4 Things Teens Wish Their Parent’s Wouldn’t Do

Hi Friend, I’m so happy that you’re joining me today. 

I once heard a saying that really resonated with me – tweens and teens are like cats. They can hide in their rooms and if you try to go in there and force them out it doesn’t work. Trying to communicate with our tweens and teens can be challenging. AND, there is good news. How you communicate with your kids makes all the difference – there are things that we do as parents that causes a wedge in our relationship with them. And there are things that you can do that will increase the likelihood that they will open up and talk to you. This is what this show is all about today. How to communicate in ways that will build connection with your tweens and teens.

Today my guest is Sheri Gazett. Sheri is a Mom of 3 daughters, a parent educator, author, and teen life coach and the founder of Teen Wise.

And Sheri has a gift for communicating clearly what not to do and say when you’re talking to your tween and teens and what to do that will greatly improve your relationship with them.

Let’s jump in!

Scroll down for episode transcribed notes!

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Sheryl   

Welcome, Sheri to the podcast. So good to have you here.

Sheri

I’m glad to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

Sheryl   

Yeah, very excited to talk to you. How did you start doing this? What led you to be a parent coach working with girls and working with parents?

Sheri

Well, when I was in fourth grade, they always asked me what do you want to do? And one of the things was therapist, I wanted to be a therapist, a computer scientist, and one other thing, I don’t remember what it was. So, I guess it started a long time ago. But when I was a teen and middle school, high school, I didn’t get a lot of support. And I was going through a lot of stuff just like everyone. And it would have been great to have some extra support.

My parents were young. So, it would have been great for them to have support as well to know what to do with these three girls that they had in middle school in high school. Fast forward to now, I was working at the Women’s Sports Foundation, helping them with a curriculum for girls ages eight to 18. And I just love that space. And when the grant ran out for that, I knew I had to do something. I wasn’t willing to just stop there. And so, I started getting calls to do presentations, and thought, “I can’t just be Sheri doing a presentation, I needed a company. And this is where I’m supposed to be.” So, it’s my passion. And I love what I’m doing. I know that tweens and teens and parents of those tweens and teens just need some extra support.

Sheryl   

Yeah, for sure. It’s hard to navigate. We can’t do it alone. And we think that we should know how to do it. But who’s ever done this before? And then each kid is different.

Sheri

Yeah, so figure it out with one kid, you got two others that are different.

Sheryl   

Exactly. And then they bring up so much stuff for us when they’re going through those years, like you said, with you not feeling like you had the support. Your parents, they didn’t have that kind of support, which is a blessing now, because we have a lot more support available to us than our parents did. So, you have three daughters.

Sheri

Yes, they’re 18, 21, 23. So I’m coming out the other side, but then parenting just shifts, it doesn’t end. They need you differently.

Sheryl   

I know it’s so true because my kids are older now too. And my youngest is 22. And she’s a senior in college, which is like, “Oh, I know what’s coming. This will be her last Christmas home for a straight month.”  Then you realize, “Oh, my goodness, then they don’t have that break anymore. And they’re working.” I remember my grandparents would come for a couple of weeks when I graduated from college, and I was so bummed out. I went on Christmas Eve and Christmas day and then have to go back to work.

Sheri

I know. It’s a different world. Parents of younger kids always hear to appreciate it while it lasts. That is true, but also as hard.

Sheryl   

It is hard. But you forget maybe a little bit of the pain. Not that it doesn’t have challenges with older kids. We never get done with being parents. It just looks different. Could you share a couple of the challenges that you’ve had as a mom, I always think that I get so many emails from moms that just say how that’s so comforting to them. Think of it as one that stands out to you. That was hard for you.

Sheri

Yeah. There are a few that I can think of, but one is being able to stay connected. I have one of my kids that we were really close to. So, when they got to middle school, the individuation was even harder when they are trying to become more independent. Because if you’re really close, it just hurts more when they’re like, “no, I need to be my own person. I don’t need you for everything.” So, staying connected, but still giving them their space. That’s difficult. And it’s like a loss. When that happens, you as a mom feel like you’re losing a part of yourself. And so that is difficult.

