Eps 424: When it feels like your teen is holding you hostage

Episode 424

You have a great relationship with your teen and they are STILL getting into ALL the mischeif? You aren’t alone. This episode I am going to tease this apart and remind you what the most important thing to consider is.

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Takeaways from the show

  • Parenting styles and finding balance
  • Parenting teens and building influence
  • Parents want control over teens’ lives but must shift to building influence and releasing need for control
  • How to validates teen’s experiences with natural consequences, uses curiosity to encourage reflection
  • The lovingly detached approach
  • combining kindness and firmness to support children in solving problems.
  • Separating behavior from our relationship with our teens
  • Setting boundaries
  • The need to hold our kids accountable for their actions, while also teaching them problem-solving skills and the value of taking responsibility for their mistakes
  • Growing our kids situational awareness
  • Teenage risky behavior and peer pressure
  • Parenting teenagers with defiance and risk-taking behaviors
  • Encourages for resourcing your children, show up as an adult who cares, and offer love and support, AND it’s the messiness of the situation is REAL

Today Joyful Courage is being with the uncertainty that is ALWAYS there and being willing to live with it. I get to celebrate my people’s strengths and not dwell in the “what ifs” and the places where they come up short. Joyful Courage today means choosing love.

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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.

Casey O'Roarty 01:31
Hey, everybody, welcome back to another solo episode. I'm so glad to be here with you. And I'm really excited about the topic today. I have had a few different conversations with clients, and things that have been showing up in the Facebook group that tell me that this would be an really interesting thing to explore. So just to give you a little backstory, you know, that experience, maybe you don't, but maybe you do when your teen wants to do something, and you say no, I'm not okay with that. And they say, Well, you need to say yes, because I'm just going to sneak out and do it anyway. Or they say, I'm just going to vape anyway, or I'm just gonna, you know, shoplift anyway, have you ever had an experience where, you know, it feels like it doesn't really matter what you say your kids are just going to do what they want. I know that some of you out there are nodding your heads and saying yeah, yeah, that is my experience. And I think it's important to just acknowledge that it's real, it shows up. And it's not your fault, and your kids don't have character flaws. This is part of the messy terrain of the teen years and some of our teens temperamentally, you know, they really are strong in their convictions. And probably those same teens have been that way all along. So I just want to see you and acknowledge you. And we're going to tease this apart today on the podcast. So the first thing I want to talk about is, like, how we get to this point, or what this feels like, right? Because you hear me talk about relationship. So much, right? And I talked about the importance of relationship. I like to think about what I do as relationship centred parenting, and thinking about relationship on the kind and firm continuum, right? So the kind of firm continuum really looks like if you imagine a line, right and on one end is all firm. And on the other extreme end is all kind, right? We call those two parenting styles. authoritarian dictator, right. That's the my way or the highway. All firm parenting versus permissive, lays a fair, wishy washy to kind parenting. And a lot of times, we feel comfortable in one place or the other. And often it does have to do sometimes it has to do with just not knowing how to do anything differently. Sometimes it's in response to the parenting that we had growing up, which is really real. We are kind of feeling like, well, I don't want to do what my parents did. So I'm going to swing in the other direction. And you know, most of us do a lot of swinging. Right? You've heard me talk about this before we lean into to firm when we're scared, desperate, we don't know what to do. So it's like no, the The answer is no. I'm going to take your phone, I'm going to take things away from you, I'm going to be really rigid about rules and, and threats and punishments, even bribes, right feeling like we have to control the situation until we can't really stand ourselves anymore. And then we swing into, okay, fine, do what you want, whatever, I'm just gonna pretend that it's not as bad as it is, right? We fly into that to kind permissive parenting, because it's just too hard to deal with. So we completely let go, where I encourage parents to live. And where I try to live and perfectly with my own children, is in that middle section, that place of kindness and firmness, right. And it's not like pinpoint kind and firm. Equally, it's, you know, it's more nuanced than that, right. And it's a really special place to be in relationship with our kids. This is a place where life skills develop, this is a place where relationship flourishes. This is where we understand the power of collaboration and negotiation, and joint problem solving. This is where we allow space for our kids to learn through their experience, while also showing up standing by them loving them. Being curious, we're gonna talk about all these things, as they move through the hard stuff, right? In the overly firm household. There is no room for collaboration, there is no room for negotiation, right? In the overly kind household, it's negotiation at nauseam, it's negotiation until our kids wear us down, and they quote, get what they want. Right? So we're not talking about those extremes in the middle, everybody gets to have a voice, everybody gets to be considered. Everybody gets to while the adults get to consider, hmm, I'm willing to see things from your perspective, right, we can invite our kids to see things from our perspective, of course, we're going to do that. But we also need to remember