Eps 482: Shifting from worst case scenarios to trusting the process with our teens

Episode 482

It is so easy, when we aren’t paying attention, to let our minds slide into all the worst-case scenarios, the worst possible outcomes, “dead in a ditch.” I know, I’ve been there, and it ISN’T USEFUL. It isn’t an empowered or encouraged parenting mindset during the teen years. So how do we shift?? Listen to this episode and find out!

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Takeaways from the show

  • The season of parenting teens is MESSY
  • We are on a collective journey
  • Worst case scnarios that show up for parents during the teen years
  • Sharing from a parent in the Living Joyful Courage membership – shifting our beliefs
  • Effective mindsets
  • Trusting the parenting process and recognizing opportunities for growth
  • Let go of attachments to specific outcomes
  • Parenting and trusting teenagers to make their own choices
  • Modeling and speaking our own personal growth
  • Allow teens to have their own experiences, rather than controlling or providing excessive guidance.
  • Trust your teens’ capabilities and resilience, even in the face of risky choices and potential consequences, and prioritize open communication and mutual respect.

Joyful Courage is speaking and being my truth. It is standing strong when I know it is the right thing to do, even when it’s hard to do. Joyful Courage is being my authentic self in a storm of uncertainty.

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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. All right. Back together. Hi. How's it going out there? I just maybe I said this last week. I don't think I did. But this week, I am recording and it is so beautiful out. Oh my gosh, this is my favourite time of year. Well, it's my favourite time of year. And I'm also kind of tortured by it because you we have days like today that are just glorious. I mean, Blue Bird Day sun shine. And then we have days like three days ago, or maybe even two days ago where I got up. And there was flippin snow on the top of the mountains across the lake that I can see from my office. And I'm like, where's the spring? So it's this pendulum swing. But you know what, I'm here for it. I'm exciting. It's actually it's a great metaphor for teenagers, right? One day is sunny with bluebird skies. And you think All right, we've landed, we've landed in the new season. And then the next day is like rain and wind and storms. So yeah, there you go. The metaphor of moving through adolescence, speaking of moving through adolescence, I had this great call yesterday, and with a mom who has younger kids, tweens, new teen 13, and like a 10 year old and we were just, you know, we just did a one off call. And she was telling me about what was going on. And at the end of the call, you know, I got to say what I say a lot, which is this season is messy. The terrain of adolescence is rough. And it is the nature of the path. It's the nature of the season, it is a rough season. And even when we are practising our tools and setting up agreements and doing family meetings, it's still a rough season. Right? It's still a rough season. So I know you all know that. But it was you know, I always get excited when I get to say that to people because I think there's a certain level of relief when you're reminded like, hey, this isn't necessarily you. Not being enough, this isn't necessarily your kids being you know, totally, you know, having issues. This is the terrain. This is how adolescent feels. And granted, you might be like, Yeah, but this doesn't look like what's going on at my neighbours or my sister doesn't seem to be having these issues with her teens. It's all relative, okay? It's all relative. We all get what we get, and we don't throw a fit, or maybe we do throw fit off to the side. It's hard, right? It's hard and every single thing that happens, including the challenges that show up with our teens is an opportunity for us to what to learn to grow to expand, be curious, right? Yeah. Good. It's good stuff. I love talking about this stuff. And last week if you listen to the solo show, if you did not listen to last week's solo Show, Episode 480 about beliefs. I want you to just pause this episode and go listen to that one and then come back This one, because it kind of I'm gonna riff on some of the things that came up last week. And I think you'll get more out of this conversation, if you've already listened to it. So do that. If you did listen last week. Good job. You're a superfan and I appreciate you. Last week, I geeked out on beliefs, I got real excited. And I mean, the aftermath of it. I'm still excited. Right? I used to think I loved the phrase like change your thoughts change your life, right. But now I'm really sitting with this, I think more expanded idea, which is change your beliefs, change your life. And for me what I'm noticing in my work around paying attention to my beliefs, and shifting into something more useful as far as what I believe about the people around me what I believe about myself, it's making an impact, it's making a difference. It's making a difference in how I'm experiencing my life, it's making a difference in how the people around me are experiencing me. And it's making a difference for a lot of you who are reaching out to me and saying, Oh, my God, this belief stuff. Whoa, it's big. Right. The other thing that's happened is last night, I had a guest facilitator, come into my membership programme, and run a workshop and that guest facilitator was Brenda Zane. She's been on the podcast, she runs hope stream, which is a community for parents with kids that are struggling with substance use and abuse and misuse, or perhaps or in recovery. I mean, it's an unbelievable service that is so you know, she says, I host the club that nobody wants to join. And we find ourselves there. I love Brenda, she's so awesome. And she has a workshop around boundaries. And she came in and did the workshop in my community, which was so powerful and incredible. I really encourage you to check out her work hope stream community and all the social media places. And you can Google it, Brenda zane.com. Anyway, she is amazing. And she works with families, right? Whose kids are in the worst case scenario, right. And I want to play with this because I think a lot of are holding back on this work of letting go of attachment, letting go of narrative letting go right, allowing the experiences of life to be the teacher, for our teens, I think what gets in the way is this list of worst case scenarios that we hold in our in our hearts, right. And so here's some of the worst case scenarios that come up in conversations that I have with parents, and come up in my own practice when I'm not paying attention. So we worry that our kids will become addicts, we worry that they're going to get pregnant or get someone pregnant, we're worried that they're never going to move out. We worry that they can't take care of themselves. They don't have the skills, they don't have the drive, we worry that they're gonna get hurt, right, like really, really hurt. We worry that they're going to hurt someone else. We

