Todd and Cathy talk with Michelle Icard, the author of ’14 Talks by Age 14′ and her new book, ‘8 Setbacks that Can Make a Child a Success.’ They discuss why we try to manage everyone’s emotions, the challenges of letting our kids experience failure, and how embracing these challenges can contribute to building their character and enabling them to navigate their own lives.

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Time Stamps

(00:00:00) Introduction

(00:13:04) Managing everybody’s emotions

(00:19:45) Hero and rescuer energy

(00:27:17) Zen Parenting 2024 Conference

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(00:28:54) Purple Rocket Podcast

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Should I Let My Kid Fail? A Conversation with Michelle Icard

Embarking on the intricate journey of parenthood often calls for guidance and shared experiences. In this episode of Zen Parenting Radio, hosts Todd and Cathy engage in a profound conversation with guest Michelle Eichard. This enlightening discussion touches upon various aspects of parenting, offering valuable insights for both seasoned and new parents alike.

The episode commences with a compelling introduction to Zen Parenting Radio, establishing why listeners turn to this podcast for guidance and understanding in their parenting journey. The hosts, Todd and Cathy, set the stage for an engaging conversation that delves deep into the challenges and joys of raising children.

Michelle Eichard joins the discussion, adding a unique perspective to the conversation. The hosts and Michelle share their initial connections, emphasizing the power of shared interests and the meaningful relationships formed through the Zen Parenting community.

The hosts and Michelle candidly explore personal challenges in parenting, acknowledging the complexities of emotional management. The conversation unfolds to encompass the importance of truly listening to your children, recognizing their individual needs, and finding a balance between fulfilling parental responsibilities and addressing personal needs.

An intriguing segment of the episode revolves around the transition from childhood to adulthood. The hosts and Michelle reflect on the joy of parenting through different phases, discussing the unique dynamics that come with each stage of a child’s growth.

The theme of failure and its role in personal and emotional growth takes center stage in the conversation. The hosts and Michelle share insights into the significance of allowing kids to make mistakes, emphasizing that failure is not a roadblock but a stepping stone toward resilience and self-discovery.

Delving into the profound influence parents have on their children, the episode explores how parents’ actions shape the worldview and emotional well-being of their kids. The hosts and Michelle discuss the delicate balance of fostering independence while maintaining a supportive and connected relationship.

The discussion touches on the importance of building connections early on and maintaining those bonds as children transition into adulthood. The hosts and Michelle share personal anecdotes, underlining the joy that comes from witnessing children evolve into capable, independent individuals.

As the episode draws to a close, the hosts and Michelle offer reflections on the pivotal role parents play in their children’s growth. The episode serves as a guide for parents, encouraging them to embrace the challenges, celebrate the successes, and navigate the ever-evolving landscape of parenthood with wisdom and resilience.

In summary, this episode is a testament to the depth and breadth of discussions found on Zen Parenting Radio. It provides not only practical parenting advice but also a sense of community and understanding for parents walking this transformative journey together.




ZPR#740 – Should I let My Kid Fail-A Convo with Michelle Icard Full Episode Transcript – DOWNLOAD

[00:00:00] Introduction and Welcome

[00:00:00] Todd Adams: Here

[00:00:09] Todd Adams: we go. My name’s Todd, and this is Kathy. Well, welcome back to another episode of Zen Parenting Radio. This is podcast number 740 while listen to Zen Parenting Radio because you’ll feel outstanding.

[00:00:22] Cathy Adams: Seven 40. I like that number. Why? Because it’s just solid. It’s like seven. It’s not like 7 38. It’s like 740.

[00:00:30] Todd Adams: Wow. Now I understand.

[00:00:32] Cathy Adams: Thanks. If you add seven and four, it’s 11 and I love that

[00:00:35] Todd Adams: number.

[00:00:37] Why Listen to Zen Parenting Radio?

[00:00:37] Todd Adams: Why listen to Zen Parenting Radio? Because you’ll feel outstanding. And always remember our motto, which is the best predictor of a child’s well being is a parent’s self understanding.

[00:00:46] Introducing Guest Michelle Eichard

[00:00:46] Todd Adams: On today’s show, we have our friend, Michelle Eichard, and she is an author of multiple books.

[00:00:52] Todd Adams: The last one that came out is called Eight Setbacks That Can Make Before that, we had 14 talks by age 14, and I think before that we had middle school makeover.

[00:01:05] Discussing the Zen Parenting Conference

[00:01:05] Todd Adams: And Michelle is also going to be one of our keynotes in about 6 weeks at the Zen Parenting Don’t Call It A Conference. Sweetie, don’t call it a conference.

[00:01:15] Cathy Adams: I know, our marketing person Michelle, she doesn’t love the word conference. She feels like it’s stuffy and outdated. But there’s no We can’t find another word.

[00:01:24] Michelle Icard: Your listeners can’t see my face, but hi, first of all, hello, thanks for having me. And not call it a conference is so surprising to me, but, alright, now this gives me something fun to think about, because I want to think about.

