Eps 425: Setting boundaries around teen substance abuse with Brenda Zane

Episode 423

Brenda Zane is back this week!  

She was on this spring talking about how to be with teen substance abuse.  

We had SUCH an amazing response to that conversation that Brenda and I thought it would be helpful to have her back to talk about “what do you do” for specific scenarios around our teens and substances that leave us feeling in the dark. Today we discuss how to set healthy boundaries around teen substance abuse while still maintaining a connected relationship with our teens. 

Guest Description

Brenda is the founder of Hopestream Community, a collection of support and educational services for parents of adolescents and young adults struggling with substance use and mental health challenges. She is a CRAFT Parent Coach, Volunteer coach and facilitator for The Partnership To End Addiction, a Mayo Clinic Certified Health and Wellness Coach, and Board Member for Sky’s The Limit Fund.

Brenda’s mission is to provide parents with evidence-based tools that help create conditions for change in their families. Hopestream Community comprises the Hopestream podcast, private, online communities, The Stream (for moms,) and The Woods (for dads.) Parents can also find educational offerings to learn about The Invitation to Change Approach which guides them through the experience of having a child misuse substances and struggle with mental health.

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Takeaways from the show

  • Creating conditions for positive change in children, and the plant analogy.
  • Why young people turn to substance use, including a desire to cope with emotional pain and shame.
  • Setting boundaries around drug use
  • The challenge of enforcing consequences
  • The importance of addition over subtraction in facilitating change
  • Have open and curious conversations with their teenagers about substance use, rather than resorting to shame or judgment
  • The importance of building a positive relationship with children, focusing on mutual respect and influence rather than control or manipulation
  • The “information sandwich” technique to discuss sensitive topics with teenagers
  • How humor and modeling positive behavior are useful tools
  • Focusing on boundaries and natural consequences, rather than reactive measures like drug testing and phone confiscation

What does joyful courage mean to you?

It takes courage to have these conversations, because honestly, it’s a lot easier sometimes to just let it go. Sometimes I just don’t want to deal with it or I don’t know how to have the conversation. So it does take courage to learn the tools, put yourself out there, take a risk on sounding weird, or whatever, in front of your kid. And when you do that, you actually bring a sense of joy. And I want to make sure to distinguish joy from happiness, because you might not be feeling happy, right? Sometimes kids have to go out of the house for treatment, or sometimes there’s difficult things that you have to do. It does provide that sense of joy that you’re doing the right thing for your child. And there’s no better feeling than that.



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kids, talk, parents, behaviour, relationship, substance, conversation, addiction, work, weed, boundaries, mom, home, love, consequences, son, brenda, school, conditions, family
Casey O'Roarty, Brenda Zane

Casey O'Roarty 00:05
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 01:26
Okay, hey listeners. Welcome back to the podcast. I'm so excited to let you know who my guest is today. She is a friend of the show Brenda Zane, you will remember her from Episode 78, where she talked with us about how to be with teens substance use, we're going to continue to go there today. We had such an amazing response to that conversation that Brenda and I thought it would be helpful to have her back to talk about what do you do specific scenarios around our teens and substances that leave us feeling in the dark. And you guys delivered the community delivered with some really wild, wild but typical scenarios that we have to navigate and it's like what is going on. So just to remind you, Brenda is the founder of Hope stream community, which is a collection of support and educational services for parents of adolescents and young adults struggling with substance use and mental health challenges. She is a craft parent, coach, volunteer coach and facilitator for the Partnership to End addiction. A Mayo Clinic certified health and wellness coach and board member for sky's the limit fund. Brenda's mission is to provide parents with evidence based tools that help create conditions for change in their families, comprises the hope stream podcast, private online communities the stream which is for mom and the woods for Dad, parents can also find educational offerings to learn about the invitation to change approach, which is so amazing, which guides them through the experiences of having a child misuse substances and struggle with mental health. Hi, Brenda, welcome back to the show. Keith, thank you I first I want to say straight off, I love that sentence in your bio, which is that your mission is to provide parents with evidence based tools that help create conditions for change and their families. So many of us parents of teens and tweens, it's like tell me the formula, give me the wand, what is the language that's going to keep my kid from ever touching any kind of substance, right, or misuse or experiment or even, you know, socially use, and I just really appreciate that we can create a condition that might decrease the likelihood of problematic use. But ultimately, as we all know, right? Our kids walk out the door and they make their choices. So how we respond is what we're gonna. Yeah, and to

Brenda Zane 04:00
know it's so true. And that's all we can do is create those conditions. We can't make them change. Yeah, and I just a funny little story about that I bought my son, a plant who I don't know what mom buys their 23 year old son a plant for the his birthday. I did because I couldn't think of anything else to get him. And I had it sitting in the corner. And it was starting to just look really sad and wilty and one of the leaves was turning brown. I'm like Oh, no. And I was kind of thinking about it because I'm weird in like terms of what I do. And I thought you know, it's not that that's a bad plant. It's that it's not in the right place. It's not in the right conditions. And so I moved this little plant over to the window and I gave it a little bit of water with some fertiliser and I talked to it and I kind of rubbed his leaves a little bit. In the next day. It was a little more perky. And I thought okay, this is exactly what we're doing is we are just trying to create conditions in which our kids are more like cleat change, or to want to change, or to want to continue with the good behaviour that they are doing, right? It's not that we're always correcting. So anyway, that was just a little reminder to me that when something is struggling like that, it's not necessarily that they're bad, or there's anything wrong with them, right? They just might not be in the right conditions.

Casey O'Roarty 05:22
Yes, well, and so, as you and my listeners know, I'm a positive discipline trainer. And it comes from Adlerian theory. And one of the Adlerian pioneers is this guy named Rudolph strikers. And he has a quote that says, Children need encouragement, like a plant needs, and light. So. So I learned, yes, yes, light and water. So we recently had a little IRL time together, which was awesome. And it was so fun to just geek out with you and talk shop, and reflect on how both of us are supporting parents in the same way, even as the challenges that typically are showing up in my community are slightly different, right? Like, you kind of have the more extreme end of some of the challenges that I see. And you're who I send parents to who have kids that, you know, are looking like they're heading towards active addiction. And, you know, my people tend to be navigating some experimenting, maybe social use, or even some regular use of substances. How do you notice because you've listened to me, and you know, I don't need to tell you what I think, how do you notice that our messages overlap, even as our communities have kids in different places,

Brenda Zane 06:40
I see them overlapping, in that we are on the same wavelength about trying to be curious to understand what's going on with the person versus really this hyper focus on the behaviour. Because I think we both know that the behaviour is the symptom is the kind of the output of something that's going on. And so even though, you know, my community might have kids who are actively addicted to fentanyl, and yours might have a kid who like, Oh, I just tried weed for the first time and my mom found out or you're still just looking at, why is this going on? Versus that like, Okay, I have to jump in, I have to fix this, I have to, you know, raid my house of all, you know, I got to do an excavation of all the drugs. So I think that's really where we align is we're trying to get past those outer symptoms, and dig into how do we connect with this person as a human being and find out? What's going on within them to make this, you know, this outward action happen?

