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Episode 1: Feeling Bad About Feeling Bad is Bad

"I wish I just had room to talk [to my parents] about feeling bad and not feel bad feeling bad." Parents: Your kids can handle you being real, being scared. It would help a lot. Teenagers: Tell your parents that you can handle their realness and that it's ok that they are scared too sometimes.

VanessaBaker  

Hey, you're listening to you'll understand when you're younger, where I talk to young adults about what it's like to be them. I'm Vanessa Baker, and I'm a parent and teenager mindset coach, and I'm a mom of five teenagers. And my goal is to inspire adults to see teenagers as highly valuable members of society. I'm here to crush the mindset that teenagers are problematic. And I'm so glad that you're here right now. So today, my guest is an amazing person who I've known for years. And I think we'll just jump right in. Are you ready?

 

Guest  

Yeah.

 

VanessaBaker  

Okay, great. So, right off the bat, what would you say you're known for?

 

Guest  

Honestly, out of like, all of these questions, I think that one was really hard for me. I don't really know what I'm known for. And honestly, if anything, I think I kind of confused people. Because I don't know. That question was hard for me.

 

VanessaBaker  

What do you think, like, if you were to step outside of yourself, and or be able to be a fly on the wall and your name came up in conversation? Like, what are you proud of yourself about? And what would people say, oh, her, she's fill in the blank.

 

Guest  

I mean, I think if people would talk about me, they would probably say that I'm probably considerate and kind. And I don't know, if, if they said something I was good at, they'd probably say, like, my writing or something, because that's something I'm proud of.

 

VanessaBaker  

Awesome. Yeah. Good. That leads to my next question that I wanted to ask you, which is what do you really like the most about yourself? It could be about, you know, a characteristic or trait? Or what are you most proud about, like an accomplishment or a skill? Then you can, don't hold back, say whatever comes to mind?

 

Guest  

All right, cool. Um, I mean, honestly, I'm probably most proud of my writing style, because I feel like I'm just a lot better at articulating myself, like, articulating and expressing myself compared to speaking. Like, I just, I like choosing my words carefully. And I'm able to do that with writing. And I don't know, other than that, I mean, I do kind of like who I am. I do like that. Even if I'm not like, successful in like some other ways. I'm kind. And I don't know, I'm pretty authentic.

 

VanessaBaker  

Yeah, yeah, I like that. I like that, that made me smile so big. Just to like, be sitting here and have the opportunity for you to present yourself to that thought about yourself today. Like that just made my day. Thank You.

 

Guest  

Thank you.

 

VanessaBaker  

You're welcome. So if you think about, like, your overall life, the ups, the downs, the ins and the outs, what would you say is your main source of support in your life?

 

Guest  

I really think that's my friends. Um, for a while, like, when I first started dating my boyfriend, I realized that I kind of started depending on him almost entirely for like, support. And then like, I don't know, that made me like, anxious. So then I realized, I really have to realize that I've support in a lot of different places. And I, I have to take advantage of that.

 

VanessaBaker  

Great, great, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And that's a good lesson to learn. I've been there. I totally get that. So overall, in your life, what would you say matters the most to you?

 

Guest  

Um, I mean, overall, in life, I would say just like, like love in relationships, I don't know. I think that I don't know. Life is really who, who you spend it with, you know? And if, if I had to say what matters most in my life right now, like what I'm focused on, then I'd say, I'm working on becoming like, independent, but like, overall in life, I think, like, relationships are probably the most important.

 

VanessaBaker  

Yeah, great. And you are at that transition point in your life where you're thinking of what's after your last year of high school, right? What's that been like for you to now navigate that, this crazy time of life.

 

Guest  

Um, honestly, there was like a while where I was like super, super scared of like choosing a job. Like I really, I kind of obsessed over it for a little bit, because I felt like I had to decide. And like, I still kind of feel that pressure because it's really, really scary going to college and like, paying to, like, be unsure. Like, I don't, I don't want to do that. So, honestly, it's really stressful. But it's also it is exciting, I have to look at it that way. Like there's a lot that my life could become. And I don't know, I just won't know until I do it.

 

VanessaBaker  

Right? It's like taking a risk betting on yourself, right that you'll figure it out, and maybe find out that you have figured it out already. And you just need to continue down that path or, yeah, it's like really feeling I can get that out. It feels risky to invest like that. And it's the beginning of what you'll call your profession, potentially. What are you leaning toward right now?

