Episode 164- Parenting Teenagers: An Insider's Perspective
You are listening to episode 164 of the Peaceful Mind Podcast.
Welcome to the Peaceful Mind Podcast, a place for creating the peace of mind. You need to be the best mom. You are created by God to be. If you wanna bring more balance, more joy, and more peace to your motherhood, this is the place for you. I'm your host, certified life coach at Catholic Mom Danielle Thienel
in the name of the father of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Let's get started.
Hi everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. I have a really special episode for you today. I don't usually do interview. , and today I am interviewing my daughter, Vivian. Say, hi, Vivian. Hi. She is home on spring break and I was talking with her about some questions I had that was going on inside her mind as a teenager, and I said, you know what?
Would you be willing to go on my podcast and share this with the other moms? Because I thought it would be really helpful and insightful to kind of get this real. Inside perspective from a teenager. So thanks for agreeing to come on. No problem. I'm excited to, to help some moms out. So, okay. So as you all know, I've mentioned before that I have twin daughters and Vivian is my, my second child, I guess I say we call her the middle child.
She was, she came out second. But just, do you wanna tell everyone just at least a little bit about yourself or at least how old you are? Yeah, so I am 18, I'll be 19 in June. So coming up close. Yeah, I'm currently a college student. I'm studying hopefully film. wanna be in the film industry, so yeah, that's So you're a freshman?
Yeah, I'm a freshman in college. Yeah, that pretty much just sums me up. I don't know. Yeah. But still, I was just like, you know, you, you have the high school kind of era is still sort of fresh in your mind and you've got a perspective of college too. Mm-hmm. . But yeah. Let's let's see what we can do to just kind of ask, let me ask you some questions and see what comes up and, and hopefully through this, my, my, my hope for this conversation and having this episode is, To give moms like a little bit of empowerment about what might be going on and how they can better help if you have teenagers.
Okay. Yeah, so this is, I have a couple kind of like personal questions at the beginning. I mean, not about you Yeah. But just about like you actually, actually, yeah. Just to see your thoughts about it. But here's the first one that I wanna know. I wanna know what it feels like to you or what it's like to you.
that you have a mom who's also a life coach. Okay. Well, I definitely think it gives you this, well, like roundedness, like I feel like, okay. I feel like it gives you this, well-roundedness in general, but it also like sort of leaves two sides of you. Mm-hmm. , I think like there's definitely sort of like the, the working side of you, the one that you know, like has the, the, all the values that you've learned like fresh in your mind that you just like want to bestow on us
But then there's also like, you know, , regular Danielle who like, you know, knows how to talk to everybody and we just have a good time and everything. So I definitely think you definitely notice it. Like I definitely think it's like it's apparent that that's your job based on some things, but it's yeah, based on some things
Yeah. I don't, I don't know, like just, yeah. Okay. Well here's, here's what I'm really curious about and could be very insightful for my listeners. Do you recall a difference. , can you do you about me of how I was like and how I showed up for you before I came to life coaching and became a life coach myself.
And then now that I'm a parent who has these tools and different kind of perspectives on life that you just mentioned that I try and bestow on you all , no, not always successfully, but is there a difference between what I call. Before coaching an after coaching version of your mom? Definitely. I, yes. No, for sure.
Like there definitely was the shift. I'm not gonna say that before that you were, you weren't like normally negative person. But I would say that when there's sort of like an obstacle in your way, like in general, like you definitely have a different outlook on it. I would say. Like there's a different approach that you took.
I feel like the first time it was sort of like, , you know, like kind of how naturally anyone would react to like a bad situation. It would sort of just be like, you know, kind of down in the dumps first. But I feel like you sort of analyze your playing field first, , and then you sort of attack it. I don't know.
I feel like there's definitely a different approach to like problems, like whether that be just for you or for parenting. I feel like you just approached it differently. But I think before, like there was definitely sort of this, not like, not a negativity, I don't wanna say negativity, but it was. More.
