Episode 12 - Parenting Teens Through Separation

podcast Nov 08, 2022
Do Divorce Right
Episode 12 - Parenting Teens Through Separation
32:04
 

The Do Divorce Right podcast is a new podcast dedicated to looking at the many different aspects of divorce,  interviews with women who have their own incredible divorce stories or those who can offer some great advice as you go through yours. Hosted by Becca Maxwell, a divorce coach and relational intelligence consultant, the focus here is to help you to find the strength and support to help you heal, feel lighter and in a better frame of mind to face the inevitable challenges of your divorce journey.

In this episode, Becca interviews Lisa Smith from Raising Mindsets, who is a teens confidence coach and has worked with teens in lots of different capacities. This coaching is a special type of life coaching that helps raise your self-worth, allowing you shift into a new, more confident mindset in every area.

Listen to Lisa who aims to coach parents and teens to empower themselves and boost their confidence levels to the ultimate.

You can find Lisa on Instagram and Facebook @raisingmindsets

 

Audio Transcript

 

Becca 

Welcome to the do divorce right podcast. I'm your host, Becca Maxwell. And I'm here to help you transition through your divorce with ease and integrity, to not only survive the challenges of your divorce, but to thrive as you come out the other side of it with a much better life than you ever hoped possible. On this show, we talk about many different aspects of divorce, interview women who have their own incredible divorce stories, or those who can offer some great advice as you go through yours. The focus here is to help you find the strength and support to help you feel lighter, happier, more positive, and then a better frame of mind to face the inevitable challenges of your current journey.

Becca

Okay, in this episode of The do divorce right podcast, I'm delighted to be talking to Lisa Smith, who is from raising mindsets. Lisa is a teens confidence coach, and has worked with teens in lots of different capacities. So we're going to hear a lot about that. Lisa, your work is so needed in the world, especially right now with, you know, teens going through so much and having experiences that we couldn't even imagine from our time as teenagers. I'd love to like, I'd love for you to share with our listeners, how did you come about doing what you're doing? Now? What were you doing previously? How did you get into this?

Lisa 

Well, well, firstly, thank you, Becca, and you, You're doing fantastic in your role as well. I'm very fascinated and following you on all different platforms. But basically, I when I was in my 20s, I was a police officer in the WA Police. I've been, whilst in the police, obviously, that imagined dealing with a lot of teens within there. But then I become a specialist child interviewer. So as a specialist child interview, unfortunately, had to interview children and teens on sexual assaults, serious physical assaults, and so forth. So I learned a little bit back then how these teens didn't have the correct education didn't have the communication from people close to them on their values, and so on. So this started in my 20s and realizing this

Becca 

subpoena, it must have been traumatic to be witnessing that at such a young age for yourself, but to witness their own trauma. How awful?

Lisa 

Yes. So in when you're in the place, you very much try to separate, like work from home. Very difficult. And that's why I left that section because I thought I just can't deal with this anymore. Like the things I've heard and said, I thought there's like I'll never ever repeat them because nobody needs them in their brain that information. But from there, I worked in drugs and alcohol. So that was a little bit fun. And I dressed up in plainclothes in my 20s and went into parts. I was like, What a dream job.

Lisa 

I went all around. But Halle Berry shocked by so I was traveling in my job. So it was

Becca 

good to see all of these beautiful places and the drugs and alcohol problems. Good.

Lisa 

As you can imagine how many teens I have across said that so much bad. Most of the teens? Have a question. Have a good laugh. We really just like to hear alcohol out there. Okay. So you had a bit of a banter with them. So that from a very early age I was, yeah, I always got along with teens. And yeah, yeah, that's, yeah. Better to do something in that section. But I was still young myself. So I didn't really know. So from there, I left the police. Because of the justice system. I just after what I've seen or what I saw it, I thought, No, I'm just going to take a break and went into training and assessing which, as you can tell, I love to have a chance to talk to a park bench. So I'm happy. got time for talking face jobs. And then I started a driving school, which was

Becca 

dealing with teens again. Yeah. Surrounding yourself with teens.

Lisa 

Yeah, exactly. And she has just the stories that would tell it was hilarious. And I'm more of a curious person. So I'm like, oh, so what happened next? Oh, and then what happened? And so that, in my honest probably shouldn't really say this loud. But with my learner driving, I was more of a mentor and a combined and more than a driver. Yeah, talk about how issues at school and parents and teens and how they're butting heads and so forth. And I'll give them advice.

