About this Episode
Welcome to today’s episode of The Communication Solution podcast with Casey Jackson, John Gilbert, and Danielle Cantin. We love talking about Motivational Interviewing, and about improving outcomes for individuals, organizations, and the communities that they serve.
In this episode, we discuss the concept of motivational interviewing in mindful and gentle parenting. They explore the challenges parents face, including the balance between wanting children to reflect their values and fostering their individuality. The hosts stress the importance of aligning behavior with values and navigating societal influences. A practical example is shared on applying motivational interviewing principles when dealing with a child’s low grades, emphasizing the significance of allowing children to make choices and face consequences.
In this episode, we discuss:
- The podcast discusses motivational interviewing and its application in mindful and gentle parenting.
- Casey Jackson, a parent himself, shares her experiences with parenting, including raising twin teenage girls.
- The conversation touches on the conflict between wanting children to be a reflection of the parent versus helping them become the best version of themselves.
- They emphasize the importance of aligning behavior with values and navigating the complexities of parenting influenced by societal norms and past experiences.
- The hosts highlight the challenges of collaborative parenting and co-parenting, where different individuals with their values are involved.
- The concept of individuation in adolescents and the natural conflicts that arise during this stage of development are discussed.
- Casey shares a practical example of applying motivational interviewing principles when dealing with her child’s low grades and the importance of allowing children to make choices and face consequences.
- The hosts discuss the ethical aspect of parenting, setting boundaries, and guiding informed choices to help children align their behavior with their values.
- The podcast encourages parents to be mindful, gentle, and supportive while allowing their children the freedom to make choices and learn from their experiences.
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Thank you for listening to the Communication Solution Podcast with Casey Jackson and John Gilbert. As always, this podcast is all about you. If you have questions, thoughts, topic suggestions, or ideas, please send them our way at email@example.com. For more resources, feel free to check out ifioc.com.
Want a transcript? See below!
Hello, and welcome to the communication solution podcast with Casey Jackson and John Gilbert. I’m your host, Danielle Cantin. We love to talk about communication. We love to talk about solutions, and we love to talk about providing measurable results for individuals, and organizations. Welcome to the communication solution that will change your world.
Welcome. I’m Danielle Cantin, your facilitator of the communication solution podcast with Casey Jackson and John Gilbert, and we are here to talk about everything related to motivational interviewing and how it can help you in particular around challenging. What we’re calling mindful and gentle parenting.
Now, I’m not a parent. However, I did assist in raising 16 nieces and nephews. so I’m really curious about this. The minute I met you, Casey, You know how I felt. I was like, what on earth is motivational interviewing? I, this can change the entire world, not just organizations and teams and businesses, but your personal life.
And, and so that’s when you dove in and talked about how it affected you on a personal level. So I thought that’d be a great topic and want to turn it over. So I am in the thick of parenting. I’ve got. Twin teenage girls, who just started high school, their high school career. I have a grown adult son and grandkids and, you know.
It is, I like the mindful and gentle because
it can be mindful, but it’s not always feeling like it’s gentle motivation really up that, angle for me significantly. I think the things that I think of with, when we’re always looking for me, when I’m looking through that motivational lens, it’s always that. Narrative is my behavior in line with my values.
where’s my ambivalence and is my behavior in line with my values. And I think what’s difficult is when there’s so much modeling around us for what good parenting is. You know, I mean, even from sayings like, you know, spare the rod, spoil the child, or, you know, when that’s what you hear, or the ways that religions talk about parenting, or schools talk about parenting, or the media talks about parenting, you know, even Pre-social media days, you know, the books and the TV shows on, leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best and just where do we get our input for how to parent comes from so many sources and probably the most potent source of parenting is how we were parented and, and how that sticks with us, or how it repulses us to the place where it repels us away from wanting to parent like that.
It’s just such a complex construct and I think the thing for me, one of the things that I know for myself, As I continue to try to grow and evolve as a parent is do I want to be right? Are my children a representation of me? Or do I want to bring out the best in them in terms of who they came to be? And I think those are the belief differences, you know, that is huge.
Those are three different directions that probably overlap in certain times and probably want to take one versus over the other. I could only imagine, but wow. Yeah, those three are mindful piece. Wow. And I couldn’t help Casey, as you were explaining all of what you’re dealing with as a parent, and I just had to interject and say, oh, and then.
