Eps 472: The wobble of centering relationship and curiosity with our teens

Episode 472

I’m back with a brand new solo show, channeling wisdom and empowerment. Today I am reflecting on a workplace training experience and will emphasize the importance of nurturing relationships with teenagers amidst their complexities and challenges. I share insights on fostering understanding, transparency, and connection with teens, urging you all to navigate the wonkiness of adolescence with curiosity and presence.

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Takeaways from the show

  • Be open to different perspectives and possibilities, even if they initially feel jarring.
  • Recognize the importance of emotional intelligence and relationship skills, which may sometimes be perceived as weak in a patriarchal society.
  • Approach interactions with curiosity and openness rather than judgment or assumptions.
  • Be transparent and authentic with your children about trying new approaches in parenting.
  • Parenting is a continuous journey of growth and self-reflection.
  • Prioritize building and nurturing a strong relationship with your teenager.
  • Ask permission before sharing concerns with your teenager, and be mindful of judgment and tone.
  • Practice restraint in conversations and timing when addressing difficult topics with your teenager.
  • Schedule regular one-on-one time with your teenager to simply enjoy each other’s company without bringing up difficult issues.
  • Keep inviting your teenager to spend time together and communicate, even if they resist initially.

Joyful Courage today means letting go and allowing my people to figure themselves out. Trusting them. Trusting myself.


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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. 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
Okay, yeah, hi. Hi. We're back. We're back together. And it's a Thursday, which means it's a solo show. And I'm really excited to be here with you. I'm doing an off the cuff stream of consciousness show for you today. And I'm sure I'm just going to trust that there will be plenty of value. I'm going to be the channeler of wisdom, and curiosity and encouragement and empowerment for all of you today. I am just the vehicle for the wisdom to move through. That's That's my plan. That's my plan. Did you listen to Monday's show? So screens man screens are coming up so much. I loved talking with my guest on Monday about what he has to offer parents so for you with for their kids who struggle with screens. So if you are one of those people, as we all are, check out Monday's interview because I think you'll really like what he has to offer. And there'll be other interviews coming up about screens. I'm going to have Emily Sherkin back on soon to be in that conversation. She's the screentime consultant. And we've talked before I love her. So yeah, I'm seeing you out there struggling with the screens. It's weird times. But there will be resources for you. And today, even as I talk about resources, you know, today, I want to share about how it feels to shift into this different way of being with our kids is different mindset during middle and high school years during the adolescent years because it can feel really jarring. It was funny this morning. So I'm taking a workshop called empowering people in the workplace. And it's actually under the positive discipline Association umbrella of offerings. So we have courses like I teach a core workshop that certifies parent educators, there are workshops that certified teachers as positive discipline teachers, we've got workshops about keeping the joy in relationships and early childhood workshops. And there is this workshop called empowering people in the workplace. And I never was drawn to that. I haven't spent any time in like corporate America or the boardroom or that's just never been part of my experience. I was bartender then I was a school teacher. And then I just kind of slowly shifted into this online work or facilitating out the world. I guess I worked at the YMCA for a while, but it still didn't feel like you know, like I didn't wear a blazer or anything like that. So I was never really drawn to this empowering people in the workspace training. But now that I'm getting a little older, I'm staring down the gauntlet of empty nesting as in gets ready to go to college next fall, which is oh my god, a whole other thing. You know, things are opening up and I'm imagining all the different things that I want