thought that too. I thought that too. I remember talking to friends who were really in it with their teenagers and being encouraging and supporting of them. But also in my mind thinking, it's probably not going to be that hard for me. And man, it was it was really hard. And I think I am not an expert on conscious parenting. And I feel like conscious parenting is that what we do for ourselves, so that we can show up connected to both our own inner experience regulated, aware, like to me conscious parenting makes me think about being in the present moment, recognising when something my child is doing is actually triggering something that has nothing to do with them in me. And then the overlap for me with conscious parenting and positive discipline is I feel like positive discipline for me is like action, tools, strategies, but the two things together is really like, you know, when I think about routines, and creating agreements and boundaries and some of the communication and language, you know, that I pull from positive discipline, it's actionable, and practical. And then the conscious parenting, which I think is 100% necessary, is how I can be in a way that allows safe space for my teen to be in relationship with me. Does that make sense to you?

Sapna Rad 14:57
Yeah, that's so true. The way I look at it, Casey It's like you have a toolbox with all the tools like a spanner and you have all these nails and a hammer. That's your toolbox of foster parenting. Knowing which tool to use comes from conscious parent. Yes, I love each one at that moment. What do you need? Yeah, that's intuition that gut feeling the courage to be okay with using the wrong tool in the moment and then switch and pivot to a different tool. All those come from conscious parenting that comes from knowing yourself.

Casey O'Roarty 15:31
Yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me. So we're going to talk about back to school with teenagers, don't worry, listeners, we're gonna get practical here. Because it is the season, right? At least for those of us, you know, here in the states in the Western Hemisphere. I know some of you are listening in from Australia, I've got some fans in Australia, and you guys are still like wrapping up summer are wrapping up winter, what is happening? Anyway, we're in back to school season here. And today, the day that we're recording is actually my son's first day back to school, he's a senior, he had a great day. And by the time this goes live, I think most people in the States, most of their kids who are going to that traditional model of schooling, will be back to school. So what is something that's important for parents to remember, just to start off this conversation as their kids head back into the classroom,

Sapna Rad 16:26
anything new, anything different from the ordinary is going to bring up some kind of uncertainty and anxiety in us. That's normal, that's human, I would love it. If parents spoke about that, before the school starts, hey, you know what this might happen. If you're feeling something, or your thoughts are taking you some places that are scary, I want you to understand this as normal. This is what I did. On the first day, my son went to school, I told them, remember, your loved and don't be alone with the thoughts that are scary, you can always reach out. So knowing that you have their back, this is normal, every other person is going to feel this way, is so important for the kids to know that they know that you're there. When they have the tools to handle when they're aware that they're feeling this in their body, what does that look like my heart is beating, my breath is becoming shallow, I'm having thoughts that are not serving me. This is such awareness that parents can bring their children into it's powerful, right? When we know that suddenly now you have a choice. We have feeling this, let me go to the bathroom and just maybe take a moment or maybe go sit with a friend that I'm know from last year, maybe go talk to a teacher, or maybe I'm going to take a break and call my parents to come pick me up. If it gets really big, having those tools having those conversations, normalising it, I did this with my child when he was younger. When he was really young, he would have these anxiety thoughts. We gave it a name that I would say, who says Mr. Fear there, Mrs. Anxiety there? What is she saying? Or what is he doing? So he labelled it and separated these thoughts from himself. So you would mark Mr. Fear to saying this, or Mrs. Anxiety saying this? And she's scaring me. So I would give him the language to talk back to the anxiety? Oh, yeah, you can tell her this. You can ask her why she feeling that way. So from very young, and I started this. So now as a teenager, I don't have to tell him those, but he knows how to separate those. And there's a awareness that comes through practice outside of the home, which they can take back when you are not there as a parent with them at school. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 18:45
Considering that schools already started a year making me think just about conversations to have with them around the fact that it's bigger than just the first day there's the first day but then there's the first month. And sometimes it takes a while for things to settle down and settle in and to feel like routine. And I think that is also a place where we can check in with them and ask them, you know, how is it going? You know, what are you noticing, as the days go by, as the weeks go by about those different classes and different friends? And who are you gravitating towards? And this is something for all of us, right? Any guests that I have on? I always kind of challenge because I know that there's a lot of people listening who are like, yeah, that's all great. And I have a kid who doesn't want to talk about how they're feeling doesn't want to be in conversation about their experience. And so I just want to say to you listener, I know, I know that you're out there and I know that it's really hard and really messy. And something that I offered a client recently as an entry point, or even just a seed was to share your own experience. Just casually you know, of gosh, I remember when I started teaching, I was a teacher a long time ago, and walking into the building and not knowing the kids that were going to walk in the door, and not really even knowing the other teachers and how that, you know, I could feel the anxiety in my body, or even when I show up to a new group that I'm going to facilitate and how it feels in my nervous system that my nervous system is telling me about the experience and, you know, sharing your experience with them with enough detail that they can, if they want to, right, take away some of the tools that you talk about, you know, using in your experience, and you use the word normalise, right, we get to normalise that, yeah, of course, first days, first weeks, first month, their heart, right. And it takes time to feel that rhythm and that flow and that familiarity with a new school year, a new school, a lot of the listeners have kids that are maybe in ninth grade, or sixth grade who are just showing up to middle or high school, or maybe your family moved and you're in a new school. So just really seeing those parents as well. And it's a mixed bag, right? It's a mixed bag of emotions that are showing up for our kids. And I've talked a little on the podcast, and I'll talk more but you know, it'd be great if our kids were like, gosh, you know, I'm feeling really a lot of stress and anxiety about this about school. Right? And that's not typically what they do. So what are some of the things that you hear from the parents that you work with? Or maybe from your own child? What kinds of behaviours are manifested when our kids are kind of feeling kind of a peak anxiety? Experience?

