EP21 He's Not LazyCheckable Health
In today's society, we don’t talk about the difficulties of raising teenagers enough. This is probably one of the most difficult stages of your child’s life, especially in this new era of technological advancements and constant major world events. If teenage existential crises weren’t intense on their own, tack on a pandemic and a looming apocalypse, it’s safe to say parents of teenagers have their hands full. Good luck trying to get your teen to care about the future if they feel like there won’t be one. Also, between boys and girls, it is perceived that the boys care less, or to be more precise, lazier. Is it actually true that boys are lazier than girls, and why do we think this?
On today’s episode, we have invited clinical psychologist Dr. Adam Price, who has studied psychology for 30 years while working primarily with teenagers and their parents. He is also the author of ‘He’s Not Lazy.’ So naturally, he is the best person to speak to on the subject of why teenage boys are lazy and how to get them motivated for their futures.
We dig deep into the neurological, social, and emotional functions of teenagers to understand why they behave the way they do and what parents can do to build better connections with their teenagers. Learn more about how to communicate effectively with your teen and how to set boundaries. This episode is full of practical advice you can use today. Parents, don't miss this.
Topics discussed in this episode:
- Adam’s motivation to write his book about unmotivated teenage boys
- What giving autonomy really means
- How to practice planning with kids
- Why do boys seem to be more unmotivated?
- What is the paradoxical response of boys when it comes to school?
- The importance to allow kids to struggle
- How setting boundaries can strengthen your relationship with your teenager
- Do parents need to be on the same page when parenting?
- Why do teenagers sleep so much?
- Why are young people not having children?
- What is the best way to have a conversation with our sons?
- How do you ask if your child is depressed?
Check out hesnotlazy.com to learn more about Dr. Adam Price’s book and to download his workbook!
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0:00:00.0 S1: This is the Checkable Health Podcast, and I'm your host, Patty Post, founder and CEO of Checkable Medical, and mother of three for 19 years in counting... So today were talking with clinical psychologist, Dr. Adam Price, Dr, has been studying for 30 years and working primarily with teenagers and their parents... I am a mother of two teenagers, boys and one tween daughter, and I feel like the struggles that come with parenting teens is something that really isn't covered much in the media, and there's not a lot of discussion other than the discussion of frustration, and I would rather then just go on about how much I dislike a situation, I would much rather identify the problem, but then bring a solution, and that's why I have this book written by Dr. Price called, he's not lazy. So today we're gonna talk to him about his books, about some of the ways that we can better understand our teenagers. It’s just not for mothers of teenage boys, but it also applies to mothers of teenage girls, teenagers in general. It's not easy to navigate parenting a teen, and I hope today in these 50 minutes with Dr.
0:01:27.1 S1: Price, that you get some refreshed understanding on how to better connect with your child, how to better relate to them, and also just some strategies of understanding what they're going through and coming to a place that you can work out a solution or a situation and know that it's all gonna be okay. I heard some advice that when we make a parenting decision in that moment, that is precisely the right decision, so we can't as parents make a decision and then 10 minutes later beat ourselves up about it, or two days later beat ourselves up about it in that moment, that was the right decision, and we are doing the best we can as parents, it is difficult in today's age, raising teens and being a parent navigating, and for many of us is the first time with teenagers and no two teenagers are the same. So once you figure out your first one, then your second one comes along and throws a wrench in everything that you thought you understood, so with that I hope you enjoy our guest today. Dr. Adam Price.
Today I have Dr. Price as my guest, Dr. Price, thank you so much for being on the Checkable Health Podcast.
0:03:28.0 S2: Hey, thank you so much for having me, Patty. It's a pleasure to be here this morning.
0:03:31.7 S1: So I met you by way of... I purchased your book, he's not lazy. And my mom actually purchased it for me, I have two boys that are 18 and 16, and she bought this at her local bookstore, and she actually went in seeking a book to help her daughter with some parenting skills, and the nice local bookstore owner recommended this and so I read it in about four or five days and just was a page turner, I loved it, so I really appreciate you being on here because I think I'm not alone in feeling like I don't understand my teenage boys...
0:04:12.7 S2: Well, thank you, I'm so glad that your mom found it and that she found it at an independent bookstore, even better...
0:04:18.8 S1: Yep, she's in... So she's in Battle Lake, Minnesota, if anyone knows where that is... That's the lake area of Minnesota. So, Dr. Price, this is not your first rodeo. Here you are a clinical psychologist, you have been practicing for the last 30 years in working with parents and children, and you practice out of New Jersey... Correct? New Jersey and New York City. Okay, but this is your first book, He's Not Lazy, and then you also have a follow-up which is, He's Not Lazy: Guide to Better Grades and a Great Life, which I have not purchased. So tell us a little bit about your motivation to write this book, and then I'm gonna get into some of these questions that I think every mom has, including me.
