Casey O’Roarty is the host of the Joyful Courage podcast and a Positive Discipline Trainer and parent coach supporting parents in celebrating the opportunity to grow on the parenting journey.

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466: Relisten: How To Have More Responsible Kids (185)

Casey O'Roarty

What happens when a parenting coach of teens looks back on her early years?

In this episode, you’ll hear Casey O’Roarty share her early parenting regrets and her real-world wisdom about how to handle our relationships with our children—at every age.

Relisten: How To Have More Responsible Kids- Casey O'Roarty (185) [466]

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Hunter: Hey there, it's Hunter, and welcome to Throwback Thursday. Most Thursdays, we are going to re release one of my favorite episodes from the archives. So unless you're a longtime listener of the show, there's a good chance you haven't heard this one yet. And even if you had, chances are that you are going to get something new listening to it this time around.

[00:00:18] Casey: And it's not instant gratification. Like, I think taking things away and that threat, it feels like you've done something, right? Like you've handled it. But in the end, if you're doing that over and over and over again, clearly you're handling nothing.

[00:00:37] Hunter: You're listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode 185. Today, we're talking about how to have more responsible kids.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting podcast. Here, it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Parenting, we know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years. I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, and I'm the author of the international bestseller, Raising Good Humans, and now Raising Good Humans Every Day, 50 Simple Ways to Press Pause, Stay Present, and Connect with Your Kids. Oh my God. I have so many amazing things to tell you about this week, along with this amazing episode.

Ah, I don't know where to start. I am so glad you're here. Welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome to familiar listeners who've been in this tribe and welcome to you if you are brand new. Special welcome to you. So, in just a moment, I am going to be sitting down with Casey Arurity, and she is another podcast host, host of the Joyful Courage podcast and a positive discipline trainer.

And she supports parents and celebrating the opportunity to grow on the parenting journey and two kids who, with two kids who teach her every day. And we are going to be talking about what happens You know, when a parenting coach of teens looks back on her early years, so how, what, what would you change, et cetera, and how do we create responsible kids?

And you'll, you'll hear her, Casey share her early parenting regrets and her real world wisdom about how to handle our relationships with children at every age. So I want you to listen for how positive parenting is not an instant gratification journey. It really is about relationships in the long haul.

And rather than control or letting go, we should really be giving responsibility to our kids. And we want to also think about this idea and listen for this idea that privilege without responsibility is entitlement. Alright, now, on to this awesome, awesome interview with Casey O'Rourke.

Casey, thanks so much for coming on the Mindful Mama podcast. I'm so excited to be here. Thank you for having me. I'm excited for you to be here, too. We have been podcasting around in sort of the very similar parenting space, and so I'm so excited that we finally get to connect and talk to each other. And, um, I've already introduced you, so we, we know you've got the Joyful Courage podcast.

Um, but this, I want to kind of dive in first to like, what is it? your parenting experience and like you had an education background. So kind of like similar to me, I thought like when You know, when I thought, oh, I'm going to be having this baby, I've been meditating for two years, I'm going to, I'm just going to be great at this because I'm going to be so calm and it's going to be awesome.

You had a similar thing going on with your education background when you got into parenting, right?

[00:04:07] Casey: I did. Oh yeah. I was very much like, I am so lucky that I have so much knowledge about children. This is going to be awesome. So easy. And, uh, that was not the case.

[00:04:23] Hunter: So when, when did it, when did it, when did it hit you?

When did you hit the wall?

[00:04:25] Casey: Yeah, well, you know, I think like one child, right, having my first, I was also surrounded by some really cool moms that were a few years ahead of me who turned me on to attachment parenting and just really expanded my understanding of what was possible and how to be in relationship with babies.

I grew up in Southern California and, you know, I did not see people breastfeeding. I did not see people baby wearing. Everybody went to the hospital to have their babies and all of those things are fine and a choice. But I was in this community where There were all these other options and they were, you know, like smart, educated decisions.

And so really went into the first couple of years of parenting, really appreciating attachment parenting, probably a little like hyper focused on it, but you know, my daughter nursed on me and, and I, she was in the sling all the time. She slept with us that worked for both my husband and I. Yeah. So I was kind of the poster child for that.

Did you run?

[00:05:34] Hunter: Can I ask, did you, so now my, I also practice baby wearing and nursing all the time and things like that and actually slept with my daughter for a long time, but I have a beef with attachment parenting in that I feel like it's so, especially some of the books by the Sears are so kind of heavy on the mom, like it's all like mom, mom, mom, this, whereas I really do think that kids create healthy, great attachments with all their caregivers and a lot of different caregivers that have this healthy attachment. But if moms tend to feel like, Oh my God, it has to be me and I have to do everything and I can never leave my child for like five hours to go out with my friends, God forbid overnight to go see a relative.

And that's my, and, and that really frustrates me. And also that, That idea that this, you know, it kind of like leans towards a self sacrificing mom thing like, like you should sleep with your child even if you're not getting any sleep and it's driving you like crazy because you're not getting any sleep.

[00:06:34] Casey: You know what I mean? Yeah, totally. Totally, totally. A hundred percent. I totally, yes, yes, yes. And it's interesting when I think back to those years because, Like, I didn't question it, you know, I mean, my husband, um, at the time was a journeyman tree trimmer, so he was working long days and working really hard.

