Eps 445: Finding the firmness sweet spot with Julietta Skoog

Episode 445

My guest today is Julietta Skoog!  My sister from another mister, Julietta, is my colleague at Sproutable, and she’s here today to talk about firmness.  Julietta starts by defining what firmness means (hint: it’s follow through, not being mean!), and we talk about how tone and confidence play into firmness.  We get into “being strict,” taking time for training & giving kids independence, and supporting our teens who need new social experiences.  Julietta shares her wisdom on leaning on relationship, connection, firmness when things get bigger with your kids and how to stay curious & collaborative.  I ask Julietta what we can do if our relationship is feeling frayed, and share the power in saying, “I love you, and the answer is no.” I ask what we can do when our teenagers physically leave against our wishes and what to do when they return.  Julietta and I talk about how messy & relentless being firm can be, then Jules shares an “aha” moment  about the teen years, and we wrap up with some thoughts on how our own teen years influence us. 

Guest Description

Julietta Skoog is a Certified Positive Discipline Advanced Trainer with an Ed.S Degree in School Psychology and a Masters Degree in School Counseling with over 20 years of experience helping families in schools and homes. She draws from her real life practical experience working with thousands of students with a variety of needs and her own three children to parent coaching, bringing a unique ability to translate research, child development and Positive Discipline principles into everyday parenting solutions. Her popular keynote speeches, classes, and workshops have been described as rejuvenating, motivating, and inspiring.

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Takeaways from the show

  • What is firmness?  What does it look like?  Sound like? 
  • Is firmness being mean? 
  • Firmness is the foundation for mutual respect 
  • Being a consistent parent 
  • “Mean what you say and say what you mean” 
  • Teens need new social experiences – how can we set them up for success? 
  • “I love you, and the answer is no.” 
  • What to do when your teen physically leaves (against your wishes) and what to do when they return 
  • The similarities between the toddler years & teen years 
  • Moving from regulation to relationship to reason 
  • Firmness takes practice!  It can be uncomfortable. 
  • “Fiercely committed, lovingly detached”

What does joyful courage mean to you

Girl!  Joyful courage means you!  I think it’s the courage to have these kinds of conversations.  Parenting is so vulnerable, and when we don’t talk about it, it brings up shame.  It’s the courage to talk about how messy it is, how hard it is, how everyone has these challenges – there’s not one household that doesn’t.  I talk to so many people – it’s truly messy!  It’s the courage to actually talk about it with your community, to listen to your podcast, for you to have these conversations and talk about your own family so vulnerably.  It’s the courage to talk it, our parenting, and normalize it.  The joyful part, for me, is to find the fun, right?  To say, “These are my people!  I’m going to have the wink, wink, tell me about the dark park,” or just say, “Wow!  This outfit!  Tell me about that!”  Just find the fun in it, it goes so fast, I get that, I know that, so it really is just not to take it so seriously.  Lighten up! 



Joyful Courage Episode 4: All About Family Meetings with Julietta Skoog 

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Julietta Skoog, Casey O'Roarty

Casey O'Roarty 00:03
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 Sproutsocial. 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 is an interview 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 01:19
Hey everybody, welcome back to the podcast. I am so excited to let you know that my good friend, my sister from another mister Julieta Skoog is my guest today. Julieta is a certified positive discipline advanced trainer with an educational specialty degree. That's what it's called. It's not a mail order degree people in School Psychology and a master's degree in School counselling with over 20 years of experience helping families in schools and homes. She draws from her real life practical experience working with 1000s of students with a variety of needs and her own three children to parent coaching, bringing a unique ability to translate research child development and positive discipline principles into everyday parenting solutions. Her popular keynote speeches, classes and workshops have been described as rejuvenating, motivating and inspiring. Julieta is the early years lead at Sprout double. So she is my colleague as well as my friend. I am so excited to have you back on the pod.

Julietta Skoog 02:34
I'm happy to be here. I was one of the OG's. I feel like I should get a special badge in this zoom, like yeah, experience. Number four!

Casey O'Roarty 02:42
You are episode four. And this is like episode 400. Almost 50 or something? Yeah, proud of you. It's

Julietta Skoog 02:49
really incredible. It's such a fantastic podcast. And I'm not just saying that because I love you. And you're my dear one.