0:05:06.4 S2: Yeah, so you want... to know my motivation and writing about unmotivated teenagers. Well, it really came... Pentium clinical work over many, many years working with teenage employees, and by the way, there's a lot in the book that is applicable to girls too, there are unmotivated girls out there, but you know there's some unique issues to boys that we'll get into, and there hadn't been a lot written about boys lately, so I decided to narrow the field and just write about boys, and I saw so many boys, I was referred by so many parents who would say, Please help my son, he's not living up to his potential, that just... I hate that, I hate that phrase when I give talks around the country, I always ask people, but I tell a story about being in fourth grade and my mom coming home from my parent-teacher conference, and my mom said to me, Well, that your teacher really likes you, but you said that you talk too much to your neighbors and you're not living up to your potential, now talk too much to my neighbors was probably a 1970s statement about ADHD.
0:06:10.0 S2: But I always wondered, what is this potential? What is it? There's some potential out there, if you have to achieve... I always felt like the statement was, I wasn't smart enough, so when I give the talk and I tell that story and then ask parents who here has achieved our potential today, please raise your hand and hands one person ever. And I told them they didn't have to stay for the rest of the talk. And something we always strive for, and we're always trying to gain, and I just saw this trend, which I'm afraid it's only gotten worse, but the trend is to expect kids to grow up faster than they're ready to take on challenges that their brains just aren't able and nor do they need to handle. The goal of parenting is not to produce a full-rounded, highly efficient 18-year-old who is like one of your kids has gone off to college, it's to produce a kid who's continuing to learn, ready to take on challenges and has a lot of growth ahead of them.
0:07:09.9 S1: You mentioned something right there, continuing to learn from my aspect, I feel like the learning part, they're not hungry to learn, but I look back at myself, I don't know if I was hungry to learn when I was a teenager, so... How do you encourage them to want to improve or to think of what their potential might be, and encourage them to sort of dream that way or go for it.
0:07:40.6 S2: Yeah, and that's really... That question really hits the nail on the head of the issue, and if I learned... By the way, I didn't mean necessarily learn in school, I meant globally about just how to make it in life, in relationships, and so many things, but if... Of course, school is one of them. The thing that we're striving for, the thing that we want our kids to achieve as internal motivation is the motivation that comes from within, so that they are setting their own goals based upon their values that are setting them in a direction that is gonna help them to create a meaningful life. And of course, our kids values come from our values and we instill them in so many different ways, spoken and unspoken. But I think that the goal is for them to have the autonomy to be able to do this. Autonomy is the freedom to make a decision, to make a choice, and I think we misinterpret it as the freedom to do whatever you want, and that's not what it means, it's the freedom to make a choice and then to live with the consequences of that choice. And what happens is we always say We need to let kids fail.
0:08:43.7 S2: Right. So I saw a teenager last year who didn't make the basketball team, he got cut and he was very upset, I think he handled it better than his parents who were calling the coach and ask him what was happening... I'm not saying I wouldn't do that, but is that the kind of failure that we want our kids to have... I don't think that that's what we're going for. It's more that when these things come up. When they make mistakes, let them live out the consequences don't rescue them as we... As we so often do. So that's how we help kids to learn and to develop their own motivation, and I talk a lot about that in the book, you have to set them on the right path, but we have to give them the space to be able to figure it out, and as I said at the beginning of our conversation, we want to go in the autonomous that they can make their own choices, and so... Yeah, the consequence is good or bad, or their mistakes, so that goes back to how we motivate them for school, and I think that's not always easy because school is not always that interesting.
0:09:44.0 S2: Right, and I really struggled with this. I've asked teachers, I'm a science teachers, and I talk about this in the workbook actually, and I quote different teachers who says, This is why I learned, this is why I learnt English, how their great answers, but they're not always relevant to kids. You just don't always make learning relevant, I think we have to acknowledge that, but we also have to help them to understand that sometimes you have to do things you don't wanna do, and that's really part of the lesson of school, school also is there to teach you to think, but I think more than any of this is to allow them to figure out how to do it by setting reasonable parameters.
0:10:18.1 S1: I like how it's very practical in the book where you talk about, Well, I will never use algebra, I'm gonna be an actress. Well, are you gonna think critically as an actor, are you gonna need to... It's common knowledge to think, Oh, well, this is just a conversation, but sometimes when you get with our kids, it's almost like a negotiation. And it doesn't need to be that way. It's very practical. Another thing with learning is procrastination, and is procrastination, I've learned to get over procrastination by using my calendar, and just as I get older, I'm better at not procrastinating, but I see my kids do it and they sort of write off, Oh well, it's not due until next week and then next week comes along, and they either miss the deadline or they procrastinate to not finish it, and you actually give a lot of practical advice on planning, can you explain where that comes from, and how can we put something like that in motion with our kids...