I don't know. Well, I, I, I think I know exactly what you're saying. Yeah. Because yeah, I definitely have a different approach to motherhood. Yeah. And how I show up in the world after I've learned these life coaching tools. So I guess one of the examples that comes to my mind that maybe you just, you know, not recalling or d don't wanna say, is I, and I definitely openly share this with my clients, is that before coaching, Definitely more of a tense Yeah.
And yelling, mom. Yeah. Right. Like would you agree? I would agree. I would agree with that. And then afterwards, like, now it's definitely less, it's more the like, I'm gonna pull the disappointment card as opposed to like the, I'm going to like, verbally, like, you know what I mean? Like it's just more of the like, yeah, yeah.
What is it? But I love how you said that, you know, that I have a different approach because I think where I was just so, I was so reactive. , yeah. Before no agree. Like now it's like sort of like this more analytical, like, let me think about this first before I do blah, blah, blah. Yes. It was more of like your impulse, like what, like naturally comes to you, whereas like now it's like you sort of have that I can, yeah.
Like analyze it. Okay. So this is gonna be like a, a little school question here, and this has to do with one of my favorite tools in life coaching that I'm, I'm just so curious to see what you'll say, but if you could give me a. , like using the school grading system. Mm-hmm. , and I know it varies now a little bit from the numbers, from like college, from, it's like abc, like, is that what you mean?
Yeah. Like what there, like, you know what a, you know, a failing grade is. Yeah. And that kind of stuff. What would, what would you give me? Hmm, Hmm. Really put me on the spot here, . I would, I would, I would give you like a b plus. Ooh. You know? Okay. Like if we're doing the plus minus system, I would say B Oh, we sure are.
Yeah. I would say B plus. Like, okay. I think like, do I need an explanation or is this, well, first I wanna say to my listeners out there especially if you're not new, you'll know that what I was looking for is that when I'm, when I'm helping moms be less perfectionistic, and I was definitely perfectionist before I came to this, came to life coaching.
But one of the tools, and you might not know this Vivian, but one of the tools I teach is called B minus. Okay. Meaning, , like in this life, in this world, what we do, instead of always aspiring to be perfect, like say an A or an a plus or a hundred percent, we wanna just like make progress in our life and not get tripped up on being perfect because we are human and we're gonna make mistakes.
And so my new goal in life is, To progress as if the things that I'm doing and accomplishing and how, like even like showing up as a mom that I would, I attain that I attain about a B minus. Okay. And you just gave me a b plus. So, and you, so that's why I just kind of like chuckled a little bit because then that knows that I'm out there doing it.
I'm out there trying, I'm out there like kind of showing up. But yeah, well explanation why. I was like, is there any kind of part of me being your mom or what you would deem how I mother that would warrant an f A failing grade? Like if I were to like what you would have to do for me to give you an F? No.
Like is there anything that you would say right now like, oh yeah, she definitely would get an F in. Oh, and then maybe I should preface that. You can't say anything about cook my cooking . Well, you don't cook, so I wouldn't, I would, that's probably where I would get the F, right? Yeah, yeah, I guess. Huh. I don't, Hmm, like an F, like really fail, like, I wouldn't say like anything you necessarily like, like do a really.
Bad. Like, I don't know. I, I think I would definitely, I, Hmm, okay. You don't have to like search it for a search for something, but it's not coming easily. Right. That there's something that you would think that I was a total failure at. Like complete failure? No. Like I feel like every part, like nothing that you do is perfect.
Like you said, you're human. Like you had said earlier, like everyone makes mistakes and, you know, trial and error. I feel like I'm, I'm not a mother, but like, you know, I can assume that it's like a lot of trial and error and just like trying things out, seeing what works and seeing what doesn't work and sort of like, through experience you sort of learn things.
So I feel like there's nothing that like, like I feel like it'd go the other way around. Like you could also say, I don't think anything, you get an A plus in either. You know what I mean? Yeah. I feel like you. Nothing's gonna be perfect, but nothing's like completely like failing. Okay, so good. And the reason why I ask that question is because I want my listeners out there to know that, cuz a lot of moms that come to me feel like failures.
Like they literally are down on themselves thinking I keep trying or I keep messing up, or I don't have a close relationship with my kids. Or I've, or like I mentioned before, like I, I yell too much and all of that. And they literally come thinking that they're a failure or, or that they are failing. So they would believe that if they get a grade that there are some things that they would get an F in.