that us in our mid life, we have a much broader understanding about what it means to see from other people's perspectives than our kids do. Of course, we want them to learn to develop those skills, but we can't expect mastery and expect them to say, hmm, I get it. Now I see it from your perspective. So I'm gonna stop doing whatever I'm doing or start doing whatever I'm doing. Instead, we get to build relationship with them, and be with them and offer them space, to have personal power and autonomy, so that they can grow in their ability to understand the perspective of others, oftentimes, that comes through experience, right? So there's this piece of kindness and firmness, that is tricky and slippery and wobbly. Right? And it's exactly it's the most powerful place that we can be. I mean, when you consider any other relationship in your life, right, your relationship with your co workers or your partner, or your friends, right? Where do you live? Are you an authoritarian at work? Are you super permissive and let your friends walk all over? You? I don't think you are. And if you are, you might want to go work on that. Right? It's where we live inside of relationship with others, the difference between us and our kids that relationship, the parent child relationship is, oh, my god, the emotional investment is different, right? And I acknowledge that. And we hold them differently, right? When we think about our friends, or our partners, or our co workers, there's a certain amount of skill, right, that we can expect. There are certain behaviours that we hopefully can expect from the other people, the adults in our life, and then our kids or teens, those skills, those interpersonal relationship skills, those life skills, they're emerging, they're not mastered, they're not perfect, they're new. And, you know, some days are better than others as far as using those life skills, especially when things get heated or things get hard. You know, even for us when we become triggered when we become, you know, emotional when we step on that emotional freight train. Do we have our full toolbox of life skills, listening, perspective seeking, looking to understand now we're flipped right and our kids are teens remember, their brain development is they feel big, right? They feel real mad or real sad or real. little disappointed. And when they're in a heightened state like that, it is very challenging for them to sit back and listen and hear your perspective and really take it into consideration. So that being said, collaboration, negotiation, joint problem solving, all of that comes also during times of self regulation. Right, that's all a part of this messy middle of kindness and firmness. The other piece, right, the other piece that can, you know, kind of make our experience of parenting our teens right now feel like we're being held hostage, is the need for control and personal power, right? We all have needs around feeling like we are autonomous, like we have personal power, like we have control over our lives, right, we all want control over our lives. I think something that gets in the way, when we're parenting teens is that well intentioned loving parents want control over their kids lives, we want to know that they're not going to have traumatic experiences, that there's not going to be pain and suffering on their road, we don't want them to get into trouble. In fact, we want to prevent them from getting into trouble, right? But we don't get to control that you guys, we don't get to control whether our teens make mistakes or not whether they make poor choices, poor decisions. So my invitation and you've heard me talk about this is to shift from the idea of wanting control over our teens to wanting to build influence, right, we want to build a sense of influence. And when we make that shift, there are some things we have to give up. Right. And the first thing meaning that when you hear the word influence, you're going to need to release the idea that having influence over someone means that they're going to do what we want, right? I've said this before, on the podcast, I've written about it a lot recently, influence is not about being able to make sure that the person that we're in relationship with does what we want. Influence is about, you've heard me say it getting a seat at the table, right? Being able to have a discussion and feel heard and considered. Right. And here's what's gained, when we move from control to influence with our teenagers, they get to learn through natural consequences. And natural consequences are the things that happen when we stay out of the way. Right natural consequences do not require parents to do anything. natural consequences are the effects, right? Cause and effect, we talked about cause and effect. So when I engage in this behaviour, and it goes sideways, sometimes there's not natural consequences. I mean, consider the things that you got away with as a teenager, right? That didn't have any natural consequences because you didn't get caught. So there's that right. And every time we, you know, increased that behaviour, the likelihood that something would go sideways, or we'd get caught would increase. So, you know, that's the thing, right? So the teen brain when talking about the teen brain, and how it assesses risk, is not the same as someone like me who's 50 years old, and I can think about oof, God that happened that one time and man, I did not like the way it turned out. They are just now accruing, those experiences. And you might be thinking, Yeah, but Casey, what about the law? You know, what about getting suspended from school? What about terrible fines? You know, what about those natural consequences that feel so heavy for some of our kids, that's going to show up. And that might be exactly the right natural consequence for them, to really consider what it is that they're doing, and to really think about whether or not they're going to do it again. And when that happens, if and when that happens with your kiddo, if you know those scary instances show up. Then guess what your role is? Your role is to validate man yeah, this sucks. This is so hard. I'm really sorry. You have to go through this. I'm curious about how you're