Today, I want to present to you a bonus episode that was recorded quite a bit ago. And I didn’t want this to not to be aired for you. Because the information that Karen presents with this is sincerely awesome. 

Karen Vincent provides solutions to help Boss Ladies transform their lives and is an expert on teenagers and how to raise them, how to take care of conflict with them so that as a mom and a boss lady, you can feel confident, successful, energized, vibrant and truly have it all.

And this time, Karen talks about how to parent a teenager with health issues. And it is super insightful. Karen is absolutely awesome.

She has a lot of things that she shares about and I want you to take advantage of the information available in this episode because it is GOLD.  

What we talk about:

  • how to parent a teenager with health issues
  • why teens are so difficult to understand
  • what act the stressors that make teenagers act rebellious generally
  • what parents should do so they can help with a situation rather than making it worse
  • how do you handle or protect your child if he has a chronic disease
  • three tips to help parents to stay in control of themselves when they’re having issues with teens

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Let me know what you think about our conversation and if you have any questions!!! 

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 MGMarilena Grittani0:10Hello, and welcome to The Legal Drug Dealer podcast where you would get health and prescription drug education advice. So you can take control of your own health by making your own decisions. My name is Marilena Grittani. I am a clinical pharmacist with experience in community pharmacy, like the ones that you go and get prescription drugs, stay with me and learn from my experience and the experience of experts that I have invited to educate us. Why The Legal Drug Dealer you might ask well, as a pharmacist, ideal drugs, and it is a legal job. So I think it’s funny to call myself The Legal Drug Dealer. So that’s the name of my podcast. Here you have the next episode.MGMarilena Grittani0:49Hi there. Today, I want to present to you a bonus episode that was recorded quite a bit ago. And I didn’t want this to not to be aired for you. Because the information that Karen presents with this is sincerely awesome. She is an expert on teenagers and how to raise your kids how to take care of conflict with them. And this time we chat about how to parent a teenager with health issues. And it is super insightful. Karen is absolutely awesome. I wish I had her when I was raising my teens. And I really wanted to take advantage of this information because it’s gold. And Karen has so much information in her own place in your website and her facebook group that you must follow her if you have teenagers or you’re about to because it is very, very insightful. So without any more information, I’ll leave you with the chat.MGMarilena Grittani1:45So welcome Karen Vincent to The Legal Drug Dealer podcast.KVKaren Vincent1:49Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. I’m thrilled to be here.MGMarilena Grittani1:53Me too, with there’s a lot of information that I hope I had from you. Seven years ago when my kids started to become teenagers. And I’m sad that I never knew about people, experts like you. And that’s why exactly I wanted you to come over to our podcast and give moms that are listening or dads that are listening out there of the possibilities. Because when I was raising my teenagers, I had no clue and I was a step mom. So I was super lost. And I would love to have somebody to guide me and make me see stuff that I couldn’t saw. And that’s exactly what I want to do with this episode for all the moms and dads that are out there and grandparents, right. There are foster parents or even adoptive parents that have no idea how to do this. But before we start, I want to know what is your profession? And how long ago did you graduate from this?KVKaren Vincent2:46I graduated from Boston University in 2000 as a clinical social worker, and then became licensed as quickly as I could after that. So I’ve been doing this for quite a while. And then actually in 2008, I also became certified as a life coach. So I have kind of, you know, the combination of the clinical as well as a coaching background that I bring to this work that I do.MGMarilena Grittani3:10Excellent, excellent. So what kind of jobs have you done as a social worker? which areas did you work?KVKaren Vincent3:16I’ve actually worked in quite a bit, but throughout the common thread throughout all of my time has been in working with teens and their parents. So I started out working community based work, it was called outreach and tracking and working with at risk youth. And then I moved into residential programs, therapeutic boarding schools, group homes, I provide clinical services in detention facilities, as well as community based programs. And so I started as a clinician, and then I moved to doing also some director and oversight and program development work in all of those settings. And then another interesting thing that I had the opportunity to do was work as a consultant for a company who was charged with essentially redoing programs within certain settings for workers who were providing services for teens. So for example, one of them was the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice. So we went and we revamped all of their clinical programming, as well as some of the just the positive social skill building within detention facilities, community based programs. So we developed the curriculum and then went in and trained, the administrators, the caseworkers, the therapists, the teachers so that they could deliver these pro social, clinical and academic and behavioral programs. So I did that in several different settings. And that was really interesting and fun to do. So I’ve also run groups for parents and local high schools in my areas. So just connect with the schools and they kind of take a poll and see what there’s a need and we identify some topics and just do our hour and a half programming like that. And then I’ve also done outpatient work. So, you know, kids who are in school who are functioning, okay, but the parents are starting to have some concerns and doing work with both teens as well as their parents, some family counseling, some individual counseling. And then finally, I’ve worked in the Employee Assistance field. So I worked there, we actually had one large client that we set up a teen line for, what we found is we got more calls from parents than teens, which didn’t necessarily surprise me that.MGMarilena Grittani5:28I wonder howKVKaren Vincent5:30Yeah, teens don’t want to talk on the phone. Right. So, but we did a lot of counseling, coaching and consulting with parents in that role as well. So there’s been pretty wide variety.MGMarilena Grittani5:41And you have worked with a maybe two or three teenagers. That’s it.KVKaren Vincent5:45Yeah, right. Yeah.MGMarilena Grittani5:46rightKVKaren Vincent5:47I was trying, I was actually trying to quantify it. And it’s, you know, it’s got to be thousand. But I, yeah, I should have I should have kept tallies, but is so.MGMarilena Grittani5:55So why teenagers, why did you dedicate your professional expertise to teenagers?KVKaren Vincent6:02It’s interesting