Casey O'Roarty 07:49
Yeah, that reminds me of the iceberg. We talk a lot about the iceberg. And that, often times the problematic behaviour is a solution to a problem that our kids are having that we should know about. For sure. Yeah. Right. And especially in the start, I mean, I think once they're in active, and correct me if I'm wrong, I think once it's an active chemical dependency, then that is another layer to under the surface. But the pathway to that, you know, what is the environment? What is the condition? What are the beliefs that are being held by the kiddo that is this option? Whatever it is, if it's like vaping, or smoking weed or doing harder drugs, what is the problem that's being solved? Through?

Brenda Zane 08:34
Yeah, and what I think a lot of times what we forget, especially if they now are moving into it to more active addiction, and we can talk about what that looks like, is, there was the initial reason for the use. And usually, that's just that this kiddo is not, there's something about the way they are that is not working for them in the world, right? They're not fitting in at school, or they're not, they think they're not smart, or they're just awkward, or maybe they are neurodiverse. Or maybe there's been a trauma and so the world just as a very uncomfortable place for them to be for whatever reason, and they find that substances work really well. And they do. And there's a lot of reasons why we don't want substances in a young person's brain and body. And until the substances don't work anymore, it's going to be easier for them to continue to use. But I think one thing that parents are often not aware of is once they get into the substance use, there becomes a lot of shame because if parents find out then it's like, you know, Oh, this isn't how my parents raised me and you may never get that message from them, but they are feeling that inside. There's the shame about what they're doing. And then also just some of the conditions that they get into some of the situations they get into can add additional trauma, you know, so like my son got himself into so many situations. The deeper he got into his drug use with drug dealers and guns and violence and gangs that not only did he have the original sort of wound or trauma to be dealing with, which for him was a lot of you know, he didn't have great self esteem. Now you start layering on years have this violent kind of lifestyle, and just the further traumatization. So it just keeps layering on and the scar tissue gets bigger and bigger and bigger. And then substances become even more important because that pain is building. So that can be something that we don't think about as well.

Casey O'Roarty 10:36
Yeah, I think that's so key. And that reminds me of, well, I think the other thing that you and I share is how important relationship is whether your kids are just starting to experiment, or if they're inactive, addiction, relationship is everything. And over the summer you release, I cannot stop talking about this podcast. So it made such an impact on me. I mean, it was just incredible. So you released an episode on your show that was so powerful that it was titled accepting the invitation to change to parents confront fentanyl is hold on their daughter with Eleanor and Dave, we love Eleanor and Dave. And what was so incredibly powerful about this story, their story is that while their daughter was living in a car, and addicted to fentanyl, their mission was to have an open door, and a hot meal, and a place for her to sleep when she needed it. And they did such an amazing job as did you as the host of the show, interviewing them, illustrating how it looks to not centre, the misbehaviour the addiction, the self destruction, and make that the condition inside of the relationship, like the relationship stood no matter what. And doesn't mean they weren't freaking out, because they were freaking out and throwing every research source they had at the situation. And somehow intuitively, they knew that what was going to help their daughter the most, you know, besides finally going to rehab and doing that work, was knowing that she was loved and accepted by her family. Yes. Yeah, talk about that story, because

Brenda Zane 12:31
it just is amazing. They're an amazing couple. And you're right, what they really focused on was keeping the relationship with their daughter, Megan. And at the same time holding boundaries. If you listen to episode, what you realise is they didn't allow her to live at home and use fentanyl, they didn't, you know, they definitely had their boundaries. As far as if this is what you're going to be doing. We're no longer going to pay for your apartment, we're not paying for college, you know, she was in college. This is not this is like a college students. And so they were really great about their boundaries. And they were really great about being very strategic. And this is what we teach in hopes dream community is how to be very strategic and very actionable, about how you create those conditions for change and how you keep your relationship. And so it is not a free for all, because what you don't want to do is encourage the use. So if they had said, Okay, I know you can live in the basement, and you can use your fentanyl, we'd rather have you in the basement, you know, that would be really enabling her to continue to use as they are at the same time saying we don't want you to use. So that's a very confusing message. But they did a really good job of that. And like you said, it wasn't that it didn't freak them out. They were incredibly distraught about it, that they did present a united front as a couple. I think that's one really key part of their story is, you know, their relationship suffered. And I think all relationships do when they go through this with our kids, but they always presented a united front, they always prioritise the relationship, and they knew based on information that we you know, teach in our community and that they read in the book Beyond addiction is a book I would highly recommend if you're in this position, is we have to keep this relationship and food is an amazing bridge in a relationship. So they would meet her for coffee, or they would meet her for dinner again, and some people would say, Well, isn't that enabling you're enabling her? And what you're doing is you're creating a condition where you can have a conversation, you can again offer help, you can get eyes on your child to see how does she look physically right. So I really detest the word enabling because it just makes parents feel guilty. And we don't need any more guilt for them. Yeah, like, we don't need any more guilt. So, for them, they decided using the opportunity to get together over a meal with their daughter and give her a shower was one of those times when they could create the condition for change. And it worked eventually, right? It didn't work. And it didn't work. And it didn't work. And they kept at it. Until one day, it did work. And she accepted the help through an intervention. So yeah, I think it's a great case study for the invitation to change, which I know you're trained in, as well as me, because it is so confounding for a parent, when this is happening to your child, you know, and these are two Silicon Valley engineers that are like, I know that on my bed on retreat with Ellen arch, brilliant. These are very smart people, very intelligent, and empathetic. And they found themselves just blindsided by this like, was her daughter, you say that, you know what? And so having a structure in which to work is really helpful, instead of just feeling like it's like a free for all, like, oh, I don't know what to do, I'm powerless. And that there are places that parents go, that they get the message that they are powerless, and that they just have to let them hit rock bottom and just distance yourself and you know, create your boundaries and keep yourself healthy. And I think what we learn, you know, in the invitation to change is you do you have to have boundaries, you do have to have self care, you have to take care of yourself. And at the same time, you can keep the relationship, you can create those conditions for change. So, yeah, it's a great episode, I would highly recommend it.