Becca 

I thought, which is presumably how you lead into exactly what you're doing now. It's how do I get paid for doing that?

Lisa 

It was a lot of but I'm gonna do more study, I was looking into psychology. I thought all too many rolls around for me. So then I came across neuro linguistic programming, which was right up my alley. So it's all working with the unconscious mind positive thinking, a little bit of timeline therapy and hypnosis, which people are like, Oh, but you get the

Lisa 

adventure, you decide the area, that yeah, so now, I'm doing my diploma in neuro linguistic programming and working as a teen confidence coach, and absolutely loving it.

Becca 

That's incredible. Like, I'm sure that we I'm sure that you meet with a lot of children from separated families. And obviously, that's part of what I wanted to talk to you about on this podcast, because there are so many, so many parents really concerned that, you know, separation is going to have such a big negative impact on their children, how can they do the right things. So we'll we'll talk a bit more about what you've what advice you would give for people parenting teens. But before that, I'd love to ask you about some of the best practices and on building teen confidence. So let's forget about what kind of homes they're from. But what what are some best practice parenting techniques that you would pass along?

Lisa 

There's three main ones which are very much concentrate on communication is like utmost this if you do this, well, your teen or any child of any age will grow up knowing the correct information, knowing resilience, confidence, and basically just learning skills when they're in a difficult situation. So they're not always having to run back to an adult or like another person, they will be able to handle the situation. calmly and with confidence, right? So

Becca 

communication, that's as a parent, we should be communicating openly with our teens, but 1%.

Lisa 

So when it when sometimes it blows people's minds whether or not you need to be talking to your 11,12,13 or 14 year old's about sex, like, or very much big issues. Because when we think of when we were growing up, take two to three years off that and that's where your child is.

Becca 

Yeah. All right. I think my doorbell just went off with my dog. What does that mean? And I'm sure there's age appropriateness around that communication, though, yes, we should be talking to our preteens and our teens about sex. But that conversation will be quite different if it's within 1819 year olds. And of course, that's all within teens. Maybe let's just take a step back for a moment. Let's think about like, how can you help me articulate what is a thriving teen,

Lisa 

thriving teen. So our thriving teens, they can communicate correctly, again, knowing their values and knowing their core values is so so important, especially the top three. So we find that teens may follow. If you can, don't get me wrong, this teen's of all different types. So there's followers, there's leaders, there's ones that like to push the boundaries, and so forth. So as long as your teen understands their values,

Becca 

and I love working in values, if anybody's listen to my conversation with alpha, she talks about values of money. You're talking about values with teens, I talked about women visiting their values. Yeah. It didn't even occur to me. I say, No, yeah. It didn't even occur to me to talk to my children about their values. I haven't gotten there yet. And I work in values everyday lives. So thank you for that gift. I will be talking to my 10 and 30 You're out soon about that. Yes.

Lisa 

I actually had the conversation this morning about that was one of my son's friends. He said something about another friend. And I said, Okay, so what are you going to do differently next time? Because I'm getting that that communication. So putting him back on then getting them to answer their own question. Yeah. Yeah. So that's very much with the communication. It's not just telling them or saving them. It's about getting the teen to be able to answer and reflect on their own situation.

Becca 

Yeah. Okay. So a thriving teen is one that knows their values, is able to articulate themselves and their needs. So communicate is able to communicate. Yes.

Lisa 

One, no parents are going to absolutely despise

Becca 

go wandering it. Boundaries. Oh, no. Boundaries, fast

Lisa 

rules and consequences. It's probably the hardest thing that parents have to do. I know this. Children.

Becca 

How old are your children? They say

Lisa

And about to turn 12. So amazing. Two boys. So

Becca 

you're in the thick of it with me to

Lisa 

these ages? Oh, what's that?

Becca 

Well, you should have a better idea of what's coming than the rest of us. Right?

Lisa 

very proactive, very proactive. But yes. So rules, consequences and boundaries. So not just reacting, the worst thing that you could probably do is reacting in the moment. So your child does something wrong, and you're on taking your phone off you. I'm doing this. So don't react in the moment. Yeah, or to take a breath. Because already, your children should already know what boundaries they have, what rules and responsibilities they have. Yeah, but if they don't know the rules and responsibilities, I'm telling you, they're going.