feeling. Right? You get to use validation. You get to use curiosity. Talk to me about what's going on. Tell me what you understand about this consequence. You get to support them in making any amends if they need to. Make amends. What does that look like? How can we make this right? What are your ideas? We get to problem solve with them? Okay? Yeah, this is a big one, how are we going to solve this problem? How are you actually? How are you going to solve this problem? I'm here, I'm here to support you. I'm here to listen. I'm here to offer ideas. But ultimately, this is your problem to solve. That is so powerful. Because the message that we're sending is, I believe you're capable. I believe you're capable in moving through this getting through this, I believe you're capable in making this right. I believe that you have ideas, right? This is not the end of your world, that's a really strong message to send, and we send it energetically, when we can show up that way for them when they get into that big trouble. Relationship is about standing by them through what's hard. What is standing by them mean, it means that we're not piggybacking. Right? We're not saying things like, Yeah, well, it makes sense that you're in trouble. Now. You know, I told you not to do that thing. And then you went out and did it and now look, right, or shame or humiliate them? How dare you? How could you be so stupid, right? Instead, we get to stand by them, we get to continue to trust that even this really hard consequence, is going to give them an opportunity to learn, we get to trust that they're learning, right? And when we can take away the extra, you know, why? Why was pointing their finger at them? How could you do this to the family, I'm so embarrassed when we can push that aside, not make their natural consequence about our experience of it, then they really feel like, okay, my parent thinks I can hold this, maybe I can hold this, right. I'm not alone in this. We're not fixing it. We're not doing the solving. But we're standing by them, and letting them know that we have faith in them to move through it. Right. So shifting from control to influence, you all have heard me talk about fiercely committed and lovingly detached. I love that mantra. I didn't invent it. I love it fiercely, committed, lovingly detached. This is a place of kindness and firmness, I think, right? It's saying like I am Here I am yours, I am not going anywhere. And this situation, this consequences problem. I'm gonna allow you to hold it, right? Like I might be gently embracing you energetically, right? I'm not going to abandon you. But I'm also going to allow you to feel the weight of this, right.

Casey O'Roarty 17:49
Now, I think it's really important. And I brought this up in my email last week actually separating our relationship from their behaviour. I think a lot of times, you know, we are so wrapped up in their behaviour. We I'm including myself, right? Like, ah, really, again, this is happening again. If we get really honest with ourselves, oftentimes, we can feel like when our kids get into trouble or misbehave, or get into mischief, it can feel like they're doing something to us. And on one hand, they are putting us through the experience of witnessing what it is that they're doing. That's valid. But ultimately, we're running parallel lives, right? This is their journey. Right? And so the more we can lovingly detach from their behaviour, the more that we can continue to build influence in the relationship. Right? Wow, I did this thing. I know my parents disappointed, right? I know, they wish I wouldn't have done this. And they're really letting me hold this as mine. They're continuing to see me as a sovereign autonomous person who can move through hard things, right? My parent has faith in me even as they might be angry, or disappointed, or nervous, you know, afraid. We can be those things while also being detached, not making it about us. Right. So there's a couple things that have come up in conversation, specific behaviours that I want to focus on. One is lying, right? We get really worked up when our kids lie to us. And it's understandable. Nobody wants to be lied to, right. It's annoying, it's infuriating. It's hurtful, it can definitely feel hurtful. And we have to remember that our kids and this isn't like chronic all the time lying. I'm talking about like, Hey, I thought things were going so well. And now you're lying. To me about this thing, like what happened to our relationship, we have to remember that we can have a really good relationship with our kids. And they can also be dishonest with us. They still have teen brains, right? They're still moving through these early experiences and relationships and being out in the world and making sense of it. And they're still not really sure that we can hold what it is that they want, what it is that they desire, sometimes their wants and desires are so big, and they're positive that will say, hell no, you can't do that. I'm not into that, that it's a protection to well, what they don't know won't kill them. Right. I'm gonna do this anyway. And worry about if I get caught later. Right. And this is really typical behaviour. I mean, yes. Again, it's super annoying. We want our kids to be honest. And I think that we also get to remember that they're having that adolescent experience of pushing away of individuating of figuring out who they are separate from us. And they're really in the question of, can you hold this, I don't know if you can hold this. So I'm going to keep this from you. shoplifting, another behaviour that's come up in different places where I work with parents, we are terrified, right? Oh, my God, my kids shoplifting. We think about like klepto maniacs, and you know, the worst case scenario? And how could they, there is a novelty to the thrill of adventure, right? Sometimes, realising you can do something and then doing it and not getting in trouble for it. Whoo. That's exciting. Right? That's exciting for sitting with like, I really want this thing and I don't have the resources to purchase it. Nobody's looking, maybe I can just take it. shoplifting is a place where natural consequences really are useful in teaching. And it's one thing