Eps 500: Finding common ground during the summertime with your teen

Episode 500

Join me this week as we get into how to tighten things up and find the same page with our teens during the long days of summer. I talk about being explicit with our communication, agreements, and the power of collaboration. Check it out!

Community is everything!

Join our community Facebook groups:

Takeaways from the show

  • Parenting styles and seeking a balance between freedom and structure
  • The importance of setting boundaries that are not based on expectations or rules.
  • Distinguishing between personal boundaries and expectations, highlighting the need to create agreements with children rather than imposing rules or limits.
  • The importance of collaboration and problem-solving with kids
  • Addressing concerns about their child’s mental health and lack of engagement in summer activities, rather than simply accepting their behavior.
  • the power of validation and connection
  • Give your adolescents more responsibility, such as doing laundry or making food, to help them develop critical thinking and independence skills
  • Take stock of how much you’re doing for your adolescents and pull back, allowing them to practice taking care of themselves and their belongings
  • Influence your own experience and generate joy, love, and connection for themselves

Today Joyful courage means being yourself and being willing to create what you want in any given moment. Joyful courage is about recognizing that I get to generate love and joy for. myself, and don’t need to rely on the outer world to do that for me.

Subscribe to the Podcast

We are here for you

Join the email list

Join our email list! Joyful Courage is so much more than a podcast! Joyful Courage is the adolescent brand here at Sproutable. We bring support and community to parents of tweens and teens. Not a parent of a teen or tween? No worries, click on the button to sign up to the email list specifically cultivated for you: Preschool, school-aged, nannies, and teachers. We are here for everyone who loves and cares for children.

I'm in!