Casey O'Roarty 02:55
I was just thinking about the hair plugs for men guy. Like, not only am I the owner, I'm also the user. Because I love it when you tell me that you listen, you listen, you have a teenager? I do I can episode for you didn't. That's right now you do. So you're in the trenches with all of us. I love when we get to talk about teenagers. And I'm so excited about today's topic, there is something I've noticed about you that I so appreciate and I really lean on and turn towards in my own parenting because it feels tough for me. And I think others also feel like it's hard. I noticed that with how you are in your family and with your kids. And in the support you give. We're going to talk about firmness today. You're so good at firmness,

Julietta Skoog 03:47
firmness. I know you would want us to talk about this. And I think it's sneaky because in positive discipline everyone thinks it's just be real positive. Yeah, super nice. You know, and this whole gentle parenting conscious parenting, everyone just is in this space of sort of they can lean permissive. And I think people forget the firmness part that helps kids feel safe and helps parents feel grounded and keeps people on the same page and is the foundation for the mutual respect. Also respect for the kids respect for ourselves.

Casey O'Roarty 04:22
So I'm happy to be here talking about it. Well, and I think there's also we kind of talked about how we're not really pro punitive consequences and most of us were raised like firmness as you get in trouble. Firmness as you are punished for what you did, you'd pay for what you did. You know, our parents wanted to make sure we weren't getting away with anything. And so when we take that out of the equation, as far as like, punitive consequences and punishments, and we tell parents you know, it's about kindness and firmness. I think there's it's a little bit of a free fall around like, Well, wait a minute, you just took away what I thought firmness was. So I talk and you talk and we talk about relationship and how important relationship is. And I think there's this tension around. If we get firm, if we tighten things up, and people get uncomfortable or mad at us, people, meaning our teenagers, that we are wrecking the relationship. And so it can feel like this messy, either or between I either am in relationship with them, or I'm firm around this thing. So I guess if you were going to define firmness, let's start there. Like what is firmness mean to you?

Julietta Skoog 05:46
I think that would be a helpful place to start to firmness to me, like how you were describing maybe, you know, the way that we were raised or parents now the way they were raised and they think about firmness, it's almost that verb that punitive, like you will be disciplined. For me, the firmness piece is not mean. It doesn't mean being mean. Firmness for me is follow through. Firmness for me is follow through. What were the expectations? What was the agreement? You know? What are the guardrails? What are the clear limits? To me, it's about like that compass that we talked about in terms of those life skills. I know you talked about it with your parents and your podcasts, like less when we think about them as a grown up that we want them to have in terms of skill set, you know, characteristics practice, it's doing the heart, it's leaning in to the part that does feel uncomfortable for the good of the long term parenting for the good of the long, you know, the end game. So it's the confidence and it's to me, it's the making decision. As a parent, like you've said it, you've decided, that's it? Yeah. When I think of firmness, that's what I think about it's like decision making. It's follow through. It's confidence. It's routines, its agreements, its safety. And so when I think there's when we talk about firmness, it's probably also helpful to talk about connection because then if we talk about, you know, kindness and firmness, you and I talk about it kindness as Yeah, connection, the connection part, to me that is still there, right, is understanding the developmental lens is getting inside their world and seeing it through their eyeballs, you know, that they're like, they've got their two friends with them right now. And so I'm going to understand that, I'm going to really understand that first. This is not the right thing to be having this conversation. Your friends are like understanding that part seen it through their eyes, the perspective that they are taking, it is that I love you no matter what it is that I get you I want to know what's in your world. Tell me about you. You know, it is that relationship part two, so it's all there, you know, with that firmness, so that part is there, as we're also talking about routines and expectations and safety and all of those things, too.

Casey O'Roarty 08:00
Yeah. Well, I love that you said firmness is confidence, right? Like I love thinking about firmness, as a way of being. Because I think, you know, I've said this on the show before but like my kids, they have said to me, you're totally strict. You're like the strictest parent, which cracks me up? Because I'm always in this like, oh God, am I just an anything goes kind of parent because I don't feel strict. You know, and they come back with? Well, we have to talk about everything. We have to process things like, and I do feel like there is this way of being that is supporting my parenting. And I don't know how you feel, you know, everyone Julieta her people are the people of littles. And we're kind of going through the, you know, the second round of autonomy seeking toddler years in the teen years. How do you help parents see the value in that confident way of being that it's more about being than it is about doing? Or that it's even equally important? We'll say we won't say either more or less important?

