Supermom is Getting Tired
Dreading a Device Filled Summer

Dreading a Device Filled Summer

May 10, 2022

Episode 124: "I need a summer survival guide I can stick to."

 

Question of the Day:

Dear Torie,

Summer is coming and I can already anticipate my kids wanting nothing but to sit on their devices all day. Without the structure the school year provides, there is just too much down time and in my house, boredom always leads to video games, youtube and Netflix. 

The problem is I have a love/hate relationship with their devices. I LOVE that they leave me alone! When they are on their devices, they stop complaining about being bored, they stop asking for snacks a million times a day, and they stop bickering and fighting with each other! Life is peaceful when devices are on. 

HOWEVER, after they have been on their devices too long, I start feeling guilty. I get annoyed and start yelling at them to turn it off, go outside, call a friend. They ignore me so I threaten to chuck their ipad or cell phone out the window. It’s not pretty. 

Can you help me come up with a game plan or survival guide I can stick to this summer so I don’t go insane? 

Thank you, 

Madison

 

 

Parent Educator Answer: A Summer Survival Guide for digital devices

What works for creating a simple system you can stick to for managing kids digital devices?

A clear and consistent schedule.

There is a reason why teachers follow and post a clear, predictable schedule for students. We like to know what to expect. It helps us relax and enjoy the moment. In the beginning there is lots of testing and pushing boundaries from kids wondering…”Do you really mean what you say?” “Are you going to stick to this or is there wiggle room?” But if you hold firm to your established boundaries, they will stop asking and simply obey the structure you have created. 

Your schedule can look like “No devices before noon” 

Or 

“Internet access is only available between 12-2pm and 7-9pm.” 

Or 

“Free access all day except for the hours between 4-6pm.” 

Or

“You get no more than 4 hours of play time but you choose when you use those hours." 

 

Following through on rules could mean putting devices in a central location in your house where you can monitor, setting the wifi router or cell phone to shut off at a particular time, or using an app or chart to track screen time access. 

For SURE you want to sign up for my free webinar next Tuesday so you don’t slip into the habit of constantly nagging and repeating yourself to get them to follow through on the plan! 

 

 

Life Coaching Answer: What gets in our way from creating a simple schedule and sticking to it? 

  1. Feeling like a “bad mom”.
  2. Inconsistent summer schedules.
  3. Persistent and/or sneaky children.
  4. Perfectionistic fantasies.
  5. An absence of calm, leadership energy.

 

1. "Bad Mom"

When our kids have spent too much time on devices, the guilt that creeps in usually comes from a voice in our heads whispering mean things like,

“You aren’t doing it right.”

“If you were a good mom, your kids would be creating art and engineering feats in the backyard.”

“Your kids prefer video games to reading books, you are a failure as a mother.” 

We KNOW we aren’t bad moms! We are working our butts off to do the right things for our kids! So when this mean voice creeps in, we have the urge to kick it to the curb. The desire to yell or chuck the xbox out the window is really a desire to toss this mean voice out the window. 

Instead, meet this voice with confident compassion. “I know you think you are helping me by telling me I suck. Your opinion is noted but not welcome. I can get my kids off devices while still believing I'm a good mom.” 

It takes some time and focused attention to become aware of this subconscious voice in our head so don't feel bad if you aren't aware of it or you don't feel in control. Managing this inner critic is really hard to do on your own. It helps to have a life coach or therapist there to help you separate from it.

 

 

2. Inconsistent summer schedules make it really hard to schedule consistent screen time. When you’ve got swim meets on Wednesday nights, play dates with friends and camping trips on the weekend, how are you supposed to stay consistent? 

The solution is to take it one week at a time, or one day at a time. If your kids know that their screen time will be monitored everyday, it doesn’t matter if you say “today you can have devices from noon to 2:00pm”, “tomorrow 5-7:00pm”. It’s not a problem to be consistently inconsistent. Just make sure YOU don’t throw in the towel when things get dicey. The rewards of consistency are kids who know the rules and follow them without arguing and pushback. 

 

 

3. Speaking of arguing and pushback, the next obstacle that keeps us from creating a schedule is argumentative, persistent and sneaky children. Some kids love a predictable routine, other kids find rebelling against routine (and mom) exciting entertainment. They get to test their manipulation skills and turn it into a competitive power struggle. If this is your scenario, the best strategy is boredom. Be consistent, follow through everyday, but don’t give it your energy and attention. Turn off the device with a yawn saying “You know the rules” then challenge them to make 10 free throws in a row. If excitement and attention are your child’s motivation to misbehave, give them something else to get excited about. 

 

4. Perfectionistic Fantasies are these dreams we have of summer time with our kids running through the sprinklers, happily playing outside, entertaining themselves with their imagination. We think, “If I was a good mom, my kids wouldn’t be interested in screens” or “If I was a good mom, I would provide fun and stimulating activities everyday.” These perfectionistic fantasies make us feel like we are constantly failing because they never come true! Instead, expect summertime to be really hard, expect your kids to want to be on screens and get a game plan in place to take care of yourself, as well as the kids. 

 

 

5. An absence of calm, leadership energy - Kids can sense when you are standing in your power, they feel your confident energy and do what you ask. If you are asking them to follow the routine from a disempowered energy, they won’t feel compelled to listen or obey. When you are afraid of their pushback, or annoyed that you have to police these devices, or exhausted from too much kid time, it’s going to mess with your leadership energy. 

Lots of things get in the way when you are trying to implement parenting systems that are good for kids. Screen time feels harder to monitor because we didn’t grow up with the availability of devices like today’s kids have so we don’t have an example to imitate. Think of managing devices like brushing teeth. Eventually, it will be your kid’s job to manage on their own but until then, we can remind them and hold them accountable to a boring, consistent routine.  

