Eps 494: Having faith when we feel out of control

Episode 494

Join me today and consider how we can better be with the unfolding. So many in the Joyful Courage community are moving through big things with their adolescents right now – end of school year, transition into summer, teen risk taking, having a tough time with relationship – it is all real and relevent. AND, what if the contrast and discomfort we’re feeling is an indicator that we can expand our mindset and try and see things in a new way?

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Takeaways from the show

  • “Soiling the nest” and using it as a levity tool when conflicts arise
  • The stress of transitioning from one school year to the next for kids.
  • Be with the unfolding of their child’s behavior, rather than getting caught up in negative actions
  • Navigate adolescent struggles with emotional control and detachment
  • The importance of recognizing that teenagers have their own experiences and choices to make
  • Cultivating practices for groundedness, presence, and spiritual growth
  • Trusting the process and having faith in the unfolding of life
  • Responsible parenting involves prioritizing self-care and personal growth.
  • Casey O’Roarty encourages parent to prioritize self-care to support child’s emotional well-being
  • Find lightness, humor, and connection, even in the midst of challenges, and hold the vision of things getting better
  • Giving older kids more freedom to practice responsibility, even if it means they make mistakes
  • Considering a child’s level of maturity vs. unskilledness when deciding how much freedom to give them

Today Joyful Courage is being with the tension between what I want most vs what I want now. It is the work of impulse control… and something that is working for me in some areas of. my life and not so much in others…


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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 O'Roarty, 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 01:32
Hi, everybody. Hi, welcome back to the podcast. I'm so glad that you're here. Welcome. Just jesting my mic. There we go. Hi. I hope you're having a fantastic week. I'm so glad that you're here to hang out with me right now. Did you hear my interview with Alana on Monday, wasn't it so amazing. I shared this on social media, but I have not heard the extent of her experience with her child. And I was so excited to get to have her on the podcast and ask all of my questions. And if you missed it, Alana has a child who identifies as non binary, and they are seven years old, and they've been on a gender journey. I mean, we're always on a gender journey. But at three, her child who was born male, identified as female, and has evolved and grown, and now is in a non binary space. And what I love about the interview, is the opportunity to talk to somebody who is right there. In the experience. I feel like Alana is the healthiest person ever, healthiest parent ever to be speaking into this experience, most of us don't understand it, we haven't lived it. And I just think Alana is such a powerful spokesperson for Lebanon and accepting and being really open to our kids journey no matter what it looks like. So if you haven't listened to it, I encourage you to do it. It's the first interview in June. So all the interviews this month, are in celebration of pride and LGBTQIA families. I have Ed centre coming on twice this month, you'll remember him from earlier this year, he's so awesome, as well as some other surprises. So keep checking in and listening up on Mondays. And if you're like, gosh, but my family is an LGBTQI a great all the more reason for you to listen to these shows, because mine isn't either. And the more that we can listen to and understand different stories than our own, the better we show up for people in the world. So I encourage you to listen to those interviews this month. And today. Today I want to talk about this phenomenon. I don't know if you've heard this if you don't have kids that are getting ready to move out of the house. You might not know this phrase. But there is a phrase that many of us who have kids who are graduating, perhaps taking you know a gap year abroad or going away to college or just in the transition from high school to what's next.

Casey O'Roarty 04:43
There's this phrase called soiling the nest right soiling the nest and thinking about the nest as this cosy home environment that we've been nurturing and growing and trying to make as encouraging and loving as possible for our kiddos right the nest, right the nest that might be about to be empty. And as we creep towards our kids, next steps, we may be finding that they are getting ever harder to live with. Ever harder to live with. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Anybody have any kids that are soiling the nest? I know you're out there, I work with you, I see you, you're in my membership community, you're in the Facebook group, you know what I'm talking about. And, you know, at our house, it hasn't come on too strong. But we've still got time. But I have talked about it with Ian, you know, I'm like, you know, in some families, this is what it looks like. And kids just start to feel that tension, that agitation of one foot out the door, one foot in this perception of freedom and starting their adult life, while also being at home with all of the rules and expectations of home. And that tension really kind of pisses them off, right. And so they may act in a way that is really hard for us parents to deal with. And there might be a lot of conflict, hurt feelings, feelings of disrespect, it comes up. And so I was talking to Ian about it. And so now whenever something comes up between us, I'm like, Hey, buddy, you really soil in the nest right now. And it's kind of become this levity tool, when things start to get a little, a little tense with us.