Classes & coaching

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. Hi, everybody, how are you? I am so excited to be coming at you from Ojai, California. Ojai is just a little bit east of Santa Barbara. It's gorgeous here. I'm with my family and my extended family celebrating my dad's 80th birthday is super, super special to all be together in celebration of the patriarch of the family, here with my siblings, my niece and nephew, my kids, and it just feels really special. To all be together. We were all together five years ago, we do this every five years. And man oh man five years ago was 2019. And things were about to get super real in my life. But yeah, now it's five years later and going pretty well. This episode that you're listening to is episode 500. What episode 500 I do have more than 500 episodes because there were some that didn't get numbers. They were like bonus episodes back at the beginning. But now we've been keeping track. And so this is the official Episode 500, which feels incredible. I remember way back 2014 10 years ago, I found myself in this Facebook group with all of these amazing authors like Amy McCready, and Rachel Macy, Stafford and all these other people who were writing about parenting, and I realised like, wow, I have crazy access. And I always had wanted to have like some kind of radio show or talk show place where I got to communicate my thoughts and ideas and talk with other people about things. And I finally, I did a programme to help me jumpstart the pod. And yeah, the first episode is with Andy Smithson from true parenting. I don't even know if he's still has that brand. But that was a long time ago. That was a long time ago. And I remember thinking, I'm going to do monthly shows, I'm just going to do this once a month, I'll put together a show I did all of my own editing. So if you're like, Oh, I'm gonna go listen to the first episode, just know that the sound is not that great, because I did all the editing and I did not have good gear. But it was still great conversations. I mean, I feel like the conversations really hold up. And I loved it. And I put up that first show. And I thought, well, maybe I'll do it every other week. And I mean, within a couple months, I realised Okay, I'm gonna do this every week. And now as you know, you get me twice a week. So I love love, love this podcast. I love podcasting. I love creating content for you. I love kind of mining the community and finding out what you want to hear about and how I can support you. I love who I get to talk to so many amazing guests over the year. Dan Siegel, Tina Bryson Tracy Baxley. So many incredible people have been on this podcast, it really blows my mind. Dr. Ross Green was an early guest who else was incredible. Well, Michelle, I heard you know, she's been on a couple of times. Debbie Rieber. From toe parenting. So many people, so many people. And it's going it's going well, right. I mean, now like I have ads which probably is not that exciting for you. The listener, but it's very exciting for me because it contributes to the cost of putting on the podcast because the podcast costs me money to create everyone. I pay for the editing so that it sounds good, I pay to have it on a platform that distributes it all across the land. My time that I spend on it costs money. So having the ads I know you might not love them, although I try to pick good like, find good matches, that's for sure. But just know it's contributing to the content that you love. Right? It's contributing to the content that you love. And yeah, so 2019 2020, I'm just thinking back to, we were about halfway through, you know, we were five years into the podcast, I had teenagers, it was not going well, it was very hard. And this show and all of you this community was really an outlet for me to kind of process when I was moving through, especially knowing and hearing from so many people that I was not alone, and how much it was valued, that I was talking about how hard it is because we have teenagers and something happens to us parents, especially if things start to get hard, we kind of insulate ourselves, we isolate ourselves, we don't talk about the hard stuff, right. And I can't not talk about what's going on in my life. So you know, this pod was really a place for that for me in 2019 2020. When Ben got sick, my husband got sick, again, a really powerful, supportive, encouraging space for me to move through that period of time. And know that I have this safe space and safe community to process again, knowing that we all move through the unfolding of life we all get surprised by diagnosis is or you know, shifts in relationship divorce, things happen, shit happens, right. And so it's amazing to consider the last 10 years of the pod and the last 500 Plus episodes and everything we've been through together. Yeah, it was about 2017 2018. When my content here definitely niched into the teen years and just Heads up, heads up, we're going to kind of make that like an official relaunch this fall, to kind of jumpstart the pod and hopefully grow the audience even more. So be on the lookout for that, or listen out for that. And there are ways that you can really help relaunch the pod and grow the audience. Because that's really important for the sustainability of this space. And I'm just so grateful. I'm so grateful for all of you. I know many of you have been with me since the beginning, holy cow, we've grown up as parents together. And it's such an honour to putting stuff out there for all of you. And so grateful, no matter when you came into the joyful courage community, even if this may be as your first pie the Hi, just really, really glad that you're giving it a go and finding value. And especially when you reach out and let me know that you find value. It's just really validating for me gives me the energy to keep going. And it lets me know that my content matters to you. So I'm just so grateful. And speaking of letting me know things I want to read a recent review on Apple podcast, a five star review. I love this review. The title is just listen, trust me, this podcast resonates with me so much Casey is real and down to earth. She makes me feel like it's all normal, the teenage roller coaster of things and that I can step off the roller coaster myself, put my feet on the ground and try words and strategies to shift the dynamic when it needs shifting in my house. This is so useful. I find myself quoting her all the time. And I've purchased and read several books based on recommendations and authors interviewed that I've heard here. Sometimes I listen. As episodes come out. Sometimes I scroll and listen for a topic I'm struggling with currently. And I almost always find an episode that fits when I do. It's always useful. And sometimes when I'm casually listening to an episode, I don't think will relate to me. I'm wrong. And it does in a way I didn't expect this is such a great review. Thank you so much. I know that came from my friend and client Robin. So thank you, Robin for putting that out there. Again. Just always, always, always so grateful to hear from you. Have you written a review? Listener? You? Have you written a review on Apple podcasts?

Casey O'Roarty 09:37
It's really easy to do. It's really helpful for the show. It makes it so that Apple puts the show out to even more people and if you're not an Apple iOS person, feel free to pass the pod around. Right? If you listen to a show and you love it and it lands for you and you're finding yourself like oh my god, yes, I love it. Send it to your friends send it to your neighbours, send it to your families send it to whoever you know, that might be in a place where they need a little parental support. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. This week's solo show is going to focus on summertime. So last week, I did a big public workshop around summer solutions, systems routines, to keep our kids safe and to keep ourselves sane as we move through the long days of summer. And, you know, as of this week, in my family, we're officially in summer in graduated, we are in summer, we're even on a trip. So there you go. I did the workshop, I got to connect with lots of parents, who were really in that space of how can we influence the summer experience in a way that provides opportunity, relationship connection, all the things and safety, right.