to create. And as you all mention in the different spaces where we circle up this work that we're doing this positive discipline way of being joyful courage way of being with our children. It really is useful in all our relationships, because it's about human relationship. It's about seeing each other and dropping our assumptions and being transparent and authentic and curious and encouraging. It's about taking care of ourselves. It's about mutual respect. Remember, last week, all those core concepts that I got into with you last week, it's not just in the parent child relationship, it's an all the relationships in our lives, including with our co workers, with our bosses, with the people that work under us. Like when we can create an encouraging empowered environment, people show up as their best selves, whether it's in the home, or in the workplace, it doesn't matter. These tools and strategies, I kind of hate calling them strategies, because way of beings mindset supports everybody, regardless of what the relationship is. And so I was reminded of that this morning, because I decided, like, you know what, maybe I do want to give keynote talks to, you know, on corporate retreats when the entire room is full of like, worker people, right? I don't think that's how I should refer to them. But did you mean you and me, I'll just call them the worker people, corporate America. But I did feel like, you know, I want to feel like I know what I'm talking about, right. And so this workshop that I'm doing, I feel like will help me have my own experience of some street cred, even though I haven't worked in corporate America. So anyways, I'm doing this training. And it was really awesome, because for a lot of reasons, but just being reminded that when we kind of have our typical operating system, like how we show up our automatic pilot, and then someone offers a different perspective, or a different possibility, it can feel a little bit jarring, and especially interesting when, you know, maybe, because we talk about emotional intelligence and relationship skills. And oftentimes, that can feel it's definitely falls under the more feminine umbrella, nurturing, softer way of being and because we live in the patriarchy, that can feel weak, right? And it's so interesting how that comes up. Because, yes, direct penetrating to the point that is useful, right. And it's not about not ever being dragged. But something can happen in a dynamic that starts to feel not so great. When my experience, my reflection, my stuff isn't taken into account, and I'm being told by another person, do this, don't do that show up this way, don't show up that way. And there isn't any kind of curiosity or relationship. And so, you know, that just got me thinking this morning about so many parents that I work with, who are you know, a lot of times parents in the Facebook group, because so I've got this big Facebook group, but not everybody is positive discipline in there. And some people don't even really know what joyful courage is. They just were recommended it on Facebook, or a friend said, oh, you should join this group. I do have questions that you have to fill out if to answer before I let you in. It's not automated, I see the answers. And then I approve the people that get to come into the space. So if you've asked to join the Facebook group, and you haven't been let in, go back and make sure you answered all the questions because I don't let anybody in unless they answer all three questions. But in that space, there's all different kinds of sharing that come up. And I really appreciate how encouraging typically the response is, from the people in that group. And you know, when you're asked and this happens with private clients, and people that go through the six week class with me and other workshops with me, when you're invited into trying something different, right? Because usually people seek me out when how they're showing up isn't helpful to their kids. Right? When the behaviour is you know, the tension gets to a point where are the parents are like, Okay, we got to do something because this is not working out. This is not helpful for our kid. And so they come to me and want to learn something new. Typically, they want a better a better way of you know, setting a rule or setting a boundary so that their kid does what they say. But what they get is a lot of talk around relationship. Right and a lot of talk around separate realities equally valid separate realities a lot. To talk around, what does it look like? How