0:11:26.5 S2: Well, yes, so there's an old joke about the little boy who has ADD and the teacher says there's gonna be a testing Friday, and he files that under... Later, not now. Right, not now, and the next Friday comes and then the teachers just take out your pencil is his time for the test, and he goes, Oh no, now. Planning is a growing aspirational emerging skill for teenagers is really the heart of executive functioning, and people know a lot more now about what executive functioning is, it's the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the part of the brain that basically we think about it as the part of the brand that helps us with organization, but it really is the part of the brain that helps us plan, it's also the part of the brain that is going through a reorganization during adolescence, and that re-organization is not just teenagers body, this changing their brain is just changing so many ways, so the brain cells in the prefrontal cortex, the connections are going through a change, they're developing kind of insulation around them called the myelin sheets, it helps the message is to go through more smoothly, but it's not there yet.
0:12:32.9 S2: Usually not until 26, so that's emerging. The thing about procrastination is usually has two clauses, it's usually either avoidant, and that's mostly what I see with teenagers, or it's perfectionism and some... By the way, I wrote a blog on Psychology Today about procrastination that I think has some great tips in it, but someone had called it the Dark playground because we feel like we're in a playground, watching Youtube... Checking out on Instagram, Oh, I don't have to do my work, but really, you kinda know that something is out there, so I think that something... Looming, research paper. So I think that really to help kids with procrastination, we need to help them to manage their anxiety and to draw a link between the fact that they're using avoidance, which is a wonderful copy mechanism for anxiety. Don't do it. The anxiety goes away. So I have some strategies to do that. And some of these, you kinda have to pick the strategy that works for you, for example, I'm a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique, which if you don't know, it's a very simple technique, Pomodoro tomato in Italian. And in the 50s and 60s, every kitchen had a time or that...
0:13:46.8 S2: It was a standard... So the idea is that you set the timer, and there are all sorts of apps in programs, but you set that timer for 20 minutes. Then you take a break for five minutes. Five minutes is an though time you get an apple or go to the bathroom, not enough time to play it, you came were for another 20 minutes and you do that cycle three times, and then you can take a longer break and what it does is you sit down, and it's like, Oh, I don't have to write this paper, I just have to work for 20 minutes. And I think that that's helpful. I tell kids sometimes just start with whatever you think is easiest, it's easier to review your notes, review your notes, if it's easiest to write the bibliography, 'cause sometimes it's just... It's like swimming. If you jump in a little bit, you can let yourself get used to it and you're gonna be more comfortable... Get over the anxiety
0:14:35.9 S1: Avoidance. What did you say? Their avoidance is the...
0:14:39.6 S2: It's a funny way to say it, but it's the best coping mechanism, for anxiety. Because it turns it off. Right, and this is true in every aspect of life. It's really the heart of a lot of the ways we treat anxiety with exposure therapy, because if someone is... Has social anxiety, and they're worried about what people think about them and know whether people accept them, so it's easier to avoid the party, then it is to go there and mingle and take your anxiety with you, 'cause it's not going away, but take it with you and allow it to be there while you make a decision, as I was saying at the onset, a commitment according to your values, which is... Oh man, I'm using this as an example. So to be social, so it... Kids value may not be to learn algebra... It may be to go to college, it may be to be well-educated, it may be to understand the thinking behind algebra.
0:15:33.0 S1: So that applies to boys and girls, let's give back to the boys, and I'm curious about why do you think more boys seem to be unmotivated these days or what? Why is that our perception? It might not be the reality, but that's how I'm perceiving it, is that more boys are unmotivated...
0:15:53.4 S2: Right, well, that is it the issue of why I do singled out boys in terms of writing my book, because there are specific issues and primarily, you know there's a boy code, and the boy code is never be perceived as weak, never be perceived as not knowing the answer, never be a nerd, never be the dreaded F word that kids like to use, which really just means weak when you're in middle school, and the idea is that boys have to preserve their masculinity, they have to prove their masculinity at all costs, and men do to us, away and we prove it not to women, but to other boys, and we prove it by being strong, never showing any weakness and by who can run the fastest, who can be the funniest, but it's never... Who can get a straight A’s it’s never... Who gets the violin solo? So actually for boys, it's twofold, one is, it's that doing well in school is actually... Doesn't get the social status, you can actually take away social status, and number two, boys and men are trained not to ask for help or socialized not to ask for help, which has really dire, dire consequences, rates of depression and suicide are higher in men, not thatwomen don't have their problems and the struggles, they certainly do.