Casey O'Roarty 16:43
Yeah, I'll make sure it's in the show notes. So I did love the invitation to change training, it's so overlaps with so much of the positive discipline work. And the place that gets to me a little messy when I'm working with clients is, these aren't kids in college, they're not grown kids. These are 14 1516 year olds. And we're gonna get into some specific scenarios that you all sent in, who are, you know, wherever they are on the continuum, more on the experimental, maybe social use. And we talk about creating boundaries, right. And it's so much easier said than done totally. Right. Like, because at the end of the day, they can do whatever the fuck they want. Like, yeah, and they do, right. And I have this conversation with my kids. I've recently had this conversation with one of my kids where I said, you ultimately get to decide what your relationship is with nicotine. Like, that's going to be your choice. You know, if I stumble upon your stash, I will be taking it. But at the end of the day, this is your relationship. And there's no grown adults addicted to nicotine, who will tell you they're glad that they started, right. So we have this conversation. And then I have to let that go. So that's one thing when it's nicotine, not that nicotine isn't the bane of my existence, and the worst thing ever. But then when we lean into like, okay, marijuana, weed, I mean, a lot of our kids are experimenting and using. And basically like, you know, you and I were talking in the car around that question of, you know, let's look at the way this might be getting in your way. And if the response is, it's actually not. And then we're like, oh, and sharing our values, like, here's why I don't want you to use here's what it does to your brain, which I think we talked about this last time you were on, or maybe it was with Emily Klein, but you know, like, we can give them all the science and they do not care. Nor did I when I was a teenager, right? So what does it look like having a conversation with, say, a 15, or a 16 year old who's using and still like, highly functioning? And we say things like, I'm not okay with having this in the house. Right? This is straight from one of my clients. And, you know, okay, and they still bring it into the house, like, what kind of boundary? What do we do in that situation? Well,

Brenda Zane 19:07
if it's that they're smoking, or using in your house, what we recommend is, first of all, just recognising that you are not going to control it, you're not going to control what they put in their body. So sort of just set that aside. What you can control is, to a degree is what's in your house if you're willing to do the work to check. So it just needs to be really clear up front to say, hey, we just want to let you know, in case we haven't been clear, and I always like to have parents take a little bit of accountability, because sometimes we think we've been really clear, and we have not,

Casey O'Roarty 19:46
Oh, yeah. My son calls me out on that all the time. He's like, get to the point or he's like you are so Exactly.

Brenda Zane 19:51
So that's a good place to start is to be very clear in making sure they understand here is what's okay in our house. And here's what's not. And ideally, what you want to think about is making the environment at home way more pleasant, if they are not using than if they are using. So then I'll let me rewind, and then I'll come back to that. But as far as finding it in the house, that's really all you can control is what's in your house. And if your child's in your house when they're high, and some people say, You know what, I don't want this stuff in my house. So I'm going to take it and throw it away if I find it, and they've made that explicitly clear. But they say, you know, if they come home high, and they just go to the room, I'm okay with that. Everybody has, and that's, you know, in the invitation change we talked about, there's no one size fits all, what's okay with you might be radically not okay with me. And that's okay. So we all have our own boundaries and our own sort of tolerance. So we just say, Hey, if you don't want it, your house, if you find it ticket, which means sometimes you're going to need to look in your ad to let them know, that I am going to look. And if, you know, we have parents that sort of progressed to through different boundaries, and I think that's something important to also make sure that they know, this is our boundary right now. And if we see this use continue or increase, we're probably going to move that boundary. And we'll let you know, when that happens. And so just say, you know, it makes us really uncomfortable to have illegal substances in our house. Or even if it's in their egg, well, it's legal, and you're over 21, it's illegal for them. And if it's theirs, you don't want it in house. So you're gonna take it. And then some parents will say, we'll kind of progress through that and say, you know, we really value safety and health in our house. And when you're here high, that is not part of our values. So you're going to need to wait until you are not high to come home. And that means often, you know us in the home. So we have kids that walk to the park, and use a you know, a vape pen or whatever in the park. And often what I hear from parents is habit, then they might get arrested late and the police are gonna find,

Casey O'Roarty 22:14
yeah, I immediately went to crack. Yes, I immediately went to but then the crack. And

Brenda Zane 22:19
you know, the beauty of that is they will start to feel natural consequences. So you talked a minute ago about how, you know, actually there is no downside. Like, Yeah, Mom, I'm using weed, there's no negative consequences. And that's probably true. If you're creating conditions that don't allow for natural consequences. So if Johnny has to walk up and down the streets and use his vape pen, or whatever he's using, and the police drive by, that is a natural consequence of using and it is horrible to feel as a parent, like, I'm allowing that to happen. But what would be their motivation to change? If you're like, Okay, well, I'd rather have you do it in the basement than walking around, because then you're gonna get caught. That is one of the situations where you are, you know, you're negotiating around those natural consequences. And so, of course, they're not going to change, because you're making it so easy. And you might not get there right away. And so it may be that you have to move there, because that's the work we have to do as parents is it's so uncomfortable for us to allow those natural consequences. And so when we talk about boundaries, you can't talk about boundaries without natural consequences. Because if you're going to hold your boundary, there are going to be natural consequences that are probably not going to feel great. And they get more severe as your kids get older. And so you have to really think through Can I hold this boundary? And what is the natural consequences going to be of that? Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 23:59
One, what I really love about this conversation that I want to highlight is, as you talk about boundaries and natural consequences, I am not hearing you say, Well, if we see you, if we find your stash, then you're going to be grounded, you know, because, first of all, that's not a natural consequence. And again, I feel like that punishment mindset is this, like Hail Mary. Fingers crossed, if we, you know, take away or make it hard in that realm, like the punishment, punitive consequences from that that's going to be the motivation to change. And what I'm hearing you talk about is really a real life experiences, you know, and it might not need to be, you know, being arrested, right, that scary experience. It might be like, Hey, let's take a look at you know, what's happening on the sports field like this was something you love to do, and I'm noticing that If you don't feel like you're playing as well, and you're not getting as much time on the core, like, you know, I would go with like, do you think this might be connected to your pot use? Which I can already hear a comment? No. That's similar conversation. Right? Right, right? No, I think

Brenda Zane 25:17
you're right, there's a very clear saying around the invitation to change, which is change does not happen by subtraction, it happens by addition. And that is so true. And I did the subtraction, I will just like, solve this problem for everybody. I did the experiment, it failed, I will save you the time that it took me to do the experiment, it really doesn't happen by subtraction, there is no like, I'm going to delete this behaviour, and just change it. So you have to try to crowd out that negative behaviour. And you can do that, like in that situation that you were saying what we see a lot of his kids who are athletes, and using a lot of THC is they start sort of coughing up some black tar and junk, like they start having health issues, you know, FTTN 16. And so, in that case, you could get curious about, you know, what's the impact that your smoking is having on your sports, or whatever it is your band or your acting or your theatre? And so just getting them to start thinking about what is the impact that this is having? And until it gets until the negative outweighs the positive? Or if they're not feeling any negative consequences? Why would you change? It's like me, like vi love Chipotle, their freakin bowl with all the rice and the avocado. And every time I eat it, I feel so sick. But I love it. It's so good. So what is going to make me go, gosh, you know, I really want that Chipotle. But I am so tired of having that stomach ache afterwards. Right? Yeah, that the first three or four times I'm like, Well, maybe if I get less also, well, maybe if I get the digital, right. And I modify and and I'm doing my own experiments, until I finally get to the point where I'm like, You know what, it's not worth it. It's just not worth it. So trying to crowd out the behaviour that you don't want to see with behaviour that you do want to see. If they're really in that beginning experimental phase is the best time to start doing that. And to be having those conversations about what's the benefit of this, like, tell me what's great about smoking weed? What tell me what's great about this? Yeah. Are there any downsides there might not be at? That's the reality of it. There just might not be? Yeah. And so it's one of those where it's an ongoing dialogue? You don't fix it overnight? It typically.