And when he came home, man, he was all over that baby. But I was the ones, I was the one with the boobs. You know, and so, and I was the one that had time in the day to nap, so I was the, you know, the nighttime parent as well, and, um, I have a funny story about that in a little bit, but yeah, yes, yes. And looking back.

Would I do things differently? Yeah, I, I'm curious about resiliency and the opportunities for resiliency that I perhaps didn't allow my child because I was so attentive. Um, and I, I'm not, you know, and I'm not talking about the total extreme of, you know, let them cry for four hours so they teach themselves to go to sleep.

I think there's a lot of space in the middle that. Um, I just was uneducated, unaware of, and, you know, and I was okay with all of it. Like I was rolling with it, and it was, you know, quote, working for me, meaning like I didn't mind carrying my baby all the time. I didn't mind that I couldn't go out. I just brought my baby with me.

Plus, when I did go anywhere for any length of time, she was there. Lost. Can we swear on this podcast? We try not to. Okay. She lost her, you know what? Anytime I was gone. And so, um, and so that just became like, well, you know what? There's going to be time in the future where I'll get to get away. And right now I just get to be with her.

And like in my mind in, in, during that period of time, it was okay. Um, and then I had my son and before I had my son, I had read about. The mama bear tendency to push the older child away when you have a second child. And I remember reading that and being like, there is no way that that could happen. I just couldn't in any reality, in any universe.

Imagine pushing my older child away. And then I had my second baby and I was like, so in love with him. And my second, and Rowan was, uh, three, almost three. She was like a couple months shy of three when I had my son, Ian. And she became a giant. And like, if I'm being completely honest and transparent, she became a nuisance.

And all I wanted to do was take, you know, really like take care of this brand new baby and here she was, and she needed me and she wanted to be near me and my instinct was to you know, I mean, it makes me emotional. I write about this in my book and talk about it a lot, but my, my instinct was to push her away.

And, you know, not all the time, not like 24 7. I have some really vivid memory of, um, you know, like you're nursing the baby to sleep because that's what I did. Another thing I would try to do better, um, nursing the baby to sleep. And here's my little, like almost 3-year-old poking her head in and then the silent eyes and the pointing finger like, you can't see me 'cause Oh yeah.

Know what I'm talking about. Like, like that, like pointing, like no, you know, setting her like the evil eyes, like, oh yeah. Yeah. And I just remember hers like seeing me do that and slowly opening the door. And walking over and the whole time I'm giving her like the silent, like, Oh, and she just sat down next to the bed and she was silent.

And it was, and that's when things got really hard for me is in the dynamic of going from one to two and. Yeah, it was like, Oh, I, I don't know how to do this. And I was being hurtful to my daughter. And as Ian got older and more sturdy, she was not always super nice to him. And then I would respond with, you know, you can't do that.

Don't do that. You're going to hurt the baby. And then without seeing that we were in a cycle, which I, you know, when that was right around the time that I found positive discipline and went to a training. and realize like, Oh, we're in a cycle and I get to be the one. I can interrupt it. I can step out of it.

I can change this. And that's when I started practicing the tools and strategies and ways of being that are positive discipline. And it really shifted the climate in our home dramatically. And it started with me. 

[00:11:25] Hunter: So stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcast right after this break.

[00:11:33] Casey: Yeah, that's when it got hard.

[00:11:35] Hunter: Yeah, no, it's, it's great because I love those I love those, sharing those stories because when, until we kind of share those stories, they're like, we, that judging mind comes in and says, you know, Oh, I'm, you know, for the, often for the listener, right? Like it's like, I'm this because I had this like crappy moment with my kid and I did this thing and I'm a terrible person.

We, we tend to be so hard on ourselves in that. that judgment, that criticism inside comes out, and it really can be cacophonous, and it can really kind of be a downward spiral. But as we start to just speak up, and as we start to share our stories, then these challenges, instead of like pushing us into the cycle of, uh, you know, downward cycle of self judgment, And shaming, it really can say, Oh, okay, then this is, I mean, very much so for you as this learning, was this like, Oh, this challenge is my teacher.

This challenge is, is teaching me a whole lot and it, it drove you to, to learn a whole lot. Well, and by the way, I was teaching parenting as I was having these challenges and then that conversation of who do I think I am right now, you know, and, um, But, you know, that was many years ago. My kids are now 16 and 13, and things are not perfect, and we all have our moments of flying off the handle, and the, like, I, instead of this conversation of who do I think I am that I work with parents, it becomes like, oh, I love that we had to navigate that.

Because now when I'm on the phone or on a Zoom call with a parent and they're sharing about their challenges, I get to say, I see you, I get it, I know what that feels like, you know, and really come from a deeply authentic place. I think that, you know, we see it all the time. Like, you know, the social, social media tells a very limited story, right?

And I think that, like you said, it's so powerful to have someone say, I struggle too. And that's hard for me too. And especially when it's people like you and I who have a platform, because I think it's easy, you know, even as I hear my client, client say, you know, just yesterday on a call my client was like, Oh my gosh, you just knew the perfect thing to say and to do.