that that really what, you know, I kind of came out of school, and I wasn’t really sure what what direction I was going to take. And I started doing that outreach and tracking job that I mentioned, and I just fell in love with it. And it was all so new to me, I was exposed to lots of things that I had been, you know, sheltered from. So you know, through my upbringing, and I just, you know, I think teens, in working in the clinical field, it’s probably the same with teachers is there are some teachers who say, I have to work in the high school like, that’s, that’s where I get my energy. And there are other other teachers that will run as far away as they can. And I found the same in my profession is that there are people who say, I could never work with teenagers. And then there are those of us that just say, you know what, it’s a challenge. But it’s fun. And, you know, they’re funny, and they’re just resilient in ways that you don’t expect. Sometimes they surprise you in so many positive ways, too. So I started there, and I really liked it. And I just other opportunities kept presenting themselves. And that’s where I’ve been, and I and I didn’t say this before, but I have my own online coaching practice where I’m now coaching exclusively with parents of teenagers. So that’s been great to win. I’ve been doing that since 2011.MGMarilena Grittani7:22Well, that’s just a little bit of stuff with teenagers.KVKaren Vincent7:25Yes.MGMarilena Grittani7:26Where were you when my kids were teenagers? Hello, Karen, I’m upset with you.KVKaren Vincent7:31I know.MGMarilena Grittani7:33We will talk about it later, but out of the ear of our listeners to be part of this conversation, but I’ll get back to you. Anyways. So talk to me about because I was a horrible teenager. I was awful. And now that I remember what I did. I’m like, why did I do all that? And I don’t remember. I mean, it’s been quite a bit. But why are teens in general, so difficult to understand? And so you don’t get them when they get away from you.KVKaren Vincent8:03Yep. So, first comment on what you said in terms of your teenage years, you know, my father still brings up a sister who was 13 months older than me, and he still brings up, I feel like I can still hear those slamming doors, you know, and I’m 80 years old now. So he, he still likes to give us a hard time about our trying times as teenagers. But I think as adults, they’re hard for us to understand because we try to think logically about what’s happening with them. And we try to kind of put it in a box and have it makes sense. And the thing that I found is that it doesn’t work when you do it like that, because it doesn’t make sense. And it doesn’t make sense, because they don’t know why they’re doing a lot of the things that they’re doing. It’s this craziness that’s happening inside of them, and, you know, with their peer group and just wanting to pull away from parents and be all grown up and have that independence. But at the same time, they do know that they still need their parents. And it’s like this internal push pull struggle, and they get mad at, you know, US parents for still needing you like, that’s your fault that they still need you. Right. So in order to combat that, they try to rebel. And another thing that I found that’s interesting is sometimes when teens need to reconnect with their parents, instead of you know, what end is an adult would reduce, we’d say, Oh, I just need some time with you. Can we just talk and hang out, I just need to be comforted by you. They don’t do that, for the most part, they’re going to start a fight. Because now they’re engaged with that parent. They’re feeling cared about that parents, you know, trying to control them in some way when maybe they’re feeling out of control. So sometimes the fighting is actually a really odd way when you’re looking at it from a logical perspective, but an odd way that they’re actually trying to connect with their parents without saying I need you.MGMarilena Grittani10:02That is so interesting. And that makes a lot of sense. I never thought about it. Because again, I was so deep into the stuff that I had to worry about being a parent. And in my case, it was even worse because I was a step parent, and they were nine and 11 when I got them, and they were so sweet and so nice and my son is, is the sweetest boy and he still is very respectful, very polite, my daughter, she was not, she became, she went from being an angel to be an evil.KVKaren Vincent10:29Yep.MGMarilena Grittani, RPh10:31And I was like, What in the world happened here? I mean, I knew the hormones, valid imbalances and all that. And I understand that that’s normal, because well, this is what I know about medicine. But I never thought that the change could have been that radical. And that hard for her to handle. And the worst, she fought with him, my husband more than anybody. And I think that that’s what it is, actually. So we’ve been a little daddy’s girl. So maybe that now that you mentioned it, it makes a lot of sense. Hopefully we’ll make that make sense to you, too. When you did, or you, dear listener, or when your kids have done it to you? Or if you didn’t have a teenager yet. It’s coming trust me, right?KVKaren Vincent11:13Yeah, in the girls, I would agree with you. They and I’ve worked a lot with with girls, you know, throughout my career. And it is it’s like it just happens that kind of out of the blue. And I wrote a blog post is a long time ago, something like an alien has invaded my teenage girls body because it’s like, Who is this human being, you look the same. But you are not the same person. And I don’t even know how to relate to you now. So yeah, it’s real. And I think I’m so glad you’re doing this, because I think some parents just kind of suffer through it and silence and think like, I’m a bad parent, because this is happening. This isn’t happening in other people’s homes. What am I doing wrong, and that’s it’s usually not the parent, it’s, you know, it’s just part of the growing up that these girls are doing and boys to certainly teenage boys, but the girls, what you described is so common,MGMarilena Grittani, RPh12:04this is phase, it goes is this part of life that goes through, and is the same as the frustrations that the baby had when was starting to crawl when he was laying on his belly and or her belly. And they were so frustrated that they couldn’t do it. And when they fell and they they were trying to walk a face is something that goes through that the only thing that gets you through is is keep on going and keep being strong on it. And and not forgetting where you’re coming from, which is something that happens because it’s very hard. I mean, when we have teenagers, we are a certain point of our lives that we are like you need to work you need to provide and then you need to get ready for college or whatever else is coming. They’re more expensive and they need a car. And you need to be more focused on that. And then it’s so hard to deal with them. So for the parent is not a good time, either. It’s another transition. And that I think is not a good combination. Personally, that’s what I say.KVKaren Vincent13:03Yeah. No, I’ve worked with parents who sit and they feel so hard, guilty and horrible saying it but they say like, this is my child, I love them, I will always be here for them. I don’t like them, I just