[00:01:34] Michelle Icard: Yeah,

[00:01:34] Cathy Adams: you think about it, and we, we, I still do, if you look at anything, I write conference, because like I said, but she um, Jess, my friend who does this work for us, she said call it Zen Parenting 2024. So, but then it’s hard to, yeah, like, what does that, yeah, that’s what I mean that it’s hard to navigate when people are like, well, what is that?

[00:01:51] Cathy Adams: So anyway, um,

[00:01:52] Todd Adams: well, let’s, you didn’t do any clapping, give her a special welcome without further ado.

[00:01:55] Michelle’s First Impressions and Connections

[00:01:55] Todd Adams: I present to our listening audience, Michelle Eicher. [00:02:00] Michelle, so glad to have you. Um, and sweetie, how did we get into Michelle’s world? How did we come across

[00:02:08] Cathy Adams: Michelle? Oh, geez.

[00:02:10] How Michelle and Kathy Connected

[00:02:10] Cathy Adams: That was the first time I saw Michelle’s stuff.

[00:02:12] Cathy Adams: I mean, I knew, I knew, I knew middle school makeovers. I saw it everywhere, but I don’t think I had seen her face. And then when 14, um, you know, questions came out, everybody had it. Everybody’s talking about it. It was everywhere. It’s a bestseller.

[00:02:24] Discussing Shared Interests and Similarities

[00:02:24] Cathy Adams: Um, and then I think I started following Michelle and she’s Now, and this is gonna sound so, like It’s about us, but I just thought you were a lot like Todd and I.

[00:02:33] Cathy Adams: I was like, she’s funny. Which means you’re awesome. I

[00:02:36] Michelle Icard: know, what a

[00:02:37] Cathy Adams: compliment. Thank you. Well, that’s, I mean, and that’s what I mean. It’s kind of like a bitch. I should just be focusing on you. But I, you talked about movies and you were, you didn’t take yourself too seriously. And you also were, you are, you weren’t, you You are really smart.

[00:02:50] Cathy Adams: And the things that you say, I fully, um, you know, I love your Instagram page. I’m there all the time. And I also think, I think at the time you were talking about things that we were talking about. You were talking about rights for LGBTQ kids and you were talking about gun control things. And I just felt like, There was a lot going on in the world and you were speaking up and I was like, Oh, this is somebody that I and then you’re just great.

[00:03:16] Cathy Adams: And you are, um, uh, good friends with our friend Duffy as well. And then, you know, it just is, it kind of like snowballed. And so now you’re, you’re my friend. I

[00:03:29] Michelle Icard: do feel like we are of like mind and like spirit and like humor. And I think that’s awesome. That makes it really fun.

[00:03:37] Oscar Parties and Movie Discussions

[00:03:37] Cathy Adams: It does, and Michelle has Academy Award parties,

[00:03:41] Todd Adams: Todd.

[00:03:41] Todd Adams: Oh, really? Do you do the grid where you gotta tally the votes and all that like we do or no?

[00:03:48] Michelle Icard: Well, the way that I do it, so I’ve done it two ways. Um, but I watch all the, all the Best Picture nominees and as many of the others as I can. I put on my Instagram my review [00:04:00] of each of the Best Picture nominees.

[00:04:02] Michelle Icard: And then I’ve, I either do a very private viewing of the Oscars, where I have, you know, scored my card and I keep, keep up with it that way. Or I do a party with friends. And I think I am more inclined to just watch by myself because I miss too much when everybody’s talking and I don’t want to be the jerk at the party shushing people.

[00:04:23] Michelle Icard: Um, so it’s best for me to just be, be alone. I did have COVID last year, so I had to be by myself for it. Um, but yeah, that’s kind of how I handle it.

[00:04:33] Cathy Adams: And you know what we have, Michelle? Because I’m the exact same way. I’ve been having these parties since like college and, and I, you know, people would come to my room and then I’d be like, you know, I’m trying to like hear.

[00:04:42] Cathy Adams: So it’s always been a struggle. But now we have, we used to have Twitter. Now I’d say threads. Um, and we also have text. So when something happens, you can just look. People’s reactions and you can also, you know, like text people and be like, did you see that? So we can still stay connected. It’s like an interactive thing.

[00:05:01] Cathy Adams: Yeah, it’s interactive even if you’re alone. Yeah.

[00:05:03] Michelle Icard: Okay. You’re the first person to make me want to get on threads just, just so I can talk to you on the award night.

[00:05:10] Cathy Adams: You know what I would say, do it. I, I think, you know, I’ve, I’ve been there for a while and it’s not, it’s not quite there yet where, you know, we, we used to be with Twitter, but.

[00:05:19] Cathy Adams: All of my people, all the, when I say my people, they’re not mine, journalists, you know, experts, people have come over. So it’s like, it’s, I’m finding things there now. And, um, but it’s, you know, it’s in its beginning stages, so.

[00:05:33] Michelle Icard: Well, it would be nice to get in on the ground floor. I was so late to Twitter that I was always Confused and behind and felt left out.

