Eps 464: Crushes, dating and developing critical thinking

Episode 464

Back again with another solo show inspired by a member of the Living Joyful Courage membership group and her request for something about adolescents and dating. 😳 It’s one of the many exciting and terrifying age appropriate areas of exploration and discovery for our kiddos – and we get to show up in a way that encourages their critical thinking and growth. This show gets into that.

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Takeaways from the show

  • Supporting our kids in teasing apart what is attractive from their flood of emotion
  • Continuing conversations about consent
  • Developing the ability to advocate and growing their sense of self
  • “Dating” in middle school, high school and beyond
  • The tough stuff – sex, porn, birth control and values
  • Communication that increases the likelihood that they will come to you
  • Building relationship with the boyfriend/girlfriend and how to let it go when your teen doesn’t want you to
SO GOOD! Dying to know your thoughts!


Mentioned during the show was the Sex Ed for Parents of Teens mini summit. Click here for info.
Share your thoughts in the Joyful Courage for Parents of Teens FB Group.

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Today Joyful Courage is about being with the reality that life is uncertain. The only constant is change. And I get to recognize where I am creating or adding to my own suffering and do something about it (typically “something” is to let shit go).

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I know that you love listening every week AND I want to encourage you to dig deeper into the learning with me, INVEST in your parenting journey. Casey O'Roarty, the Joyful Courage podcast host, offers classes and private coaching. See our current offerings.


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. It's browseable. Also mama to a 20 year old daughter and a 17 year old son I am walking right beside you on the path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it really real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is a solo show and I'm confident that what I share will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families around the globe. If you're feeling extra special, you can rate and review us over in Apple podcasts. I'm so glad that you're here. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Enjoy the show.

Casey O'Roarty 01:31
Oak okay, hey, oh, I'm so excited about this show. I'm so excited for content today. But I have to say. So when I record my solo shows I recorded on Zoom. So I have some video to use for the reel that I share for the solo show on Thursdays on Instagram and Facebook. And I have to tell you a funny story. So my 21 year old who is very skilled with all things beauty skin makeup, she was like Mom, I'm taking you to Alta and I'm gonna buy you some makeup. And I'm going to teach you how to use makeup, which is great because I was born in the 70s it didn't do a lot of makeup. I mean, of course in middle school, I overused liquid foundation for a while, didn't we all but then you know, got to college, kind of became a hippie and didn't wear any makeup at all until about 10 years ago, and then started dabbling an educated Lea in makeup. Anyway, she took me to Ulta last night and I was like, Well, now you need to teach me how to use all this stuff. She's like, well, we don't have time for that. You just have to practice. So I practice today and I am looking at myself on Zoom. And I think I did an okay job. But yeah, I don't know. Can you teach a 50 year old how to wear makeup? I don't know. I don't know. Anyway, I thought that was pretty hilarious. I am so excited for today's show. It's you and me. Did you listen to Monday's show with Juliet and Alana. So you know, most of you know that we are doing a special limited series, The Art of connected parenting. And yeah, it's just been really fun. In this week, the theme was around just being intentional with how we're responding and communicating and being with our kids. Right. And, you know, it's funny, even just as recently, as two nights ago, we in my membership programme, we did some work around what starts to develop internally for our kids based on our response to them, right. And I pulled some of the challenges that have been coming up in our community space. So real and relevant challenges, and I offered up two contrasting ways of responding. Right, and they were, you know, extreme ish, but also like, Ooh, you cringe a little when you hear the harsher response because we get scared. And a lot of times the parents like, Oh, God, that sounded like something maybe I said, and the really fun experience is because it's an experiential activity. You know, part of the group are the parents and the other part of the group are the teenagers and then we process how did it feel to be in be the teenager in the role of teenager and receiving the delivery of the response, the feedback from the parents the way that it was delivered? And so, you know, we had a lot of discussion about that which is really powerful and useful. And as happens one of the parents said, like God this just it takes so much work, right it does, it takes so much work to be intentional to be Be thoughtful, to stay out of the reactive state to recognise when you're in fear, to pay attention to when that need for control shows up and gets in the way, all of that it's

