Eps 420: Encouragement, Motivation and our Teens Armor

Episode 420

Join me today as I explore what motivates our teens, parenting that gets in the way, and how to dismantle the armor they create over time. It’s a brand new solos show!

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Takeaways from the show

  • Tending to our physical bodies
  • Navigating the “rest day” suggestion
  • Meaningful motivation comes from within (for us AND our teens)
  • I don’t believe teens “don’t care” and what really might be going on
  • The possible outcome of overly controlling parenting
  • Understanding teens’ emotional needs, rather than solely focusing on their misbehavior
  • Take a rest day and connect with their teenagers without making it about their own plans or expectations

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Casey O'Roarty

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 vol. Also mama to a 20 year old daughter and a 17 year old son I am walking right beside you on the path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it really real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is a solo show and I'm confident that what I share will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families around the globe. If you're feeling extra special, you can rate and review us over in Apple podcasts. I'm so glad that you're here. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Enjoy the show. Hey, everybody, welcome back. Hi. Okay, it's a solo show. And I completed the book club episodes. Hopefully you were with me through that, if you're just hearing about it, the last nine weeks of solo shows have been me, reading my book, joyful courage, calming the drama, and taking control of your parenting journey, in an effort to revisit and really sit with how much it holds up. Cuz I wrote that book before things went kind of wonky, with my oldest. Anyway, it was a fun journey. This episode is absolutely about parenting our teens of course. However, I am going to start out with a personal story that will lead to and weave into the topic for today. So stay with me. Last spring, I was fortunate enough to go to this beautiful women's retreat with my friend, Krista petit, you can find out about her. And what she has to offer at boldly embody life.com. And it's a retreat that I've been to many times, and I always take something new and deeper away from it every time I do it. And during this particular event, there was an invitation to hear from other women about what lies ahead and to answer questions to younger women about what they can expect as they age. I was so impacted. And again, this is something that I've done before. I've participated in this particular experience before but I was so impacted this time by what I heard from the women in their 50s, specifically around their experience of their aging body and menopause. And just that transition that I know lies ahead of me. And it really sparked this sense of urgency. I knew that I wanted to get my body ready for what lies ahead for you know, continued aging. I wanted to feel as good as I could before all of the shifts, and the changes began. Honestly, probably some of those things have already begun, but I might be unaware of them. Because guess what? I'm going to be 50 tomorrow. I'm recording this on Saturday, September 16. I'm going to be 50 years old tomorrow, which is awesome. I do not get hung up about age. Long time ago. My dad said case Things only get better. And while I rolled my eyes at him, of course because I was a teenager, when he said that to me. I get it. And I feel it. Even with the challenges of the last five years like whoa, dude, big challenges, big life unfolding. And I still feel like I'm here for it and everything just keeps getting better. That being said, also the last few years they've been pretty sedentary, right like for me personally, I sit down, I power out podcasts or I leads zoom calls are I meet with clients, I do a lot of writing, I am sitting at my computer all the time, right. So the last probably four years, I've really fallen out of the practice of moving my body regularly and intentionally consistently. And eating foods that I know don't always result in me feeling good in the long term. I mean, my diets not terrible, but it's not great. And, you know, I always clean my plate. So no matter if it's a little bit or a lot, I'm going to eat that. I notice. Now more and more than a night of dancing, which I love, I love going and seeing live music and dancing on the dance floor with my friends. It's my favorite thing to do. And it only really happens maybe once or if it's a big month, twice a month. But it leaves me a couple of hours of dancing and burning up the dance floor leaves me with days of recovery days. And I don't mean like I'm hungover. I mean, my knees, my legs, my hips. My body is like, pissed at me. It's as if, you know, like I'm running these mini marathons, without any training. And my body really, really hurts. So anyway, I knew I wanted to change some things I've got a week in Cabo for my birthday celebrating. At the beginning of October, I have bought tickets to a three night dancing extravaganza, with one of my all time favorite bands over New Years. No way, I'm going to be able to party like it's 99 without some real training. So I bit the bullet. And I hired a professional trainer, a personal trainer. And because for me, I have to have someone paying attention and encouraging me, someone to report to for staying committed. I just I know myself, and this is what I need. I'm so grateful that I have the funds that I needed to make this happen. I did have to move some things around as far as giving up other indulgences to make it work for our budget. But the good news is I've become consistent with working out, I've consistently met my steps per day goal. And that's felt good. It hasn't been very long. It's been like three weeks. Well, last week, I was in the gym, with my trainer, it was actually on Monday. And I was like, I think there's something wrong with me. Because it's not like I feel sore. I know what it feels like to feel sore, because I've been, you know, lifting weights or doing something different with my body. But the way that my knees and my legs and my ankles were feeling was like really discouraging. It did not feel sore, it felt like there was something wrong with me.