0:17:12.7 S2: they're just different. So boys never wanna ask for help in school, they don't wanna approach teachers because they see it as a sign of weakness, these are two of the reasons that I see boys struggle and do what I call acting out... Acting out is flying under the radar of trouble doing just good enough to get by, but not really well enough to excel.
0:17:37.0 S1: Very familiar with that with one of them, and you're write in there that... It's almost like if you are going to be a high achiever. Grade-wise, they almost do that secretly, they're not promoting that they're gonna go home and do all of the studying where I remember going... A lot of girls saying that in college, I think it changed, but in high school, do they not boast about being a good student?
0:18:04.6 S2: Some kids do, I'm sure, depending on the social group they're in, but a lot of voice will come into school and say, Oh yeah, I wrote that paper in an hour and I got an A, and they probably didn’t, they probably worked on it for three days, and they don't want to let on... They don't wanna let on... I wanna just touch on something that I think is really important, which has to do with the parent's involvement in all of this, because it's really also central, and I know your listeners are eager to hear about that, so it's something that I call the paradoxical response, and it has to do with the teenagers, mixed feelings about doing well in school, which is also known as ambivalence and balances, when you have two sets of feelings, they can be opposite, but we can have two sets... I feel like that's what we call it, ambivalence. And so teenagers, parents always say My kid doesn't care about school, they don't want to do well in school, every teenager I've ever worked with tells me they wanna do better in school. But they have mixed feelings about it. So what happens is, when there is ambivalence, sometimes if it's shared between two people, one of the people takes one side of the argument of the feeling and the other person takes the other.
0:19:10.2 S2: Now, let me give you an example that I'm sure many people can relate to, the decision for a young couple to get pregnant, right. So oftentimes, the woman will be, I'm just not ready yet, I still wanna... I still gotta wanna travel and it make career goals, and so as long as she's like dragging my heels, the husband can be going out and buying the baseball mit and putting to get the furniture for the nursery... But then what happens is the woman kinda goes, You know, I'm feeling ready, I'm feeling more ready, and then... Oh, now it's a reality. So now the husband who was able to not worry about having a barbecue, he knew on an unconscious level his wife was gonna be, was gonna be holding him back. He changes his mind, he's like, You know, I'm not that ready. I'm gonna put that baseball met on the shelf a little while, this often happens, couples flip back and forth before they bought the site, they're ready, so it happens with parents and teens, I'm sure you're wondering, is that a parent will take the side of the conflict, do better in school, you have to do better in school.
0:20:11.2 S2: So that actually frees the team up and not have to worry about it, they can take the beside of their mixed feelings of their ambivalence that school is not important, I don't care, it's too much work. And that's a power struggle, right? So the more that the parent pushes and pries and micro-manages actually, it's gonna get the opposite response, not just because the team is oppositional, but also because they're actually freed up from having to struggle with these feelings, so what we've really... And this goes again back to helping kids prepare them for the future and for adulthood, we want them to be able to struggle with feelings, we want them to be able to struggle with both sides of it, so they can resolve it. I was wrapping up therapy last night with a young man who's going off to college, and I've seen it for a couple of years, and I said, So what did you get out of therapy? And I was blown away by his answer, he said, Well, I learned to become more aware of and know how to deal with my feelings, and if you can deal with your feelings...
0:21:09.2 S2: My anxiety is better, but it's never gonna go away, but if I can deal with my feelings, then I learned how to manage them, I learn how to accept them, and then they don't help me back and they don't... Get me stuck. And I said, You're 18 years old, I've never heard anybody describe their experience that crystal clear, so that's what we want kids to be able to do, that's the best mechanism there is. And so allowing kids to struggle and it's so hard for... Pretend, I understand it. I went through it. Life is tough out there. It's even tougher now with everything that's going on in the economy and then the world, that college is more competitive, and we so much want our kids to succeed. That's the most important thing to us. So it's really hard to step back and say, You know what? If you get to B, okay, you're not so great an algebra, and that's not the subject that you're gonna excel in, and that’s okay. But if you don't do your work and you're getting all C’s well, then I'm gonna step in and set some limits. Then I think you probably have too much time on your hands, and you're gonna probably have to stay away from the computer and video games a little while until you can figure this out, 'cause you need more time to do your work, that is setting limits.
0:22:17.1 S2: That's helping kids stay on the tracks, but they have to be able to pull the train or the engine...
0:22:23.4 S1: Yeah, setting limits, setting boundaries is healthy for both parties and parents and the child... Then there's expectations.