Casey O'Roarty 05:15
work. It's a practice. And it requires us to do better than shooting for the hip, it requires a level of thoughtfulness that can feel exhausting, especially when it's not your go to response. And you're in the beginning of kind of changing things up and shifting the way things are. Because remember, our responses to life, regardless of if you know, if it's the way that we're responding to another driver, or to the grocery store clerk, or a co worker, or our partner or our kid, those shoot from the hip moments, those kind of automatic responses, they've been really well developed in the brain, like those grooves are deep and to say, like, hold up, I'm going to do this differently. Right, we're working against what is already set up in our wiring to be that kind of instant response. Right. So it does take work, especially at the beginning. But like, I love to say to my clients, if you are noticing that instinct, and you're noticing, like, ah, it happened again, I wish I could do better, like you're in a great place. If you are in a place where you are recognising you have the self awareness to say, oh, my gosh, my reactive response is not useful. This is what it feels like when it happens. This is why I go there. If you've done some exploration, you're in a great place. Like, that's just the beginning of the journey. And the more you practice, the more you practice doing it differently. And, you know, in the beginning, the practice really looks like going to our kids or our partner, whoever and saying, Hey, that was not a great way for me to respond to that. Can we try that again? Right, or I'm sorry, that it came out that way? I would like a redo right. And we get to be vulnerable enough to ask for that. And to create that. I mean, isn't it great when somebody in your life comes to you and says, and owns their behaviour and asks to do it again? Like I care about you so much that I would like to try that in a way that is more helpful and less hurtful? Yes, please, more of that. Right? So yes, being intentional, being thoughtful, it takes effort? Absolutely. And if nothing else in life is worth it. Aren't our kids worth it? Aren't our partners worth it? I think so. I think so. Aren't you worth it? Because when I've had a day, and I have those days where it's a lot of reacting and a lot of shooting from the hip. At the end of the day, I feel pretty shitty. Right? I'm not feeling great about how I showed up for the people I care about when I have a day. That has been a lot of thoughtful and intentional responding to the people in my life. I might be tired at the end of the day, like man, I really worked hard. But I'm also like, Go me, I killed it today, or I really showed up I am doing it. Right, the practice is helpful. So do it for yourself, if for no one else, right? So yes. How can we be ever more intentional with our parenting? So another theme that kind of comes out of that when I think about what do I want to be intentional about besides, you know, being helpful and not hurtful, right? Not being a psychopath parent, at least most of the time, right? Keeping it real. I want to and this is another thing that's been coming up with the people that I work with, is deciding is it more important through the challenges that are showing up whatever's happening in your home with your kid? You know, I'm trying to support my clients and shifting from how do I get them to do what I want into the idea that how can I use this to develop their critical thinking, right? Because you're listening, you might have a 10 year old, you might have a 13 year old or a 14 year old or a 16 year old, you might have a kid like I do, who's in their last year living at home, right? Which means they're going to be out on their own. Right? Or maybe yours is 19 or 20 and still living at home. But listen, your kids going to move out eventually, okay? They're gonna move out and live on their own and make those decisions ever more often without us telling them what it should look like what they should do, right? Don't do that. Do this holding rules, right and bound Freeze for them, I want my kids to develop their own critical thinking. Right? Like I said, it's coming up so much. And, you know, yeah, I think that there are some really tough things that we're navigating. And so let's talk about a few of these. Like, of course, if you have a kid that is trying or using substances, right, like vaping, or weed or drinking, you know, and they're talking to you about it, right. So that's an interesting place to be. And I've talked about this with a lot of my clients, it's like, okay, I have this relationship where my kiddo is telling me things, and they're telling me like, Hey, I'm gonna keep using this stuff. And how do we sit with that? How do we be with that? Right? And so the idea was something like that thinking about how do we want them to think about their use? What are the conversations, we want them to start to develop inside of their own head? Around? Perhaps, you know, substance use or listen, we set up limits and boundaries when they're home around curfews. And when it's okay to go out and when it's not okay to go out. But like I said, it won't be long, and they're going to be out on their own, what do we want them to consider? When it's time for them to be thinking about the option of playing versus the responsibilities of the next day, man had I had more practice in that before college, I probably would not have graduated with a 2.1. Just say, We, of course want to create rules around screen time. And 100%, I think there should be limits, and CO created agreements around screens, yes. But more than that, I want my kids to be checking their screen time and reflecting on how they feel about what they're seeing. I want them to develop the ability to self assess if it's getting in the way of their life, right, whether it's video gaming, or phone tic tock, you know, the neverending scroll, YouTube, whatever, right? What's more important to me is how are they thinking about their screen use not? Are they following all the rules? Right? So critical thinking happens inside of experience? And with someone who can be a non judgmental soundboard. Right? That's you, it's developed over time with the opportunity to tease it apart and make sense of these experiences and outcomes that happen throughout life. Now, developing critical thinking is much less satisfying, in some ways, then, like having rules and limits and boundaries, and just being really hard lined about that. You know, I've talked about this before, like, there's an illusion that, you know, right rules, right consequences, right limits will keep them out of trouble. But oftentimes, kids go under the radar, or once they get to that place of freedom and being on their own, they don't have the skills to regulate their substance use or their screen use. And so there's this opportunity that we have while they're at home with us, to deep dive into, like, how are you thinking about this? And yes, they're not going to talk about how they're thinking about things. If it's a space of judgement and criticism right now, it's not, you know, if they're like, Well, I can say what you want me to say about how I'm thinking about this, that's not as useful as really turning on their brain, right and engaging their brain in how am I thinking about this? How does this feel for me? Am I okay with it, and there's a lot of ambivalence that's happening during the teen years around risky behaviour or just behaviour that's like borderline unhealthy, and we get to be with that we get to listen for that. Hmm. Okay. I hear you. I see you. I'm curious about that. Let's talk more about that, right.