 

Guest  

Um, I'm leaning towards psychology, but I just.. part of the thing with that is I feel so unsure about choosing that field, because I feel like there's a lot of competition and like, I feel, I don't know, I think I'm going to pursue it anyways. Because I feel like I can contribute my my own unique perspective. And I feel like I have the right mentality for it, that some people that go into the field might lack. I don't know, not to like sound like, I feel like I'm better than other people. But like, I feel like, I don't know, I can contribute in a way that other people might not be able to. So it's worth trying.

 

VanessaBaker  

Right. And when you said that, I didn't hear that you think you're better. I heard confidence. And I like that a lot. I like that a lot. That sounded like, she sounds confident. You know, it didn't sound like you were comparing yourself to anyone. It just sounded like you know yourself, which is a good thing. That's great. Can I ask you about your parents?

 

Guest  

Sure.

 

VanessaBaker  

Okay, so what do you think matters the most to your parents right now, as it relates to you and your life?

 

Guest  

Um, I would probably say, like my success as a young adult, but I think that's fine. And that makes sense and that's a good thing. I don't know. I think they just want to see me get out of the house and not throw my life away.

 

VanessaBaker  

That's fair. Do you feel like you understand what their measure of success is in terms of being like launching yourself into adulthood? Do you know what they count as you've done it? Or you haven't done it?

 

Guest  

Um.. kind of. I would say.. well, I think I do understand of what matters to them and stuff. And I don't know, we're pretty close. And if anything, maybe my idea of success is a little bit different. But at the end of the day, I understand that it's mostly just like, as long as I can support myself and like, I know, there's nothing wrong with asking for help. But like, I don't know, I just have to use common sense and not. Huh, as long as I have a place to live, and I'm not like doing bad, horrible things. I don't know.

 

VanessaBaker  

That's fair. That doesn't sound like too terrible of a hurdle at this point for where you were, how hard you've worked and where you're at in your life.

 

Guest  

Yeah, I guess.

 

VanessaBaker  

So speaking of how far you've come in your life, like, you know, here you are making this big decision, you have sort of a clear sense about what you want to do what you want to study. What would you say overall, is the smartest decision you have ever made?

 

Guest  

Um, it definitely wasn't just like, a decision I made, like consciously, I think but like, at some point in my life, I realized that I had to become an advocate for myself because I didn't want to ask for things that I wanted.

 

VanessaBaker  

Tell me an area in which you became an advocate for yourself.

 

Guest  

Well, like I've had like, all these identity crisises, but I don't know. I think part of like, learning to love myself was like, just like going with it. And like, I'm just like trying things that I believe in. Like when I was a vegetarian, even though I don't like do that anymore. I just, I think the best parts of my life have always been when I stood up for myself.

 

VanessaBaker  

Wow, that's very powerful. That's really powerful. You know, it's like you just you listen to yourself and your instincts on the path that you needed to take. You pursued it? Did you get some noise in the background questioning you? And did you have to stand up for yourself? Is that what you're implying?

 

Guest  

Yeah. Like, even if I wasn't right, I'm still glad.

 

VanessaBaker  

Yeah, tell me what is even right. Right? I don't mean sex, like, right and wrong. I mean, like, right for you at the time. Could you even say it was wrong, in that it was just a path you needed to take. And it didn't mean you had to stick with it for the rest of your life. It's just something you wanted to explore. And you, it sounds like to me, you had the guts, and the courage and the confidence to explore it, and then have the humility to let it play out and turn a different direction? Because maybe it wasn't your exact perfect path anymore, right?

 

Guest  

Hell yeah.

 

VanessaBaker  

I love that. What's the dumbest thing you've ever done?

 

Guest  

Um, that's like repeating dumb mistakes. And a good example of that is like, I got in trouble for being in possession of something. And then I then I like, I got it again. And I put it right in the same spot. And that's just so silly. It's like..

 

VanessaBaker  

So not hiding it better?

 

Guest  

Yeah.

 

VanessaBaker  

Do you think that you're worried about the thing? You can tell you're anonymous, you can say what it is or not? Don't worry, you don't have to, and you know that I'm not out to get you and you're an adult. So, like, how often do you hear in your life that you matter, that you're important that someone believes in you?