Casey O'Roarty 10:01
can we shift and change so that the person we're in relationship with feels safe, feels encouraged, feels seen, because let's just face the fact that human beings are super complex, and we've got all these layers, and we've got all this conditioning. And, you know, when we are in relationship with someone who comes at us, thinking that they know what we think, thinking that they have all the answers already having an agenda, right, sharing their judgement, which kind of fits in with assumptions, right? Because a lot of times judgement is just, Oh, I know why you do this. And I'm going to tell you why you shouldn't, right? Like, yeah, nobody likes those people. Nobody wants to show up as their best. We want to get away from those people, right? We want to get away from those people.

Casey O'Roarty 10:59
And so this morning, I got to do an activity around curiosity, motivational curiosity. And you all hear me talk about curiosity all the time. And in our classes, when I work with parents, we do a few different activities around curiosity. And this one, again, was in the context of employer, employee or team leader, Team person. And I noticed as the receiver of the different direction, that first round. So for me, the first round was my team leader or manager saying, Hey, Casey, don't forget your laptop. Right? We're going to head into a meeting. Don't forget your laptop, which in and of itself isn't, you know, that big of a directive. But I did feel in the roleplay. I felt like, yeah, why would I forget my laptop? Like I remember feeling a little put off. And then the second round, the facilitator, instead of using the directive, she used a question, what do you need to be ready for the meeting. And something happens in parenting classes when we do this activity. And I always am a little like Archie's when I get this feedback from parents, and I completely experienced it, which was when the facilitator asked me that question, what do you need to be ready for the meeting? It felt really condescending. Right. And it got me thinking, because sometimes I will get that feedback from parents, like, hey, you know, that's all well and good, but you just totally shifted so quick. I'm used to you being super directive with me. And now all of a sudden, you're asking me questions, and I'm just like, what are you getting at? Right? So we can have that experience and these role plays, but it gave me, you know, the opportunity to recognise right? Without relationship, I can be curious, all I want, and it's going to feel like a trap. Right? It's going to feel like manipulation, it's going to feel like condescension, right? So without relationship, a lot of what we talk about isn't useful, right? It's just not useful. And so, you know, thinking about all of you and your teenagers, and this is one of the things I said too, was, you know, I think it's really important when we try something new on when we learn some new skills, when you listen to a podcast like this, and then take it into your world and put it into practice. I think it's really important to say to the people in our life, hey, listen, I notice that I've been pretty directive, I've been kind of demanding or bossy, right? And so I want to try something new and different, you're going to notice me asking a lot more questions. And it's gonna feel new to me. So it might feel kind of weird and wobbly to you. But just know, like, I really want you to feel seen, I want you to feel encouraged. I want you to feel like you have shared power in this space. And, you know, I think it's really awesome when we can be super transparent and super authentic with our kiddos, or our partners, or the people that we work with, right? Because it isn't easy to change the way we be. And even in the journey of changing the way we be. Even that there's layers to it, right? Like I've been talking a lot about attachment and surrender. I've been talking about fiercely committed, lovingly detached for years. And I'm still coming to ever newer understandings of what that even means. Like, still, I don't know. I think I know I think I get it and then I'm like, Oh, right. I ever Really, now I'm really getting it. So it's the work. It's this work. And I think it's really deep personal growth when we can continuously be in our own reflection. And in that question of how am I influencing this dynamic? How am I influencing this dynamic? A lot of us have teenagers that are have so many gifts, will all of us have teenagers who have so many gifts, right? And they are determined, resourceful enough to follow through on those plans. And maybe you're not that big of a fan of the plans, right, is coming up in our membership programme, maybe you're not a huge fan. And the idea of being curious, and encouraging. And staying open can feel really scary, it can feel like a lack of control. But we get to remember that our superpower, right, our influence lies inside of that relationship that we are really working on connecting to with our kids, right. And it can feel really hard, especially if we have teens that are, you know, really far off the rails and yes, relationship is needed. But it feels like there's no time for that. First of all, you know, if they're so far off the rails and you fear for their safety, it's time to call in some reinforcement and to call in a team and to really kind of double down on your efforts to get your teen what they need. Absolutely. But if you're not at that point, but you are in the mischief of the teen years with your kiddo. I know it can feel really like okay, yeah, yeah, the relationship. But what about the pot smoking? What about the sneaking out? What about the drinking? What about the phone situation? What about the faculty don't come out of their room? What about what about what about right? Like, yeah, I hear you want relationship, Casey. But what about all these other things, right. And I am here to tell you that the relationship that you nurture with your teenager is the side door into all the shit that's going on with them. Right behaviour makes sense. And a lot of times the mischief that's showing up has, you know, beliefs, and all sorts of things happening under the surface that your teenager is struggling with. And the only way you can get under the surface is if you nurture relationship with them. They don't want anything to do with me, you might be hearing, or you might be saying to me, like, yeah, the relationship would be great. Okay, so if behaviour makes sense, and there's a reason for the behaviour you're seeing, and the behaviour we're seeing is that your teenager doesn't want anything to do with you, then it's time for one of those come to Jesus moments where you do some soul searching around what you have contributed to the dynamic that is keeping your teenager from wanting to let you in? How have you contributed to the dynamic. And when I say that, you know, that can feel kind of harsh, right? I'm not blaming you, I am inviting you to see the places where you have been a part of the relationship, and perhaps been perceived or received in a way that your teenager over time has decided it is unsafe for you to know what's going on in their life, they can't trust you. Right, you've heard me talk about this before. But this is the time when your kids are starting to go off the rails and you want to shut down that behaviour. Man, if I had a magic wand for that, I would be making a lot of money. I don't have a magic wand for that. But the closest thing to a magic wand is relationship. And I don't mean because that relationship will end the problematic behaviour. But it sure will soften the experience of your kids, maybe open them up to more help open them up to letting you in. Right. And when I say that, we also get to be really conscious of our judgement, and really conscious of our tone. And the way that we are in curiosity and encouragement, like if they're going to let you in, don't blow it by telling them what you think they should do. And just a reminder, when we do have something that we want to share, we get to ask permission. You know, it could sound like I hear your excitement and your planning and I hear you saying this thing. And I'm wondering if I can share a little bit about my concern. That's right.

