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Dr. Leigh Weisz 8:25

Well, so I do, I do like to work with parents, even no matter the age of their child and kind of work backwards. So if we think the goal is to launch healthy, independent adults, you want to think to yourself, what does that look like? So when they’re about to go to college, or get their own apartment for the first time? What does that look like? And what skill set do they need to have to be able to do all sorts of things in this world without us? And so, you know, hopefully, we’re still there in their lives at that point, but we’re certainly not right there on campus with them, you know, sleeping in their dorms and things like that. So I think one characteristic, I think is really important to have is grit. Which Angela Duckworth coined that term. And it’s, it’s really the ability to persevere through challenges, you know, not to give up right away at the first, the first moment of discomfort or challenge. I think another one is, obviously as you know, Lesley is having confidence in your own abilities. So you have to have the abilities but also you have to have confidence in your self and in your ability to function independently, again, without an adult right there. I think another one is having a growth mindset. So even if I’m struggling, and I’m not able to do something yet, just kind of having the sense of competence that I will get there. And then I know how I’ve done this before. And then of course, life skills, which we’ll get to that take practice if you don’t develop them all overnight the night before you pack up your bags to go, you know, off to college, right? You have to like work backwards and figure out what steps do I need to be able to get to where I want to get them?

Leslie Randolph 10:11

Absolutely, Oh, I love all of those, you know that I love confidence, but I think all of them tie in to each other. And you know, if we have that those as a base, there’s literally just nothing you can’t do, you will not just you know, survive college, you will thrive, you will not just sort of get through adulthood, you will thrive.

Dr. Leigh Weisz 10:30

I’ll give you one more that I forgot to mention. First, the ability to withstand discomfort. So emotionally, you know, every kind of way?

Leslie Randolph 10:40

Yep, I think that that’s one of the I give a spoiler alert in my coaching of like self confidence is not a singular sensation. It is not, it does not stand alone self confidence requires you to be able and willing to feel all the feels, and even the really uncomfortable ones. Absolutely. So I agree critical. So we know, we know the destination, we got grit, we got life skills, we get self confidence. And we have you know, the ability to, to withstand if not embrace discomfort if we tap into that growth mindset. So we’re going to break it down a bit, tell me what parents can do when their children are teens, to foster these characteristics within them.

Dr. Leigh Weisz 11:28

As parents of teens, of course, you’re worried about them in today’s day and age, right, we don’t have the free range parenting that our parents had, or maybe more realistically, grandparents, depending on who’s listening, you know, and where people would just kind of go play in the neighborhood for hours on end, certainly with no cell phones, no tracking devices, you know, parents probably didn’t even know where their kids were, no parents are, you know, raising kids and raising teens, in a in a place where they’re worried about their safety and security, and always know where they are. And so I think part of what parents jobs are to do is to actually give them, you know, a little bit more space, not maybe what it used to be, but a little bit more space to figure things out for themselves to struggle a little bit more. So an example. And this may be more like a tween example. But I know a lot of parents of like middle schoolers will give their kids a credit card or a debit card, when they want to walk to town to get a Starbucks with their friends or walk around, you know, the stores. And I always ask, like, why why do they have a credit card? You know, is it their own credit card? Is it yours? And the parents will say, well, we don’t want them to lose the money or have to worry about making change and be stressed out. I’m like, Okay, I guess I understand the rationale. And right, how will they ever learn how to make a change from a $10? Bill? And how to do that mental math, you know? And how to, you know, make sure they are putting their money in a safe place, right? And figure out where that would be? And how do you check that you have it? How do they figure it those skills, if you’re just making it that easy on them. And money also, by the way, is kind of like an imaginary totally non concrete thing. If it’s, it’s just a card. So like all of those lessons, they’re missing out on because the parents spared them that experience. So it’s not that these parents are ill intentioned, of course, that right there trying to like, make sure it’s a little bit easier for their kid. But the more we make things easier, sometimes we deprive them of these challenges that will actually teach them a valuable life lesson.

Leslie Randolph 13:46

It requires the same skills in us, right? Because my instinct is to worry. But even as you were talking about, like walking in our uptown community, like crossing busy streets, my mama bear is like, No, I’m going to bubble wrap this child until they go to college. But that’s such a disservice because they need to figure out how to cross the street, right?