 

Guest  

Um, I feel like I hear it enough. And if I'm not hearing it enough, then I don't know. I feel like I surround myself with the right people that I hear it enough. I have like good friends that I know. I can like, go and talk to them if I need to hear something. I don't know.

 

VanessaBaker  

Mm hmm. Yeah. Like, you can ask for encouragement when you need it. Or if you're feeling down, it sounds like you have people where they'll just be like, Oh, yeah, I'm here. What do you need? And they give you what you need? Do you feel like you get that sort of feedback from your parents enough?

 

Guest  

Um, sometimes, but like, not necessarily, like, in the same way? Like, I feel like, I mean, your friends tend to have the same mindset as you. So that's why I don't know, sometimes, like, if you need support with certain things, it might be easier to go to them. So I don't know. I just feel like, I feel like parents could work on reacting a little more unconditionally. You know what I'm saying?

 

VanessaBaker  

Yes, I do. Is there something that has come up for you in the recent past where it would have been great to get like a parental point of view, but you settled in a way for your friends point of view? And if you'd not been fearful of their say, like you said it conditional reaction. You would have shared it with your parents, and that would have been, like, good for you.

 

Guest  

I mean, honestly, I don't really know because I feel like, eventually, if I have something to say, I say it anyways, eventually, like, I don't know. I feel like I'm bad at hiding stuff, because I just say it and like, I don't know, and usually it doesn't work out for me. But I don't know.

 

VanessaBaker  

So if you had it your way, and you could just blurt out freely, whatever's on your mind, whatever you're dealing with, whatever you're sure about or unsure about either way, and you would know that you weren't going to be sorry that you said it because they were going to listen and sort of explore it with you show you some different angles, maybe that you hadn't seen. Would you prefer that?

 

Guest  

Yeah, definitely. That's exactly it.

 

VanessaBaker  

Okay, can you give me a real life example of something where you would have loved to be able to bounce it off your parents, but it really wasn't worth the drama?

 

Guest  

I mean, I could just use the example of like, if I have just like a single practical question, say, about a car. And then I bring it up to my dad, I will be hearing the things I already know about cars for weeks. Kind of, you know what I'm saying? Like? That's like a very mild example. But like..

 

VanessaBaker  

Right. What do you think motivate that? Where then it's like, I mean, the first thing that I thought of is that he's like, oh my gosh, something that I can talk to my kid about incessantly. We have a connection. I'm never letting this go. I'm desperate. Is that what it feels like?

 

Guest  

I know that that example is a bad example, because I know that that is where it comes from. He just cares. Um, I don't know. It's really more of like, more like serious things like, oh, like, the identity crisis is like, I wish I just had room to talk about feeling bad and not feel bad about feeling bad.

 

VanessaBaker  

Wow, that is really well put. I love how you said that a lot. So this is something that we can edit out if you don't like the way this goes. Okay? But if you don't mind, I'd like to say that one of the identity crises that you are facing, as you're calling it, was about your gender identity. Is that true?

 

Guest  

Yeah.

 

VanessaBaker  

Okay, so you are exploring how you identify which gender is the best fit. You weren't feeling like your body and your gender were matching up. And that lasted over a year, a few years ago? Is this true?

 

Guest  

Yeah.

 

VanessaBaker  

Okay. So ideally, when this came up for you, and this awareness came up for you, and you wanted to explore it, what would you have liked for your parents to have, or your dad in specific, to have met you with?

 

Guest  

I mean, actually, during that time, my dad was like, he actually he tried a little bit more than my mom did, to not be, like, angry about it, but it's just, it all came from, like a place of hurting to begin with. And I just needed time to like, go through it. And I don't know, I just, it would have been a lot less.. it wouldn't have hurt as much if I had just like, I don't know, like, like, I wouldn't have felt that way about myself. It's really hard to talk about, because I really don't..

 

VanessaBaker  

Can I say something back to you to see if I can help get like to see if I'm tracking with you?

 

Guest  

Yeah.

 

VanessaBaker  

So is it true for you? When I say it was already really difficult, like you said, it came from a place of confusion and pain. And it would have been really helpful and less painful, if they had not made it about their own fears, and their own worries, but let it stay being about you and your humanity and your processing, etc.