Casey O'Roarty 11:06
When I asked the group of parents, you know, what are the biggest challenges they foresee? With the summer, the brainstorm sounded like, you know, worry about their kids not doing anything, worry about their kids wanting too much freedom and inappropriate amount of freedom, wanting their kids to get a job, they want too much screen time, kids that won't leave their rooms, not being willing to contribute to the household. These were some of the pain points that parents showed up having. And I know, I hear from my community, as well, I know that, you know, that's happening all across the land, right? We've got kids who are of age to learn to drive, and they don't want to learn to drive or maybe they've, you know, tried to take the driving test and have it and have failed, right? And how discouraged are they? We've got kids that, you know, maybe are launching into college in the fall. And so what does the summer before college look like? What are the expectations that we have, we might have, you know, tweens and middle schoolers that are moving towards high school, but all of a sudden, they're ready to roll, you know, and don't want to keep us updated on all the things they're doing and aren't great about checking in. And how do we navigate that? So yeah, I think there's a lot in the summer that can feel sticky for parents of adolescents, right? And that need for autonomy and novelty seeking, in their wiring is really kicking into gear. So we just want to know that they're gonna be safe, right? It's all the things, it's all the things and what can we do. And I've talked before on the pod just about the parenting style continuum, right? We sit kind of in the either or like, oh, well, we can let them do whatever they want. Or we've got to have all of these rules, so we can make sure they follow, right? We kind of swing between those two extremes, like, oh, I guess I can't control them. So just do whatever you want, I can't have any influence, or Gosh, darn it, you will be home at this time, you will not hang out with this person. And if I find out, you're breaking the rules, you're grounded for the summer. Right? So we kind of swing between those two places. And when we talk about parenting styles, really the goal isn't to not visit those places, although it would be nice not to, but to really kind of shrink into that kind and firm place where it's like, I want you to have freedom. Absolutely. I want to collaborate with you to create freedom, while also having some structure and having some expectations that you're willing to follow, right? We want to shrink that pendulum swings. So we're spending more time in that authoritative mode of kind and firm freedom within structure, right flexibility with firmness, everybody's got a voice, we get to communicate about what's going on. There's a both and we're looking for win wins, we're willing to stretch as parents while also inviting our kids to let go of, you know, perhaps ideas and plans that are just a not yet because they're 13 or 15 or 17. Right. So that's really where we want to be right. And at the end of the day, you know, I talk a lot about this, what can we control? Ultimately, you guys, we can control ourselves. We have some control over the environment. Right? And where we have very limited control is over our kids, which might seem kind of controversial, but at the end of the day, they walk out the door. They make their choices, right? They make their choices. And so that's annoying. Right, as you've heard me say the most powerful tool we have for influencing that behaviour that they were displaying out in the world is the relationship that we nurture with them. Right. And there's some other things we can do to we talked about this in my workshop, which is personal boundaries, right? What are you willing to engage in? What conversations are you willing to engage in? Are you willing to stand there, when your teens are full of emotion and their lids are flipped, and there'll be rating you or swearing at you or getting in your face? You get to decide, is this space a space that I'm willing to engage in? Or now? Am I going to step away? Walk away, go take care of myself? Right? That's a personal boundary. What are you willing to do? Then? That's a funny question, right? Because that whole idea of we can't control our kids, I think is related to what are you willing to do? I remember when Rowan dropped out of high school, and my stepmom was like, You can't let her do that. And I remember thinking to myself, like, well, what does that look like? Not letting her do that. I mean, I did all the things, you guys I did all the things that I thought of doing. I was not excited about her dropping out of school, I was not on board, Ben was on board much quicker and was much more supportive earlier on. I was like spinning. Yeah, that was a tough one for me. But like, are we willing to drag them are we willing to lock them up? Like, I mean, there's just certain things that I think those of you that are a part of the community in here listening to this podcast, like we can agree that we're just not willing to do, but we might be willing to, you know, lock the doors at a certain time of night, we might be willing to limit access to money, we might be willing to take the car keys away. That's what I mean, when I say that we have some control around the environment, right? Thinking about what we're giving access to with our kids, there's space there, we might be willing to mess with the Wi Fi. If we're working on screens and trying to limit you know, the amount of screen use that's happening and promoting sleep. So what are you willing to do? What are you willing to do? Right? What's keeping you safe? And what's keeping you sane? And what kind of routines and rituals are you making time for? Right? I think about my morning routine of journaling and meditating that I do probably five times a week, and I make time for that I protect that time because I know that it helps me show up well for myself, as well as for my family, it's interesting to something that I'm not willing to do like, I'm not willing to make my kids feel shitty to get them to do what I think they should do. Like, that's the other interesting thing too personal boundaries, like I am committed to encouragement and empowerment. And I am committed to no shame, no blame. And to me, that's a personal boundary. That's something actually that I think I do pretty well in all of the relationships in my life, but I can observe being a receiver. You know, when I think back to some of the choices that I made, or, you know, some of the ways that I was parented, there was definitely some manipulative ways of being with me to kind of get me to move in a certain direction. And that came with, like, leftover baggage, right? So I'm not willing to go there with my kids. I'm bringing curiosity. I'm bringing encouragement, I am bringing empowerment. Yeah, for sure. And I think, again, that's a personal boundary of mine. And then we've got expectations, right? I think that oftentimes, parents get these two things confused, and they hear the word boundaries. And they kind of use the word boundaries in place of rules, or limits or expectations. But I'm going to separate the two and the personal boundaries, really, what are we willing to do? Expectations are what we are hoping for, or trying to encourage others to do. Right? And you've heard me on this show, talk about expectations. And when we think about it in the summer, right, making agreements, absolutely. What does it look like to sit down with your kiddo? Especially if you're already a few weeks in and you're recognising like, Oh, we're in some patterns that aren't working that are super, and you'll know if you're in a pattern that's not working if you're completely irritated, or annoyed, or if it's something like Oh, my God, they keep doing this thing, right? They keep doing this thing, then that's a great place to create an agreement, right? Like, hey, I'm noticing this challenge keeps happening. Tell me how it feels for you what you want. I'm going to tell you how it feels for me. And I want us to work together to come up with a solution so that this feels better for the rest of the summer. Right and finding a solution is looking for that win win. It's brainstorming together. I Diaz that, you know, for each person gets to brainstorm a bunch of ideas. And then you get to land on something that works for both. But I will say making agreements really, really, really requires parents to stretch a little bit past what they actually want, so that there's a little bit more autonomy for the kiddo. But the kiddo also gets to see, okay, my parent has stretched a little bit, so I'm going to stretch a little bit.