Casey O'Roarty 27:50
Yeah, I think that's big right there. What you just said, there's no nip it in the bud. Right? There's no like, here's what you do say no, and it'll go away. It's just, and I did a workshop earlier this week. And one of the people in the workshop said, What do you think about tough love? And I was like, I think that's a loaded question. I think people have a lot of different definitions of what that means. But I think it's so short sighted. It's such a strong, like, how I hold tough love, it just feels like the strong arming, you know, it hurts you more than it hurts me. And it doesn't get to anything that's actually happening under the surface. It's this idea that we can, like you said, delete the behaviour, make it go away. Yeah. And, you know, it's really hard. And I know, I've been called out, like I said, my son being like, well, you're kind of using you kind of send mixed messages, which I'm really grateful that he points that out. And it's true, because on one hand, I'm like, I can't control you. Ultimately, you go out in the world, and you are going to make your choices. And I'm really uncomfortable with you. Right using, right, I know what it does to the brain. I can see it almost 50 years old, I can see down the line possible outcomes, and they can vary, right? And ultimately, you're the one that's making the decisions. So yeah, I have a couple of questions from community members. So the first one being from one of the members of my membership, my 15 year old son has drug and alcohol problems running on both sides of his birth family. Lately, he's been experimenting with vaping. And now alcohol, what can we do to help nurture overcome nature? And is there something that can be done?

Brenda Zane 29:45
Right? Well, so what I'm inferring from that is that this is an adopted child, just based on the language and so I guess my first assumption, but maybe I shouldn't make an assumption is that this family is working with a therapist. Who has a specialty in adoption? Because we do see, and I have a great episode with Eric Fossen. I'll give you the episode number about the intersection of adoption and substance use, and it is not insignificant. So I would say, I would want to be having an open dialogue with my son about hereditary, you know, substance use in the family about his predisposition. And it can be one of the it doesn't have to be like this really serious sit down, it can be like, Hey, buddy, you know, what? really sucks? Like, some people have diabetes in their families, some people have heart disease, like, this is what you got, man, we just need to let you know about it. So I'm hoping that those conversations are going on. And if not, I would want to start having those conversations. And then I think, you know, kind of like, we always talk about just being curious and removing any shame or judgement. And I know that it's hard, because when you start seeing this behaviour, we take it personally. And we go inside, and we're like, what did we do? And did it? And if I would have done this? Or if I'd done that? And I would say just? Yeah, what have we done? Get rid of all that? You honestly don't have time for it? Like, you just don't? So really get curious? What is it doing for him, it's probably feeling some sort of a need to connect that with his friends at school, I just want to be cool and fit in. Or maybe you know, there's self esteem, whatever it is, it's doing something. And so we always start with an invitation to change. We start with behaviours make sense. And if you can look at this and say, this is probably a brilliant kid, this is a trait of all of our kids who use substances is they are really smart. And they're highly sensitive. And so I would start with that conversation around, I'm really curious, tell me about your relationship with weed, like, what does it do for you. And if you can really approach it that way, and not bring in the shame or the judgement or the, you know, this isn't how our family is. And in any of that you can learn a lot. And then again, like I said before, like trying to crowd out that behaviour. I just today talked with the dad, who said his son, actually an adopted son, funnily enough, but he said, Yeah, I said, How are things going, he said, You now better my son met a friend who loves to surf, they live in Southern California. And he really likes to surf. And what he realised is the good waves are early in the morning. And if he's out at night, and he's smoking a lot of weed and drinking, and he's 15, then he can't get up and serve. So more mornings than not, now he's getting up and going surfing. So that's a perfect example of crowding out the behaviour that you don't want and really winning by addition, instead of the subtraction and pull back and pull back and restrict and, you know, take things away, because you want that new behaviour to replace the old behaviour and for them to feel like oh, you know, my mom, it's a lot easier to talk to you, I get more attention. Things are less tense in our house when I'm not using than when I am. So I would say in their case, it sounds like this is experimentation, and to just try to reserve any judgement, shame, and kind of think about it, like it was your, you know, a distant nephew, like, from that standpoint, and try to reserve some of that emotion, which I know really hard to do when it's child. So yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 33:37
yeah. What I love to again, is thinking about making sure that every interaction This goes for, like the kids that are screwing around at school and not performing at school and all the behaviours, right? When that's the only thing you want to talk about. Anytime you get a chance, they're going to avoid you like they're present. Yeah. So yeah, so really working on that relationship. And one of my favourite I've said this a couple times. Now, this is my latest, I was so excited when I thought of this. But I talked about, you know, the relationship being the best tool for influencing behaviour, and recently said, not to want that to be confused by if you have a relationship, you will influence your kids to the point where they behave the way you want them to behave. But instead, relationship attunement. Mutual respect, allows you to have influence, which means they will listen and consider your perspective while making their own choices. 100%. Right. So influence doesn't equal, this is how you get them to do what you want. Instead, it's giving them a broader bank of, you know, a bigger funnel to filter. What am I going to do in this moment and there will have listened to you. And that'll be a factor versus screw my parents, they don't get me they don't listen to me that care about me.

Brenda Zane 35:07
And I think we spend a lot of time, like you said, when we know substances have sort of entered the picture because it is scary. We zoom 100% of our focus there. And so just remembering to pull back. And you know, we talk about catch them doing something good. And focus 90% of your conversation and your comments and your interactions on. Hey, that's awesome. You got to be on that test. I know you were really worried about it. Hey, thanks for not, you know, kicking your sister when you walk by her like you normally do. Or, you know, I'm so happy that you took out the trash this morning. Like that saved me five minutes that I needed to get to work, whatever it is, yeah, peppering those in and making those because you're right, who would want to come home? When you're like, oh, shoot, I'm going to see my mom in the kitchen. And the first thing she's going to say is, did you go to all your classes today? Did you get did? Did you get your homework? I checked the online thing and you didn't do this? And like nobody wants to come home to that? I wouldn't. So yeah, I think that's super important.