Casey O'Roarty 06:45
This is a wild time. I mean, you know, for all of our kids, they're all moving through a transition they're completing one year, and perhaps it was a year of fun and accomplishment and friends and goodness, right. And flow. Probably it was a year of some fun, and some friends and some goodness and some drama, and some tension and some conflict. Right. And for some of our kids, it sucked. It was the worst year of their life. Right? They're all moving through a transition of completion of one school year, if you're over here in the States, and I recognise some of you that are listening are in the was it the southern hemisphere, so you're actually not at the end of the school year. So I acknowledge that, but you know, save this for later. But yeah, they're all moving through the excitement and the tension of wrapping up yet another school year, and some of our kids are moving from, you know, fifth grade to sixth grade, they're moving into middle school, some of our kids are moving into high school, eighth grade to ninth grade, some of our kids are moving out of high school. And there are all sorts of markers at the end of the year that are stressful. There are final exams, there's talk about the summer, you know, there's expectations of parents. And then there's just all this shit that our kids are holding all the time trying to navigate. So if you are experiencing not so great relationship with your teen, your adolescent right now, remember the context that they're living in the context being this transition from, you know, typically highly scheduled or somewhat scheduled school year into the freedom of summer or into, you know, what's next, and my encouragement to you.

Casey O'Roarty 08:46
And what I want to talk about today is, you know, the work of being with the unfolding, right, and if it is, that your kiddo is soiling the nest if they are less than cooperative and respectful and communicative, remember to be with what is going on and not to get lured in to that behaviour at the surface at the tip of the iceberg. And I know that talk sucks. Refusal to help out around the house is the worst. Absolutely. Those things are a drag them, you know, engaging in risky behaviour, misusing their devices, all of that is tip of the iceberg. Right? And when we can be with the unfolding, we can get ever better at zeroing in and staying connected with what's happening under the surface for our kiddos. Right and, you know, everybody's on a journey. I mean, we're all walking a path right? We're all walking our life path and like you guys that are listening you parents were the in the midlife path Hmm, right, and we're navigating things, we've got adolescence, maybe older kids, we're, we've got other relationships in our lives, right? We get to decide how we want to experience our experiences, right? Even when people in our life, namely, our adolescents are going totally sideways.

Casey O'Roarty 10:23
So I have a dear client who I love, I know she'll love it when she hears this and knows that I'm talking about her. And she's got a very sweet relationship with her teenage daughter, and her teenage daughter is a little off the rails, right? She's struggling, and it is manifesting as risky behaviour and push back, and the mom feels out of control. Right? The mom feels out of control and feeling out of control is no fun, right? It's like a freefall. It's a freefall. When we feel out of control, we can't find our footing, or grasping, or saying and doing things that don't feel good. Our emotions are a rack, we can barely hold it together, feeling out of control is no bueno. Right. And I believe that our work as parents is to really practice being in our own experience, right? Instead of feeling like we, you know, and this is funny, because this is something that I worked on in my marriage, which was very hard for me to let go of attachment there. And finally, I think I'm in a better place with that. I've always been not always, but I've definitely had higher repetitions of this with my kids, and I'm somewhat able to detach, but because when we're attached to what's happening with our kids, which doesn't mean that it's not about caring, or not caring, of course, you care deeply about your kiddo. Of course, you care about your child, of course, you want the best possible experiences for your child, I get that and your child might be on a trajectory that looks really scary, that looks really wild. And it's hard to remember that even those trajectories come with deep and powerful life lessons. Right? At the end of the day, the only person that gets to decide to make sense of their experiences is the person that's in the experience, right?

