Join me in Chapter Two of Joyful Courage: Calming the drama and taking control of your parenting journey, the book I published back in 2019. I will be discussing what holds up and things I’ve learned during the wild years since it came out.
Community is everything!
Join our community Facebook groups:
Takeaways from the show
- The typical challenges list that comes up for parents
- The overwhelm that can show up in the day to day of life
- The trap of judging ourselves for our children’s developmentally appropriate behavior
- Getting familiar with our internal struggle
- Getting hooked into our teen’s angst
- Using our body to navigate our fight or flight response
- Being aware of our self talk taking us off track
- The learning and healing that happened because my 14 year old told me she didn’t want to live with our family anymore
Joyful Courage is trusting the process even when what you are going through seems as though its pulling you under… Know that everything is temporary and an opportunity to grow and expand as a human – for yourself and others.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.
parenting, experience, kids, feel, triggered, response, children, book, body, respond, freight train, happening, behaviour, emotional, teenagers, shows, emotions, moment, perceived threat, share
Casey O'Roarty 00:05
Hello, listeners. 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. 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, and life skills to be developed. My name is Casey Oh Bertie, I am your fearless host, positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at Sproutsocial. Also mama to a 20 year old daughter and a 17 year old son, walking right beside you on this path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting you are in for a treat. This episode is part of a 10 part series where I'm reading from my book, joyful courage, calming the drama and taking control of your parenting journey that was published in 2019. I'm sharing the book with you and reflecting on where it holds up, and how the work has been expanded in the four plus years after writing it. If you're finding the series in the middle, I encourage you to start at the first episode, joyful courage book club the intro so that you can follow along from start to finish. The series is meant to be a resource to you and I work hard with everything I put out in the world to keep it real transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Along with this series is a free companion guide designed to prompt you in reflecting on what you're hearing and taking steps to integrate it into your life. You can find the guide and buy your own copy of the book by going to www dot fece browsable.com/jc book. And please don't forget, sharing really is caring. If you love today's show, please pass the link around, snap a screenshot and post it on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families around the globe. Enjoy.
Casey O'Roarty 02:06
Hi, hi. Hi. Welcome back. Welcome back. I am going to be sharing Chapter Two today of joy, courage, calming the drama and taking control of your parenting journey by me, published in 2019. And can I just say that on the cover of this book is a quote that says Casey over already is the authentic friend who tells the truth about the struggles of parenting, and is the wise guide who provides powerful tools to help us be our best selves as parents, you know, gave me that quote. Dr. Tina Bryson. Yeah, it feels like a pretty big deal. super grateful that I've had her on the podcast a couple of times, we grew up in the same area in southern California. And in my mind, we're really good friends. So there you go, if you needed an endorsement, that's the one. That's the one. Okay, we are on chapter two. Like I mentioned in the introduction to the podcast, if you're just showing up here, you might want to go back a couple shows to Episode 400. And start with the intro. Because these solo shows are going to be moving through my book, and we're on chapter two. So I want you to have, you know, the foundation. Alright, chapter two, what exactly is happening on your emotional freight train? At the beginning of parenting classes? I start by asking what are the challenges you're experiencing in your home? People tend to generate the same list no matter if I'm talking to parents in the city, or in the country or to parents of toddlers elementary schools. Teenagers even travelled to the UAE last fall asked this question got pretty much the same list, right? It's always the same whining, tantrums, back talk, not listening, disrespect, picky, eating, fighting, negotiating, swearing, screentime bedtime morning routine, lying, biting, hitting, kicking sibling conflict, the list goes on. And of course, the older the kids, you know, some of the topics start to veer more towards those scary behaviours of adolescents. Positive Discipline educators and trainers all over the world asked this question and the answers are consistent. Then the energy in the room shifts. As parents look around and smile at each other they realise they're not alone. For me, at the time of writing this book, the things that are currently triggers are quote, the I know everything there is to know about everything and you know nothing attitude of my teenager, as well as her insatiable desire to Be on her phone. Also, the eye rolling the angsty response to simple requests and the power struggles that crop up, forcing me to confront the fact that I can't actually control everything that my children do. This was brutal to realise it's so annoying. I asked the joyful courage community what triggers them most? And here's what I heard from some moms. And yes, I asked moms I didn't hear a lot from dads defiance, especially when partnered with rudeness and outright no I'm not going to do that can leave me feeling desperate, out of