 

Supermom Kryptonite - May Crazies

The end of the year crazies are upon us. School picnics and field trips, graduation ceremonies, teacher gifts and parties. SO MUCH extra stuff gets piled on at the end of the year it can make a Momma barely have time to breathe. Give yourself grace during these months. It’s survival time. Reduce your expectations, drop a ball or two, half ass it wherever you can. Revisit your game plan once summer is in full swing and you have a little more time. 

 

 

Supermom Power Boost - Diversify your joy

If you only get ONE DAY A YEAR to celebrate your awesomeness, it’s a recipe for disappointment. If Mother’s Day is the only time your family asks “What do you want, Mom?” then it’s never going to feel like enough. 

I remember coming home late one night after teaching Time for The Talk. I loved teaching at night. Most nights I was exhausted by the time dinner rolled around but teaching gave me a burst of energy. I got to do my hair and makeup, hang out with amazing parents and kids, have some fun doing what I loved, then come home and the kids would already be in bed. No dinner, no bath, no bedtime routine! Coming home after teaching was my favorite! I would heat up some dinner, curl up on the couch and watch Survivor.

One night I came home and SOMEBODY messed up my DVR recording. I was so looking forward to my favorite Monday night routine but when I found out my favorite show was not recorded, I LOST IT! Total exploding doormat: tears, yelling, temper tantrum. What that taught me is that I need more than just one evening a week of JOY. I need to diversify so that when something goes wrong, my sanity doesn’t go down the toilet.

Last Wednesday, I made plans to go golfing with my husband after work. It was the warmest day we’d had in 7 months and I wanted to enjoy it! It took longer than we thought to finish up work and get out of the house, by the time we got to the golf course, it was too late. Even though the sun was shining and the weather was warm, they were still on spring hours, not summer. No problem, we’ll go to another course nearby. Turns out the sprinklers were going on soon and we wouldn’t be able to get 9 holes in. Fine, we’ll just hit some balls at the driving range. Guess what? The driving range closes early for cleanup on Wednesdays. Fine, we’ll go for a hike. My husband’s allergies kick in before we get to the trail head. 

In the past, this would have sent me into a tearful rage because it was my one and only opportunity to get away for a golf outing. But because I now have more time for me than ever before, I was able to roll with the punches. I didn’t feel scarcity around this day, so I was able to enjoy sitting in the sunshine, just having a beer and watching other people golf.

Be sure to diversify your joy, especially in the summer. Have it come in from more than one place. If food is your main source of pleasure and self indulgence, it will leave you hungry for more. If your partner is your sole source of sanity and companionship, when they go out of town you may come unhinged. Think about getting your happiness from a variety of sources, building in lots of time for fun, relaxation and pleasure, so you can avoid the “Exploding Doormat Syndrome” when your kids aren’t following the screen time protocol. 

 

 

Quote of the Day:

"Our children are counting on us to provide two things: consistency and structure. Children need parents who say what they mean, mean what they say, and do what they say they are going to do.” Barbara Coloroso

No matter how much I give, they still want more

No matter how much I give, they still want more

April 26, 2022

Episode #123 "No matter how much I give, they still want more." 

 

Question of the Day:

“I’ve given my 3 daughters everything. I think I’ve been a good mom and they tell me so. I know I’m very lucky that my 3 adolescent daughters love me so much and still want to be with me, but… sometimes I wish they were more independent. I hear moms complain about their daughter’s hanging out in the room too much, or always going out with friends, and I kind of wish my girls were more like that. It seems that no matter how much of my love, companionship, attention or support I give them, they still want more. They are 12, 15, and 17 and they still want me to cook for them, watch TV with them, go shopping with them, do their hair, or just hang out with them. When can I expect them to want more independence? I’d really like to have some free time to do the things I want to do.”

Missy

Parent Educator Answer:

Looking at the social and emotional milestones we expect to see in girls, it would be normal to expect a push towards independence at the ages your girls are. Between the ages of 10-14, girls tend to create (or crave) more emotionally intimate relationships with their peers. You might see the advent of a tight knit group or clique, or a “best friend” situation emerge. 

 

Some cultures have a very significant right of passage to help a child shift their identity from child to adult. In the absence of a ceremony, it takes on a more gradual process. The tight friend or group helps the child feel more comfortable being away from mom and dad. It’s a way to practice independence without being thrust out on your own. 

 

Even though it is developmentally appropriate to see this shift, social distancing through a wrench into a lot of normal developmental expectations for teens. 

 

If your daughters have made it through ages 15 - 17 and still consider you their best friend, it’s time for you to encourage independence in them. 

 

It might seem like a wonderful thing to have girls who want you with them all the time, but if you aren’t seeing them take on new challenges, making new friends or striving towards independence, you may have to act like a momma bird, nudge them out of the nest and show them they are capable of using their wings. 

 

If you have a toddler who just wanted to be carried around all the time, and wasn’t interested in learning to walk, you would find a way to balance your child’s desire with what you know is good for them. You would put them down, and give big smiles and praise when they cruised on furniture. You would celebrate their developmental milestones by taking pictures and sharing their successes with other family members. When they got tired, you would put them in the stroller. After a day of developing their skill, you would hold them and put them to bed. As a mom, our job is to love, nurture, and provide, while also encouraging them to grow into independent adults. 

 

If your teens aren’t actively seeking independence, it’s time for Momma to encourage it, praise it, celebrate it and hold them accountable. The love, care and nurture can come AFTER your teens can demonstrate they are taking on new adult challenges, trying something new and uncomfortable, going outside their comfort zone, spending time cultivating friendships, or any striving towards independence.

 

We want to make sure we are always growing and learning, not avoiding challenges out of fear. 

 

Some examples of developmentally appropriate independent activities for 12-17 year olds are: 

Cooking for themselves and the family.

Cleaning up their room, bathroom and kitchen.

Yard work.

Babysitting, pet sitting and house sitting for other families.

Riding public transportation (by themselves).

Applying for jobs.

Making appointments for themselves.

Hosting/coordinating parties and gatherings for friends.

Traveling without mom and dad.

Walking to the store to buy groceries.

Talking to teachers about school work.