And I say, listen, I'm really good when I'm talking about you, right? It's a whole nother practice when I'm in conversation and in relationship with my, one of my own kids.

[00:14:14] Hunter: Oh, oh, so true. I just want to call myself out here too, because yes, yes, it's so true. Like, um, I, my kids are in a place where I, they're not like pushing quite so many buttons for me anymore.

And, and what I think that's wonderful about sort of the tools of At least the sort of non authoritarian tools. I don't want to go into all the many names of whatever. You know, like I said, the things do get to spiral into easier, right? They spiral easier and or snowball easier rather than snowball harder.

But like, yeah, I, I still yell at my kids sometime. I'm, my kids, I mess up. I am in situations where I'm frustrated and I'm annoyed with them and I just want to like not be with them. All this stuff happens. Absolutely. Yes. Yes. And it's so, it's, it's, yeah, I mean, I feel like that's what makes, uh, you know, to, to be there and say, to maybe not be sort of naturally amazing at it and naturally the most perfect, amazing, nurturing Earth Mother is actually, like, great, because there's like almost no one who's like, yeah.

[00:15:27] Casey: Yeah. And if you think they are, they're lying, everyone. Lying to you. They're liars. They're liars. They're liars.

[00:15:32] Hunter: So, tell me about the nighttime parenting incident.

[00:15:37] Casey: Oh, okay. Well, I just remember when Ian was a baby, he was probably like six months old, and we had a Tempur Pedic bed at the time, and my husband would sleep on the bed, and he would because he had to get up really early and he worked with, like, chainsaws, you know, all day long.

So what's a Tempur Pedic bed like? I, I can recognize it. Does it, like, move up and down? No, it's, like, really, like, I can move around. No, it's, like, you can move around and the person next to you doesn't feel anything. Oh, yeah. Okay, cool. So it's just kind of, like, crazy foam, I guess, but like super on steroids.

And what that means is like sitting up to hold a baby and holding the posture without leaning against something is really hard. That's what I remember about it. And my husband would sleep with one, um, earplug in. Because he, you know, he did have to sleep, like he had a dangerous job, and it was many hours a day that he worked, and he had to sleep, and Ian slept with us, and like I said, he was totally down for that.

Anyway, Ian would not nurse laying down, and it wasn't all the time, but sometimes he would not nurse. Unless I was sitting up and I remember I was so irritated. It was the middle. It was like the dark of night, you know, and silent except for Ian and I'm trying to get him to nurse and I'm sitting up and I can't really find good balance and I'm uncomfortable and I look over and there's my husband and all I can see is the bright orange, uh, earplug.

Yeah, and I am, I mean, I don't remember exactly what I said to him, but it was not very lovely or nurturing or anything, but I spoke out loud to him something like, you don't even know what I'm doing right now, you know, I have my little pity party. And the next day I told him, I said, man, I had a rough night last night.

And at one point I kind of yelled at you and you didn't know. And I said, I just was feeling a lot of compassion for moms that, you know, drive their car full of kids in the lakes. And Ian, or Ben looked at me and he goes, you got to wake me up. And I'm like, hey, I'm not going to go over the edge here. I just, you know, but it was just so cute the way he was like, you know, please just wake me up.

So I have to protect my offspring. Yeah. You're talking about driving the car into the lake. I'm like, no, no, no, no, no. All I'm saying is I get how that can start to open up. 

[00:18:15] Hunter: You can see how that happens. I mean, I remember being so frustrated when my younger daughter was three, so frustrated with her not listening to whatever I wanted.

And I think she was like coming out of her room when it was nap time and just being so frustrated. And I remember grabbing her shoulders and feeling, Oh my God, my arm, my hands are really tense and strong right now because I am P O O D. And just feeling like, Holy moly, this is how people hurt their children.

Like, this is it. There it is in me. And just, , you know? Oh my. You know, just getting that, that feeling of like, yeah, okay. Well, I, I can understand that that happens because it really does trigger, and us, it's like just, it's our wiring, right? Like, it, it's a threat, you know? Ultimately we are coming from a good place, like we want our children to sleep and so that they can be happy and healthy, and everyone can be healthy, and we want.

You know, we want them to cooperate with us, you know, because we want everyone to live happy and healthy lives. And so this thing that we are trying to make happen is coming from a good place, but we still have these, you know, this is just the wiring, right? This is just that, this, that nervous system wiring that when something really feels like a threat, even if it's our own tiny child, this is how the nervous system responds.

And I think it's so valuable to just. Say, oh man, hello, hello, hello, nervous system. So did you talk about in your book, you talk about kind of looking at your, your own triggers and things like that. You've, you've done that work of kind of looking back at your own parenting, your own childhood. What was your upbringing like as far as like, what was sort of the style of parenting that you were raised?

[00:20:14] Casey: Well, I'm a child of divorce. So I had two households. And for the majority, up until I was in high school, um, I lived with my mom. And my, and I would see my dad, you know, it was the 80s, so like every other weekend, and two weeks during the summer, which is so crazy, but that's what it was. And my mom was, um, Um, young when she had me, she, well, I guess normal, 23, it feels so young.