 

Guest  

Yeah, that's exactly what I was trying to say.It's just emotions getting in the way of my words.

 

VanessaBaker  

Well, your emotions are my honor to witness. So thank you for sharing that. What do you think? Is it their worries and their fears and their own fear of judgment, backlash, things like that.. do you think that's what gets in.. not just your parents way, but all parents ways? You know, like, is that your opinion about what gets in the way of really being there for the people, they love the most, their children? When scary stuff comes up, or unexpected issues come up?

 

Guest  

Definitely, you know, it's really scary for for them as well. And I understand that. But it's just like, I don't know. I think it takes understanding from like both parties to be like, this is just really scary in general. And the enemy isn't each other. It's just like, it's just like the problem.

 

VanessaBaker  

That's genius. That's absolutely genius. Why do we have to turn on each other, blame each other? Look for fault? judge? Question. All of the above when an obstacle comes up in life, which is inevitable?

 

Guest  

Exactly, yeah.

 

VanessaBaker  

Yeah. Wow. Wow. Thank you. Wow, that's so powerful. So what is something that you wish mattered more to your parents? That matters more to you? It could be in the same realm of what we just talked about. Or it could be something else, like, what do they overplay and overemphasize that, you know, deep down in your own wisdom, knowledge and experience, they're over worrying about this thing? What would you say that could be?

 

Guest  

So, I guess it's kind of I wish there was more of a focus on feelings, but it's a matter of we all tend to focus on our own feelings. But we have to realize that like, other people are just as complex as we are. You know,

 

VanessaBaker  

Yeah. Yeah. I do know. And that's profound because, do you think that teenagers.. their complexity is downplayed? Because they're teenagers?

 

Guest  

Definitely. Yeah. It's really boiled down to like, oh, you're just like, freaking out, because you have all these hormones in your body. But it's like, that doesn't diminish the fact. Like, I'm experiencing things.

 

VanessaBaker  

Right. Yes. Sorry I was giggling, but yes, we all have hormones our whole life. Yeah, like I realize they're, you know, really flaring up or whatever, during puberty. And I do understand that, like, I'm not a doctor, but I don't need to be a doctor to know that. And it so minimizes the experience, and then it maximizes the conflict because you're being taken less seriously, because of some chemical reaction that's happening in your body. Right?

 

Guest  

Yeah. Which is also super silly, because it's like, it's also like, so my hormones are all out of whack. But like, depression and everything, that's just like, those are also chemical imbalances. And it's like, I don't understand why you feel like it's okay to like, treat a kid poorly, because they have a hormone imbalance. But if there was like an adult with a hormone imbalance, or like, just like someone with a mental illness, that's like, somehow less.. I don't know.

 

VanessaBaker  

Yeah, like less valid. Does valid fit there?

 

Guest  

Yeah.

 

VanessaBaker  

Right. Yeah, I get that I get that and like for me, you know what I want to.. God just like I know, this sounds really like crazy but like in big of a statement, but like, what I want to leave the world with, you know, like, this understanding, some people have it and some people don't and I want to get to the people who don't, is that we don't have to label everything and over simplify everything, especially as you put it in the realm of feelings, you know, with our teenagers in specific and it's okay to just like, be with it, and not have to explain everything. We don't have to explain it away by the whole like, whatever five, six years that is teenager hood. Or explain it away with hormones, or like to make ourselves simplified to feel better. I would like to ask you, do you think it works? Do you think parents actually get what they want, when they oversimplify something because of your age or your physiological development?

 

Guest  

It does. And it doesn't, I think, because it's going to work to an extent to like, every everything, like if you just ignore something that doesn't make it go away, but like, you can still ignore it, and it doesn't bother you. You know what I'm saying?

 

VanessaBaker  

Yeah. So short term. Tell me if I'm wrong here. But it's like short term, ignoring something or downplaying it or minimizing it or under estimating it works on like a tactical level to get from day to day, but it doesn't solve anything. In fact, it could make it fester and grow more whatever the it is.

 

Guest  

Exactly, because you're just assuming there's a situation where one person is being ignored, and one person is doing the ignoring. So that's definitely going to create some sort of resentment, and that's just going to make it worse when you can just like address it.

