Eps 460: Get past your resistance and focus on relationship with your teen

Episode 460

So I am fired up this week and I have our boys on the brain. So many of my clients and people in the community are struggling with their boys. Not only struggling with their boys, but struggling to soften to the idea that their boys are having a hard time and really need a deeper relationship with their parents most. Listen in to hear more – and don’t worry, if you have a daughter you will still find value in this conversation!

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Takeaways from the show

  • A bit about how amazing the Zen Parenting Conference was in Chicago
  • “Connected Parenting” (Monday’s show) – we get to be connected to ourselves and our kids YES, and also connected to the EXPERIENCE our kids are having
  • Working with families with adolescent boys
  • The resistance and exhaustion that can show up
  • Why we double down on the short term parenting with some of our struggling kids
  • The mindset shift it takes to see what is really going on under the surface
  • The importance of showing up again and again… and again

Join the conversation in the Joyful Courage for Parents of Teens FB Group – click here to share your takeaways from this episode.

Joyful Courage is trusting the process, trusting the relationship. Joyful Courage is being with the feeling that you have perhaps gotten some things wrong but you keep showing up. Joyful Courage is compassion for ourselves and our loved ones and the willingness to see that we are all living inside of our own equally valid separate realities – and rather than talking the other person into our reality, we get to be curious to understand theirs.

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Casey O'Roarty 00:05
Hello, Welcome back. Welcome to the joyful courage podcast, a place for inspiration and transformation as we work to keep it together. While parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people. And when we can focus on our own growth and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already, I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at Sprout double. Also mama to a 20 year old daughter and a 17 year old son I am walking right beside you on the path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it really real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is a solo show and I'm confident that what I share will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families around the globe. If you're feeling extra special, you can rate and review us over in Apple podcasts. I'm so glad that you're here. Welcome. Welcome, welcome. Enjoy the show.