control and immediately drawn into a power struggle. Unkind behaviour is huge for me. If I see my kids behaving unkindly towards a friend or a sibling, I'm filled with worry, shame and disappointment when my husband and kids are talking to me at the same time, and both need my attention without being aware of the other eye become overwhelmed, and feel the heat rising from my chest all the way to my head. Big negative emotions such as anger and frustration, interrupting disrespectful behaviours, such as name calling, kidding, and overwhelmed, due to a lot of noise and distraction during busy times of day, such as when making dinner, or trying to get out the door in the morning. When others children and adults are inconsiderate of people's needs or feelings when children or adults behave in selfish ways when I'm feeling overwhelmed with tasks to dues and chores, when I'm feeling alone and the act of never ending parental decision making and fearful that this one decision about something mundane, could come back to haunt me when I hear whining and complaining when they're not willing to try something new or keep an open mind. So I'm just gonna pause here a lot from the community as I was writing this book, and are you relating? I mean, yes, I'm
Casey O'Roarty 06:57
nodding my head as I'm reading this, right, we know, we know this feeling that overwhelm man, it just, yeah, it shows up. It's a collective experience. Your freak show may take on a slightly different flavour than your neighbours freak show. But you can be sure that we are all challenged as parents, we all have children who trigger us left and right. This is important to understand. Much of what's happening in your home in my home is par for the course. Many of us parents, myself included, fall into the trap of judging ourselves, judging our children and judging our family on the challenges that show up. It can sound like this. My toddler is having a meltdown because I won't buy him what he wants. He is so entitled. What am I doing wrong? My daughter won't do her homework. She clearly doesn't care about her education and I have failed in that department. My family can't get through a dinner without arguing this is so dysfunctional. Why don't we have it together? I just busted my teen vaping Clearly I've picked the wrong parenting style, she's sure to be a statistic. Now. The Freak Show happens. Okay, our inner conversation takes over, enter the emotional freight train. Sometimes, while dealing with the challenges mentioned above, parents may appear outwardly calm, but their tone and words are hurtful. Other times their response can be explosive. Either way, the train has ushered in more thoughts that spin us into fear and anger. And it isn't helpful. Toddlers have meltdowns not because they are entitled little brats. But because they have limited skills. They're learning how to navigate the flood of emotions caused by disappointment, not because the parent has done anything wrong. Sometimes kids resist homework because they don't see the value in it for them. And Bt dab. Many educators and parents share this opinion. But that's another book. It has nothing to do with failing them. Families argue at dinner for a variety of reasons, including everyone, grownups and kids wanting to be heard, not because your family is dysfunctional. And finally, teenagers are going to do stupid, stupid things. Regardless of the parenting style we choose for the first 12 years. Their brains are still developing, they're going to be okay. Can we influence the above situations? Like Are we a part of those dynamics? Of course, in fact, I would argue that we are always influencing the events and experiences we have. We're either making it worse or we're making it better, or we're keeping it neutral. I would add in there. The more aware we become of our internal struggles while we're experiencing them. The internal experience that's happening during challenges, the more intentional we can be in how we influence the outcome. All right, this is huge, actually, little caveat. This is coming up so much right now with my clients, the people that I'm working one on one with that differentiation between the internal experience we're having, and the external experience and trying to create some space between the two and recognise, where do we have control and influence? Okay, what is the internal struggle? And how do we become more aware of it, I think we can all agree that there is a world that exists outside of us, and the world that exists inside of us. On the outside, people are saying and doing things, events are occurring, things are happening. On the inside, we're making meaning and judgments, experiencing emotions and self talk, making decisions, all in response to what's happening on the outside. Right. I would also add here also that we build a filter over time, that is a part of how we are interpreting what's happening around us. But I'll get into that later. When you start paying attention internally, to the meaning you're making to the judgement and the self talk that's fueling your emotions and decision making, you begin to see that there's a lot of room to help yourself, experience the outside world differently. It's a human experience, right? It's not only about our children, think about a time when you have to share something with a friend, or your partner. Maybe you're venting about a big project, or even something like laundry. Okay, so imagine saying, oh, man, the laundry, I'm so over it every day, there's more to do. It's so annoying. I'm just not going to do it anymore. Screw this. Now, imagine the other person responding to you with how can you not see how important it is to keep up with the laundry? Don't you care about your family? their well being? If you don't do the laundry, your children will go to school and dirty clothes. And they'll get teased. And