Casey O'Roarty 08:06
worry about them getting arrested, we worry that they will die. Right? Dead in a ditch. I kind of say that tongue in cheek, but it's real. It's something that is in the back of our minds. And there's so many possibilities, right? Like the things that keep us up at night are those worst case scenarios. And listen, some of these things happen to people, right? People do become addicts. People do have unexpected, unplanned pregnancies, there are kids that are really struggling to move out. People, kids, they do get hurt, right? They do hurt other people, they get arrested, and we lose our kids like these things happen. Right? They do people make mistakes, they get hurt, they suffer the consequences. The tension of life itself, lets itself be known. Right? Most of the time. Most of the time, those worst case scenarios don't happen. Most of the time, what does happen is we make mistakes, and we learn from them. We make mistakes, we get away with it the first time the second time, however many times and then we learn, right? We make mistakes and someone we care about calls us out. And we learn, right? Usually that person that cares about us is not necessarily the parent calling us out. Usually it's someone else. We make mistakes and consequences happen that we have to live through. And we learn from those consequences. We make mistakes, and enough consequences happen. And we learn, right? We see other people making mistakes and we think ooh, I do not want that for myself. So we learn what else happens. We develop goals, our own goals and our own dreams and we want to protect them. So we make better wiser choices, right? We develop relationships that matter to us, and we want to nurture them, and we want to be better for them. So we choose smarter, wiser, more healthy choices, right? Or we mature over time. And we see hmm, that's not really the best thing for me, I'm going to choose differently, I'm gonna choose wiser, right?