And then blend that with, there’s a whole nother human, typically, that’s parenting dealing with all of their stuff, and you’ve got to somehow collaborate. 100%. Because the collaborative parenting or co parenting is its own difficulty. I think of it when you take that, just the relationship. Peace. You know, I talked about this when I’ve done parenting classes or relationship classes is it’s not a matter of their behaviors in line with your values because of that.
Where so much tension happens in partnerships and relationships is your behaviors not in line with my values. You know, we don’t say that explicitly, but we operate that way. You know, you’re taking me off. That’s not the way you’re supposed to load a dishwasher. That’s not the way you for laundry. and it’s, there’s so much judgment and heat to that, which becomes then, well, that’s, that’s, we’re not giving them allowance for doing chores that they should be doing to contribute to the house.
You know, I mean, those are the points of contention in real time with real people, in terms of how things are supposed to be, you know, quote unquote, what it’s supposed to be, what it should look like, how they should behave and how you get out of that quagmire. In parenting is extremely, extremely complex.
One of the things in a parenting class that I remember this was, gosh, probably 15 to 20 years ago, and really having parents think about, do you want to make your child be a certain way, or do you want to develop a child who makes values based decisions? Because as long as you’re telling them what to do, they are not making their own values based decisions because when you’re no longer there to tell them what to do, I always think of the example of, you know, in our culture, kids going off to college, we know that first quarter to the first year, everything from the freshman 15 to the, you know, getting themselves in trouble and grades dropping immediately, it can be GPA, but they get to college that first quarter and so many kids are first semester.
And it’s like, wow, out on their own, they’re having to learn is my behavior getting me what I want and some ways my behavior is in some ways it’s not, but to be out from underneath the thumb or the roof of the parents so often. It’s a restart of, is my behavior getting me what I want versus is it getting me allowance?
Is it getting me, you know, a weekend pass? Is it getting me to the prom? Is it getting me this? Is it giving me that? It’s just a different worldview. And I, even when I talk about, I think about from a place of privilege. I’m talking from a place of privilege that those are the conversations. So what it comes down to is for when I think of motivation and parenting, what am I trying to orchestrate?
In my Children, where their first thought is, is my behavior going to help me be who I want to be instead of is this behavior and get me in trouble with my parents? Which causes lying and deception and all sorts of other things or honesty. but it queues it up relationship based versus internal first in terms of is my behavior lined up with what I, who I see myself as, or is this something that’s going to create tension between me and someone else?
Just be able to work with that is a really fascinating dynamic to be mindful about.
I think what you’ve said that is a fascinating word that popped for me is orchestrate. So if I can sit there, there’s two takeaways I took from you so far. And one is I’m going into a situation. I’ve got all of this baggage and stuff in my world of parenting. Do I want to get them to understand and believe in what I believe?
Or do I want to help them? Be the best version of themselves, just that alone. And then in a, in a different way, I feel like what you just said is even a little bit deeper because then it begs the question of how do I orchestrate that? How do I become, become that instrument that will get my child to start looking at.
An internal process versus resisting me to jump in there too, that there was another thing that I think is really important before you keep building off of that to Casey for this, it’s that there is a third factor. And that’s why I jumped in. I was like, well, wow, that third factor, how much are they representing me?
How much do I want them to be a representation of me? A mini me, or a look at, I go to this school so I can have pride that my kid goes to this specialty. Whatever school, you know, East coast to be different West coast, but whatever that is, right? Like that seems to be a really important thing to be mindful of that.
How much are you trying to, as one, unfortunately, I can’t remember the author talked about like getting the plant to grow in a certain way versus giving nourishment to the soil. And I love that metaphor of giving nourishment to the soil. Is like different and Danielle just builds off of what you said, being mindful of what direction am I taking with my parenting and how do I make sure to stay in that intentional, open, humble, whatever you want to say, place and then how do you go about the orchestration and how do you do that when you still are a human?
With triggers and imperfections, and then you see things in your partner, and it’s just such a hard thing to orchestrate. So I don’t know if that’s where you were going, Danielle of like, how to orchestrate that. But that seems like a lot to be a mindful of how much. Are you clear on that metacognitive, which is its own skill.