Sapna Rad 21:43
Yes, this is the most common complaint I have, when clients come to me is like, my child is not talking to me, they're shutting the door. They're very snappy, I just ask the innocent question. And they're snappy, and they're tired, they don't want to talk, or they're very rude, you know, it's perceived as being rude by the parent, and the child is not wanting to be proved, maybe they just don't want to talk about it. Because it brings back the memory of the school. Sometimes silence really, really helps. And everything is wrong in the world. Like, you can be the nicest person, you can beg them and lick their feet, but they don't want to be around you. These are some signs, they don't want to talk about it. But what comes down to is your attunement. If you build that connection, you don't even have to talk. Just being in their presence. And if they can feel you're not anxious for them, you know, questioning, how's the school, you know, all that energy, like you want to fix it for them? When they feel that energy they are going to open up? It doesn't have to be like how you school there was, it could be like, do you want to grab some ice cream? Simple as that. Just simple as that. And they will be ready to open up eventually. But they're gonna feel energy first. Are you coming with the fixing energy wanting to know about the school wanting to be their best friend? Wanting to fix it like asking how was their grade? Or how was the teacher who's a new teacher? You know, too many questions. Silence is the biggest tool you can use if you have a teenager at home. And it might seem very small or simple, but it's huge.

Casey O'Roarty 23:15
When I think we get desperate too, and that desperate energy is such a turn off for teenagers. It just is like, Oh, right. And I know I'm guilty of it and my less conscious moments for sure. You know what shows up in my house and you mentioned it kind of that rude what feels like rude disrespectful behaviour. This was something that I learned that my daughter taught me. And it was to practice not taking her behaviour personally, right? Because her stress her anxiety would manifest as disrespect and snarkiness towards me. And when I learned to notice my defensiveness coming up where I wanted to be like, Oh, you will not talk to me like that. I started to recognise actually, this is an indicator that she is feeling anxious. Right? And there's a story that I've told before where it was her birthday, and we were out to dinner and I organised this whole thing and she was just being horrible to me. And I just all of a sudden I leaned in and I said, Are you worried that the waitstaff is going to come sing Happy Birthday to you? And she looked at me with big eyes and she was like, please make sure they don't do that. Yes. And so we went to the hostess and made sure they wouldn't come over and sing Happy Birthday. That's like her biggest nightmare. And after that, it was done fine. And so learning her anxiety behaviour was so useful to me, because we get hooked. We get hooked. We bring our own anxiety we bring our own hurt. So you You talked about the inner work of conscious parenting. So this is one of the places right, where we get to really recognise our triggers and those hooks that pull us in the key would

Sapna Rad 25:10
you use as a hook and I would like to share a story, which is very personal. And I write about it in my book. Yeah. And this is again, not coming from judgement, it's coming from the inner work that I've done. And I shared the story with my parents is like, I went with my five year old son to Costco one day,

Casey O'Roarty 25:27
good times, four or five year old at Costco.