Dr. Leigh Weisz 14:10

And go and hopefully you’ve taught them right, you’re not going to let them cross the street at age three. Right? You’re you’re you’re trusting your parental instincts, that there are certain ages where they’re just too young to do those things without you present. So you teach them the skills? How do you look both ways? How do you make sure to look both ways? Again, when you’re in the middle of that street? You know, how do you do that at a young age with with your, you know, yourself present? And then let go and trust that no, I’m determining that they’re old enough to do this and that they will, you know, and and let them have that experience. Because if not, right, you can like literally drive your car and watch them across the street, but you can’t do that forever. And actually, then some of those kids will actually look down the whole time because they know their mom is making sure that the coast the coast is clear. So it’s about stepping back. Not hovering And or helicoptering, you know, being a helicopter parent quite as much. Again, no one has bad intentions when they do this. And of course, we all do this sometimes, but trying to protect them less, and allow them to figure it out a little bit more. I always say when we hover, we take away opportunities for growth.

Leslie Randolph 15:24

Yeah. And that growth is really just their ability to figure it out.

Dr. Leigh Weisz 15:29

And this could be on the executive functioning. realm. Like if there’s a kiddo who’s not graded organization, you know, you’re going to help them when they’re little to develop a system, right to get a planner to check with them every night, you know, do you have your backpack for the next morning, by the time they’re teenagers? Right? If they forget something, you don’t necessarily they text you and they say, I forgot my whatever. You don’t want to necessarily just be like, I’ll be right over, I’m going to leave work. And I’m going to quickly like, sweat and do whatever I can to be Superman and get it to you. It’s almost better if you have a reason you can’t. Because then they learn Oh, it didn’t feel so good to not turn in my homework, I lost some points. And tomorrow, I’m going to make sure to check about her and make sure I’ve got everything organized and ready to go my backpack.

Leslie Randolph 16:16

Yeah, that I love all of that. If we stop being supermom, it gives them the opportunity to be their own superhero. And that is not without their. And again, this is not a skill that the doctor always talks about that. It is that without discomfort, they aren’t going to feel probably embarrassed, they might feel that twinge of shame that comes with I forgot this or you know the disappointment of the teenager or not the teenager or excuse me, the teacher. But it also then teaches them a I don’t want to feel that again. So what can I do differently might be, oh, those negative emotions don’t, don’t hurt me, I can survive negative emotions as well.

Dr. Leigh Weisz 17:01

That’s a great point, Leslie, because it’s funny. That example, with the second part of it is so true. Some kids who are really, you know, seemingly perfect academically and never would miss an assignment and never would get the low and a plus and a test, right? Some of those kids presented therapy with significant anxiety about the what if I ever do you know, disappoint someone, or what if I ever don’t get an A plus, and they really think the world will end, they really can’t imagine how they will get through that anxiety, that experience and it creates this incredible anxiety for them. Versus the kid who goes, well, it didn’t feel great, you know, I did get points deducted. I didn’t get perfect on that, you know, people were looking at me, but two minutes later, I was fine. You know, and the kids were focused on something else in the classroom. And, you know, I turned it in the next day, and I received half credit, like the world did not end. Another example would be like, again, with middle school girls and the drama, you know, some of the parents get very involved, trying to kind of figure out how they can get their child or their teenager at that point, at the right lunch table. You know, if there’s anxiety around a Halloween group, maybe we can just offer to host and then you know, while ah, we can create that perfect situation, right. And so instead of just sort of acknowledging to their teenage girl, Middle School is hard. I always say the goal is survival of middle school. You got to get through it. You know, it’s okay, if you don’t have lifelong friends from it, maybe you do, most don’t. And, but we got to get you through it, you know, and so, but the idea that the parents would allow them to also experience some some meanness and, and know that they can develop skills, whether it’s asserting themselves choosing the right people to hang out with standing up for themselves, you know, whatever, making a change in lunch tables, like whatever those skills are, that they can handle it, even though it is uncomfortable, and we wish it wasn’t uncomfortable for them, but not trying to rescue them from the experience.

