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How To Walk Your Teen Through an Emotional Storm?
Episode 6021st September 2022 • The 6570 Family Project • Nellie Harden
00:00:00 00:29:12

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An emotional storm can look a thousand different ways depending on how things are being processed within for your child, but how you can step in and help them follows the same cadence every time. 

It will look differently than a typical conversation and there are some things you can do to “storm prep” and some things you want to do IN the storm. 

Tune in today to hear where storms come from, and what you can do to bring calm and leave with clarity.

About the Host:

Nellie Harden is a wife of 20+ years, mom to 4 teen/tween daughters, dreamer, adventurer, servant, mumpreneur, 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 Mellie Hardin, 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 elevate 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. Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the 6570 family project podcast. And in this podcast, we are really working to put aside the power struggles all that time and wasted energy right and find the path toward leading our young women toward the worth esteem and confidence that they really need to step into the world with respect for themselves and others in a growing wisdom, that foundation that we are setting right here so that they are set up to be a successful adult in whatever unique capacity that they have. Right. And today I want to talk with you a little bit about how we can even begin to walk with our teen or tween daughter that second half of childhood. So we're talking like ages nine to 18 910 11, we're going through that great transition right from first half of childhood to second half. And when they start to face these emotional storms, and if you haven't faced one yet, first of all, I would be shocked. But second of all, if you haven't faced one yet, it is coming right. It is nearly impossible, I would say impossible. But I'm going to say nearly impossible. Just in case there's that outlier out there right to go through the the adolescent period, that growth that that

Nellie Harden:

growing experience, right, without having an emotional storm. Now the question is, is there parent when you're seeing this, you are their parent, you are their architect, right? So an architect plans, designs and builds. And we are planning, designing and building the beginning of someone else's life. I have four daughters of my own at home that are soon to be within the month. Oh my goodness, all like official quote unquote, teenagers because right now I have a 17 year old. I have twins that are 14, about to be 15 next month, and I have a 12 year old, about to be 13 next month. So yes, October is a crazy time in our household because four out of the six of us have birthdays within three days of one another. So it gets a little crazy, mid October around our house. And we just celebrated my husband's birthday yesterday. And then we have my oldest daughter who is a way outlier. She is literally the half birthday, and vice versa. So she's in April. So her birthday is the half birthday of all of us. And our our birthday month is the half birthday of her so it works out. But anyway, my point being there's going to be these emotional storms that are coming through and that's what I hear from so many of you like, I don't I didn't even know what to do. She came in she was broken down. And she was just, you know, in hysterics or she closed the door and didn't want to come out. Or you could just see that she was emotionally turned off. Right? It comes it manifests in a lot of different ways. But it's still an emotional storm. So, you know, we have an idea that when we're in this moment it like this is the way it's going to be especially when we're that age, when we're going through that when we are in adolescence because it feels like whatever's happening right now is going to last forever. And it's never going to change partly because their brain is under construction. It's under development. They don't know how to see and visualize the future unless they practice that. And another part of that is they just are young they haven't seen enough. See Using changes to know that the season always changes if you know what I mean. So it won't last forever. And you will see the other side to this. I live on the coast in North Carolina in the United States. So we have hurricanes, right? When I was younger lived in the Midwest, we had tornadoes. And now I live on the coast, we have hurricanes. And at some point, it will pass. Although when you're in it, it feels like it will last forever. And like a hurricane, though, there is some prep work to do beforehand. And then there's some stuff to do in the storm, as well as it's really going down. And that's the same for an emotional storm too. So for storm prep, which I'm not going to spend a lot of time here right now, because I want to talk to you about what to do in the storm, okay. But for storm prep that is done long before the storm happens, right? You,