Julietta Skoog 09:14
Yeah, I mean, I think there is a tone like when you talk about the way of being I did talk about this with a lot of the parents that I work with to this idea of tone. And so funny the parallels right between like toddlers and teenagers. Yeah, they're still prickly teenagers. So tone really matters just like it does with toddlers in the sense that we talked about a congruent communication piece, you know, like, do your words match your tone, match your body language so that little kids can really understand what communication means, like truly their learning language, you know, through that. Similarly, with teens, there's that tone. And so I think that way of being back to your question that I've totally muddled now is like, okay, the importance of sort of that way of being I think is about that communicate. addition, it's that nonverbal part that you can trust me, you know, it's like that you're gonna get the same parent no matter what, not just because I'm tired at the end of the day, or I haven't had my coffee in the morning or like, the consistent part is here on my, you know, I think it's that part. That's the way of being that the firmness allows for us. Yeah, there's that part that we can always stand on that feel safe for kids, you know, you and I do this activity in classes called, decide what you will do? I

Casey O'Roarty 10:32
haven't done that one in a long time. Do you do it on Zoom?

Julietta Skoog 10:34
I do it on Zoom. It's a little bit tricky, because it's under our siblings night that we write, you know, but the quote that I pull from, for that is that kids will say when you mean what you say, and you say what you mean, like that's followed through part, I think about with firmness, you know that the importance of it is like, it's the evidence for kids that you will follow through with what you say. And so when you talk about being strict, isn't that funny? Because yeah, it's a new foray for me being in the tweens and teens land now. And I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm strict, as opposed to consistent.

Casey O'Roarty 11:11
Do you think your kids would say you're strict? Well, it's

Julietta Skoog 11:14
interesting to me now, because I hear when Josephine who's almost 15 talks about other families being strict or not strict. And I'm like, oh, what makes them strict or not? And I think people look at me, in fact, I had parents say this to me a couple of months ago. And when I did a double take he like, backpedalled, and was like, oh, no, I'm so sorry. Like, I didn't mean it like that. But it was about the independence that I give them. And I think actually, a lot of people are strict in the sense of safety sort of pieces that I don't lean into as much so I let my kids take the bus. I let my kids walk home selves. My middle school isn't wild. But yeah, exactly. But I was like this free range parent, I'm like that I am not like we go through the steps, right? I mean, I think that's the part that I am strict. Yeah, use of like, we are going to practice, you are going to show me what your route is we're gonna walk through and roleplay who your people are, and what to do if and what's your plan? You know, that part? I mean, in terms of practising and making sure that they're ready, and then saying, Alright, let's go. Yeah, I

Casey O'Roarty 12:19
think that is a place that really gets parents and kids in trouble. I think you have been such a good model of this, I think that there are definitely places where I could have done better with this. But like that taking time for training, and practising is so important. And what I love about it, too, is it gives us confidence in them. And then that becomes mirrored to them, they can be confident in themselves, because we're confident in them. And that's so, so powerful. I also have seen you and heard you talk about, you know, when somebody in the family is having a hard time, it's that like family huddle, you know, you bring everybody in, and it becomes, you know, not how are we going to get this kid to stop doing this thing. But what is the help? What is needed? What's going to be useful to help, you know, because everyone, misbehaviour is discouragement. It's typically discouragement and our kids are having a hard time, right? They're not being a problem. They're having a problem. And it's equally as true for our teenagers.

Julietta Skoog 13:26
Yeah, let me give you two examples. Yeah. One is that this idea of stricter firmness, you know, when you are really clear on your values are things that I'm learning this to right as my first of three is heading through these super navigations. So there's some decision making and practising, I might not be getting it right. But I'm going to say for now, like, this is what I need. So my stricter firmness is like, yes, you can absolutely go over to that person's house, when I have their phone number when I have their parents name, last name, phone number. And I've had one, you know, touch point on a tux thread like, and when you've finished your responsibilities, or I know what your plan is for X, Y, and Z. So those pieces that lead us into the uncomfortable part of all these new people, right, all the new random people that I'm now texting saying, hey, you've never met, but I'm asking the hard questions. What are you asking? Wow, this just killed my cat. She was just like, Oh, God. But I thought you know what, first of all, I wasn't sure who the makeup of the kids was going to be ie it ended up being four boys and her. So I'm making sure there's going to be a grown up there. But she's like, Oh my gosh, of course. Like, just don't You don't need to text whatever. Right, right. I'm thinking if hey, if I'm going in now and just saying this is all a pretext, of course, you're going to be there then I might as well also ask, Hey, are there guns in the house? Are there other older siblings in the habit? I just thought I'm just going to throw it I want to get the lay of the land. Let me Get the lay of land. I've heard stories about this particular kid, you know, and so it just seems like there's this potential for like, Oh, his parents don't care. And, you know,