Leslie Randolph 19:03

You touched on this so perfectly, Dr. Weisz. It’s not that, you know, there’s no ill intention to it. It’s truly that we, we love our children so much that we don’t want to see them suffer. And so with the best of intentions, we try to minimize that emotional discomfort. But ultimately, what you’re saying if the goal and that is the goal, we want them to thrive in adulthood, we want them to be equipped for it. It is actually it’s prolonging the suffering that will come then when the stakes are actually higher.

Dr. Leigh Weisz 19:34

100% and sometimes parents have had their own bad experiences at the same stage of development that their kids are at. So if a parent had a particularly difficult time as a teenager, they may be triggered. And really for their own sake not wanna have their child suffer at all. And again, like you said, Of course we understand where that comes from, and we feel for those parents who are kind of returned amortized in a way going through this again. And yet, they’re going to do their kids a disservice if they really truly, truly tried to jump in and rescue too much.

Leslie Randolph 20:11

Anything else you would specifically say for grit? Or self confidence?

Dr. Leigh Weisz 20:17

Yeah, well, let’s, let’s start with grit. I think it’s interesting. Again, in a lot of the affluent areas, where kids are just this part of the community, we live in their kind of overscheduled. We tend to deprive kids unknowingly of hard work. And I’m talking like manual labor, hard work chores, you know, if we were lived on a farm, right, the kids from a very young age would be like milking cows, and you know, doing hardcore work, and they wouldn’t have dinner on the table, if they did it. So survival depended on it, with Instacart, and, you know, 24 hour grocery stores and all these conveniences, Amazon packages coming the day, the same day that you order them, we really aren’t, depending on our kids in the same way to do their their fair share of work. And so a lot of times, it’s more work for the parents to get the kids to do or the teens to pitch in. And so they just don’t, and again, it’s not, it’s not their fault, you know, like, it’s not that parents aren’t trying. But it’s, it’s hard to juggle so many different goals, and still get to the carpool on time, and still do all the things that we need to do in our own jobs to function. So I would say one of the best things that parents can do, and it’s not too late to start, if you have a teenager, is to expect their kids to do work in the home to contribute, whether it’s taking out the trash, walking the dog, emptying the dishwasher, you know, anything that you need done, think about it that way, and require them to pitch in, including their homework. So it doesn’t mean homework is an excuse. In real life, when they’re in their apartment one day and they have a roommate, they’re going to be expected to keep the kitchen tidy, and to do dishes, and not just leave a huge pile for someone else to do. Or they might have to, like, defer some fun plan to sit and write a paper, you know, in college or to do work at their job and cancel a fun outing. So we need to teach them to prioritize, and to make sure to do some actual hard work. In addition to all the fun stuff that of course, we want them to do too.

Leslie Randolph 22:33

Oh, I love all of that. And I it’s so funny, because I’ve noticed in conversations with one of my girlfriend’s a, like, a Leslie, the the life coaches, um, that keeps coming up is I just didn’t have the energy for that battle. And so I as you were talking about that, I was like, I noticed that it also requires me to have my own discomfort as you were talking of, like, I’m gonna need to have the energy to have that battle. If my long term goal is x, then yeah, of course, they’re going to push back on me, when I say Alright, guys, we’re gonna go sit and do the laundry. And I also use it as an opportunity to sit and talk to them, right? Like, I’m like, I’m gonna do it with you. Because this is just family time, unbeknownst to you.

Dr. Leigh Weisz 23:17

Absolutely. And also, the kids who go to college who’ve been doing their laundry for four years, it doesn’t feel like hard work, they’re totally, they’re gonna be thinking about it that way. The kids who’ve never had to do one load and go and have like, a typed up instruction manual, how to do it are stressed, they’re overwhelmed, they’re anxious. You know, on top of navigating social situations and academics, they’re like, I have no idea how to cook clean, or, you know, call to make my own doctor’s appointments. So anything that you can kind of like, again, thinking about that college age kid or first apartment aged kid work backwards and try to think what skills would I like them to have? Just practice but make it age appropriate. And I think parents have a good sense of what that what that is, I mean, we’re not going to send a five year old to go grocery shopping by themselves, you know, and then walk walk the grocery cart home, right? That would be ridiculous in our in our area era. But obviously, a high schooler can definitely pick up a list of groceries, right, and checkout and talk to the person at the checkout and make sure they have the right change and you know, all of that.

