I’m Ben Pugh and you’re listening to Impact Parenting with perspective. Episode number 113, this podcast is all about helping parents manage the mental and emotional drama that comes with parenting teens. So they can focus on what’s most important building rock, solid relationships, and having a powerful impact on their teen’s life. Join me each week as I dive into real tools to help you and your team turn struggles in frustrates.
Hello guys. Welcome back to the episode. Today’s episode. Welcome back to the podcast. I have a special guest with me today, and apparently I’m nervous and I can’t even speak correctly, but today we’re going to be talking about back to school, maybe some of the back to school, butterflies. That’s a good title. Ooh. That’s probably going to be the guys.
I don’t plan that stuff. I just go, but we have Daelene Byam. She is one of the Firmly Founded coaches who specifically coaches, teens, and she is known in our industry as the anxiety coach. So Daelene welcome to my podcast. Thank you for joining me. And let’s just dive in, what are we doing back to school butterflies? Or how do we fix that?
How do we fix it? Oh my gosh. I love that. You just said, how do we fix that? Cause you know what I’m going to say there. Thank you so much for having me, Ben. I’m so excited. I’m Ben’s biggest fan and he knows it. Awesome. She’s also a member of the Firmly Founded family. So we’re we just,
we work together to take over the world in a good way by helping. Yeah. Yes. Ben coaches, my son, I have one son that still lives at home and Ben coaches him and he just worships Ben. That’s awesome. We have fun. And we have good productive sessions. Yes, yes. And I appreciate it. Cause so often I’m like,
oh, you’re struggling with this. You just go talk to Ben about that. We’re doing it all sorted out and he’sgood. Yeah. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. Okay. So the reason I love that you said that is because I, even though I coach on anxiety constantly, I never say that we’re going to get rid of those anxiety feelings because I think that adds so much pressure on our kids when we feel like that needs to happen,
that anxiety needs to be taken away or there’s something wrong because they’re feeling anxious or something wrong has happened because of that. So Yeah, I love that take. So I’m a 40 year old man who is unwilling to grow up and I just, I love football. So I help with football as much as I can. Sometimes I’m volunteering at the local high school.
Sometimes I’m doing literally my second oldest is playing little league and I’ve helped my oldest enough. I might want to take a break from high school and coach little league this year. I’m a 40 year old man. And I still get anxious and I still get nervous. Like every time football season, like you get the kind of crisp summer mornings and I’m like the butterflies come back.
It’s just, it’s like, I’ve conditioned myself to be nervous. But I remember one time a player, like he was super nervous throwing up. He’s like, when does this go away? And I’m like, if you’re a good player, never, if you care about it, you will always be a little bit anxious before the game. And it doesn’t mean anything’s gone wrong.
It just means like, this is important to me. I want to win. I want to perform well. So obviously I’m anxious. So I love that. You talked about how we don’t need to take it away. We don’t need to get rid of it. So what do we need to do? Yeah. I think even that’s such a huge thing.
Cause I mean, I have a daughter-in-law and she called me up one day and was like, I am so anxious about, and I can’t remember what it was about, about, but she was so anxious about it and she goes, help me get rid of it. And they just said, we can’t get rid of it is so fine. You should be anxious.
That’d be weird if you weren’t. And I think that’s such a huge thing is telling our kids or ourselves, it would be so weird if you weren’t anxious in this situation, that would be abnormal. You’d probably be a psychopath. Right? Exactly. And so the second I told her, this is so normal. You should be anxious. This is big decisions you’re making in your life.
As an adult, you should be anxious. She was like, whoa, that just feels so much better. She said, because there’s so much pressure on her trying to think that we have to get rid of that anxiety and that it shouldn’t be there. And that we’re weird because of it. But just that thought of this is normal. It’s okay.
I should feel it. I am anxious and it’s okay that I’m anxious and, and I can still be anxious and go out and play my football game or whatever it is. Go out on the stage, go to school. Right. I, I can still be anxious and walk out the door to school today. Yeah. A couple of things I want to bring up.