Sapna Rad 25:31
Fun, I was planning on having a fun day, go try out some samples, and you know, just chill out on a regular day. So as I was parking my car, you know how if there's a space in front of the car space, you want to park you move the car up in the front, because it's easier for you to drive out. So you don't have to backup the car. So you just pull the car up front. So that's what I did. I saw there was a space empty in front of the space, I wanted to park. So I moved the car up, I didn't notice that there was another person waiting for that spot. So as I got down from the car, she started yelling at me, oh my god, you're so rude and blah, blah, blah. That moment, the key word is I got hooked. What does that mean? And look like? My thoughts became faster, rapid, more, more. Like if I was having few thoughts. A minute, it became like 1000s of thoughts. Just bombarding me with thoughts, things like, Why did I do that? Or I should have been more careful. I should have been mindful. What will she think of me? Am I stupid, she's gonna think she doesn't even know basic manners. And then he started shifting it or she was so rude. She didn't have to yell at me. She got millions of thoughts running in my brain like substance. Like, within few seconds, I was having multiple thoughts, or myths of this, I finished shopping. I put things in the back of my car. And I started to drive and I heard a big bang on the door. I turn and see it was my four year old son, I had forgotten to put him in the backseat of the car. And I was about to drive off. Yeah, oopsie Yeah, I don't know. I was so self absorbed. And that, that I put my son in the back of my car. And I started to sob literally, like, what would have happened, if I just draw off. This is a story I tell my parents when I talk about when I got hooked, nothing else was important. To me, the most important thing in my life was my child. And suddenly, he was not important to me, because I was in my own head, feeling these feelings of helplessness and anxious that I might have done wrong. And the shame actually, of doing something wrong, that I missed the most important thing my child having a fun day with my child connecting and enjoy. So this is what happens when we get hooked, our inner child starts showing up. And the defensiveness is the protection of that inner child. So we try to protect them, it's the adult is gone, then your inner child is trying to respond to the challenge in front of you. It's not the adult versus child, it becomes the inner child versus the child. And then everything goes out of important goes out of the window, your connection, your communication, your poisoners, your leadership, everything goes out the window. That's the conscious parenting.

Casey O'Roarty 28:20
Yeah, well, and that's a story of like an outside factor hooking you and taking you out of the experience with your child. I'm just thinking about parents who's, you know, with teenagers, they get deeply discouraged. I just was on a call with clients today about their son's discouraging attitude towards the first day of school, and they really wanted to know, how do we, you know, support him and his growing resilience. And, you know, I talked about you get to, and there are two high achieving parents. Right. And so to have a discouraged teen is really challenging for them. I mean, it's challenging for all of us, obviously, but recognising like, it makes sense that this is so hard, right? When we start to or if our kids are misusing substances, or misusing screens or not being a good friend, you know, there's all sorts of challenges that we use the iceberg metaphor a lot at the tip of the iceberg that can hook that inner child, right. Like I was just reflecting on this today. And my own experience of presenting is feeling really connected. And feeling as though I fit in in high school. But there was always this little part of me that felt on the outside. And I was thinking about that today, as I considered my son and his social circle and how he's navigating that and there's places where I'm like, oh, I want it to be different for him. And I realised actually I wanted it to be different for me, and he's killing it. He's doesn't have any hang ups that I know of. But it's so interesting how that inner child will come in, and we get so scared. And so I really appreciate that work around recognising when whether it's our fear, or our own, you know, misunderstood or neglected childhood experience that's being pulled out. Whatever it is, it's taking us out of the present moment. And when we're not in the present moment, we, that connection begins to falter, whatever connection is, there can no longer be this tether that we have with this energetic tether that we have with our kids. And it's so hard. So what are some tools that you advise that you support parents with, as far as helping them learn to notice that when that reactive, out of consciousness kind of trigger or hook is happening? How do you support parents and being ever more aware of that, and doing something different?