Casey O'Roarty 12:39
You know, I have tonnes of clients and people that reach out to me, and, you know, they say, oh, I want my kid to go to therapy, but they won't talk and should I just make them and, you know, there's all sorts of things that we can try to do, that we can leverage that we can threaten or bribe with. But at the end of the day, if your kiddo is unwilling to shift and grow in their experience, and do the work of exploring their own iceberg and being willing to recognise, like, I got something going on here, that I need help with, until they get there, right, until they get there. It's not yours, it's theirs. And so we also get to recognise that that feeling of being out of control is a indicator that we're spending too much time in that external space. We're spending too much time in, you know, kind of like thinking about tumbling, like imagining there's an avalanche, and it's picked you up, and you're just kind of like rag doll tumbling down the mountain, we can experience our teenagers, and we're the ragdoll there, or the avalanche. And we're just ragdoll and down the mountain with them. Or we can find a way to route down to find our feet to get out of the path of the avalanche to hold on to a tree to do something that's going to help us in that physical experience to be solid for you. It's for you. Right, it's for you. Because your teenager is going to have their experience. They're going to make their decisions and choices. They are going to peak and valley and peak and valley. They're going to have their experiences. You've got to find your feet. You've got to find the strength in your body to stand and say I see you and your experience and I trust that you are going to move through it. I trust that you are moving through it. I see you moving through it and moving through it looks a lot of different ways. Right Right. And, you know ebb and flow two steps forward one step back.

Casey O'Roarty 15:04
Sometimes we hear people say that and like, how are you doing? Oh, you know, two steps forward one step back. That's not a bad thing, two steps forward, one step back does not take you to the beginning, you're still moving ahead. Right. And that is so key. It's so key. And really, this is an opportunity for us, we get to be joy seekers, right, even when things feel dark. Even when things feel scary. We get to keep a lookout for joy, and contentment, and empowerment. And sometimes we might not see it if we're looking for it. So it's the work of generating it. How can we generate joy? How can we generate feeling empowered? How can we generate that experience? Of groundedness? Presence? I'm here for it. Trust, right? What is your practice for that? I mean, literally, I think about feeling my feet on the floor. Like even as I say that I'm also pulling my shoulders back, right. So my heart is open, I don't ever want my heart to be closed, I want my heart to be open, I want my feet to be firmly planted. My breath is moving in an equal rhythm. I want to be a pillar, a pillar. Is that the right word? Yeah, I guess it's a pillar, I want to be strong, while also being soft and open. Right? That's my goal. As I move through the things that show up in my life with my kids, with my partner with my own health, life is such a spiritual opportunity. And you listeners, I know you all have your own spiritual practices and ways of being and you find spirit in a lot of different ways. But it's not like it's just it's an all the time. It's an all the time experience, right. It's such a powerful, beautiful, you know, bigger picture that we're living inside of I've said before we live in this tapestry, and right now, what we're moving through right now is one thread, and the bigger picture and the bigger tapestry of life, what your teenagers moving through right now is one thread, even if it's amazing, even if they're killing it, they got a full ride scholarship to their favourite college and everything is so great for you. Congratulations. This is one thread in a tapestry of their life, right? It counts when everything's fantastic. It's true when everything is dark and dreary. It's true for everything between those two extremes, right. And we get to continue to aspire and point our compass towards what we want, right towards love and connection. We get to continue to aspire for and point our compass towards trust, and faith and believing in the gift of right now. And the gift of what's to come the gift of the unfolding. We get to trust the process, we get to have faith and hold the vision that this is a snapshot, right? This is a snapshot. And life continues to unfold, and it continues to unfold for us. Right.

Casey O'Roarty 18:34
And contrast. Contrast also shows up for us. And when I talk about contrast, what I mean is when things happen that aren't great, right? When things happen that leave you feeling a certain way, angry or resentful, or irritated or agitated, right? When something happens that pokes at you and kind of knocks you off your game. That's contrast. And when I think about contrast, I think about it as Oh, first of all, I have to be aware that it's happening. And sometimes we just kind of tumble again, contrast can be the avalanche and we just tumble along inside of our experience. And then other times when we're willing and self aware enough and in the right headspace we can say oh, whoa, I am feeling a certain way right now. I'm feeling a certain way right now. And I'm gonna go inward. I'm gonna look inside myself to figure out what's going on with me and to move through this because I personally and I bet this is true for you. I don't want to live in anger and resentment and irritation, right? And agitation. I don't want that to be my personal operating system. I don't want that it doesn't feel good to me. And it doesn't feel good to the people around me. It doesn't create solutions doesn't create connection. Right. So when I notice those things coming up for me, I go inside, I go inside my body, I go inside my psyche, and I say, what's going on? For me right now? What do I need? What do I need? Right? And what can I offer myself? Because sometimes it might be, I need everybody to just do what I'm saying, right? I need everyone to just follow directions, which is great. But when our needs are dependent on the behaviour of others, things get a little tricky. So what happens when we ask ourselves, what do I need? And then the next question is, how can I provide that to myself? Right? How can I provide that to myself? Again, it takes a willingness. And I know, for me, when I was really working on this, what held me up for a very long time was this mindset of, if I let that go, the other person is off the hook. Right? And I was very much in that mindset. If I let this go, then he just get away with how he's acting. Right? And what if we change our ideas about that. And notice, first I got to notice, like I noticed, it was annoying, and invalid. Like, it was valid for me to feel like the other person in the relationship where I was being invited to let go of didn't seem to have to do any work. It seemed like I was doing all the work. And the thing about it was, the work I was doing was not for the other person, the work I was doing was for me, once I realised that, that I was actually serving myself in the letting go.