Casey O'Roarty 14:14
I recently had a client asked about dating, right, specifically, the experience of not being a parent who isn't super excited about their teens choice of partner. Right. And I, she was like, Do you have any podcasts about this? And I realised, gosh, I mean, I have this great little mini summit from a few years ago, the sex ed for parents of teens Summit. I highly recommend it if you haven't bought it and listen to it. It's really great, great interviews. We go through all the things. And then I have a show with Amy Lang about middle school dating. That's pretty old. You know, I have a couple shows here and there, but I really wanted to specifically talk about the six perience of our kids venturing into this dating experience and how we can be with it again, right how we can be with it from this place of helping them develop their critical thinking, right. And there is so much potential in these experience for that development, whether it's early dating experiences, or they're a little bit older. And it's important to remember, as I said to this client, you can't control who your child is drawn to, you can't control what they find attractive, you can't, but you sure can influence whether or not they let you in on their experience by how you talk with them about it. And again, if our goal is critical thinking and developing that inner lens, that discernment, we can't be there for them and influence that if they don't talk to us about what's going on in their life. Right? And they don't talk to us because they know that we're going to be critical or judgmental, right? Even if we're like, No, I won't be critical or judgmental. Okay, well do a little inventory. Have you been? Right? You can say that? Do they believe you? Right? We're gonna get into that. So what is there to learn for our kids or teens as they venture into this territory of crushes and boyfriends, girlfriends and hookups? Right, all the things? Right, the first thing is, you know, our kids over time, through experience, are going to be fine tuning their picker, right, they're going to be fine tuning, what they're drawn to, they're going to get ever more experienced at, you know, noticing things that are not so great about them, or even noticing, like, that rush that flood of emotion at the very start that might wear off in a day or three days. God, I wish I knew more