Casey O'Roarty 15:16
they're all smoking pot and waving guns around, right. And

Julietta Skoog 15:19
you know what, like, this sweet parent texted me back within two seconds saying, Thank you so much for this text, of course, we will be there, we always have family dinner, and we'll feed them too. And like, I'm so glad I'm not the only parent, you know, our son, things were so over productive. And thank you for that. And then later, your daughter, so lovely majority time, you know, these places where we're also growing with them. You know, I think the other piece with that this idea with you know, I know, this is what you need, at this age, socially, new experiences, awesome, like new social experiences. Absolutely. So I want to get behind that I do not want to alter you, in fact, because I know from brain development, that new things are important. And if you're not exposed to new things, and trying new things, and taking these kinds of, you know, low level risks, then you're gonna find other things that hit the dopamine harder, you know, and faster. So I like new experiences, new experiences, new experiences, girl, like, you know, let's do this. So that also just forces me to have that, you know, sense of like, alright, well, then I've got to be uncomfortable in this place, too, and meet her in that place. That was my first example. The other example that I was going to share was around just this idea of that family huddle piece. And I think when you said your kids talked about you being strict, like now we have to talk about everything. It brought me as a school counsellor, and school psychologist at recess, all those years, when kids knew I was on duty, and there was an issue, they would come running to the grown up. And as soon as they saw me half the time, they would just skit on their heels and turn it on, or good. Because if I got him, I'd be like, No, get in the ring. Get over. Yeah, you know, what's your side? What's your side, let's process this, let's problem solve this. So I get that. And you know, where it benefits us. Because we're so committed to family meetings, we have been through iterations of what we call Sunday learning where we've gone through reading anti racist books, for example, we read all of stamp together a chapter a week, right now we're going through Atlas of the heart and reading at feeling every week. And when we commit to that kind of firmness, right? In terms of just like, This is what we do. That's not everybody's favourite, but we're gonna do it. when shit hits the fan. And we do need it, we're able to huddle up and really, you know, support each other and be all in like, this is what we've been training for. So

Casey O'Roarty 17:43
yeah, I mean, I just appreciate that. And I'm cracking up because I'm remembering at our old neighbourhood, there was a period of time where when the neighbourhood kids would have a problem, they'd all come over, so that I could facilitate a little family meeting of neighbourhood kids. And it was, you know, there were the kids that were like, Let's go. And then there were the kids were like, No, but I also think even in your story about testing the other parent jewels, like even that is that way of being of confidence, like, yep. When this and this and this, and I want everybody listening to remember, like, we're talking about ninth grade, right? And when our kids, you know, you move through this process as they get older, it doesn't look the same. But you still get to be in that embodiment of confidence and that embodiment of, you know, what I care about, you know, like, every once in a while, it'll be like, what if I, you know, and he'll tell me some horrible thing that he could potentially do one day, what would you do? Right? He loves that's like, a favourite conversation. And I'm always like, Well, honestly, I don't know. Like, I'm gonna love you no matter what. But I don't know. He's

Julietta Skoog 18:51
the I just had the funniest idea. There is this sweet children's book? I don't know if you've ever read it, but it's called mama. Do you love me? And then they have another one that's like Papa de la mia. And it's so sweet. It's like this little one who's like mama, would you love me if I like filled your mukluks with salmon? And she's like, I would be mad but I would always love you. Oh, and like, what if I killed

Casey O'Roarty 19:08
someone? Would you still love me?

Julietta Skoog 19:12
Teenager version of like, go to sleep, you know, that children usually do a teenage version of like, would you still love me?

Casey O'Roarty 19:21
It's so funny. But

Julietta Skoog 19:22
I will say to your point, because I used to say this to me when she was in fifth grade or eighth grade. And I think when you've been practising, you know, or when you begin to practice at any point, you can only grow from there. So like, we will continue to grow it will evolve and I trust in the same way that I'm trusting my connection and firmness. When things get bigger, then we'll lean on relationship and connection and also with what we have a breed I think that's the other piece that we get into with teenagers, you know, our firmness when we talk about agreements or limits or routines and things that is CO collaborated you know like that is not me saying that it's also our conversation around, you know, curiosity and what matters and does this? I mean, a lot of times I've said to her, like, Does this feel safe for you? What does your gut say about this? I mean, that's my whole goal. Yes. Right. It's about decision making for yourself. And it's about turning the volume up on that inner voice. And so that's where I really am honing them. In fact, we just had a big conversation with him, John and I about going to parties and things, you know, in the future, and just knowing that ability to listen to your gut instinct, what Yeah, feels like, yeah, your voice, you know, all those things. And so the way that we were talking about substance use and drinking and things and how that affects judgement, and how, that's the part, right? Like,