Nellie Harden:

you get your storm shutters up, you are doing this and that well, in parenting, what that looks like is building truth and trust, it is that connection, right? You need connection before you can have communication so that you can bring clarity. And so building that truth and trust relationship, which takes that practice of vision and discipline and vulnerability and resilience, and all of those things that I really dive deep into with my community and my clients in map to maturity and crew, which are the programs that I run. But all of that to say that those are conversations and that that are a lot more than just how are you fine, right? The F word fine. And there's value fences and you understand one another, you can communicate with one another because you know each other's personalities, you know, each other's learning tendencies. So you can break through those walls that so easily get erected. When they come home from school or something goes awry, right, something doesn't go as planned. And all of a sudden, there's a wall well, when when you're working in building that truth and trust, you know how to get through the walls, you know where the door is, right. So you're not beating yourself up against those walls, but you know where the door is. And to come in. That's where that connection piece comes in. But we're not going to focus so much there right now. Because I focus there in other episodes, and also in our community. But what I do want to focus in on is, she comes in, he comes in, right, I deal mostly, if any of you have been listening to me for any amount of time, you know that I deal mostly with parents that have teen and tween daughters, second half of childhood. So I'm just gonna say sheet, but it could be anyone. Most everything that we do in here, of course can apply to all of your kids. I especially specialize in young women, I've just been uniquely set up in that way. I have four of them myself, I was one of them myself, like think I still am a young woman. But I was one going through adolescence as well. I serve the community of young women. And our brain developments are just different as well, where the emotional centers are the frontal cortex and how that is developing. And all of those things are just a little bit different. But like I said, almost everything that we go in here can be applied to both including what we're going to go over today. So they come in, they're having an emotional storm. And like I said that could manifest and look like a bunch of different things. It could look like, Hey, how was school Fine, go up to the room, close the door. It could look like coming in dropping the backpack and then melting on the floor. It could in and just like exhaust, right? They're just so exhausted, it could look like them coming in. And they've been so strong all day, they take one look at you and all of a sudden, the tears welled up and they start crying, right, because they finally have that place that they can be vulnerable. Right? I'm sure that you've seen that happen, too. It could look like anger, right? It could look like anger. That's that is how it's expressing itself on the outside. I just went through an entire workshop last week about how behavior is the end point of so much more that's happening in the brain. And so just trying to take care of the behavior is not is just putting a bandaid over something or just taking care of those very surface symptoms, right. We're not taking care of what's actually happening inside. So like I said, it can manifest in many different ways. But we've talked a lot about the five seas for a good conversation right? But we need a little bit more specifics when we're going through the storm right the five C's that is Be calm, curious, connect, cultivate and clarity, and I've walked through many of those in previous episodes, but This could look like those, those five C's are really good for those conversations that are like, Hey, Mom, I have a question or you're asking her or them, your son or daughter, right? Hey, so and so I have a question I need to ask you, I saw this or I got a letter from your teacher, or I heard this from, you know, your friend's mom or whatever that is, right. Those are good for our just sitting around and talking about anything. Those are good for those right. But in this conversation, today, we're talking about these like cat three level hurricanes. At home, we kind of have an underlying rule that if a hurricane comes, if it's a cat category, if it's cat one or two, we maybe probably will say if it's a cat three or more, we evacuate, right? So we're talking here in our discussion today about these cat three hurricane level emotional storms that most people run away from, but you are going to stay because you are the architect, you are planning designing and building the beginning of someone else's life. And if you abandon ship, and you evacuate right now, who's going to stay who's going to stay in here, right? Remember, there are five needs and if you haven't downloaded that, please, please, please go download the five needs document, it's at Nellie needs, you're going to want to get your in, that's a five isn't the number five, five needs, you're going to want to get your hands on that. But the five needs are to be seen heard love, belonging and purpose, right. And all in that document, I teach you easy ways that you can be doing that on a daily basis to build that truth and trust, like we were talking about earlier. But if you abandon if you evacuate there, they are not being seen and heard. They don't feel loved. They certainly don't feel belonging and purpose, honestly, is way out of the realm right now because they're in there are in an emotional storm. Wow, that was a lot to say. Okay, but there is one definite similarity to the the normal, you know, conversations, even the hard conversations and the emotional storm and that is that you, you you you have to be calm, right. Think about it, you know, if they are in a in a storm, and they're out in the middle of the ocean, they don't feel like they have anything to hold on to. And you throw them a lifeline, right? That Lifeline is there, they grab on to it. And it's like, Oh, something something is here to help me right? If you throw that lifeline out there, and it is filled with spikes and more things that can hurt them. Ie you also not being calm, it's