Leslie Randolph 24:19

Yeah, I’m also thinking what a gift it is to these these young adults or these future these teens future selves for their future partners to like Teach and teaching our sons and our daughters those same skills and you know demonstrating that balance of we all chip in we you know, if there’s equality in the home, we can go on a whole different tangent I want even that’s awesome. Dr. Weisz, how about self confidence? What are your your your, your tips and tools of how we can foster that?

Dr. Leigh Weisz 24:50

Yeah, so I think with anything else, when when the kids are little they’re looking to you for approval for you know checking to make sure they’re doing something, right. They’re learning how to tie their shoe for the first time, like you need to be involved in that they have no clue without you. But, you know, if you’re checking your child’s papers, right, you know, think about is this, is this helpful? Maybe, right? Maybe they’re really struggling in a subject, and they actually do you need a once over and that’s fine. You know, or are you checking 100 times because they’re a little perfectionistic. And they want to know that they’re gonna get an A plus, right, but it’s really, it’s some point changing from their work to your work. Think about how much they need you and rely on you versus how much they’re learning to rely and trust them themselves. So I always think about I was a camper. So I always think about rock climbing. And this analogy of if the parent is the person on the ground. And if you’ve ever seen someone rock climb there, they’re basically they’ve got these big, you know, belts attached to them, and they’ve got a really long rope. And they’re supporting their child who’s rock climbing up this wall, or a real rock and the child’s connected to them, you know, through this rope. And if the child needs to, you know, they’re struggling, like maybe it’s a subject, they’re really not so good at or it’s a skill set, they really need some more hand holding on fine, then you can tighten the rope, or tighten the slack, and be there for them. But as they get older, as they’ve done a task over and over, and you want them to just feel more confident, you have to give them less tension more slack in the rope. So that they can just climb, and maybe they’ll fall a little bit, right if, if they don’t got it, but they’re not going to fall to the ground, right, they’ll maybe fallen into more, you’re still there. But the distance that you’re helping them from is is growing. And so you know, again, as kids get older, we tend to want to increase this distance, which doesn’t mean we’re not supervising them, it doesn’t mean they’re throwing rager parties at our house, and we’re not home, it’s not what I mean at all. But letting them do tasks a little bit more on their own. Again, to be able to feel confident, we’ve had a couple of clients in our practice who come to us when they were very academically superior, we’ll call them students got into Ivy League colleges and couldn’t stay freshman year because they couldn’t navigate the situations without their parents. So that’s what I think about when I think about, right, it’s not just the academics, it’s not just are they smart kids? It’s do they have these other skills that we’re trying to prepare them for and confidence that they can do it without their parents right there?

Leslie Randolph 27:34

Yeah, yeah. And their ability to handle it. And again, that then goes back to and I loved it so much what you said, of their ability to handle discomfort and sit in discomfort, and from there to figure it out on their own, and have that self trust that they can. And, and to have, I think, you know, you talk about something so interesting, because self confidence really is an inside job. But yeah, as young people, they we look externally. And even as grownups we do this for validation that like, what is what I’m thinking of myself right? But you know, are our children at every age is our gonna borrow our belief? So if we’re willing to, you know, loosen the slack on the rope, as Dr. Weisz says that, but some say to themselves, like, alright, mom, trust me, mom, mom thinks I got this. So maybe I can borrow that belief and trust myself?

Dr. Leigh Weisz 28:28

Absolutely. Absolutely. And that goes for time away from parents as a skill practicing that time away. There’s a lot of a lot of young parents I work with, who are really worried about getting a babysitter, you know, and what will that be like, if they miss me, and if they’re crying, and and again, if they’re, if they’re going away to overnight camp for the first time, and just having more experiences. Sometimes teenagers do travel by themselves, you know, to visit someone in another state, like, what does that look like? I’m navigating an airport without you. They’re just all these little things going on a job interview? Right? Parents usually don’t accompany, you know, teenagers to job interviews, right. So you prepare them you coach them, but from afar?