Casey O'Roarty 20:07
We had a situation just yesterday with Erin, who made, you know, good and bad decisions. And I was so proud of the good decisions that he made, while also a little concerned about the prior decisions that he was making earlier in the day, that led to the good decision, if you know what I mean. And I share because it's real, like there's this tension of, okay, I see you navigating this thing. Well, and you're sharing with me. But I'm also not thrilled about this thing that you're navigating. And I have concerns. And I don't know, it just feels wonky. Right. I know it feels wonky. It is not neat and tidy. It is not black and white, this parenting teens gig is wonky. Right, and there's no perfect formula or answers. So how do we be in the wonkiness that shows up? When we have created an environment where our kids are sharing with us and what they're sharing? We are not excited about? Alright, like I said, I think one big piece is asking permission to share your concerns. Another piece of advice that I will give you and myself is less is more, right? We don't need to say all the things we want to say. Timing is important. When are we leaning into hard conversations? Is it the right time. And I will also say another little side door thing, especially when there is problematic behaviour, that's scary and you feel like things are kind of out of control. What does one on one time look like? We hear this all the time, right? The little kids like once a day, 20 minutes, do whatever they want play game, spend present uninterrupted time with your little kid, or teenagers need this to maybe not 20 minutes a day, that would be a big ask. But they need it, they need it on the regular. And when you are out in the world or doing whatever you're doing with your teenager, this is not a time even though it's so tempting, right? Like, oh, we're getting along so well. This could be a really good time to bring up their grades. Right now, it is not a good time to bring up their grades. It's not enjoy them, enjoy the entire part of them that has nothing to do with their grades, or their mischief. Right, or their risky behaviour or their phone use. Like just enjoy them scheduled time to simply enjoy your kids. And don't bring up the hard stuff. Because when you do that you are nurturing relationship, you are creating a broader experience that they're having of you. Right, like Oh, mom, dad, they're pretty cool. That was fun. Right? You're creating a broader experience for them of you. And you are getting a broader experience and seeing a bigger picture of your child. So asking permission, if you're going to share concerns, you know, leaving judgement at the door, and special time, one on one time, right? And sometimes your kids might be in that place of like, No, I don't want to I don't want to I don't want to just don't give up. Right? Just don't give up. Just keep inviting them. Somebody mentioned this in our membership, one of the moms saying that, you know, her daughter will say yes, one out of every 10 times that she says hey, I'm going to the store, hey, I'm taking a walk, hey, I'm going to grab a coffee and asks her if she wants to go one out of 10 times. And she says and you know what that time that one time? I cherish it. Right. So keep asking keep inviting keep being with your teenager, and when you notice like okay, yeah, I got him out the door with me. But they wouldn't talk to me or, you know, that's where you get to maybe clean some stuff up. Maybe clean some stuff up because it's gonna feel wobbly as you try to build a bridge to relationship with your teens. Right? It's going to feel wobbly, it's going to feel uncomfortable. You might have your feathers bristled, is that a thing? You know, it's hard. I'm here to say it's hard and you can do it. Not only can you do it, but your kiddo needs you to do it. They really need you to do it because they need you to be on their team. More so than just like, this isn't about like staying on top of them so they get all their shit done. Not that kind of being on their team. Like they need to feel seen and accepted and loved and connected with you. They need all of that. That's what helps them develop that into general sense of okayness is when they're okay with a parent. Right? And so whatever you need to do to, you know, step into that, do it. And we are here to support you. So, I mean, I'm 26 minutes in of rambling. Was it a ramble though? Did it feel cohesive? I don't know. I hope so. I hope so I would love to know your takeaways from today's show. So, first question, what are the main things that you're taking away? Second question, how's the relationship with your teen right now? Third question is, where are you contributing positively and negatively to that relationship? Right, I'll post this in the Facebook group jump in there. Let's talk about this, I definitely get to think about my own relationship with my teen and my young adult daughter. And there's for sure places where I'm contributing both positively and negatively to those relationships, not to mention my husband and the people I work with. So do that work, do a little reflection on this year, the people in your life will really appreciate it. Notice where you get defensive. Notice where you're like, Yeah, but if they would just show up a certain way then I wouldn't have to do say be the way I am. And I want you to challenge yourself if you're going there, right. I want you to challenge yourself. I will say here at the end I want to say a shout out and a thank you for reviews. I got another review on the weekend, which is so nice. I love getting reviews from you all I've been posting them on my social media. This one says practical and encouraging. Casey is a breath of fresh air for me when it comes to parenting my teenagers I find her demeanour to be relatable, and also confidently kind and helpful. She has a way of being so authentic. And I love that she will often model what the language might sound like when actually talking to your teens, I get something out of every show and appreciate her ways of helping me see what it looks and sounds like to prioritise the relationship with my team. I think it also helps that she is in the trenches, just like the rest of us so grateful for all that Casey shares and that this podcast is available to help me along the way. Thank you. Thank you five star reviewer. If you want to do me a solid and head over to Apple podcast and leave a review. That would be amazing. You just scroll down the Show page till you see write a review. Tap on that and let me know what you take away from the show and what you're grateful for. And you will also be helping other parents to find the show. So that would be amazing. I superduper. Appreciate you. I hope that you have a fantastic weekend. I'll be back on Monday with a another interview. And yeah, fun hanging out with you. Bye

Casey O'Roarty 28:04
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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