And I sort of wanted to ask you that question because I just wanted to show. , I bet you most likely you can see that that's like self-imposed. Yeah. And that the kids wouldn't think like, your children most likely do not think that you are a total failure or that you are failing. Just kind of noticed out there moms that you are, you are the one that is making that meaning and it's optional.
Right. We can just go to more like we're doing the best we. and Yep. I'm a human and I make mistakes sometimes, but thank goodness there's grace and mercy and forgiveness, and tomorrow's a new day. Mm-hmm. and all of that. So. . Yeah. All right. Okay, so now I wanna change the pers, I wanna kind of change it from me.
I was just interested to just hear your perspective when you have a coach as a mom. Because I literally, when I first learned all this stuff, I know that I was like wanting to teach it to all of you. . Yeah. Right. You still, it's not wanted, it's continued to. Okay. Okay. Well, not in a bad way, but, well, I've learned now more to you know, to not.
For me to just lead by example. Right? Yeah. That's how I know it's best for me to teach you those principles, but now I wanna turn the focus on Okay. Like, so again, you are 18. Mm-hmm. almost 19. Mm-hmm. , and you might have to just kind of go back a little bit and think about those beginning teenage years and in high school and then now you have a little bit of taste of college.
And I wanted to know, like I'm looking for insights. For my mom listeners to know, how can they show up more supportive for a teenager? Well, I think it definitely comes down to listening, whether you agree or not. , like, listen, like hear them out, let them speak. Like let them like vent if they need to, let them like just get it out.
Because sometimes, like, maybe that was the first time that they had said those words all day, you know, they didn't even know they were feeling it until they, they said it, you know, like, you don't, like, you don't know the backstory fully. So listen, even if you don't agree and then sort of, I feel like, like I said, like you don't have to agree, but it's like, Make them feel validated because I feel like the thing when parents, like you said, feel like they fail, it's because they feel like they don't really understand or connect with their child.
But like, like I feel like with teenagers, it's very fickle. It, it changes their opinions on things change and whatever, but as long as a parent just hears them out, I feel like that's a great start. I feel like that's just hearing 'em out whether you agree or not. All right. So what I'm hearing you say is that if a parent wants to be more supportive Yeah.
Your. Kind of answer was then we should listen more. Yeah. Than we do. I think it's listening and then deciding from there based on what they said, like your next, like term of action. I think because you can be supportive of a child, like of a teenager, but not necessarily agree with it. Like you can support them, but it's like you might like, it's sort of having that judge free mentality as.
Okay. Makes sense. So you would want us to listen and then if we don't agree, like still listen, but then like slowly be like, like make sure that you can tell that they acknowledge that you validate what they're saying. Ah, like don't acknowledgement. Don't, okay. Yeah, yeah. All right. So, so what I hear you saying is kind of like when it, you know, the brain is, when it hears what the child has to say, it might like do a little freak out on its side.
Yeah. But you're saying, Listen. Yeah, maybe like, not interrupt, let them get it all out and then, and sort of be the sort of, I see what you're saying and I get your point of view, even if you might like not fully, because the more like they Okay. Just make it feel like validated so that when you're then putting, voicing your opinion that it's like they don't feel like, oh, they didn't even listen at all.
They didn't even Okay. Try and understand. Stay good. So I would, I would say that, and supporting, like listening is a great, a great first. Yes. Listening what I heard, listening and validating. Yes. What they have to say. Even if you don't agree, even if you don't agree. And sort of get those impulsive judge judgey thoughts out first.
Just like let them say it. Okay. Let them say it. Yeah. And what, and here I want to, I'm glad you brought that up cuz here I wanna remind moms out there that your brain, there are a lot of things when we hear our kids say, we immediately go. Reaction mode. Like I either need to fix it or what they're saying is wrong or that's terrible that they're feeling that way.