Casey O'Roarty 36:10
Yeah. And is there a place because I'm thinking about kids, I'm thinking about teenagers who are going to school, maybe have a job, they're playing a sport. And every once in a while, you know, they're smoking some weed, or they're, you know, going to a party and having some alcohol, I fully believe that there's always some underlying wound or need or something that that use is fulfilling, like you've already said, and for some of our kids, you know, it's a much bigger wound, right? For other kids, it's not not that we can look by the outside looking in, like, oh, is this gonna turn into a problem or not? My heart also goes out to the kids of the parents who find out, Oh, what you smoke pot, sometimes, we need to get you to an addiction specialist, we need to like clamp down like the response does not necessarily match the severity of the behaviour. And even as I say that listeners, even as I'm really uncomfortable saying that, because we don't know which one out of 10 or I don't know what the you probably know the numbers of however, 10 kids that experiment, how many end up addicts? Well, it's

Brenda Zane 37:18
hard to say, you know, addicts, just that's kind of a nebulous term. But it is about 10% of kids between the ages of 12 and 17, who get diagnosed with a substance use disorder, which means it's serious, right? That's not kids who experiment. And I think what I would say, I agree that if you found out Oh, my gosh, my kid went to a party. And I know he tried some weed. That is reason for, I wouldn't even say alarm, I would say that is reason to have a really great conversation, ask some questions. And know that you know, now your spidey senses a little up. It's when you start seeing and this is why you want to start the conversation early is when you're having the conversation. And it's like no, no, no, no consequences, no consequences. And then you have a conversation. Well, yeah, I was coughing up this junk last week, or I noticed I wasn't running as fast at practice, or, you know, there's a suspensions from school because they have weed on campus or whatever it is, if the US continues, and they're experiencing these natural consequences, and they're getting more serious, that means that uses not just for fun, that use is solving a problem. And it may have gotten to the point where physically they can't stop because it gets to a point like with my son, he was like, I don't even want to use Xanax anymore. But I, I couldn't not because I would get so sick. And that's just textbook addiction. So you want to be working. Obviously, I am not I just want to state I'm not a therapist. I'm not a doctor. I'm a mom who lived through it. But I have had a lot of conversations with doctors and therapists and you want to be having, you know, if you are seeing the chemical dependency, which then leads to the addiction is to make sure you've got a really good therapist, like a, you know, an addiction therapist on your team. Because you do want to get that early. And the earlier you can make sure that your child understands, you know, these substances are addictive. So it's not that they're a bad person. It's that they're putting something in their body that causes their body chemistry to change to need more of that. Yeah, that doesn't make you a bad person that makes you a normal person who's having a chemical response to a substance right? If you put broccoli on you and it causes you to go out and crash cars and it causes you to steal and it causes you You'd get bad grades, probably would want to cut back on the broccoli. Right? So I think if we need to just let our kids know that we don't think they're bad people, they're having a natural reaction to substances. What we need to do is go back and figure out why did you start using that in the first place?

Casey O'Roarty 40:17
So here's another question. And this is from one of my clients. And I know that she's in New York City, because she talks about out, there's like, pop up spots, where people are selling to kids. And so she says, how do parents talk to their teens about the dangers of buying weed from illegal operations, and more broadly, talking about our frustrations with how easy it can be to access substances in a way that makes a difference? I love that this was added in a way that makes a difference, meaning get them to not do it. Brenda's with

Brenda Zane 40:55
us. Yeah, well, I was in New York recently, and I was astounded by the just the ever present smell of weed. We're just walking up and down the streets. It was crazy. So I think this is a really good time. And I don't know how old this person is. But I think it would be a great opportunity to have a conversation about, Wow, it's really easy to get wheat today, isn't it? Yeah, it really is. What's that? Like? Because I can't imagine, you know, when I was 1516? Man, it was like a big deal. Right? It was super scary. We had to sneak it in. Or you could say my friends had to sneak it, whatever. What is it like to be 16 today and have it in your face all the time? And they might say it's awesome. Or they may say? I don't know. It just is what it is. In in a case like this. You can also use the information sandwich. I don't know if you guys talk about the information sandwich. Now tell us I would start out with what do you know, because our kids are super smart. They're super informed there is tick tock, there

Casey O'Roarty 42:02
is YouTube, say thank you tick tock,

Brenda Zane 42:04
there is no lack of information. So I would just start out with, you know, what do you know about weed or if it's fentanyl, or if it's whatever? What do you know about this? You have any friends that are struggling with this? or what have you heard? What is your school saying? So just get an idea of what their current knowledge level is. And then the information sandwiches basically the first layer is asking permission. So once you kind of get a read on like, what do they know already? You ask permission, say, Would it be okay? If I share some information with you that I learned I listened to this amazing podcast called joyful courage. And it was just incredible. And I learned some stuff. And I'm wondering, would it be okay, if I just shared this with you? Would this be a good time? And you can't underestimate the power of being respectful and asking permission. And the first time you do it, your kid will probably look at you like you've just jumped off of Mars, like who is this person? And they might say, No, I gotta go, No, I don't want it digital, whatever. You have to keep trying. And, you know, if you're really intent on it, you can say, would this be a good time? Or would later tonight be okay? So you can put some guardrails around when you're going to have the conversation, but you're not just spring it on them. And saying, we're sitting down, we're having a family meeting at five o'clock on Sunday, we're talking about wheat, because that is not going to go over well, right. So the first part of the sandwich is asking permission, if you get permission, then you give your information very succinctly do not go on a rampage, especially if you have an ADHD kid, one thing, because they are going to tune out, if you're like, okay, then there's this and then there's this, and then there's this, and then they're gonna do it. And they're like, gone. So one thing, find the most important thing, and then the bottom part of the sandwich is, does that make sense? Or what do you think about that? Does that align with what you know? So it's the best way to set yourself up for offering information that otherwise would probably just blow up in your face. So in this case, it would be a really good opportunity to do that, or move it to a friend scenario again to say, you know, well, we it's all in your face. It's everywhere. You know, are any of your friends having a hard time with that? Or any of your friends kind of starting to think about I wonder what weeds doing for me or so it can be in everybody knows their kid boss. So some kids will totally interact some you might need to shift it to that friend scenario. And then, you know, if you think they're using you can just ask that question, you know, what's the upside? What's the downside? And leave it at that. I recently had a situation with my boys are 23 and 26 that I wanted to share some information about health with them, and I didn't know how to do it. it inside that, okay, I'm going to use information sandwich. But the other tact I took. So I asked permission. And then I said, I need your guys's help on something. And they were like, Okay, what? And ones on FaceTime and ones with me. And they said, I really want to give you some information about this topic. And I don't know how to do it so that you guys don't just shut it down. I love that, Brenda, how can I give you this information? So that when you're ready for it, you'll have it. And they just kind of looked at me. And they said, Well, why don't you just tell us now? I said, Okay, so I picked two key points, there was 5 million that I wanted to give them. But I picked two key ones. And I said, You are predisposed in your family to this condition. And I see your behaviours in your life are going against that. And you are setting yourself up for a problem. And they said, okay, and then they kind of argued back and forth. And I said, No, no, I'm not. I'm not arguing this. I just wanted to hand you some information, what would be the best way for me to give you this information? And they said, Well, why don't you just put it in a text and send it to us and put some links or whatever. So now they're telling me,