I do not like coming home to them. I do not like having to deal with them in the morning. But I think it’s just that, you know, all of what you just described, it’s that there’s all these other pressures going on in their lives and teenagers, it’s just the nature of the beast, they just see themselves as kind of the center of the world. And so it can be you know, it can be challenging. And sometimes I’ve said try to, like think about them when they were younger, think about those wonderful like snuggly moments or, you know, something really fun, and just have that, like have that that you can go back to in your mind when you’re struggling because they are the same person. And they’ll come out of it on the other side of much different person. And it’s sometimes just that little reminder that okay, they’re just figuring it out along the way can kind of help. When you’re feeling that kind of visceral reaction to your teenager which happened.MGMarilena Grittani, RPh14:10Maybe photos, maybe go back to three, four years photos in your phone, and then remember what happened then to recharge you for more patience and energy to deal with them because and I talked to my daughter, she’s now 18 and we talk straight because that’s the way that we are we are very straightforward. Personality wise and I have said you were evil and she’s like I was, I was awful, was then. Yeah. And she said I couldn’t control it. But you know, thank you for putting up with me and thank you for not giving in and you know all this stuff. And now the type of adult that she had become very, very, very proud of her. She is not the little girl that she was before. She’s not a cuddly and as loving as she used to be. But she’s still part of that personality. It’s still there. Yes, that part of their personality, it’s still there, it’s a little bit of that. A little bit of the rebellious one, I want to be strong, I want to be in charge, like I take care of myself, I don’t need you. But it’s also the one that is like, what do you think about this? I’m doing that what do you believe in and taking them back what we’re doing now he’s 20. And she is 18 is that we are, we’re not living together. Everybody’s in their place now. But now, we make them involved in the decisions that we make like the dog. So like Vela sick, what do we do? What? What do you think, and we make decisions together. And we try to do that before when they were little, just to make them be more into the family dynamics, because they went from having just one family to having to with Yeah, ventures that they were like dealing with. And I think that we all did a good job, because now they said that they have two sets of parents. And that’s pretty cool. But I think that if I would at a step mom said, You’re not my kid, I’m not gonna worry about you. Because I didn’t have any kids, I would have lost a great relationship for me and my kids, and also in a bad situation with my husband, because those are his kids, and I don’t want them to ever go away from them. So but it’s hard. So why what is it that happens to this humans, then after puberty, they become evil, what is going on in their minds.KVKaren Vincent16:26So I think it’s as much of what’s going on physically as in their minds, because the physical stuff is creating the thoughts that are creating the behaviors. So, you know, I’m sure everybody listening, knows this and remembers their own experience, but their bodies are changing. They’re, you know, they’re developing in ways and then they’re, you know, for most teens, they’re becoming very self conscious. And I think it’s, I think it’s even so much harder now, with social media, you know, growing up, it was you had TV, and you had beautiful people on TV, but you didn’t have all these fake Instagram accounts, where people are presenting a way that is not real. And so, so there’s all of that going on, in addition to it, and then they’re, you know, they’re starting to have these sexual feelings, and other people are looking at them in that, you know, a sexual way, which is new. So there’s all of that kind of, I call it just the craziness inside that’s happening. And most of the time, they’re not going to go home to a parent and say, I’m having sexual feelings mom, like what you know, so they’re just trying to, maybe they’re feeling bad about it or guilty about it. So there’s all of that that’s going on, there’s obviously a lot of peer pressure. For many teens, there’s tons of academic pressure. And they’re even, you know, even if they’re involved in great pro social things that comes with additional pressure. So their bodies are changing, they’re feeling, things they’ve never felt. And then that huge developmental component of teens is gaining that independence. And so kind of back to what I talked about a little while ago, so they’re fighting with themselves all the time, but they don’t even understand it. So that just results in all the sudden I’m crying and screaming, and I have no idea why. But you’re my mom, and you’re my safe place. And so it’s coming in your way. Because they’re not going to do it to their friends. They’re not going to do it to their teacher, probably because that would be embarrassing. So it’s a in some ways, it’s a compliment. It’s you’re the safe person. So you think it’s a backhanded compliment, because you’re on the receiving end of all these really hard, challenging emotions.MGMarilena Grittani18:36And it’s also understanding that they are not sheltered anymore. They want to be independent, but they don’t want that transition, is really hard. And then when they see them, the bodies being a big kid, but they still want to play little kid stuff. It’s just, I bet it will be hard. But then the parents because I lived through it, because we’re so into everything that we have, we don’t think about what they’re going through. And actually remember my daughter during the summer, I did her nails, and she started school and they will peelin off and I’m like, don’t do that. That looks awful. That just whenever it’s so peeling off, just take the polish remover and remove it. And then she said no, because this relaxes me to peel it off. And I’m like relaxing you from what? And then she’s like, but distress. I’m very stressed out. I’m like, Are you kidding me? What kind of stress could you have? I have stress and let me just tell you what, I never said those words. But that conversation went in my head, like what kind of stress could you have? So would you talk about that? What are the stressors that make them act the way that they act because they don’t know how to handle it.KVKaren Vincent19:51So with teens, a lot of the stressors are they’re creating themselves. So there’s the stress to fit in. There’s the stress too. live up to you know, be as cool as be as pretty as be as athletic as whatever that might be. So a lot of it is fabricated pressure that they are thinking they need to be someone that they’re not. And so when you live your life like that, you’re that’s with you all the time. So I think that’s the biggest thing. Now, certainly there are real pressures, school can be hard. So you know, kids in high school, get a lot of homework and many school systems. And it’s, it is a lot of pressure, and they, so they’ve woken up earlier than their body’s probably ready to wake up. They’re in school all day, who knows if they ate healthy, so