Casey O'Roarty 21:40
It was not that hard. You know, I still kind of get caught up in it. But getting ever better at noticing. And coming back to that place of what do I need? And how can I provide that for myself. And it is not irresponsible to think this way with our kids. Because I think sometimes there's this idea that, well, a responsible parent is paying attention to everything, so much so that we're completely enmeshed in what our kids are doing. A responsible parent does not have a kid who's off the rails. And a responsible parent is only as happy as their satis. Kid, Bill, thumbs down on all of those declarations, I do not believe that, I do not believe that to be true. Our kids are going to be sad, our kids are going to go off the rails, some of them, it's going to look really crazy and scary. And guess what, it's not a fail on your part. A fail on your part is being so a meshed in the experience that you can't think straight, that you can't be for yourself who you need to be. Because when we are for ourselves, who we want to be right when we're in service to us, we are better equipped to show up for the people around us. Right. So being out of control, feeling out of control, and not actively working, to find ourselves to tend to ourselves to animate activate a sense of groundedness whatever that means for you a place of centre, a practice that allows you to be with yourself, right?

Casey O'Roarty 23:35
I think that that if we're not doing that, and we're flying by the seat of our pants alongside our kids who are flying by the seat of their pants, that's what feels irresponsible to me. Because it's not helpful. It's not helpful. And remember, the only constant that we can depend on is things to change. Things are always going to change. This is a snapshot. This is a thread in the tapestry. Right? So soiling the nest. Again, going back to what I was talking about, you might have kids, everything was great. And now we're here at the end of the school year and things feel crazy. And you've got an agitated child who's talking smack, and you're noticing your nervous system getting activated and you're talking smack all an indicator, find your feet, do your work, take care of you. right take care of you so that you can go to your child and say, Hey, I'm noticing something here and I bet you are too. Right. I'm wondering if you're feeling any certain way about the school you're ending. I'm wondering if you're feeling any certain way about the summer. I'm wondering if you're feeling any certain way about your exams about college right, just open the door, but don't open the door until you're ready to be in your body be resourced for I, your lid is not flipped, right, you're regulated and ready to sit down. And, you know, it could even be a conversation, I'm thinking about my client that sounds like things feel really out of control right now. And I see you in that. And I noticed that I was feeling very out of control. And here's the way that I've been helping myself, you know, there's a lot of rule breaking going on, there's a lot of conflict happening between you and I, and I want you to know, I'm going to work really hard to take care of me, right, and we're going to keep talking about the things that are showing up. And I'm really curious about how you're feeling, what's happening under the surface, that's where I want to go. And you might not be ready to talk about that. And that's okay. But I want you to know, Child of Mine, that I'm working on me, so that you can have your experience and I can show up the way you need me to show up. Right?