So, for me, there was a lot of sadness in that transition time with each of my kids. But it’s something that you have to work on, you have to be aware of and know that it is normal to feel that grief and loss in that time. And make sure that you’re reaching out and not losing yourself.

Sheryl   

Yeah, that’s so good. It’s normal. And even though we know it’s normal because I knew it was normal, but it still doesn’t mean it’s not going to hurt. Right? Even though we know it’s normal. And then reaching out and getting the support. What did that look like for you? How did you navigate that?

Sheri

For me, it meant finding myself a little bit more again, like making sure that my life wasn’t all about my kids. So that when they were individuating, it’s like, “okay, I can see that’s normal. That’s okay.” And now it gives me more time to do the things that I enjoy doing. Not that I totally lost all of that. But it gave me that time back. So, I could think of it like that instead of “oh my gosh, I don’t have my kid around me all the time,” or that she’s not coming to me for everything. And also recognizing the joy in that, that she was felt safe to go and have their own space.

Sheryl   

They had their own space. So, talk a little bit more about that. Because that is one of the things that you really encourage parents is giving space. Why is that so important? To give our kids space. What do we do when we don’t give space?

Sheri

One of the things that happen when we’re not giving our kids spaces is that we are very intrusive because we’re trying so hard to hang on, that we don’t want them to have their own space. What that might look like is they have friends over and you’re literally on the couch with them watching TV, or you come in and you’re taking over the conversation. Or if we’re talking about academics, that you’re talking to their teachers, you’re choosing their classes, so you’re not involved, you’re intrusive. And it comes down to hanging on so tight, that you can feel that distance is happening, and you just don’t want it to and so you hang on really tight.

And most of the time this happens, we’re not aware of it, we’re just doing it. So, awareness is really key to figuring out how you’re doing that transition, how you’re handling it, and then giving them space is both emotional space and physical space. You see, a lot of times kids begin to hang in their rooms more because they are looking for that physical space. A lot of times they don’t tell you everything because they’re looking for the emotional space. They don’t want you to be involved in every aspect of their life. And that’s not because they don’t trust you or don’t love you or don’t need you. It’s because they’re growing up.

Sheryl   

Yeah, gosh, that’s so good. Because it’s not personal. It can feel so personal. And yet they become more private. I don’t know who coined the term cocooning – like they’re cocooning in their room. So much of that is normal. And especially COVID where kids were in their rooms because they could not escape – they were with their family 24/7. And they just want to go in their room and be alone. So that’s very tricky to navigate because you do want to have them come out to spend time with the family. And so, what would you say the mom that’s like my kids are in there all the time, and they’re not coming out and I don’t know what to do? What would you say to encourage them?

Sheri

So, I do have a lot of moms who talked to me about that. And the first thing that I suggest to that mom is that she considers what happens when her child comes out of the room? Is she nagging her about chores? Did she ask her about homework? Is she interrogating her about her friendships, or is she just letting her child come out and connect with her in different ways?

So that’s one thing when I talk to teens that they say I’m in there, because if I’m not, my parents are telling me I have to do this or that, or they’re questioning me about my grades, they want to know about my homework. So, it’s avoidance because they don’t want to talk about the things their parents are talking about. So as a mom, what you can do is leave space to talk about what your child wants to talk about. Or if they don’t want to talk to you, just being in the same room, that physical presence that in and of itself is a connection. I heard one time that teens want us to be like potted plants. They want to know we are around.

Sheryl   

“Untangled” by the author Lisa Demore. Be like a plant.

Sheri

We don’t always have to be interacting but to be like this physical presence that we’re around, and they can find us when they need us. That’s really what they need sometimes.

Sheryl   

That’s so good. I love that. That’s so true. It’s like when they do come out, don’t like, start nagging him. Have you done your homework or written your paper? Okay, you got to do the dishes. I have noticed in my own life that if I feel disconnected from my husband or my kids, what’s the first thing that I want to do? I want to control something. I want to say, Okay, you need to do the dishes, or how’s your homework, but that’s going to make them want to want to run back in the room. So, I love how you put that and give space. So, when they come out, give them a little, it’s almost like a turtle or a cat, the cat’s going to run underneath the bed and hide again, or a turtle is going to pull in their head into their shell.