I’ve talked about it before. This is not my favorite TV show is pretty good. And the second season was this terrible, but there’s this TV show called Locke and Key. And there’s this girl who like, the show’s weird, but you can like go into your brain and see like removed fear from her life. And it was cool in the beginning because she did all this stuff that she was afraid of.
She talked to the cute boys is stood up for herself. Like she did all of this, but as things progressed, like she was getting more and more and more reckless because she didn’t have that fear to kind of balance things. And I think anxiety is similar. A lot of kids would like to just cut it out. And a lot of parents too,
like parents come to me all the time and they’re like, my kid is so anxious. What do I do? And I’m like, well, be the change you want to see. Like if you’re tired of how anxious and nervous and worried your teenager is stop being anxious and worried about your teenager, that’s just unproductive thinking. And when we can realize it,
isn’t going away, there’s nothing wrong now, how do we harness it? And I got, I took some heat once from another life coach. And I don’t know if someone might listen to this and DM me or something and be like, you’re so dumb, but there’s a very fine line between excitement and anxiety. And I think sometimes they go hand in hand and as a football coach,
I want my players to be excited. I would rather have too much energy than too little energy. Cause I’ve coached games where you’re just in a slump, the energy is not there. And I would rather have some excitement, have a little bit of anxiety in there. And I’m curious, what are your thoughts when it comes to anxiety and its relationship with excitedness?
Like how do those two go together? I think for me it feels like it in their bodies, it feels the same, right? That it gives them that adrenaline rush. And you’re right, like as an athlete, because all my boys are athletes. They need that adrenaline rush to perform well. And it’s so helpful to them when they have that.
And then you’re right. They perform better. Whether one of my boys, he performed well when he was mad. That’s when he played his best games. When someone got under his skin and he played his best games, but I think it’s all feels the same within your body. It’s just what you’re thinking about it. So it’s same with like, like I’ve had clients that are scared of roller coasters and clients that love roller coasters,
but I think they’re both feeling the exact same thing on that. Right. It’s just their thoughts about it. One of them’s like holy crap I’m gonna die and one of them’s like, I love this. This is the most amazing thing ever. But the feel the, the, the sensations that are going through their body is the exact same thing. They’re,
they’re kind of got that sickness to their stomach or excitement kind of thing to their stomach they’re they got that adrenaline rush going through them. They’re they’re shaking. So I do agree. I think there is that little bit of fine line thing is just what’s going through their head about it. And if they can kind of calm that anxiety part of it down a little bit,
I think it just makes a huge difference. So I wanted to touch too. The part where you said about parents showing, like being the example of that too. I just, I, I say this constantly, like what my second son is the one that was so anxious and he’s the one where I, that I really had to educate myself on anxiety.
And I constantly would tell myself I never was anxious until I had an anxious child. He cause so much anxiety for me. And it wasn’t until I learned that I could be different. I didn’t have to be anxious when he was anxious. Because if we, as parents are anxious, when our child is anxious, then it’s just a whole new thing.
So they’re going down this rabbit hole of anxiety. And if you’re down the rabbit hole of anxiety with them, nobody’s there to help pull them out because you’re down there with them. But as a parent, if we’re standing on top of that hole and being calm and collective and telling ourselves nothing’s gone wrong, that it’s okay, they’re feeling anxious. It’s so fine.
Then we can help them so much better than being there with them and commiserating in their anxiety. Yeah. And let’s talk about that for a second. You mentioned how you didn’t have anxiety until you had a child with anxiety. Human beings are herd animals. We are really good at sensing what other people are feeling. And then we try and feel the same thing.
Like when we go to a movie and the main character’s love interest dies or something like we are feeling sad because we’re seeing that they’re feeling sad and we want to experience the same thing. This is really good. Like this is a human trait that we need to keep. Yeah. However, there are also times like you see this when one person panics and then the next person panics and then it just escalates or you’ll see it oftentimes in arguments where someone’s angry and they just get louder and louder and louder.