Casey O'Roarty 46:13
right? They're telling you, you text them some links? And they kept trying to

Brenda Zane 46:17
talk about? And they said, no, no, no, I don't. It's cool. Now, they're 23, and 26. So this is very different than if they're 13, or 14. But I think we can be really respectful in that way. And just tell them like, I'm so nervous to have this conversation with you, I don't know how to give you this affirmation, that feels really important to your health. And I'm your mom. And I just want to support your wellness. So the more we can shift our language to like, I really want to support your health and wellness. And I'm a little concerned about some of the stuff I'm seeing would now be an Okay, time to share this information with you. And I know this sounds kind of like academic or whatever. But you would be surprised if you practice it with someone like practice it with a partner or another, you know, maybe an older sibling or friend or a member in your community, it will start to come across more natural, and it can just make things a lot smoother.

Casey O'Roarty 47:09
And it's so much more respectful. Yeah, of our kids, it tends to be oftentimes our timeline, our urgency, and we just swoop in and expect them to be ready to receive even as it feels very critical and judgmental. I love all the examples that you just gave. Because the other piece is when we can stay regulated, and can have these conversations, we are sending the message of I can handle this situation, I can have a conversation like this without flying off the handle, right? Because if we're also saying you can come to me, call me in the middle of the night, if you need me, if we're giving all of these like language around how we are going to be there for them no matter what, but then can't handle a conversation around, you know, the corner drugstore that you know is selling to miners, they're not calling you in the middle of night, they're not going to come to you when they have a problem. So it's such a it's like a bonus, right? When we can have these conversations with them. Thank you. I love the sandwich, too. So here's another scenario from one of my sweet clients. So her son was smoking pot last school year used it pretty regularly was one of those kids who was like, You know what, listen, this is not getting in the way of anything. I'm doing okay, I want to be honest with you. Here's what's going on. I am smoking pot. And then he really wanted a summer job, the one that he wanted how to drug test, so he quit. And in the quitting he claimed sobriety, right. And then over the course of the summer, he starts to have some drinking ex escapades with friends, not the daily, but maybe once a week, once every other week. And the parents talk to him about that, you know, it's illegal, and we don't want him to drink. And if he chooses to do it, we want him to really consider like, don't ever drive, right, don't be with a driver that isn't sober. So now they've created this relationship where this and I think some of us are in this struggle. There's this relationship where kids are really honest with us and say, Hey, I'm gonna go do this thing. And this client says, So far, we've thanked him for being honest, and, you know, waved to him as he walks out the door. But it feels so counterintuitive. Right? So is it just the nature of the situation that it's messy? What are your thoughts on that?

Brenda Zane 49:37
It is hugely messy, for sure. I think they're doing an amazing job to have the open conversations in relationship that they do. So I would say kudos and keep that up. Because as things progressed, and as he gets older, that's going to be the gold like that's the gold right there. So continue to thank him for being open. Continue to be cute. is just, you know, asking about the benefit versus the cost. And if there is no cost, which with alcohol and teens, that could be an instance where you do want to use this information sandwich just to say, you know, could we have a conversation for just a minute? Right, you don't want him to think you're going to try to solve his life. With this bigger time, I just have one thing I want to share with you that I learned about, you know, teams and the outcome on the brain or whatever. Because what we do know, especially today, because there is so much information for teens, they actually care about their bodies, they really care about their bodies. They're thinking about, you know, maybe not to the degree that we do as adults. But as there's more information like where's your food coming from? Like, is this organic? Is it not like, they're way more aware than the least I was ever, I was a young person about that. I think it's also important in all of these situations, not just this one, to really look at, what are we modelling? What is this young guy seeing his parents do? Because it is very hard to if he's like, once or twice a week, a little party, have a couple beers? You know, I'm not getting wasted. Okay. I will say, what's your plan for safety? What's your plan for getting home? Maybe he's got an Uber account or Lyft account or whatever, and he uses it. Okay, great. What are we modelling at home? You know, when we get home from work and like a such a crazy day, I need a drink? Again, I'm not just singling this family out. I'm just saying in general. Sure.

Casey O'Roarty 51:42
And now my head is spinning right now.

Brenda Zane 51:45
We have to really think about a model, what are we modelling? And is there a way that we could really model what we want to see to say, oh, you know, it's been a crazy day, I'm exhausted, I'm gonna go get on my paddleboard, and I'm just gonna sit in the water. So that is definitely one and then just to look for the signs of it's getting more serious. And the sounds like a really cool kid, right? Who's willing to talk? And I think I would just keep that up. And you could even use my little trick of like, Dude, I am. So I still want to have this conversation with you. And I just don't know how to do it helped me out, like, what would you do if you were me? And yeah, I also think, just remember these conversation starters usually don't work the first or second or third time, sometimes they do depends on the kid. But if this is a shift in how you've been communicating, so if you've been doing the yelling, and the screaming, and the threatening, and the punishing, you know, all of that this is going to be a massive shift in the way you communicate, and your kids gonna be like, What the hell was this woman that used to be my mom, or my dad. So we always recommend just to be really upfront with that and say, I know, I'm learning. I'm working on myself, I'm trying out some new things, I'm probably going to screw it up, this is going to sound really weird to you. I'm trying because if you're not trying, they're not going to try. It's that modelling. So like, I'm trying some new stuff, if you ever want to try some of it, too, it's kind of working. Like we're yelling at each other less, there's less friction in our home, your dad and I are getting along better, or your mom and I are getting along better. So it's very much trial and error and what we you know, again, no one size fits all. So what works with my kid could totally not work with your kid. And so you have to try some of these things. And like, Whoa, that didn't go down well, but I tried this other thing. And on the fourth time, when I asked permission, using the information sandwich, he finally was like, sometimes they'll just feel sorry for you like okay, Mom, seriously. Like you keep asking this. What do you want to tell me? Right? Like, I think we can also Yeah, overlook the effectiveness of humour sometimes and humility, and just being like, holy cow. I don't have to say to you right now. I just have no idea. Yeah, so I'm gonna go take a walk. I'll come back and I'm gonna try it again.

Casey O'Roarty 54:13
Yeah, well, uh, yes. I mean, humour. And it's so interesting, right? Because we're talking about substance use. Like, it's so serious. You're suggesting, like this and humour. And it's like, we're also talking about teenagers. Right? And all of them, I think, if we ask them would say, I would love it. If my

Brenda Zane 54:33
votes like, No, we're sure.