Casey O'Roarty 20:47
I love that so much. And it's so interesting, I work with so many clients who, I try to circle them back to that, like, what do you want most? Do you want your kids to listen to your lecture? Or do you want your kids to be in a situation and have the wherewithal to consider what's going on around them? To pause instead of like, my parents are still controlling? Watch this, watch what I can do? No, instead, like, is this gonna serve me? What could go wrong here? What might not go wrong here? No, and I have a whole podcast about this talking to and about, like, you know, sometimes you might be a yes. And if you're gonna be a yes, what do you got to consider? You know, think about the people that are around you? Are you in a situation where people are gonna have your back if things go sideways? Or are people going to pull out their phone and film you? Right, like, think about

Julietta Skoog 21:35
that, and I appreciate to your podcasts with Rowan, you know, sweet little row and where it's like, you know, also, I mean, I remember you saying it was like, we were just happy she was going to a party, you know. And so that part to where I know, developmentally how important those Yeah, social experiences are. And so you know, I trust her I know things happen, but like, there is that part where you want them to go when they're still with us and be able to practice those skills and process and arm them with that, you know, when they're here? And they're with us? Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 22:07
And a lot of people that I work with, and I'm guessing I see you listeners, I know you're out there are in situations where they don't have all of these years of high reps of training and relationship feels really frayed right? I love that activity. And this one, I have not figured out how to do on Zoom, I love you. And the answer is no. So it's a parent playing a teen. So it's a roleplay. And the teenager starts walking towards the parent just saying I want I want I want I want I want, and they put their hands on the shoulders of the parent, and they just kind of push them backwards in the room like together this are the parents walking backwards. So that's round one. And we talk about, you know, parent, how did that feel? What did you notice, and they often will talk about, like, I felt panicked, I didn't know what to do, you know, or they'll get really rigid, and it's just turns into this big power struggle. And then the second round, the kid comes towards the parent, and the parent puts their hands on the child, and starts to walk back with the child, and then starts to walk forward and says, I love you. And the answer is no. I love you. And the answer is no. And like you can even hear it in my voice. I love the energetics of that activity. And when I think about it, when I was prepping for this call, like I said, I have clients whose kids will simply walk out the door like, Oh, it's a no peace out. Right? And my instinct, my instinct. And I would love to know what your instinct as a coach would be. So, you know, you get to a place where you realise like, oh, shit, ultimately, they can walk out they can they are capable of walking out the door. I mean, we can like lock it and get in the way and tackle them. What are we willing to do? Right, like they can walk out the door. And there are the kids that do that. I haven't had that experience with my kids. temperament, maybe relationship definitely. Like it's a different kind of vibe. We haven't gotten there. Although there was one particular night where Ben did disconnect the battery on Rowan's car, just in case, right? Because we had to have a hard conversation and we weren't quite sure how she'd respond. And so we were like, Wow, I love that. That's his solution. Of course, that's so was his solution. He's like, she's never gonna figure out this. Yeah. Anyway, my instinct when I'm talking to parents who are like, Oh my gosh, my kids just, you know, they're just bail is to coach them around how to be with that kid, when they come home, and how to work on connection and that true, like real, like break down the armour and that soul to soul connection to have the conversation around. Let's talk about what went down last night. Right? Well,

Julietta Skoog 24:52
that's the part that is so hard for parents or that feels permissive is when that happens in that moment to let it go and to not Like explode, react, double down. Now the police right actions. Yeah, frankly, there's a lot of overlap with toddlers again to when things happen. I mean, I had this morning yesterday morning, where it's in that moment when says something and then you just want to come right back so hard. And it's that moment where you're like, I'm gonna wait on it. There's a little tiny part of me that's like, Oh, she has no idea what's coming around the corner. Like, I'm gonna really get her. I

Casey O'Roarty 25:31
feel like you have two teenagers, the youngest and the oldest? Well, yeah, well,

Julietta Skoog 25:35
I mean, my mental I say all the time, I love you. And the answer is no, I love you so much. And the answer is no, it's okay to be disappointed. I mean, that is a mantra constantly. Yeah. And I will say, like, you know, this idea of how to be with another human, you know, is the work on us, it's that time when you're waiting for them to come back, and you don't know if they're okay, and you are so worried, and you're living in that fear state. It is about truly, like, getting your self regulated, like, all systems in and I think that, for me is about firmness, it is like to yourself, saying, What do I need to like firmness with yourself almost like, I don't wanna say disassociating. But there is a little part of like, I've been there with myself to where I have to almost like, step around and say, not, like, get it together, but like, process this, how important this is for the kid, like, this is a job right now. And they need you like, so? What does that mean, for you parent like to truly regulate to ground? Does it mean taking the dog for a walk? Does it mean calling someone or not even shutting my mouth, drinking water getting in water, you know, eating food, like, truly triage, like, three eyes for yourself to get right, you know, physically move it through your body, so that when they get home, you are ready to you know, receive them from a place that is not also in fear. And that is, as we've talked about, we can move from regulation to relationship to reason, right? So right, we've moved out of that regulation space, then we can lean into the relation part, like, I was so scared, you are the most important person in my life, I love you so much, you know, and like holding them to be able to move into that place of reasoning where you feel like curiosity, and what happened and where were you going, and here's what I take responsibility from. And a lot of times, I'll say, here's what I wish would have happened. You know, like, I wish I would have said to you this or I wish I would have handled it in a different way. And like specifically what you know, just fully on, like, I take responsibility for that, or I had no idea or I wish if I had to redo I would have done this, you know, but here we are now. So like art, just like owning our own part with that is so huge to be able to open up that connection piece, you know, for the elite.