the next thing you know, there'll be victims of online bullying, eventually choosing to self harm, reckless, who knows? Dead in a ditch? Probably. Right? How would you respond to that? Maybe you'd respond with like, calm down, I'm just venting my frustration, or maybe even Oh, my God, are you not hearing me? All I said was I don't like laundry. Or perhaps you're thinking, Dang, this person isn't a person I can share. And I can trust to share my pain with. I know that's a little extreme. And that you probably don't have people in your life that would respond that way to what you said about laundry. But this is what we do to our kids. You know, they say something like, I hate my brother. And we jump all over them about all the reasons that they should love their brother, we follow up with. And we don't use hate in this family. Right? Like we get completely caught up in what they've said. And we miss the opportunity to hear what's actually going on with them. So going back to the laundry story, and imagine that it's a conversation between you and your teenager. They're letting you know how they feel about doing their own laundry, and you're the one letting them know that they will ultimately end up losers in life if they don't do it. Motivation, not so much. And as I read this part, I'm thinking about what happens I'm thinking about school, right? Because so many of us, with teens have kids that are you know, I hate school, my teachers suck. This is stupid. And we do we want to convince them in that moment of the value of education. And if they just tried a little bit harder, right? Instead of being curious about, like, tell me more about what's going on at school, right? Instead of going under the surface, we get hooked in the tip of the iceberg, right? We get hooked. And that's where we stay. And we create disconnect in our relationship because we're not thinking about what's going on under the surface. Okay, your response matters. Your response to the parenting freak show is where you hold power to influence the outcome, not control it, but absolutely influence it. When you respond from a conscious grounded connected place. The results of your interaction will lean more towards conscious, grounded and connected relationships. Does that make sense? I know it can get confusing. What I'm not saying is that there is some magical way to get the outcome that you want. This is not about blind obedience. We are in relationships with other humans who are sovereign emotional beings. And when you consider that one day, if you have younger kids You know this if you have teenagers, your kids will be looking towards their peers, and partners for advice and opinions. We don't want them to have learned blind obedience. Right? blind obedience tends to lose its lustre, even though yes, I get it, you want them to just do what you're asking them to do the first time, I know, what I am saying is that the way we respond to the challenges of our life, whether with our children or other adults, has a direct impact on how things play out. Our response has a direct impact on how things play out, when we're paying attention to our emotions, our inner dialogue, the fears and control that can show up when we're paying attention to that, right the emotional freight train. And we can shift to a place that is more centred and connected, we're going to get to the other side of the situation with relationship intact. People hear I love this sentence, people hear and see each other better, when they aren't freaking out. And stuck in their own perspective. It's kind of like a backdoor way of increasing the likelihood that your child ends up a responsible contributing member of society, right. That's what we want. Ultimately, that's the long term goal. This is something I'm constantly working on with my teenage daughter, she throws all sorts of things at me all day long. As I read these words, I know that when I wrote them, I had no idea what was going to happen in the years ahead, sweet me.
Casey O'Roarty 16:41
She throws all sorts of things at me all day long things that hooked me and challenged me and sometimes just plain baffled me. She's sharing her thoughts and feelings in the moment. And often I forget that ultimately, she just wants me to see her and hear her and maybe go under the surface to explore what the real issue is. I stayed on the surface a lot that year, you guys a lot of the time. What she's saying has nothing to do with what's really going on for her in the moment. For example, there was a time when she asked if she could go spend some time with a friend of hers on a Friday night. I knew he was a mischief maker that he'd gotten into some trouble. He'd been to our house and I genuinely liked him. Right. I knew him. I liked him. When she asked if she could hang out with him. However, I gave her the third degree triggered by my fear and worry that she might get into her own mischief, which had started happening at this point, by the way, the train pulled in the station. It was subtle, but it was definitely there. The message she heard was, I don't trust you. As I tried to make a logical argument as to why I wanted to just be a no to this request. She blurted out in a voice full of defiance that she was no longer going to go to counselling anymore, which at this point, she had been twice. And there it was her bid for control and influence in the midst of my fear based tirade. And boy, she got me. I mean, she hooked me with that statement. I had been encouraging her to go to a counsellor for months. And she finally agreed. She knew how thrilled I was with that she was willing to go and it was the perfect thing to throw at me. In that moment. She was feeling hurt, and controlled. So she let me know how little control I actually had. Fortunately, I had been doing my work, meaning I recognise this comment for what it was. And