Casey O'Roarty 54:37
And I think too, when we can, you know, strategically lean into lightness, continue to work on relationship, hold that mutual respect through asking permission. I think the other thing that happens is there is a tolerance for us. That becomes built up to where when we do need to have these like awkward, uncomfortable conversations and we stop but a little bit, our kids are going to give us a little bit more grace, and are we going to be more willing will increase their willingness to kind of be with us maybe with some Ira rolling, as we try to say what we're, you know, get to the point, as you say, and I remember when things started to show up with my daughter, I remember saying to her, like, Okay, well, I love that you talk to me, and I want you to keep talking to me. And I also want you to know that if this ever becomes like a bad after school special, you know, we're going to be looking for outside support, you know, and then I said, well, and then I realised like, after school specials didn't land, I was like, you know, like, get Netflix series. Don't wait till it becomes euphoria though.

Brenda Zane 55:47
These are my people. I deal with the euphoria people, but you catch them. So listen to Casey, so you never have to come listen to me, that would be my advice.

Casey O'Roarty 55:57
Well, and listen to me to increase the likelihood that you won't have to go. Right? That's really all we can promise is that increase in likelihood? So do you have a little bit more time? I do. I do want to play with this last scenario, the sweet Mom must have spent so much time in the Facebook group writing out this storyline, basically, in a nutshell, her son was in boarding school by choice, and it was a great fit for him. And towards the end of the year, he was caught vaping THC, and I lied about it. Of course, that's why wouldn't you and then on top of that said kind of gave the threat of if he were going to be thrown out of school that he would self harm. It's interesting how it's written. And I'm curious about how it's written. Anytime a parent kind of sees a kid's threat of self harm as like a manipulation tool. I'm always just kind of curious about that. I don't really buy into anybody using that as a tool, but we're going to hold it lightly. So then what ended up happening is they created a workaround, and he was able to create a relationship with this amazing adult that really helped him out towards the end of the year. But he lost some schooling, went to summer school, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, summer school happens, he does pretty well, there's a couple instances where flare ups around mischief with vaping and weed, but you know, they send him off, he wants to go back to the school, his choice, they send him off. And within three days, him and some other kids are caught. What did they get caught with? I don't know. Vaping, probably just weed. I mean, we're just talking, just but we're talking about weed here. And so basically, the mom is freaking out. Basically, she's freaking out. And, you know, he's again, talking about self harming, to get the adults to listen to him and take him seriously. So they pick him up from school, come back to home, he is seeing a psychiatrist twice, is being evaluated if he has an addiction, and they just to kind of stand at their wit's end. That's the scenario. That's the information. So I know she's listening. Thank you for being so vulnerable. Thank you for sharing your story. We see you it is scary. When our kids can't keep it together, especially when there's something they want so much like, it sounds like your kiddo really wants to be at the school and in this environment. What are your thoughts around this scenario that I paraphrase,

Brenda Zane 58:26
I would concur that I think this is a very brave mom to write this, it's a lot. So I hope she's taking incredibly good care of herself. And really recognising the amount of stress she's under. Because this is a lot. This is more of like somebody that would be in my community who's really struggling. There is some substance use, but it's never just substance use, right? It's so much going on. So that would be number one is just please pat yourself on the back. Take a deep breath, know that you are doing an amazing job, and you're doing everything that you can. So that is number one, because what I've found is just hearing that can sometimes just like, Okay, you're a good parent, you are in a really difficult situation. I also think what's interesting in this is that there is some willingness on the part of the son, he sounds like you said mischievious. And he sounds incredibly resourceful, which all of our kids are. But there's also this willingness, like I kind of want to be at this place or something about this school that he really likes. And so I think I would, first of all get a handle on the safety situation with the self harm, but I'm like you I never want to dismiss that. So I would really make sure that there's some attention being paid there with a therapist or a psych evaluation, number one, and if there is not this sense of sort of imminent danger at the One guy would pull back a little bit on the like, well, we're gonna drug test you. And we're gonna searcher this. And if you get caught, we're going to take away the phone, like all of this focus on the behaviour. And I would shift that focus to the relationship and get really, really focused on some boundaries. What are we okay with? And what are we not okay with? And what are the consequences of that, and hopefully, you can allow natural consequences. So, you know, he had a natural consequence of getting kicked out of school, that's great. It doesn't sound like they tried to, you know, manipulate that and get him kept in the school. And maybe that wasn't even an option. But I would say, wherever you can set those boundaries, so that you feel comfortable and safe as a parent, we don't want this in the house, if it's in the house, we're going to throw it away, you're not allowed to use in the house. And if I don't know what the new school situation is, but if you have at the new school and they catch it, we're not going to intervene, right, or if you get kicked off the soccer team, or whatever it is. So to let them know, here's the boundaries, here's consequences, we're not going to step in, we're going to let the world's consequences play out here. Because this is not our first rodeo. Like, it sounds like this family has been through a lot, and a very smart child. So just shifting the balance to remembering that life needs to feel more comfortable, home is a little calmer, I get more attention, I get to do the stuff I like to do when I'm not using. And when I am using my parents are a little more distant, they're not offering to take me to Chick fil A, they're not offering to go on a hike on the weekend or let me go surfing or snowboarding or whatever it is that I like to do. So trying to just very consciously shift those dials to where they are and control the home environment. Because what I am hearing in this is that this kid's in charge of the home environment right now he is calling the shots, right? So that means that the parents haven't really set those really firm boundaries, which is hard. And I don't want this to come across like I'm criticising because I have been there and I know how hard it is. But it sounds like he has the power in the home. And so getting that balance shifted. I know you had Kersey pose attack on your podcast, I would definitely listen to her, I would go to her website, she's got great stuff on parental authority and making sure that that balance is in check. And just really again, focusing on the positive finding the things that he's doing well, focusing on those and letting him know that they're seeing the positive because these kids are, it's easy to get just wrapped up in the negative and wrapped up in all the things he's doing wrong. So and then just letting him know you're going to be working on yourself because you can't control him. So hey, buddy, you know, this year has been a lot, right? We did this and we did that. And then the summer school and then did a. So your dad and I are we're gonna work on ourselves for a little bit. And we just know that that's what we can do. And we're going to let some of the world's natural consequences play out with you, as you're finding your way because something something is rubbing the wrong way with him. Right. Something's underneath there. Yeah, for sure. If they haven't uncovered that in the therapeutic world, I would really, really try to do that.

