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6 Things You Have To Teach Her To Become a Self-Advocate!
Episode 625th October 2022 • The 6570 Family Project • Nellie Harden
00:00:00 00:32:55

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Challenges in life are guaranteed!

In this childhood training ground for adulting (otherwise known as being a teenager), helping your child walk through challenges is one of the hardest experiences as a parent.

But, without that push out of the nest, they never learn to fly and become an advocate for themselves. This is a practice, not a one-and-done skill. WHY? Because we have to be advocates for ourselves (and one day our families, friends, and more) and the many ways that this is required of us are as diverse as the wildflowers.

So, the more practice the better, but there are 6 things that need to be taught and practiced when facing this self-leadership hurdle.

Check out Episode 62- The 6 Things You Have To Teach Her To Become a Self-Advocate!


About the Host:

Nellie Harden is a wife of 20+ years, mom to 4 teen/tween daughters, dreamer, adventurer, servant, multipreneur, forever student, and a devoted teacher, but her career passion is her work as a Family Life & Leadership Coaching, especially for parents of young women ages 9-18yo. 

Coming from a career background in marine mammal sciences, behavioral work, and a host of big life experiences, both great and some not-so-great, she decided that designing a life of purpose and freedom was how she and her husband, along with their 4 daughters, wanted to live. 

Her work and passions exist in the realms of parenting and teen mentorship because she believes that a family filled with creativity, fun, laughter, challenge, adventure, problem-solving, hugs, good food, and learning can not only change a person’s life but is the best chance at positively changing the world. 

She helps parents to stop wasting time and energy in power struggles so they can focus on building their daughter’s worth, esteem, and confidence as young women before they ever leave home.

With a lifelong passion and curiosity in thought, choice, behavior, and growth she has found incredible joy in helping families shift perspective, and find answers, and a path forward.


(Nellie has been coaching families for over 10 years and has degrees in Biology, Animal Behavior, and Psychology. ) 




 5 Things Your Daughter Needs-




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Nellie Harden:

Hello and welcome to the 6570 family project podcast. If you are a parent of a tween teen or somewhere on the way, this is exactly the place for you. This is the playground for parents who want to raise their kids with intention, strength and joy. Come and hear all the discussions, get all the tactics and have lots of laughs along the way. We will dive into the real challenges and raising kids today how to show up as parents and teach your kids how to show up as members of the family and individuals of the world. My name is Nellie Harden, big city girl turn small town sipping iced tea on the front porch mama who loves igniting transformation in the hearts and minds of families by helping them build self love, discipline and leadership that elevates the family experience. And sets the kids up with a rock solid foundation, they can launch their life on all before they ever leave home. This is the 6570 family project. Let's go. Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the 6570 family project podcast where we are putting aside the power struggles as parents of these teen and tween young women, and really helping find the path to lead them toward worth esteem and confidence, the stuff that they need in order to step out into the world as a young woman and as a leader of their own lives. And today, we have a really important topic I want to talk to you about mainly because it's been popping up in my own life a lot lately, but also because part of being a self a self disciplined leader, right, which is where we want to get them to before they leave home is becoming a self advocate. And I wanted to explore a little bit what does that mean, a lot of times when you hear the word advocate, it's usually in the medical realm, right? A lot of in the disability realm a lot in the racial cultural realm. And, but there's a lot of ways that being an advocate of yourself shows up in the every single day, no matter what your racial, cultural, disability, medical, any of that it also shows up in just a conversation or just an interaction, right how to be a self advocate. So she what does this look like, you know, we really want our daughters that we are raising our all of our children really, too. But I usually work with young women, as many of you know of parents of young women in their teen years. But we really want them to be able to tell people their thoughts and feelings in a way that they can be understood and actually heard. And that people want to listen to them right. Not whiny, not demanding, not obnoxious, not annoying, right? All of these things, we need to teach them how to use their voice in a productive way. So their needs and wants are heard, right. And we also want her to know her rights. So she can speak up for herself in a respectful and understanding way, and have her be able to make choices and decisions that are going to affect her life. And the people around her right. We live in a culture, we live in a community all the time no matter what. So every single one of your decisions, most likely are going to affect the people around you. So how can we help her make the choices and decisions that affect her life