I actually didn't get hooked today say I got hooked. While turns out I didn't. I mean, I'm guessing there was probably some action happening in my chest. There was definitely an internal experience. But I managed to avoid the big explosion of Oh, yes, you will, yes, you will go to counselling. Instead, I took a deep breath. And I let her know that I was walking away from the conversation for a bit. I acknowledged that we weren't done talking. But I wanted to calm down so that we could continue the conversation in a way that was helpful for us both. In that moment, I was able to bring the train to a screeching halt. It's not that it didn't show up. I could feel it showing up. But I was willing to do what I needed to do. I was aware enough to do what I needed to do to step off. And when we're on the emotional freight train, we don't respond from a conscious place. So in the next sections that I read, they'll guide you in getting ever more familiar with what's happening to you, as you respond to the freak show that triggers you out of conscious parenting away from positive discipline and into crazy parent mode. Okay, and the first section is called getting familiar with our body As our bodies hold a lot of information, our bodies are wise, our bodies don't filter things the way our minds do. Actually, I would challenge that statement. But our bodies are non judgmental. Our bodies tell us the truth about what is happening for us in the moment. This is by design for the first human survival was an everyday challenge. They had to be on guard and paying attention to threats from the outside world. This is the fight or flight response. And it is a psychological response to the world around us sending us into appropriate action when threatened freeze, run, fight. But even more important to note is that as soon as the brain takes in a perceived threat, it sends messages and adrenaline to the body and moves it into action. Even before we're aware of happening, even before we are aware of what is happening, we literally moved from our logical brain into our emotional survival brain in the matter of seconds. And the only clues we have that we are there is the way our body is responding. So I want to pause here for a second, because I stand by this, but I think something's missing here. And what's missing, and maybe I get into it more in the book, I can't remember, but I'm just really wanting to state, there's also trauma response, right, depending on what we've experienced in our life, our body also learns to just judge perceived threats. And so if you were raised in a home where there was any kind of abuse, right, or you had, you know, a peak traumatic experience, your body is perceiving threat, perhaps in a new or different or more expanded way. So I would just add that, you know, our body is really taking care of us. It just can't differentiate between a screaming, yelling teenager, and you know, a threat out in the world where you're going to be hurt. And I talk a little bit about childhood stuff in the next section. So we'll get deeper into that. Okay, back to the book. For more information about our brains fight or flight response, check out Dan Siegel's brain in the palm of the hand video, you can Google it and find it on the web. When I was in the conversation with my daughter that I mentioned earlier, my body told me when fear had shown up a sharp inhale of breath, a tense jaw, tight belly, there was no story to try and make sense of it was purely physical sensations tension, big time, it was fight or flight. My body was sharing information with me. When we decide to practice conscious parenting with awareness and joyful courage, it's essential for us to get familiar with how our bodies respond to emotional triggers. When we pay attention to the physical experience we're having. When we're triggered, we start to see patterns, we begin to recognise that our bodies know when we're about to get on the train. And our bodies know when we've decided to go along for the ride. And what do I mean by physical experience? Think about the last time your kiddo triggered you and you fell apart? What did your legs feel like? What did your face feel like? What can you remember about your shoulders? Your chest? Did you feel heat? Where did you feel tension in your body. And if you can't remember, or it's hard to kind of pinpoint it. Pay attention next time. Pay attention to what happens in your body, the physical sensations, the tension and your posture. I experience tension, my jaw and shoulders and belly get really tight. I inhale and I kind of hold my breath, my heart starts to race. I lean forward, I pull my shoulders and I take a tighter stance. When I'm paying attention. I can feel myself going there. I can feel the tension. You know what else I feel it's like, you know, once I'm committed once I'm really there. There's also this like, energetic holding on, right? Like not only am I feeling the tension, but I'm really kind of rolling around in it like I'm committed to it. I can tell when I'm headed towards being triggered most of the time. Have you ever walked into your child's room and looked around and disgust disgust along with fear and anger is one of the emotions that takes people into a fight or flight response. Disgust can be an invitation to the emotional freight train, and I would say it is. This happens to me when I walk into my son's room. This may sound familiar to you but my son takes his clothes off and leaves them wherever he happened to be standing. He opens drawers picks out clothes doesn't bother to close the drawers I would say I would add four years later. And I know you're gonna feel me on this. plates, bowls, wrappers, right. It's gross. It's gross and it piles up so quick, makes me crazy. Walking into that room at the end of the evening, when all he wants is some love and connection. My whole