not going to help them it's not going to be the lifesaver for them. And if our job is to build design a design plan and build right and help them grow be their guide. In the first half of childhood. We're doing that for them. Second half, we're doing it with them because this is their adult education arena. In the second half of childhood. We need to give them something that will actually help them right. Okay, so be calm. And if you can't calm them down right away, that's okay. They're going through something they are in a storm and use that perspective in your head. You are the lifeline they are in the storm. Okay. And really acknowledge that you see them that you hear them. Yes, I see what you're going to do. Do not do what I call like they're the three horsemen of the apocalypse of communication, right? So do not dismiss them. Do not ignore them. Do not mock them. Right. That is just a dagger when they are in a storm in your mocking that is a dagger. Do not be sarcastic. This is not the place in time for sarcasm and do not interrupt. I'm going to say those one more time. Do not dismiss, ignore, mock, be sarcastic or interrupt, those will automatically shut. Shut the door on any possibilities you have to help. If you do those things then you that you are telling them and they are seeing this isn't the lifeline that you need. You need to go find something else right? Or you know what it's going to tell them either you need to go find something else or it's going to say there's nothing out there for you. Nothing will save you. Neither one of those are something that you want your child to hear or to tell themselves. So be reassuring. And you you know you are okay I have you right? This is not all on your shoulders. I have you not reassuring him And it's fine, everything's gonna be fine, right? Because they won't hear that they are not in a place where they feel like anything is going to be fine. In fact, they are in a place where they feel like nothing is ever going to be the same again. And in some cases that might be very true. So what they need to hear is that reassuring your Okay, I have you, this is not all on you, I am right here. And that I am going to help shoulder this burden with you. Okay, let's talk, let's figure out what's going on. But I'm right here, okay. iContact, super important during this time, okay. And then we have when we go. And then we have that you want to acknowledge right, you want to validate, you want to empathize with them. So empathize. So empathy and sympathy are two different things. And if you've never heard that before, I think one of the most profound golden pieces of Brene Brown, and that's to say a lot, because Brene, Brown has just a treasure trove of gold in in personal development, and relationship development, and how to be there for people how to show up all of that highly recommend her, I spent 18 months of my life so far, I hope to do more in the future, too. But I've spent 18 months of my life really diving into her work working in her programs and things. And it was so transformative for myself and my work. But she has a video out there that I will put down in the notes in this in this podcast. And it really, very, very, very clearly talks about the difference between empathy and sympathy and how empathy is where you need to be in this connection, right? connect, communicate clarity, you will not be able to give them clarity to be their guide to help them through this storm if you don't have communication, and you can't have the door open for communication, if you don't have empathy in there. Okay, so acknowledge, validate, I'm here for you. You don't have to do this alone. I am a right here, right. And so empathy, watch the video, but to give you an idea is like crawling down into the pit with them, bringing a ladder with you, and bringing a light with you. They're down in the pit, they're down in the darkness, right. And it's not just peeking your head over and saying, Hey, that looks pretty terrible down there. So sorry about that. It's going down there with them, but you are bringing the supplies to bring light to the situation and to get yourselves back out. Okay, make sense. They fallen, you're bringing a ladder, and so connect to something in you, that connects to them and just be there. So this is where vulnerability that you've been practicing, hopefully, but if not, this is where it really comes into place to they're going through something and you have to connect to something in you so you can understand them and what they're going through. And you can see their perspective and really take that and accepted into you. Every single person on this planet has a different perspective, every single one, there are almost 8 billion people there almost 8 billion perspectives, not to mention all of those that have passed before us, right. And so if we can see their perspective, have them talk right have them help us understand what's going on, but connect to that through our own vulnerability, you're opening the door that much more for of communication in order to have the license to bring clarity later on. So when you bring that lifesaving ring into the water, it is just there for them to connect and hold on to right. You weren't there, the safety ring when they're in the storm. And they put that out there I just watched a actually just popped in my head just today I watched somebody that was in a theme park and they hit their head or something going down a slide and someone had to go out there and rescue them. But first they threw out the rings so that person could hold on to it. And it was not intimidating. It wasn't telling them what to do. It was just there for them to hold on to right connection. So and then you want to give them the reins to the solution. If something can be changed. Sometimes it cannot. I've lived through enough tragedies in my life to know that many times. Nothing can be changed. It can only be accepted. And those are really really, really hard times. Right. And death of course is one of those that is obvious. I've been through so many deaths in my family when I was a kid I actually I mean, it sounds dark, but it was just my way of processing. I actually had this like, spiral notebook of obituaries that I would write just personally after I came home from so and so's funeral. And so and so's funeral, both young and old and sick and accidents and