Casey O'Roarty 20:32
And then we hold up those agreements for a week. And when then we check back in, how's that going? Is it working for us? Here's what I'm noticing. What are you noticing? Should we tweak it? Do we need to tweak it? Okay, great, let's carry on for another week. So agreements are really useful not as a tool for getting your kids to do what you want them to do, but instead, as a tool for collaboration, right, a tool for collaboration and problem solving. I think with any expectations that we have with our kiddos over the summer, we get to really keep it real, right? Like, you know, if they're not leaving the house, if they're unwilling to get off their screen, if they won't engage in any kind of activity or opportunity we get to bring to them like this is concerning, like this isn't about me is about you, you know, you get to summers are a time for growth and fun and play. And I'm not seeing you experience that and that's concerning, it might be time to find some help, right to start to build a team, because it shouldn't be this hard, right? You get to keep it real, you get to break it down. And you know, a lot of kids are struggling. And it's important that we don't just, you know, shrug our shoulders and say, it's a drag, they won't come out of their room. If they're not coming out of their room. They need more support. Right, they need more support mental health is a crisis for our adolescents right now. So let's not just grumble about how discouraged they are. But instead get them some help and help can look like therapy, it can look like coaching, it can look like an outward bound programme. You know, in order, it can just look like wow, I'm seeing you and life doesn't look very fun for you. Right? It could just be validating what you're seeing, and being curious. But it's important that you show up, and you acknowledge what you're seeing, right. And you let them know, I'm here to help. And I'm here to connect. I love you so much. And it doesn't have to be a drastic move. But it can be an opening to conversation, right? Notice your reaction when your kiddos are engaging in the mischief this summer. My mom was so funny, she was always like, you better not do this thing. She was like, If I ever find out that you're smoking, you're gonna be grounded till you're 35 like her reactions to mischief and misbehaviour were so off the charts and that it was just kind of like, I just rolled my eyes, it didn't really, you know, it wasn't very impactful definitely didn't influence my choices. It was just like, God, mom's kind of crazy. So whatever I do, I gotta keep it on the DL, right. And when I didn't, and she did find out and she did yell at me, I knew that okay, this is gonna be bad for like a day, and then she'll cave. So just notice your patterns and how you're navigating what's hard for your kiddos this summer. And when you notice that, you know, you're on the pendulum ride, and you swing into really harsh, you know, criticism or consequences, you're breaking the rules, like notice that take care of you so that you don't swing so hard. And then shift into that collaborative problem solving, making agreements, Hey, man, this is not working for me. And we got to figure something out so that I know you're safe. And you feel like you have freedom we got to work together. Right. And then you also get to, it's really important that you're following through on what you say you're going to do. So when you're making agreements, or you're creating win wins, like write it down somewhere. This is so important for me, because sometimes I have conversations with my kids, especially in about, like from now on. This is how it's gonna look or what your plans are. If I don't write it down, you guys, it is gone. It is lost. The menopause brain is not hanging on to find details. So write it down. And if you say you're going to do something, follow through on your end of the bargain, right. And remember, this is a great time for skill building and critical thinking. So you all have heard me talk about parenting a year ahead. Well, you've got a couple months before the rigidity of the school year begins again, why not decide that this is when you're going to stop doing laundry? And let them take care of their laundry? Why don't you decide to create some new routines that levels up what your kids are taking care of? And to me I think a great place to start is things that are theirs, right what you're doing for them that they could be doing more of for themselves. It might even be like listen, I will support with breakfast and dinner but you're on your own for lunch or listen, I will make sure that dinners on the table, I trust you to feed yourself lunch or breakfast and lunch or if you're me, right? Like I'm willing to make maybe two or three dinners a night, I got a kid that's going to