Casey O'Roarty 08:00
And listen, I am not lifting crazy amounts of weights, I'm not all of a sudden, spending an hour, four days a week, you know, doing squats with the bar with big weights. It's not like this drastic nose to the grind kind of working out that I'm doing. Like he's really, you know, pretty gentle and sliding me into the routine of going to the gym, and nurturing my comfort level in the weight room because I don't really love that. My goal for steps per day is 5000. Right? Which doesn't feel like extravagant. I'm not running, I don't run, I walk. And I'm like, oh my god is my body in such bad shape that even doing what feels like very minimal movement is I feel like I need surgery. Right? And my trainer God bless him shout out to ALEC at Anytime Fitness. My trainer, he told me he was like, Casey, you need to take a rest day, you know, part of what's might be happening is like your movement is all condensed to one particular time of day. So you got to think about maybe shorter walks multiple times a day, instead of one big walk in the morning. You know, and you have to recover. You have to give your body the chance to recover you have even though it doesn't feel like you're doing this extreme stuff, you are drastically changing your body's experience, which you know, I rolled my eyes at him. I felt like I was doing so little and taking a rest day and losing the psychological momentum of moving every day. I was afraid. You know, I didn't want to lose that momentum. I was skeptical. I was super resistant. And I was really in this idea that, you know, my body I just broke it. I broke my body. But I had enough trust and faith in him that I was like, Okay, I'm going to take a rest day. So I did. I didn't take any walks or go to the gym for the whole day. I was feeling really good. Seated. And I wondered if there was something really, like I said, really wrong with me. And I feel like this is similar in a lot of ways the experience of some of the parents I work with, especially when I tell them to back off and work on relationship, like take a rest day, right? Are you kidding me, they say, if we don't stay on our kids, as everything will fall apart, or if we don't keep the pressure on, they won't follow through, show up, get it done. Get it, whatever it is done. There's so much here, right? There's so much here. So first of all, like me, teens aren't going to move towards something until it's meaningful to them, right? Until they really want it. And there's a continuum. There's the kids that see that before things get really challenging, and they go after it. And then there's the kids who have to kind of really be up against the wall. To make those moves, they have to want it, right. And if school is revolved around your expectations, and your hopes and dreams for them, or school sports, whatever, right? It makes sense that it takes pressure, bribes and threats for them to perform. Again, if it's about your expectations, your narrative, your hopes and dreams for them. It's going to continue to take pressure, bribes and threats from you, for them to perform, we're going to break this down, because one school or their health and well being or how they contribute around the house once it matters to them. That's when you see them making choices to get them where they want to go. But Casey, you may be thinking, right, my kid just doesn't care. Right? So that's where you get to be really curious, right? Or my kid has stopped caring, right? Maybe they were really committed to a sport. And now it's just too much you've might think like, but oh my gosh, this could open so many doors for you. You loved this as a younger