Nellie Harden:

and those around her and take responsibility for those choices that she makes, right? So there are really six things that we absolutely fundamentally need to teach them in order for this advocacy to even have room to grow and breathe. So I want to step up one by one through these and I'll tell you some stories as we are going through, but I want you to just take note and if you're taking notes or you have your phone out, I'm not if you're driving, but just take some note of these six things. Okay, so number one, guess what is going to be to stay calm. i This is episode 62. I think I've said at least 62 times that within this podcasting world here that we have this community that staying calm is essential. So you notice that everything starts with this a good conversation, a hard conversation, helping them walk through an emotional storm, teaching them advocacy, all of these things. So why is being called I'm so important well, because the ability to logically and reasonably and to think logically and reasonably decreases with more stress, it just does. That frontal cortex that we have as adults does not work as well, when we are under X excess stress, think about them, their brains are already under construction anyway. And so we have a bunch of live wires that are that are synapses that are kind of all over the place up there. And we are then putting extra stress on them by coming at them like a tornado coming at them like a freight train, or we are letting them go towards something that is like that, instead of being like, Okay, we're going to calm down, we're going to do some breathing exercises, we're going to take some time out, we're going to journal, we're going to take a walk, right? All these different ways in order to decrease stress, before going into a confrontational or conflicting situation right there. Right. So normal stress, you know, that's okay. Normal stress is like, learning something new, trying something new that that stress that just is right outside your comfort zone, and you're making that leap to get there. And the more leaps you make, the further out of that comfort, that original comfort zone you get, right? That's normal stress. That's not what I'm talking about. Here. I'm talking about the big, you know, scary. They think that I did this, they're accusing me of this, they won't let me do this. I feel imprisoned, I feel chained up all these things. Those are big stressors, right. And when you're trying to make a decision, or advocate for yourself or talk about anything, when you're in that kind of a stress, then decisions can just seem blinding, right? And you're really unsure of where your footing is. And we'll get into this a little bit more in some of the others because like everything else, these bleed into one another, they are not, you know, one and done all of themselves. So these six things really bleed into one another. But the first one is to stay calm, really, really focus on staying calm. And we've done other podcast episodes on different techniques and staying calm, I teach many in my course. And so it's really really important that we as adults, as the parents learn how to stay calm, it's a lead follow mentality, right? And so we learn how to stay calm, so we teach them how to stay calm is really really important. Okay,

Nellie Harden:

so calm number one comm number two, is that they really need to know their worth and their value fence. Now I've talked about this a couple of times and I've taught it in ignite her joy, that parenting workshop that some of you might have been able to go to, but if not, then I will teach more on this at another time. But essentially, quick two minute you know, synopsis here is getting to know their value fence, what is protecting and surrounding them from the outside elements. And so if they are staying within their value, fence mind for example, I always use mine for just demonstration is faith, wisdom and integrity. So everything coming at me that I make a decision on has to pass through those three filters, faith, integrity, and wisdom Am I growing my wisdom as is this wise right? Is this in integrity? Am I making this decision in integrity? are they acting in integrity and also my faith my faith is very very very utmost important to me. And is this a faithful decision that I am making right? Okay, so that that value fence there is the safeguard and when they know their values, they're not told their values they know their values because you've gone through the work and help them figure out what those are and then their worth is being established by their those five needs being met. Again if you haven't downloaded the five needs work worksheet yet you will want to go to needs net five is the number five not spelled out so Nellie needs okay but anyway and those are to be seen heard love belong and purpose you'll you'll get that all in the worksheet just go download that one of the best pieces of paper that you will ever have in your parenting journey, right? They're waiting for you. And so they have to know their worth and their value fence and going beyond that going beyond just those ease The ways you can fill their five needs, we need to be having conversations about how they're looking for their five needs to be met out in the world, how they're helping other people fill their five needs, and what they can do to make sure that they aren't being filling those five needs with things that aren't real, right, we all know about chasing worth. And that's the last thing that we want them doing when they leave home or even when they are home. We don't want them chasing worth we want them to know their worth. Okay, so number two know their worth and value fence. And in order to be able to do the things that we mentioned above write those, being able to tell people her thoughts and feelings in a way that others can actually understand and want to listen, right? That she has enough courage to ask for what she needs and wants, that she knows her rights and can speak respectfully on on the part of her rights, all of those things, in order to be able to do them, we have to know that we are worthy to be an advocate of ourselves. That is a really, really big step.