Casey O'Roarty 17:00
15 1617 Man, and you know, in college, because yeah, that flood that early, like, I like this person is deceiving, right? And that does not stick around. So it's so awesome. As our kids start to appreciate other people. And even if you have younger kids, right? Because some of our kids like even early on, they're talking about oh, I have a crush on her crush on him. At that point, you can be like, Oh, what do you like about them? What's fun about them? Right? What's attractive? How do you feel when you're near them? Right? Is it easy to be yourself around them? This was a conversation I had with one of my kids. And it's interesting, right? Like, when you have a crush on someone, and you literally can't look at them. And you don't know what to say. And it's awkward like, Huh, what is that telling you about this person? Is this the right person for you? Or what about those people that you can be yourself? You like who you are around them? And it's fun, and it's playful? Right? So asking these questions, not telling them, You should like the people that it's easy to be yourself around and you shouldn't like the people that make you feel insecure. That's not what this is about. This is about helping them recognise how do I feel around this person? Right? What critical thinking do you want them to develop, be intentional, right, you got to start influencing that inner voice, you get to engage the brain. The other awesome thing that kids get to learn and practice as they move into these, you know, more expansive relationships with each other is consent, right? And of course, having a boyfriend or a girlfriend, or a crush should not be the first time you're talking about consent. So don't wait, have this conversation. Consent happens all the time, consent is being taught, you know, when we say things like, Hey, can I get your permission to post this photo of you? This is a really cute family picture. Can I put it on my Facebook? Right? Like we're modelling consent all the time? Right? Or, you know, this is something I've been getting on my husband's case about because he's a practical joker, and he is a teaser. And it's so interesting, the dynamic between Hani and they do the same thing to each other, they bug each other and they ignore each other when they say, you know, stop, and I will point out like, wow, I'm noticing a really strong message of stop doing that. And I think it's important that you guys practice, you know, practice listening to The Know and listening to the stop. Right. So how to get it, how to give it normalise it. Right talking to our kids about alcohol and substances. Absolutely. And how alcohol can blur the lines. I was just also talking to a client, you know, for those of us with boys, and I hate that it's gendered like this, but it is right like how Being a boy and a girl, I never worried that my daughter would cross a line and be the perpetrator. But I also don't really think of my son as being a victim. And that's, you know, societal. And, you know, that's also look at the stats, right. But you know, I was talking to a client about this and how important it is for our boys to recognise like power dynamics and things going sideways, like their side probably won't be taken. And so being really thoughtful, you know, about making sure that their moves aren't being misunderstood, right. And when you put alcohol in, you know, Ian's getting ready to go to college, we're talking a lot about that you throw alcohol into the mix, you know, and it's like, man, it gets messy and slippery and blurry. And it's no bueno. Right? It's no brainer. And, you know, like I said, the consent conversation, it starts with the small things where we're giving consent all the time, right, and we get to be a little bit more intentional around calling it out, oh, it's just like this. Right? It's just like that. It's just like, when I am asking for permission to move your car in the driveway or whatever, right? Consent is simply like an agreement that people make. So there's that. So thinking about what's the critical thinking you want them to have around consent? And what are the questions? What How can you be intentional in using this relationship? Like, you know, the other thing? I think that's really key is asking our kids, you know, does this person respect your boundaries? Right? When you ask them, Hey, listen, I'm done with this conversation, please stop texting or whatever? Are they respecting your wishes? Hey, I'm in class, don't I'm gonna be at school all day, don't text me while I'm at school? Is there evidence in the relationship that the other person is respecting your boundaries? And are you respecting their boundaries? And why would it be important? Right, so you're asking questions, and getting them thinking about these things. The other thing, I think that's an awesome opportunity inside of these, you know, romantic relationships, is it's an opportunity for our teens to continue to get to know themselves, right? So sometimes when one of our kids starts dating someone or is, you know, crushing on someone, they kind of date the whole friend group at time, so maybe there's extra behaviour that's showing up with that friend group. And it's an opportunity to ask like, so do you feel like, you know, what's going on with this group of people? Do you feel like it fits your character? Do you feel like, you know, are able to, again, be yourself in this group? And, you know, they may say, like, yeah, you know, if they're smelling a trap, they're