Sapna Rad 31:09
Do ya like noticing a pattern? Like, has it happened more than one time? Like, what triggers you? What is this trigger? Like we use this in common language? Right? Don't do that that is triggering to me. Or that you're triggering me? What is that act? Or what is that event, noticing it like, for me, being in time is very important. So when my son was dilly dally, before going to school, it was quote, unquote, triggering. So now this was happening more than one time that when it comes to time, I was blowing my lid off. Okay, this is my trigger. Now we do the work once you understand that this is the trigger, and it's happened more than once. Now you do the work, you start asking the questions, you can work with a coach can read books, you can do your inner work with journaling. Why is this triggering to me? What about this is bringing up my inner child. So once you start doing the work, removing the layers, mostly to small t trauma, you know, we all have experienced some kind of a disappointment, failure, rejection in some kind of a small t trauma, and it's stuck in our bodies. And that's how it's showing up. Once you identify the trigger. Oh, okay, this happened. And I made a meaning like for me. And I'm going to be very candid here. And I'm going to open up my heart to your listeners, that when I was young, and I was late to school, and a form of punishment, I was told to stand outside the class. So that created so much shame in me, time became important, like I just can't be late. So I saw my son, dilly dallying the memories of me being late, meaning what it means I'm going to feel these feelings of shame. And meaning what I wanted to protect my son from feeling those feelings of shame. So all these things I had to learn, unlearn and let go the meanings I had made up. So now, okay, we're going to be late. What strategies can I do? Can I call up the teacher and say he's going to be late? Or can I wake up an hour early? Can I be a supportive friend who's telling? Okay, come on chop chop, you need to get out of there, you have so many choices. I do not resort to the old patterns of yelling and screaming anymore. Because, again, it starts from doing your inner work.

Casey O'Roarty 33:23
Yeah. And that's so interesting. I taught a class A couple years ago, and I remember there was a dad in the class. And, you know, I think one of the hardest things we're invited to do is to remember that our kids are on their own journeys, right? They're on their own life path, and they get to make their own mistakes, and learn from them. And this daddy kept saying, I just don't want my kid, my son, to have any regrets. Right. The biggest challenge was around school and how the son was doing or not doing his homework. And I was trying to encourage the dad to back off, give him some space, see what happens. And he just kept saying, I don't want him to have any regrets, like I did. Right. And that was such a key moment where I got to lean in and say, you don't get to decide what your son's going to regret and what he's not going to regret. Like, that's part of his path. Right? And that's where the dad got to look at his own stuff and decide, is this something that you want it like, this is a great thing to take to your therapist? Right, like you said, do some journaling work with a coach because the dad's fear of his son's regrets was getting in the way of having a relationship with him and being a support and they encourage her that his son actually needed. So it's so interesting. And parents, I know I get it. I don't want my kids to make the same mistakes that I made either. And guess what? They're gonna make some of them but it's going to be different for them because when I was making mistakes, I didn't necessarily go to Do I didn't have a relationship that allowed me to go to an adult and say, Well, I really screwed up. And whoa, you know, I need some help or processing. But my kids, you know, they say, I'm so strict, which is hilarious to me, because I'm like, I do not think I'm that strict. But really, they say, Yeah, but we always talk stuff out. Like you always want to process and ask questions. And I'm so I'm like, yeah, that's how you move through life friends. But that idea that we can prevent, or control the experience that they're having. And typically, that comes from the things that we feel a certain way about in our own lives. It's just so fascinating to me.

Sapna Rad 35:48
They are very sincere in their want for the children. What is does every parent want for the child? They say, in a very sincere, loving, innocent way, I want my child to be happy. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 36:00
Nobody's happy all the time.

Sapna Rad 36:01
Yeah. When you look into that sentence, you know, you can't be happy all the time. What is life, it's the ebb and flow of pain and disappointment and failure. This is a part of life. And when we learn to sit with what is it actually, it's just those sensations of failure in your body. When we actually sit which conscious parenting you know, we train our parents in conscious training parenting method, we train them to sit with these emotions, meaning you're not afraid of them, you let them pass through your body, because once it passes through your body, it's gone. You move on. But we are so afraid to feel these feelings ourselves, and feel helpless in the face of these feelings. We push those feelings down. You don't know how to express them. We don't know how to feel them. So we are scared of them. So now we are scared of children. Feeling them?