Nellie Harden:

Am I actually worthy of being an advocate for myself? Do I matter? That's the big question. So many of our young women and young men too, but are facing this question, do I matter? What does it matter what I want? What does it matter what I believe, right? And in doing that, so many times, they start screaming about what's over here. And you know, if if a I know some of you, many of you can't see me, but if you're talking about a and that is what I could be an advocate and really, you know, move mountains for, but I'm gonna go scream about be because it doesn't matter as much. And I can be loud and obnoxious about that. And then people will give me attention here, instead of focusing on where I really actually would like to have my passions and goals and move mountains. You guys, it's all a worth. I wouldn't say worth strategy. It's all about worth though, Am I worthy, do I matter? Right. And they can't do any of those things unless they know their worth, they know their value fence, and they believe that they could be an advocate for themselves and that they're worth being an advocate for. So you have to know, you know, thoughts and feelings and actions are worth it. And that caveat again, is this assumes that they have learned and gone through what I teach in Ignite. And you can find more information on that at Nelly But this assumes that they have learned how to go through their thoughts, their feelings and their actions and align them with their outer accountability, their inner accountability and their identity. This part is essential to their growth. Otherwise, everything that comes into their head, it's fair game, and in a world with literally billions of pieces of information floating around and at their fingertips at every moment. Outside of them, this is a really dangerous place to be okay, so right now more than any other time in history, they need to protect what is going on in here, the thoughts, the feelings, the decisions, the actions, that entire cycle, they need to protect that because they are being fed with billions of influencers outside of them every second of every day. Okay? Alright. So that is number two Know your worth and value offense number three, do not go into defense mode. Do not go into defense mode. So hard. So so, so hard. It's our natural instinct to just, you're coming at me, I'm gonna come at you. I had this with one of my daughters the other day, I was trying to just discuss something with her and she was getting really defensive. So I just told her, I said, Put up your put up your hand. And so she put up her hand like, you know, almost going for a high five, but just put up her hand and I put my hand on hers. And I started gently pressing on her as well. What do you think happened? She started pressing back. Okay, I said, and it was just such a good reminder, your natural instinct is to push back and defense against me, but know that I am not trying to come at you or hurt you. I'm just trying to have a discussion with you. So then I took my hand and I wrapped it around her and gave her a hug. Okay. And it was just a good visual for that. I'm a very visual person. So my kids are two. But in defense mode, it's it's like giving your tongue over to someone else and letting them run the show. Right psychological defensiveness, it really includes the many ways that we are trying to let ourselves off the hook when we do wrong. We're misrepresenting ourselves. We're out Not remembering things, the way that they actually happened. I always say there's three if there's two people in conflict or three stories there, there is their perspective, their perspective and the truth without emotion that's right in the middle. So they are Miss Miss shaping what actually happened not paying attention to information, not paying attention to critical things that happened and they're just shooting out blame, right? Like a like a gun. They're just what is that like? an Uzi? Right? Is that what it was called? Like an Uzi they are shooting out blame everywhere. And Mina and minimizing any harm caused that they

Nellie Harden:

might have had a part of, and denying responsibility or disengaging entirely. So the other day, we were watching a show. And this just reminded me of it as I was writing this up today, and two best friends were going out to do this photo shoot, one was picked for the role the other one was not. And the one that was that, that was picked, she quote unquote, didn't know. Right? And she was enjoying her time having a grand old time. And the other one shows up, and is like, what are you doing? We were supposed to do this together. And then it was a bunch of blame. And they were going at it right. And she was like, I didn't know no one told me that you weren't, or they just told me that you were running late and all of this stuff. And what I thought was interesting is, this is why you guys, I love watching these teen dramas with my teams, because I would rather than watch them with me, then to go off in their room and watch them and as they're just getting inundated, right? Because we were able to have a discussion now. And just a quick one, not like oh my gosh, mom is pausing again. So we can have another talk just a real quick like, Hey, guys, so she obviously she knew something was up, right? Her friend didn't show up. She knew something was up. What do you think are the things that she decided not to pay attention to in order to get what she really wanted? Right? And so they're like, Oh, well, you know, she wasn't there in the morning. They didn't pick her up, you know, she wasn't in the trailer for you know, getting dressed or whatever. All these things she chose not to pay attention to. And she was just really taking that that lie. Oh, no, that girl is running late. Don't worry about her. Let's get you out on on the floor, right. And she was just taking that with a spoonful of honey and some whipped cream and saying yes, I'm going to attach myself to that truth. Because that truth serves what I want right now. But it did not serve her relationship or her friendships. So was she to blame that this happened that she was chosen? And her and her friend wasn't? No, absolutely not. That was not her fault. That was not hers. But was she completely innocent in the outcome of this? No, she wasn't either. And so that's why going into defense mode, and all of these things are just distorting the truth can come out, instead of being able to be calm, knowing knowing your worth knowing the worth of the person opposite you as well. And knowing the values that you want to step through, it wasn't you know, in integrity, not that that's necessarily one of that character's values, but it is one of mine, and that wouldn't be an integrity to go there. Okay, so, again, so far we have stay calm, know your worth and value, know your worth and values and do not go into defense mode. Number four is do not assume well know what they say about assuming, right? That makes him donkey out of you and me. I'm just gonna say that so I don't get bleep data out of the platform here. But anyway, yes, do not assume this is one of the biggest downfalls of the human interaction, you guys it is assuming the act of assuming I have been caught in the middle of this thornbush myself recently and once or twice in the past to probably more than once or twice, but just get this right. I send an email or your daughter send a text or you send a text to your daughter or to you know, daughter to a friend whatever that is. You just go with me here send an email with us. I have a smile on my face. I have the best of intentions and someone comes back at me. Harsh, nasty, no sign off whatsoever. Just abrupt cut off like they hung up the phone so to speak, but through email, and totally rude. And they took what I said in a totally different direction than I had intended it now. Yes, texting and email are hard to read emotion with but this is the big but do not assume what someone's emotions are on the other side of that screen. Do not assume that always assume the best in people, right? Especially people that you know you've had a history with, or maybe that you don't know either, but when we assume it is a very slippery slope down now, on the flip side of that, do whatever you can to convey your emotion over that message or discussion, just speaking in the, in the electronic way, so many of us communicate today. But in general, do not assume so much trouble can be avoided when we do not assume you watch any show out there, you know,

Nellie Harden:

any story out there usually fictional but some nonfiction too. And it is trouble happens because people assume they see something, they hear something, they get something through secondhand information from somebody, they assume something, and then everything goes haywire for the rest of the episode or the rest of the day, if it's in real life, right? You've done this before, I've done this before your kids have done this before. And assuming can really get you in trouble. And it's not a great way to advocate for yourself or to help others see others as an advocate for themselves. Okay. Number five, the fifth thing is come up with a plan. So you can actually understand all of the variables and have a plan to take responsibility and remedy the situation. So you want to research you want to check sources, you want to actually go in calm, knowing your worth not assuming anything, not in defense mode, and you want to have a plan. Okay, so a great example of this is my girls were actually accused of cheating. And through their online school that they were doing, and they were accused of cheating. And their first instinct was to be sad, hurt, frustrated, embarrassed, but they did their due diligence, and they found out it was all okay, they certainly didn't mean to cheat, even if they were but they weren't. Because on the front of the page, it says you're more than welcome to use outside notes, which is what they were doing. And so anyway, long story short, instead of just having this altercation of they said I was cheating, and but I'm not and letting defensive mode take over letting anger take over and ruining a friendship. There was actual research that happened? Well, actually, no, and here's a screenshot and everything is fine. This didn't even involve any teachers, it was just student to student, right. And this is what I'm allowed to have, this is what I am using all is good. And then it was able to be resolved. But when you're accused of something, it's like being thrown down into a pit, isn't it, it's it's pretty terrible. I, oh, my goodness, I do not like conflict whatsoever. As a parent of teens. I mean, it's just the world we live in, sometimes between us in teens or between teens and what they're going through, and we need to help them through that. So being an avoider of conflict is kind of not on the table as a parent of a teenager. But the point is come up with a plan. So you can understand all of the variables and have a plan to take responsibility and remedy the situation, right? You want to take accountability for any part that you had in it. And you want to remedy the situation so everyone can move forward. And number six, then goes right with that. And that is don't hide, don't hide. The truth always, always always comes out and do not try to hide anything, even if you think trouble may come. Because we all know that more trouble will come if you hide in your conscience is just going to eat you up. Your conscience is going to eat you up. It is all consuming and you feel terrible. And then it just makes you a retreat more and more. I mean, I've seen friendships break up, I've seen family relationships break down. And these these kids just retreating into themselves because they have something that they don't want to face. Because they don't know their worth. Right, it goes right back up. They aren't an advocate for themselves because they certainly didn't stay calm. They didn't know their worth or their values. They were defensive. Something happened. They assumed something. They certainly didn't take the time to come up research and check sources and have a plan to address the situation or take accountability for it. And they just retreated and hid and that's one of the worst things that we can do as adults and definitely as kids. Now those are the six things okay. So again, stay calm, know your worth and your values. Do not go into defense mode, do not assume come up with a plan. So you can actually understand all the variables and don't hide, okay, you want to face whatever it is head on, you know, your worth, you know, you're worthy, you're no, you're amazing. So show up, take accountability, you will build so much more respect, and, and, and be able to move forward. Okay,