they might not be feeling great energy wise, then they come home to a pile of homework that they need to do. And they, you know, they feel like, Okay, I gotta go do it all again tomorrow. So, and I think what you just described in terms of as a parent’s thinking, like, you think you have pressure now wait till you have to go to a job and be responsible for a family financially, and all of that they’re just not at a place where they can process that or where they can put it in perspective, they’re so into their own world, that they really do feel that level of stress, whether it’s made up or it’s actually happening to them.MGMarilena Grittani, RPh21:15I don’t think it helps at all, when a parent says that to a kid, because they’re really drowning with all the stuff that they have in their minds to deal with, and their physicality and hair everywhere that they never had before. And their voices changing, and the strengths that they have now, and losing clothes so fast, and it’s so many changes. But also, I believe, I think that my daughter said that, that she started listening to the voices that all of us have in their head telling them stuff that is not true. She said that they started then when she became a teenager.KVKaren Vincent21:50Yeah,MGMarilena Grittani, RPh21:51so it’s like more insecurity, more internal battles of this is what I should do I know better that. But then the votes no, you’re not capable. You shouldn’t. How about if you try this or that. And it’s an internal conflict that we all adults have, and we understand that we do. But we don’t see it selfishly, that others do as well. And that is not ideal. Because if you expect others to understand you, you need to do the same with them.KVKaren Vincent22:16Uh huh. Yeah, my, always, almost every parent I work with, we talk about the skill of, or the process of validating their teen. And, you know, when you validate a teen won, they’re not that you take away the argument, because you’re not trying to say, but I don’t understand why you feel that way. Or you shouldn’t be feeling that way. Or you shouldn’t be doing that you take away that battle right then and there. But it also it helps them feel understood. And what I always say is, when you validate anybody, I mean, it’s a it’s a great skill for any relationship, when you validate somebody, you don’t have to agree with them, you don’t even really have to fully understand, you just have to hear them say like, I am hurting, or I’m scared, or I was humiliated today. And whether the behavior or whatever happens, you would classify to that level or not, it doesn’t matter, you just say, I’m so sorry, you experienced that. Or if that sounds like that’s really hard for you and tell me what I can do to be helpful, or you know, just to say something like that, it kind of just, it takes the wind out of it a little. And then I think it also, over time helps them learn to express themselves. So just a quick example, I when I worked in residential schools, I worked with some, particularly when I was working with girls, some girls who were really just had horrible things happen to them in their lives, and they had all these emotions inside of them. And some of them would become really violent, or try to hurt themselves in scary ways. And so over time, and it was a process. But when we were just validated, I didn’t understand, I was never going to fully understand what had happened to them and what their experience was and what they were feeling. But when you could sit with it and kind of say, I hear that that’s really hard for you. And then you know, you start to get into a conversation about what can we do when this is hard for you. But over time, they’re able to start to communicate their feelings verbally, instead of through tears and slamming doors and crying or whatever, you know, whatever it is so so validation, I think it’s such a powerful tool and teens, and they ultimately they want to be heard, they want to feel like they matter and they want to be seen. And when when we validate them. We’re hitting on all those soMGMarilena Grittani24:39I think that if we remember all what they’re going through, because we did it to you happen to us. You can be a little bit more compassionate and that might change the tone. But that’s what I think No, no, a bad relationship with a teenager at home. Whether if it is a mom and dad there or separately. Parents there or other situations where the grandparents are raising the kids or adopted or foster families, they can create a dynamic in the family that could destroy it.KVKaren Vincent25:12Absolutely.MGMarilena Grittani25:13So in order to keep the family together, what is it that parents should do or what should be their focus, so they can help with a situation rather than making it worse, because my mother just went through it to get it worse, and then like, oh, you’re gonna do this, I’m gonna do this. And it just became a confrontation was never trying to understand or to to be compassionate with me. And that’s how I felt.KVKaren Vincent25:37So I think there’s a couple of things. First off, if there are two parents parenting in a home, they have to be on the same page. And those disagreements cannot happen in front of the teen, because that’s like open season for them to split in and figure out how to manipulate it and, and work in their favor. Because when they can go in and see that then now, the focus is on the parents fighting, and they’re off on their own, they’re free and clear. So and I’m not suggesting that’s easy by any means. But I think it’s really important that parents figure out how to get on the same page get help if they need to, it’s you know, it’s really, they’re really at opposite ends of the spectrum. So that’s one, I think, I talked about validation. But the more that that happens on a regular basis, again, it takes the wind out of the sails, it takes the argument away, and over time, it will help teens learn to use their words instead of their emotions. The Another thing is that, and this sounds obvious, but it’s it’s not easy is to have clear, defined clearly defined rules up front, and that they’re defined in a non emotional time. And then clear consequences that are implemented consistently. And I think so many of the parents that I work with, aren’t consistent. And it’s not because they’re bad parents, it’s because teens are brilliant at coming, to try to get something when you’re in the middle of doing 10 other things or when you’re so exhausted, they know how to wear you down, they know how to kind of work, work the systems, as they say. So it makes perfect sense why sometimes you just don’t have the energy to have the battle with them to tell them that they’re going to lose their phone for the next 24, 36 hours, or whatever. But what I will say, I’ve seen this with parents, and I’ve seen this with staff, and on all the programs I worked with the staff who were consistent, the parents were consistent. The teens stop battling, because it’s not worth it for them. So growing up, I knew with my mother, if she said no, it was no it was going to be no no matter how many times I asked how many tears I shed didn’t matter. So you learn that pretty quickly. And you just say okay, mum said no, it’s No. Oh, you know, and dad supporting mom. So that’s not going to work for me either. So. So that’s it’s not an easy one. But