Sheri

My kid is living at home right now- my middle daughter, and she came downstairs the other day. And I was like, “Hi!” She’s just like, “too much, no, that’s not at all what I need right now.”

Sheryl   

I know my son and his family will come in for Thanksgiving. And I’m going to have to put on the brakes just a little bit. I want to scream in excitement, but we have to control ourselves. That’s very hard. So, you work with teen girls and boys or mostly teen girls?

Sheri

Mostly girls occasionally, boys.

Sheryl   

Okay, so you have the inside scoop. So, what else do they say? What are some of the other complaints?

Sheri

One of the complaints is that their parents lecture them all the time. I talk to kids, and they’re like, “I can like give you my parent’s top three lectures if you want.” They know it word for word. And so, they don’t want to come to their parents to talk about stuff, because they know they’re going to get a lecture and they get so tired of it. So that’s one really big thing that teens are like, “I’m done with that. I don’t want the advice.”

Another thing is judgment. We parents have our hidden agendas. And it comes across as judgment to our kids. And when we’re asking them questions, a lot of times they are filled with judgment, whether we like it or not, “have you done your homework? Did you play video games? So, you play video games, but you haven’t done your homework.” Like they’re not doing enough, or they’re not good enough based on some of the interactions that they have with parents. So instead of that they’re going to avoid and be in the room and just not come to them.

Another thing that teens say is that their parents often want to fix it. So, if they come and talk to them about, let’s say, a fight they’re having with friends, instead of listening and talking about the feelings or just what happened, parents say, “Well, you should do this, or the next thing you need to do is or you shouldn’t stand for that.” And it really the kids are like “all I wanted was my parents to listen to me. That’s all I want, but they want to fix it.”

Then the last thing I hear a lot is that the parents’ emotions, overcome the teen’s emotions, and it becomes all about the parent. In practical terms, what I see is that the parents try to relate to their kids and will relay a story. “I understand this because when I was a teenager, this happened to me.” And the kids are like “now, it’s all about my parents. It’s not about me.” So, while we can relate to them and tell our stories if we do that, we need a short story. But also, don’t lead with that – if they tell us something don’t automatically come back with that. Maybe that’s after we’ve listened to everything they have to say, then we can tell our very short story of how we can relate to that.

Sheryl   

Yeah, gosh, those four: lecturing, judgment, going in there and trying to fix it, and we make it about ourselves trying to be helpful. But it’s not helpful, because it’s not the same. Even though you know, sometimes our stories are helpful. They need us to listen to them first.

So, give them a couple of tools. I’ll be the teenager. “Mom, I can’t stand my teacher. I mean, he is so irritating. And I hate math class. I just hate it. I don’t want to do my math homework.”

Sheri

“So, what did your teacher do today that was so irritating?”

Sheryl   

Yeah, asking a question. “I just don’t I don’t understand what they’re talking about.”

Sheri

“Yeah. So do you feel like you can approach that teacher and talk to them?”

Sheryl   

Yeah. So, asking good questions.

Sheri

Yeah. And a lot of times in that, the example you’re giving here, a lot of parents would latch on to the very end of it, where you said, I don’t want to do my homework. They would have latched on to that, “well, you have to do your homework, whether you like it or not. It doesn’t matter if you like your teacher, the homework needs to be done.” Latching on to the more practical instead of all the other stuff that your child says.

Sheryl   

We get hung up on those things, and we want to change them. I find it’s helpful just to reflect the feeling like, “well, that sounds like it was frustrating, like sitting in math class today.” Just even being able to reflect back. And then ask good questions or modeling. A lot of times we say okay, we’re not supposed to lecture, and we come off judgmental, which is so easy to do, especially when they say things that are hard to hear. We want to fix it. Of course, we want to make it better. But what can I do instead? And I think that we can get stuck there. Do you find that then we get stuck?

Sheri

So, I’ll tell you some things that you can do instead. One is to listen, most of the time, that’s what they want. That’s what they need. They don’t need the lecture or the judgment or advice even. So, we can listen, half the time that’s it, then they’ve moved on.