 

VanessaBaker  

Yeah, yeah. It compounds, it festers, it grows, it multiplies, like cancer cells, when it's untreated basically, right? Okay. So, actually, I like that word treated. So if a parent were to effectively address or treat any fill in the blank of what a teenager brings to the table, what would be the components of like a protocol that would be effective for teenagers to feel heard and understood and have the thing like be on its way, you know, progressing in a healthy way?

 

Guest  

Um, I think everyone probably just has to, like, put their fears on the table. And like, I think, I don't know, you just have to, like, kind of lay it out. And in some ways, you simplify the situation, but you're not like simplifying anyone's experience. You're breaking it down into, like, what do we need to do, what needs to be said, so that like, everyone understands everyone? But like, yeah, you're not like..

 

VanessaBaker  

Yeah. With that.. now, say, with you exploring your gender a few years ago, if your mom or dad had said to you, I'm really scared because your grandma, or your grandpa, or my brother, your aunt or uncle, right, and my sister, or the teachers, or whoever, they're scared of judging them, because they don't have all this figured out. And they think that it's crazy, or a trend, or whatever. So let me just, like restate that. If they had said, these are some of my fears about you, potentially identifying as transgender, or non binary. And they just said it. This is what I'm scared of and I just don't know how to handle that if that comes up because of you, and what you're going through right now. How would you have felt if they were honest, and just or humble and said that fear, just like that, plainly.

 

Guest  

I mean, the thing is, they did kind of say, I'm afraid of people making fun of you, or probably them, but they said making fun of you. And I said, I mean, I'm aware of it, and I can handle it. But like, I don't know, for that situation, it was like, I kind of just know, and it's like, I don't know, I know that it's reasonable fear, like no one wants their child made fun of but like, if it's also implying that, like, I don't know, I think I'm going to abandon that thought. I don't know. I don't know how to say what I want to say.

 

VanessaBaker  

No, that's totally fine. I love it. Do you think it would have been like the next step further to say, "I'm scared for you, sweetheart, because I love you and I want you to be safe, and not have you know, more difficulty than ordinary life brings and I'm also scared for myself." Like would that have been refreshing for you, for them to be real about? It's not all about meaning scared for you. I'm scared for me too. Would you have liked to hear that?

 

Guest  

Yeah, I would. I would have kind of preferred to say that because obviously I already thought about that before I brought something so like vulnerable up. But like, I guess I had to be understanding that they didn't have the time to think about it. But I don't know.

 

VanessaBaker  

I know what you mean, I do know what you mean. Right. And it's sometimes.. right. I get it. Okay. So let's see, if parents were able to get off of this idea that they had to have everything figured out, if they were more accepting of the idea that they could be vulnerable, and teenagers, their kids, their young adults, can actually handle them being real about their fears and their insecurities and their worries and their stress.This is the longest true or false question on the earth. It's a tricky one. No, not really. It's also I'm like leading the witness. Do you think that teenagers can handle their parents being real?

 

Guest  

Of course, I think it is such a better example of emotional maturity to be humble and just be like.. Because like, how are you supposed to know how to act when other people don't just believe that for you? Right? So if you're able to say that, I don't really know what's going on, and that makes me scared, but I'm able to act independently of my fears. I think that's really powerful. And it's.. I start talking and I forget where I'm going.

 

VanessaBaker  

No I do that too. It's totally fine. This is the place for that. No worries. I do that, too. It's okay. Because I'd rather you just say it, that what you just said, is extremely powerful. And I appreciate how exactly you worded that and how you articulated that that was gold right there. So thank you.

 

Guest  

Thank you.

 

VanessaBaker  

You're welcome. Okay, so I want to know a couple more avenues. You're blowing my mind. You're absolutely proving exactly what it is I'm out to prove, and for the record, you and I had no conversations, but a few texts to set up logistics before this, and other than that, you understood my mission. And I let you see the questions that I may or may not have asked you, you know, the planned questions, of course, it's going in an organic way, right? And this is what's coming out, and I could cry right now. You're blowing my mind, and proving what I already believe, with every cell in my mind, in my body. Everything about me knows that teenagers are brilliant. And you're saying these things, multiple, everything that you've said today is confirming that you deserve respect. And you deserve to be heard. And you deserve to, I guess the opposite of minimize, to be maximized. To be worshipped.