Casey O'Roarty 10:21
We have people in our life that are curious and non judgmental, and we develop skills around self reflection, and we learn to choose wiser, right? This is what happens. This is the true teacher, right? Are those mistakes, right? The true teacher exists outside of the profound lectures that we want to give our kids, right, the true teacher lies in the experience and in that space held for reflection, and thoughtfulness, right, this is where we learn. And when we're in worst case scenario, mindset, we can't expand the space for possibility that, you know, maybe they'll just screw up a little bit. Right? So I have this great story that I got permission to share. And this comes straight out of my membership. So we did I like I said, last week, we did a whole activity around beliefs. And it was really powerful. I talked about it last week on the podcast, and in side of our membership forum, the parents are showing up and saying, oh my gosh, this is really helpful and telling stories. So I want to share this story. So this mom writes in Hey, I just want to share that the beliefs thing Casey is helping us bring awareness to is rocking my world. Yesterday, my daughter and I had scheduled to go to the pool at noon to help her get ready for a swim test that she has coming up. She had already cancelled the pool session we set from the day before and at 1215. I asked her, you know, are you ready to go? She said no. Instead, she wanted to practice music. Right? And she's a big music kid and has her state final percussion performance on the same day that she's saying no, I don't want to go to the pool. I want to play music. And the mom writes, I was annoyed, right and asked her to at least let me know when she's going to skip something that I set my time aside for. she apologised, went back to practising her musics. Mom says again, I felt super annoyed. And then I began to look at my beliefs. And it wasn't pretty. It was a lot about me, the kind of mom I am if she's going to pass this swim test what it means if she doesn't pass, thinking that if she would just do this training, she would pass the test easily and it would make her life easier. Etc. Mom goes on to say I replaced all that junk with, she's got this. And I truly believed it. I realised she might not pass the test on Tuesday, and she's still got this, she'll work it out. Or she might pass it anyhow, whatever happens, I know she'll work it out. She has to pass the swim test at some point or just take the class to graduate. Right. Our district has some Swim Class requirements. The test opps you out. So if she doesn't pass Tuesday, she can try again another time. When she came downstairs later on instead of asking in an annoyed tone. When she was going to go swim. I just asked how she was feeling about her music performance. And I had no underlying negative energy, just genuine curiosity. Love that. And out came the iceberg. She shared with me for 15 minutes that she just wanted to practice that afternoon even though she knows her music while she wanted to stay focused. And she was having mixed feelings about the music season ending she realised she might not ever see some of these kids. Again, it's they've been training for months together. With all this work she's putting into the show. It was the last time she was performing it. She felt sad. She shared so many things with me about how she was feeling inside of all of this. This mom finishes up saying, All I can say is wow, wow, wow, I just had to look at what the underlying belief was for me. I didn't like it. So I changed it and it changed everything I would have missed out in knowing her more deeply if I hadn't have looked at my underlying belief. In that moment. I am loving this. I am obsessed. Okay. First of all, thank you to that mom who gave me permission to share this with all of you. And thank you to this mom too. Because what I love about the membership community, it's the space where everybody's really sharing what they're practising how things are unfolding. They're sharing their wins, they're sharing their fears. They're sharing their process, and it's such a great model for the rest of us, right to see how each of us is putting this work into practice. So I love my member Ship. I'm obsessed. Yeah. And following up her daughter didn't practice swim, she didn't find any time to practice. And she took the swim test and passed it. Right? We get to trust the process, we get to trust the process. And what does that mean? trusting the process, right? This is a mantra and positive discipline, we love, trust the process. And what it means to me is, even if the shit hits the fan, our kids are going to figure it out. And we will show up for them and believe in them, like trust the process, shit hitting the fan might be a part of the grand scheme of things that is actually supporting our kids in growth and development. And I get it, we want to know the trick. We want to know the formula for making sure it turns out good. We want to know what to do. And I get it, right. And I wish there was a formula. Well, there is trust the process, right? But we get so attached to the outcome, we get so attached to wanting certainty that it is going to be okay. In the end, we get so attached to a narrative or a vision of what success what accomplishment, what happiness looks like that it gets in the way of remembering. All right, they're on their path. And every single step of their path is available for them to grow and develop through even the really hard stuff. Right? I know, I talked about this all the time, but it just feels so layered, right? And I have to sidebar, I'm gonna sidebar really quick. You know, sometimes with these solo shows, I'm like, Damn, you know, maybe I should like pick a topic of really specific parenting challenge and speak to that. And then I ended up, you know, on the mic and talking to all of you. And it's I just, I don't, yes to the parenting challenges, but like, I feel like this deeper work, and this deeper exploration lives inside of the parenting challenges, right. So I'm trusting my own process, I'm trusting that what is coming through me for you, is exactly what we all need to keep growing. Right. So I want to say that I know I talk about this all the time. It feels so layered, we're peeling the onion people, right? And I hear from you, I hear it. Yeah, I get this. But what about this? Right? I understand I'm supposed to let go. But they keep smoking pot, I understand that I'm supposed to set limits on phones, but they're really pissed that I'm doing it, right, or they're finding workarounds. It's all learning. It's all growth. Everything that's happening in our life is an opportunity to reflect and grow. And one of the things that I want to remind you to is when you're having a challenge, whether it's an attitude challenge, or a screen challenge, or curfew challenge or a substance use challenge, bring it to your kids, right, hey, this is what I'm noticing. I feel like a broken record with my clients, because they're like, Well, what about this? And I say, well, bring it to your kid. Here's what I'm noticing. And sometimes it's like, I notice that we can't seem to have a conversation without there being a lot of anger. And I'm curious about that. Right? Sometimes we've got to have the conversation about the challenge of having a conversation before we can even bring up the bigger things. Right. And we get to be listening, listening, listening. It's all learning. It's all growth. Everything that happens in our life is an opportunity, right to reflecting grow. And now I hear well, how do we make sure teenagers understand this? Right? How do we make sure our kids are understanding that the things in their life are opportunities to reflect and grow? We don't. It's not our job to make sure they get this. We can say it, I say it, we can model it. I definitely a modelling this out loud, we can live it. That's what we can do. We live it, we live. The belief that everything happening in our life is an opportunity to reflect and grow. We live it, we model it. That is how we can increase the likelihood that our kids will get there and I'll ask you, when did you get there? Were you 16? Like, my mistakes that I'm making are opportunities for me to learn and grow. Were you 20