I but that’s a really big one. Because, you know, it’s like, Why do people gamble, because you think there’s that chance you win, or you got that scratch ticket and you want $2. So now you’re going to go buy five more. And that’s what a teen will do. And they will, I got away with it this time. Even though I don’t know if I will, again, it’s worth the gamble for me to do it. So that’s so that’s a big one. One thing that I think and you kind of mentioned this before, that you’re doing with your kids now, but to involve them and give them choices. So because well, you also want to be teaching responsibility for the real world. So and there are real consequences in the real world. So an example that that I can give is I’ve done this a lot with parents is to say, you know, your teen has the choice to come home on time, based on you know, you tell them, they have to be home for curfew. Ultimately, it’s their choice, whether they’re going to come home, you’re not going to drag them home. But you can tell them, I expect you home. And if you’re not going to be home on time, unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to drive you around all next week to all the places you want to go, I just I can’t give rides to kids who can’t come home on time and have me up worrying about them. And then so they have a choice. But again, the kicker is that if that teen does not come home on time, that parent has to completely, you know, follow through with that, or you’re going to lose your phone or whatever the consequences. So it really, I mean, it helps to manage the situation that’s presenting itself in front of you. But it also helps to teach responsibility over time, which is you know, something every parent wants their kid to grow up with the responsible contributor and society. SoMGMarilena Grittani, RPh29:39who doesn’t? But I also believe that if we start early if we if we don’t let anything fly, it will be better because as you said they’re trying to test it to see if it goes and if they get away with a they’re gonna push for a B and then all the way to z. So if you are strong and committed since the beginning and having these thoughts when you have a nine year old, right? Rather than you already have a 13 year old?KVKaren Vincent30:04Yeah, absolutely,MGMarilena Grittani, RPh30:06then it prepares you a little bit better to deal with it, I knew both of you will win because it will be easier for the kid and easier for you.KVKaren Vincent30:14And ultimately, the kid that feels contains. So the parent says they’re going to do something I know exactly what to expect. And they might not like it. But they feel contained and teens need that. Younger kids certainly do too. But teens still need it.MGMarilena Grittani, RPh30:29Yeah, true. So are the parents the ones that have to change the behaviors? Or are the teenagers the one that have to change the behaviors?KVKaren Vincent30:38This is such a great question. Ultimately, the teenagers do but coming at it right straight on is going to be that’s the path of most resistance with teenagers. So what I have found most effective is parents start to shift their behaviors. And it ultimately has a snowball effect that the teen will start to shift there’s so it’s just kind of coming at it from the back where that where they don’t, you know, they don’t feel like you’re saying you have to do this. They’re just saying, and it couldn’t be to your point that that you just said is if it hasn’t been consistent from the beginning, that is that is the ideal because it’s harder to undo it. But if you’re a parent, and you say, Well, I’m listening to this, and wow, that’s me, like I am not consistent. I wish I was more consistent. This kind of makes sense. Have a sit down and have a conversation with your teenager and say, Look, I know sometimes I say that this will happen if you do this, and I haven’t been great about following through with it. And I don’t think that’s helping you. And I don’t think it’s helping me. So moving forward. So you kind of giving them your playbook upfront, which is respectful, you’re including them? Are they going to like it? Nope, not not at all. But you’re showing them the respect, you’re giving them a heads up. And then you just have to do it and stick with it. And if they start to kind of escalate the behavior, which they probably will if they if they’ve been used to doing that and getting what they want to say I get this feels uncomfortable for you. Because usually you’d get me to change my mind. But as we discussed, this is how we’re doing things moving forward. And I’m not going to change my mind. And it’s not easy. But again, consistently, it will change faster than you might thinkMGMarilena Grittani32:24it’s a playbook that you have to follow. And you need yes or no you started the better results will be also I can’t parents have also the issue that I had, that my daughter was nine years old when I met her. She was so sweet and so soft. And I remember my husband telling me what happened to my little girl and in back in his mind, he just want her to go back to who she was because he that’s the only daughter that he knew. And then all of a sudden she’s somebody else and in their brains is hard to make them. Yeah. And then having to deal with all this, I think the help that you have been providing, clarifying and explaining what you have been explaining, it would be a little bit easier for me to understand if I had another teenager, which I want because of my age. No, ma’am. But people that are listening to say, Well, I never thought it that way. I never think about stuff like that. Or maybe if I try that on your words, maybe that’s the path that I should be following. So that’s a good point. And I also think that if you start being the adult making the changes, the kids the worst part is that she looks at me like what it takes a long time about teenagers. Yeah, yeah. That’s another episode. Yeah. So what I was saying is that once you start making changes, like being the first ones that given and change some behaviors, or communicate differently, as you’re suggesting, because you are the ones that they emulate, they will follow because that’s the training, they have learned everything that they know, basically from you. So if they see you doing it, they will do the same thing. Not only because as you said, they will feel like they’re listen and empathize or all that stuff. But also, if mom does that, that’s what needs to be done. If dad does, then that’s what I need to do. And I think it will be easier for me. I’m not I’m not an expert, but I’m just guessing that would be it.KVKaren Vincent34:17Absolutely. Yeah, they’re I mean, they’re watching. They might pretend they don’t care and that they can’t be bothered by you, but they are watching.MGMarilena Grittani34:26Absolutely. Don’t talk to me about that because I have so many stories, but I’m not going to talk about it. I just want to go to the point that I wanted to take. Now that we review in general teenagers behavior is very hard. It’s very hard to deal with a teenager it’s very hard to be a teenager. But when you have the advent of diseases or chronic diseases like diabetes type one or if you have cancer, you have leukemia, you have others asthma, you have other circumstances that might affect the child’s health and that complicates everything. By tenfold, because you