[00:05:41] Todd Adams: Um, I’m looking at the best, uh, the winners of the best picture in the last few years, and I was flying home from Italy cause we visited our daughter over Thanksgiving, who is studying in Italy and I saw Parasite. Did you see Parasite?

[00:05:56] Michelle Icard: Let me tell you what happened to me when I saw Parasite. Parasite was [00:06:00] so scary in the theater.

[00:06:02] Michelle Icard: I had not seen a movie like that before. That got under my, like, unnerved me, kind of scary. And, uh, I was with my daughter, and we pulled into our driveway, and she gasped at something and I peed my pants.

[00:06:16] Todd Adams: You

[00:06:20] Cathy Adams: were like, that was going to come one way or the other. Whatever was going to set me off. It’s

[00:06:24] Michelle Icard: something like I was such a live wire after seeing that movie.

[00:06:27] Michelle Icard: I loved it so

[00:06:29] Todd Adams: much. That’s so interesting. Kathy, I don’t think you’d make it through because it oozes discomfort. Would you agree with that, Michelle? Absolutely, yes. Like there’s so much discomfort. Not like people murdering people, but like human beings be making bad decisions in a way that I’ve never seen.

[00:06:47] Todd Adams: And it’s all

[00:06:47] Michelle Icard: entitled. Brilliant. Brilliant. Okay. What about this year? This is what I ran to grab off my printer. All right. What do you got? Okay, so we don’t know yet what’s going to be collected, but I did look at the Vanity Fair predictions. Okay. And of these, I have seen a half. Because I’m already starting to do my homework.

[00:07:06] Michelle Icard: Uh, the one I like the best right now is May December and it’s free on Netflix. Yes,

[00:07:12] Cathy Adams: that’s my next big, like I was with some girlfriends last weekend and I’m like, I’m so excited to watch it and I’m sad to say it has all the elements that I love. Besides the, when I say sad to say it’s because even what the topic is, I used to be obsessed with, uh, Mary, Mary Letourneau.

[00:07:26] Cathy Adams: Yeah, so I like just even that part of it. Mary Kay Letourneau, is that her name? So is it really

[00:07:33] Michelle Icard: good? Yeah, I’ll tell you what, I went into it knowing nothing. I didn’t know about that. I just, within a few minutes of watching, I was like Oh, wow. She looks just like, and they were showing some news clippings and I was like, oh, could it be?

[00:07:47] Michelle Icard: So I went and googled and it said, yes, this is definitely based on that. And I, again, deeply disturbing and unsettling. For many of the same reasons that we just discussed, like wrong decisions. We know this [00:08:00] already. It was so well done. I’m still thinking about it. Don’t

[00:08:04] Cathy Adams: you think, Michelle, like this, and this is kind of like diving into our work a little bit, is because we, we work in the world of human behavior and, you know, supporting people and, and supporting people and making decisions that hopefully have good outcomes.

[00:08:16] Cathy Adams: We can never guarantee that it’s really enjoyable to watch a movie and watch people make these decisions and like really deep dive into why they do what they do. I think it helps my work. Do you think it helps your work? A

[00:08:29] Michelle Icard: hundred percent, because you try to get the motivation, you try to develop. My favorite book or movie is one where you end up feeling for someone you didn’t think you could feel for.

[00:08:41] Michelle Icard: Totally. I love when that happens, and I think that’s very useful in the kind of work we’re doing where Everyone’s making bad decisions all the time because we’re human. I am, you are, parents are, kids are, and we’re still trying to figure out how to move forward while being perfectly human at the same time.

[00:09:01] Michelle Icard: So I think it’s really, um, this exercise of watching these movies and watching movies I would never choose on my own is, is really about growth and entertainment. It is, and, and it’s, and

[00:09:13] Cathy Adams: it’s really being able to hold, you know, these really good movies that we’re talking about. Being able to hold that paradox and nuance about a character, like a movie that I’ve watched a million times, and this is a comedy and not a deep drama, but is The Hangover, okay?

[00:09:27] Cathy Adams: So there, you know, you’re supposed to, if you watch that once or twice, then you think Bradley Cooper’s like a jerk and he’s the worst friend or whatever. And the more you watch that movie, you, the more you realize that he’s actually a good friend. He’s, he, he is not a, he’s still a jerk in this way. And he’s, you know, he steals money from his students.

[00:09:46] Cathy Adams: There’s things in there, small things, but that’s, that’s why it’s easier to watch a movie though, because I don’t have to deal with, okay, that is a deal breaker. If he was my friend, you know, like I can just see that it just, if [00:10:00] you ever watched the hangover again, not that it’s hard to watch Bradley Cooper, but watch, listen to what he says to people.

[00:10:06] Cathy Adams: He’s very supportive. It’s very interesting. And that’s, that’s even a comedy. So you can only imagine I’m really annoying to watch movies with sometimes. Oh no,

[00:10:15] Michelle Icard: I, I love to beat a dead horse. Me too. I watch him talk about it over and over and over again. Um, you know, he’s in a Best Picture nominee.

[00:10:24] Cathy Adams: Yes. Did you see it?

[00:10:26] Cathy Adams: It’s not out.