In the situation you gave, she just needs to say this teacher sucks. I don’t like math. And then she’ll probably go ahead in the room and do her homework, it’s just getting it all out there.

One thing to remember too is when they’re coming home from school, they’ve kept all their emotions bottled up for most of the day, they’ve behaved (hopefully) for that day. So, when they get home in their safe space, it’s like they can finally let off this mask of everything’s fine. And just let it all out. So, if we can give them space just to let it all out. And all we do is listen, half the time. That’s all you need to do.

The other thing is you can ask questions, but just be mindful of what kinds of questions, Are you interrogating? Like you need to know every single thing? Are you opening it up for them to talk about what they want to talk about? And I think that’s a big thing too. And the questions, we have to be mindful of our tone, and what the hidden judgment is in those questions that we’re asking.

Sheryl   

Yeah, our tone, just raise it an octave.

Sheri

Exactly. Even if you think of the question, Why did you do that? There are so many ways that we can change the inflections on that one particular question that it can come across as so judgy, or it can come across as curious. And ultimately, we want our questions to be filled with curiosity. And we want to see the world the way they see it so that we can better understand what they’re going through.

Sheryl   

That is good. So going in and not assuming, and we assume so much when we don’t really even know. So, if we can go in with curiosity, we don’t have to say a whole lot, right? But just be curious about them explaining what their world is like and what they experience. That’s what I’d like people to do with me, where they’re not going to judge me, it’s really what we all want. But why do we forget that with our kids?

Sheri

It’s because of the hidden agenda. And we think that we as parents have to make our kids happy, we have to make sure they succeed at what they do, we have to make sure we’re keeping them on task. There’s this list that we think we need to do as parents. And so instead of focusing on a connection with our kids and supporting them, all this other noise gets in the way, this list of “shoulds”. And ultimately that falls to the wayside. We can’t just connect with them anymore.

Sheryl   

This is my feeling. I’m attaching my kid’s choices with the job I’ve done as a parent. And I see that with other parents I work with, it’s like I should because if my kid does x, it’s going to be my fault. If I’m a good mom, they won’t do that.

Sheri

Yes. So, there’s something called Child Contingent Self Esteem. And this is partially what you’re talking about that how our kids “turnout”, says how good of a parent we are and builds our self-esteem up or down. And that’s a really big roller coaster. If you connect your self-esteem to your kid’s choices, if we’re talking about adolescence, they’re going to make some bad choices. All kids do because that’s what they’re supposed to do, right? They’re supposed to take some risks, try new things. So ultimately, that’s going to end in some bad choices somewhere along the way. But it gets very intertwined.

And the other piece of this is that we have judgments that we have instilled in us from when we were kids, the stories that we’re bringing along with us. Those judgment filters really start to manifest when our kids get into middle school in high school because we begin to see them as little adults, they’re no longer kids. So, there are these invisible filters that we are parenting through. If we have a judgment about ourselves, it’s now the judgment we’re putting on our kids. So, if you don’t exercise enough, we filter our kids exercise through that, if we were told that growing up, or if we don’t get high enough grades, because we’re not studying hard enough, then we’re judging our kids if they don’t get A’s. It’s hard to avoid.

Sheryl   

So true. Gosh, grades, even weight, I see that with the weight, you know, if there was a lot of pressure around weight, that’s so easy to do with your daughter. Lots of different areas are loaded for us. So, what would you say to the mom, that’s listening? How would you coach her around how to know if she’s doing that?

Sheri

It’s awareness and observation. It’s really like most of the time with parenting, it’s the day-to-day survival almost. So, when you’re able to stop and step back a couple of feet, look at you’re parenting with purpose, look at it in this scientific way, start observing your interactions with your kids, you can start to see these filters show up, this “should” list show up. And then once you’re aware of it, you can start making changes. But if you’re not aware of it, you can’t change it. So that might be journaling. You might be talking to your friends more about it, you might have a parent, coach, therapist, something that allows you to take those two steps back so that you can kind of assess your parenting and your interactions. And then you know, this is where I need to make some changes.

Sheryl   

Yeah, that’s so good. Noticing where we have more reactivity, like where it feels like it’s a bigger emotion, where we have that heightened emotion where it’s like, “wow, something’s really going on inside of me.”