Casey O'Roarty 01:34
All right. Hey, everybody, you and me, you and me today. I'm so glad to be back here with you. And I just want to start by thanking all of you that share such great feedback about the podcast with me. I love it. I love hearing that you are finding value here. I received a really sweet comment on my Facebook page. This parents said I have to say that your podcast has had such an impact on the space I hold for my girls and for myself. The wisdom you share guides our daily lives. I look forward to every episode. Thank you for what you do. Thank you, Alison waltz, I know you're listening. Thank you for sharing the impact. And thank you for integrating the work that we talked about here into your family. That's everything that is everything. You get all the credit for that, right. You're doing it you're getting it done, you're showing up for your kids. I am honoured to be trusted by all of you. I'm honoured to be a resource and someone that's supporting you beyond honoured. I love it. I have to tell you, I was at a conference a few weeks ago now put on by Kathy and Todd Adams. So they are the hosts of Zen parenting radio. If you're not listening to them, you should. They're brilliant. They've been around a really long time. Kathy is a therapist, Todd runs men's groups. They are super into pop culture, their parents of teenagers. They're amazing. And they put on a conference, the Zen parenting conference. And it was in Chicago, I got to go it's centred teenagers. I was one of the partners as sponsors for it. And it was so fun. I was there. As you know, I had my parent coach hat on, I had my parent hat on I was there to just take in all the wisdom. And the speakers were amazing. And the message centred exactly what we talked about here relationship, showing up, paying attention, doing your own work, letting go, right, all the themes, all the themes that show up here on the podcast. Were showing up in just about all of the speaker talks that I got to listen to and it was really powerful. Lots of past joyful courage podcast guests. Were there. So Dr. Shefali was there, Michelle? I occurred. Todd and Kathy the organisers have both been on my pod. I also got to meet and connect with other amazing people doing amazing work, some of which you all might know, Cecilia and Jason hooky from happily family. Deborah Hytner, she wrote screen wise and growing up in public is her new book. She's going to come on the podcast and talk about that. Dr. Alexander Solomon who does a lot of work around romantic relationships and partnerships. I loved her. I'm gonna enrol her to come on the pod. Dr. John Duffy, who's written a couple of different books Most recently, he wrote a book called rescuing our sons The conference was so special, it was so cool. And it was so amazing to meet people I had met online and get to meet them in real life. And, you know, there's also the show that came out on Monday. So if you listened on Monday, then you know that Julieta Skoog, Alana Beebe and I, we are the founders of spreadable, we are doing a limited series, it's going to come out in the feed on Mondays called The Art of connected parenting. So hopefully you listened to the three of us. This week was all about like, what do we mean? What is it? Let's explore the art of connected parenting. And, you know, we shared a little bit of our background, our stories, why we do what we do, we talked a little bit about re parenting, and the whole idea of connected parenting. And to me, that means we get to be connected to ourselves and our kids. Absolutely right. And also getting better at connecting to the experience that our kids are having. The experience they're having of us the experience that they're having with their social groups, experiences they're having as they develop, right, their brain development, their body development, the experiences they're having as they explore their first intimate relationships, like, there's so much that they're experiencing. And it's really important for us, the adults to be connected to that. And to value that they're having real experiences. Like, it's so easy to dismiss, right. And we dismiss our teens in so many subtle and not so subtle ways. And it's so important that we not do that. And you know, here on the solo shows, I like to take a thread of what happened on the Monday show, I've been doing this anyway, and kind of taking it and using it to inform and inspire this space this Thursday space. And I also am using what's coming up with my coaching clients and in the community to also inspire what's showing up here on the Thursday podcast. So you know, it comes in waves, like there's themes that show up in my life in the lives of my clients and the community. And for a while there was a lot showing up around like 15 and 16 year old girls, and definitely some experiences that we could all feel solidarity around those of us that have raised adolescent girls. Lately, what I'm noticing in the people that I'm working one on one with is that I'm finding myself supporting families with boys and teen boys, you know, even had a call with a mom who has a much younger boy. But we are struggling with our boys. And like I mentioned one of the speakers from the Zen parenting conference was Dr. John Duffy and I kind of done a deep dive on him. I loved his talk at the conference. And I listened to his interview with Todd and Kathy on their podcasts and parenting radio. And he was talking about this book that he just published rescuing our sons. And, you know, our boys are really struggling, right. And of course, I'm not talking about all of our boys. But you know, you know, the boys are really struggling. And I have a lot of clients. Like I said, with older teen boys, who are just at their wit's end, they don't know what to do, they don't know how to connect with them. They don't know how to motivate them, they don't see a future for them. A lot of parents of boys and girls, I'm talking about boys today. But I recognise that a lot of this is showing up with our girls too. So because I'm talking about boys doesn't mean that this isn't real and alive and true for our girls and for parents of our girls. Okay, can we just agree to that? Great. So yeah, so there's substance use, there's just kind of this lack of motivation. And it's really hard, right? I'm noticing sometimes I get clients who maybe have been on the positive discipline path or the more conscious parenting path and now they're kind of bumping up against you know, the teen years and they're not really sure what that style looks like in this context. And then other times, I will get people that are referred to me that have zero positive discipline background that have not done the mindset shift around centering relationship, and what I noticed comes up is a lot of resistance. That's what's been coming up lately. And I get it right like they get close. Sir to lunchtime, and our, like ability to stay open and grounded kind of feels like it shrinks. It's

Casey O'Roarty 10:08
like no, no, no, no, we're at this place where you're supposed to take off and lunch and you're not and what the hell? Right? So then when they hire me, and I'm like, wow, you know, really what you could be focusing on is relationship. And I want to talk about relationships. This can feel soft, right to parents, this can feel like, ineffective, and maybe you have a partner, where you're trying to share what you're learning here on the pot, or what you're trying with your kids with your partner. And that's the response you're getting like, no, that's soft, that's ineffective, we don't need to focus on relationship, we need them to gain skills and move out. Right? Our boys are as stuck as we are, and don't see another future than the one we are in like, it's both and right, we're almost mirroring the discouragement that our boys have like our level of discouragement, like, truly is equal to whatever level of discouragement our boys have right now our kids have, especially our older teens, and I get it and we're tired, right? We're tired. Again, like I said, the older the teen gets, the less tolerant we are of their behaviour, because it's like, whoa, you should know better. We've already been here. We've taught you, right? You know what we expect? And it's exhausting, right? And parents are tired, because they've been in that old mindset, that hasn't worked for a long time, without actually realising that old mindset is actually influencing the dynamic that they're in, right.