Anyway, um, but she, and she had me, and then my brother was two years younger than me. And she was, you know, both deeply, deeply loving and wonderful and caring. And didn't really ever have many experiences to grow in her own self awareness around self regulation. So when she, you know, when she was triggered, it was big, you know, and it was, He really lost it.

And I tended to be the one that got the brunt of it. And, you know, and so that it's that zero to a hundred, right? That can happen. Um, my dad, he was way more chill, but really, really leaned on consequences and punishment. Things like, I remember when we got into trouble, we had to sit in the bathroom and it was so, because it was the most boring place.

that there was. And so we'd sit in the bathroom, which is so weird to say out loud. When I was in high school and I bet you guys got into some mischief in that bathroom. Yeah. Well, there was typically, it was the guest bathrooms. There was nothing to play with. Oh no. Um, and I can, it's so funny. And, and then when I got older in high school and did the things that teenagers do, I would be grounded.

I would get grounded for like three months. It wasn't like, Oh, you're grounded next weekend. It was like, well, you're going to be grounded for the next three months. But like similar to my mom, where there was this like love, this deep love, even though the self regulation wasn't always there with my dad, it was.

These ridiculous punishments that really didn't teach me anything except for I have to get better at being sneaky, but it was always coupled with what we did do during those three months is I would go bowling with my family and we would go to the movies and we would do stuff together as a family. So the relationship was there, even as the style definitely leaned more towards authoritarian.

So, it was an interesting, and you know, I've come to a place, there was, you know, there's a lot, I write a little bit about it in the book, but you know, it was, it was really hard, especially the time that I moved in with my dad from my mom's. That was a really challenging time for me and for my mom and, um, and was followed by a long period, like a 10 year period of us really not having much of a relationship at all.

So, um, And then coming back around in my mid twenties, and as I had my daughter, and really rebuilding, um, what our relationship is today, which is amazing. I have an amazing relationship with my mom. And, um, you know, there was a period of time where I was, I was angry, you know, that, like, because I see the same tendency in myself, especially when the kids were younger and I was a little bit less self aware, I could see my own gaps in self regulation, right, with the kids.

And I was like, and I connect the dots, like, this is, this is how I was treated by mom, probably the way she was treated by grandma, who knows how far back this cycle has been. And it was like, why the hell didn't my mom? Decide to be different. Like I really held this, like, why was it she the one that said, I'm not going to treat my kids like that?

And I got to this place and it was right around the time when I started, um, learning about. being a life coach and doing some more kind of transformational work where I realized I didn't, I didn't have to be in that question anymore. And that that question really didn't serve me. The question of why didn't she do the work just kept me in this place of resentment.

And once I let go of that and forgave her and really recognize like, it's because of, of my relationship with her that I am so passionate about my own personal and professional work. It, I can see everything that we went through as a giant gift, right? And, um, and exactly as it was meant to be. So, as painful as a lot of it was for her and for I, you know, I just feel like where we are right now is, It's, you know, it's all part of this bigger, longer continuum of being human.

[00:25:14] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Like your, your healing of these generational patterns, you, you did that work for, for all of you. You did that work for your children, but you also did that work for your mother and your grandparents. Yeah. And, and so on, right? Where that suffering was passed down the line, because. There's, you know, no one has learned another way.

And so, what a wonderful gift to give her. And I love that you saw the sort of fruitlessness of this question. Why? Why didn't she do this? Why didn't she do this? It's really interesting to see, like, how we, we ask those questions, right? Like, I think that as we're younger, you know, when we come into sort of the place of parenting.

we can, we can get a whole, such a different perspective, which I think is so valuable. But like, I can see that in my daughter. You could probably see it in your kids too, this, um, just very natural, innate tendency as we're developing our sense of a separate self and a unique individual person, you know, as they grow up, the sense of like a defensiveness that comes of like always blaming the other.

Right. And it's like, interesting to be in this place of like, okay, well, I'm I'm doing this work of trying to Um, to soften the edges of my separate sense of self and, and, and not listen to that voice of the ego for the dictate for every action. And my daughter's in this place of like, developing and blaming the others for all of the things and it's so, in some ways, it's like incredibly frustrating to watch, but it's terrifying.

[00:26:54] Casey: It's like a cycle, right? Totally. And there's nothing we can do or say to have them skip that, you know? How old is your daughter? Well, okay. So, my daughter is 16 and I just have to share this because We, you know, the year that I wrote the book, last year, when I was writing the book, I was living through the hardest, I think, parenting year that I've had, um, because my daughter was having a really hard time and, um, in high school, freshman year, all the things showed up, all of them.

And I was like, coming back to that conversation of, oh my gosh, who am I? To be working with parents, like, are, and, and then, and also, clearly, positive discipline doesn't work. Because look at my teenager being a teenager. Um, anyway, I lived through that. Um, but really, what I want to talk about is, so, yes, so much blame and so much individuation and so much I am not you, like, the push away was so intense.

And this year has been so cool as she's discovered things like. She read The Celestine Prophecy. Oh, I loved that book. I know! It was like my first new agey book. And she's like, my brother, I didn't tell her about it. My brother told her about it. And she's getting into crystals. And like, she's, she asked me if I would order, she's like, will you order this book?

book, um, Law of Attraction by Abraham Hicks. I was like, Oh, sure. I'll get that book for you. You know, I was, and I'm dying on the inside. Like, yes, yes, yes. Because don't say anything else. I know. Don't get too excited. To me, like my biggest dream for my kids is for them to come to a place of recognizing that they are in the design.