When you have a teenager with anxiety, realize that as a herd animal, it’s natural that you’re going to start to feel anxious as well. And you’re just going to mirror back what they’re feeling, but also realize that you have the power to exhibit confidence, trust some of these other emotions. And your teenager is a herd animal too. So if you can demonstrate this,
if you can model this type of energy, that will help them. And this kind of goes into, I’m not an expert in co-regulation, but I think there’s this problem where people aren’t co-regulating and that’s when we kind of escalate or a spiral down together. And there is the opposite where we can co-regulate. Whereas I can see that you are super anxious and man,
I’d get that school starting next week. I completely get how that can be scary. But man, I’m just so excited for you. You’re going to have so much fun. Like we can help regulate the emotion by being intentional about our emotional energy. Yeah, totally. I think like worry is one of those emotions that we love to share with people.
We’re like, I’m so worried about this. And then we start sharing it with everybody and we want everyone to feel it with us. It’s so funny. But as a parent, I think the thing to do is, yeah, like you said, is not mirror that back to them, but also acknowledge it. And like you said, I can see that you’re anxious about this,
but I think it’s really important to not like tell them that they shouldn’t be feeling that way. It’s such a hard thing to tell for, for your child to be like, I shouldn’t be feeling this way, what or telling them that everything’s going to be okay, or where it’s going to all work out. It’s going to be fine because one, they’re not going to believe you because they’re anxious and then they’re not going to believe you when you tell them other things.
But two, they really start to think there’s something wrong with them. And because mom and dad are trying to fix it and tell them that it’s okay, that they shouldn’t be feeling that way or that they should be feeling that it’s all gonna be fine. It’s all gonna work out. And then, and then they’re going to start holding it in and not tell you.
Yeah. And that’s where I think it’s important to allow them to feel it like, man, yeah, I understand you are anxious. But man, this is how I feel and show them that there’s different options. There’s different opportunities. I remember since it’s kind of back to school season for us, not quite for you guys in Canada, you guys have a few more weeks,
But we got a few more weeks. I’ve got clients in Arizona that have already started school. And my kids are telling me, dad, we need to go school shopping. We just did that like a year ago. But apparently we need to do it again. Yeah. I remember one year as principal, we got a letter from the state and it wasn’t very nice.
They didn’t like saying, you guys don’t fix this blah, blah, blah. We’re going to shut you guys down. And I remember everyone around the tribe that I worked for, the tribal community, everyone was just so worried. And I was like, man, I was worried like, what if I lose my job? What if this, what if this?
And I realized I can be the one person who has a different energy. And I started exploring like, what am I nervous about? Well, I don’t want to do get shut down. I don’t want to lose my job. I don’t want people to think I’m a bad principal. And then I started exploring what are my options? Like some of the things that they told me,
we couldn’t do, let’s do it. Like, what’s the worst that’s going to happen. They’re going to set us down either way. And all of a sudden, I just had this confidence, like, no, the thing that they’ve not been letting us do, that’s we’re going. And just by having that confidence, everyone around me started being like,
dude, this guy has a plan. Let’s get on this ship. Let’s go. And I had more support after giving that mean letter from the state. And that’s when things really started to turn around for our school. So the power I, when I coach parents, a lot of times I’ll bring up Tom Brady and you want to be calm, confident,
collected in the huddle. Everyone else can be crazy, but your calming effect will calm everyone else in the huddle and help get better outcomes. So you coach within our membership, plus you have your own private one-on-one coaching with teens. What are some of the things that you hear about a lot when it comes to going back to school and being anxious? Like what are the things that teens are anxious about?
Oh, so many things, right? Friends. What if I have a mean teacher? What if I don’t get in the classes I want? What if they’re too hard? I just, yesterday I had one kid say that he had to choose between being on academic probation or take some easier classes that wouldn’t get him into the college he wanted. So,
I mean, there’s just so much that’s put in front of them, but it goes into escalating even more. Like what if I can’t find my locker? What if I can’t figure out my combination? What if I have no friends? What if I can’t figure out where to park my car? Like just all these things. There’s just so many in it.
And the problem is, is once they get into that cycle of what-ifs, it just starts to really escalator and it just spirals. And then it’s so out of control. So I think a good way to, to talk to your teenager when they’re starting to do that is less think of some ways that we can handle that situation And sit down and work it through with them.