0:22:32.2 S2: Most people don't get that Patty, I'm really glad that you said that because what... In any kind of relationship, what creates a healthy relationship or boundaries, they're necessary, and they're especially necessary between a parent, a teenager, but they're also... It's also important for teenagers, for parents to set boundaries and set limits with their kids, again, we feel like sometimes it's more stressful to say, No, you can't do this, but at the end, it's gonna be a better relationship, kids who can accept it, the way that I look at it, is you build a fence around your kid, you're little... That fence has to be pretty tight and pretty clearly marked around them, not a lot of room to move around, and as they get old that fence has to grow with them, and it has to get bigger, and it should never be so high that they can't jump over it every once in a while, 'cause that's how they learn, they need the fence, but they also need the space to be able to experiment, make mistakes, learn all that stuff we're talking about this morning.
0:23:26.1 S1: And hopefully it's not a learning, like a tragic opportunity to learn or the result isn't tragic, the kids can go off the rails and something catastrophic can happen, like drunk driving or... Those are the extremes, but I think of kids that I knew that their parents really didn't have any boundaries for them and they really pushed it to the limits and ended up not as good, so I struggle with being in the... My husband says you try to be too much of a friend and you're too nice and too understanding, and then I look at him and I say, Well, you're too rigid. You expect them to be these perfect little soldiers, and they're not you, and they wanna live... They're experimenting. So from a parenting perspective, how do you get both parents to be on the same page, so we're united, and then that message is clear to the child as well.
0:24:30.4 S2: Well, that's interesting because I have a couple of things to say, but one of them is, I don't know if you have to be on the same page exactly, because it's perfectly fine for one parent to play one role and another parent to play the other one, as long as you do undermine each other, as long as you respect where the other person's coming from, kids can understand that, they can understand that. And the way you described it is pretty traditional gender roles, dads are usually more like, you gotta get your skills, you gotta get ready to get out of the house and moms are more nurturing and in the emotional aspect of what's going on and... That's fine. Although, going back to what I said about masculinity before, I hope that men can open up a little bit more, but none the less, I think that that's just fine as long as it's not undermining again, so I think that it can be reasonable, but there's also... I'll give you a concept that comes from a psychologist named Ross W. Greene who wrote a really great book called The Explosive Child, and it's a very simple concept, think about limit setting as three baskets, so the first basket are safety issues and they're non-negotiable driving...
0:25:41.0 S2: Well, drunk almost any really ever on driving, but things in involve the kids safety are not negotiable. The second basket are things that are negotiable. Do you need to wear a tie every Thanksgiving when you go to Grandma's house? Well, maybe maybe not. You can... Sometimes that's okay. Sometimes it's not... Sometimes you need to... I don't know if that's the best example, but you need to dress more or a time you do the third basket are things that you kind of are holding on to, but they really aren't that important. Maybe the tie thing, I think this goes into value, so maybe the ties into that basket better, but there are things that the kid makes that decision, it's really okay, it's not the end of the world, and that's where you let them have a lot of autonomy, so I think those baskets are really helpful because when you have that framework, it's easier to know when you should set a limit and when you don't need to, but also basket on, you're teaching a kid, this is safety issues, you really gotta be careful basket two... There are some things that we can have a conversation about that we can be reasonable about, and sometimes you're gonna win and sometimes you're gonna lose if asked, basket three you really have the autonomy to make this decision, it's really...
0:26:51.6 S2: Okay, and again, for some parents, it's different than for other parents, but if you wanna wear torn jeans to school, maybe that's not the worst thing in the world.
0:26:59.9 S1: Right, you can relax on some things is what I say to my husband, so I like that. Are you looking for ways to de-stress in your day-to-day and help you get into a relaxed state of mind? I know I do, which is why I love Ashwagandha from Checkable Wellness. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, and adaptogens have been used for centuries in helping the body adapt and thrive, you can check out Checkablehealth.com to get some for yourself today, so you can say “ah” with the help of Ashwagandha.
Can you help me understand how teenagers can sleep so late these days and feel totally comfortable with it, as well as. I really wanted to work very early, I started working at age 10, and I really haven't stopped since I just... I love to work, and then I see my kids that they just look at a few hours of working at Jimmy John's and they're like, Oh, it's fine, look at... I worked... We are coming from such different places, and I'm trying to be really flexible with that sleeping thing 'cause I'd like to understand what's happening with their bodies more, and so I've been very lax a dazy on that, but then I wanna show them that working actually is...
0:28:34.2 S1: It brings a lot of joy if you enjoy what you're doing or... Satisfaction, satisfaction, joy. So in those two areas of parenting, these kids, 16 and 17, they look like adults on the outside, but it almost feels like they're still there, I say adolescence like in elementary school a little bit, and I just... I have a hard time understanding, can you help me from a parenting perspective of how to talk to them.