Casey O'Roarty 36:55
Yeah, our tolerance. Yes, right, our tolerance and bringing this back to back to school, you know, your kids coming home, those of you that have teens that are coming home that are feeling discouraged, that are not excited about the new school year that have things to say, you know, that's where I think we get into a lot of mischief as parents because it's hard to tolerate their discouragement and to be with it. And that's what they need, like us use the word attunement. We get to be there with them, we get to say, yeah, hi, I see that this is really hard, or that it does suck, that you don't have any friends yet, in any of your classes that you don't know anyone yet in your classes. That's really hard. Right? And just wait a beat, right? And then I was, you know, then it's like, if you can't stand it, feel free to say, can I offer something? Or I have some thoughts? Would you like to hear them because I feel like as our kids get older, and our husbands to, or maybe our wives, they will appreciate you asking permission before you launch into your opinions or your thoughts about how to make it better how to look on the bright side, be with them. In their discouragement, see them in their discouragement. You also mentioned routine as a tool for back to school time to so I'm going to pivot us into this. And it's funny, it seems like the older my kids get, the more the idea of routine kind of goes out the window. In the traditional sense, I guess when I think of them as young kids, it's like, let's make our morning routine. And let's make our bedtime routine. And this is what it's going to look like after school. And that just isn't. I mean, I think there's default routines that we move through that we're probably less conscious of because it's just kind of our flow. My son, like I mentioned, as a senior, he's got work, he's got a job, he plays sports, he's got friends, there's so much going on. And I'm really holding this container as energetic container for him to be more of the decision maker and more autonomous, knowing that a year from now. He's going to be states away, trying to decide the best way to navigate studying and friends and going out and all the things. So I'm trying to give him as much space as I feel comfortable right now for him to practice and routine. Which by the way, I love a routine. I feel very safe when there's a routine. And it feels like I don't know, I think I need to redefine routine and maybe not even redefined it but kind of expand what routine means at this point in our family system. What are your thoughts around that as our kids get older?

Sapna Rad 39:53
Yeah, let's define routine. What is routine is you're not using your conscious brain to make decisions. and you're not draining the your conscious brains power, like it's automated, you don't have to pay love it.

Casey O'Roarty 40:07
Like, it's so much.

Sapna Rad 40:10
You just get up, you brush your teeth, you're not thinking, Oh, I have to get up with the pace, it just happens that you're not wasting your energy on deciding what to do. That's what routine helps. So you have your more brainpower towards things that you need to make decisions for, maybe at work or at school. So routine helps, but it has to be in service of your everyday stuff. But if routines are itself creating stress, when you say, you know, all you have to do this like permit, you have to brush your teeth, and then meditate for 10 minutes, and it's causing stress, then it's not of service, right. And if you want it, if you as a parent feel that this is going to help, then you have to partner up with your child, you know, I see that having trouble doing this, like having a shower or having a breakfast, I'm going to be supportive of you. So I'm going to be there, like, Okay, let me help you with that. For example, let me help you with the pressure and the pace and I love your throat ready, or I'll have your breakfast ready. So you you do it a couple of times, then it becomes a routine. And then you can slowly wean out of the routine. And like how we do with brushing, you know, teaching our children how to brush. It's not you know, they don't need you anymore. But initially, when you're teaching them, they need you. You have to be creative. You have to this exact same thing with our team. They're still developing in the brain. Just the brushing is gone. Now it's something bigger.

Casey O'Roarty 41:31
Yeah. Well, and I'm thinking about, they get so big, you know, and we kind of assume like, Okay, you get it, you should be able to do it. And we forget that they're still in the development. And I was thinking about like this morning went pretty smooth. First day of school. I asked a lot of questions. Last night, my son went out to dinner with his sister, which was very sweet. Although inside my body, I was like, it's the night before school, like you should be home. But I didn't. I instead I was like, tell me about your plan for being successful in the morning. Like, what's your plan, and oh, I've got my backpack dialled in, you know, I'm like, okay, I'd like to make you breakfast so that we can hang out before school? What time would you know, I just kind of backtracked with him. And we were texting, which is useful. And on one hand, I was like, Oh, my God, I'm totally being that mom right now. And I'm asking too many questions. But on the other hand, I noticed how much better I felt about him going out to dinner with his sister, when I had more information about how he was already thinking about the next morning. And so as I'm listening to you talk about routines, noticing, and this is what I used to say when I worked with younger families was like, the tension shows you where a routine might be useful. And so I felt like he wasn't going to be giving himself enough time to get to school this morning. And it turned out it was fine. But I'm thinking like cab, and if it starts to feel more and more stressed, I might ask him or first notice, like I noticed that you don't have a lot of time to eat in the morning. And where might you tweak your routine, so that you're not feeling so rushed? Right? And kind of help him I think that's something we get to do two is kind of help them be observers of themselves, right? Because we live in the moment. And it takes practice to also look at the moment, right to see ourselves in the moment. So I think we get to support our teenagers with seeing themselves and being observers of themselves so that they can connect some dots. The other thing I was thinking about too, and actually in my membership programme, I had a mom today just post about family meetings we do. family meeting is a big positive discipline tool. And we've been doing them for years, imperfectly, we probably haven't had one in like three weeks, but really wanting to dial in that routine. So listeners, you've heard me talk a lot about family meetings, now is the perfect time to decide like, okay, Tuesday nights, that's our family meeting night and hold that as a thing. Everybody's on board, while everybody might not be on board, but everybody knows that it's happening. And I know for me, it helps me feel calmer throughout the week, knowing that that's happening. What are some other routines, as you put it in the context of teenagers and everything they're doing, that you think are useful for parents to think about?