Sheri

Yeah, I’ll give you an example of my own life when one of my daughters was younger. She said like many kids throw out there, “I just want to die” or “I want to kill myself” – something like that it wasn’t in a suicidal ideation way. It was one of those, I’m going to throw this out and see how my mom reacts. Well, my mom when I was little, tried to commit suicide. So, talk about a trigger. I was not calm at that moment. I yelled, “Don’t you ever say that!” So definitely that was my trigger, – something that went from zero to 60 right away. I had to go back and apologize later; I didn’t tell her why. But that was when I became aware: Okay, that’s a big trigger. I need to deal with that and process that a little bit more before my kids get older.

Sheryl   

Wow, thank you for sharing that. That’s a very good example. Knowing that about yourself that you would go there. And not just take that as something to be said lightly. One thing for me was physical safety because my dad was killed in a car accident. And so, I tried to control my oldest. I live outside of Chicago, and they’ll get out of a car. And I’m like, “look both ways.” They’re like, “I’m 31.” And I’m like, “I know, I still feel like I’ve got to say it.”

Sheri

Yeah, I think another thing that I hear a lot from parents and teens, both sides are this idea of spending time together and what that looks like. What I see parents doing is “okay, I want to spend time with my kids.” So, they’re offering up things to their kids, “do you want to do this with me on do that with me?” And they say no. So, the parents eventually say, “I gave up they don’t ever want to spend time with me. So, I’m not going to ask.” And the kid’s side is “my parents want me to do things that they want me to do”, Or “they want to talk to me about things that they want to talk about.”

So, what you have to do as a parent is figuring out what your kids are into. And then that’s what you’re asking them to do. It may be something you don’t like, but you love your kids. So, it’s worth talking about that or doing whatever that thing is. And then the other thing is if you ask your kids to spend time with you, and they say, No, you’ve still done something great there. You’ve said to your kids, I want to spend time with you. So even if they say no, you’ve said I care about you, I love you, I want to spend time with you. And that was a win. And that was a connection point.

Sheryl   

That is good. Yeah, just know that that’s a win. We think that’s not enough, but that you’ve opened that door and they know you want to spend time. So, you work with parents, but you also work with the teenagers or the tween-agers, right? What’s usually going on when they come to you?

Sheri

I think it started out in one direction and changed a little bit, but I deal with a lot of friendship issues. So, when there are shifts going on and the girls are feeling down, their self-esteem has taken a blow on their confidence. I help them to understand that friendship shifts are normal, that this doesn’t mean that they’re not worthy of friends. And so how do they bounce back from that and get empowered from that situation? So, friendships are a big piece and then another is the parent-child connection.

Sheryl   

Helping them to reconnect. Yes. How will you usually approach it when you’re trying to help them to reconnect?

Sheri

It depends. But sometimes because I work with both the parents and the teen separately, sometimes I have to convince the teen that they want to reconnect with their parents, honestly. Because sometimes they just give up, like, “my parents don’t understand me. I don’t care if I talk to my parents.” So, I work with them to understand what they do need from their parents, even though they’re individuating. How that can be a really good support system and how wonderful it can be. And then I work with the parents on okay, this is what your kids need, let’s redirect, let’s reassess. Let’s, do some changes here, and then bring them together in the middle to show what a new emerging relationship can look like.

Sheryl   

That is such important work. So that they can communicate better.

Sheri

Communication is key, because we begin to fall back when things get emotional, we fall back into the patterns that we know. So sometimes these families are coming from a family that wasn’t very functional, or that it was just a different way of parenting, back then it was different. So, when they can see there’s a different way, I can relate to my child they like this. And then the child may push back as the parents try to change. But eventually, it comes together. And it’s really wonderful.

Sheryl   

Yeah, it’s so gratifying, isn’t it when you see that growth. I find that moms say, “I’m listening, and I’m seeing a huge turnaround.” It’s just listening more that can bring so much change.

Sheri

One thing that I see for moms, in particular, is that it’s almost a relief when you say, you don’t have to fix it, you are in charge of their happiness. You don’t have to do everything. You just need to listen and connect. And they’re like, oh, I can do that. I don’t have to do all these other things. I got this.

