Eps 428: Considering the power of perception

Episode 428

Excited to be sharing this week’s solo show all about the POWER OF PERCEPTION. This is HUGE when we are trying to make sense of what is happening with our teens. I take the listeners into some thoughts around our kids beliefs and decision making in the context of school and academics. I am so excited to hear about what you think!

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Takeaways from the show

✔️ Perception shapes beliefs, which influence actions and decisions
✔️ How high-achieving parent struggle with low-motivated tweens/teens
✔️ My personal journey of overcoming academic struggles and finding purpose in their education
✔️ How parents’ messages about effort and grades can shape kids’ beliefs about worth and value
✔️ The importance of accepting and valuing teenagers for who they are, rather than striving for external measures of success

Today. Joyful Courage is a deep breath to find some stillness in my body. It’s choosing to slow things down so as to show up as my best.

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Title: Understanding the Power of Perception: A Guide for Parents of Teens

Welcome back to the Joyful Courage Podcast, a place for inspiration and transformation as we navigate the challenges of parenting our tweens and teens. Parenting during these years is no small task, but when we focus on our personal growth and nurturing our connection with our kids, we can navigate this turbulent journey while keeping our relationships intact. I'm Casey O'Roarty, your host, a positive discipline trainer, coach, and the adolescent lead at Sprout, and a parent to a 20-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old son. In this solo episode, I'll explore the power of perspective and perception in parenting teens. Our teens' beliefs, decisions, and behavior are deeply influenced by their perceptions of the world around them, and understanding this dynamic can help us support them more effectively.

The Power of Perspective:
At the heart of positive discipline is the idea that our teens' behaviors are a reflection of their beliefs and perceptions. Their perception of the world is formed through their experiences, relationships, and the meaning they give to those experiences. These perceptions then shape their beliefs, which in turn influence their actions and decisions. Understanding this cycle can help us better understand our teens' behavior and provide them with the support they need.

Casey's Example: The New Baby Arrives
To illustrate the power of perception, let's go back in time to when a two-year-old child's life is about to change with the arrival of a new baby. The older child perceives that all attention is now on the baby. They interpret this as the baby being more important, and their belief may evolve to "to belong in this family, you must be the baby." As a result, they make decisions to either act like a baby, become a super helper, or even attempt to get rid of the baby. This example shows how a child's perception and interpretation of their experiences can shape their beliefs and decisions.

Perception and Belief in Teenagers:
This perception cycle continues throughout our lives, and it's particularly crucial during the teenage years. Teenagers have been learning from us since day one, forming their beliefs about themselves and their place in the world. As parents, it's important to avoid labeling teens as manipulative when they assess situations to achieve outcomes, as this behavior is part of human nature.

The Perception Cycle in Teenagers:
Now, let's look at how this perception cycle works in teenagers, especially when it comes to academics. Some parents might be frustrated by their teens' lack of motivation in school, while others may be dealing with overachieving teens. The key is to understand the messages teens have received about their worth and value.

Teens may interpret messages about doing their best, but unspoken messages often convey that their worth is tied to their performance in school. This interpretation can lead to beliefs like "I must do well in school to belong" or "I can't live up to these expectations." These beliefs influence their decisions, which may include becoming overachievers, pushing back, or disengaging from school.

Fiercely Committed and Lovingly Detached:
Casey emphasizes the importance of being fiercely committed to providing resources and support for your teen's education while being lovingly detached about how they navigate their educational journey. Trust that your teens are capable of finding their own path and discovering what inspires them.

Acceptance and Understanding:
Acceptance and understanding are vital during the adolescent years. When teens feel accepted for who they are and experience empathy and validation, they are more likely to make decisions that are in line with their own values, rather than rebelling against perceived parental expectations.

Understanding the power of perception and the perception cycle can greatly benefit parents of teens. It allows us to support our teens on their individual journeys, fostering a sense of worth and autonomy. Remember, adolescence is a temporary phase where they're learning through trial and error, and our role is to walk beside them with curiosity, compassion, and acceptance. When teens know they're valued just as they are, they're more likely to make decisions that are genuinely for them.

If you found this episode useful, please share it with others and consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Stay tuned for more insightful episodes every Monday and Thursday. Thank you for being part of the Joyful Courage community, and have a great week!

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