Becca 

Yeah, so we've spoken. So there's three areas for thriving like the if we were to articulate what a thriving teen looks like, it's one that knows their values, and he's able to make decisions based on those. It's one that's able to communicate and articulate their needs, concerns, etc. And one that has an operates within boundaries that have been set for them, presumably, by society, as well as by parents. Driving teen is, is doing all of those things. And then we were coming into the kind of suggestions for parents, there's a lot of overlap here. So parents need to be communicating constantly for their teens, they need to not react, not react to the moment.

Lisa 

So if you're going to react, and just say, take their phone off you What do you think your children child is going to do with a similar situation? Yeah. Okay. So then it's learned behavior. So trust me, again, I'm a parent, it takes me every single bit of my night to take a breath and go, Okay, so what what are we going to do next from here? And get them to go? Oh, I'm grounded have that exact.

Becca 

Yeah, we have a lot. It's gotten to the point now where our son, but they have, they have boundaries? Of course they do. And there's, you know, a certain amount of tech time that everybody's allowed it during the day and during the week. And as parents and myself and my partner, or we are able to check their devices at any time. And, and the device being, you know, no more than 30 minutes of phone time a day, unless it's communication, a phone call or message with us. So if we look at that, we asked to look at the device. If it's more than 30 minutes, it's gotten to the point now where our son just hands the phone over, doesn't expect to see any news. I don't have to react anymore. You just handed over.

Lisa 

It's one of those especially boys, it's one of those. Repeat, repeat. So it's time

Becca 

What else can we do as parents we need to communicate well with them, we need to have good boundaries not be too reactive. there anything else?

Lisa 

Just they just see. As long as long as they know that they're in a safe, life, like safe environment. And they know that they can discuss things with you without you reacting or jumping to conclusions or about to call another parent or something. Then they're going to come in come to you with everything and that's exactly what you need. And you don't want to save them. You don't want to save them every time and remember failure is is amazing. Like I'm always like, Oh, that's awesome. I got I didn't get I didn't get the test, right? Or were they doing exams? Oh, that's awesome. What are you gonna do next time?

Becca 

Oh, gosh, I'll be okay, I need to bring some of that in.

Lisa 

Failure is only feedback. So when we think as adults, every time we failed, it's probably what can we, where we are now?

Becca 

Absolutely, for sure. Gosh, we talk about that a lot in not necessarily the early stages of divorce, because there's a lot of blame and hurt and pain at that early stages. But when you're coming out the other end a few years later, it's gone. Thank goodness that happened. Look at the opportunities that have opened up. Look at this life I've been able to build for myself. But that takes a while.

Lisa 

As you know, I'm in a, I've separated seven years ago, and I raised my three children by myself. And it's hard. And I always give people a year. And then after that a lot. No, let's pick your socks off.

Becca 

Put your big girl pants on.

Lisa 

Let's make some choices. Yeah.

Becca 

So let's talk a bit about some teens. Teens that might be struggling. Let's talk about separation specifically, right? There's when you know, when when there's a child is going from one home to two homes. They're seeing their parents struggle, obviously, moms really worry that they can't. They can't hide how, how upset they are, and they can't hide tears and anger and emotions. And even those that are doing the best that they possibly can and are not necessarily bad mouthing their ex, they can't hide how upset they are. And one of the biggest concerns they bring to me is what am I doing to my children? So do you have any suggestions then on knowing that we can't necessarily protect our children from the pain that we're going through? How do we create that safe environment so that that child, that teen can still thrive within these?

Lisa 

Again, it's just being the open communication? Again, I've been through it, I still go through it seven years later, if I'm in a situation where I'm angry or frustrated, and like the children feel, and I'll be the first one that goes up to one guy, look, I apologize. It's got nothing to do with you. It's all about me. I said, so don't you take the sun, but it shows emotions. Like why are we so afraid that emotions are gonna hurt our children? It's the things that hurt our children are when we say nasty things about the other parent when we don't do that. It's just that constant.

Becca 

Let me just yeah, let me say that one more time. Let me let me re articulate that and put a big old underline on it. Emotions are okay. It's okay for our children to see us having emotions. What is not okay is when we verbalize and attack. Or we're nasty towards there. Somebody they care about?

Lisa 

Yes. So one story I can remember is one of my really good friends. She lived in a separated home. And she said to me, Lisa, the word, don't you ever say anything nasty about the children's father? Because I did that. I lived in a household like that. And my father used to say mean things about my mother and I'd don't talk to him to this day. I always read them. Because I know we have major emotions now. And we think is this ever going to end? However, yes, things get better?