0:29:08.3 S2: You're giving me these questions that are just so... There's so much wrapped up in that I can talk for an hour and I'll try to be concise but you covered a lot of grand. When you get tired of business, you go into psychology, 'cause your questions are great, first of all, the name of my book... You have it right there. He's not lazy, right? The subtitle is How to empower your sign to believe in themselves. So the reason that I call it He's Not Lazy is because you see a kid sleep into 2 in the afternoon... You think he's lazy? Yeah, I don't think so. I think it's usually something else going on underneath, and sometimes it's just development, sometimes it's anxiety, there's a whole lot more we could say about that, but that's why I named the book. He's Not Lazy. So first of all, teenagers need a lot of sleep, they need 10 to 12 hours of sleep now, I don’t think there’s a human being in my world who gets 10 to 12 hours of sleep, let alone a teenager. Certainly not teenagers, and the way we... And we have them get up and start school at 7:30 morning and have lunch at 11 o'clock in many places, and there are reasons for that, man, it's crazy and it doesn't suit any teenager, and it robs them of sleep, however, one of the reasons is that in many communities, parents need the older kids to be home, so that when the little kids get home from school, they're there so that the older kids are there too
0:30:28.6 S2: So it's a complicated problem, but nonetheless, that's an issue, so when your kid is sleeping like they probably just need it... That's part of it. The second thing is work ethic is kind of what you touched on, and I'm a big believer in work too... I don't know if I started work at age 10, but probably 13, 14
0:30:47.9 S1: Well I mean, I was working at a candy store and babysitting.
0:30:52.6 S2: No, no, no, I understand it. So there's two aspects to that. One is, and I don't know if this is true in your situation, but in many parents' situations, many of the parents I work with, and I work right now, I haven't always... But affluent communities, I've certainly work for inter-city areas, but now I'm working in affluent areas, and many of the parents grew up without the same resources, without the same choices, without the same amount of money that they're affording their kids, and it's wonderful that they can afford their kids, these things, summer camps and tutors and SAT prep and all of that kind of stuff. The thing is what parents forget is that the kids grew up with that, they grew up expecting it, it was just a part of their life, just like not having those things and knowing that if you wanted to work, you had to get out there and work. Was part of their life growing up. How... One of the things you gotta get out there were... So there's certainly decisions parents can make, they're certainly not giving the kid everything that they want and having them work for things, and there's certainly our gaps, but I think we have to remember that that doesn't mean that our kids will grow up and be lazy and un-ambitious and not work, because I hear a lot of kids say, Well, what do you wanna do? I wanna have a comfortable life like my parents, so I know I need to work.
0:32:11.5 S2: The second thing though is about role modeling, I think that that's really important, and there was a study done that what gets kids to read, how do you get little kids to read if you read to them, to read with them, the most helpful thing that got the best results was when parents read and get kids saw them read, that's role modeling. So your kids are watching you. They're watching your mistakes, but they're also... And they're gonna point them out to you, but they're also watching the things that they really admire about you, they may not point those things out to you, so they're seeing you work hard, that's how you are, teaching them that value and they’re gonna learn it. Call me in five years. I promise, I promise.
0:32:55.2 S1: That makes me happy. I do what you said about providing them opportunities that we feel are going to further them that they would appreciate, how do they know to appreciate it if they've always had it, that I completely agree with that.
0:33:11.7 S2: And it's really not to blame them for it...
0:33:13.9 S1: Right. Yeah, yeah. And as I say it actually too, Andy my husband, I'm like, It's not their fault that they have a car to use or that they can use a boat at a young age, that we wanted that for our life, and so we provided that to them, and I hope that they look at it as, we worked hard to get it. And that if they wanna have the same things that they're, they're gonna need to work hard and provide for their families the same way... The thing that's really interesting is I see my nieces and nephews who are 10 to 15 years younger than I am. None of them have children yet, and they're 32 to 26, and I wonder, why aren't you having kids in your late 20s, that's the perfect time to have them, in my opinion, and they're not even making plans for that. I'm curious, do you see that? But my kids talk about it, like my oldest that's going off to college, he wants to have kids around 25. Who knows if that will happen, but what have you seen from different generations in terms of having kids and where do they stand on that...
0:34:33.7 S1: You know
0:34:34.0 S2: What, I can tell you what I see, and I don't know if it's true about your family, but it's really just troubling and distressing to me 'cause I've seen it, I've seen it, I've heard it from young people, I think it's really fear for the future, and I've heard kids in their 20s say global warming, we've had this hour cheat way of the summer, and we're seeing the results of it. I was just listening to a podcast this morning on baseball, one of the questions was, Should stadiums start to build roofs to deal with global warming? And I thought, That's a great question, right? That's what we need to be doing talking about baseball. But the premise of the question is that somehow we can survive it, but I think kids are seeing that, and I think that it's really scaring them and our politics has become so divisive, so toxic. The way that we don't listen to each other, the way that we are forming camps, and it really, it troubles me on both the right and the left, I see it, but sides. And so I think that there's a certain pessimism that is...