kid, you know, keep at it. It feels good. I was teasing my son last year because he didn't know if he wanted to play basketball this year as a senior and I was like, but what about senior night where I get to go on the court and you like, give me a bouquet of flowers? Like, what about my the acknowledgement that I get about being the mom of a senior basketball player. And we all laughed when I said that. I held that lately, but it's real, like we take pride and pleasure out of seeing our kids thrive. Right? And it starts to become really slippery, when it's their accomplishments that create value, right? When the accomplishments are valued more than the relationship. So yeah, so my kid doesn't care. That's where you get to be really curious, because this is their life right now is equally as when they're 2535 45. This is their life experience, and their runway, to what's next. So I really push back on when my clients say they just don't care. They don't care about school, they don't care about sports, they don't care about being in relationship with me. I push back, I think kids care a lot, so much that it can feel overwhelming, and lead to shutting down and withdrawing. Right, when how much they care is met with being told you are doing it right. It's not good enough, or when what they care about is dismissed. Right? That's not a safe place for our teens. So that makes sense. It's not a safe place for them. As far as opening up, having hard conversations, problem solving. Right? It doesn't feel safe, if when they are focused on what they want, and what's important to them if they get shut down. Right. So it makes sense that they learn to lean back, roll their eyes, resist and reject us. And yeah, I want to say we parents, right, we do have a broader perspective, we have life and experience we have wisdom to share. Right and our perspective, our life experience and our wisdom has been developed over time through the unfolding of our individual experiences. Yes, we want all the opportunities available to our kids. Yes, of course. We do see how things could actually be a little bit easier in the long term if they just get on our program if they just listened to us. But that's where we're contributing to the problem. It's our program, right? It's our program and if our style has leaned more towards control and criticism if we've been in this dynamic of let letting our teens know that what they're doing isn't good enough or is wrong, even if we've couched it over time in like constructive feedback, because what you share I'm sure is to help them grow. And that doesn't mean that's how they've been receiving it. If we've been sending this message for a long time, there is armor, energetic armor that our teen has developed to keep themselves safe, right, to keep themselves safe from our constructive feedback. They want connection, and they want to know that they matter. And over time, with overly controlling parenting, our teens begin to feel emotionally unsafe. And they do what they need to do to maintain that feeling of safety, not caring, or not trying or not efforting not sharing about their goals and dreams, this becomes a logical place to go, if the main thing they want is safety. And it's not like in their consciousness, like, oh, I don't feel safe. It's more out of like survival instinct. It's in their subconscious, where they're slowly pulling away from us, because they know well, if I talk to my dad about this, or if I open up to my mom about this, I'm going to hear about why what I think is wrong, I'm going to feel dismissed, you know, like, I'm not going to talk to them, they're not going to get it, right.