Casey O'Roarty 19:25
Were you reflecting on this at 25? Or 30? Right? I mean, I was in my 30s that's really when my personal growth work began in an intentional way. Having two young kids and being confronted by all this shit that I realised Oh, this isn't mine. This is actually baggage. This is conditioning. Oh, I can do something about this. I can do personal work. Hooray. I'm doing it. Right. So you don't get to be in charge of when your kids have that aha moment. When your kids recognise like, oh, I can grow Oh, it could be sooner. I mean, I feel like Gen Z is way more in tune with this, then, you know, us Gen Xers were at their age, I feel like my own kids, you know, my daughter specifically with all the mental health stuff that she navigated, I feel like she deep dove into personal growth and she gets it, as well as any 21 year old can get it. And then my son is a team, you know, he's thoughtful and reflective. But, you know, I don't know if he'll come to it. Right. So yeah, it's not our job to make sure they get it. It's our job to live it to model it, to speak it, right.

Casey O'Roarty 20:44
This same call that I mentioned earlier, we were talking about allowing our kids to have their experiences. And again, she has a middle schooler who seems to be struggling with finding her people, mom says so I just let her have her experiences. I feel like I should be providing more guidance. And I loved it when she said that, right, providing more guidance. It's so uncomfortable to let her kids have their experience. It's so uncomfortable to witness their pain and their mistakes and their hurt and their discomfort. And it's uncomfortable. Because God we've been there, right man, we've been there. And that past pain and regret and remorse. It is right there at the surface when we witness our kids heading towards what we would rather not think about or remember, isn't it? And then those damn worst case scenarios they Niek in and they pull us back to fear and worry. And the next thing we know, we're trying to control the situation to use power over and or provide some guidance, right? And ultimately, we're making everything worse. We are. So what do we do? You know, this might be annoying to hear yet again. But it is all about your self awareness and your willingness to try something different. And to shift your beliefs again, and again. And again. Right? So here's that worst case scenario, if my kid is vaping, or using substances, they'll become addicts, right? They might, or they might not, you get to show up in a way that keeps them coming towards you talking to you trusting you, or and or you get to show up in a way where the space exists for that whether or not your kid comes to you as on them. But you get to show up in a way that, hey, this is an open space, and I am here for you, right you get to share information in a way that they can receive it, which is not a lecture by the way, you get to be curious about what the substances are doing for them search under the iceberg and trust that they are capable and learning through their experiences. Right? Here's another worst case scenario, if my kid is sexually active, they're gonna get pregnant, or they're gonna get somebody else pregnant. They might, they might not. Again, you get to show up in a way that keeps them coming towards you keeps them talking to you trusting you, you get to share information in a way that they can receive it, you get to be curious about their partnerships and what safe sex means to them. How is this behaviour working for them go under the iceberg again, and trust that they're capable and thoughtful and can learn through their experiences. Another worst case scenario that we'll dig into, if they haven't moved out yet, they'll never move out. Right? They will. They want to, they want to have a life. Right? They're stuck. They're doing the best they can with the tools they have in the moment. So what are the tools that they're missing? Again, you get to show up in a way that keeps them coming towards you, keeps the conversation alive, trusting you, you get to share information in a way they can receive, you get to love them and encourage them and see their strengths. You get to also hold boundaries and lean into some firmness and you get to trust and believe that they are going to be able to make a life for themselves. Right you got to hold that. Another belief. If they keep making risky choices, they're gonna get arrested. Right? They might, they might not. For some young people. This is the wake up call that they need and it isn't your job to rescue them. You will move through it. Families have moved through this many, many times. You get to keep showing up loving your kid you get to be curious. You get to believe they're capable of learning and growing through the experiences they're having you get to trust that their journey is their journey. Yeah, but I don't want them to have a felony. I don't want them to have this black spot. That's it's not up to you All right, none of us want that. By the way, none of us want that. And it's not up to you. And this could be what saves their life. Ultimately, who knows? You don't know. Right? You don't know. And, of course, the worst worst case scenario dead in a ditch, they will die. Right? This