definitely gonna say what you want to hear. But, you know, you could even say, I'm not asking because I need the answer. I'm asking because, you know, it's an awesome thing to consider, you know, romantic relationships is like a practice for being an adult. And so you get to practice being in the consideration of, yeah, who am I inside of this relationship? And does it fit who I know I am in my heart? Or do I have to act differently? And am I okay with that? And is that healthy? Right? Like, that's what we want to support them in influencing them in developing are those questions for themselves, right? That's the critical thinking, advocating, right? These kinds of relationships are awesome opportunities for our teens to advocate for themselves, right? When things get uncomfortable? Are they speaking up? Do they feel like they can speak up? Do they feel like they can be listened to? Or are they listening? Right, because, you know, toxic relationships or unhealthy relationships, it may be that our kid is the unhealthy one, they have so many models right now that are being thrown at them around poor relational behaviour. Right? It's showing up on tick tock, it's showing up in the shows that they're watching. It's showing up in the books they're reading, it's showing up in the news. I mean, it's everywhere. The grown ups are not necessarily doing a great job of modelling. And they have this seemingly endless access to all sorts of you no content that is not necessarily healthy relations, right. And so we get to be another voice to add to those voices. Right. And by being a voice, I mean, helping them discern and be critical about what they're seeing and what they're experiencing. Right. And like I said, Yeah, that rush that rush of early, right, the early experience. Oh man, it's so good, right? Like if you're part 100 right now with somebody's girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, I mean, remember the early days, ah, the best, the best. And maybe, you know, maybe you're so hot and heavy with your person. But over time, you know, you want to pick someone that you have a really good friendship with, because the hot and heavy changes, right thought and heavy changes. And so, you know, talking about that with your kids discerning helping them discern between the rush of the attention, right, I'm thinking about our kids who might not feel a solid sense of belonging. And then here's someone who's giving them attention, and wants to spend time with them and complimenting them. That I mean, we are wired for belonging. So of course, that is going to add to the attraction that is going to add to the butterflies in the belly and the tingling in the belly. And yes, it's great and fun and feels good. And let's ground for a minute. Right? Let's pause. Okay, yeah. Is that going to last? And what about without that? Who is this person for you, you know, when you look at the whole of who they are, right? Because remember, I mean, I'm sure we've all had experiences where it's like, oh, but they're so cute. And they're so this, they're so that that makes up for these little red flags that are showing up? Are these things that I don't really love, right? And we get to just help them remember, all those things matter. All those things matters. We get to be curious, we get to be curious and non judgmental, and non critical, and intentional. And then of course, you know, there's middle school versus high school. So there's, you know, in middle school, I remember like I said, Amy Lang came on the pod years ago, and we did a show, I think it was called like middle school dating. Yikes. And I remember when Rowan was in middle school, they use the word dating. And I was like, dating. That seems a little early to talk about who are you dating? Right? I mean, but then I go back to and now they're like, Well, we're talking. Okay, what does that mean? Is that an exclusive thing? Is that a feel it out thing versus dating versus then, like actually making the official they're my boyfriend. They're my girlfriend. And I think back to when I started being very boy crazy, which was early on, I was an early bloomer as far as appreciating the boys as in like fifth or sixth grade, in Bryan Vail shout out to Brian Vale, asked me to go with him at the roller skating rink. And I remember being like telling my mom, Brian asked me to go with them. And she was like, go where? You know, and I remember, I felt so like, kind of like, I didn't understand why. But it made me feel embarrassed. It made me feel dismissed. It made me feel like, just like minimised, right. And we do the same thing. Now, you know, they're, oh, we're talking or oh, we're dating. Oh, wait, but you're in seventh grade? What do you mean, you're dating, we get so hung up on the words, or like, the way that, you know, they might be talking and talking looks like sending a picture back and forth on Snapchat of like, a quarter of their face, or their feet wherever they are, right? Or they're snapping pictures of us, and sending those along. And that is, oh, we're talking and I think we grown ups were like, Oh, that's not even talking like you're not even vulnerable. What about in real life? Why don't you call them on the phone? You know, and our kids are like, I'm not gonna do that, you know, they're having their relationships, they're having their experiences in the context of the time that they live in. And it's a great opportunity, especially if we want them to keep talking to us to just be curious, right? Be curious about that.