if, you know, you get a call from the mall security saying, Hey, your kid was at Alta or, you know, hot topic or wherever they're going. And they tried to steal something. So they're sitting in the security office at the mall, you need to come pick them up. Right? Nobody wants to get that call, super triggering all of our emotions show up on the way to the mall, we get to do what we need to do to regulate. And to come to that place of okay, how can I make this theirs and not mine? How can I make sure that they know that I'm here for them, I love them, I support them. And they get to hold this natural consequence. We can walk into that security office, listen to the person. And we get to say, Wow, how can we solve this problem? What is it that you need my child to do to solve this problem? Right? You know, we get to triangulate, right? We get to both advocate for our kiddo, like, Hey, this is an opportunity and experience to learn from right, so fiercely committed love you, I'm here for you, of course, I'm not going to shame you and humiliate you in front of this security guard or at all. But I'm also going to say like, Hmm, well, not the best choice. So where can we move on from here? What needs to happen? What would be useful? Right? Letting the natural consequences teach and sharing our values? You know, it's really important to me as a human to not steal. Like, that's not something that I value. You know, as a business owner, or as someone who has friends who are business owners, like, I know that anything that comes off the shelves that doesn't get paid for is money out of their pocket. And, you know, I try to think about the people that it's affecting, right. So we get to share our values, keep it short and sweet. And then we get to process with them. And I'm gonna get more into the processing in a moment. So the other thing that's come up a bunch in some of the places where I support parents is sneaking out, right again, thrill of adventure, man, it's dark, it's night. The streets are quiet. You get to tiptoe down the hall and walk out the door and oh my gosh, the freedom.

Casey O'Roarty 24:31
Right, the freedom do you remember that? Did you ever sneak out I did a lot. I always got caught. I wasn't very good at it. But I definitely snuck out of the house. And then I got grounded. And then I just tried to figure out how to do a better thrill of adventure. Also thinking remember I said about the risk assessment thinking they'll get away with it? Like, I might get caught? I probably won't. This is going to be so fun. As a teenager, I'm more enticed by how Have fun, it's gonna be to sneak out than I am deterred by worried about the possibility that maybe I might get caught, right? So remember that that's where the wiring is in the teen brain. And again, there's those kids who are like, Hell, no, I'm not doing that. I don't want to get in trouble. Like, it's too much. It's too much risk. When there's other kids who are like, I got this, I'm not getting caught. I know how to get in and out of the house. It's no big deal. Right? So there's that mismatch of understanding risks. It's a continuum, depending on temperament. So keeping that in mind, too. And again, right consequences. So maybe they're out on the town, and it's the middle of the night and they get picked up by the cops and brought home by the cops. Again, we get to say, Oh, wow, how does that feel? You know, thank you, officer. I'm so glad that you're keeping my kiddos safe. Is there anything that we should know so that we can solve this problem, right, so hearing from the law enforcement hearing what they have to say, and then processing with our kiddos? Like, talk to me about that? And you know, I think something that's really useful when maybe they don't get caught by an outside party, but maybe you find out that they've lied to you or that they've snuck around? Or that they've tried something, you know, they come home drunk, or you know that they're smoking pot, or, again, they they're sneaking out. So one thing where I like to start is, tell me about your night? That must have been really exciting. Tell me about how it felt, right? Like, I'm actually really curious about like, whoa, crazy. What are you doing out there? Like, tell me about that, and opening the conversation so that they realise they can share? And then moving into how, yeah, that sounds pretty exciting, but also pretty risky? Like, how are you thinking about risk, and I'm going to talk about some questions and some prompts that you can use when you're doing the processing as well. But remembering that, like, there's the natural consequences, and then reframing and consequences that we're imposing like to me, my kids, and I've said this on the podcast, like, Oh, my God, we have to talk about everything, we got to break it down, I have to tell you about, you know, how I thought about it, how I felt about it, you know, and that is a consequence in and of itself, and it lives inside of relationship like, Hey, babe, I know, you don't love to talk about this. And we got stuck. Because this crosses a line, right? This crosses a safety line, this crosses a legal line, this crosses a relational line. So we got to talk about this, and we get to hold them accountable. Right. So that making amends piece and problem solving, when we find out that something's gone sideways, and, you know, maybe they've gotten into trouble, or they've broken something, or broken a relationship or, you know, lied to somebody else, right? How are we going to solve this problem, we are going to hold you accountable to this, this is life skills. And the other piece that I want to talk about with consequences is privileges and responsibility. Right. So, you know, I mentioned I snuck out a lot. So I was grounded. And I didn't really ever consider how it must have felt for my parents to realise that I had snuck out ever. So that never really sunk in that was never a seed that was planted for me to consider. It kept me in this mindset of like, Okay, so next time, I'm going to do it this way, or I'm going to do it that way. Right. And there wasn't a lot of flexibility rent curfew. And I didn't think I could negotiate because that wasn't really how it worked in my