I wanna hurry up and help them feel better. Right. But, and some of the things that we will, like brains just judge. Right? And, but it's one thing to have a thought, like a judgment thought about your child. . And then it's another thing to actually voice that thought. Yeah. Like, have it come into action. So yeah, this is where if we slow down a little bit and we're actually listening, that maybe we can not go into like a reactive mode and be more like, you know have a chance.
Even if we have a judging thought, like, that's fine, but maybe we, we wanna choose to not voice that judging thought. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. All right. Tell me, what do teenagers really want from their parents when it comes to their, like if, if they're stressed about something, like they're stress or they're anxious because, are teenagers stressed in anxious
Very, yes. Yes. I think, and should we be worried about. A little bit. Honestly, I think I could say it a little bit because I think I notice it like even as you get older, like it's there. And I think social media, like I could go into a whole thing about that is like a big, a big cause for it just in general because it leaves a lot of room for negative emotions, overthinking, comparison, like that kind of thing.
But I think that when someone, like when your kid is anxious, valuing. They're wanting alone time. I think like there's sort of that, like when you, you see your kid stressed and anxious, you wanna like rush in and be like, what's like, what's going on? But sometimes they need that sort of, I'm gonna go up in my room in my safe space, decompress.
Like, sort of like, not that they handle it on their own. I definitely think that like there can be person intervention, but it's just like, like mm-hmm , don't rush to like fix it. Okay. Don't rush to fix it. So if we were looking how we could best. a child. If we're thinking that you're stressed and anxious and you're telling me that that's definitely part of , the teenager's life, right?
How can we best show up for you in in that regard? And you said sometimes like, like honor that they need alone time. I think it's also what I had said earlier about. list the validation because I feel like there's sort of the, like let's say for example, like as an example, like you're anxious about a test.
Well, sometimes maybe in this hypothetical situation, the parent is like, , but if you had studied, you wouldn't have felt anxious. Like don't sort of try and find the cause of this anxiety and sort of like, like yes, you can try and find the pinpoint of like why you're nervous and why you're stressed about something, but it's like, don't make it sound blameful.
It's like the tone that you tone I feel like is a really important thing. Okay. It's sort of like how you approach something cuz the way you say something can very much like is impressionable on like teenagers. Yeah. And like the mood that you say, the voice that you say it like, because. We'll, we'll overthink that.
Mm-hmm. . We'll take it to heart. We'll take it personally tone wise. So just validating it once again and not putting blame for what their anxiety is from, if that makes sense. Okay. Yeah. So good. Because everyone gets anxious, everyone gets nervous, everyone gets stressed, like that's normal. So it's like being there and just blaming and being like, oh, if you had done this, like you wouldn't have felt this.
Like make sure you just come from a point of just under. . Yeah. What I, what I try and emphasize that I have found helpful and I kind of use on you all, but you might not know exactly the technique I'm doing. It is literally just for me to ask you more questions. Like, because instead of me, cuz parents wanna go into the.
the, this is what you should do. If you do this, then you'll feel better. Or we just, we do, we do get worried and stressed for our kids, and we want you all to be happy. So we are, we, it, it's natural for us to be like, okay, well here's what we think you should do. Right. But now I'm, I'm, I'm really leaning into
Okay. Tell me about it. Vivian. Like, yes. What, like, what, what, what are you worried about? Or do you wanna share with what's going on? Yeah. Or do you want to have, be by yourself? Is there anything that I could do for you at this moment? I literally go into trying to get your, like ask for your thoughts with questioning.
Have you noticed that I've, oh, I know that, that you do, that you ask questions and I would, I'm not trying to like discredit you, but I'm saying like, Please don't do that. I'm not, I'm not trying to discredit you, but I'm just, I'm saying like, like, don't, I like what you were saying earlier about sort of like making it optional for them to say what they wanna say don't like, because I feel like this sort of like, Not interrogating, but it's like the, the question asking can feel like interrogating when you're under that stress situation, when you're in that pressure, like everything's heightened for you in that moment.
You know what I mean? You're already, your emotions are high. You're like, you're already like in a state of like frenzy. You know what I mean? So it's like having something probed at you can be very like, like I feel like if you wanna have those questions of sort of like, how can we analyze this situation?