Sapna Rad 44:34
Mindfulness, just 10 minutes a day is going to be so helpful for the teens and the parents and it starts with the parents. If the parent is not meditating and expects the child to meditate, it's going to be hard. But if you are meditating, as a parent and the child watches you sees you meditating, being very disciplined about it and you know, following through, the child is going to pick up on that energetically. and sees the benefit of it. They're gonna sit with you initially maybe playfully, but they're going to see pick it up like any other routine or any other thing that's going to be helpful for them. 10 minutes a day is all you can sit with them initially. But you can meditate as a family and talk about what came up with oh, it was so hard. My thoughts came up. I was having trouble. Oh, yeah, me too. And you know, today, I could hold my space for a minute. Sorry, I could do it too, or, you know, bringing up this conversation, bringing those mindfulness practices, especially in today's age and time when children are going to schools and their social media. It's so important. So important.

Casey O'Roarty 45:43
Well, and I think the most important thing you said was have your own practice. Yes, right. Have your own practice, because I can feel listeners like, oh, yeah, right, my kid is not gonna sit down with me and meditate for 10 minutes. Okay. And definitely, that's not going to happen if they don't see it normalised in the household. And whatever the self care looks like, whatever that mindfulness looks like, I think is really powerful. And just make it an invitation, right? I think we get to invite our kids, my daughter, and I did a beginners yoga course in town, which was a great way for us to connect. During a time that was really tough, actually, we had to drive into town to do it and drive home. And we had all of this time together. Plus, the activity itself was so useful for our own personal experience. I tend to meditate in the living room. And so usually I'm up before everybody, but sometimes my son will come upstairs, and we'll see me doing it. And yeah, and then the other place, too, is just at the dinner table getting to say like, oh, yeah, this was my practice today. And here's what can't like you were just talking about talking about what comes up for us. And normalising that this is something that's a tool, that's a life skill, right. And I think it's important, you know, just for the people out there who are like my family would not get on board with that. I want to challenge you and just invite you into starting your own practice, and see what opens up with your own practice.

Sapna Rad 47:20
So it's about reining in those thoughts that are running while you have this means that you pull them back, choose them, you let them go. It's a great tool. It's a wonderful tool.

Casey O'Roarty 47:32
I have a friend who explained it to me, because I was like, when I first started, she said, I said, I can't do it. Like, I'm just like, my mind is just going Wow, just like Casey, it's not about not having any thoughts. It's about recognising when you have the thoughts and coming back to stillness and breath. And that's like the, you know, we go to the gym and we do bicep curls to build our bicep muscles. This meditation is building the mindfulness muscle, it's building the ability to become aware of our thoughts and release. Right again, being in the experience versus looking at the experience and being in the observer. Sapna I can't believe how fast time just went by. Yeah. I have like, four more questions for you. That that'll have to wait. That'll have to wait. Before we wrap up. I want to know is there anything else that you want to make sure you leave listeners with today, we talked about a lot. And then we also didn't get to a lot. So is there anything else you want to make sure people hear today?

Sapna Rad 48:34
Knowing yourself is the biggest power you're gonna have in the relationships that come in your life like for yourself and for your children? So I'm on

Casey O'Roarty 48:45
top of that. I love that. My final question that I ask all of my guests is What does joyful courage mean to you? In the context of conscious parenting?

Sapna Rad 48:56
I would say it's like having joy in your pocket and courage and bravery in your heart and go on this quest, this journey of life and you have joy and courage in your heart. Imagine a life well lived.

Casey O'Roarty 49:11
Working on it. Yes. Love it. Thank you so much. Where can people find you follow your work? Find your book?

Sapna Rad 49:18
Yeah, they can follow me on my social media accounts. Sapna read coaching, they can DM me I have my six week programmes. I teach all the tools for conscious parenting. And I constantly work with parents of teens to navigate this world. It's a wild world we all need some form

Casey O'Roarty 49:36
of witness of wild world only. Great and website. Where's your website?

Sapna Rad 49:41
What's your website? Dad calm.

Casey O'Roarty 49:43
Okay, perfect. And I'll make sure listeners you know, you'll find all those links in the show notes. Thank you so much for spending time with me today. This is great.

Sapna Rad 49:51
Thank you so much.

Casey O'Roarty 50:00
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 beasts bro 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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