Sheryl   

Yeah, we don’t have to have the answers. We don’t have to. And I do find that kids are much more resilient and wiser than we give them credit for.

Sheri

They are. And when we can listen more, we can hear that wisdom. But when we’re lecturing, the wisdom gets lost.

Sheryl   

And even in the talking, they figure it out. I’m sure you see this even working with clients. It’s like as we talk and process you figure it out. But you can’t if somebody is talking to you.

Sheri

So as parents, if we’re constantly telling our kids what they should do, or need to do, or how it should be done, it also gives a message to them. You can’t figure this out. You need me to do this for you because you don’t have the intelligence or the wherewithal to figure it out. But don’t worry, I’m here. And so, while that feels good, sometimes as a parent, we’re helping our kids, we’re doing things for them. It really gives them the message that my mom doesn’t believe in me that I can do it on my own.

Sheryl   

That’s a great point. Growing up were you a more compliant kid? Or were you more strong-willed?

Sheri

I was very compliant. I was the youngest of three. My parents actually had three of us by the time they were 23 years old. So, we’re a very young family. And as my sisters got in trouble, I was like, Ooh, I’m going to be quiet. I’m going to make sure I don’t get in any trouble here.

Sheryl   

I was very compliant as well. And when I was told to do something, I was also rebellious. But it was – what was an acceptable rebellion? Like, I drink when I was in high school, but my mom wasn’t really strict around that stuff. There were certain things that she was stricter around. And what ended up happening is I would listen to my mom, but I didn’t develop a sense of who I was. And so, I had to do a lot of personal growth, work on myself to figure out what do I want? Who am I? I’m so busy being compliant.

I think we forget that piece of it with our kids that they’re trying to develop their own voice. They’re trying to develop their sense of self and listen to themselves. So that’s just another piece that I think that we need to remember if our kids are arguing or they’re disagreeing, that is part of the developmental right process as well because they need to figure out what do I like what don’t I like? What do I think? Did you find that being really compliant, that it was harder for you to do? Does that resonate with you at all?

Sheri

It does, in some ways. I found a lot of passions when I was younger, I got into bands and softball and things like that. But for me, it was compliance in a different way. Because my parents were growing up themselves, my mom went to college, and I was in middle school, and my dad was running various businesses. And I was the youngest. So, it was kind of like they’re done parenting, I’m not saying they’re bad parents. It’s just I was doing my own thing. So, it was a little bit different.

Sheryl   

This is also good. But because you deal with a lot of the girl drama, you speak on that? That seems to be a theme that’s coming up a lot in my community. So how do we help our daughters, the listeners, when they get in the car, and they’re crying when they’re having those difficulties? What would you what would you say?

Sheri

The first thing I’m going to recommend is to go back and deal with your own emotional baggage. Because whether you like it or not, the things that happen to you, in middle school in high school are going to be triggered and are going to affect how you parent in those moments. So, make sure you’ve processed through that if you were bullied, if you were popular, if you weren’t popular, whatever it was that you went through, make sure you process and revisit those things.

Now the bonus is once you’ve processed it, you can be more objective about the things that come up. But you can use that information to help you parent. But if you’re coming at it from the emotional trigger, that’s different than the choices you’ll make. So that’s the first thing I would recommend. The next thing would be in those moments. Remember, you don’t have to fix it. You just have to be there to support her through those uncomfortable moments. You don’t need to make the uncomfortable emotions go away. It’s not your job. Just let her cry out because emotions are energy.

If we’re teaching our kids just “forget about that move on, they’re not worth it.” You’re not teaching them that uncomfortable emotion is okay. So that’s the next thing I would recommend. And then I would highly recommend avoiding co-ruminating, getting yourself part of this mean girl pack or part of the situation. You are the parents. So, you don’t need to bad-mouth the other girls in the situation. You don’t need to go back to that teen girl mode. You’re going to be above all of that. And that’s going to be helpful for your daughter.

Sheryl   

Yeah, don’t jump into the drama, right?