[00:10:26] Todd Adams: Maestro? Is that in it?

[00:10:28] Michelle Icard: Yeah, I

[00:10:29] Todd Adams: haven’t seen it yet. Yeah, I saw something on CBS Sunday Morning, which is like the oldest TV show of all time. I can’t believe I watch CBS Sunday Morning now, but they did an interview with Bradley Cooper about him playing that role, Leonard Bernstein. He’s like some guy that’s from the R.

[00:10:46] Todd Adams: E. M. song. That’s the only reason I know about him. Oh, come on. That’s it? That’s it? How could I have come across? Because his music. Not my, not my

[00:10:57] Cathy Adams: attention. I think Michelle and I both know. Because she reads all the time that he’s probably going to get a nomination and Carrie, Carrie Mulligan is probably going to get a nomination too.

[00:11:08] Cathy Adams: I’ve heard that’s whoever, I mean, again, it’s Bradley Cooper. He’s probably going to, he directed it too, right? He’s phenomenal.

[00:11:14] Michelle Icard: I really like Carrie Mulligan. That would be great. Um, yeah, there are a lot of good ones here. I don’t really like Oppenheimer. I didn’t see it. You haven’t

[00:11:23] Cathy Adams: seen

[00:11:23] Michelle Icard: it yet, but I will.

[00:11:24] Michelle Icard: Well, I won’t say anything.

[00:11:27] Todd Adams: So I love Bradley Cooper and um, then we’ll get to parenting. Yeah, everybody. But I, I What’s his name? Rami Malek won for the Queen movie. Uh huh. What was it called? It

[00:11:40] Cathy Adams: was called Bohemian Rhapsody. Bohemian Rhapsody. I was like the song.

[00:11:46] Todd Adams: And he was going up against Bradley Cooper who wrote Yeah, he directed it and he acted in it and he took away the awards from Bradley Cooper because I feel like Bradley Cooper [00:12:00] was Totally robbed.

[00:12:01] Todd Adams: And I feel like I’m in the minority. I think most people are like, yeah, Bradley Cooper is good. But, uh, Rami Malek was better in that. Michelle Eichard, what is your stance on who should have won that award? Which

[00:12:11] Michelle Icard: kid you’re, this is a parenting question. Which kid do I like better? Is what you’re asking me.

[00:12:16] Michelle Icard: It’s really, it’s so hard. Yeah. Who do I think should have won that year? Oh, this is killing your podcast because I can’t decide. I, I cannot decide. I loved them

[00:12:30] Todd Adams: both. The correct answer

[00:12:31] Michelle Icard: is Bradley Cooper. Okay, fine. I’ll go. I’ll, I’ll follow the crowd. Um,

[00:12:35] Todd Adams: I have a quick, I have a quick parenting question.

[00:12:37] Todd Adams: Okay. But if you, you guys. Well,

[00:12:38] Cathy Adams: I, I was going to give my opinion, but it really doesn’t matter because I think that it’s, you know, I’m, I’m a little like Michelle, like you can’t, it’s, it, you’ve seen Bohemian Rhapsody, right? I saw it. That’s, it’s insane what he did in that movie. He’s great. The thing, the thing about Bradley Cooper, the reason that I’m so invested in that performance because he did sing, he did change his voice, he did also direct, he put that whole thing together and in that, it’s such a heart wrenching movie, but anyway, now, parenting question, go ahead.

[00:13:05] Exploring Personal Challenges in Parenting

[00:13:05] Todd Adams: Um, Michelle, I feel like, let’s start with, um, challenges. My biggest challenge as a father, I think, is I get distracted, um, by trying to be productive in lieu of, Being completely attentive to my wife and my daughters. That’s one of my judgments of something I’m not really that good at that I’m working on, but I’ve still got a ways to go.

[00:13:28] Todd Adams: I want to start with you. Like you’re a parent, you know, parenting expert.

[00:13:31] Understanding Emotional Management in Parenting

[00:13:31] Todd Adams: People call us parenting experts, whatever. Like we’re struggling just like everybody else is. What, which facet of parenting do you find the most challenging? Oh,

[00:13:41] Michelle Icard: this is so easy because I am working on this right now with my therapist.

[00:13:45] Michelle Icard: It’s like a real breakthrough that I’m having, which is so good. So, so often how we parent is some kind of a reaction to how we were raised, right? And I was raised in environments that it, it, that In an [00:14:00] environment that started off really chaotic and then, um, shifted after divorce and remarriage into highly structured, strict environment.

[00:14:11] Michelle Icard: So I went from one to the other as a little kid. And what I do now, and I didn’t realize I was doing it until I was bringing, it was bringing stuff up for me. And so, um, what I do is I really try to manage everyone’s emotions. I, I am such a sponge for how my children are feeling and how my husband is feeling.

[00:14:31] Michelle Icard: I want the house to always feel good and, um, I will go for good at the expense of Being a human who has a full range of emotions, you know, so I’m like so cautious. Did my husband just snap at my son? Are his feelings hurt? Did my son not play golf with my husband when he said he was going to now? Is he going to be upset and my daughter needs this or that?