They're the designers of their life. You know, and that, like, to me, above all else, if we can land in that place, everything opens up. And so for her, like, just thinking about the 12 year old versus where Rowan's at as a 16 year old. And who knows? I mean, she's got a lot of life to live, I'm sure. Um, but right now, it's very exciting to watch her explore.

Um, you know, positive affirmation and, and positive thinking and, you know, the law of attraction and what I'm putting out and what I'm receiving and all these things that I want to just dump into her, she is exploring and interested in, not because of me. What's up if it came from you? I know. Well, I remember saying like, Hey, we should do, we should do yoga together sometime.

And she was like, that's your thing. And I'm like, actually, it's like 3 billion people on the planet thing. It is not my thing, but okay. You know, but it's just been such an interesting and fascinating. Crazy, loop de loop whirlwind of an experience for sure.

[00:30:05] Hunter: Yeah. And awesome. So, so when you're, you're, so when you're in that place of last year of questioning whether, you know, positive discipline, you know, works or not, um, are you, are you willing to like share some kind of what was happening and, and what, Now, you can maybe see from retrospect about that time.

[00:30:25] Casey: Yeah. Well, it's interesting, you know, positive discipline as a program, it's a thing, right? There's a big umbrella of positive parenting. Positive discipline is an actual, like, program. And it's based in the work of, um, Alfred Adler. And his work is that behavior is motivated by the needs of belonging. and Significance, which is different than a lot of us and even the way kind of society is set up, which is we manipulate behavior through consequences and rewards.

Yeah. So, you know, here I am and I've raised these kids with, uh, from a different lens. And then we get to high school and, um, things start to go sideways. And, um, and I'm, you know, and I think the first thing looking back is realizing that. The messiness of the teen years is not an indication of whether or not you're doing parenting right.

Maybe you should resay that one more time. The messiness, so the messiness of the teen years is not an indication of whether or not you're getting parenting right. And, right, I'm putting air quotes. Um, and that's, like, huge. And, you know, I think we, especially those of us that have found our rhythm as far as the gentle, peaceful, nurturing, whatever you want to call it, parenting style.

We kind of set ourselves up thinking like, you know, the teen years aren't going to be that bad, or the teen years will just be so beautiful, and we'll probably not have to deal with like, pot smoking and vaping and sex and drugs and blah, blah, blah.

[00:32:07] Hunter: Oh my god, you're reading that, you're reading that hopeful part of my mind.

Yeah, sorry about that, Audra.

[00:32:13] Casey: Crossing my fingers. And when those things show up, however they show up, it's about the teen, it's not about your parenting, it's about All of the things that happened to the teen brain and, and individuation and all the things. So, as in my experience, you know, as I'm like, Oh my God, because things were happening and I was like, you got to lock it down.

You know, my instinct is I got to lock it down. I got to, but she was already saying things like, I don't want to live here. I don't want to be in this family. Like she was so clearly hurting. And I knew that there wasn't really. You know, in my, way back in my mind, I knew, I mean, I always knew that relationship was the key to everything.

And we were in this period of time where relationship, like she was really rejecting relationship. And so. I knew that any kind of extreme, like, I'm going to take her phone, or I'm going to do this, or I'm going to do this to her, was only going to create more suffering in our relationship and wasn't even really going to get to whatever the hell happened.

And so I just kept coming back for more relationship, and it was really hard, and I was really scared, and I questioned myself, and But we can't, I did have glimmers throughout the year, like, okay, we're okay. You know, even as she was angry and pushing me away, there was also some opening, um, where she would let me in and she was still like talking to me and telling me about the things she was doing.

And then she'd like slam the door and I'm like, you know, and, and we think we want this open, honest relationship with our kids where they tell us things. And let me tell you. That is not an easy space to hold.

[00:34:13] Hunter: I

[00:34:14] Casey: bet.

[00:34:15] Hunter: I bet. Especially because you have no way of responding, like, if it's, there's the door right after.

[00:34:21] Casey: Right? Or, well, there's that. Or it's just like, I have to tell you something, here it is. And I'm like, all I have is, well, tell me more about that. My go to, because I'm like, oh my gosh, I don't know. I don't know how to hold this. Um, and also being really honest with her about that. Just like, wow, I can tell that you're hurting and, and I want it and I want to be available to you.

And so tell me what you need. And a lot of times she didn't know what she needed. And so then it would just be like, okay, well I'm here. And it was just a matter of having to witness. You know, and not being able to fix it, which was just like the worst. So yeah, I mean, and that, and then it, you know, we got to the end of the year, um, of holding space and holding space.

And then at the end of the year, she, I, you know, I think that because I didn't go like crazy, Um, Behaviorist, like, Consequences, Consequences, because I kind of held space for her. It allowed her to feel her, um, the responsibility of what was happening in her life instead of like handing it to me and then just being mad at me for giving her consequences.