body tightens at the sight of the clothes and the drawers and the things tight shoulders tight job ready to lay into him about his room. Again, it's what I practice is noticing that tension, noticing the tightness, and really work to breathe through it, soften it, sometimes I kick all the clothes into a pile, close the drawers, you know, just take care of it. Sometimes I invite him to do it. But no matter what I decide to do, I'm aware that my body is giving me signals that the train has pulled in. And this awareness is helping me stay off the train more and more. Okay, full disclosure, right? It's four years later, the kid who I'm talking about in 2019 was 13. And now he's 17. And I would say, you know, the room still is a thing, meaning he gets to decide how he treats it. And sometimes, like right now, he's on this. I don't know, I wanted to say Bender, where he is keeping his room tidy. Like he likes how it feels. And the other day before he cleaned it up, I went down there and immediately said, Dude, you gotta take care of your room. And he was like, actually, I was planning on taking care of my room. And you saying that completely and motivates me. Good feedback, good feedback, I
Casey O'Roarty 26:32
get to let go and trust that he can feel how his experience of his room and he is definitely growing towards a place where he's recognising. When I keep my room tidy, I actually feel better. Right? And that's him. That's not me saying when you keep your room tidy, you're gonna feel better. Like it's giving him enough space to notice the difference of when His room is a disaster versus when it's tidy, and all the iterations that come between those two. Okay, what does your physical experience of stress feel like? So responses from parents that I've coached include, when my emotional freight train pulls up, I feel hot, irritated, angry and sometimes hopeless. I feel out of control in my mind and chest. When my emotional freight train pulls in, I feel hot with adrenaline pumping, teeth grinding, jaw locked and tense but blood pumping. I feel tight and hot. I feel as though my body shrinks and my head swells. I love that one. I feel my body tight and my shoulders get tense and my arms tucked in tight to my side. I feel like I want to scream and yell. Becoming familiar with how our bodies respond to emotional overwhelm is key to staying off the train. The tantruming toddler or teen is not the same as an attacking bear. Though it can sure feel that way. While our brains wiring kept our ancestors alive, and maybe it kept you safe in an unsafe environment growing up, it can get in the way now, especially when the perceived threat is our children. Our safety instincts don't serve us the way they used to. When we learn how this instinct works inside of us, we can get better at overriding it that will support us with being more helpful and connected with our children. Pay attention to your body's response. Write down what you experience each time and look for your pattern. Notice the subtle shifts and changes what are the clues exploring the stories, we're telling ourselves, the emotional freight train hijacks our body. But it doesn't stop there. When we're triggered our minds also take on a life of their own. Especially if we're not paying attention, right? This is where we start future tripping big time. This is where really awful self talk shows up our body's tense. And all we're left with is I gotta shut this down now, right? Meaning their behaviour, we got to shut down their behaviour. This is also where we become hyper critical of ourselves and our children. This is when our perception of other people's judgement takes the driver's seat and we spin out. Again, some things from the joyful courage community. I'm thinking I'm a horrible example to my kids, and a bad mom. The emotions are anger and overwhelm. I'm thinking that I can't handle this and I start to see my kids as the enemy. I have thoughts like I am not appreciated and my kids are ungrateful for all the sacrifices I've made for them. If they only knew how hard I worked for them, they might actually give me the recognition that I deserve. They never help no one cares about Other things I do for this family, he always acts like this, I will show this kid who's boss. Right? I mean, yes, we think these things, right. And those moments, in those moments, we have crazy thoughts. And you know, never say never, or always, always never have a habit of showing up. They are extremes that don't take into account all the great ways our families show us, they care about us. We can fixate on that moment, look through the lens of emotion and create stories that motivate our own bad behaviour. This is when we find ourselves on the train to crazytown. Why does this happen? There are so many reasons that we think the things we think we are meaning making machines, my friends, humans perceive a situation and immediately interpret what they're seeing. Then they move into forming beliefs about these interpretations and choosing to action. So we're going to break that down a bit starting with perception, perception is what we see, right? It's what we observe around us. Almost immediately, we move from seeing the world around us to interpreting it to making meaning of it. We interpret situations through the lens of our own life experience, and our own conditioning. We want to organise the information we're taking in and we do. Our views get shaped and moulded over time, based on the experiences that we have had. When we are in our logical mind, we can see the evidence that points to how amazing our family is, and what a great job we do with parenting. And we feel good, and we celebrate the wins. But when we are emotionally triggered, as we are when writing the emotional freight train, we forget our skills and our successes. And all we focus on are the negative moments.