Becca 

Yeah. Or our our emotional distance gets better as they hurt us less. Big fan of boundaries. So let me ask you then, you know, troubling teen behaviors because there will be some and that's not always from broken homes. It can happen in a together home as well. How can we differentiate between troubling teen behaviors that are normal age appropriate, you know, children getting distance from their parents and pushing boundaries and being difficult from Gosh, this is a teen that's in Crisis or in trouble and I need to help them find some help.

Lisa 

It's when they are isolating themselves. Isolation is probably one of the biggest things, which unfortunately for us, we had COVID. So isolation was a real thing. And I'm finding teens got used to that. And their social anxiety is probably a lot more within the teens in the last one to two years, but isolating themselves I'm not allowing you and Becky say that perfectly that you're able to access the phone at any time. That's a role for you. When they're trying to hide things, so especially social media hide things when they stopped wanting to do things they love. So sport is a brown example. So if they're doing football, and suddenly they're like, I do not want to do that anymore. Red flag, yes, red flag and school, but I've found probably a lot of percentage of my clients are refusing to go to school. Wow. Duncan must be happening something educationally P is teacher like something underlying must be

Becca 

happening in that environment. Okay. What about school grades dropping off normal, not normal? How do we know if that's a red flag?

Lisa 

Scott, it's a very big red flag doesn't matter what you look at. But I've had thieves that are very social, and they'd rather interface with it to social and then that study

Becca 

that confident enough.

Lisa 

All like this. And then we have the times where grades are slipping and bullying is occurring or online, online, verbally and so forth. So it's, it is a big red flag, but you just need to really understand which area

Becca 

I've got a question about. Like it's, it's, it's tough parenting, it's tough parenting teens is tough parenting, what? What are some steps you can make? We've just articulated what a thriving teen looks like. We've articulated the behaviors of best practice parenting for teenagers, really? What if we feel that we're a bit further away from that? So let's talk about communication pillar, specifically, if we've gotten to a place where we're not talking as much as we would like, we don't have that open communication with our teen. Can you give us some advice on how to create that wedge that way in?

Lisa 

I've found so I'm a big planner, I love to plan my week and everything's in my diary. And instead of people just winging it, and go, oh, we'll we'll do a family get together. Or we'll get one on one. Like when or maybe sometime this week, plan it, put it in your diary go this but for this hour, we're going to have a one on one just as to we're gonna have a bit of fun. No technology. In my household. We do board games, and trust me, we're all competitive. So probably.

Becca 

Come on over, Lisa, we'll take you on.

Lisa 

Is that something that they're going to remember the law? Oh, remember when we used to play board games that he uses? Yeah. Everyone's on their devices. What are you remembering? What are your memories? Yeah. Chains are saying they like my parents are too busy. Or I tried to talk to them. And they say Just a minute. And that's okay, we are busy.

Becca 

Yeah, definitely.

Lisa 

Give me two minutes, I'm just cooking dinner at 730. Let's go into my room and have a chat and have a cup of like,

Becca 

or even give me two days and we will go paintballing or like whatever laser tagging or bowling or whatever board gaming. I think that's really lovely. carve out some time and let them know, we are going to spend dedicated time together

Lisa 

to be I'm very particular with my children every semester. So once every six months, and I know it doesn't sound like much. But when we are busy. I take each one of my children out of school for the day a call it a mental health day. So the school didn't tell me off and we go do we go do whatever they want to do.

Becca 

Wow. Okay,

Lisa 

so because I was gonna ask about

Becca 

how do we get one on one time when we have multiple siblings and you're a single parent. That's the challenge.

Lisa 

That's how I do it. Because that's the only way instead of trying to handle the kids to someone else. And that's all that's just already stressful for me especially. I personally take them out of school for half a day or a whole day and spend the day with a treat once every six months and it doesn't seem like a lot but it's message to them my kids.

Becca 

Lovely thing for them to look back on me out of school.

Lisa 

That's so good. Age appropriate teens might just want to go and go skating at the skate park and you're like No worries. I'll grab a takeaway coffee and I might even try it out myself. So yeah,