Casey O'Roarty 28:05
Yeah. And I know, like, there's a lot of faith and trust inside of that as well. Because I can hear the Yeah, butters. But yeah, but my kid, my kid won't talk to me, you know, they might leave and come back and still not talk to me. And that's a really hard place to be. That's a really hard place to be. Yeah. And

Julietta Skoog 28:27
here's what what Jay Nelson would say is we talked about connection before correction. Sometimes the correction is not a part of it yet. Sometimes, it's about the connection. So it's not about I mean, it's again, it's a long end game, it's not that one time, it's but you being able to say, I'm so glad you're here, I love you, no matter what that was, was scary for me, I wish I would have done something differently, or I take responsibility, and then they look at you and they walk out of the room that still has been planted. You have gotten it out there. You've started that turn of the ship, you know, yeah, also those places of high reps, which is like really highly skilled, you know, to move through our own emotional. I mean, that's why your book is so brilliant, you know, it's like really being able to do to like

Casey O'Roarty 29:11
mean, the drama, right? It's called joyful courage, Juliet, it's not that hard to remember. Well, no, I mean, it's bobbing the drama and taking control of your parenting.

Julietta Skoog 29:29
Right? I was to think about

Casey O'Roarty 29:30
I'm sure you've all read it, you know, it's a very short read.

Julietta Skoog 29:33
But that part is just as you know, powerful in terms of coagulation, changing that part, like just the mirror neurons, you know, all of that. So, yes, there is going to be an immediate fix or 123 like Hallmark special where then they fall into your arms, you know, but they've heard you, you've said that part for yourself to that repair. You've modelled what that sounds like You know what that looks like?

Casey O'Roarty 30:01
Yeah. And I mean, I think there's something to be said too, for those of you that are having a really tough time, like, I was just talking to another coach about coaching, which I love to do. And she was asking me, you know, what do I love about coaching parents? And I said, you know, I just love it when I can help someone recognise the power of shifting how they're experiencing their experience, right? We focus so much on how can I change this experience, that sometimes we can't write, but we can shift in how we are experiencing the experience. So for example, I had a client yesterday was our first call, and they were talking to me about their teenager. And some of us when our kids start high school, it's like, not just one or two mischief II things happen. It's like, bam, bam, bam, and all of a sudden, you're in this place of like, panic, like, oh, my god, is this how it is now. And I'm losing, I'm losing my kid. And she was sharing some of the things that had gone down. There was still relationship there. But there was a little bit of sneakiness that was starting to come in and a little bit of pushing away. And I said, Well, you know, what would happen if when you found out because that's what keeps happening is she keeps finding out after the fact, instead of launching right into why you're not okay, with whatever the behaviour is, you start with? Whoa, dark Park, cute boy, how is that? Right? Like, tell me about that? How did it feel to be where you weren't supposed to be? How did it feel? You know, and like, connect around what is oftentimes a thrill for our teenagers, and then move into, here's why it's scary to me. Yeah. Right? And how can we keep, like you said, those low level risks taking which is healthy and developmentally appropriate, while also continuing to nurture that critical thinking, problem solving decision making muscles in their brain, as they, you know, navigate lots of opportunity to do things that they probably know, and could guess that their parents would probably not want them to do. And yet, some of it, they're gonna dip their toes in, right?