house. So there's this privilege, responsibility conversation that I want to talk about. So there's things like having a car to drive, having a phone to use, having the freedom to come and go, right. There's the privilege of getting into the college that you want, if that's the track that your kids are on. There's the privilege of parents driving you around and paying for sports and activities, and different things like that all of those things are privileges. And all of those things come with responsibility, right? Having a car to drive means that you're going to be a safe driver that you're going to take care of it, you're going to put gas in it. Right having a phone to use means that you're going to show up to conversations around use and limits how you're using it, how you're showing up in the digital world on the internet, right? There's a responsibility, their freedom to come and go right like you get to be out in the world and you get to let me know where you are. Right and let me know that you're safe. The privilege of getting into the college that you want comes with the responsibility of filling out those applications, meeting deadlines, doing what you need to do to get to the goal that you have said that you want Right, having rights, right? Like, I'm happy to take you places, when I get a little bit of warning, it's your responsibility to give me some warning, it's your responsibility to be ready when I'm there to pick you up. So privilege and responsibility, when the responsibility runs flat, right, when they're not taking care of the car, when they're misusing the phone, when they're, you know, not letting us know where they are, then we get to tighten things up, that makes sense, we get to pull back on that privilege, we get to pull back on that privilege. And I want to say there are the kids who might moan and groan about the pullback, and then there are the kids that might give you the middle finger and say, whatever, I don't need my phone piece out. Right. So I want to acknowledge that kids respond to this in a variety of ways. And ultimately, if they want to walk out the door and leave, are we going to tackle them? Like what are we going to do, we get to be in relationship, we get to say like I get it, this might feel extreme to you. And I'm really, I'm really nervous, I'm really worried about it. Again, we're going to talk about more prompts a little bit later. This is hard, like just wanting to acknowledge, this is hard for us. And it's hard for our kids, they are getting their first taste into this new place. They've moved out of childhood, they've moved into middle school or high school, and they're flexing their you know, they're spreading their wings. And they're realising like, oh, gosh, I have a lot more power than I thought I did. Right? They have this freedom to be out in the world in a new way. They have this, like bigger understanding of the wants and the desires that are showing up for them. So again, it's their first time here, they just got to this place. And so thinking that they have this big toolbox, full of skills and strategies and coping mechanisms to navigate what's coming out them. They don't, they just don't it's being developed through experience. And over time, right? They have emerging skills and a deficit of experience for considering, right, you know, how to make choices and decide, is this the right thing? Is this the wrong thing? Not to mention that teen brain wiring that's like, Do it, do it? Oh, this is exciting. Ooh, this is fun. Ooh, maybe I shouldn't, but I kind of want to write, oh, I want to belong to this group. These are my friends. My friends are doing it. I'm seeing everyone else do it. Right. It's so challenging, not only for you, but also for them. Like, it's really hard for our kids to figure all this stuff out. They're holding a lot as they look around and realise, wow, the expansiveness of the world and the human experience of being in the world. Right? And I have to tell you, your lectures are not useful. Right? Your lectures are not useful. I know. I know. And I just want to say, full permission to give the lecture. Right? It feels good to say the things to share our wisdom, I get that. And we can't believe that everything we have to say, is being received by our teenager from this really open, receptive place. Right? Chances are, when we're talking, if it gets too long, our kids are like, Oh, my gosh, When is she going to be done? She totally doesn't get it. Oh, my God, where are my friends doing right now? Oh, I can't wait to get out of here. Right? They're not like, Oh, tell me more. This is so useful. So we have to remember that. What is useful, right? Yep. I mean, we get to kind of grease the wheel, so that we can drop in bits of wisdom, but without the influence of relationship, the wisdom just falls flat. Right? What is useful is being curious without judgement, right? Asking questions, trying to get a better understanding of them. And also, you know, asking those critical thinking questions that they might not be able to answer because they hadn't thought of it. But now you've just dropped something for them to consider. Right? Connection is useful. Getting to know what is important to them. Right is useful, understanding what's happening in their life, and I get it. Some of our kids are like, nope, not going to share I have there's a few areas right now where my son is done talking to me about certain things and honestly, I don't blame him. Um, I get real excited to talk about girls and what's going on and who do you like, and he has kind of shut me out in that place. And I think it's mostly because, yeah, I think that maybe I have created an environment that feels judgy actually full honesty. I think that's probably what happened. So I'm pulling back and pulling back, getting to know what's important to them spending time together. You know, I talked about this, I think last week, maybe I talked about this recently, maybe it was on a group call. But what are the things that we can do together with our kiddos that they want to do? Right, it could be as simple as playing a video game or watching yet another rapper, documentary, but do whatever it is, whatever it is that they want to do.