Casey O'Roarty 11:55
I've tried everything I've blamed, I've shamed I've taken things away, I've threatened I've bribed. I've done all the things, nothing works. It's exhausting. We keep doing the same things over and over leaning on those old tools. And they're not useful. And we're exhausted. Right? Dismantling the dynamic takes time. And it takes time that we're impatient to give right dismantling the dynamic starts with us, and requires a commitment and trust that we are going to break through, right, we are going to shift things, but we're tired. And I'm telling you like, to all my clients, well, keep showing up, keep showing up, keep showing up. Ah, when do we stop showing up? Never. Right? It only takes one person who's committed to change the dynamic that we're in. Right? It only takes one person to change the dynamic. And our teens are teen boys, you know, we start showing up differently, they're not going to buy it, again, really requires us to continuously show Nope, this is the way I'm showing up for you. Here's a big thing, I'm not going to show up this way. Because I think it's gonna work, I'm going to show up this way. Because we are to human beings in a dynamic that is hurtful, or that is dismissive, or that is discouraging. And I want to bring more love and connection and compassion to the dynamics. So I'm going to do that. I'm going to do that on my side. And I'm going to do that no matter what, no matter how you show up. I'm going to do that. Because it's the right thing to do. It's the way we should be relating with each other. Right? I'm gonna do that. And I'm going to trust and have faith that you child of mine who's so deeply discouraged, is going to meet me there. Right? And we get to commit. And we get to show up to that. Even when the timeline feels exhausting, right. The other thing that's been happening that I notice with clients and parents and the conversations that I'm witnessing, and a part of is the parents are doubling down on the short term. And maybe it is connected with our intolerance to the timeline, right. When I ask, What do you want most for your kids? A lot of times I hear tip of the iceberg behaviours, right? I want them to get a job. I want them to move out. I want them to help out around the house. I want them to stop using substances. I want them to go to school, get there on time do their homework, right? And like don't get me wrong. Yes, sign me up for all those things. I want all of those things For my kids too. But deeper than that, what do you want? Right? What do you want? When you go deeper under the surface of the iceberg? What are the life skills and characteristics you want your kids to learn to embody? As they make their way out into the world? What do you want them to be practising? Right, because that's the long term focus. That's the long term focus. The short term is all of those things I already listed. I mean, again, great. But I want my kid to be able to relate to people, right, I want my kid to develop a sense of resilience, I want them to be willing to be brave, and show up to job interviews. Even though they feel really nervous, I want them to feel like they matter, I want them to have an internal sense of value and worth. I want them to believe in themselves. And to have self confidence, I want them to want to hang out with me, I want them to want to be in relationship with me, I want to be a part of their life, even after they do leave the house. Right. And when we think about short term versus long term, we really have two options. And one option is keep doing what you're doing, get on their case, right, get more creative about how you can point out the things that aren't working, keep fighting with them, try to set up new and different consequences with the hope you're going to knock some sense into them. Right, continue to feel frustrated and disconnected. Keep believing that things can't be different. Right? Maybe even start finding yourself not enjoying or liking your kid anymore. Right? Maybe finding yourself ready to be done. So that's an option. It doesn't really sound that great to me. Or another option is come back to the idea that there is something deeper going on for your kids, there are missing skills, focus on the relationship, create time, to be together, get to know your teenager, get to know your young adult acknowledge, you're part of the dynamic. I know I talk about all this stuff on the pod all the time, we're going to talk about it again, show up differently. If you want things to be different, you get to show up differently, get to know them. Right? Get to know your kid, see them and what they're moving through trust that there isn't a timeline. And that nurturing the relationship over time is actually what will fuel a change in your teen because they will begin to feel differently about themselves as a result of their connection to you. Right, I'm going to say that again. Trust that there isn't a timeline here. And that nurturing the relationship over time is what will fuel a change in your teen? Because they will feel differently about themselves as a result of their connection to you. Sit with that. Right? And again, that question, what do you want? What do you want in the long term? And again, I think we can all agree that we want to have a relationship with our grown kids, we want them to continue to invite us into their lives. Right? And how we show up right now will determine that will determine whether or not we get that invitation and this is a mindset shift. Right big time. This is a mindset shift. It's a big one. It is erasing the chalkboard full of the old ideas about parenting and how to, you know, kick it into gear. And it is starting over human behaviour comes back to our beliefs about ourselves and how we fit into the world our belonging and significance. And you know, it's true like listen, listen to what your teens are saying when they're discouraged. Here's some of what I hear from my clients that their teen boys are saying, I suck. I'm stupid. No one likes me. It won't get any better. No one can help me. School is pointless. I'm no good. And maybe you're hearing this from your girls too. When you hear those statements, when you listen, like between the lines, what is underneath? I don't belong. I don't matter. What's the point. This is a deeply discouraging place to be And so centering relationship, what we talked about here, it is not fluff. It is not soft. It's not permissive. It is not creating entitled kids. Centering relationship is how we save our teens lives. That's, I know, a big statement. And I mean it. When I was in Chicago, I got so fired up about this, and actually broke down in tears while talking to parents of middle school kids, making sure our kids know they can come to us that they matter that we are here for them, no matter what could save their life, when things go sideways. This isn't a small thing. This isn't light. Right? This isn't fluffy, this isn't, you know, it's not it's big centering relationship is how we support them. This is how we truly send the message that we care deeply about them. And our love will hold steady. Right? So if you're hearing, I hate you, what might be being communicated as I can't be loved. When you hear Get out of my room, what might be being communicated as Give me space, but don't give up on me. When you hear you don't get it right from your teen. what's being communicated could be I feel really alone. And it's scary, and it's confusing.