Leslie Randolph 29:09

Yeah. You brought up something for me, I was in one of my favorite stores. And I was talking to the manager and she had said to me that the mother of a college aged young lady came in and was like, my daughter is looking for work. And she said, I would never hire this girl on principle of if mom is coming in to apply for the job. And of course, man has the best intentions, right.

Dr. Leigh Weisz 29:36

Exactly. Exactly. And, and we get that a lot people will call a parent of a 30 year old, right? And it’s like, well, can can you have the 30 year old call, please? You know, we’d love to help them. But we need to talk to them. They’re they’re now an adult.

Leslie Randolph 29:50

Absolutely. But what else should parents maybe stop doing? If they desire to foster these characteristics in their teens to become these these thriving adults?

Dr. Leigh Weisz 30:01

I think also just the emotional discomfort, peace or frustration tolerance, however we want to term there, if the parents can let them feel what they’re feeling, and just listen and be there, that would give them a life skill as well. So, you know, I’m thinking about grief and loss, I just had a client who was struggling with that. And, you know, of course, we all we all do, when we when, when we are having to deal with something so, so sad and so difficult. But I’ve had families where, like, a pet fish dies, and they replace the fish, before the kiddo could ever know. Or the teenagers dog dies. And the parent says to the teenager, let’s go get a new one, let’s go to the farm, and we’re gonna pick out a new one who’s gonna be the same type, and we’re gonna go in trying to, like, quickly distract the kiddo or the teenager, in this case, is opposed to just letting them process that and be sad and cry and be angry. And it’s okay, like, that’s part of life, we need to be able to do that and model it for our kids. But I think, again, parents are so uncomfortable, sometimes watching their kids, be sad, be depressed, be lonely, be you know, whatever, fill in the blank, that they do what they can to get them out of it prematurely. And so the kiddo or the teenager never really can fully process that experience. And, and know I can get through this. And it was hard. And I know that I can do it again, when I need to.

Leslie Randolph 31:29

I think that’s such a great example. And yeah, and it requires us to also as parents than sit with our discomfort of watching our children navigate big emotions. Yeah, but ultimately, what what a payoff, it will be. Because that that’s part of life. And I often, if a client comes to me, and will say, you know, they’ll share something that’s very hard happening in their world, if it is an, you know, a sick grandparent, or, you know, one of those just really hard life moments. And you know, whether it’s the loss of a dog or loss of someone you love, and I always say, I’m not going to coach you to, you know, because coaching is like, okay, let’s just think of it from a different perspective. And it’s like, no, that that’s not what this is, right? Party coaching is we learn to sit with those emotions, and we just feel them. No one want to change my perspective of how much I loved my dog, or how much I love my grandparent, right, I just need to know that I can sit here and be sad, right? And come out on the other side of it. Right?

Dr. Leigh Weisz 32:37

Right. These are life human experiences that we we have to figure out and and we have to deal with, when we don’t get a choice, right life is not going to be all happy, it’s going to be the ying and the yang, it’s going to be the good and the bad. And so just teaching them and again, letting them have more confidence that if and when these, these sucky parts of life come, they’ll be able to get through it, they won’t want to have to deal with it, but they will.

Leslie Randolph 33:05

And the same is true for even you know, less unfortunate events like homework in middle school in high school, I say to my clients, it’s never going to be sunshine and rainbows. And if it is, I’m so happy for you. But graduating, passing the class, those are wonderful rewards and worth the work. So yes, we can make everything good. I want to touch on one other emotion that I think is probably a parenting challenge at any age this in this world. We’re living in boredom. Yep. Yeah, letting your kids be bored. How I think this is so foreign to all of us right now. How can we foster problem?