You come at it when they've had that alone time, when they've let you, when you've listened. If that makes sense. Okay. Yeah. We keep coming back to, this is definitely a theme. Mom's out here, we're, we're hearing. that, that Vivian is saying Listen more, maybe listen more, talk less. Yeah. Is kind of, but I, I think with the, the line of questioning it's coming from for me to get to a place of empathy.
Yes. Not a place of like interrogation. Like, it's not like it literally is, I'm trying to understand you more. Right. Right. That's the kind of line of questioning that I'm talking like, oh, tell me. , like, oh, I can see why you would think that. And those kind of things. It's sort of like being their hype man, but like, you know, if that makes sense.
Like, no, I have no idea what that means. Like, like hype. An age term? No, like hype, like to hype someone up, like sort of, but hype. I thought you said they're hype, man. I was like, no hype. What is that? Hype man? Like hypey in them up. Like sort of making them like as if you were like not, I'm not trying to say like you're in the relationship of best friends.
Yeah. But it's like when you're hearing them out, sort of being there, like, like the comments that you make are. , why would you do that? Or like, you should have done that differently. Like it's more mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm . Like I see that. I see that. But then once they've sort of dialed down that talking, that's when you can sort of put in your input and sort of be that, have that supportive schooling.
Yes. Yes. So good. Okay. Is there anything you would want as a teenager from us that would help your self-esteem? Are we speaking like person. , like self-esteem or like, are we talking about like just in general? Yeah. What are, yeah. , we like that I just help self-esteem. Or, you know, we can also, you know, use the word confidence.
Yeah, I know, I know what you're saying. I don't wanna like, repeat myself because I feel like there's definitely different ways you can look at it. Why, what came to mind? It's just that sort of, not coming from like, I know like everyone's human and stuff, but it's just like not openly going in, like reacting like that.
Like excluding that sort of reactive, like your first thoughts on something like just sort of like asking pause. Yeah, like asking yourself like, should I say that? kind of thing. Like sort of think before, like kind of you speak. I don't know how to really explain it, but it's just like, like we take ourselves the time out before we , before we dive into what we want.
Yeah. Yeah. That's just so important in general for becoming less of a reactive parent. Yeah. Is to make it a habit. To build in. Pauses. Pauses. When you learn news, pauses when your kids say something that you don't like or you're, or you're viewing some behavior. like. what some time and a breather and a little think through would, will do before you approach and try and kind of things.
Well, cause that counteracts, cuz teenagers are reactive. Mm-hmm. teenagers are the one that like, they get those sporadic emotions. They get those, like at first news of something they freak out. Like that's, I feel like the teenager's job, , uhhuh, , I feel like. Yeah. So you can't have two reactors. Right. If we're both and that's what happens.
That's what happens. So we don't react. Yeah. That's human. Like, that's normal. , but it's just like, you know, that's what I tell my, my, my clients. It's, we're human and it's normal. Yep. Yeah. Okay. So any like challenges that you think teenagers face that we think are a problem but really aren't that teenagers?
Yeah, like, so what's kind of like the, what happens with teenagers all around just kind of. make it sort of like a blanket stereotype. Yeah. Is there any challenges or, well, there're definitely challenges. I feel like it comes from, I think we've talked about this before, but just light the world is way different than when you were a teenager.
Mm. Technology is overruling the world. We went through a pandemic growing up. Like I feel like there's a lot of things that we've dealt with that Yeah. Like I'm sure like you can try and go back to relate to, but it's like, it's hard to really, really put yourself back in that exact position when our life is so much different than the nineties, eighties.
Is that something that you, you don't like? When we. . But when, back when we were kids, I don't know, because then it, it's, it's, it's totally different. Like you're, like, everything is different. Like, I'm not saying school is harder, but I'm saying like the way schools are one or different, the way, like elec, like I said, like electronics have sort of become the new normal with things like social media.
Parents didn't have, like, you feel like you cannot make that comparison. Like even though you might be like, oh, this is gonna make them feel better because this happened for me. But in reality, like it's, it's way different. So it's like, comparison and trying to parallel like what you were like as a kid.