She really got to hold it. And at the end of the year, she came home from school and said, I'm not going back. I'm going to do online school. And I said, uh, I don't even know what that means. I was really like, what are you, what are you talking about? And she said, nope, this is what I'm going to do. Look into it.

And all summer long, she was super adamant and confident in that choice. And I let her take the lead and she's done online school this year. And next year we'll be a junior here in Washington state. And she'll get to go to the community college and do her last two years of high school at the community college in a whole different environment.

And she's excited. And. This year has been a total 180. Again, it's been relationship, relationship, relationship, and me taking my fears. Just letting them exist, but putting them to the side and trusting and surrendering to.

[00:36:34] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Not acting. Not acting from that place of fear. Yeah. Oh my gosh. What an incredible, what an incredible learning.

Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

You write in your book. That you were a, quote, complete control freak before you even had kids. Oh, I still kind of am. So, I imagine that this is, this is, this is part of, I mean, this is, that's a lot of letting go of control there, right? Oh, yeah. To just step back from dads. Uh, you know, you're punished or you're grounded for X number of days or you're not getting your phone.

I mean, I know, you know, in Mindful Parenting, we don't see, you know, I, there's no punishment concept, you know, punishment, um, Todd, because I know how it's counterproductive, right? Yeah. At the same time, like when I'm stuck and I'm frustrated and I'm in my fight, fight or freeze zone. Threads are like my go to tool, you know, like it just comes back so easily and it's, um, it can be frustrating.

Um, yeah. Luckily for me, uh, I have a, a partner who's like, honey, remember. Remember what you teach. And I'm like, Oh, yes. Yes. Yeah. Go take a walk.

[00:38:03] Casey: Sometimes I'll say to the kids, like, I'm desperate right now. You know, like I'm, I just call it, say it as it is. Like I, I have no tools. So give me your phone. I'm out of tools.

So let's just take a break. And I, and I think that, you know, the whole phone conversation is a whole nother episode. Right. But, um, there's also, um, You know, privilege and responsibility, right? So yeah, yeah. Privilege. Privilege without responsibility is entitlement.

[00:38:30] Hunter: Yeah.

[00:38:31] Casey: So, you know, that's, it's not so much, and I, I'm sure you're, you do a good job of this with your listeners as well.

The idea isn't anything goes. The idea isn't like, I'm going to sit here and watch you, you know, ruin your life. It's not that. It's like, I'm going to sit here and I'm going to trust that you know that I'm here for you, and I'm going to trust that you are going to learn through the experiences of your life, you know, and I think that that is a huge leap of faith.

And, um, and it's not instant gratification. Like I think taking things away and that threat, it feels like you've done something, right? Like you've handled it. But in the end, if you're doing that over and over and over again, clearly you're handling nothing.

[00:39:23] Hunter: Yeah.

[00:39:24] Casey: Because the problem still exists.

[00:39:26] Hunter: Yeah, we want to create cooperation from the inside out.

We wanted to create intrinsic, um, motivation to be able to do that and to, for our child to be able to experience the real world consequences of that, whether it's, um, you know, whatever that is, whether it's me, like my daughter saying something mean to me and me telling her, you know, like when you say that to me, I feel really sad.

Like that hurts my feelings for her to, and to be authentic about it. Not, I'm not putting on a show or whatever. Like that is a real world consequences of saying a mean thing to someone you love. And that's a really valuable lesson to learn in, in a safe space. But I love what you said that privilege without responsibility is entitlement because yeah.

I mean, you know, we've gotta, you know, we get, we get to, in these extremes in our culture where it's like we're either authoritarian or we're like, you know, we can't set any boundaries. And yeah, like, you don't, you know, we don't do the screen time until the, the cats are fed and the, the table is set. Yeah.

There's guidelines. These things are done, right. These responsibilities are done, and those responsibilities are, are really, really important. So. With this idea of like, you know, knowing, um, knowing that these responsibilities and cultivating them are really valuable, um, and, and knowing that we have to kind of give our kids more and more responsibility, yet holding that, like, you know, you say, you wrote in the book, like, control is an illusion.

So, Talk to me about, a little bit about the intersection between those two things. Like, you were thinking about this idea of control as an illusion. Yeah, we need to get some stuff done. Yeah.

[00:41:14] Casey: You know, that's such a great question. And I think about it a lot because Um, I've been working more and more with parents of teenagers and, um, a lot of people that have come to me saying like, my, my kid just won't help out.

They won't help out around the house. And I think about my kids who are not like joyously, you know, doing a bunch of chores every day by any means. La la la la la la. Yeah, no, that just doesn't happen. La la la la la la. No. Um, but they, like, what are routine or, you know, what are common languages in our houses?

We all live together. We all help out. You don't have to like it. It's fine. I don't really like doing dishes either. And when it comes time to say to them, Hey, I need you to, because we've, so it's funny for years when they were younger, we created routines and we did family meetings every week. We still do family meetings, not every week, but, and, and the kids, you know, we'd check in on how's the family, we'd call it family work.

And. And they would say, Oh, I don't like this. And I don't like that. Okay. Let's create something new for this week. What's it going to look like? And there was a lot of collaboration. And then, and I, we'd make signs and now they're like, do not put up the sign. I'm like, okay, well, what's going to help you?