Julietta Skoog 32:22
Even like, I just was thinking about this idea, you know, that I talked about in terms of friendships, like disconnection and connection, and you talk about their work with teens around, like, they kind of they go away, and then they come back, you know, times like that we've been in an outer, I've worked with high school students, too, that were really extreme, you know, the really extreme cases and had been through a lot. I mean, their files were thick, you know. And so, when we think about resiliency, and you know, the feeling that they matter that they belong, no matter what, that you are going to be that stability, that consistency, you are the same parent, no matter whether they're trying out stuff different something that they're wearing, or where they're going, or new activity, or they're trying on that new person they are, or, you know, in the case of a lot of my students, you know, they call you a bunch of names and trying to kind of test if you're really going to be there the next time, because they've been cycled through so many social workers and psychologists, you know, and so, really that piece of like, how are we in the way that you offered in your example around that curiosity and experience? And how is it for you to keep it not about us, you know, that we're the stability there, I say, We're the lighthouse in the storm, and keep offering that safety piece through us through who we are, you know, that they're gonna get that it's not going to be like, Oh, she's so mad and our stuff flying off the handle, and I've got to tiptoe around my own emotions around that. But other than that experience of like, how am I experiencing this?

Casey O'Roarty 33:55
Yeah, it makes sense that not all kids want to dig into their shit, right? Like, hey, we're going to talk about this. We're going to figure this out, I'm going to make amends. And the expectation is that you get to take some personal responsibility, right? Kids aren't like, Oh, yay, I get to do that, you know, like, and I think that what can happen is because kids aren't like, Oh, thank you for holding space for me to work out my stuff. Instead, they're like, you know, Brooke, you were? And then we're like, oh, how could they treat me and all of a sudden, now we're having a problem with their response to us. And it just is like the spiral into madness and dysregulation, and everybody feeling out of control. Right? What I'm hearing you say is that consistency around? All right, yeah, I know. This is hard. This sucks. Nobody likes to make repairs. It's hard to make repair. It's hard to own when you've made a mistake. I get that. Right. And it's something that we value in our family. So we're going to talk about taking responsibility, making the repair, having to redo Yeah, and having enough practice where we're also modelling that to, in those low level ways or with siblings so that it's not so scary that there are things, you know. Yeah.

Julietta Skoog 35:14
I mean, I have the same conversations with littles as they do with Joe's too. Again, I mean, just in terms of a lot of the relationships, we're talking about the same things with adults. Yeah. Oh, yeah. What is the problem here? What happened? How did this affect you? You know, what do I take responsibility for what is the bigger picture and that's the part two that I leaned to, even with my, like, dorky, once a week feeling word, you know, it's like, a little bit of the rolling the eyes, I say straight up. This is about so that you all can go out and have healthy relationships. This is not about me, I'm not trying to trap you here and be the school counsellor mom, like I am wanting to arm you so that you have the most healthy, incredible relationships. And so there's that part two, I

Casey O'Roarty 35:58
think the relevance of just like, reminding them, we're on their side, you know? Yes, yes. Yes. Well, and I have written in my notes, firmness is the relentless work of moving towards relationship and connection. Yeah.

Julietta Skoog 36:10
And it takes practice. To me that is just like when I don't want to like I also just want to enjoy Sunday brunch and not have you know, Leon and tell the server like Sorry, Brooke, the pencil sharpener and have her take responsibility, and then go buy another one and bring it back to the restaurant, but like, we're gonna do that, you know, because it's moments matter. And it ended up being this incredible, you know, the server was like, Oh, my God, of course, and thank you, and that was so brave. And here's the rice krispie. Treat and exchange, I mean, all these but like, I also sometimes just want to sweep it under the rug, and, you know, say whatever, go. So I think there's the firmness, part of that relentless, like you said, pursuit towards that, you know, requires us hard conversations, it requires getting uncomfortable with the other humans, you know, and having those hard conversations. And I think the place that I notice it is in my body, when I can feel that, like, I just want to ignore it, let it go. That's what I know to lean in. You know, in format.

Casey O'Roarty 37:11
I love talking about this with you. Because it listeners, I know that it's not neat and tidy. It's not 123 magic, it's not point one point 2.3. It's relational. And I think it's important to say, just because you are a kind and firm parent, doesn't mean Okay, great. I'm going to be a kind and firm parent, and then my kids are going to do what I want. Oh my God, it is messy. And I know that many of you are really in it with your kiddos. And how would it change the way that you're experiencing your experience if you learned and practice embodying confidence, and embodying resolve, right, that's another word that I think is really useful in this firmness conversation. And let go yeah, that fiercely committed lovingly detached, right, like I am. Here I am solid, I'm relentlessly pursuing connection and relation. I'm not desperate, right? That's not the same as being desperate. Or as the kids say, Now thirsty? Yeah, I'm not thirsty for a relationship with you. But like, I'm gonna consistently show up and do my own work to discover where I'm getting in the way. And trust that my kid wants to be in relationship with me, and all of that. And it still might be somewhat of a shitshow as far as their decision making and behaviour, but the likelihood that they're going to live through it is going to increase because they have a parent who keeps showing up and is available and is in their confident authority as well.