 

When you’ve created a cozy little nest, it makes sense that your kids wouldn’t want to leave it. But like all moms in the animal kingdom, our job is to teach our kids how to survive in the wild. If we don’t create some constructive adversity, our kids may never get to see how capable they truly are. 

 

We need to encourage our kids to seek out challenges that are difficult, embarrassing, awkward, and uncomfortable. They can’t be confident until they’ve developed competence and they don’t get competent without making some uncomfortable mistakes first. 

 

If your girls ARE taking on new challenges, growing and adulting, they just want mom by their side, then we move to the life coaching answer. 

 

 

Life Coaching Answer: What gets in our way from encouraging our teens to be more independent?

A belief that it’s our job to make them comfortable and a belief that it’s not ok to prioritize our needs over theirs. 

 

You can hear it in the question. 

Missy says, “I want them to not need me so much.“They want me to be with them”

You know what you want, which is great, but who is currently GETTING what they want? 

 

The girls.

Why? Why do they get what they want instead of you? 

Because there is some kind of belief that says, 

“It’s my job to make them happy.” or 

“I’m supposed to ignore what I want and give them what they want.” or 

“Their desires are more important than mine.”

 

Because they want you, you are somehow required by law to obey them? 

 

What would happen if you did what YOU wanted? Let’s imagine that your whole day is crafted exactly the way YOU want it. No more prioritizing other people’s desires above your own. You just get to arrange your day the way that works best for you. 

What would your mornings look like? 

If you could do what you wanted, how would you spend your afternoon and evening? 

What would you do on the weekend if it was totally up to you? 

 

Can you see that flipping this dynamic would make your girls uncomfortable? 

That’s exactly what we want!  To nudge them out of the nest using natural constructive adversity!  

 

When they are hungry, and no one is cooking for them, they might try cooking. They might burn something, break a dish or explode something in the microwave, perfect! That’s what the road to independence looks like! 

 

When they get lonely or bored, they might reach out to a friend. They might be brave and invite them to do something fun: go bowling or roller skating or just meet at a coffee shop and flirt with the barista. Wonderful! Taking emotional risks is the best way to prevent social anxiety. Celebrate your daughter’s bravery, we need more teenagers willing to take the social lead! 

 

Our job is not to make our kids comfortable, our job is to encourage them to live in the “growth zone”. In between the comfort zone and the discomfort zone, is the GROWTH ZONE. When we live in the growth zone, life feels exciting. We build resilience by taking risks, falling on our face, and trying again the next day. We learn, we fail, we grow, we try again. This is living. 

 

It’s time to let go of the old beliefs that were true when they were babies “It’s my job to make them comfortable” and update the brain to raising adolescents by adopting the belief, “It’s my job to make them UNCOMFORTABLE.” 

 

Remember, children learn by imitation so if YOU are struggling to go outside YOUR comfort zone, take on new challenges and make mistakes, starting with yourself is the first order of business. 

 

Make a new friend, go on an adventure, hire a life coach, and then brag to your girls about how proud you are of yourself. Soon, the whole family can grow together and celebrate each other's growth. 

 

Supermom Kryptonite - When being around your child drains all your energy.

 

This is a hard thing to describe but important to recognize. All kids drain their mom’s energy to some degree but some children have the ability to drain it in a unique way. The best way I’ve found to describe it is like the kid’s battery is running low and they plug into their MOM as their outlet. They use mom's energy to power themselves up. 

Most of us, when we are running low on energy, will power up with sleep, rest, zoning out, solitude, food, or just relaxing in the sunshine with a good book. It’s normal for young kids to feel calmed and comforted by their mom’s presence. This is different. Some kids will power up their energy by TAKING it from their mom. 

 

The moms I’ve coached who are stuck in this predicament have a hard time getting help for it because it’s hard to describe. I’m always so glad they found my podcast and have come in for life coaching because this is a no-win situation. 

 

Kids need to learn to fill up their own tank and moms need as much energy as they can get. If you know anyone who seems to lose themselves around their kids, turns into a “zombie mommy” after spending a short time with their child, or feels fully alive away from kids, but flatlines when around them, please send them this podcast and encourage them to schedule a free discovery call. 

 

Sometimes this energy draining phenomenon looks like a child LOVING on mom: touching, demanding eye contact, pulling, clinging, wanting to be physically and emotionally intertwined. A "velcro child". 

 

Other times it looks like a child “throwing emotions at mom”. For example, a child stubs her toe, looks over at her mom with a glare, and says “MOM!” with blame in her tone of voice as though its mom’s fault she stubbed her toe. 

 

Some children want to be alone with their negative emotions, others want to wail and throw tantrums. Others blame their siblings or the stupid furniture that got in their way and made them trip.  Energy draining children will come sit right in front of mom, look her in the eye with a “What are you going to do about it?” expression. 

 

It’s as though these draining kids have the subconscious belief that mom is the cause of unwanted emotions, and the cure for positive ones. It is unhealthy for both parties so please seek help if this resonates with you. 

 

 

Supermom Powerboost  - Relinquish your authority

If you are used to being in charge, making decisions, coordinating, planning and executing, it is really nice to relinquish your responsibility once in a while. When you LIKE doing these things, and you are good at them, it’s easy to find yourself taking this role in every area of your life. 

 

If you are a high powered Supermom with a lot of people relying on you, get a boost of energy by surrendering your authority to someone super capable. 

 

Last week I traveled with my brother and it has been so nice to relinquish control over the trip planning and coordination. He is highly capable, but he’s also been to Paris many times before and has more command of the language. It made sense to let him figure out the transportation and accommodations while I just went along for the ride. 

Even though it was somewhat uncomfortable because my comfort zone is to be the one in charge, it was so relaxing (kind of like being a kid!). Not only did I get a break from my routine and a change of scenery, but I got a break from the role I usually play and I thoroughly enjoyed not being in charge for a little while. 