Each, whether you think they’re silly or not, because they’re not silly to them. They’re, those are real things to them. And so if you could sit down and, and figure out how to handle every one of those situations that are going through their head, then they’re going to feel a little bit more confident when those things come up. And some of them might not come up.
But even like, like I had a son who was, when he first started driving a car, he was so anxious about going and getting gas, you know? And the, what ifs would just escalate. What if my debit card didn’t work? What if I, the pump couldn’t work? What if I drove up and was on the wrong side of the car and the gas is on the other side,
like just all these what ifs. And so we just slowly built into it for him. So I’d, I’d go with him the first time and he’d go get gas and he’d do it himself. And then the next time I’d be like, okay, I’m going to come get gas at the same time as you in my vehicle. And I’ll be right there.
And then the next time I’m going to, you know, I’ll just be at home and you can call me if you need anything, just so just slowly building it in. So kind of the same kind of thing, like obviously you wouldn’t be able to do that with school, but driving past the school a few times and being like, there’s a school that you’re going to go to as can be so great.
And talking about the positive parts, what are the things that you like about the school? What are the things that you think are going to be fun? Or if they’re worried about parking their car, like one of my boys would go early to school too, so he could park his car where he thought that he needed to park his car. Cause he was so nervous about the parking lot,
the student parking, because of course it’s chaos. So we’d just go in, like, where are you going to park your car? Where do you want to park it? How do you think you’re going to do that? Just working it through slowly for them so that they feel confident to what they’re doing. I love that. So in a way you kind of harness the power of that fear or that anxiety and put that energy to work on,
totally solving the problem, coming up with solutions. One of the other things I like to do, so I believe that anxiety is a symptom of a deeper cause and some people will argue, but I believe that anxiety worry, stress, even fear sometimes are just the symptom of unproductive thinking. And a lot of times we get into catastrophizing and this is really kind of one of the sucky parts of having a big,
old, huge prefrontal cortex. We can imagine things, we can make stuff up. We can think about things we can think about thinking about things. And we can think about thinking about thinking about it’s just deep. And sometimes we start catastrophizing and that prefrontal cortex is like, well, what if, what if I’m giving gas, someone drops a cigarette and the whole gas station, explodes like I’ve seen in the movies thousand times. And when we can understand, I am not my thoughts. I am the thinker of my thoughts. And right now I’m feeling anxious because I am engaged in unproductive thinking. And one of the things I like to do catastrophizing is typically like worst case scenario. And it just builds on itself. I like to ask my teen.
Yeah, that could totally happen. But what if like everyone set their alarm clocks for the wrong time? And they’re like the first one at school and it was super easy. Like you got the best parking spot. That is way more productive thinking than all of the, what ifs and our worst case scenarios are. So what’s the word I’m looking for?
Not likely, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taught teens about this unproductive thinking and kind of giving them, man, if you’re going to think worst case scenario, you’ve got to at least intentionally think best case scenario. And I can’t tell you how many times teens have come back to me and been like, dude, you would not believe it.
Like the worst case scenario was like, the school blows up and we all die. But the best case scenario was like this crazy thing. That’s great. And they’re like, that actually happened. Like the cute girl came up and talked to me and blah, blah, blah. I believe our thoughts create our reality. If you’re anxious, You’re focusing on crappy stuff.
That’s going to create a crappy reality. Explore new options. Be more productive. Yeah. I love that. I love talking with my clients saying what you’re looking for is what you’re going to find. So it’s just like, like if you decide that you really like a certain type of vehicle, all of a sudden you can see that vehicle everywhere, everywhere you go.
You’re seeing that vehicle. Cause you’re looking for it. Right. So same kind of concept is if you’re looking for all the great things that are going to be at school, you’re going to find them and you’re going to see them. If like one of my boys would be like, there’s no cute girls anywhere. Or there’s no cute girls at school,
but I’m like, well, if you start looking for cute girls, you’re actually going to see that there’s a lot of cute girls, but you’d have to be looking for it. But if you’re looking for that, there’s no cute girls. Of course there’s no cute girls. You’re right. A hundred percent. So a good thing as a parent to get them to do that is to start talking to them about the positive things that they do.