want to protect them more, because you don’t know what it is because you’re scared, they’re scared too. So how, what do you have to say about that? What is your analysis of situations like that?KVKaren Vincent35:11I think, you know, all of what we just discussed in terms of teens feel, wanting to fit in and wanting to be part of a peer group. And all of that becomes even more challenging when they think they you know, quote, unquote, have something that’s not normal, like disease, a mental health concern, you know, physical disease and mental. So I’ve worked a lot with, you know, kids with legitimate mental health concerns. And so, for parents, the first thing I would say is get support. And that support could be from, you know, the doctor to get the beginning information, it could be connecting with other parents in a, there’s, I mean, we’re so lucky now with that we’re cursed and blessed by all the internet, but there’s so many ways that people can connect with other individuals going through the same thing, I think, to do anything, anything, they help distigmatize it with their teen, but not sugarcoat it. So because teens get it, so you can’t say, You’re just like everybody else, when you’re going to chemo treatments, you know, three times a week, or whatever it is, or when you have to take medication because you can’t focus with your ADHD or whatever it might be. So I think to do whatever they can to distigmatize it, help them see hope. I think that’s important. And and sometimes parents might not feel a lot of hope. I’ve had parents who I’ve worked with, who say, like, I think my child is going to do something terrible, or they’re, you know, they’re using substances maybe, or they’re so depressed, and they don’t have hope. And I, again, I think, get support for that. But don’t have that don’t present that to your teen, because they can’t process their own emotion, they can’t then feel like they have to take care of you or process yours. And the other thing I found, and again, I’m going to speak to mental health concerns, because that’s been my real time experience. For the most part, his teens are funny, there are some who are ashamed and horrified that they have to go talk to a counselor, and they want to keep it top secret. And then I’ve had teenagers who bring their friends in the waiting room so that like, it’s like they’re going to the mall, they’re going to therapy, and they want me to go meet their friends after the session, or can I bring my friend into this session. So everybody, you know, let people respond, let teens respond in their individual way. But I think D stigmatizing to the extent that they can, while also having those real conversations and again, validation, I wish you didn’t have to go through these medical conditions or you know, go through these medical treatments, but I’m here to support you and let me know what I can do to make it easier for you. And I love you no matter whether you have A or B or C issue, I would love no matter what.MGMarilena Grittani, RPh37:58Yeah, absolutely. And I would say not give up because some parents when they do, then there’s no hope. Because they’re asking for attention. And then they just ignore them. It just goes down the drain. Yeah, yeah. And then the other parents have afterwards.KVKaren Vincent38:16Yeah. And the other thing I would say on that is to also to not ignore or minimize. So if it’s a if it’s a physical ailment, even if it doesn’t make sense, like have it checked out, if it’s behavioral or mental health, you know, I just say don’t play around with it get get a professional to give you some feedback. And maybe it’s nothing that you really need to worry about. But if it is, the earlier you catch it, the easier it’s going to be. So I think I have everything.MGMarilena Grittani, RPh38:46Yeah, yeah, in general. So what are three tips that you can give us to help parents in general to stay in control of themselves, when they’re having issues with teens.KVKaren Vincent38:58The first I would say, and we kind of hit upon this is to have a support network. It’s somebody that they can talk to when they need to vent and be taken care of, we all need to be taken care of. And so to make sure that’s in place, so that your teen doesn’t become that person or doesn’t feel like they’re there in that role, and that you have that outlet to I mean, that’s going to help you stay in control, I think have some go to things that help you manage your mindset. So I always think about, you know, what’s your baseline and if, especially if you’re dealing with a really challenging time with a teen, you know, if your baselines here next week, maybe it’s here and then the next month, it’s like, you know, it’s up towards the roof. And that becomes your baseline. So you don’t even need a match to like the spark anymore. You just need to think about a match and the are there. Yeah, so I think, you know, practicing self care and time is always an issue but whether it’s meditating or exercising, blowing off that steam, going out with some friends And just talking and not thinking about the stress for a little while, so that the you keep the baseline at the baseline, that’s gonna really help you from starting high and then exploding. And now you’ve got your teen exploding, and you’re exploding and compressing, and it’s not good. Yeah, you just can’t, you can’t get accomplished anything. That’s, that’s going to be positive in that situation. The other thing that this is a funny, it’s going to sound funny, but it’s really effective. And it’s actually really effective in any kind of relationship or situation that can push your buttons is. So if you have a teen, and they’re kind of acting a little bit like a monster, you expect it. So make a game out of it, say, Okay, let’s see how many explosions we have this week, I’m, I’m betting it’s going to be three, or whatever it is based on. And then when it happens, you’re not shocked by it, you’re not surprised by it. You’re right. In your mind, you’re almost like, haha, it’s one, two to go this week. And, and it really helps. It helps. It’s a strategy. It’s a strategy I’ve used in all kinds of clinical situations and dealing with difficult people. And it just makes it easier because it it makes you feel like okay, I was ready for this, and I’m prepared for this. And then and then you’re more likely to stay calm. And then the calmer you are, the less, the less your teen is going to escalate over time. If they continue to see you being calm.MGMarilena Grittani, RPh41:25If you don’t see it coming, it’s going to be harder. BecauseKVKaren Vincent41:27Yeah,MGMarilena Grittani, RPh41:28it’s a surprise, you know even what to do. That’s a really good. That’s everything. So I’m going to do it from now on.KVKaren Vincent41:35I use it a lot of settings. And it does work.MGMarilena Grittani, RPh41:38Good. So how about- Do you have tips for teens, if they’re listening to this, or if the parents can teach them how to what tips they can get to control themselves? Because as we talked about, and my daughter had said it several times, she didn’t know what she was doing that. And she couldn’t control it. So what what are the things that they could do to help themselves control get control for individuals.KVKaren Vincent42:06So one thing that I seen be really effective in lots of families, teens with lots of different