 

It’s the same feeling I had around my yoga teacher. I could take my worn out, stressed out body, plop it on a mat in her yoga studio, and trust her to bring me back to a calm, energized state. I just did what she told me to do, no thinking required, and she was deliciously reliable. 

When you are used to being in charge, and you like it done a certain way, it can be hard to let go of control. Keep looking until you can find someone competent, someone who gets you, and is a bigger expert than you are. This is what I offer in my Time for The Talk class. For one month, you do not need to be the expert in puberty and sex education. You get a break from being in charge and just sit alongside your kiddo in a relaxed, interactive learning environment. 

 

I found a similarly relaxing experience at family camp. I’m there, but I’m not in charge. Competent people are arranging the activities, doing the driving, the cooking, and the dishes. It was HEAVEN. 

 

If you are the captain of your family ship, find a way to sit in other people’s ships once in a while and let other people take the lead. It is so worthwhile and I promise, the opportunities exist out there. You deserve a break, Supermom. 

 

Quote of the Day

“It is not what you have done for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.” Ann Landers

Raising a VERY challenging child into adulthood.

Raising a VERY challenging child into adulthood.

April 12, 2022

From difficult child to successful adult

When you've got a child who is A LOT harder to raise than the average kid, listening to parenting podcasts and experts can be SUPER frustrating.  None of the advice seems geared towards you. You feel lonely and isolated, feeling like people just don't get it. The amount of unsolicited advice from friends and family is UNBELIEVABLY ANNOYING.

How can I listen to parents complaining about bad grades and messy rooms when my child just attempted suicide and is being kicked out of yet another residential treatment program?

Today's episode is a light of hope for parents who are currently dealing with kids in very difficult situations. I wanted to show you Supermoms how things can turn out beautifully, even when it seems like there is no way they ever will.

When your child is in a dark place, it's easy to futurize and catastrophize, painting a very dismal picture of their future. Wendy wasn't sure her daughter would make it to adulthood, let alone live independently, hold down a job, and have healthy relationships with people that didn't require mom's facilitation and intervention.

This podcast is an interview with an amazing Supermom and long term client who is enjoying a beautiful relationship with her special needs daughter after years of struggle and difficulties.

If you are challenged by your teen or tween, this interview will give you inspiration and appreciation. Wendy is a fantastic mom, a brilliant artist, and continues to grow and learn as she enjoys her empty nest stage of life.

 

How can I get organized when the clutter is so overwhelming?

How can I get organized when the clutter is so overwhelming?

March 29, 2022

Ep. 121  Creating Calm: 5-day Declutter Challenge

 

This week's podcast is going to be a little different because the answer to today’s question is being answered all week long. 

I’ve teamed up with organizing expert Tracy Hoth of  Simply Square Away, to offer you Creating Calm: a 5-day declutter challenge.

 

We are going live inside the Supermom is Getting Tired facebook group to help you take control of your home, declutter and organize, so you can feel calmer. 

 

By the time you listen to this, the challenge has already begun so make sure you get over there quickly! We are offering prizes to all who participate in this challenge so say goodbye to that messy closet, and get excited to lift your energy! 

 

Sometimes when moms think about trying to organize, they feel overwhelmed. In preparing for this week, I heard moms say...

 

There is so much clutter around my house I can’t think straight. I’m embarrassed when people stop by my house. I really want to get organized but I’m too exhausted to make it happen. 

 

I have no time to follow my kids around, making sure they pick up after themselves. I want to just snap my fingers and get it all cleaned up but knowing me, even if the whole house was cleaned, it would be right back where it started 3 days later. 

 

If you are trying to figure out how you can create the calm environment you crave, when you don’t have time or energy to organize, then this challenge is for you.

 

Our brains don’t like change. They perceive new things as scary. So they always come up with reasons why you should stay exactly as you are. “I don’t have time, money or energy” are very popular ones. Followed by “I would do it if my family would let me or was more supportive.” 

 

Don’t let your brain’s default setting keep you from getting what you really want. 

 

If you have a desire to have a clean and tidy home you can be proud of, a home that calms and energizes you at the same time, then you deserve to have that. 

 

Want to know what causes fatigue? 

 

Clutter. Indecision. Avoiding things. Not taking action on things you genuinely want is a HUGE energy drain!  

Think about a phone call you have to make but you keep avoiding it. That difficult conversation you’ve been meaning to have with your family member. Finding a trust attorney to put together your living will. Jumping through the automated hoops with AT&T to finally resolve that discrepancy on your bill. 

 

Can you feel the weight of those phone calls you are dreading? Now imagine having completed them. You’ve been avoiding them for MONTHS but those 3 phone calls only took 45 minutes out of your life! Now you get to feel accomplished and proud…you are full of energy and ready to move on! 

 

It feels AMAZING to tackle things you’ve been avoiding. So the reason you are avoiding cleaning that messy closet, (no time or energy) can be remedied by actually cleaning out the messy closet! 

 

I do not disagree that you are tired and have a lot on your plate. That’s just a fact of modern living that I’m sure is true. 

 

I’m just saying there is a difference between resting and avoiding.

 

If you are tired, and you rest, you feel better after. You have more energy to go back to work. 

 

If you are tired, and you rest, and you feel MORE drained after, then you are avoiding doing the thing that is actually going to GIVE you energy. 

 

If you decide NOT to participate in the 5 day declutter challenge, and next week you look at your messy kitchen counter and think, “I’m so glad I didn’t participate. That was the right choice for me because I spent my time doing more important and valuable things.” then great, you made the right decision for you. 

 

If, however, next week, you are looking at your cluttered kitchen counter and thinking, “I really should have participated in that challenge. It would have been good for me to tackle this mess I’ve been avoiding.” then it’s not too late! 

 

Hop on over to the Supermom is Getting Tired facebook group and join Tracy and Torie for a boost of energy. 

 

Sad about kids growing up

Sad about kids growing up

March 15, 2022

Sad about letting go of little kids

Question of the Day:

"How do I get over that feeling of loss for my little kids?