And then not only that, how much do you, are you even aware of what’s going on? Then how do you even orchestrate it? you just opened a whole can of worms for it with the whole like mini me, or is it a reflection and that’s supposed to be on even parenting? Like everything is like. We relate it back to ourselves and again, it, when I think at least in American culture, that it makes so much sense because it was keeping up with the Joneses and, you know, when there used to be a really solid middle class.
It really was all the lawns look the same, you know, lawns are mowed, picket fences are painted, you know, dinners on the table at, you know, five o’clock at night when dad gets home like that. And if it wasn’t in that norm or normal. It was abnormal. so your children, you expect them to behave a certain way and dress a certain way and their hair is going to be above their collar because of their hair is below their collar.
Then that’s a whole different thing of how it represents the family. So there’s so much in that representation of us that we can talk about. Yeah. We want them to play sports because we played sports, but I think it’s more. It culturated. I know our mainstream mainstream American culture. I know how enculturated it was for what I was raised with.
You know, you know, you need to be at least a B average student. You need to be and it really was your parents wanting the best for you. And knowing that you can do those kinds of things, whether it’s sports or academics or friend groups or who you’re dating, but it does become a representation and when it becomes a representation of the family unit or of the parent, it’s hard for it not to be compliance driven and it’s extremely difficult for it not then to create tension or conflict within families or within relationships.
Because one stage of development fundamentally for, I mean, this is an area of, you know, I grew up educationally in child development is, is fundamentally a necessity for adolescents to go through a sense of individuation. They have to go through a sense of individuation and when you’re going to go through a stage of individuation, there is going to be conflicts with parents that are really trying to control the narrative and the growth and development of their child.
You know, from a values based perspective, from a, you know, maybe a religious based perspective, and when, when children go through their natural individuation that they have to go through, those are the times that cause the most conflict. That’s, that’s why I never had a problem as a clinician working with children, adolescents and family work, because there’s always conflict going on, in some family somewhere about.
You know, it’s so deep that this whole premise of how are you representing the family? And it does, it does lighten the mood for me a bit. Like when you opened the podcast, I just want to start laughing with the way you phrased it at one point with me, where you’re just like, Oh yeah, with the people we love, we tend to want them to come on, get your behavior aligned with my values.
Would you? It’s so hilarious. It’s just a fun way for me to. Lighten, lighten the load a little bit when I realize, Oh God, that’s what I’m doing. Well, and you step back and you just, you can see the dynamics. This is what I love about why I’m so obsessed with motivational interviewing or the constructs of it, because it helps my brain think differently in terms of, wow, that’s so normal.
But it’s so unhealthy. It’s so normal to want to do those things because by definition it is the norm, which means that’s the majority or the, where you’re going to see the least outliers, but it’s so unhealthy when you’re thinking about healthy growth and development, because you look at the byproducts of that and, and, and the way that we’ve evolved, you know, culturally, you think about just the rebellion.
And then I think, I think what’s so funny, I remember when I was traveling, In Europe and specifically in Italy, and I wasn’t in the Colise but was in one of the antiquities around there. And there was graffiti in the gym, back in the Roman days, basically just talking smack about their parents and the teachers.
And so, and so it’s just like, oh, my gosh, just that the necessity of rebellion against. The generations above you has been going on since there’s been generations above you. Like it’s just there’s that we’re going to do it differently. We’re going to do it better. I’m not going to be like my parents. I’m not going to be like my brother.
I’m not going to be like, you know, if I was a teacher, I wouldn’t like, it’s just, we have to go through that individuation. So we’ve got to find somewhere where there’s conflict. To define clear who we are. And it’s like, wow, that’s just brutal when you’re talking about a relationship or a family or parenting, because it’s like, no, I want to have just a nice, happy family.
And, and when I say go clean your room, they go, sure, dad, and put their finger in their dimple and skip over and clean their room. So many of our conversations around motivational interviewing go back to a place of me like wanting this fairy land of goodness. And it, it. Reminds me of how important that conflict is.
It helps us grow. It helps us get better. It helps us to identify and really claim who we are. but with that said, so teenagers go through this and what, what is the gift of parenting to the, the parent to say, okay, here’s an opportunity for you to actually get to know you a little bit better and grow as a person.
It is. And, and just, and this is, I, because this is so fresh because this is a literally today situation, the, how lucky I feel to understand some of these concepts and be able to, to try to employ them in my life on any given day, you know, one of the twins grades. And I look kind of dimensionally of why the grade is so low.
