Your ‘What to do When’ Guide is based on the concepts of tender and fierce self-compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff
I have a question for you … what throws your teenage daughter off more – her big emotions OR the after-effects that follow her reaction to her big emotions?
Welcome back to the cultivating resilient teens podcast.
If you’re listening today, you probably recognize the value in understanding, and learning how to manage emotions that are capable of rocking your household and your daughter’s social circles.
So, today’s episode is offering you a ‘What to do When’ Guide that’s designed to help you and your daughter effectively handle the big emotions that stem from her toughest social challenges.
And hopefully this guide is applicable with some of the other tough stuff too.
Because with all the ‘gears in motion’ during the adolescent years, having tools that minimize the guilt and guesswork are golden.
(Remember, all the resources shared in the podcast, including the full show notes, can be found on my website, cultivatingresilientteens.com.)
Quick Shout Out
Before we get into the guide, I want to send a shout out to the parents who courageously shared their daughter’s toughest social challenges with me.
Even though your daughter’s experiences were not easy for her – or you – it felt good to see each of you find an approach that moved the needle in a positive, feel-good direction.
A Common Theme
Although the story behind each girl’s ‘toughest social challenge’ felt unique, there was an obvious theme.
When your daughter is lied to by friends she trusts and believes has her back – is clearly one of the hardest experiences to navigate for passionate, connection seeking teens.
And, I’ll be honest with you, I almost ditched this podcast idea.
Maybe you can relate, because if you’re like me, being lied to touches on a pretty tender place inside me that doesn’t really enjoy, and certainly resists being poked at, if you know what I mean.
The Power of Self-Compassion
So, rather than spending time dissecting why teenage girls lie to one another; a conversation that I believe is most productive between coach and client in a safe, co-creative environment – I want to introduce you to the work of Dr. Kristin Neff because navigating, healing, and supporting those tender places inside your daughter needs a solid dose of self-compassion.
And Dr. Neff is the queen of self-compassion, beautifully blending the concept of fierce and tender self-compassion.
After years of working with teens, it appears the most effective way to:
- learn how to MOVE through big emotions
- and REACT to them in a manner that feels good
includes a deep understanding and willingness to embrace the concept of self-compassion.
If you’re not familiar with the term self-compassion, it means “extending compassion to oneself in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. “
And Dr. Neff identifies three main elements – self kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.
Simply put …
- Self-Kindness is treating yourself like you would your best friend
- Common Humanity is recognizing that we’re all experiencing ups and downs as we move through life
- Mindfulness is a willingness to pay attention and be receptive to your internal guide or what I often refer to as your sense of self
Your Tender Side
According to Dr. Neff, Tender Self-Compassion “involves ‘being with’ ourselves in an accepting way: comforting ourselves, reassuring ourselves that we aren’t alone, and being present with our pain.”
Your Fierce Side
And Fierce Self-Compassion “involves ‘acting in the world’ to alleviate suffering. It tends to involve protecting, providing for, and motivating ourselves.”
How They Play Out
I don’t know about you, but I see a fierce and a tender side to each of us.
And I see the fierce and tender sides play a significant role for teenage girls – especially when it comes to their social scenarios.
Interestingly, and maybe you see this with your daughter too, my private coaching clients recognize the influence their fierce and the tender sides play in their relationships – but openly admit that the fierce side gets more attention.
Naturally, your-knee jerk reaction to protect yourself is learned at an incredibly young age.
And definitely sharpened during the teen years, especially if your daughter participates on any social platforms.
An Emotional Myth
One of the biggest myth’s teens believe is that going into defense mode will keep them from feeling those deeper, more painful emotions.
But I’m here to tell you … that’s just not true.
Those deeper, more painful emotions will not hide away forever.
And unfortunately, they usually surface when you least want them to.
So why not equip yourself with tools that’ll help your daughter:
- identify and understand what’s going on for her
- and learn how to respond in an effective way
a way that actually builds confidence and resilience?
I love Dr. Neff’s work because it encourages us to discover who we are, while honoring who we desire to be.
Your “What to do When’ Guide
So, here’s you “What to do When’ Guide.
It’s a tender and fierce way to challenge your daughter to tune in and take inspired action.
Here’s what I want you to do … write down these questions somewhere handy.
When a tough social situation rears its ugly head, write the question down and answer it concisely, and honestly.
- My current situation is this ________.
- My main thoughts about this situation are _______________.
- The 3 biggest emotions that come up from my mail thought are ______________.
- In the past, this is how I usually react / respond to situations like this, I _____________.
- Today and going forward, this is how I want to respond / react to situations like these _________.
Do your best to include ways you can reassure yourself that you can do hard things, like be with your uncomfortable, big emotions.
And tap into your fierce – ness because that’s where you’ll take inspired action.
I wish you all the best, until next time my friends, here’s to loving up your tender and fierce side.
Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power to Thrive | Kristin Neff, Ph.D.