Aug 4, 2023
How can we dial up relationships with our maturing kids and help them launch well? Today's guest, Colleen O'Grady, offers clinical and personal insights to guide parents on how to support adolescents and twenty-somethings toward successful experiences as adults.
Colleen O'Grady, MA, LPC is a licensed therapist and life coach who helps moms reduce drama, reclaim their lives, and dial up the dream with their teens and young adults. Colleen has a thriving private practice in Houston, TX and coaches moms from around the world. Colleen is also the creator of Power Your Parenting: How to Reconnect with Your Teen (and Reclaim Your Life). This is a seven-week program with like-minded moms designed to transform negative patterns (drama) into a healthy, fun, loving connection with your teen while you reclaim a life you love. Colleen is the host of the Power Your Parenting: Moms with Teens podcast, which has been ranked the number one podcast on parenting teens.
Colleen shares how her experience as a mother shaped the content she provides. She explains how parents and children sharpen one another in a mutual process of character shaping.
We discuss the importance of receptivity and teachability in a parent's perspective. We must prioritize listening over lecturing and transition from serving as monitors toward roles as consultants. O'Grady warns that it's all too easy during our children's teen years to fall into the trap of becoming a 24/7 monitor. Parents often focus too intently on data points, performance, and achievement at the expense of attending to our relationships. When a child leaves home, we can't monitor them. They're not obligated to maintain a close relationship with us after they move out of the house. If we don't parent with the relationship in mind, we will sabotage our long-term connection with them and also lose the opportunity to speak into our children's lives.
Colleen states that the greatest challenge of shifting our role from monitor to consultant can be keeping our mouths shut.
O'Grady explains that the quality of our kids' attachment correlates to their health and success as adults.
Parents should not aim to become their children's best friends, but they also should not set themselves up as their enemies. Parents need to learn to let go of managing their kids' lives. We offer the greatest benefit to our children by helping them learn to self-manage.
Parents will continue to have a role to play as consultants, partly due to the incomplete maturation of a young adult's brain. Parents cannot control adult children but can speak into their lives.
O'Grady discusses the issues parents struggle with as their young adults individuate, including fear of losing parental control and grief over the loss of the parental role. She offers the following tips to help parents cope with this transition in healthy ways for them and their young adult children:
Colleen recommends a strength-based approach and teaching your young adult to use what they have to move forward in a healthy way.
We discuss the struggle parents experience with worry versus trust.
O'Grady recommends an exercise in which parents journal gratitude, movement, and delight regarding their young adults.
We discuss the issues of grief and identity crisis experienced after children leave home. Colleen assures parents that God has a dream for them that isn't over. A mother's developmental step at this stage is to start reconnecting to herself. O'Grady suggests exploring options like volunteer work, education, a career shift, travel, or revisiting a deferred dream.
Colleen states that finding things that make you fully alive improves your relationship with your grown kids.
Connect with Colleen O'Grady, check out her podcast, and get a copy of Dial up the Dream at https://colleenogrady.com/.
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