Like, it just, it doesn't work the way that I feel like you think that it does, not you specifically, but just in general. Yeah. How can parents make you feel like respected more in general than maybe? I feel like give teenagers the opportunities to make adult decision. And see sort of their, even if you like, maybe you're like, oh, they're not ready.
Like maybe they're too young. Like sort of give them that a like, not authority, but just give them that freedom to make decisions and sort of help them learn from their experiences, if that makes sense. Yeah. Like just use, okay. Yeah, just letting them make older decisions and more mature decisions than you might feel like they're ready.
I think, cuz then it will sort of give them like, oh, they think I'm ready. They like that validation that I was talking about. Yeah. And what do you think that parents like are too controlling over teenagers about, and that in your opinion, they should be less controlling of Now I, I'm very split about this because I've mixed reviews about it, but I'm gonna say social media because I think on one hand it's like good to.
Like, you know, forceful, ab, like not forceful, but just like aware of it. Have rule, have rules or boundaries and boundaries. Mm-hmm. ? I was gonna say something that was quite profound and now I cannot think of it. . I'm sure it was, but then it's like, at the end of the day. Like you guys didn't have social media.
And I think, oh, it's sort of that thing where it's, you know how people say like, oh, when you say something, the teenagers is the opposite. It's true. I think it's true. You don't real, like, I don't think teenagers realize that they do it, but I think that it's sort of that like they wanna go against your parents sometimes.
Yeah. They want, even if you don't really believe Yeah, you don't, yeah. You don't even believe, like, you don't realize you're doing it until you're doing it. So just know that like, and I've seen this firsthand in college, that strict, strict parents have very loose. , like kids, like it's sort of when they get that freedom, it goes south.
Mm-hmm. . So I would just say like, not saying to be totally lax, but I'm just saying like, like rules are good, but it's just like, you gotta find an in between because mm-hmm. Yeah. I can see this for sure when I, because older I've seen it firsthand, like going south, so Yes, because that it, I want you to know, like, that is hard for us Yes.
Parents and to wear that fine line. And of course there's different maturity levels and things like that with our kids, but I know, especially with our first kids who become teenagers, you know that fine line of when we go out of you all needing us for everything to when it is time to let you spread your wings, have a little bit more independence, make choices for yourself.
And I see that that's where a lot of the battles come in with my coaching clients when they're struggling with their kids is of just knowing when is too much and when is too much of like rules and, you know, kind of holding tight to that. Yeah, it's just something that parents have to navigate.
It's, it's another thing of learning by experience. Like there's no textbook way to do it, cuz everyone, every family is different. Household's different. So it's like, it's, it's very much doing it by experience and sort of just like learning from every time you try to enforce something, how it sort of ends out.
Ends up. Yeah. All right. Yeah. Okay. Well, is there anything, is there anything, and that's a little bit on the spot, but is there anything else that you would want to like just share with us about a teenager's mind or what they would want to, that you think to tell the moms listening that would help them become, you know, better at connection and relating to their teenager and just kind of strengthening the relationships they have with their teenager?
I would just say that like going back in my teenager days, like we are very sporadic. And we, we just, I feel like we just want that emotional support. We want that we want you guys to be there, but it's just like I said, validation and even if you don't agree with it sort of going through that route and just feeling listened to and like getting to that level of empathy.
Goes a long way. . All right. So thanks so much for doing this. Thanks for having me with me. It's so fun to have you and, and to work and to have at least somebody represented , one of the kids as a mom on the podcast, but yeah. Yes, it was fun. So I hope you had a takeaway or two from my time here with my daughter Vivian, and I will be talking to you again next week.
Wanna say bye Viv, and bye . Thank you for tuning in to today's episode of the Peaceful Mind Podcast. Are you ready to take everything I teach you here and put it to work for your own life to really learn how to have peace of mind no matter what is happening around you? If so, I'd love to have you as a client, as your coach.
This is where you'll get personal and focus time on your own mind, using life coaching tools, concepts, and proven life, transforming wisdom, all through a faith-filled lens. To learn more about how we can work together, come on over to daniellethienel.com there you'll see how to sign up for a free coaching consult and learn how to get started.
Until next time, peace be with you always.