Casey O'Roarty 32:05
There's a term for this, you've probably heard it negativity bias, it refers to the way that negative experiences hold more weight with us. While positive joyful experiences come and go without us really hanging on to them. We can again thank our early ancestors for this tendency, because it was one of the ways we were able to make quick decisions and stay alive. It does not, however, serve us on our parenting journey. And, yeah, I'm just gonna pause for a second on the button. This is something that comes up that has been coming up recently, that I'm talking about a lot and trying to practice in my own world, which is, you know, when I have clients come on to calls, they've had these peak kind of triggering negative experiences with their kids. And then the always and never shows up, right? You know, those peak experiences tend to be when our teens thresholds for discomfort, disappointment, overwhelm, stress, whatever is full, right, their threshold is full, and then we walk in the room. Sometimes we don't even have to say anything. And were greeted with, you know, a, get the fuck out or something, right? And then all of a sudden, we're like, oh, how dare you? Right? I was just coming to ask you to empty the dishwasher. And you can't talk to me like that, right? Our freight train shows up. All of a sudden we're fighting. If we can remember that their behaviour is an indicator that they are at their threshold and pause and instead, use it as an opportunity to be curious like, oh, wow, clearly you have some stuff going on. I'm going to give you some space and time, right? Or if it feels, okay, you can say we're going to talk about it. Which they probably won't in that moment, because it sounds like they're flipped. But we get to respond in a way that's going to move us towards that long term goal of relationship life skills cooperative, contributing members of society, or we can respond in a way that exacerbates the angst that was already alive in that room. Right. Okay, sorry, I went off on a little tangent there. So where do the thoughts come from? Often when we think we are responding to our children, we're actually responding to an old hurt a wound from our life experience that hasn't healed at the start of high school when she was 14. Holy cow. That was six years ago, you guys. My daughter had an epic meltdown. She was crying and carrying on she'd really lost it. This was bigger than any meltdown we'd experienced with her so far. This was the gateway you Guys, she told me she didn't want to live with our family anymore. What the fuck, I lost my breath. I mean, my whole body went rigid. I didn't say anything. I wasn't present to her pain. I wasn't listening to her or what she needed. Instead, I was totally consumed by my fight or flight response. I was in my head, I was in my, like, deep hurt. And my reaction actually really took me by surprise, right? It was as if my whole body was wrapped in a tight blanket. I couldn't talk I was unable to form words, I was stunned and lost. Fear had totally taken over. The emotional freight train wasn't this like roaring experience, it was more of a stunned, quiet realisation that I had no idea what to do. I was in freeze mode. So I wasn't fighting. I wasn't angry. It was fear. Now, when I was 14, I wasn't thinking about this in the moment. But after the fact, I started to get really curious about what the hell happened to me. In that moment with her when I was 14, I told my mom that I wanted to move in with my dad. And this was a very hard and painful time in my life. And that moment began a nearly 10 year, estrangement between myself and my mom. All the pain, the rejection, the abandonment, all of it, that I felt during that time, rushed back to me, after my daughter said, I don't want to live here. If you have had experiences in your life that have been chaotic, and lead to pain, being triggered emotionally, years later, can take you back to that place, or back to the emotion and the messages that you experienced during that time. If you pay attention to how you respond to your kids, and take a hard look at how you react at certain times, you might see that your response at a particular behaviour wasn't really about your child, it was about hurts from your past. Why does any of this matter? Have you ever been standing in front of your sink full of rage? And tried to tell yourself to calm down? Have you ever been in the car with screaming kids in the back trying to talk yourself out of a huge lecture? Have you ever found yourself sitting on your bed, working on taking deep breaths and trying to will yourself to get it together? In those moments? Has there ever been a voice inside of you that says, You know what, screw it, I'm pissed. They need to know it. I know what it's like to try to talk yourself down. It's hard. But when we learn about our own physical experience, our own physical response, we're more likely to be successful. And that's what I mean when I talk about getting curious and paying attention to the body, when we begin to notice that our body is experiencing tension. And we go inside with curiosity like, well, that response really flooded me with tension and anger. What is this moment triggering inside of me, we can get a clearer understanding of the why behind how we're responding. And when we begin to recognise where our response is coming from, we can get better at choosing to pause, choosing to take a breath and choosing to stay in the