Casey O'Roarty 21:26
So many of our teen boys don't believe in themselves and your well intentioned expectations add to the weight of truly not believing they can get their shit together and move into what's next. Right? Or it's an armour, right? You might be listening to me saying like, Casey, my teen boys problem is not that he doesn't believe in himself. Maybe he has an inflated ego, maybe he's overcompensating? Right? It's all how are they making sense of the world? How are they keeping themselves safe? What are the underlying beliefs to belong in the world to be safe, I have to have this attitude of not caring, or I have to puff up and Peacock, right?

Casey O'Roarty 22:14
Imagine that. I mean, some of our kids are so deeply discouraged. Imagine the level of discouragement that's going on for some of our kids. And maybe you're thinking that's not hard to imagine. Because that's how discouraged I feel with parenting. Yeah, and you have perspective, you have experience, and you know that life is long and things ebb and flow, and you're gonna keep learning and growing and changing your kiddo your teen, he doesn't have that. He's stuck in the idea that this is forever. And it sucks, right? And it isn't your job. To talk them out of this mindset. It's your job to be in relationship with them. So they can collect new evidence about their value and their worth and the possibilities that exist. That's where that shows up as in relationship with you. And yeah, get them the resources and support they need. And yes, check yourself when you become impatient about the timeline. And yes, take care of yourself through all of this because it is their journey. You're a supporting actor, right, as much as we want to share the stage, we are not, this is their show. And they are learning and growing along the way that is happening. Be loving and compassionate, and name their strengths and spend time getting to know them and dive into their interests, even if you are so not interested in what they're interested in. Because you're sending a message. I care about you. I'm curious about you, you matter so much to me, that I want to learn more about what you've got going on. And I think this is a big piece, right? This is a really big piece. They may, they probably will, depending on their level of discouragement, push you away and reject your attempts. Because they want believe that what you really want is to get to know them and be with them exactly as they are. Right. They'll think it's a trap. That you're going to ask what they're doing with their life and judge them at the minute they let their guard down. You're going to dive in there. And again, talk about how they're not measuring up to and they might be right. Right. I'm not inviting you to like, look for an opening, soften them up and go in for the kill. That's not what I'm suggesting here because they don't need your judgement. Your judgement is already well known by your kiddos. It's in the room. It's why they asked you to leave it's why they shut down there's struggling and they want to be seen in the struggle, right? They want you to acknowledge the struggle that they're in, and they want to be loved and appreciated and validated. They do not know how to ask for this, it feels deeply vulnerable. Perhaps, in their experience of you, it doesn't feel safe to ask for those things. Or perhaps they truly believe that you don't get it. And that you can't offer that, right. So you get to help them, see you differently. Right? Make a date, to spend time with your child, let them know ahead of time, that there's going to be no hard conversations, no talk about their behaviour, let them know ahead of time that you want to get to know them, and spend time with them. And when they're sullen, on this one on one date, and they don't let you in, thank them for being willing to be with you and plan for the next time. And the next time when they're solid. And they don't let you in thank them. Again, thank you for being willing to hang with me. I love you. Let's do this again next week. Again, and again. And again. Show up, be with them. Let them know you love them. Ask them questions about their life, tell funny stories about your life, you be vulnerable, right, you share what's important to you. Sit in silence, if that's what is presented, be okay with that energetically, send them love. Trust that they will slowly come around. Once you show that you mean what you say, when you say this is simply about being together and getting to know each other. Right? They are not going to believe you. They're not going to believe you at first. So you got to show them truly that that's what this is about. The relationship that they have with