Casey O'Roarty 28:53
And then, you know, when they're younger, there's are they hanging out in groups? are they hanging out one on one, they might want to hang out one on one, usually, the younger they are, the more they don't want to do the one on one stuff. It's awkward, because they're still learning those skills of being together. And again, being intentional thinking about what's the critical thinking that you want them to be developing, right, rather than dismissing it or saying, Oh, you're not allowed to date till you're 16. Okay. And what do you want them to learn about relationships? And what are those seeds you want to plant? And what do you want the voice in their head to be saying to them, right, what are the questions you want them to be asking themselves? Right, and it is completely developmentally appropriate during adolescence for our kids to fall in love for the first time, man, it is so sweet and so hard to watch. And, you know, we worry about their tender hearts. We worry about what they're doing when nobody's around. We worry about so much. Right? And again, what conversations are we having with them? All the things that I've already said about advocating for yourselves, and trust and honesty, and, you know, they're so young and they feel their feelings so big, right? You get to be with it, you get to be a supporter and an encourager. And you also get to keep in mind, what's the critical thinking you want them to develop, right. And sometimes those people that they pick, you're not going to love them, you're not going to be a big fan. I've been there. I've been there. And even then you get to use it. But the more critical, I said this at the top, the more critical you are, the more you lean in, you know, the more you're pushing them towards this person that you're not a big fan of. So keep that in mind. And everybody lives through a broken heart, right, everybody gets to have that first broken heart. And man, it is so hard. It is so hard when their heart is broken. And you know, because it's the first time they don't realise that they're ever going to feel better. So honour that right? honour that, don't dismiss it, don't say, You know what, I didn't really love that person anyway. Or here's why you shouldn't feel bad or, you know, get over it, or let me fix it for you. You know, like, none of that is helpful. Just hold space. For them. It's really hard to have a broken heart, it's really hard to feel that level of low, and to feel like it's never going to feel better. It's really hard. I see you, I believe you. I love you. Right? Again, what's the critical thinking that you want them to develop? Let that be your compass, let that be your guide? Maybe not right, with a broken heart? Not in the moment, like, let a little time go by? And then, you know, look for those opportunities to help them discern their experience. Right? And listen, please, if you're listening to me right now, my hope is you've already started talking about sex with your kids. Right? Even if your kids 10, please, Amy Lange would say you know, you start age, you know, she's got a whole curriculum around talking about body and safe touching and where babies come from as early as three, four or five. Right? So do your research and start having those conversations around sex, talk to your kids about porn, porn has really messed with the expectations of our teenagers. And, you know, it's heartbreaking. It is heartbreaking, because porn does not depict relationship, it starts in the middle, there's no lead up, there's no hand holding, there's no, you know, up the shirt, like, the slow build up over time. That doesn't exist in porn, and most of our kids have seen porn, most of our kids have most of their sex ed coming from porn. So you've got to talk about it with your kids, you've got to talk about, you know, the difference between porn, sex, and actually just regular sex between people that care about each other, you have to talk about porn, okay? And you got to talk about being in relationship, right. And if you're in a relationship, you get to model what it looks like to be there for each other, and you get to live out loud, how to have disagreements or conflict and how to make amends and make up, right, you get to model and you get to have your values, right, you get to have your values around things like sex and relationship and what it should look like. And your kids might not share your values. So it's really about caring more about your kid and their emotional well being than you do about your values. Does that make sense? I mean, don't let a conflict and values be a deal breaker in your relationship. I guess that's kind of where I'm going. You get to still have your values. And you also need to prepare your kid for being safe. You need to, like I said, You have a responsibility for you already are influencing their inner dialogue. So be intentional about it. Right? What's the critical thinking you want them to develop? Birth control? Yes, everybody needs birth control. So condoms for everybody. And you know, the pill or some other kind of contraception for our girls. We live in a post roe world and I don't know what your political beliefs are, or whatever. But it's a post roe world. So choices become very limited for our boys and girls, when they find themselves having made the mistake of getting pregnant, unintended ly, and you know, there's a way to prevent that. It's called birth control. So Make sure that your kids have it, they know how to use it. And that they know that you're there for them should they need you, right. And that's a big piece here, showing them that you will be there that you can handle it, do not give this lip service, this is about them be leaving you, when you say I got you, I'm here for you, I love you. If things go sideways, you can come to me, I'm not going to judge you, I'm not going to criticise you, I'm going to support you and take a stand for you. Right? Again, it's not so much that you say it as much as they believe that about you. So that when they do find themselves in trouble, you're the person that they call, right be intentional about this. Do you have a safe word? Do you have a word that if it gets texted to you, from your kids, you can decide, like this word lets me know you need me. I'll be there. I won't ask any questions I'll show up, pick you up. And then you child of my get to share with me on your time what's going on. Right? give them permission, like talk about the language that they can say, hey, I want to share with you but I don't want your judgement, I just want you to listen, talk about how important it is to ask for what you need. Right? And for them to then when they use it on you. You get to be graceful and say okay, yeah. Because Are you a good listener? Do you