So what she has a C and an F, which is, and she’s so flipping smart. So my natural reaction, when I see that is like. You are freaking kidding me. Like this is happened. And then what I love about my relationship with motivation, I’m going to thinking of parenting this way is. And the only thing that’s going to do is generate conflict, and it doesn’t mean there’s not accountability, but I don’t have to be accountable for her grades.
She gets to choose to be accountable to it, and she gets the rewards or the benefits or the consequences if she doesn’t attend to that. So, as you know, you know, as I’m co parenting and we’re texting back and forth, I said, you know, I really, let’s take a motivational approach to this, which means I’m going to take a deep breath and get back into equipoise, which means it’s not my grade.
and just to be clear, like we have about what are the consequences if your grades below fall below a certain level, you don’t get to spend time with your boyfriend, you, you know, you don’t get to stay up late and this is going to affect your allowance because you get your allowance based on your jobs, which is school and sports.
So if you’re not going to do your job, that’s totally fine. You just don’t get paid for it. and you don’t get the benefits because that time should be spent studying, but I’m not mad at you. You know what you’re at, whatever you’re doing and how you think you’re gonna get your grade up. That’s you’re gonna, you’re gonna choose to navigate that.
That’s yours to navigate. Maybe you think you’re gonna be able to pull the plane out of the nosedive and, and, and not, you know, think you’re gonna get an A out of the class or be out of class. You know yourself best. You know the teacher best. You know what the expectations that class are way better than I do.
So to tell you what I would do and how I would, you know, put my nose to the grindstone and I need to do my homework and that’s what I had to do to get my grades up and you need to do that. We’re going to block out time where you’re doing two hours of homework a night, like all the places that my brain organically wants to go.
I just know will create conflict and it will not increase a sustained behavior change. So I don’t want to contribute to something I know is not going to create a sustained behavior change that’s values driven that’s, and it’s, and all of a sudden there’s a piece that washes over me going, Oh, I don’t have to choose this for her.
all I get to choose is to, you know, to be able to lay out clearly what the benefits and what the consequences are, based on her choices. And then she has, she has a freedom to choose. And that’s one of the best things I can do as a parent. That’s really big right there, Casey, for what some conversations you and I have had that.
Have had maybe some tension and conflict is because I’m such an idealist a lot of the time, because I have, whatever in that viewpoint that can make me lose. Touch with maybe a certain level of reality or, or pragmatism or, you know, something that your approach is putting guidelines, it’s putting cost and benefits out there.
You’re not just saying, well, I’m going to be so values based that you can go out and run into the street with firing, you know, guns metaphorically, right? Like, there’s something going on that you are putting up and coming up with and Bumpers, as it were, some people might say, well, aren’t you being, and this is where you and I have had these conversation.
Well, you’re manipulating, you’re using, am I on your kids then to get them to do what you want them to do? And I know we don’t have a ton of time more here, but. I think, and we have podcasts on this with equipoise podcast and these others, but I’m wondering how you navigate kind of your own ethics as a parent to like, how do you put out those boundaries?
Cause that’s part of the orchestration. How do you know what is healthy? Or do you go off of like. You know what you can sense is healthy for them because it seems like as long as your intention is to help them get their behaviors in alignment with their values. That’s what you said is there’s a lot of things that can do that, even if it feels a little like that.
But how would you know, how do you do that as a parent to like, how would you know what kind of boundaries to put up? Like you use that REI example of getting in line and allowing them to go out and potentially smoke weed that with friends that are going to be there or not, or like. How do you know, as a parent, maybe you don’t have an answer for that, but how do you orchestrate that like to have like highlighting the choice with a little bit of boundary?
I don’t know. I think part of this is also based on when you, when you talk, the things you’re talking about, John, is I do think it comes down to what as a parent are your values or your belief systems. I don’t believe my children were clean slates when they came into this world because. I know when they slipped into this world, they were two, as twins, they were two completely different individuals from the moment they took their first breath.
Like, I could see they were wildly different individuals, and that they were not clean slates. At this stage, at 14 years old, going on 15, what I do genuinely believe, because of the way that I’ve chosen to live my life around them, and the way that we’ve kind of tried to raise a family, is that… I know that each of them have very distinct values, some that are very aligned with mine and some that are not aligned with mine, and I don’t get a choice over that at this point at 14 or 15 years old.