Nellie Harden:

expect expected and unexpected, all the things and I would just keep these and it was my way of just kind of accepting what was going on. Right? And so anyway, that acceptance and giving them the reins to the solution. If something can be changed. How do you want to handle this right? Or acceptance? If it cannot, and brainstorm the pivots that are coming? So how do you how do you want to handle this? What do you think should happen? Right? How do you think this can be resolved and approached? Or if it can't be? Okay, so what do you feel like is going to change? Now? How do you feel about that? Right? What do you need me to do? Do you have any idea yet? And if you don't, that's okay. Just curious. Is there anything that I can do right now in order to help you in this pivot? No. Okay, then I'll just be here. Okay. And note here, too, this is not always the stem of something bad. I think this is really important for people to realize, especially parents, it's not these emotional storms are not always from something bad. Sometimes it could be a good thing too. But good things also come with grief. Like any transition, right? There's a breakup that really needed to happen, and maybe your child even knew that it needed to happen. But there's still a grief process in there. Right, there's moving away, and maybe your family is moving somewhere. And it's a really good move, and it's going to be so great. But there's still a grief process, maybe your child is moving away, maybe it's toward the end of the 6570 and they are moving away, or you are in a split home, and maybe they are going to live with a different parent, right? Or go stay with them for an extended amount of time. It comes with a grief process. Maybe they're just going away on a trip, maybe they're going away to camp, maybe it's just a sleepover for the night. But all of those things come with a transition related grief that comes with it. A friend of mine ages ago, was getting married, and my husband was actually officiating the ceremony, and we had seen them maybe about three months before the wedding. And she was just so frazzled, right? So good, she was so excited to get married, but all the stuff of the wedding, right, and you all know, all the wedding stuff. And not to mention then dealing with the family dramas and all of these things. And she got really, really sick. And I've I've worked in wellness and discipline, creating good disciplines around wellness, and all of that. And that's what I was working in back in that time. And I remember talking with a colleague of ours, and she was saying, you know, even good stress is stress. And the body doesn't know the difference. Because even good transitions come with all of this array of emotional baggage. And you guys know that you've been there. But sometimes as a parent, you see your child going into this really exciting thing, and then they're freaking out or they're closing the door, or they're shutting down or they're melting down, or their emotional switch is being turned off, or they're being really snippy with you, right? You're like, why are you doing this? You have this really great thing happening? What are you doing, right? You're sabotaging yourself, you're being rude even though this great thing is happening or what have you, however it manifests for them and your family. But it's because there's transition grief happening in there too. So good transition has it, bad transition has it. So remember that it takes one person to be open and honest with them and believe in them just one person. And as the architect, that can be you. And if it can't be you for one reason or another, I'm not going to joke with myself and say that you are always going to be the answer to whatever problem they're going through. That's not necessarily true. But you can help them find who that person is. Right? It if it's not you, it doesn't have to be anti you. Okay, I hope that makes sense. If it's not you, you can help them find who that is. Maybe it's a counselor, maybe it's a therapist, maybe it's a friend, maybe it is somebody else. I don't know it could be a plethora of people, but if it's you or if it's not you it doesn't have to be against you. You're still helping them You are still that person. Okay? Still the architect. Okay, you guys, I hope I've given you some nuggets of wisdom today. I




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