[00:14:55] Michelle Icard: It is exhausting to manage everyone’s emotions. And so that’s my thing for the holidays is I’m, I’m going to sort of tell them like, Oh, I’ve had this epiphany and, and, and what I’m going to try to do about it is take you at face value. And if you tell me you’re upset or you need something, I will help you.

[00:15:15] Michelle Icard: And if you don’t, I’m going to assume that I don’t need to have a reaction.

[00:15:21] Cathy Adams: I struggle. Wait, does that sound familiar? That’s my life. I mean, that’s kind of what I mean. Like, that’s what I mean. Like, you know, when you just know someone, like, you’re like, Hmm, I do, I struggle maybe for different reasons. Our background may not be exactly the same, but I ended up with the same coping mechanism, which is make sure everybody else is, if everybody else Okay, if everybody else around me is okay, then I’m okay.

[00:15:44] Cathy Adams: And what that does is exactly what you said. Then I am completely not regarding how I feel. Now, the interesting thing is, I do know how I feel. This is why I do what I do for a living, because I had to kind of figure out feelings and, you know, allowing children and [00:16:00] adults to talk about them, so I know what I’m feeling, but I’m willing to sacrifice it.

[00:16:04] Cathy Adams: That’s the, it’s, you know what I mean? Like, I’m like, I’m better if everybody else is okay, so if they’re okay, and they’re, and again, it’s that nuance thing where it’s like, sometimes that’s fine. You know, you guys choose a restaurant, I’m cool, but it’s when you’re, to your point, I am sometimes exhausted by everybody else, I, how do I, I don’t even know how to say this anymore.

[00:16:29] Michelle Icard: You’re saying it exactly the way I feel it. It is, sometimes I don’t care, but a lot of times I, I will exhaust myself in service of making sure that everyone else is feeling okay and getting exactly what they need. And, and that ultimately is not good. I can’t tell you the number of times my kids have said to me, can you just sit down?

[00:16:51] Michelle Icard: Like just, just relax. And I’m like, no, this is relaxing for me. I like tidying or whatever

[00:16:58] Cathy Adams: it is. We’re like, we’re like gaslighting ourselves in a way because Because it’s that really, I think a lot of people, and I’m going to say a lot of women, I’m going to generalize, can really understand this weird place where it’s like you actually are okay multitasking and doing everything because you’re used to it and you’ve done it.

[00:17:13] Cathy Adams: And when everyone’s like, sit down or relax, you’re like, no, this is what I do. But then the big question is, what would I do if I wasn’t doing this?

[00:17:20] Michelle Icard: Yeah, I think, can I really relax when the dishes are sitting over there? Can I really, and I need to, I need to, I know I need to just get to a point where I’m like, I can, because it’s a little toxic to me.

[00:17:33] Michelle Icard: Like, irritating everybody else in order to, really in the name of being helpful, it’s weird.

[00:17:39] Todd Adams: Well, and I think that this is a very, uh, typical, um, dynamic between a heteronormative couple. I feel that I, I don’t feel, I am sometimes way tuned out. Like, I am in my head, I am in my body, and whatever’s happening out there is [00:18:00] whatever.

[00:18:00] Todd Adams: And Kathy, I think, is way too tuned in to everybody else. And I feel like I need to move over here, and I feel like she needs to move over there. Um. One thing I heard you say, Michelle, was you said, if you’re going to ask somebody, your kids, your husband, whatever, um, if they’re okay, and if they say yes, you’re going to believe them.

[00:18:21] Todd Adams: Now, Kathy has this intuition that she knows if I’m, if I say I’m okay and I’m not okay, she knows I’m not okay. So if you ask, but your intuition tells you something different, are you going to be able to lie to yourself successfully and be

[00:18:35] Michelle Icard: okay? I think what I’m gonna have to do is not lie to myself, but since I’m going to preempt this, like, social experiment by telling them what I’m doing, it’s not that I’m lying to myself, I’ll have to say, I still get, like, internally, I still get the sense that things aren’t okay, but I have to believe that you’ll tell me when you’re ready or you need to, and until then, I can’t make it my problem.

[00:18:59] Michelle Icard: Like, I’m going to give you an opening, and you’re always welcome to come tell me, but I don’t need to fabricate. That’s what I do. I worry that there’s a potential. for bad feelings, and I want to smooth that over before they happen. So I’m going to try really hard not to worry about

[00:19:16] Todd Adams: the potential. And if I’m married to somebody who’s always going to ask me, it’s going to take away my responsibility to ask for help.

[00:19:26] Todd Adams: If I know Kathy’s always going to come to me when I’m, when it hits the fan, then I don’t have any option to do it myself. Now, there are, you know, there’s this middle ground somewhere though, because if you completely tune out, that’s probably not healthy, but there’s a middle ground that needs to be had.

[00:19:43] Todd Adams: And I think that in most moms, there’s, I’ll call it rescue or hero or martyrdom, where they’re taking way too much responsibility for them, for, for other people’s emotions. And I, as a dad, I think I’m taking way too little responsibility for other [00:20:00] people’s emotions.