one, woof. I debated talking about this, but I'm going to do it, they might die. They might not. I have a really good friend who lost her son a little over a year ago in a car accident. And I have another friend who lost her adult son in a kayaking accident. Over six years ago, I heard from a coaching friend about connecting with a couple she'd been working with and finding out that their young child had died. This happens, right? Sometimes we lose our kids, people get sick tragedies happen, we can't know if or when this is going to happen in our family. And we endure, we learn to live we have deep pain and grief. When we have to live through this. When we have to witness someone we love moving through this course. And no amount of worry, or protective bubble wrap can prevent the worst things from happening. But we can show up every day. We can love them. We can accept them, we can validate them, we can choose to show up present in the moments that we have with them, believing that all will be well. Even as we don't know that to be certain. Right? We don't know that to be certain that all will be well. We don't know what lies ahead. But we've got this moment, we've got this present moment. What do you want to create? What do you want to create right now, we get to decide the mindset that we live in each day, we get to decide if our interactions are coming from a place of fear for that worst case scenario, or trust, trusting that it's all going to be okay, trusting the process of the unfolding of life. And I just want to give a side note here too, I want to acknowledge something as I speak into all of this. And I've brought this up before on the podcast. But it's been a while. And I think it's really important to highlight, which is privilege, right? I just want to acknowledge who I am in the world as I speak into some of these scenarios, right things I don't have on my worst case scenario list are either of my kids being harassed or killed by the police, because of their race. I don't worry or have on my list, my child being harassed or beat up because of how they present their gender or sexuality. Those are not on my list, because they don't have to be on my list. I want to recognise that here, at least here in the States. We live in a system that benefits my kids and my family because we're white, everybody's straight cisgendered. They're also able bodied. we've navigated mental health, and some neurodiversity is coming to light with one of my kiddos. But even with that the system that we live inside of works for us, and I'm highlighting this just to remind everyone of the water that we swim in, and I get that people who are part of a marginalised community, they don't need this reminder of the water that we're all swimming in. But the rest of us, we do, it's important, right? It's important to remember that what are privileges and to decide, you know, what am I going to do with this privilege? What kind of conversations am I going to have? Where am I going to push up against the system, even though yes, it works for me, but it doesn't work for everyone. Right? What are we going to do about that? That's a whole nother podcast. But I did want to say that. So yeah, trusting the process, trusting the process of shifting our beliefs, trusting the process of letting go of worst case scenario and being in the practice of our tools that we talked about here on the podcast. Listen to the beliefs episode from last week, right? Sit with what I've brought up today. And consider these prompts to share in the Facebook group. Always starting with what are your takeaways, right? What worst case scenarios are getting in the way of you trusting the process and

Casey O'Roarty 29:18
allowing your kid to experience the tension of life? And then finally, what are you committed to practising this week that will support you and shifting your mindset? So those are the prompts. I'm gonna put them in the Facebook group, joyful courage for parents of teens. If you want to join us there and be in conversation. I would love that. Yeah, just really appreciating the Season of Life appreciating all of you for showing up in this space. I love the way you connect with me online and through email, and even in person when I get to meet you in person. Yeah, just feeling a lot of gratitude today. feeling a lot of gratitude today and looking forward to hearing your thoughts. If you haven't left a review on Apple podcast, and you probably haven't because there's a lot of people that listen to this podcast compared to the amount of reviews that are over there, do me a favour and jump into Apple podcasts and leave a review. It's super useful for people who are looking for podcasts and are unsure of what to listen to, to get into the review section and read about oh my gosh, look at all these people. They love joyful courage. I'm gonna check this out. So please, please, please give back to the pod by leaving a review. And you know, follow me wherever you listen, if you listen on Spotify follow if you listen on Apple follow if you listen on Audible, follow anyway. All right, have a beautiful weekend and I will talk to you soon. Bye

Casey O'Roarty 30:59
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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