And they keep saying like, just tell us. And you're like, I don't want to know. Yeah. And I'm like, no, I don't want to. And then recently I've kind of let that go. And I'm like, okay, I'll tell you. And so, you know, last night it was, hey, I need you to come down and do this and I need you to come down and do that.

And they're like, all right. I think it's a balance. Um, yeah, it's a, it's not that I'm, it's never like I'm going to force you to do this. That's never the energy that I bring to that. It's really like we all live together and I need your help. And here's a menu of options. Yeah, there's always a menu of options.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. And we, and I put times, like, like do this and it'll take you five minutes. Do this, 10 minutes. And I'll say something like, pick 30 minutes worth of stuff to do. You pick what it is. And that's been, um, really useful. But I think it's like, it's really, and when I talk about control being an illusion, like for me, it kind of goes back to what was going on with Rowan last year and just the idea that I can't control.

Like, I can't control whether or not my kids end up addicted to nicotine. I can't control whether or not, what kind of job my kids have. I can't control the GPA that they end up with at the end of college, or if they even go to college. I can't control those things. What I can do is I can create an environment where I'm handing this energetic responsibility to them because I think that we hold that responsibility.

And that's when it feels like we've got to like put down the hammer or, you know, make sure that they don't do XYZ. And, you know, for example, like I had this, do you want to hear an example? I feel like I'm kind of rambling and talking around this really great story. Um, so, You know, anyone with a teenager, well, not anyone with a teenager, most people with teenagers are kind of already hearing about vaping, right?

Vaping is a huge thing with teenagers. They've managed to take all the gross things away from smoking cigarettes and just left the one cool thing, which is, Blown, right, according to the kids. And so, it's everywhere, I mean kids are doing it in the classroom, like into their backpacks you can't even see.

So it's, it's shown up in our house and a couple times and um, and I am a former smoker and so I'm like, you can't, you don't want this, you know, I'm like so hyper, like don't start, don't start, don't start, don't start. And um, and then when I find, when it comes in my path that it's happening, it's like Full body experience of like, oh my gosh, I have to stop this.

And la and it just, there was a couple little periods that I got to navigate. And then last fall, it showed up again. And I went in, you know, got it from my daughter, walked into my room full of all my feels. And I thought to myself, I thought back to all the things that my parents told me about smoking, which was, it was disgusting, only losers smoked, You can't get anywhere in life if you were a smoker, like all the, all the things, right?

And guess what? In college, I started smoking and it didn't matter what they said. And so I thought about that in my room and I thought about the fact that at the end of the day, the only person that decides whether or not my daughter is addicted to nicotine is my daughter. And so I walked back into her room, way more calm, and I said to her, I said, you know, I have been holding this energy that it's my responsibility to keep you away from nicotine.

And I realized that actually it's your responsibility. And I can promise you that your future self will not want to be addicted to nicotine, like 100%. I promise you that. But ultimately, you're the one that gets to decide. And I said, you know, I'm going to intervene and interfere and interrupt when it comes into my consciousness that this is happening.

I'm not going to give you back this vape, but I'm also, but I'm also going to let go of this feeling of this energy that I'm responsible for that. for that, you know, part of your, for that path. And so anyway, she was like, okay, you know, kind of rolled her eyes at me as 15 year olds do. And then, um, yeah, and then recently had a situation where she.

Um, said, I need to give you something. And she pulled out a bottle of, it's called vape juice, it's nicotine juice, and another vape pen. And she said, I started using this this past weekend, and it's all I can think about, and I don't want to think about it, and so I need you to get rid of it for me.

[00:48:01] Hunter: And I was like, Oh my gosh, this is, this is the, this is, this can be the result

[00:48:10] Casey: of that passing on of energetic responsibility.

Like she chose for herself instead of me swooping in, interrupting. I didn't know she had that, obviously, or I would have swooped in and interrupted, but she got to be in the development of that internal guidance system, which I think is so powerful and, and whether or not, you know, it shows up again in the future, I don't have any control of, but I feel really good for her, um, that she chose into that and, uh, had that experience of, of, and I feel good that our relationship is one that she can say, Hey, I need you to get rid of this for me.

And I'm not like, Oh my God, what do you want? How could you, you know, and like freaking out about it. Instead, I was so proud. I was so proud of her and it seemed so mature and just responsible, even as, you know, at the core of it, it's like, how could you be so irresponsible? But in the end.

[00:49:13] Hunter: Yeah, it's just a wild.

But that's beautiful. That's like such a perfect example. You know, I use the visual a lot of like the two fists, right? The two fists reaching towards each other. And you know, when there's a conflict and we have to be able to take one of those fists away and say that we are on We're on the same side.

Yeah. We're on the same team. I'm on your team, really, here. And really, that's what you did here. It wasn't, it's kind of like, more than letting go. I love that you talk about this. I, you know, it's, it's about giving that responsibility to her and how wonderfully fortunate you both were. That she was able to make this mistake and ma and ha and have this maybe, potentially crappy thing happen to her when she was in the safety of your home.

Like, it's, we can't, we shouldn't be preventing our kids from making all the mistakes and, and making the road completely smooth for them. No, no. You know, snowplow or whatever, because they need to make those mistakes. And she needed to have that tough time in high school and all that stuff where she was in a safe place to make a decision, um, with your, with your influence.