I miss them being small, loving and playful, always wanting me to be with them. I had so much fun when they were little, playing outside, doing crafts, even just hanging out at home watching movies. 

Now that I have a teen and tween, I feel like they don't want or need me around. They would rather be with their friends which I know is normal and I’m happy they are enjoying activities, school and friends, but I miss my time with them so much. 

I'm not sure how to fit into their lives right now. I know they are just growing up like they should be doing. And don't get me wrong, I'm very proud of them and how independent they have become. But I would love to have them run up and ask me for a hug or grab my hand and ask me to play a game one more time!"

The other day, my almost 13 year old was at school and sent me a text that he forgot his basketball bag for practice after school. I work from home so I said I could drop it off at lunch hour. I gathered up everything he would need, put it in his bag and dropped it off at school. Afterwards I felt so happy and useful. Doesn’t that sound crazy?

Kelly

Parent Educator Answer: 

First of all, no, it does not sound crazy at all. Many moms can relate because it feels good to be needed and valued and it’s a huge part of our lives. It is ironic because the other podcast topics I was considering for today were: “I’m not cut out for servitude” and “No matter how much I give, they still want more.” So it is nice for moms to hear that they might actually miss the constant demands someday. 

 

There is a movie on Netflix called “Otherhood” about 3 moms whose kids have grown up and moved out. They describe motherhood as a long, slow breakup. “That sinking feeling that you are being broken up with on a gradual but daily basis.” 

 

We go from a very loving and intense relationship, spending lots of time fully enmeshed in each other’s lives, to slowly being made redundant. Not fired, just demoted. As your kids become more responsible and independent, your role in their lives diminishes. We go from playing the leading role, to supporting lead, bit player or worse, the antagonist. 

 

It can be difficult and sad. The first thing to become aware of is the difference between clean pain and dirty pain. Clean pain feels pure and appropriate for the situation. If you have a miscarriage, there is some healthy and healing clean grief to experience. As the tears flow, we acknowledge the loss and let go of the dreams we had for this child’s future that will never come to be. 

 

The dirty pain comes in when we think thoughts like, “Bad things always happen to me.” “God is punishing me for drinking that beer.” Our thoughts can perpetuate sadness, making it last forever. Clean sadness helps us move forward. Dirty grief keeps us stuck in wishing things are different than they are. 

 

The purpose of sadness is to identify something we are ready to let go of. You might say you aren’t ready to let go of your little kids, that you want them to be young again, but notice how those thoughts make you feel. When we long for something that is impossible to have we suffer unnecessarily. 

 

What we want to do is examine: Which aspects of the past are you ready to say goodbye to and which aspects do you want to bring with you into your future? 

 

Grab your tissue box and practice letting go of the past right now: 

I say goodbye to the child who always wanted me with them. 

I say goodbye to being your number one favorite person. 

I say goodbye to playing games with you whenever I want.

I say goodbye to managing your calendar and choosing your friends. 

I say goodbye to managing your school work.

I say goodbye to being able to hug you whenever I want. 

I say goodbye to holding your hand. 

I say goodbye to doing arts and crafts whenever I wanted. 

 

Life Coaching Answer: What gets in our way from letting go? 

Our higher self, trying to get our attention to something that is important for us to bring forward.  

When you feel resistance to letting go, it may because there is an ELEMENT you need to hold on to and carry into your future. If you don’t want to let go of doing arts and crafts with your kids, it may be because your spirit craves more artistic, creative time. Or maybe you love teaching young children to create things with their hands. You’ll want to take a deeper dive into what, exactly, you do not want to let go of. 

 

The best way to figure this out is with a question I got from Bev Barnes in episode 101 when she coached me on finding my soul’s calling. She asked me “What aspect of parenting your children are you most proud of?” For some reason, this question illuminates a part of our essence, our spirit, that doesn’t want to be let go of. To my surprise, I said, the thing I was most proud of was the parties I hosted throughout the years. Bev pointed out that me, creating in person events and experiences for others was an important part of me, feeling like me. When letting go of your kids, it’s important not to let go of the parts of ourselves that we loved the most. 

 

I asked another client what she was most proud of during her time as mom and she talked about how confident and sure of herself she was. She felt very attuned to her child and confident she was making the right decisions, even when family and friends disagreed. Of course, she doesn’t want to let go of feeling confident and self assured! She felt like the best version of herself back then. Her higher self doesn’t want to grieve the loss of the best time of her life, it wants her to learn how to be the best, most confident version of herself now and into the future! 

I asked Kelly what she was most proud of when the kids were little and she said balance.

“When the kids were little, I worked hard at balancing my full time office job, parenting, time for myself, time with my husband and time with my friends. We had a good structure and it worked. As the kids grew, my time with the kids is less because they no longer need me at each event. I spend more time sitting in the car than anything. And they have so many things going on in separate places that I have less time with my husband. We are usually split up between kids. My friends are in the same boat, too busy to get away for some adult time.”

 

There are two ways our higher self tries to get our attention. Yearning and discontent.

Kelly is yearning for the younger kids because she feels discontent with her life as a chauffeur. She longs for the balance she had back then.

Once you realize what you are yearning for, it’s easier to create it. We can’t make the kids smaller, but you can get more involved with the parents on the sidelines of the basketball games. If you are sitting in the car, you can use that time to talk on the phone to a friend. You could ask another mom to go for a walk while the kids have practice or plan a team bonding event for parents and kids. 

When you find yourself wanting to hold onto the past, ask yourself what specifically you miss that you want to bring forward into your future. 

Raising tweens and teens is a continuous process of letting go. By letting go, you make space for new and wonderful things to come in. 

 

Supermom Kryptonite: Assigning credit to others 

It’s pretty common to assign credit to others. Kelly thought having little kids around her made her feel balanced, but if that was true, every mom would feel balanced while working full time and raising little kids.  She gave the credit to her life circumstance rather than owning that it really was SHE who created the work/life balance. 