Dr. Leigh Weisz 33:49

Yeah, it’s in today’s world with screens and technology and busyness that kids are just, they’re not left to their own very often, without a screen in front of them, I should specify. And so creativity is down ability to make their own fun. And again, just sort of like figure out what they want to do to be independent goes down. They’re really usually not left alone for hours, even in their backyard, or in their room. Right. So I think there’s a lot more separation anxiety, because parents are just so much closer physically. There’s always like a battery nearby or a babysitter of someone. And again, I’m not suggesting we leave our kids at, you know, two years old by themselves. But, but there is a balance of like, you know, how can we cope with it and making sure it’s not just on devices. And again, I think the reality of that is hard. But the kids do need to learn how to handle that. So when a kid has come in for therapy, and the parent says, I don’t know how to help him. He has no idea. He says, I’m bored. I’m bored. I’m bored. The first thing I assess is I wonder if I’m bored really means I’m bored or does it mean I’m depressed? Like does it mean something else? Is it true? really means on board. And sometimes it does, like, they don’t know how to entertain themselves. I know this sounds kind of strange, but we’ll actually come up with a few choices, you know, like a menu of a few choices, and we’ll write them down together there, of course, coming up with the ideas themselves, or will create a board box, something that they can do to practice this idea of, oh, I’m in my room, and I’m bored, I could read a book, I could listen to music, I could, you know, make some string bracelets like these, or I could do you know, imaginative play with these figurines that I enjoy. And it starts there, because they just don’t know how, in the same way that again, you know, kids always knew how to play from day one, you know, it was never a skill we needed to teach them. But giving them confidence that they can do it, and that they can be alone with those feelings, they might miss their parents, they might, you know, they might feel bored, and something could come from that, right. And so just giving them that competence to practice that skill, because it is one. Not all kids need that level of prescription, of course. But it’s okay to be bored and look out the window and a long car ride and the parent not feel like they have to, you know, quickly entertain them. So just us kind of again, letting go of that feeling of okay, they might be bored, and they’ll get through it.

Leslie Randolph 36:13

And that’s okay. And that’s okay is one of my favorite lines. And that’s okay. No one ever died of boredom died always you have been a wealth of knowledge and information. And I so appreciate it. Before we wrap up today, you know, you’ve given us a lot of them. But if we went to like your greatest hits album, what Tips Tools? Can you offer parents? You know, if? If this was it, this was the manual we’ve all been waiting for? To raise healthy, independent adults, what would you offer?

Dr. Leigh Weisz 36:46

Yeah, I would say just give yourself permission as a parent to sit back and relax a little bit more than we probably all do. Right in your parenting style. So to let them do more, and you do last would be kind of the overarching message. To really remember that struggle is good. So to reframe that for yourself, right? Hovering too much, is harmful, because you’re taking away those opportunities for growth. When something bad happens to your kiddo, and it’s really hard to watch or your teenager, help yourself see that this is an opportunity for them to grow and learn something and problem solve. And that skill is something they’re going to have forever. And that you know, got you are your goal is to launch a healthy, successful, independent adult. So as much as you want to be able to fix everything and be there. You know, sometimes just listening and being a support along this journey is the best thing you can do.

Leslie Randolph 37:45

Dr. Weisz, you are a wealth of wisdom as I had expected and I so appreciate it. Anyway, you want to find Dr. Weisz is going to be in the show notes. So if you want to get get her one on one or her incredible team, you will know where to find her . Thank you. So why didn’t they tell us that grit, self confidence life skills? All these incredible characteristics are what we are aiming to foster in our children? Well, we didn’t know that. I just don’t think we always knew the how it requires us to have a lot of the same in ourselves. And when we allow our kids to just struggle to figure it out without supermoms swooping in. That is what will launch them into being the adults we want them to be and know they can be till next time my friend.

Leslie Randolph 38:42

Hey, moms, if you’re looking for some tips to help your teen daughter cultivate confidence I’ve got you click the link in show notes for my free guide. six simple steps to help your team cultivate self confidence. You can also find additional resources on my website at confidencecoachforgirls.com. That’s confidencecoachforgirls.com. You got this mama? I got you always love what you hear. Well, I’d love to hear from you. You can find me at confidencecoachforgirls.com. That’s confidencecoachforgirls.com or email me at lesliethelifecoach@gmail.com. That’s lesliethelifecoach@gmail.com. Hope to hear from you.

Outro 39:30

Thank you for listening to The Coping Podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes and check out our podcast page at copingpartners.com.