[00:20:01] Michelle Icard: Yeah, I can, I think that’s sort of how it is in our house too and, and my husband and I have a great marriage and, and like you guys like really enjoy each other and our house is full of love and comfort and fun and like all the right stuff.

[00:20:15] Michelle Icard: And I do think we both. So, you know, here’s, I will say the very best thing about my husband, the very best thing is that he’s great at getting feedback. Like, I’m sensitive, so I’m not as good at it, but he’s really good. So if I say this is how I want to handle things, I think he’ll be really Delighted. And like, okay, let’s try that.

[00:20:38] Michelle Icard: So, yeah.

[00:20:39] Cathy Adams: That’s huge, and that is, because that is something that I really appreciate about Todd, too, is two things about, I am very sensitive, too, and my, and when we say that You know, sometimes people will be like, Oh, that means you’re oversensitive or dramatic. And that’s not really what I’m saying. What I’m saying is I because I do feel a lot of things.

[00:20:57] Cathy Adams: I do sometimes need to negotiate a situation or ask for help or you know, it’s like the sensitivity is just I can’t do this or we need to do this. The it’s like and he’s really good about he’s not I mean, maybe sometimes you can get defensive, but for the most part he’s like, Okay, well explain to me. And then I will and he’s like, okay down.

[00:21:16] Cathy Adams: He’s like, you know, he’s in so that’s a real that’s a gift I always think about that being friendship like Todd trust me, you know what I

[00:21:23] Todd Adams: mean? Well, and I will say 99 times out of 100, I actually do get defensive in the beginning. Literally the moment, like even if it’s like, you know, I’m biting my nails and she can hear the clicking of my teeth against the nails, she’ll like move my hand out of the way.

[00:21:38] Todd Adams: Very gently though, I don’t like yet. Right, yeah, it’s gentle, but it’s, it’s still a movement. Yeah, it’s not. I get defensive. Every single time, and you have every right to ask me to stop making that terrible sound. But I will just say, I am, once I collect myself, and maybe that collection takes five seconds, maybe it takes five minutes, but I do come back to center, but my initial [00:22:00] is always one of don’t judge me.

[00:22:02] Todd Adams: Yeah.

[00:22:02] Michelle Icard: Yeah. Well, I think that this relates just to, you know, pull it right back to parenting. I think that this relates totally to how we parent our kids and what you said, Todd, in the sense that like, if we take on all the responsibility for managing everyone’s emotions, then we’re really denying them opportunity for growth and learning and the rest of it.

[00:22:25] Michelle Icard: And so whether that’s with our partner or whether that’s with our kids, I think like the more we can shift. Responsibility and opportunity and, you know, and all of that to other people to manage themselves, the better everybody is.

[00:22:41] Cathy Adams: You know, I know one of the best things, this is like how slight this is for me, like, this is just a little piece of how I do this.

[00:22:47] Cathy Adams: My, my therapist actually retired in August. Michelle was awful. Like, I started seeing her, I know. What a jerk. I know. It was like, I started seeing her in 2016 and I didn’t see her all the time. It was just somebody that maybe once a month. And it was just, it’s almost like having a clinical advisor. I mean, it’s more than that.

[00:23:06] Cathy Adams: We went deeper, but it was like just someone to like throw, you know, therapy’s just great. And one of the things that I, she and, you know, because we would talk about this issue all the time. And and the thing I did, I can actually speak about it more. And what I ended up doing is one day my daughter came home and said, I want to do something.

[00:23:27] Cathy Adams: She wanted to, you know, go to Juul or something and get stuff to bake. And I said. I’m actually about to take a walk. Let me know if there’s a time constraint or something like that, or is this an emergency? And she’s like, no. And I said, okay, I trust you with that. I’m going to go on a walk and then I’m going to come back.

[00:23:44] Cathy Adams: Why that’s a big deal is normally I would just not go on the walk. Oh, 100

[00:23:48] Michelle Icard: percent I would ditch a walk. Right,

[00:23:49] Cathy Adams: exactly. I’d be like I don’t need the walk. Oh shoot, I’ll take your time together. Yes, because you know, and you work with middle schoolers in your [00:24:00] most recent book, it’s high school too, like you’re working with older kids now too, is that you, you start to get in your head about they’re asking me to do something.

[00:24:07] Cathy Adams: So I want to do it. I don’t want to miss these chances. They’re leaving soon. And My, the language I really use is I say back to them, um, okay, I’m going to trust you with that. Not like I trust you, not like in a tone like that, but if you’re really telling me there’s no emergency, I’m going to take you at your word.

[00:24:24] Cathy Adams: And then when I get back, I’ll take you.

[00:24:26] Michelle Icard: Yes. And I, I, I have to think, even though I haven’t been good about this and I’m determined to get better at it, I have to think that it is a huge relief to the kid to know that. I always say this about other things, but it’s clicking for me right now that it’s true here, too.

[00:24:46] Michelle Icard: It is a relief to kids to know they are not the center of your universe. So, when a child feels as though their success and their happiness and their social performance and their academic performance and like, their performance in general in life, of life, has an impact on how you feel, All the time.