Casey O'Roarty 16:33
Had a really powerful call with one of my clients last week. And that's where this idea of energetic armor showed up. Right and Brene, brown talks about armor a lot, which I love how your child is with you right now, the dynamic that you find yourself in with your kiddo, while it might feel like it happened overnight, it is the result of a lifetime of relationship with you. Right? That's that, you know, simple. And some of you have teens, who you would say have been strong willed since birth, right. And those kids absolutely exist, while others of you may have just felt this massive shift as adolescents rolled in, it makes sense. School age, kids tend to be pretty easygoing. And they don't know what they don't know. They tend to be pretty tolerant of their parents knowing everything and have the top down kind of parenting dynamic. And then they move into adolescence. And once they do that, they're in that insular world of like school aged childhood, it opens up, and they see that there is actually a lot more power and control that they can be taking. Right? Or, you know, there's kids that because of the dynamic, feel pretty good about, you know, how much power and control they have. So isn't this dynamic of, you know, take what you can get, the spell is broken either way, and they realize that there is a spectrum of possibilities, they break free of this energetic box that they have been held in and question maybe not held in, but they've just existed inside of and they begin to question, the values, the beliefs and the wisdom, that up until then you have held in your family as the norm. Right. And again, if there isn't room for them to explore other ideas to individuate, if they're dismissed or made to feel wrong, or less than the armor continues to get thicker, right armor can even be like that space between you and your child, that energetic space, their ability to trust us starts to wane. And the relationships like I said, no longer feel safe for them. They don't feel like places where they can, you know, have big conversations Express, you know, be in their fullest expression, the armor gets thick. And instead of interacting with the kiddo who wants belonging and significance, the teen in front of us, we interact with the armor, right? The armor is like the backtalk, the laziness, the lack of motivation, right? The mischief the tip of the iceberg, we interact with what's been created to keep them safe. We interact with the solution, but to the problem we don't know about right? That's what I like to say about the iceberg and misbehavior. We mistake the armor and the behavior for who our kids are. Now. Does that make sense? When I'm at the gym with my trainer, he doesn't point out what I can't do or what I'm not doing. Right. That's not his job. He doesn't shame me with talk about well, if you just would have applied yourself sooner, your body wouldn't feel this way. He encourages me. He meets me where I'm at each time I want get in the door. And he celebrates any time any effort I make towards meeting my goals, right. So, take a rest day, people take a rest day, connect with the team that lives inside of the armor let go for a while of all the micromanaging, pressure controlling tendencies that I know come from a place of deep love. Right? Connect with the team that lives inside the armor, they want you to see them, they want you to value them for who they are today. They want to be valued with no strings attached. So could sound like you know, I see how much you love fortnight You seem really committed to learning and studying to get better at that game. Right? Or it could sound like you love art, can you doodle on everything, I love finding pieces of paper around the house and seeing your little doodles on them. Or man, you know, you should you know how to show up on the field for your team. Or I see you caring deeply about your friends. Right see them and really see them it's not about saying that you see them, it's about finding those places where they are exposing who they are, and what's important to them. Right? See that and connect with that. Connect with that without making it about, you know, you could be a computer programmer, right? If you just apply yourself blah, blah, blah, right? You wreck it when we go there. So take a rest day and let go of your plan for your teens, this will begin to give room for their plan to develop and begin to manifest, take a rest day or actually take a rest month or a rest season, right and let what's sore for them. Let those sore muscles work themselves out. Talk to the kid inside the armor. See them attune to them. And over time, depending on how thick that armor is, the kid inside the armor will show up more and more often. Teens, our teens want a good life. They want to feel good. They want to feel seen and valued for who they are. They want autonomy, they want to be trusted. Right? And that doesn't mean trusted in never making mistakes, you know that I say this a lot trusted in that they can learn and grow and develop without you continuously intervening when they perceive that their relationship with you isn't a place where those needs are going to be met, they will close off and they will protect themselves. Now, back to me. Did I take the rest day that my trainer suggested that I didn't want to take that I didn't believe was the problem. Yeah. And that made all the difference in how my body felt I feel great. And I'm stronger for it. I was getting the message. My body was talking to me about backing off and taking a rest. But I was so determined that I needed to keep at it to get where I wanted to go. I was hurting myself. Right? I was getting the message. But I was too determined that I needed to keep at it to get where I wanted to go. That I didn't realize I was hurting myself. Think about that in the context of parenting. So I get to listen for and interpret what my body's telling me and you get to listen for and interpret what your kids are telling you. Behaviors communication. What is your team communicating with you? If this is landing for you, if you're nodding your head and feeling like I'm talking directly to you and you want more support, reach out, coaching classes, the membership, it's all designed to help you move through the tough now in a way that creates a future that is more connected, right and that is more open for your kids to really be on their journey for them. Instead of being in this cycle. That is more about showing up anti you versus pro them. Book and explore call. Let's see what we can do together. All right. Have a beautiful weekend, my friends. Bye

Casey O'Roarty 24:37
Thank you so much for listening. Thank you to my sprouted partners as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting this show out there. Don't forget get your free companion guide to this series created to expand your learning and your own copy of the book by going to be spreadable.com/jc Your book. I'm so appreciating you and I'm here to support you and your journey of parenting tweens and teens. Find me on social media or shoot me an email at Casey at joyful courage.com to discover how we can work together. Tune back in on Monday for a brand new interview, and I'll be back with another solo show next Thursday.

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