 

Guest  

I like that.

 

VanessaBaker  

I just want you to get that like, this is who you are. And what would it be like for you if the conversation around "ah teenagers, they're just a walking ball of hormones. They're such assholes.They're so selfish and moody." Like, what if that conversation wasn't the dominating conversation around teenagers? What would that be like for you to walk around and people to give you, all I can think of is the word respect.. the respect that you deserve as much as any other age group deserves?

 

Guest  

I just think.. I feel like people would leave their teenage years with like, a lot more compassion for others and a lot less problems that they've developed because they weren't able to deal with their own problems, you know?

 

VanessaBaker  

Right. Yeah.

 

Guest  

I think that like, I don't know, the world would be a lot better. That's all because like, teens do have a lot to say, and they are full people with full brains not full. Oh my gosh, I'm done. I can't talk.

 

VanessaBaker  

No, that was actually funny and good. You do not technically have a fully developed brain, but you are a full person. And like, no, that does sound kind of silly. Like I get like, why you giggled and why you said that. But at the same time, like it's really true. And the thing is, to relate to another person as a whole human being instead of a partial one or an uncooked one or an unfinished one, like that provides for this level of relationship and dignity that makes the relationship better. Do you see what I'm saying? It's kind of like a chicken or the egg thing? Or like that thing? How do I get a job? If I don't have experience? How do I get experience if I don't have a job? So I'm flipping that to teenagers. If you start treating teenagers with respect, then you'll get respect. And you'll see how amazing they are. If you don't, then you won't.

 

Guest  

True! Exactly, exactly. Like if you're gonna, like.. it's like, you can't nip it at the bud, or else it's not gonna grow. Like you can't be mean to like a kid and expect them to be a well adjusted adult.

 

VanessaBaker  

Right. But the irony is that they're mean, we can call it mean, you know, feisty or judgmental or critical, that kind of thing, because they're scared. And then that fear gets imparted, infused, into the teenager, which then makes them act differently, right? So I think that one of the ideas that I had for naming this podcast was like, hey, parents, good news. It's all your fault. And I know that wouldn't be very good for marketing, but really what I wonder if you can get what I'm saying, though, which is that parents don't understand that they're perpetuating the negative stereotype by approaching the person who's their teenager, and thus the conversations that are part of that relationship. In that way they're perpetuating the negativity that they fear.

 

Guest  

Yeah, definitely. It's a lack of, well, I don't want to say it like that, because that sounds judgmental. It's like, it's just not being fully aware that you're acting out of your own experiences, because you were a teenager once to, like, you're just, you don't know that you're part of a cycle.

 

VanessaBaker  

Right? Yeah, the awareness. Right. So what do you think has been the biggest challenge that you've had to face alone? Maybe you had your friends, so I don't mean totally alone. But what's the biggest challenge that you've had to face without your parents that you really wish that you'd had their support for?

 

Guest  

Definitely the gender identity thing. Like, I mean, I don't know. That's a lot to ask. And like, I don't know. But it just, that makes me so sad thinking back on. And I don't know, I just wish things would have been different.

 

VanessaBaker  

Yeah, for sure. Why do you think that you're on this planet?

 

Guest  

Um, I think we exist just to experience becauseI don't know, I really just think that we're a bunch of monkeys that evolved past our niche. Like, I feel like, I feel like we were just meant to, like eat and sleep and like, reproduce. And then we like, adapted to like, better forage. And then all of a sudden, we had this brain able of making an iPhone. And then here we are, I really don't think we're meant to have this consciousness. But here we are.

 

VanessaBaker  

That's brilliant.. that's awesome! I've never thought about it like that. I'm like, "What's your purpose statement?" You're like "none?" Yeah, no, I love that perspective, that really takes a little pressure off people like me, that's for sure. I really love that I think the rest is gonna be a little more relaxing now. So, do you think you'll have kids someday?

 

Guest  

Um, I really, I don't want to have kids of my own, because pregnancy really grosses me out. And because of my past experiences with my body, I just don't think that's a good idea for me. And I really don't want to have my own kids. But if I do have kids, I will probably foster or adopt. I don't know. Yeah. I am very afraid of having kids, though. I don't want to have the responsibility of bringing up another human person.