[00:25:08] Michelle Icard: That’s really hard for them to feel that like, well, it’s one thing if my friends are sort of ignoring me right now, that hurts. But to think that it also really hurts my mom is crushing, right? So I think that the less we are entrenched or enmeshed in that way, emotionally, the better it is for our kids.

[00:25:29] Michelle Icard: So just to hear them or for them to hear you say, yes, I can help you with that. Later, I’m going to do something for myself right now is a

[00:25:38] Cathy Adams: gift. It is. And I, and I feel like just even I used to be like, well, if I have to work or something that it feels innate, I wouldn’t cancel a business meeting. It feels like something that I, you know, they, they’d have to understand, but it’s always that struggle of when it’s something for me.

[00:25:54] Cathy Adams: Like, I’m gonna go take a shower or I’m gonna go on a walk and that’s, you know, and that’s the work. And that in itself, [00:26:00] Michelle, you’re right, is I feel like when we’re, when the kids are really little, we’re teaching them things about, Hey, I go out with my friends too. Or your dad and I go out on dates or we have nights to ourself or whatever.

[00:26:10] Cathy Adams: But then as they get older, it has to be, it’s not just like, look at us. It’s like, we really have to, you should be living it all along. I wouldn’t want it to be a show, but as they get older, you really need to live it. Because that’s how they get permission to do it themselves.

[00:26:25] Michelle Icard: And it’s so true. We hear over and over again, like, it’s kind of that carpe diem thing.

[00:26:29] Michelle Icard: Do you remember when that’s sort of what put Glennon, what’s her name? Doyle? Glennon Doyle, yep. Kind of what put her on the map. Well, she wrote that thing about how someone turned to her in Target and said, you know, carpe diem, you should love every single moment with your kid. And she was like, but I don’t, it’s awful.

[00:26:46] The Importance of Listening to Your Kids

[00:26:46] Michelle Icard: And that was a great. introduction there to her. Um, but I think about that a lot when people say that about kids who are in high school and about to leave the nest, as you said, like you have to get them when they’re available. It could be midnight if they want to come in and talk to you and wake you up.

[00:27:04] Michelle Icard: You have to listen.

[00:27:05] Balancing Parenting and Personal Needs

[00:27:05] Michelle Icard: I can’t pull that off. Like if I’m tired and I need to sleep, sorry, kid, we got to talk another time. And I, I want parents to hear that you are not always in service to building this connection. It’ll happen.

[00:27:19] Todd Adams: Yeah, we’re in service when they show up and they’re infants and we literally have to stop at the middle of the night.

[00:27:25] Transitioning from Childhood to Adulthood

[00:27:25] Todd Adams: And I feel like sometimes, Parents, uh, still think they have to play by that playbook, and it’s because these transitions are so subtle, we don’t notice, like, we gotta let these people stand on their own two feet.

[00:27:36] Cathy Adams: And you know something that we were able to share? We have a virtual community called Team Zen, and a lot of them are, their kids are graduating this year, so they’re having this feeling of, oh my gosh, you know, not just Empty Nest, but this kid, they’re gonna go off and I have to impose, I have to give them all this learning before they leave, and I know you know, because you have two kids out of the house, we have two kids out of the house, we have one who’s still here.

[00:27:55] Maintaining Connection with Kids After They Leave Home

[00:27:55] Cathy Adams: That relationship doesn’t end. Like, we’re with our kids all the

[00:27:58] Michelle Icard: time. They’re home [00:28:00] all the time. What is

[00:28:01] Cathy Adams: with that? So, like, that’s something that we, we can now say with experience is that it’s not, I feel like we feel like we need to build this connection and live this life as if our kid is going to go off and never come home.

[00:28:15] Cathy Adams: And you just, it alters, obviously, because they’re in a more adult world and it’s more about their time and their schedule, but you keep building in that relationship. So, you know, do you find that too?

[00:28:27] The Joy of Parenting Through Different Phases

[00:28:27] Michelle Icard: I have loved every phase, every phase. I’m like, this is where it gets really fun. No, this is where it gets really fun.

[00:28:35] Michelle Icard: My husband used to say, oh, the, the family fun factor is going way up. Like now we can take longer trips. Now we can do this. There’s always something to look forward to. This Thanksgiving break, it was being able to. Go to a pool hall and everybody’s 21 and we could play billiards and everybody could have a, you know, whiskey and coke.

[00:28:52] Michelle Icard: And like, I was like, this is like being out with our friends for the evening. Like, this is so fun. So it’s always one more thing that we’re sort of ramping up to that. I’m like, wow, even better. And then meeting a significant other. And then, you know, there’s like the, the fun just continues to grow exponentially for me.

[00:29:11] Michelle Icard: So I’ve, I’ve enjoyed all the growth.

[00:29:13] The Role of Failure in Growth

[00:29:13] Cathy Adams: And the ability, like, you know, just going back to people who listen, you know, with younger kids, the ability to have those times with our kids when they’re older, it really starts young as far as the, you know, all these things you write about the, you know, the allowing our kids to have their own lives and talking to them about their challenges, also letting them fail.