you is the foundation that they stand on. And when the foundation is rocky or unsteady, you're gonna see it and how they're showing up in the worlds when it's solid, and they can count on it and trust it, it will impact them and who they are and what they're willing to do and who they're willing to be. That's why I say that relationship is where we have influence relationship gets us a foot in the door, it gets us a seat at the table. Right? So yeah, the art of connected parenting is about connecting to ourselves, what's happening internally for us? What are the stories from the past that are weaving themselves into our current dynamics with our kids, with our sons, and our daughters, it's about connecting with our teens making the time to spend together to show up. But this third piece connecting with their experience, this is really the meat validating that what they are experiencing is real, believing that they're doing the best they can with the tools that they have in the moment being willing to set aside the behaviour that's driving you crazy, and go deeper into what the behaviour is solving for them. Right? What's happening in their lives. Where do they need to be seen by you? Dare I say, explore where you might be getting it wrong? I kind of cringe when I say that. But really we are. We're making mistakes all the time. That's okay. That's part of the human experience. And you've heard me say it a lot here on the pod. We are making assumptions left and right about our kids without listening to them. And don't get pissed at me and say, well, they don't open up. There is often a reason, right? And if you happen to have kids that temperamentally just keep things close to the chest, there's still room to see and name their strength to get curious about their interests. To send the message of love, compassion and acceptance to them. Our kids, man, they need us. Right? They need us our boys. Our boys need us. They need us. Oh, rampage. Yeah, I'm feeling really fired up about all of this. And I'm really excited to get my hands on Dr. Duffy's book, I'm going to say the name of it again, rescuing our sons. In the membership, we do book clubs. So it's going to be one of our book club books. But I encourage you all that are listening to get your hands on it if you have a son. From what I can see. It's just spot on and really useful. And I'm looking forward to reading it for my own personal journey as a mom to a boy, but also as a coach, and a leader for all of you. So here's your homework, your homework from this pod, right? Hey, are you following my homework posts in the joyful courage for parents of teens Facebook group? I'm guessing not because these homework posts are not really generating a tonne of conversation yet. But I have faith, I'm going to train you to go in there and share what you're taking away from this podcast. And, you know, we could experiment, maybe your reflection after listening to the podcast will help you integrate what you're learning here. How about that? Let's experiment with that. I'll put a link to the post in the show notes. So it's easy for you to get to. Okay, homework one. What's your biggest takeaway from this show? This 30 minutes that we were together to? Where are you noticing Short Term versus long term mindset in your parenting with your teens? Right? And three, what is one action steps that you're willing to take to build more relationship with your teen? And of course, if you're like, Oh, I got more questions than I do answers. After listening to this. I am here for it. You can email me at Casey at joyful courage.com You can send me a message on Instagram or Facebook. I am here for it. I'm a coach. I work one on one with clients. So if you're like, oh my god, is this podcast? Are you spying on me in my house? I am here for you. I'm here for you. You can set up an explore call at East browseable.com/explore. I'm here for you. All right. Okay. Have a beautiful rest of your week and weekend. I'll see you Monday with the new interview show. This Monday coming up. It'll be the second art of connected parenting limited series podcast. So that's exciting. I'll see you next week. Have a great day. Bye.

Casey O'Roarty 31:56
Thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you so much to my spreadable partners, Julieta and Alana as well as Danielle and Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting this show out there and helping it to sound so good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay better connected at B sprout double.com. Tune back in on Monday for a brand new interview and I will be back solo with you next Thursday. Have a great day.

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