Casey O'Roarty 35:51
Right, I remember when Rowan was really in a dark place. And the one thing that she do with me was watch criminal lines, which I'm not a big crime show fan by any means. But she would come down and she would put her feet on my lap, and let me rub her feet. And we would watch Criminal Minds, we didn't do a lot of talking. But I felt so connected to her in those moments. And that really mattered. I think the other thing we get to do is we get to be real, we get to be transparent, we get to be vulnerable. So I said, I would share some prompts with you. So when we're working on relationship and processing, some of the tough behaviours that we're seeing with our kiddos, some of the things that we can say, are really starting with, like, tell me about this, tell me more about this. Tell me about this choice. Tell me about, you know, this decision, talked to me about going out in the middle of the night sneaking out of the house, you know, we get to ask them, you know, what is it that you want? This isn't all one conversation, by the way. But you know, when we're growing in relationship with them, and we're clear on what it is that they want, whether it's what are the relationships that you want? What are the grades that you want? How do you want to be perceived? You know, things like that, when we're clear about that. So you told me that it was important to you to have really honest relationships with your friends. So how is this taking you closer that are further away from that? Right? If there's some kind of friend drama, you told me that you're really interested in being, you know, playing on the varsity soccer team? So this behaviour, this risk taking, that you're doing? Is that getting you closer to that possibility? Or is that getting moving you further away? Right, and they might roll their eyes? And they might not want to answer but you're dropping a seed there for them to consider. Another question is, tell me how you're thinking about this. Like, talk to me about that when it comes up? Like when you hear someone say like, Hey, let's go over to Ulta and get some, you know, steal some lipstick. What's the first thing that comes to mind to you? Do you think at all like, yikes, I probably shouldn't do that? Or is it the first thing excitement like? Or is it even like, God, I really like this friend. And I feel like if I don't do it, she's gonna give me a hard time like what's going on in your thinking? Another question that I appreciate asking when there's risky behaviour going on is, what are you doing to keep yourself safe? Like, okay, you're gonna go to a party, or you're out with a certain group of friends, or, you know, you're down at the beach with a six pack of beer. And you've told me that you're gonna go do that, like, how are you keeping yourself safe in that situation? What does that look like to you? You know, situational awareness. I want to grow my kiddos situational awareness. Like, who are the kids that you're hanging out with? Do you feel like they have your back? I've talked about this before on the podcast, you know, do you feel like if things go bad, they're gonna make sure you're okay. Are they going to whip out a phone and videotape you? Like, you know, what's happening around you as you consider making this decision? And once you're like, once you've really heard them out. Then you get to ask, are you willing to hear what I think? Can I offer you something? Can I share my concerns, and it's a okay to let them know, like, this really scares me. This behaviour scares me. This really worries me. You know, when you go out into the world, and look around at the adults that are at the mall and shopping, people aren't stealing, like that's not a normalised typical behaviour. Right? And so it really scares me that it seems like maybe you think it's okay. And I'm worried about that because it's not right. It's not okay. And important thing here when we're talking with them and processing is listen for ambivalence, right? Listen for them saying things like yeah, I probably wasn't the smartest thing to do but all my friends were doing Hang it. So, or Yeah, I probably shouldn't do that. But I don't really want to stop. Right? So here are the both and here that they are, there is something in there that's like, probably shouldn't, and take an opportunity to really validate. Yeah, it can be hard to navigate friends and relationships and peer pressure. And it can be hard to stop doing something that makes you feel good. I get that, right. And then I want to ask things like, so what's your out when you don't want to go along with your friends, when somebody, you know, texts you and says, Hey, you know, sneak out meet me at the park at three or, you know, let's go, I don't know, let's go get stoned or whatever. They're encouraging each other to do, right? So talking to our kids about that, like when you don't want to do that. But you don't know how to say no to your friends, like, what are some outs that would be useful to you, or when you're out and about with your friends, and they start to do things that don't feel good to you, or that make you feel uncomfortable? What are some things that you can have in your back pocket to say, like, oh, shoot, I was supposed to call my mom and check in, I haven't done that I'm gonna do that now. Or I forgot about I was supposed to babysit or, you know, fill in the blank, but support your teens, like help