0:35:42.1 S2: And history has gone through it, and I don't mean to step up on a soapbox, but it's just what I'm hearing from kids, history has gone through all sorts of terrible tragedies and traumas and genocide and human existance has not been a walking park by any stretch of imagination, that's not what it is, but I think the kids are kind of facing existential questions about their own existence, and I think on some level it's really scaring them.
0:36:09.8 S1: That actually makes sense. When you thought of... Back when I was younger to think, Do I wanna bring a kid into this world, this is the world that... And if you don't feel comfortable with where the world is at, then you're not gonna be motivated to start a family... That's for sure.
0:36:27.5 S2: And I think granted, I've always wondered about that and have always been great hurdles, and the Great Depression and the big recession and World Trade Center, all of those things, you know, this has always been going on, but I don't think... it’s ever been. Well, the world might burn up, we might not be able to survive on the plan, and I know that years from now, but we... But as we see the effects of it with fires, depending on where you live and all these things were... You hear about stories, it makes it more present.
0:36:59.0 S1: So just in the last few minutes here, I really would like to chat about what is the best way for us to have a conversation with our sons... My daughter and I can sit and talk and talk and talk, and she's almost 12, and I can say the same thing for my nieces as well, but when it comes to a teenage boy, I feel like I am not asking the right questions sometimes when they come home from school, and I wanna be able to pull information out, but I'm not very successful at it, so from a parent's perspective, what's the best way for us to learn how to engage with our sons and build a relationship in a time where there's a family camp and then the friend camp, and it's almost like they have maybe two personalities. What's the best way for us to engage with them?
0:37:54.1 S2: Well, first of all, those two personalities is a really important prior development, it's painful for parents, but in order to win, you have to lose, and so they are out there developing relationships and friendships with people, that is the beginning of them separating and moving on to their own life as adults, where they're gonna have their own relationships and we're not gonna be the primary relationship in their life, which is really hard for parents, it's a sad thing, but it's also a good thing because that's what we're trying to do here is launch them... So I think that that's what they're doing out there with their friends is really important, what they're doing at home is the other side of the coin, because part of it is that that's how they separate is by saying, I don't need my family, I'm not gonna talk to my family, excuse me, it's kind of the dark ages, you know, not a lot of culture going on in the house, not a lot of conversation. I think the first thing is not to take it personally, 'cause it's not personal, and I can say that about everything that happens in any relationship, and especially in parenting, the best thing you can do is not take this personally.
0:39:12.7 S2: But it's usually not personal. Yeah, the second thing is that in order to... In order for boys to talk, they have to know that we're listening, they have to really know that we are there, and this is true for girls too, but they have to know that we are there and willing and able and interesting. And seeing the world from their perspective. That does not mean we have to agree with it, but asking questions to be able to understand it is what helps kids to develop the trust that they can talk and know that they're not gonna be judged. To me, it’s the simplest thing in the world, but then again... I am a psychologist, but also enough to listen, but also it's much different when you're at home and you're worried about your kid, you have all these feelings that are bubbling... I'm sorry to zip you zip it, but that’s your mouth, but it's better to, I think, ask questions first. And how was your day? It's not gonna get you a lot of information, and honestly, it's not really that important, it's more about just trying to start a conversation, and sometimes it's just letting the kid come around to talk.
0:40:21.3 S2: That's better. Sometimes it's asking a more specific question, but I think when something happens, they kid gets a detention, let's say, rather saying, Well, what happened? And if you say, why did you give your teacher the finger... You're probably gonna get a defensive answer, why questions usually put someone on the defense, if you ask, How did that happen? How did that come about? You may get a better answer, so what happened isn't bad, but why? is not necessarily the best question, just kind of moving around it and hearing the information first hearing their perspective. Well, okay, so I raised my hand and the teacher called on me, and then when I gave my answer, He laughed. He put me down. Oh yeah, so I'm just making this stuff up, right? But okay, well, I can really understand that. What happened, tell me a little more about that. Okay, I understand that. That felt really bad. Then do you think that giving the finger was the best way to respond? No, probably not. You're gonna get a better response.
0:41:32.5 S1: Yes, and think through it, have a conversation through it and not come at them, why did you do that?
0:41:40.9 S2: Which is what we wanna say Because we're upset, we worried... Sometimes we're scared or angry, but you also, the more information you have about why they did what they did, the better you're gonna be able to respond.