Casey O'Roarty 26:07
Like, our kids are already struggling, right? are struggling, kids are struggling, they don't need the added weight of Oh, and now mom or dad is also freaking out and having an experience because of my experience. That's not helpful. It's not like they're like, I better get it together. So I don't make my parents feel out of control. No, it's more of like God, you know, now I have to carry their emotional load too. So take care of yourself, take care of yourself. And remember that it feels good to feel good. It's okay for you to feel okay, even if your kiddo is not. And I think back to some of the tough days that we moved through as a family, with my daughter's mental health and my husband's cancer diagnosis. I mean, we really moved through our very own special gauntlet. And it was important to me to find lightness and humour and connection, it was really important for me to stay grounded and connected to myself through that experience. Because my daughter, my husband, they didn't need me to get in the hole with them. Right? I was a more useful parent and caregiver, when I was generating the energy of my own contentment, I could be there in a better way for them. And that's really what I'm encouraging you to do today is be the generator of your own sense of contentment. And if you need permission to be content, even when things are falling apart, Hi, I'm here giving you permission for that. It's okay. It's important, right? You can live in the both and things are really hard, and I feel my feet, I feel my heart, I feel grounded, right, those things can both exist. And you get to trust the process. Even if the people around you aren't trusting the process. In fact, your kids are really struggling, they need you to hold the vision of it's going to be okay. Things will change your life will feel different one day, even if they don't believe you. And you don't need to say it a million times. Because sometimes that's a little dismissive, according to Rohan. But energetically you can hold that energy of like, you know, I'm not freaking out because I know you're moving through something, and you're gonna get to the other side of it. Right? I'm not freaking out. Because I believe in you. I believe in in your process. I don't love your process. I wish this wasn't your process. It's really hard to hold this process. And I have faith that will get to the other side. I have faith. You know, as I kind of move into. I know I've mentioned this before the whole idea of parenting for a year ahead. You know, for those of you with kiddos that are headed out into the world, whatever that looks like trade, school, college, just moving out into their first apartment, whatever. But there's still some time where while they're at home, you know, keep in mind, the freedom of choice that they're about to have. And give them some space to practice being inside of that freedom. Right. We've pretty much let go of curfew over here. And you know, we have conversations about when Ian's going to be home. I also don't really dictate which days he can go do stuff and which days he has to be home. I asked questions. I try to prompt his own thoughts around hmm, yeah. Is that a good idea? Is that not a good idea? I'm trying to nurture his brain so that when he does have the ultimate freedom, he's got enough critical thinking to really be in consideration of that difference between what do I want now versus what I want most, right. And so I'm actively trying to help him giving him opportunities to practice being in that consideration. So for those of you with older kids, you know, think about that, think about where you can loosen up, even if it means that they're, you know, being irresponsible, it also gives them an opportunity to feel the consequences of making not great choices. And I know that sounds really risky, and really scary. But, you know, for some of our kids, that's their learning, right? They learn through the tension and the consequences of life. And you get to trust that they can move through it. Right. And some of you sometimes I hear, Oh, Casey, you know, that'd be great. But my kiddo, they're just, they're just too immature to get to have that much freedom or to have more freedom than what they already have. And I'm curious, right? Like, when you drill down, is your child immature? Or is your child unskilled, right? Because I think some kids, we can label them as immature. But when we really think about it, have they had opportunities to grow and stretch, and practice a little bit more responsibility, and what happens when we give them more room to be in the weight of responsibility, right. And that's not a free for all. That's not all the room, that's not all the responsibility. You're the expert on your kid and your family. So you get to decide what that looks like. But I would encourage you to be in consideration of that, where as you move into the summer, where can you offer a little bit more room to your kids to feel out? That those choice points and that responsibility? Right? That's what I have for you today. That's what I have for you today. So as far as some prompts, go, so as you wrap it up, I'd love to know, what were your takeaways from this podcast? Are you in the season of empty nest? Or you do have a kiddo that's launching or leaving home? And is soiling the nest happening? What does it look like for you? And what are your practices for Finding your Feet and trusting the process and going inward? Right, I'd love to hear what that's like for you. I'll

Casey O'Roarty 32:49
put that post in the Facebook group. Joyful courage for parents of teens. So check that out in there. Also, I would encourage you to head over to Apple podcasts. If this show resonated with you, even if you've written a review, before we could do me a favour and head over there. Write a five star review. Speak directly to other parents who might be looking for a podcast about why you love this one, it would be really useful, really helpful to me and the pod. And you get to be in partnership with me on making an impact for families. Yeah, yeah. And I've got some great offers coming up. So make sure you go to the website, Beast browsable.com/teens. And check out the classes that are showing up through the summer and in the fall. Me Yeah, yeah. All right. Well, that's what I got for you have a beautiful, beautiful rest of your week. Have a great weekend. I'll see you next week.

Casey O'Roarty 33:51
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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