 

When we assign credit to others (I was successful at that job because I had a great boss and a supportive team) it sounds wonderful but it makes us a victim of our circumstance. In the future, when we don’t have a great boss or supportive team, we feel powerless. Better to own your part in your success. “I made the most of that supportive environment and used it to be successful in my job.”

 

If you think you can’t be balanced because of the age of your children, you give away your power to make the changes your spirit is calling for.

Supermom Power Boost: Create a higher vision for yourself after the kids leave.

I was never the mom to cry at graduations or milestone events in my kids’ lives. Everyone knew which were moms to pass tissues to, knowing the waterworks would be flowing. So, me being me, asked them, “What are you thinking about that makes you so sad?” Reliably, these sentimental moms would be thinking about the past. How cute and nervous they were on their first day of school. What it felt like to hold their hand as they crossed the street. Enjoying the camaraderie of other parents while working on school projects, field trips and parties. 

 

There is nothing wrong with being sentimental but if you are tired of feeling sad, try imagining a fun and exciting future. 

 

It’s easy to imagine your kids growing up having exciting new experiences, meeting new people and discovering new adventures. It’s harder to imagine OURSELVES doing these things so it might take a little practice. 

 

What’s something you loved doing before you had kids that you might like to rekindle? I used to love dancing, traveling with girlfriends, and spending time alone in nature. 

 

What’s something you would love to do more of once your kid starts driving? Having a teen and tween means a lot of time spent driving around town. Use this time to start creating a vision for your future that you are excited about. What will be great about having your kids out of the house? What would you like your relationship with your adult kids to look like? 

 

I asked my facebook folks to tell me some of the things they enjoy doing with their adult children that they didn’t do much of when they were young. Here are their answers and ideas to get you started: 

 

  • Biking, roller blading, golfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, skiing, etc.
  • Beauty and shopping day in the city
  • Cooking, eating, and game nights
  • Beer and wine tasting
  • Traveling and concerts. 
  • Camping, hiking, boating

 

You can enjoy these teen and tween years by letting go of the past, bringing forward the things that are most important to you, and creating a vision for the future that excites you. 

 

Quote of the day:

“You cannot explore new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Andre Gide

When your kid hates their body

When your kid hates their body

March 1, 2022

Episode #119 When your kid hates their body

 

Question of the Day:

I get a lot of questions from moms about what to say when kids make negative comments about their body or start showing signs of disordered eating. These are not my area of expertise so today I brought in an expert.

Kyira Wackett is a licensed mental health therapist, facilitator and creator. She lives in Portland, OR with her husband, Jordan and her daughter, Everly. She is the owner of Adversity Rising a company that works to equip and empower people with the skills and tools to live life on purpose. She also sees patients in a private therapy practice where she treats people with eating disorders, anxiety disorders and trauma.

Kyria's website is: www.adversityrising.com

Kyria started a project called the #ReclaimBeauty project several years ago and highly recommend parents use this with middle school and older kids. In the project, I interview people and share their stories alongside their photos to help tell a deeper story about who they are and their experience with beauty ideals.  The focus of the video is to start a conversation for MS and HS students on this idea of beauty and ideals around this.

 

 

Listen to today's podcast to find out how to support a body positive and food neutral household.

 

We'll discuss supporting a kid with body image distress and disordered eating. 

 

If you want to teach your kid to love their body, this episode is for you! 

 

 

I don’t know what I need to be happy?

I don’t know what I need to be happy?

February 15, 2022

Do you feel like you've lost yourself through parenting? Like even if you had time to yourself, you wouldn't know what to do with it to make you feel happy?

Episode #118

Today I have a special treat.

An interview with an amazing former client who came to me because she didn't know what she needed to be happy. After 12 years of parenting kids and part time work, she felt like she had lost herself through the daily crazy that comes with being a mom of 5. When she did get a rare moment to herself, she didn't know what to do that would help her feel better.  This is an interview with her one year after she went through the Supermom is Getting Tired coaching program. I wanted to hear from her about how coaching helped, what she did to continue the momentum once the program ended, and how her life had changed.

Two classes starting soon!

If you are struggling with your teen, go to www.LeadingYourTeen.com and sign up for a free coaching call. You can tell me what's going on for you at home and I'll see if you are a fit for the Leading Your Teen coaching program. We'll discuss the differences between the group and 1:1 coaching program and whether you sign up or not, you will leave the call with more clarity and confidence on how to be a resource for your teen.

 

Also coming up soon is Time for The Talk. A sex education class for parents to take with their 9-13 year old. This class opens up the lines of communication on difficult topics like sex, puberty, gender, values, friendships and more. It's a great way to set the foundation for open communication throughout adolescence. You can learn more about it and sign up at www.TimeforTheTalk.com

 

Quote of the Day:

"The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special, too." Ernest Hemmingway

Motivating an apathetic teen

Motivating an apathetic teen

February 1, 2022

Episode #117: Motivating an apathetic teen

 

Question of the Day:

Dear Torie 

My son is so apathetic. He is super smart and very capable, but he doesn’t seem to care about doing well in school. I feel like I’m failing because he isn’t living up to his potential. Any suggestions for motivating an apathetic teenager? 

Pilar

 

Parent Educator Answer:

The good news is, nobody lives up to their potential so you can let that one go. We all always have more in us. 

Apathy is showing or feeling no enthusiasm, interest, or concern. It can be a sign of mental health problems. Without more information it’s hard for me to tell if depression is a factor, but here are some common signs to look for.

Lack of motivation

Lack of empathy

Drop in grades

Changes in appetite

Trouble sleeping through the night

Feeling tired all the time

Inability to enjoy things that used to be fun

Sadness, crankiness, irritability that lasts throughout the day

 

If there is something going on emotionally and it’s affecting school and other parts of your child's life, it’s important to talk to someone safe and trusted about it. 

 

From my experience, there are other common reasons a child may appear apathetic and unmotivated to do well in school. 

 

1) They aren’t interested in school. 