stuff going on, is that during a calm, you know, pleasant moment, as pleasant as they are, sometimes at some point during those years, you come up with a plan. And so as the parent, you say to your teen, Look, I know that you get really upset sometimes. And I know that that’s real for you. And when that happens, there are some behaviors that happen that that I don’t think any of us like including you. So when that starts happening, what can you do? What can I do for you, that will help and so as the parent, you’re not going to let them off the hook. But again, if they’re at a 10, from a one to 10, on the emotional scale, even if they’re at a 7, 8, 9, they’re not listening, there’s not they’re not going to be productive, they’re not. And they feel horrible, it feels horrible to be on the receiving end of it, it feels horrible to be in it as well. So to say, when that happens, I want you to signal me and say, I need 20 minutes or whatever is a reasonable amount of time, you know, your teen. And I just need to go listen to music, or I need to go watch a stupid YouTube video or I need to go sit outside. And so you kind of have that plan in place. Again, it takes the element of surprise out when it starts to happen. You can try to cue them to the plan. But they might fight that it’s better if they feel like the plan that I came up with, right to execute it now. And you can’t tell me not to. And then you let them go do that, again, doesn’t mean you let them off the hook that they still have to be held accountable for their behavior, you might have to talk through something. But they’ve again, they’ve they’ve come down now they’re at a three or four and you can have a much more productive interaction. And then with that, again, I know I wish every school system was required to teach meditation because I think there’s so much power in learning how to control your mind. So I’m not suggesting that most teens are going to be open to practicing meditation, although it is being you know, it is kind of hip and cool to do now, so but to help them identify things that similar to what I said with parents, keep them at their baseline much of the time. So kids need to burn off energy. And that’s not always easy to get them to go do something physical, if they’re not an athlete, but to try to get them to do that to try to get them to identify music that calms them down. Meditate, you know, have them try meditation, or try to expose them to it or say you’re trying it and maybe talk about how it works for you. So to try to help them identify something like that, that they can actually use and when teens are able to do it. They feel really good because they feel like I actually am in control instead of the you know the outcome. Control is what’s driving the behaviors. So I think that’s important. And then the other thing is that so much of what is driving this is their lack of confidence, their lack of security within themselves. So any opportunities to have them build mastery in something, whether it’s drawing, or sports or graphic design, or, you know, whatever robotics, whatever it is, there’s so many different things. And then to really be interested in it, and to have them, you know, maybe have them teach you something and encourage that. Because if they, if they have that confidence in one area of their life, even if it’s just a, you know, quote, unquote, a hobby, they’re going to pull that into those challenging times. And it’s going to make them feel more confident that they can deal with other struggles in their lives. So to really figure out ways that they can have those wins, they’ll boost their confidence, and, you know, reduce that. I feel so out of control feeling, which is what is driving a lot of strong behavior.MGMarilena Grittani46:01Yeah, yeah. That reminds me of a day that we bought up, I guess it was a closet or something that we needed to build that comes in pieces, and you have to put it together. And then my son have gone to a just back from a summer camp that was about engineering, because that’s what he thought he wanted to do. And we got that there. And, and I’m like, this is gonna be a challenge for me. And my husband is not it? Well, he didn’t want to participate. It wasn’t his thing. So I said, well, son, you’re the engineer of the family, tell us what to do. And he looked at me like, Am I in charge? Like, I don’t know that there’s a manual, you read you, you were just trying to think like an engineer. And I don’t have that capability. So we’re here, your sister and me are here to help tell us what to do. And he felt like he was in power and and that day, define the building or the planning, structuring, as his job. And yeah, that that is his role in the family. And if something needs to be figured out, come here and do this. And he knows, that’s my part. I’m here. No worries. So he felt he felt empowered. And it wasn’t from salt for me, because I didn’t know how to do it. So yeah, I think for us,KVKaren Vincent47:20yeah. That’s, that’s brilliant. And that’s it. That’s exactly that highlights exactly. What I was saying is a concrete example is that he feels important, he feels like he matters within the household. People need him for something, he doesn’t just need you for things. And that’s great. And I would say anybody else that comes over to make, you know, other adults to have them feed that as well to say, I heard you helped put this thing together that would never would still be in pieces. if he weren’t around. How did you learn to do that? And it just, you know, just builds up that, hey, I’ve, I’m worth something. And people need me too. SoMGMarilena Grittani47:56yeah, he rolled his eyes every time. Oh, my God, again, you with this? Same thing? When you ask them? Would you fix this in my phone, because you’re younger than me, and you will realize, I mean, you figure it out faster than me. They’re like, I mean, it the first reaction is I’m annoyed by you. But they’re like, Oh, I’m, I’m able to help and being considered as an expert on this. I don’t know what to do, but I’ll figure it out. Or, you know, that gives them that power that makes them feel good. And I do it all the time. I do it all the time to them. And they’re like, and, and at the beginning, I just take it as I’m gonna smile now. Because I’m gonna fight with you. I’m like, you know, you want to do it. But you have to fight me because that’s a teenager way to do it. So okay, I’m not that bad, then. I mean, not that good. But I wasn’t that that off. So that’s great. That’s great. It’s been really interesting to see it from somebody that is an expert dealing with them. Because all what we think is, at least generally speaking, is confrontation. And you do what I say because I’m your parent is leaving my house, you play by my rules, and the confrontation. Sometimes it has to happen, but it’s not that productive. So thank you for opening our eyes for all that because again, this is what you do. And this is what why you are the expert, and why we have no idea. So thank you for that. So I’m going with that and just to close. Are you available for people to call you and consult you or to help them with the situation? Are you because we have listeners in South Africa? Yeah, I’m just being very egocentric here. But we do have yet listen to our podcast from all over the world and mainly in the US. But we do have