Sheri

Yes, exactly. So, listen to them. Ask, do you want me to listen? Or do you want advice? That’s important. They’ll probably say no at first, but they might circle back to that advice that you want to give, validate what they’re feeling instead of saying, “Oh, they’re not worth it. You don’t need to cry over these girls.” Just be there for them. Y

Sheryl   

What was the first point that you said again?

Sheri

About revisiting your own things that you dealt with in your teen years.

Sheryl   

I think that that is so important to think about what you know, whether you are popular, then you want your kid to be popular, but maybe they’re not fitting in and how important that is to do our own, our own workaround that and what we’re going to be bringing that into the situation.

Sheri

We’re talking about the invisible filters and that judgment filter. That’s a case that if you haven’t processed it, like if you are bullied, for instance, and your child comes home and says, Oh, this girl said something mean to me, that’s the filter. You’re looking at it through that, oh, this girl’s probably bullying her. And so, you can go to the extreme, and when you’re trying to coach her through what’s going on and you’re seeing this other kid that said something mean as the bully, so that’s why you have to go back to those years.

Sheryl   

Yeah, I did it so differently with both of my daughters because there’s a nine-year gap there. Plenty of time to mature, and I remember doing that or getting in the car with my oldest and just being overcome by emotion listening And I was so mad at these other girls. I just remember I was very triggered by it and she’s crying, and she’s upset, and I ended up making this bigger deal than it needed to be. And then the next day she was friends with them again. And meanwhile, we’re exhausted by it. I was like, “I can’t believe she’s friends with them again.”

Fast forward to my youngest. She got in and I did what you said, let her cry it out, let her express. Then she’s fine. She went on with her night. The next day, she says, “I realized I wasn’t very nice to Sally. And we talked the next day, and now we’re all fine.”  And it wasn’t like Sally is the devil child, she’s trying to figure it out, too.

Sheri

If we bad-mouth their friends when they’re in a fight and then they fix the conflict and they’re friends again. We can’t take those bad words back that we’ve said, when we’re putting their friends down, so they might not come to you the next time because they’re like, “I don’t want my mom bad-mouthing my best friend.”

Sheryl   

Exactly. And then if they’re hurting, they won’t tell us. That’s so good. Well, Sheri, I just love talking to you and what you’ve shared, your wisdom is so helpful, you have a way of saying it, that just makes it so clear, and concise, and doable.

Sheri

So, there’s very little that’s clear, concise, and doable with parenting. But you know, if we just look at it in small slivers, we can do this.

Sheryl   

It is a process. But we make it with all our emotions, feel very complex. But doing some of these things that you were sharing, it is so helpful. So, thank you. Tell our listeners all about what you are up to at teen-wise and how to find you.

Sheri

It’s https://www.teenwiseseattle.com/ And I have several programs right now. One is called the Mom Wise Club. And that is all of us supporting moms with daughters in middle or high school because there’s a different dynamic. Although we welcome anybody. And we’ve got some moms in there with sons, and most of the stuff is relevant, about 90% of it.

The other thing that I would love to offer up to your parents is, it’s a workbook or an e-book on having self-compassion for you, as a mom, as a dad, and dealing with parenting because we can be really hard on ourselves that we need to be absolutely perfect. But we don’t have to be perfect. We just have to be present.

Sheryl   

That is wonderful. And also, they can reach out to you if they need somebody for their daughter to work with to help her to build confidence, resiliency. What else?

Sheri

Those are the big things. So, friendship, confidence, overwhelm. I would say like if they’re way stressed out, usually that has to do with their mindset of needing to be perfect, but I work with a lot of girls who have perfectionistic tendencies, or the moms have perfectionistic tendencies. And then also I will work with parents who feel like they’re disconnected from their kids, but don’t know what steps to take.

Sheryl   

To get the relationship back on track. Wonderful. So, tell them all the links and I’ll put them in the podcast notes too.

Sheri

So, there’s https://www.teenwiseseattle.com/. That’s where you can find anything. And then the one for compassion is https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/Po8fltZ

Sheryl   

Alright, that’s wonderful. Well, gosh, thank you so much for coming on the show and for all the wisdom and all the work that you’re doing to help parents and also help teen girls and boys.

Sheri

Thank you, Sheryl this was a great conversation.

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