them develop this language and these tools, so that when they are in a situation and that ambivalence shows up, but they're leaning more towards not wanting to engage in the risk taking, that they have something they can say that feels good, that saves face? And that feels good, right? Can we come up with a plan so I can support you the next time you're in this situation? What could that look like? Right, and having influence back to influence, you know that you have influence when your teen is willing to have some of these conversations. And I know I just through a lot of conversational prompts that you hear me when I say this is not a two hour conversation that you should expect to have with your team. Right, these might be short and sweet here and there. And make sure these are not the only conversations you're having with your teens, you're also talking about, you know how the football team's doing, or you know what's going on in your life, or something that you noticed, or a funny meme that you saw, or a reel that you wanted to watch with them. Like, that's the other thing too, oftentimes, what happens is when our kids are getting into a lot of mischief, what really happens inside of relationship is that everything, all of our time, and energy is focused on the mischief, instead of all the rest of our child, all the rest of the things that make our kiddo who they are, right. And so when we focus in solely on what they're not doing, right, or what they're doing, you know, that is not useful, or mischievious, when we're only focused on that, that is a place where they're going to disengage and disconnect, because that's what the relationship becomes about. So it's really important that you are spending most of your time connecting with them around other things. And then some of your time dropping in on these powerful conversations. And you can even say, you know, I know, this is annoying, you don't really want to talk about this with your mom or your dad, it's hard. And I'm so glad that we have a relationship where we can talk about this and not fly off the handle. And guess what? Sometimes it's appropriate to say, I love you. And the answer is no. Right? Because the other piece too is you get to breathe into your confident authority. Confident authority is that embodiment of kindness and firmness. I respect you, the person in front of me the teenager, but also respecting myself in this situation. Right? I love you. And the answer this time is No. When they get super pissed off. It's okay. They're allowed to you get to be with their emotions. It makes sense that they become disappointed when you say no or even angry, right? Like, because what's also happening is this flood of emotion around oh my god, everybody else gets to do this thing. I'm missing out. You know, all this other stuff is showing up and you are their outlet for all of this other emotion that is wrapped up in the fact that they can't do the thing, right that they can't go to the place or see the people. So yeah, sometimes we've got those kids too, like I already mentioned those kids that give you the middle finger energetically or literally and they'll say fine, I'm just gonna go then right this is why I titled this podcast when a few feels like your teens are holding you hostage, is because there are those kids that are like, You need to let me do this, because I'm gonna do it anyway. Right? And that's a place where we get to, in our confident authority, say,

Casey O'Roarty 45:14
you know, I really hope you don't, my intention is not to push you into doing it anyway, I know you really want to go. And it doesn't feel safe to me, it doesn't feel appropriate. Right? So I'm a no. And I hope that you can respect that this time. Right? So do you hear my tone? The assumption here is we're in relationship, I see you, I value and want to validate what it is that you're going through. And you're 15 or 14, or 17. And so not yet, right? Not yet. I've had clients who I worked with who are like, Okay, well, they just walked out the door, they just walked right out the door, and they no longer want to be in relationship with us. That's a really hard place to be. Right. That's a really hard place to be. And, you know, obviously, that's going to look different for a 13 year old than a 17 year old. And, yeah, I mean, that's really freakin hard place to be. So you get to rally the troops. I mean, if you're at that place with your 13 year old, there's something bigger going on, if they're just peace and out and walking out the door. And, you know, in complete defiance, there's deeper issues happening, we're going to talk about rallying the troops in a minute. If you have a 17 year old who's walking out the door, you get to say, Listen, babe, I love you. Please stay safe. I would love for you to let me know that you're okay. And I'm going to be here when you get back and we're going to talk about it. Right? That might feel really permissive. And I understand that I get that truly, I get that. And guess what? You get to decide how you respond to your child. This is my take, right? And there are some parents out there who are like, yeah, lock them in their room. Do people really do that? I don't know. I do know people take doors off. Right? I know that people try to use really extreme punishment. And a lot of times not useful. it backfires. Or it might look like haha, we have control, it might look like control on the surface. But