college and you know, couple months, and I want him to already have on his radar without prompting, I need to eat. What can I do? Right? I want him to have practice feeding himself. It's funny one of the kids that I knew, she came up to Bellingham to go to Western, and she knew Rowan from our old town. And so she came over for dinner. And I remember saying to her, what is the most surprising thing that is challenging being in college, and she looked at me and she said, feeding myself and I that really stuck with me and Rowan to being on her own? She talks about that as well. You know, I want him to have a lot of practice with that. And I'm not a big fan of making dinner. So it's a win win. It's a win win, right? But parenting a year ahead, where can you get off their case? Where can you be explicit around, hey, you know, I'm not going to do this thing anymore. Because I want you to practice, right, you get to practice. And that's what this is about. And then you got to give them space to practice, right, you got to give them space to practice. So whether it's laundry or cleaning their room, or you know, making food, whatever it is that you're doing for them that they could be doing for themselves, which is probably a lot, if you've got adolescents, there isn't a lot we need to be doing for them. And I know you want to be nice, and you love them so much. But notice take stock and how much you're doing for them and pull back because you're not doing them any favours if they're not getting practice, and taking care of themselves and taking care of their stuff, right. And that, of course is going to look different for someone like me, who's got a kid, you know, months away from college, versus maybe you you have a 15 year old, or maybe you've got a 13 year old, it's gonna look different based on your kid. But you get to take some inventory, right, and also that critical thinking that I like to talk so much about so as you navigate the challenges that are coming up as you navigate the pain points as you make agreements. And those agreements don't get met and mistakes happen. dropping into that curiosity, dropping into listening to understand listening to validate their experience, and asking the questions you want them to be asking themselves, right. That's the nurturing of critical thinking. Right? That's the nurturing of critical thinking. And you know, as you move through this summer, I encourage you to do your work to influence the experience that you're having. What does that even mean? I talk about it a lot. I talk about it a lot. You get to show up, you get to bring to the room the qualities that you want to be experiencing? Right? Do you want to be experiencing joy, and love and connection and ease? Well, then it's an inside job, right? It's an inside job? How are you practising joy, and love and connection and ease? How are you practising that? How are you creating that generating that for yourself so that you don't have to depend on everybody around you showing up a certain way that so that you can experience that. And guess what, when you're generating it for yourself, you're showing up in a way that is influencing the environment around you. Right, you are influencing your relationships and the space around you and how the people around you feel. So you either get to let them drag you down, or you get to be what lifts them up. And I think that's pretty rad. I'm into that. You know, and it's imperfect doesn't always, not always top of mind. Sometimes we fall into our conditioning and our patterns. And it's after the fact where we realise like, oh, geez, I got some stuff to clean up because I got emotionally charged and wasn't so great to my people. And then you get to clean it up. But do your work to influence the experience? What's the summer you want to have? How can you generate that for yourself? Right, doing all the things with your kiddos? Absolutely. I'm here for it. Let's make some agreements. Here's what I'm seeing. I'm worried about you, I love you. And I'm going to take care of myself as the mom, right? I'm going to make plans for me. I'm going to go see friends, I'm going to go dancing. That's what I love to do. I love to go see live music. I'm going to see a lot of it this summer, burn up the dance floor or whatever it is for you. That fills you up. Maybe it's solitude, maybe it's backpacking, right? Whatever it is for you take care of you. And trust that you know this snapshot of right now is going to work itself out especially if you can kind of show up as the container for things to work out. And by working out I don't mean like everything will be fine and better. But trust the process, whatever the challenge is, that's going on with your kiddo is growing them and develop Bring them in ways that you don't know yet how you know will serve them. Right. And again,