present moment. And this chapter wraps with a quote from one of the moms I worked with saying, as I built awareness of my own triggered reaction, it became clear to me that all the times it felt like my feelings were someone else's fault. It was really an opportunity for me to look inward and learn more about myself. Why does this behaviour trigger me? What is it bringing up in me? If I could manage to become an observer of my experience, rather than the miserable person having the experience? I was able to pause long enough to make a different choice. Yeah. So there you go. Chapter Two of the book. Emotions are real. Emotions are real and valid. Okay. I think that's important to say here to how you feel inside of these triggered moments. It's valid, right? It's valid, it's okay, you can feel that way you can be with it. Nobody's telling you it's not okay. To have an emotional response when your teenagers tell you to eff off course. Right and behaviour is purposeful behaviour makes sense. behaviour is an indicator on what's hot. happening for the other person. And when we allow our emotional response, to pull us down that line to take us on the emotional freight train, we're missing the opportunity to get curious and clear and connect around what's actually happening under the surface. And I talk about this a lot on the podcast. So I don't need to go into it too much right now. But it's real. Right? And it's sometimes it feels like, Well, why do I have to be the one to pause? Why do they get to be emotionally reactive, and I have to do the work? Well, because you're the adult. Period,
Casey O'Roarty 40:42
you're the adult in the situation, and you're dealing with a child who has limited skills. And I don't know if I get into this in the book. But and here's the deal. Even if your child's you know, they're going to develop the skills that they develop over time, they're going to grow and mature and become the people they're meant to be. You have influence over that you do not have control over that. You have influence in the relationship that you have with your kids, you don't have control over what it looks like later. So this work of turning inward, paying attention, being in the willingness and the practice of finding the pause being grounded, not staying at the surface. But going deeper, all of that is actually for you. Right? Because how do you want to experience parenting? Do you want to experience parenting as a reactive out of control? Experience? I don't, that sounds shitty. I want to experience parenting, from a place of calm, content, empathetic, compassionate patient, I want to bring those qualities into my body and into my response. Because at the end of the day, I'm going to feel better, I'm going to feel better, regardless of what's happening in the external experience. At the end of the day, what's going to keep us up at night is the internal experience. And the side benefit is when we can be ever more conscious and aware and awake and alive to our internal experience that has a ripple effect, it influences the world around us doesn't control it. But it influences how it plays out. Which is you know what we're going to get more into in the book. So thanks for listening. That was a good one. Let's see, I took some notes. Was there anything else I wanted to? Well, I would say this holds up. For years later, this chapter holds up. Oh, and I want to give a little follow up. So that experience that I had with Rowan, when she was like, I want to move out. And then I connected it with like, Oh, wow. I never really thought about my mom's experience of me telling her that. And I went on a big walk the next day, and I actually called my mom who I now have an amazing relationship with. We are really close. And I'm so grateful. I called her and I told her about this exchange with Rohan and how it really turns out, brought up all this stuff from the past. And I said to her in tears, like, you know, mom, that was a hard time for us. And I've never really considered what it was like for you to have me, you know, peace out. And she was so generous in her response to that she said case you don't have anything to apologise for I was, you know, I was in my own stuff, basically, is what she said. And yeah, it was so healing for the two of us to have this conversation about this time in our lives. And I think Robin, I'm so grateful that she had this meltdown and that I had this response, because it opened a door. Yeah, a doorway for evermore healing between my mom and I and it was, it was awesome. So anyway, I wanted to share that too. Really excited. I'll be back next week with chapter three, which is titled who is causing your derailment? So we'll continue to be into the book on these Thursdays. So thank you for being here. Thank you for listening. And I'll see you soon. Bye.
Casey O'Roarty 44:39
Thank you so much for listening. Thank you to my Sproutsocial partners as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting this show out there. Don't forget get your free companion guide to this series created to expand your learning and your own copy of the book by going to be spreadable doc Um, slash Jay Z book. I'm so appreciating you and I'm here to support you and your journey of parenting tweens and teens. Find me on social media or shoot me an email at Casey at joyful courage.com to discover how we can work together. Tune back in on Monday for a brand new interview, and I'll be back with another solo show next Thursday.