0:41:51.5 S1: Yeah, I moved my kids when they were freshmen and juniors in high school, I don't deserve Mom of the Year for that, but they survived, but I think back to my middle son, and it was an adjustment for him to come in as a freshman, and I distinctly remember asking him as he was secluding himself in his room, playing video games on a Saturday for like 12 hours, and I finally went into his room and I said, Are you depressed? Like what is he gonna turn around and be like, Yes, mom, I am depressed actually, I mean, that was the dumbest, it was just my first reaction and coming from a loving place being like, What's wrong? I wanna help you. You're not engaging. But I think depression is something that when we talk to our kids, we want to identify signs and depression is such a scary thing. What's a better way of asking? Rather than, are you depressed? Is it seeking out a professional such as yourself, a psychologist or a counselor, if you think that your child isn't engaging and... Should seek the help of a professional. Well.
0:43:11.6 S2: Part of... And again, I've allowed to say, because first of all, depression is a scary thing, but it's also become an ominous thing, and it's not the only feeling out there, there's also... sadness, just seen this, people have written about it, the leakage, we call it a professional terminology, diagnostic categories into the culture, so people are bipolar, someone who's Moody is bipolar, they're probably not bipolar just moody, just as someone who’s sad, may not be depressed. It may just be sad. So I think that it's probably better not to use that word in general, and to say something got you down, your feeling a little blue, you feeling a little sad. It's probably more accurate and it also labels the feeling that's easier to identify them than depressed, and it's put the kid less on defense. Right, but just like I said before, and I can further the conversation. Asking what's going on, I noticed that you've been in your room a lot playing video games... I don't know, I just wanna play video games. So then the next thing that you do in terms of listening is you take a stab at what you think might be going on, but you do it in a way that is really a question and a hypothesis, Now, you present an example of moving and you move for the betterment of your family through...
0:44:34.9 S2: I'm sure you know your career and you know your kids, they survived and they probably gain a lot of skills doing so, but saying... So you take a gas well... How is it making friends? It can't be that easy. Moving... Kids don't necessarily like to say they don't have any friends, but linking it's moving is just taking a guess. Not that's not it. Okay, well if I was in your boat, that's how I feel you. You planted that seed... That can germinate a conversation when you see a kid very withdrawn. When you see a kid who's more shut down than they used to be, when you see them isolated from their friends, when you see a sharp drop in anything like the grades, for example, they're getting Ds and now they’re getting F’s, they get a lack of interest, that's more of depression and that's when it may be helpful to seek professional help...
0:45:31.2 S1: Sure, have an intervention and it is staying staying clued in on your child, because as they are teenagers, they can sort of slip back and you don't want... It's very touchy, and sometimes you don't wanna touch the live wire because it's a little… scary. Right, but I've found that it's better to engage and then find books like yours to help us understand and come from a place of understanding, and then everyone, you should buy this book. He's Not Lazy. By Dr. Adam Price, Dr. Price, I have taken up the majority of your morning now here. I am so appreciative of this practical advice and understanding, and your 30 years definitely shines through that you are so calm about what you are doing and knowledgeable. So thank you for sharing your expertise with us a Checkable Health.
0:46:28.9 S2: Oh gee, I'm flattered and now you've made my day, I'm gonna call you next week if I am feeling down to get some of that later in time, I really appreciate it, and it's been a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you for the wonderful questions and the opportunity...
0:46:41.9 S1: Absolutely. Do you have anything in the works after this, if you wanna... Any other things?
0:46:47.5 S2: I'm working on a lot of things, but I would like to write about anxiety and depression, and I'd like to write about that, the stuff I was talking about about global warming and potential threat, as well as a lot of these issues facing teams. So I'm working on an outline, but it's a lot of work to write a book...
0:47:06.3 S1: Absolutely, and then while you're practicing as well, that's a big load. Well, we thank you for the gift that you've given us with your work and wish you all the best Dr. Price, and can people reach out to you or follow your work, where is the best way to follow your work other than your books?
0:47:25.8 S2: Yeah, well, hesnotlazy.com, which has some of the worksheets from the workbook and more information about the book, dradamprice.com. If you Google Dr. Price you get me or a member of parliament in Britain, so make sure you have the right one... I have a blog on Psychology Today called the Motivated Teen as well.
0:47:46.5 S1: Oh, that's right. You know what I'll link it... You referenced an article that you had written, so I will link that on the show notes as well, so I will find that. Well, thank you so much for being our guest, Dr. Adam Price. Thank you so much for tuning into today's episode. We hope you got a lot out of it. If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you can stay up-to-date with our latest episodes. Also, you can find us on social media by searching, Checkable Health. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
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