I’m not telling you to start making up stuff about your teenager. I don’t want you to make stuff up or, or try talking to them about things that aren’t true about them, but find the things that they’re really good at and start telling them how good they are at it. Pick one thing, focus on it, focus on it for a whole month even,
and tell them every day, you know, when you do that, when you talk to adults, you’re so good at it. You’re so easy. It comes so easy for you. You know, when, when you’re talking to so-and-so, you’ve talked so well to them. Like you were so good at talking to adults and every time you see it just reiterating that same thing to them.
And the funny thing is, after a few weeks, even a month, they’ll start to say to you, yeah, I was talking to so-and-so this adult, my teacher, whatever is because I’m so good at talking to adults, they’re going to start believing it, inspiring it themselves. Cause they all teenagers have a hard time finding and looking for that positive.
But if you start instilling it into them and then they’ll and telling them constantly, then they’re going to start to see it. Sometimes we have to kind of direct them to the positive for them to see it. Yeah. I love that thing right now with the back to school. If your teen is feeling nervous and anxious and worried, help build that foundation,
help them see that they are prepared when it comes to your teenager’s model. Sorry guys. When it comes to your teenager’s model, you can’t control their thoughts. You can’t control their feelings or their actions, but you can be intentional about yours and you can choose to focus on how prepared your teen is. You can choose to believe that which will help you feel confident.
And part of the problem with the world right now is that we’re going around copying people’s models. That completely suck you as a parent can be intentional. And you can like put back to school in your circumstance line and explore. How do I wish my teen would think about school? Oh man, I wish they would think they were going to be awesome.
I would’ve said thing and everything you wish your teen would do to stick that in your intensive model, you do that. And that’s when it comes to like, I’m really liking the term back to school, butterflies, like when it comes to your teens back to school, butterflies, the most powerful thing you can do as a parent is manage your back to school butterflies.
And probably the second most powerful thing you can do is sign you and your teen up for our Firmly Founded family and get them some one-on-one coaching with Daelene, Yeah, totally, totally. Oh, I’ve been doing back to school. I feel like it has kind of shifted to back to school coaching right now. And that’s what we’ve been doing a lot about.
And I just think having the teens see that they have control over so many things because they feel like they have no control of, they have no control over going to school. They have no control over what time they have to get up for school. They have no control over some of the electives that they have to take. Right? There’s so many things that they don’t have control over,
but showing them what they do have control over what can they have control over and, and help them take control of those things. So setting even simple things like getting them to set their own alarm And getting themselves up and choosing how much time they need to get ready and what they need to do to prepare themselves like just giving those. Like, I mean,
we don’t allow our teenagers to have phones in their rooms, but we make it easy for them to set their own alarm by getting them like a little device, like, you know, the little echo or whatever in their rooms so that they can set their own alarm and be responsible for some of their own things. It’s given them the money to go buy their own school supplies,
just score, you know, say, let’s give what, what can we do here? Like can go buy your own school supplies, pick what you want to choose, teach them some coping skills and give them a bunch to choose from and say, which one do you think would work really well for you? You know? And then send them to the grocery store.
Let’s why don’t you go buy your own stuff for your lunch or I’ll go with you and you buy what you want for your lunch this week. Let’s get that worked out too. That kind of stuff. So, Yeah. I love that. One thing I would add. I remember, I don’t know. You’ve probably experienced this too. Remember like when you had worked like Monday through Friday,
you’d be all excited for Friday. You’d get off of work on Friday and you’re just pumped and excited. And then Saturday comes and you’re having a good time. And then Sunday comes and you’re miserable and you’re like, oh, I have to come to work on Monday. And like Sunday, would it be almost as bad as Monday because you’re dreading it so much,
right? Guys be where you are. If you’re on, if it’s Sunday and you’re nervous for work, be in Sunday, enjoy a Sunday, enjoy the time off all those worries. All those fears that come with Monday, those are outside of your control because they’re in the future. So just be where you are with summer coming to a close and school,
starting back up, be where you are. If you have two weeks left, enjoy the last two weeks of summer, don’t spend it dreading the impendent school year, be where you are, focus on what you can control and make the best of it. I love that. I was reading some stuff on back to school the other day. And it was talking about like getting your kid in a routine the week before,
we’re like the opposite at our house. We come screaming in because we don’t start till after labor day, we come screaming in Monday night late. I Know, I know we’ve pushed summer to the very last minute because I love that. Be where you are, like just enjoy every moment of where you’re at. And I, I mean, you do have to put some things a little bit.