know, ask your kids, they'll let you know. Some other things to think about in the context of these relationships. You know, I talk to a lot of parents about like, well, you know, our rule, the bedroom door has to stay open. If they're hanging out in their bedroom, they're not allowed to be home alone together. sleepovers no way oh my God, listen, there's no right or wrong here. Google the Danish attitude about kids and sex and look at the stats they've got going on. Right? Again, you get to move with your values, of course, and do your research. Sometimes when we get really rigid. All the things we hope don't happen do happen, because there isn't room for discussion or changed minds. And they're happening in like, the backs of cars, or weird places like that. So have conversations with your teams, and make sure that they know that they're going to be listened to right. And then finally, like I said, this client who sparked this whole podcast, she just wants to know who her teen is dating. Right? And don't we all have absolutely been here, Hey, bring them over, invite him over get pizza. I think it's really important that we build relationship with our teens partners. Absolutely. But sometimes, maybe you've had this experience. They don't want to bring them around. They don't want to know thank you. No, no way. Right? So we get to be curious. We don't need to go like oftentimes, when our kids are like, No, we go to that worst case scenario, right? Like, oh, well, they must feel like they must be embarrassed of this kid. Or they must be not a great person, or they would bring them around or whatever we fill in the blanks of the story, right? But remember, like, there's so many dynamics that are happening, there could be demographic differences, right? That make it uncomfortable for somebody else to come over to our place, there could be cultural differences. And then there's that question of have you been true to your word? Is your child maybe worried that you're going to be kind of embarrassing or a lot or extra, you might be the loose cannon that they're a little worried about? Right? You can ask them? Can you tell me why you don't want to bring them over? Is it weird at our house? Are we too open? Are we too around and available? And then don't get defensive? When they tell you? I'd also say, you know, if you're feeling that kind of gut instinct, like things are not okay. You could say, you know, it makes me feel like you might be a bit insecure about your partner. And that's why you don't want to bring them over. Can we talk a little bit about that, because I'm making up stories in my head. Right. And again, when you've established in your relationship that you can listen, and not be judgmental and not be critical. There's a much greater possibility that your teen is going to share with you. Right, everything still applies all those conversations, right? Even when you don't know who they're dating, who they're hanging out with. You still get to ask questions about it, right? Don't get too crazy. And remember, like I've said a couple times now, if you insist on meeting the boyfriend or the girlfriend, and you're met with a lot of resistance and you keep at it, you may be inadvertently pushing your child towards that relationship and create During this kind of ripe environment for isolation, right, you don't want to do that. So, cool off, pullback, right? If it's appropriate, you can even acknowledge, like, Hey, I got a little excited. It was really important to me. I want to know who you're spending time with. It's important to me. And you know, everybody comes from a different family dynamic. And anyway, I know you're learning a tonne about relationship, I'm paying attention, I love you. But I'm gonna pull back a little bit and kind of get over this intense need. Because I don't want this dynamic with you. And double down on I'm right here. I'm here for you. So let me know, right? So where are we use the experiences, right? Use the challenges that are showing up whatever they may be, to be intentional and thoughtful, and to find those inroads to practice, influence and help them develop their critical thinking. You're always influencing their internal dialogue, like it's happening, regardless of what you do. So be thoughtful about it. Right? Be intentional about it. I love talking about all of this. I want to share one last resource before I close it out for today because relationship issues, relationship abuse, toxic relationship, it's real for our young people. And the digital age presents all sorts of wacky misunderstandings about what's acceptable and what's not. So there is an organisation called The One Love foundation. I love them. Their website is www dot join one love.org. And from their website, it says one love Foundation is a national nonprofit with the goal of ending relationship abuse. We empower young people with tools and resources to see the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships and bring life saving preventative education to their communities. It's a really neat organisation to actually train high school and college aged kids to be leading and facilitating the trainings on their high school and college campuses. Check out the website, they've got these really cool, relevant videos that kind of highlight what's healthy. What's unhealthy.

Casey O'Roarty 42:22
I'm obsessed. It's so good. It's so good. Okay. All right, getting on with it. Thank you so much for hanging out with me today. Thank you to everybody who is playing with me in the Facebook group, joyful courage for parents of teens Facebook group where I post the homework. Every week, I have a few of you that are engaging, which is so fun. homework for this week is. So first question I've been asking the first question each week, which is what are your main takeaways? What are you left with after listening to all of this? To how can you level up and supporting your teens development of critical thinking? Right? So it might not even be around this relationship stuff. It could be something different. But how can you level up in that intentionality around supporting your teens developing critical thinking? And then finally, what's a small step you can take to nurture your relationship with your teen so as to increase the likelihood that they will be more open with you and talk with you. I'd love to know your answers to those. So head over to the Facebook group, find the posts share, there will be a link to that post in the show notes. And yeah, that's it for me today. I hope you have a beautiful rest of your week and weekend. I'll see you on Monday with another show with Julieta and Alana. That's it bye

Casey O'Roarty 43:56
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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