Julietta Skoog 38:48
One of the big aha I had was that, even though we've been doing this work for so long, you know, when your kids are little, you expect that they're going to have tantrums, you expect that they're going to have picky eating, that they're going to have a hard time going to sleep or going out strike. Those are just part of your like, oh, yeah, that's just part of it. And then so why is it any different than in the teen years? We expect them to be perfect or to have that figured out? Yeah, it just does not make any sense. And so that for me, you know, once I could just put that list of challenges right back on and say this is part of the team landscape, and I get to walk the notes side by side, there's going to be those dark in the park times. You know,

Casey O'Roarty 39:29
I love the dark park with a cute boy.

Julietta Skoog 39:35
Yes, I think it's that idea that the firmness piece of consistently showing up and I think a lot of Amenas I'm already starting to get into and hear from all the years that I've worked with other parents, you know, that have teens too, that there are places that because it gets more and more uncomfortable or it brings up our own experiences as a team like that's a part that's coming up for me to how I was I remember it so much more clearly than we did when we were little you You know, and so that part around our own relationships with our own parents or the people that raised us how we want to so either desperately, you know, change that way or keep that way or intact, like all of that part that gets messy as well. And I think sometimes just having that transparency to like, this was what was really hard in my relationship with my part. And I don't want to redo that I don't want to keep that same pattern going. And so here's what I'm trying to, I might not be doing it the right way. But this is my intention, you know, behind it.

Casey O'Roarty 40:30
And that conditioning is sneaky. I mean, I'm recently discovering like, oh, there's a little bit of with Rowan, who's now moved out everyone. So I mean, just stay vigilant on your own self reflection. Write your own self awareness. And being that curiosity around what is it about this thing? How am I creating a dynamic in this relationship? I think that's so powerful. Oh, my God, I have 100 Other things I wanted to bring up. But we're gonna have to just do that another time, my friend. Is there anything else before we sign off? I mean, you guys. Yeah. To be continued? Messy. This is not like, Oh, and here you go. Nice, tidy, tied with a bow conversation. I think it's an exploration. Really, when we talk about firmness, and what that looks like, I think there's so many variables, and there's temperaments and there's family dynamics, and there's all these different things that play into it. But I just really appreciate you coming in and teasing it apart with me.

Julietta Skoog 41:32
Thank you. Yeah, To be continued. Yes. And I would just say, one place to begin, because like you said, like, everyone's so unique, you know, your own family system, like part of that embodiment of that confident in authority is like, really deciding for your family, you know, not the examples of everyone else are what should be are these, you know, but what feels right for you? And what are the parts that you decide, you know, that is like, this is what matters. And so this is the part that I'm going to follow through on in terms of like, getting this across.

Casey O'Roarty 42:03
Yeah, love that. Thank you. What is joyful courage mean to you today? Julieta.

Julietta Skoog 42:09
Girl, joyful courage means you. I mean, I think it really is, it's the courage to have these kinds of conversations, parenting is so vulnerable. And when we don't talk about it, it brings up shame. And so it's the courage to talk about how messy it is, how hard it is, how everyone has these challenges. I'm doing this circle my finger at like, there's not one household, I talked to so many people and in my own life, you know, it is truly messy. So I think it's just the courage to actually talk about it with your community to listen to your podcasts for you to have these conversations and talk about your own family. So vulnerably. So I think it's the courage to talk about it, talk about our parenting, bring it to normalise it. And the joyful part for me is to find the fun, right, it's like to just say, these are my people. And I'm gonna have the wink wink, tell me about the dark Park and that what you know. Yeah, you know, just to like, find the fun, and it's just like, it goes so fast. I get that already. You know, I know that. And so it really is to just like, take it so seriously, you know,

Casey O'Roarty 43:16
yeah, lighten up.

Julietta Skoog 43:17
Yeah, lighten up.

Casey O'Roarty 43:17
Awesome. Where can people find you and follow your work?

Julietta Skoog 43:20
Where we are my friend at these browsable.com early years. I'm also the elementary lead. Also, I run that whole part. And we also have an awesome nanny situation. A lot of your users don't have nannies anymore. But for all of you out there that have friends, tell your friends. You know, tell your friends that we have a whole network of support for these early years in elementary and

Casey O'Roarty 43:43
caregivers. Yeah, and I know that there's listeners with the younger kids to Julieta has a Facebook group live in love with sprouted ball and you can find her on Instagram at be sporadic double and do a really good job of offering content that's really useful to all especially those people with younger kids. So thank you for your work. Thank you for your time. Love you.

Julietta Skoog 44:05
Love you

Casey O'Roarty 44:12
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 BS profitable.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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