If you have an anxious child, they are going to want a few things like a haircut and some school supplies and all that kind of Stuff. So clothes to wear to school. But if you have a kid like our last kid right now that you coach, he’s just so easy going and he, he could care less about any of that stuff. So we just push it and just enjoy it to the very last minute.
And I love it so much. Yeah. And there’s no right or wrong way to start your routine right now. If you want like do it the night before and whatever, we kind of do a hybrid, like we’re going to go out and have as much fun as we can these last few weeks that we have. But we’re also kind of starting to get the kids to bed a little bit are there and saying,
Hey, we’ve got to practice being functional in the morning because we have school coming up, but really just be where you are and enjoy it. Let’s wrap up here, but real quick and tell everyone listening, what do you do within the Firmly Founded membership? And why is that? So freaking awesome. Oh, I love coaching and Firmly Founded memberships.
So mostly I do the one-on-one coaching with the teens. I think they opened me up for young adults too, but I just have teen sign up right now, but I love coaching with young adults too, or the college aged kids, but they just sign up for 25 minutes session. And once, once a month, is it once a month still Ben or did he have the option to do more?
I think they have the option to do more. Yeah. We’re going to open up the option to get your one-on-one coaching a-la-carte. So right now, when you get into the family program, you get access to our weekly group calls for teens, for parents, we meet three or four times a month. You get access to all of that. And we were having so many parents that were like,
man, the one session that comes with the package are the two that I have. We have different packages right now. What we’ve done is we’ve made it so you can just purchase one-on-one coaching a-la-carte and it’s just 50 bucks a session. So when you get inside the membership, I know like seriously, who is offering I, yeah, that is so amazing because you’re getting some amazing coaches for a fraction of the cost that we usually are.
So it’s just, it’s such an amazing opportunity. Yeah. And that is one of our, we have a few goals that Firmly Founded. We want to get a thousand families in here. We want to help a thousand families just make this school year better than the last make dinners at home, have less fighting and more laughing. Right? That’s our goal.
And we want this to be accessible and affordable. So our doors are open all of August, spoiler alert. Don’t guys, don’t tell Joey that I’m telling you this, but we might actually just keep our doors open all of September too, I don’t know. But if you start up school and your teen is having a hard time and they’re anxious or they’re depressed or they’re down,
or you know what, they had a pretty good school year, last year, but I want to help them completely dominate now is a really good time to sign them up. And the family membership, the whole family gets access to it. So you sign up your team, guess what? You can come to some of our parenting calls as well. So with that Daelene you are a fantastic coach.
Oh, did you want to tell them about you have your own private business do you wan to tell them that? Yeah. I do my own private coaching. I have a 16 week program, anxious teens, basically. It is it. And I’m on my own website daelenebyam.com or on Instagram @AnxietyCoachDaelene so pretty easy to find. Yeah.
All right guys, thank you for listening. If you have a teen is going back to school and they’ve got the back to school, butterflies, I just can’t say that enough. It just sounds so good. Come sign up for the Firmly Founded family. If you have a teen, who’s going back to school. I guarantee you, you know, other parents who have teens going back to school,
share this episode with them and help us grow this podcast that helps me help more parents just like you. So thank you in advance for sharing the love and helping us grow. And we’ll see you next week. Thanks for coming on Daelene. Thanks for having me, Ben, Thank you for listening to this episode of Impact Parenting with perspective. If you found any of this helpful and would like to get some one-on-one help with parenting your team head over to Firmly Founded.com/parent,
and learn more about our parenting membership today. I’ll see you guys inside.