people all over the world and you know, they don’t really know that specialties like you your success and because they already know what you’ve said and they understand you and they might be related to you. Maybe they would want you to help them. So is that a possibility?KVKaren Vincent49:54Sure. Absolutely. I I do coaching so I do pair individual pairs. Coaching as well as couples coaching. So back to when I talked about parents need to be on the same page I, I work with, you know, couples so they can become a unified front. And so I do that kind of coaching, it’s all, you know, through through zoom calls. So it’s, you know, location does not matter. I also on my website, I have quite a few free products that, you know, guidebooks and things like that that are helpful to parents. And I also have a Facebook, I have a Facebook business page, but I also have a Facebook group that I in a lot. So that’s a place where, you know, people have questions that they just want to ask, and it’s either they’re going to get feedback from myself or from other parents of teenagers who might say, Oh, god, I’m so glad you said that. I feel like that too. Or that happened to me. And here’s what I did. So. So yes, I’m happy to consult and help and give feedback. And I as part of, for people who might be interested in coaching, we always kind of assess, and I, I’ll say, if I think it’s not appropriate for coaching, or if it’s if it’s true mental health concerns, even though that is my background, I can’t provide that service outside of my license restrictions. So I can provide some consultation, and then I can help people find resources that might address that. SoMGMarilena Grittani, RPh51:16thank you, that will be awesome. Absolutely. So because once we realize what it is, we’re like, Okay, now we’re gonna go, I don’t know. So having somebody like you that can help us be guided through this process, it will be excellent. So and the way to find the notes that have all the links that Karen just mentioned, you just have to go to And you will have everything there, you can listen to the podcast there, too, if you want to share it with somebody that might benefit from the information that we provided today. Well, that Karen did, because I did it, she was just expert. And I was my experience. And also, I will have all said, your website, your Facebook group, all the links that you might want and any resources or the link to the resources that they can reach out on your website, maybe to help you maybe to guide you. And then of course directly to reach you, if they want to do direct consultation, thank you so much for this, I think is it’s making me feel a little bit better as a teenager parent. But it also makes me feel good, really good that we provided this eye opening to them, the ones that might be having this issue, or they want to get ready because they don’t want to have them when they have five, seven year old baby that they don’t think it’s going to happen and you will have interest. So they’re ready to get prepared. And also know that they have resources like you in case they need guidance or help.KVKaren Vincent52:46Absolutely. And I love what you’re doing with this podcast. It’s such quality information. And, and I know you’re helping a ton of people. So I’m grateful to have this as a resource for me as well.MGMarilena Grittani, RPh52:56Thank you. That’s the goal. And I hope that every listener that gets a little bit of it goes on and gets a better life because of this information. Thank you for being one of the one providing content for us. Well, I will see you very soon. And we will talk about other stuff in the future. Okay, thank you so much. Have a good one.KVKaren Vincent53:18Thank you. Bye, bye.MGMarilena Grittani, RPh53:19Bye bye. This conversation was awesome. I really think that if I wouldn’t have a Karen at the time that I was raising my teens, our experience would have been quite different, not only for me, but for them as well. It was I got my eyes open about information that I would never think about. And I also understood it better from the teen standpoint, which I never did not because I didn’t curious just because it didn’t come to my mind. So this is very important for all of us to know, those that have kids that are going to eventually become teenagers, or those that have grandkids that will go through the same process or nieces or nephews or stepchildren, because that is key for you to understand and to have a better relationship with the family, not only with the kid. So I truly appreciate Karen’s information, time and kindness. And I invite you to follow her not only because she has a lot of free information that would help you but because she truly cares and she has a program that she can help you with. If you need to start on improving your relationship with your teen or if you need training of how to start if you’re adopting a teenager if you are having a teenager to come to live with you for whatever reason. I think that you need as much preparation as you as you can get and I believe that Karen is the person for that. So hopefully you will get to see her all the information and her social media on her website are included in the show notes. So in your platform, go to the episode that you’re listening right now. And then you have a link there that is going to take you to my website, and everything will be there. Take advantage of this information, you don’t get this type of information every day. So with that I’m done. I just wanted to remind you that next week, we’re going to start our autoimmune diseases series that we’re going to start with Miss Johannah Dalman, a beautiful, gorgeous hair Latina-American live in in Europe. She is such a mix that is so rich and beautiful. I truly enjoy my conversation with her because she is truly passionate about her topic, which is alopecia and how to treat it without medications. So I look forward to talk to you about it next week. And you would be really happy with the information that we’re going to present in the next four weeks that is going to be dedicated to autoimmune diseases as part of our series. So I look forward to talk to you next week. And don’t forget to take care of your own health. Talk to you then, bye.MGMarilena Grittani, RPh56:01This episode was brought to you by the where we empower you with education to take control of your own health from doctors and health insurance companies. Look me up at The Legal Drug Dealer podcasts in Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions and send them to So that is it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. Please subscribe to our podcast. Give us a review if you have a little time for it. And if you have a question or a topic for a future episode, send it to me to and I will respond myself or maybe you will have an episode with that topic in the future. Also, don’t forget to visit, look around and see what I have there for you. And while you’re there, join our community so you will not miss a thing, with that I’m done.MGMarilena Grittani, RPh56:59But before I go, and just in case no one has told you today, I wanted to remind you of how awesome you are, and how lucky are those that have you in their lives. Thank you for being the awesome you that you are. Have a wonderful rest of your day. This is Marilena Grittani, The Legal Drug Dealer. Bye for now.