what's happening under the surface, it can get scarier right, the disconnection and the discouragement that can show up when we go really extreme like that really controlling and rigid like that can lead to really destructive behaviour. Right? So really, what we want is we want to come back to that kind of firm place, we want to look for lots of opportunities to compromise, to negotiate, to collaborate, to problem solve, right, we get to say, you know, ultimately, you get to decide what kind of risks you're willing to take. And I'm here to tease it apart with you and always am loving you through it. I hope this doesn't get to the point where you're being brought home by the police, that'd be really scary. And if that happens, I'm still going to love you. Right? I'm still going to love you, you are the designer of your life. That's something that I said a lot to my kids, Rowan did not love that when she was really struggling with anxiety and depression that felt really weighty. But I think the message is really important. Like, ultimately, you know, you're making decisions and choices that are dictating the road that you're on, be really clear about where that road could end up where that road could take you, right, I'm gonna love you no matter what. This is so messy. And I just want to honour that like this is really messy. It's not a neat and tidy formula for being with our kids that are really pushing up against you. And sometimes, like I said, about the 13 year old who's leaving the house, sometimes things are bigger than you can hold. And you've really got to rally a team for your kiddo. So questions to ask who are the adults in their life? Right? Who else besides you is paying attention to your kid? Is there a favourite teacher? Or a counsellor or someone at church or someone in the family and Auntie or an older cousin? Is there a neighbour or one of their friend's parents? Are there other adults in their life that are connecting with them and checking in on them? In again, is what is going on? What is going on deeper? I went pretty big on this last week. I feel like in the podcast, what's going on deeper with your kiddo? And where can you get support because those of us that have kids that are strong willed, defiant, big risk takers. That's a lot. We need support, right like you need a place where you can unload and you can price Tell us and move through your fears and worries for them. Right? Because part of it temperamentally is who they are, right? So you got to really figure out how can I stand on my own two feet? Right? How can I be with this kid that I have? Right in a way that maintains relationship and maintains some influence and maintains a space and environment where we can talk. And they know what they can bring me their stuff. Right? Stay focused on what's going on under the surface, that belonging and significance piece is huge connection, personal power, right? When kids don't feel like they have any personal power, things get really weird, right? Like, watch this, watch the power that I can take, right? Watch what I can do. personal power is really, really an important piece to the human experience. And it's just as important for our teenagers as it is for us. Right. And again, they are emerging skills with, you know, experience a deficit. So it's a tricky period of time. And of course, mental health is real, right? Mental health is real. And if your kiddo is struggling with mental health, you get to resource them, you get to do whatever it takes to get them the support that they need. And sometimes I will say, you know, this is a conversation I had recently, you know, with a couple of different people around, I just don't want it to be like, I struggled with that. Nobody was there for me. Nobody offered me skills. And it took a long time for me to figure it out. And okay, Daladier. And that's not your kid's story. Your kids story is they're struggling. They have you, you're there for them. You're offering the resources, you're offering the relationship in the space. But at the end of the day, their story of how they move through their mental health, or their neurodiversity, or whatever. That's there's right. You can't force them to develop skills. You can show up as an adult who cares about them? And who is willing to resource them, right? Who's going to love them, no matter what. All of those things, help them problem solve, help them make amends. Right, help them move through the hard stuff. So yeah, it's no fun when you feel like you're a hostage. I honour that. I acknowledge that. And yes, again, this is not neat and tidy. I wish it was, believe me. It's messy, and you aren't alone. So I hope that today's show is useful to you. And yeah, stay tuned for the next interview on Monday. I don't know who's up on Monday, but I'm sure it'll be a good one. And I'll be back again next week with another solo show. All right. Bye.

Casey O'Roarty 53:07
Thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you so much to my spreadable partners, Julieta and Alana as well as Danielle and Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting this show out there and helping it to sound so good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay better connected at BT sprout. double.com. Tune back in on Monday for a brand new interview and I will be back solo with you next Thursday. Have a great day.

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