And because you didn't push her away, you were able to give her that influence because she wasn't pushing against you. She wasn't getting away from you. Like you, you saying no, no, no, even more might've driven her more to it. Right? Underground. 

[00:50:33] Casey: Yeah, totally. I know about going underground. That's what I did in high school.

I didn't talk to my parents about what I was doing. Oh, no. Oh, no.

[00:50:43] Hunter: I love that. Developing our kids own internal guidance system. And I think that's really a guiding principle, right? Of like, kind of, let's step back and see the big picture and create that relationship that's a safe place to, um, to be like a great person and experiment with other stuff and all that stuff.

And that's really what that unconditional love is. And I love that you were like, and I'm not going to be putting up with it in my house. I'm going to be taking it away. Right. But, and you just explained it very clearly, you know, you were verbal about your own process, which I think we need to do more as parents is just say, this is what is going on for me and this is what I'm thinking.

And so this is why I'm taking this action. So, um, I'm so glad you shared that story, Kasey.

[00:51:33] Casey: That's really beautiful. I hope that's okay with Rowan that I shared it. I'm sure it is. We'll find out. Um, but see, you know, that's, that's kind of going back to that comment of like the messiness isn't an indication of like whether or not you're doing a good job.

I mean, it's like, this isn't, I think it's so easy to take our kids behavior personally. Um, and. You know, I still see, I still, I still experience that with my own parents, you know, so it's interesting. They take your behavior personally? Well, they take our big, like, it's less about behavior, but maybe it's more about like lot in life or, you know, I mean, it's this, it's still this like, look at my amazing children and look at all the things.

And I want them to be proud of me, of course, but I also, like, I'm separate, we are separate, you know, and, um, And it's, I don't think it's just tied to the early years or the teen years. I think it's this lifelong opportunity that we get to, like, get out of their lane, right, and, and allow for our kids. to be who they are and just celebrate who they are.

And even as they do really stupid things because they have a teenage brain, like even in that, there's celebration, you know.

[00:52:55] Hunter: And my teacher, uh, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, he says to like, um, there's this one teaching where he says to imagine both of you a hundred years from now and then Act from that place, right?

And it's like, oh, yeah, we're going to be in the ground. So let's act from that place. It's beautiful. Um, Casey, I love, I've really enjoyed talking to you today. I could probably talk to you a lot longer. We probably need to. I'm picturing the two of us. Oh my gosh. Just having a big old conversation about it.

Anyway. We can. Um, so. Yeah. That's great. Where can people find out more about what you're doing and listen to your podcast?

[00:53:42] Casey: Well, the best place to go is JoyfulCourage. com. That's the name of my business, Joyful Courage. And from there, you can. I have a link to get to my book, which actually launches May 20th.

It's in the presale right now. Um, and launches May 20th. And then my podcast is The Joyful Courage Podcast. You can find it on iTunes slash Apple podcast, whatever you wanna call it. Spotify, iHeartRadio, or just directly from my website. Um, and I'm on Facebook. I have a business page on Facebook. I have a page, um, I guess you don't call it.

A page? I don't know. Anyway, I'm on Instagram too. And I have two groups in on Facebook. One is called Live and Love with Joyful Courage. Where I play, um, with the community and it's a super just yummy, supportive, forwarding, solution minded group of parents talking about all the things parenting. And then I realized that when you have teenagers, you don't necessarily want to hear from people who don't have teenagers yet.

So, I created another group specific for people. with teenagers, and it's called Joyful Courage for Parents of Teens. Um, both groups are just really respectful and loving, and I'm super proud of those groups. So you can ask to join either or both of those as well. That's where you can find me.

[00:55:13] Hunter: Well, um, Casey, I really appreciate that, you know, the work that you're doing, I appreciate you creating those safe spaces and creating the spaces for wonderful, authentic, great conversations and knowing that, you know, this, this, this, this What you're living, what you're teaching, and what you're putting out there is, is creating wonderful ripple effects.

So, um, so thank you so much for the work and thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Mama Podcast.

[00:55:41] Casey: Thank you so much for having me. This was so fun. I could talk for another hour.

[00:55:54] Hunter: Then I love what Casey has to say about responsibility, giving our kids responsibility and they need that so many ways. They need, That, you know, progressive independence, you know, more and more taking responsibility, doing it themselves, you know, even as they get older, you know, it's amazing how powerful that is.

They're asking for it. You know, we got to teach them how to do that and look at ourselves as these mentors and teachers to how to be more responsible and to take that. I'm wishing you a beautiful week, my friend, and I'm wishing you some peace and some joy. Thank you so much for listening. Namaste.

I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better. And just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a better parent to your children. I'm feeling like you're connecting more with them and not feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't this working? I would say definitely do it. It's so, so worth it.

It'll change you. No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's a great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working, or you can learn some new tools and gain something new. to shift everything in your parenting.

Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting Membership. You will be joined by Joining hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting.

This isn't just another parenting class. This is an opportunity to really discover your unique, lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting, connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to mindfulparenting.

 org MindfulParentingCourse. com to add your name to the waitlist so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment. I look forward to seeing you on the inside. Mindf

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