So, I have to believe that if I create the space and the clarity of the top of their mountain, that they’re going to want to gravitate or drift towards the top of the mountain, even though they may take some… You know, some off roads or off ramps that I wouldn’t choose for them, but I can’t control it.
And there, it’s just, it’s crazy making to think you can control someone else’s behavior, even as a parent. And so there’s a point of not, it’s not necessarily surrender. It’s more investing in, I want to continue to invest in their values and articulating their values and what values do they espouse. And then just holding the mirror up is their behavior in alignment with it.
Those, you know, core constructs. Thinking motivationally, excuse me, with the boundary you’ve put in that, that’s what I’m curious about, especially as we’re coming, like you didn’t said, well, you aren’t going to get your allowance or you’re not going to be able to go on that date. It seems like there’s something to be said for the responsibility of parenting that you’re getting that that’s part of the orchestration is beyond just believing that they have inherent values or values you brought in.
That there’s something to be said that you’re guiding informed choice along the way, in a way that’s as ethical as you possibly can. Am I being a way to be as ethical as you can, if you’re going to have any boundaries, because you are the one saying it is your values, but you choose kind of in these lines, kind of like, you know, love and logic and some of these other things that are out there.
So it seems like you’re getting clear, like. This is a healthy choice to put this boundary up. I think this is a perfect segue because this, my, my final question was now connected dots for me, cause you opened with mindfulness and gentleness are not always together. And I feel like this brings it full circle to, the gentleness that comes in into play in that story that you shared with your daughter.
It’s just like, yeah, there are boundaries there. I’m going to remind you of those and then invite you. Into it’s your choice, but the energy of it’s your choice could be that compliance vibe, or it could be that gentleness of, I genuinely want you to make the best decision for you, whatever that is. Yeah.
The way that I connect those dots, you know, in these, in these kind of the final thoughts around it is it’s no different than I think of. It keeps popping in my brain about quiet quitting, like as a leader. If people are not going to do their job, they’re not going to get a paycheck like they’re, or they’re not going to continue to, they’re not going to continue to be employed.
That’s not because I’m mad at them. It’s just not a fit. It’s the same thing. If you’re not going to follow through on the things that you have kind of on paper handshook as a Parent and a child said, yes, I’ll clean my room. Yes, I’ll do this. Did we agree on these things for allowance? What about how much do you think is fair?
And once we kind of shake hands on that, it’s not that I’m going to try to make them be good business kids to understand how the real world works. It just is, that is how the real world works. So I don’t need to preach. That’s how the real world works. I just need to show them. That’s how the real world works is once we kind of agree on something, if you don’t follow through.
There could be consequences. And if you do follow through, there tends to be benefit from that. But you get to choose. You really do get to choose. You get to choose for kind of a range that seems like a fair allowance. What feels like you’re getting an allowance for what? What do you want to put under that column?
And if you choose to follow through on it, things will go well. And if you choose not to, they’re probably not going to be as smooth. but it’s not that you’re gonna, it’s not the, I don’t have to, I don’t have to introduce shame and guilt because They just get the consequences and they get a feel how they.
They feel about that. That’s part of their own individual development. I love it. What a wonderful podcast. What a wonderful invitation to parents, to get more present with themselves, mindful with themselves and their values and to really. themselves choose. How do you want to move forward and and support your kids?
So it’s a nice tell you that it’s just a nice deep breath and it’s an exhale from a lot of the weight that can be on your shoulders as a parent. That’s the making too, because it’s like, what if you agree on something, you know, with your kids about boundaries and there’s some disagreement. So We’ll see what comes up next, but I really appreciate you guys.
Thanks so much to all the listeners out there. reach out. Don’t hesitate to connect with us if you’d like more information or some help around parenting or anything related to communication. Thanks guys. Thanks.
Thank you for listening to the communication solution podcast with Casey Jackson and John Gilbert. As always, this podcast is about empowering you on your journey to change the world. So if you have questions, suggestions, or ideas, send them our way at Casey@IFIOC.Com. That’s CASEY@IFIOC.COM. For more information or to schedule a training, visit IFIOC.Com. Until our next communication solution podcast, keep changing the world.