Casey O'Roarty 30:06
if they need extra support, get it, start that conversation start moving in that direction. There you go. Summer show. How about that? I hope that you found some nuggets that were useful in this conversation. I would love to carry on with it over in the joyful courage for parents of teens Facebook group, are you in there? Are you noticing the posts? I've been a little less consistent with prompting you to write about the shows because I'm not getting a lot of engagement. What's up with that? But I will post this week, I want to know what your takeaways are. I want to know what aha was you had for the summer challenges that you're imagining are going to show up with your kiddos? And I want to know what you want to generate this summer? What are the qualities that you're going to bring to life? And how are you going to do it? That's what I want to know. So thanks for hanging with me. Thanks for hanging with me as you do heads up starting next week. So July and August solo shows are going to be revisits of old shows I hand picked. Some of your favourites that I heard got a lot of feedback about. And so I'm taking a little time off from generating new solo shows over the summer, but I'm going to reruns summer reruns of the joyful courage podcast solo shows will be happening on Thursdays. So check them out, check them out. And yeah, I will be bringing brand new interviews every Monday. So heads up for that, and have a beautiful summer. If you have any questions, right? If anything showed up in this podcast and you're like, wait a minute, I want more about that. You can email me at Casey at joyful courage.com You can send me a message on Instagram or Facebook. I always respond. So reach out. Let me know how I can support you. All right, go take a walk, have some water, take a nap, do whatever you need to do for you. And I'll see you all real soon. Bye

Casey O'Roarty 32:08
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.

See more