When the subjects we learn in school aren’t inherently interesting to us, external motivations can often carry us through. Maybe you don’t care about Greek Mythology, but you care about sticker charts, getting benched at recess and helping your group get a good grade. 

For some kids, no amount of peer pressure, rewards or external motivation can override a lack of interest. This is especially common in kids with ADHD. They can hyper-focus on things that interest them but have a really hard time making themselves do boring work. 

 

2) Perfectionistic thinking is keeping them from going all in. 

Many of us struggle with black and white thinking without even knowing it. For kids unmotivated to work hard in school, it often shows up as “If I know I’m going to fail, why try?”(failure meaning anything less than 100%) or “I’ll never be as good as (mom, sister, smartest kid in school, etc.) so why bother?” It’s this idea that there is a limited amount of success to go around and I either have it or I don’t.  

Perfectionistic thinking is fear masquerading as apathy. 

Parents who also have perfectionistic thinking can fuel this fear without realizing it. When our kid does their homework and we find more for them to do. When they get B’s and we want to see A’s. When we have the belief that they aren’t quite good enough or doing enough, it’s not unusual to see kids rebel by not caring. 

 

3) “My Child, My Masterpiece.” 

Our culture promotes enmeshment and co-dependency between parent and child. When parents tie their child’s academic achievements to their success as a parent, it creates a difficult dynamic for adolescents. 

Teenagers are wired to separate from their parents. When we see them forming different opinions, values, and interests than ours, it’s a healthy sign they are forming an identity separate from us. This will prepare them for adulthood. 

Kids usually start out wanting to please their parents but when parents care A LOT about grades and are highly invested in their child’s academic achievements, kids may fail on purpose just to prove their independence. 

If Mom wants their kid to get a high score, and the kid gets a high score, Mom feels successful. If a kid fails, mom feels like a failure. I see many kids take advantage of this enmeshment (subconsciously) choosing apathy as a way to get their parents off their back. 

Learning how to release ego attachment to your child’s grades and focus on your own success is a difficult thing to do. My Leading Your Teen coaching program teaches moms how to “love more, care less” so that your kid can take full ownership over their victories and successes and not need to sabotage in order to get parents to back off. 

 

If we are trying to understand a child’s lack of motivation, it can be summarized by saying, “They don’t have a strong enough WHY”. 

Why get up early every morning, sit on a hard chair inside 4 concrete walls, and listen to someone drone on about a topic you aren’t interested in? 

Why learn about a subject you will never use again? 

Why read a book when you can watch the movie? 

Why struggle through math equations when the answers are on the internet? 

Why waste thousands of dollars going to college when classes are available for free or cheap on the internet? 

 

These are excellent questions to ask your kids. The answers they give will show you their values. 

 

Do they value being seen as smart and capable? 

Do they put up with history so they can get to P.E.? 

Is it their friends at school that make it worthwhile? 

Do they want the teacher to like them? 

Is it drama and band that make the rest of the school day tolerable? 

Is it better than sitting at home staring at a screen?

The important thing to remember is that motivation is individual to the person and can change in an instant. I wasn’t motivated to do well in any high school subjects other than Spanish and Drama. I like to learn practical tools that make everyday life more enjoyable. When I got to college and found subjects that were more aligned with my interests, good grades were a natural result.

 

 

Life Coaching Answer: 

What gets in your way from being at peace and allowing your kid to discover their own motivation in their own time? Parental Anxiety. 

I can’t tell you how many moms I have coached who go into full blown fight or flight response while watching their kid relax on the sofa instead of studying. 

It’s our own anxieties that get in our way from being able to love more, care less, while allowing our kids to discover their own motivation.

 

Here’s what usually happens: 

Our kid comes home from school and says they are going to their bedroom to do homework. An hour later we look and see them on youtube, Netflix, or TikTok. A surge of anxiety moves through us, causing us to lose our minds. We yell, threaten, argue… This discharges our anxiety but leaves us feeling frustrated and powerless. 

 

What we want to do is recognize that this is a trigger for our anxiety. This isn’t about our kid, it’s about what we make it mean when we see our kid not working.

“They are going to fail!” 

“I’m not doing my job!”

“I NEED them to CARE about this so I can STOP CARING SO MUCH!” 

“I can’t relax until their homework is done so THEY NEED TO GET IT DONE!”

“These grades are the pathway to success and they refuse to get on the path!”

“Your teachers, our family, my friends are going to think we are losers if you don’t get good grades!”

 

Whenever you feel this surge of adrenaline, like you MUST say something urgently, WALK AWAY.

When you talk to your child from this anxious place, you will not get the results you are looking for. You may get to discharge some of your anxiety, but not in a way that makes you feel proud, pleased, or productive. It will drive a wedge further in the relationship between you and your teen, and you will miss the opportunity to model what it looks like to take responsibility and do your own work. 

We don’t want to put our ability to feel like a peaceful, successful parent in the hands of an apathetic, unmotivated kid. 

Once you’ve resisted the impulse to discharge your anxiety by getting annoyed with your kiddo, what do you do with the crazy surge of adrenaline rushing through your body and brain?  

Go for a walk, go for a drive, write in a journal, do an exercise video, frenetic house cleaning, wrestle with your younger child, stomp on cardboard boxes, etc. Your brain is in the fight/flight response so you don’t have access to logic until you’ve discharged that energy. 

Once you’ve calmed down, see if you can figure out why the lack of motivation scares you. (Hint: it’s going to be something about the future or the past). 

Bring yourself back to the present moment by listing facts that you know to be true about your kid. 

-He has a 2.5 gpa

-He chooses video games over reading books. 

-He doesn’t argue about going to soccer practice.

-He asked to go camping over spring break.

Listing true facts about your child will bring you back into the present moment, give you insights into who your child is today. 

The best way to motivate your teen is to give them a vision of adulthood that looks appealing. When we are stressed out, overworked and anxious, teens become disinterested in following in our footsteps.

 

Supermom Kryptonite - Thinking you have to figure it out on your own

With information at our fingertips, it’s really easy to believe the toxic thought, “I should be able figure this out on my own.” 