Casey O'Roarty 1:03:22
Yeah, relationship, right. And I'm also when I read this, what also came up for me is, he's been living outside of the home. Yeah, as well. And so I feel like there's room here to really get to know your boy, like, he's moving through a really intense time of development, you know, he's been far away, even with like, FaceTiming, whatever, get to know your kiddo. And I love the adding to I remember being a teenager, and my parents really liked grounding me. And, you know, when I look back, I mean, I went along with it, I was it never even occurred to me like to tell him to like eff off, you know, you

Brenda Zane 1:04:03
know, never that kind of thing that was happening back in the 80s. Like, no, and it

Casey O'Roarty 1:04:08
wasn't because there was this like, physical threat, it was just like, ah, you know, and I would have to like, go bowling with my family and spend time with my family. And I say it like that. However, looking back, like relationship, they managed, like kindness connection with punitive consequences that I am standing on my little platform saying, like, it's not really the best tool, which by the way, I continue to try to get better at sneaking out it's not like the grounding changed my behaviour, ya

Brenda Zane 1:04:41
know, it pushes the behaviour underground, right?

Casey O'Roarty 1:04:44
However, they were able to simultaneously, you know, punitive ly consequence me while also maintaining relationships, which is really interesting to look back on. But that's what I'm seeing here too. I'm really curious as I read this about out, like how this kid feels inside of his relationship with his mom and dad, and where he fits in the family? And like, what is the draw of going away from the family environment, and not living at home at, you know, age 1415, which isn't to say that it's like abnormal or anything like that. But that's where my curiosity is, I will really want to encourage this mama to just spent invest in getting to know her kid, and not it doesn't all have to be around, like, I want to know everything that's going on under the surface so we can fix this problem. That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is, Who is this kid? What's he into? What's he excited about? What's he afraid of? When he pictures the future? What does it look like for him? You know, where is he been stepping into courage, all of those things? And again, building some tolerance to then have an information sandwich.

Brenda Zane 1:05:53
Yes. Well, what you're talking about is motivational hooks, like what is the motivational hook that could get this kid to start considering different behaviour in his sounds like boarding school, for whatever reason he likes this school is one, right? That's a hook that this family could use to say, we really want to send you to the school or a similar one, if they want to have a back, you know, what are some of the things that you'd be willing to do to get back into the school? Like, let's talk about, where are you willing to make some changes? Because we'd love to be able to, you know, get you back there. So finding those hooks, and you can only do that by really knowing your kid, you know, is it a sport? Yeah. And sometimes it will just be like a motivational hook will be I'm having too many uncomfortable consequences, like I got kicked off the team. And sometimes just even a police interaction that doesn't even end an arrest or anything, but just kind of a brush with police or some sort of illegal situation will be enough for a kid to be like, what? Okay, that's not the direction I want to go. And you can use that as that motivational hook to say, Okay, if that's not what you want to do, what would you be willing to do? What would you be willing to consider? Would you be willing to consider XYZ? And then you can have that, that back and

Casey O'Roarty 1:07:13
forth? Yeah. And based on the kid, a natural consequence, like a brush with the law would be mortifying for one kid. And that might be a big goal. Oh, yeah. For my son loved,

Brenda Zane 1:07:23
he thought it was just badass when he would get in trouble with a lie. Like, that was just another like, notch in the belt. Like, yeah, so you're right. And that's, again, one size doesn't fit all. So I just when somebody says, Oh, you know, my kid did this, or my kid went to this programme, or my kids did this kind of therapy. It's like, that's awesome. And that might be 100%. Wrong for my kid. There isn't a path, which is part of the frustration of substance use is, well, with everything. Yeah, I was gonna say, What am I even saying? just life in general, but especially with substance use, because there's so many different reasons for the US in so many different, you know, chemical interactions and stuff like that. So it's a lot, Casey, it's just a lot.

Casey O'Roarty 1:08:08
I feel like we should do this on kind of like, you know, a couple times a year where I just pull from the audience, and you and I get to tease apart what we think. Because this is so good. This is so good. And I think it really highlights the messiness of all of this. And, you know, I want to say thank you to everybody, we see you, we see the hard work, we see the wobble, and we see how deeply you love your kids, right. And that's why we freak out. That's why we, you know, try to lay down some crazy lot. We love them so much. And we get so desperate to make sure they're going to be okay. So see you.

Brenda Zane 1:08:46
Nobody's prepared for this. I was literally talking to a addiction psychologist, she was on my podcast, like, this is her job. She has a PhD in addiction, and her own son struggle when he turned 15 COVID hit, she was like, Brenda, it was like everything I knew went out the window. And here I am, this is what I get paid to do. So if you're not an addiction psychologist, and you're having a hard time with this, that's normal. Nobody is prepared for this. So don't spend any time blaming yourself or beating yourself up, you know, do the opposite. Like give yourself a huge pat on the back that you're even here listening to this, that you're working at trying to come up with some solutions, because it's a lot and you are not prepared. And you can get prepared. Like you can listen to this. You could join our communities where this is all we do this. We've talked about, yeah, we worked on it and you'll recognise that you're in really good company because there's amazing parents who are dealing with exactly what you know, whatever you're dealing with.

Casey O'Roarty 1:09:48
And listeners will have all of Brenda's links in the show notes for sure. So in the context of what these lovely parents wrote in with and what we're all navigating with our Beautiful kids who are also getting into mischief and leaning into that novelty seeking, what does joyful courage look like in this context to you?

Brenda Zane 1:10:09
I thought about that, I can't remember what I said on the first episode is probably getting differently there. It's okay. That's good. But I was thinking about it, I thought, you know, it takes courage to have these conversations, because honestly, it's a lot easier sometimes to just let it go. Like, a just, I don't want to deal with it. I don't know how to have the conversation. So it does take courage to learn the tools, put yourself out there, take a risk on sounding weird, or whatever, in front of your kid. And when you do that, you actually it does bring a sense of joy. And I want to make sure distinguish joy from happiness, because you might not be feeling happy, right? But what you will feel as if you're having these courageous conversations, and taking courageous action, because sometimes kids have to go out of the house for treatment, or sometimes they you know, there's difficult things that you have to do. But it does provide that sense of joy that you're doing the right thing for your child. And there's no better feeling than that.

Casey O'Roarty 1:11:11
Thank you so much.

Brenda Zane 1:11:12
You're so welcome.

Casey O'Roarty 1:11:13
I'm so glad we did this. Where can people find you and follow your work?

Brenda Zane 1:11:17
Well, the best place is just hope stream community.org is our website and from there you can find the podcast which is conveniently also called Hope stream. And it's for parenting kids through drug use and addiction. And it's so good to have you listen in and yeah, we'll scoop you up love you out. We have communities for moms and dads and we have no shame. So we talk about all day every day. It's very you know, it is it's just reality.

Casey O'Roarty 1:11:46
Thank you so much for your work. Thanks for being here. Thank you

Casey O'Roarty 1:11:57
thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you to my spreadable partners as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting the show out there and making it sound good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay connected at bees for audible.com. Tune back in later this week for our Thursday show and I'll be back with another interview next Monday. Peace

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