Becca 

feeling nice. One of the pieces of advice I've given to women who are having a difficult time to connect with their children is to be facing in the same direction. Because sometimes you want to have a one on one conversation. Okay? This is I hope my family doesn't listen to this. We recently found that my son had been watching a little bit of porn. And he said, No, I haven't. No, I haven't. No, that is perfectly normal. And, and I explained to him, I'm not upset that you looked at it. I mean, I could see on his phone behavior was about three minutes. So what I'm upset about is that you don't really know what it is you're looking at, let's have a conversation about that, let's just talk about porn generally not get boring. Anyway, we've gone off on a tangent. And if someone who needs to have a difficult conversation with their child, it can be really hard to do face to face, right? You and I are looking at each other's eyes, we're having a conversation in depth. If it was, you're in a really vulnerable position. Or if you're not necessarily trusting that person right now. One lovely technique is to be sitting next to them and facing in the same direction. And that could be watching television and just muting it for a little while. And like, you know, just at least facing in that direction, it could be going to the cinema and chatting while the ads are coming through. It could be on a long drive, I get

Lisa 

excellent information, excellent connections

Becca 

with the kids on a drive or walking the dogs, like we'll be walking the dogs. And we've opened up this incredible conversation about maybe it wasn't porn, but it was something really similar was certainly sex related. And I'm walking the dogs thinking, Oh, my God. But they were willing to open up to me because they're not looking right at me. They're not feeling like attacked or examined. So I think that's a lovely way. And we've given some really good advice there. Take the kids out dedicated time plan some time with them, find ways to be facing in the same direction to see what opens up. Anything else I might have missed anything else to add to that.

Lisa 

Oh, there's too much that we don't have enough.

Becca 

Yeah, I'm talking about specifically building that communication.

Lisa 

And that's what I've done it right from the beginning. Obviously, from my past, being a WA Police officer during specialist shot interview, I knew what people weren't being educated on that. And I was very much on top of that. But exactly the same when 1112 year olds and their parents are watching porn and I unfortunately laugh because I said to buy I said to my best friend Allah mentioned if we had technology we would have so look that curious minds. Yeah. And it's just basic, like our porn is like a cartoon. It's not real. Like, it's exactly just conversations like that. Just think of when we were their age, what would we have done if we had technology?

Becca 

Yeah. And how do we protect our children from it? We don't we can't we need just need to keep that communication open. We need to talk to them. Yeah. So just thinking again, about parents separating? Are there any suggestions on age appropriate language, or the kind of language to use about? Your life is gonna look different now that you offer? I don't know how many of your clients are already separated? Or some of them going through it? I don't know.

Lisa 

Unfortunately, this day and age, it's very common for families. Yeah. But it's just letting them know that it's not their fault. The amount of teens that think I did this, and

Becca 

it's heartbreaking. No point

Lisa 

was this, your you were brought into this. So just getting them to know that it's not their fault. Not bad mouthing the other parent because we don't want to put more stress on them what and not giving the child information on adult situations. They don't need to know about child support. They don't need to know about court proceedings. They don't need to know about any of that. They just need to be a teen.

Becca 

Yeah. Yeah. Beautiful. And is there anything else that you'd add on about how we could help raise thriving teens that you don't think we've covered?

Lisa 

Just keep them active? Just keep random like dogs out of control, I've got basketball on every night and so forth, but keeping that balance? Yeah. I'm all about technology because technology is the future. I want my children to know technology but I also want them to learn social life. expecting adults being graded grateful for what they've got. And it's just I'm very big on journaling and like we do a rose Thorn and soil. So yeah, so dinnertime we do rose Thorn and sauce. So roses, what happened good in the day on is what didn't happen so well in the day. But how are we going to change that for tomorrow? Where's the end soil is what are we grateful for?

Becca 

Beautiful. I like that. We tend to talk about what's going on in the world. Has anybody seen anything in the news? And if they haven't, it's like quick go research a news story. And we talked about what the bias of where that's come in. And so we have great conversations around the dinner table. But I love the idea of bringing in the Rose Thorn soil, perhaps on the dog walks or, you know,

Lisa 

estimation you can get. Yeah,

Becca 

that's nice. Okay. So how can people find you and work with you? They said, Okay,

Lisa 

I'm on Facebook. So raising mindsets, on Instagram, raisingmindsets, and I'll be bringing out a course in January 2023. And also people webinars, a lot of bringing out some like the teen confidence checklist, and so forth. So if you log on to my socials, you'll be able to access all of them

Becca 

Beautify. And of course, they'll have that in the links in the podcast. Lisa, thank you so much for your time, I hope that our audience has gotten a lot out of, you know, how do we raise the Writing teens because it is a challenging time, and I so appreciate having your advice and having this chat with you.

Lisa 

Thank you very much.

Becca 

Thanks for listening. I hope you took something of value out of this episode. I'm your host, Becca Maxwell. And you can find me on the web at dodivorceright.com or on Instagram  @dodivorceright. I look forward to connecting with you there.

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