This may sound logical, but notice how it makes you feel. 

My inner perfectionist used to love parenting books. I would learn new tools and tricks, feel empowered and confident, but two weeks later when I couldn’t uphold my new system, I felt defeated and inadequate. 

If learning what to do isn’t actually helping you get the RESULTS you want, it’s time to hire someone to help you. 

We waste so much time and energy thinking we should be able to figure things out ourselves when the solution may be simply having an expert by our side to uncover our blind spots and help us overcome our resistance. 

Why offer a tutor to a child who struggles with math? There are workbooks. Online websites and video games. You, or someone you know could help them. Why are private tutoring companies on the rise? Because nothing is faster and more effective than personalized learning with a compassionate human who is invested in your success. 

Why sign your kid up for swim lessons when you could teach them yourself? Because nothing is faster, cheaper and more effective at getting you the results you want than personalized learning with a compassionate human invested in your success. 

I was talking with a friend yesterday who told me she’d been working with a meditation teacher for the last 4 weeks. Meditation is sitting still and practicing thinking about nothing. I cannot imagine a more illogical thing to ask for help with, and yet, she said it made a huge difference. Knowing someone was invested in her success, helping her identify obstacles and overcome her resistance, proved to be extremely valuable to getting the results she wanted. 

Beware of the toxic thought, “I should be able to figure it out on my own” and focus instead on the quickest, most effective way to get the results you want.

 

Supermom PowerBoost - Your Zone of Genius

Hiring people to help you get the results you want in your life allows everyone to operate in their “zone of genius”. 

Gay Hendricks identifies 4 zones:

Zone of Genius 

Zone of Excellence 

Zone of Competence

Zone of Incompetence

 

When I spend my time cleaning my house, I’m operating in my Zone of Competence. I can do it, it’s not utilizing my highest skill set. I grumble and complain, I cut corners and feel resentful that I’m the only one working. 

When my house cleaner comes, she’s a whirlwind of tidy efficiency. She sees things I don’t see. She gets under, over, and inside. She treats my home like her personal work of art. She fixes, she beautifies, and blesses my home with her cheerfulness. I don’t know if it’s her Zone of Genius but she sure appears to be  pleased when she leaves my house. 

If I was to think “I can do it myself and so I should,” I would be robbing her of the opportunity to do the work she loves to do. 

If you really want to feel successful in your life, and feel like you are using your gifts and talents to make the world a better place, try to spend as much time as possible in your zone of genius.

Find opportunities to allow others to operate in their zone of genius. I can take photos of my kids myself, but I love hiring photographers to work their magic and see how much better theirs turn out. 

Hiring life coaches to give you the results you want in your life is also giving them the opportunity to be in their Zone of Genius. 

 

I think The Great Resignation is indicative of more people moving closer to their Zone of Genius. They are leaving jobs that aren’t as fulfilling for ones that are more in line with who they want to be. 

 

It’s easy to get stuck in your Zone of Excellence and Zone of Competence, but just because you are good at it, doesn’t mean it is worth your time. Delegate activities you do not love to others who do, and hire a coach to help you spend more time in your Zone of Genius. 

 

Quote of the Day:

“One of the most important things we do for our children is to present them with a version of adult life that is appealing and worth striving for.” Madeline Levine

Fed up with continuous disappointment

Fed up with continuous disappointment

January 18, 2022

Episode 116 - Fed up with continuous disappointment

Dear Torie, 

I AM. SO. DONE. with frickin’ COVID. 

I don’t want to be one of those people who complains on social media so I thought I’d complain here so you can make something productive come out of it. 

In the big picture of things we are lucky. No one in our family has died or become seriously ill because of COVID. But the continuous disappointment is sucking the life out of me.

I’ve got kids who missed school dances, graduation parties, seasons of sports, birthday celebrations, starting freshman year with other humans, making friends, family reunions, summer camps and vacations. 

As Omicron rages and schools start talking about postponing in person learning and events, I start losing it. How am I supposed to hold it all together for my kids when I just want to throw a frickin’ temper tantrum?

Pissed in Pismo

How vision boards help you navigate uncertainty

How vision boards help you navigate uncertainty

January 11, 2022

We are living in some strange and unpredictable times.

It poses questions that are hard to answer:

Will schools go online?

Should I cancel my trip?

Am I going back to the office or working from home again?

How do I celebrate my child's birthday when her friends are too scared to gather in one room?

Our kids are looking to us for answers but we don't always have them because we are still relying on the old formula for success: Go to school. Get good grades. Do what you are told. Make friends. Go to college. Find a career.

 

The world is changing rapidly and instead of leaning on external rules to know how to live, we need to learn to tune into our own inner guidance system.

The tools I teach in my vision board workshop are exactly that.

How to know what is right for YOU. What does your HIGHER SELF want?

 

The way I teach vision boards is not about listening to the ego that has been watching commercials and shamed into thinking you aren't already good enough as you are.

Vision boards should be filled with photos that inspire us, make us feel fully alive, filled with possibilities, peace and joy. When people create vision boards from their ego, looking at them brings up feelings of inadequacy. No one needs fuel to believe they aren't already good enough.

 

You are invited to an online vision board workshop THIS SATURDAY to learn the skills to navigate uncertainty. 

We will create a mini-vision-board together over Zoom so you can tune into your higher self, get focused on creating a great year, and learn the tools to navigate uncertainty.

Only $49. if you register today!  A recording will be sent to those who register.

Click here to learn more and sign up:  www.lifecoachingforparents.com/vision-board-workshop

Who: Yourself (and your family if they want to join)

When: Saturday, January 15th 9amPT / 10amMT / 11amCT / 12pmET

Where: Your home! Over Zoom

What to bring: magazines, glue stick, blank paper and scissors.

Why: to get more YOU out of 2022

How: Click this link to sign up,then check your email for the Zoom link. Grab your supplies and login this Saturday at 9am Pacific.

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