Nellie Harden:

so what's the trick here? Well, those are things we need to teach our kids. But how do we teach our kids those things? You lead, they follow? You lead they follow Pat. So this time right now in? You know, we think about a relay race, if you will. And if you are at the starting line, and you're the next runner. Okay. And you? Well, let me let me back up a second. Your daughter is the next runner you are coming around the track. Okay, so you're coming around the track, you're coming up on her? You are running, holding the baton? What does she do? Does she just stand there? No, she starts running to and there's this overlap period, where you are both running and that baton is being passed between you to her? You guys. That's what's going on right now. That is what's going on. And it's it makes sense. It makes sense why it's hard. It makes sense. Why you might have cramps sometimes it makes sense. Why you're out of breath sometimes right? It all makes sense. You are in go mode of parenting during these years. During their younger years. It is physically exhausting, right and running around doing this. So tired lack of sleep, all the things. Now it is emotionally and mentally exhausting beyond anything that the physical exhausting might have ever done to you, right? It's just a different game when you're passing that baton. But in doing that, you have to go and they follow as you're passing that baton. Does that make sense? Guys? So you lead they follow you teach them by doing these things yourselves when you have a conflict between yourselves give them space and room to be an advocate for themselves. If they get in trouble for not cleaning their room, for example. And you're just like, Ah, I told you to clean your room and it needed to be done, you know, by five o'clock today or whatever. And they're just like, huh, give them space? They can you tell me why you chose to not clean your room when I implicitly said this right? And I really needed this done. Can you tell me why this is happening? Calm, right? You know your worth, because you're the parent you are trying to teach them. You know, your values fence. Don't go all defensive on them. Do not assume that you know why they didn't clean their room, because I guarantee you it's probably something different. It's not just because they're lazy. It's not just because they're being rude, right? They were lost in something, something else something else is happening in their lives that's preoccupying their thoughts. They just don't see that. We have this system in our heads the RAS, well, our A S, the S stands for systems system. But anyway, the RAS, and it really is what tones and what we see. So it's the same thing. Like if you're going to buy a new, I don't know, Toyota, let's say, and then all of a sudden everywhere you start seeing Toyotas that is the same type of thing that's happening there. Right. They might not see the dirtiness of the room, the way that you see the dirtiness of the room. In fact, they most likely don't. But helping them see it through your eyes with you being calm and not in defensive mode and asking them questions and giving them room to advocate for themselves but also having some good boundaries. That's where the magic happens. You guys, that's where the magic happens. You lead they follow? Okay, you guys, thank you so much. I hope you got so much out of this. And I will be back with another episode next week. And remember, the best way to change the world is through one living room at a time. And the best way to help your child's future is through being a guide in their life right now. All right, guys. Have a wonderful week and I'll talk to you soon. Thank you so much for listening today and I hope you were able to take something from our discussion that you can use to build the foundation of selfless leadership in your own family. If you are a parent with children 17 or younger and especially those around nine and up, I would love to extend an invitation to you to the best club in town. The family architects Club is a private club where intentional parents go that want to love support, connect or reach Connect and really truly help guide their kids and teach them how to self lead in discipline and leadership. This is an online community and the you are welcome to it. Parenting is a project and you are the architect of this one. You plan you design and oversee the construction of the beginning of someone else's life. And that's what goes into these first 6570 days, and it will be the foundation for the rest of their lives. So




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