 

VanessaBaker  

Right. I get that it's a lot of pressure. It sure is, and especially the way that it's all preached and arranged in our consciousness about how challenging and difficult and hard it is. And believe me, I'm not saying it's not, but I'm also thinking that people make it harder than they need to, because of literally everything we've talked about up until now. You know what I'm talking about? Yeah, the pressure, right? We don't have o be perfect as parents need to be real. So what are some of the main Things that say you do have children, or very advanced dogs? What are some of the things that you would want to make sure that they understand about what it is to be a person?

 

Guest  

Um, I mean I would really teach them to be patient with others and understanding, but like I would have to do that by being patient and understanding with them, but I would still have to challenge their ego. Like when they needed it. I would be like “hey, I understand, but you’re not perfect either buddy.”

 

VanessaBaker  

I like that a lot.

 

Guest  

Thanks!

 

VanessaBaker  

Yeah! Both parts, the ego part is brilliant I think, and also the part about the way you would teach them is by being that. Do you think that that gets kinda lost in the commotion of parenting when parents you know tell their kids to “stop fucking cussing!”

 

Guest  

It’s so hard to do as you say because it’s one thing to just tell someone to be calm but if you’ve ever been told to just be calm when you’re upset, that just makes it so much worse. So you have to think of it that way.

 

VanessaBaker  

Right! What’s the alternative? If you could solve that problem forever of parents realizing.. all people.. it isn’t just parents.. every leader, every boss every friend.. how would you remedy that problem where people realize that who they’re being and how they show up is much more powerful that what they command of others.

 

Guest  

It’s kinda like what you do in repetition.. people say that about dieting and it’s kinda the truth about just being a person. Like if you just say something sometimes, no one is going to believe you if you, ya know, eat poorly all the time, then of course it’s not going to matter when you cook a good meal.

 

VanessaBaker  

So consistency is what I think I’m hearing you say.

 

Guest  

Yeah.. that is what I was trying to say. Consistency.

 

VanessaBaker  

Yeah! That’s what I heard! That’s great, it’s just like getting back up on the horse again, right? Falling down, messing up, trying again the next day. Consistently going after it. I guess that’s like the alternative to just giving up and saying “welp, that’s just how teenagers are. That’s just how parenting goes.” Right? But just like staying in the game. Never giving up. Yeah, I like that. That’s really great. Anything else you want to say before we wrap up?

 

Guest  

Um I think if I had to say something to parentsI would say do not yell. I really dislike yelling. But anything else, no, not really. I really said everything.

 

VanessaBaker  

Okay let me hear that again. So, say that again. Okay, I actually want to re-ask my question because you inspired me.That’s perfect. Is there any message that you would want parents to hear, any parents who are listening, that would just be like an overarching, like “hey take this with you today.”

 

Guest  

I would ask that you try not to yell even though it’s probably really hard because it’s a reaction. I just really dislike it as a grown person now.

 

VanessaBaker  

What do you feel is the impact on you when you’re yelled at?

 

Guest  

I have like an anxious response. It doesn’t make me want to deal with the problem, it just makes me want to cry.

 

VanessaBaker  

Right. And it’s not like they may not have had a good point, or their content wasn’t there. It’s the way they express it.

 

Guest  

Yeah. I’m never going to take anything away if you yell at me. I’m going to assume that you’re angry and irrational probably.And I’m going to be hurt so it’s going to be me versus you now. So that’s why I would encourage people not to yell, it’s just going to be destructive.

 

VanessaBaker  

That’s brilliant, that’s brilliant. You are full of brilliance. I’m afraid that you are gonna leave a mark on the world and you are here for a reason and I don’t want to disappoint you, but I’m really sure that you really actually are here on my life plan. Everybody has their purpose, so no pressure haha. Yeah I really appreciate you spending this time with me today and I have gotten so much life and inspiration and so much just absolute joy from getting to talk with you today, so thank you very, very much for spending this time and sharing your stories, your experiences, thanks for being so vulnerable, thank you for being so open, insightful, thoughtful. So thanks for listening! If you’re a parent, I challenge you to share this episode with your kids and see what kind of conversations open up. And if you’re a teenager, I challenge you to share this episode with your parents, guardians, teachers, and see what kind of conversations open up. I love you, bye!

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