[00:29:31] Cathy Adams: And when we, and this language gets so difficult for people, letting them fail, you’re not going to create a failure for them. You’re not going to. Put it on them and then say, I’m not going to help you. You just trust them with their lives. And if you trust them with their lives, when they’re 18, 19, 20, you know, getting into their twenties, they.

[00:29:48] Cathy Adams: They come to you because they’re like, you’re someone who trusts me with my life. So let me talk to you about these things.

[00:29:54] Building Connection Early On

[00:29:54] Cathy Adams: Like, don’t, you know, do you, do you already talk about that in your, um, you know, I’m trying to remember, [00:30:00] especially middle school makeovers is probably isn’t the one, but do you talk about that in your books about building that connection early on?

[00:30:07] Michelle Icard: Yeah, I think a big piece of building that connection is worrying less about teaching them a lesson, worrying less about being right, and making sure that they know what’s right. Parents feel like, I have to hammer this home because they’re going to go to college, and if they don’t know how to be a kind, thoughtful, independent, mature, perfect person by the time they leave, Then I’ve run out of time, right?

[00:30:35] Michelle Icard: And so we will sacrifice our relationships in order to teach a lesson. And then when your kid is coming home for Thanksgiving break, and then three weeks later, coming home for the holiday break, and then maybe their spring, like you see them a lot, as we said, um, you, you don’t have a lot of foundation there anymore.

[00:30:54] Michelle Icard: Cause what they’re remembering was you, um, being insistent on things instead of being flexible.

[00:31:02] Todd Adams: Well, it’s so funny. Uh, two things.

[00:31:04] The Impact of Parents’ Actions on Kids

[00:31:04] Todd Adams: One is, um, Rob Bell was a speaker at one of our earlier conferences, and I love Rob Bell. And, uh, one of the things I remember that he shared is the idea, like, we feel like we always have to be bestowing these lessons on our kid.

[00:31:15] Todd Adams: We need to be teaching our kids. One thing he said was, it’s too late. You already are. You’re teaching them everything. How to be a jerk, how to be loving, how to be mature, how to be immature, how to be conscious, how to be unconscious. Like, you’re teaching them every single day based on how you live, which sounds cliche, but it’s, uh, the total truth.

[00:31:33] Todd Adams: And when, uh, one thing you just said, so we do these Zen Talks twice a month with our, with our team. And there’s a friend of mine who was telling me about, uh, he’s worried about his daughter in college and she’s a junior and she’s halfway through and like, he’s so worried. And Um, he, he was able to kind of see through it, but like he, I think he realized that he was buying into that there’s a certain way that this is supposed to go.

[00:31:57] Todd Adams: And I’m like, dude, if, if you were halfway through [00:32:00] senior year of high school, I would agree with you, but wait, she’s a junior

[00:32:03] Cathy Adams: in college. She’s a junior

[00:32:05] Todd Adams: in high school. So they’re talking about the college experience upcoming. So sorry about that. And I said, if you were. Worried halfway through your daughter’s senior year, I would agree with it.

[00:32:15] Todd Adams: But the fact, like, I feel like he’s already drinking some of the Kool Aid that we have to be doing certain things. And, and the moral of the story is, you just got to make sure that you have your kids back and they see you as an ally versus an adversary moving anywhere. And I just wonder if you could share anything about that.

[00:32:32] Michelle Icard: I love that so much.

[00:32:34] The Importance of Allowing Kids to Make Mistakes

[00:32:34] Michelle Icard: I, I have been telling this story, came up sort of organically when I’m, as I’m on this book tour, um, and It, it, I think is sort of the perfect encapsulation of that. I can’t tell you how horrified parents are when they hear this story that is seemingly to me, not such a big deal, but I talked about how my son who’s now 21 and a senior in college.

[00:33:02] Michelle Icard: Had braces for six years growing up. It was a long period of wearing braces and, and, you know, you pay your flat fee. It was a lot of money. And, but then like all the trips to the 15 minute check ins and the broken wire and like, It was a huge investment of money and time and energy and everything else.

[00:33:22] Michelle Icard: And so after the six years, he gets his braces off and he was so happy to be done with it, understandably so, that he didn’t want anything else in his mouth. And he refused to wear his retainer. And right. I mean, moms in the audience were like, like gasping and holding their mouth and like, Oh no, what could be done?

[00:33:43] Michelle Icard: And I told them. Of course I wanted him to wear his retainer. It was so upsetting to me that he wouldn’t wear the dumb retainer and I tried to explain it to him and I, I could have gone several ways. I could have threatened him. I could have been like, listen, for all we’ve done [00:34:00] to get these teeth straight, you’re not going out with friends on the weekend.

[00:34:03] Michelle Icard: You give me your phone right now until you promise me you’re wearing that retainer every second. And he would have hated me. Right? We would have locked horns and he would have hated me. Um, I could have tried bribing him. There are a million things I could have done. Ultimately, I just said to him, hey, all right, I’ve done what I can do.

[00:34:20] Michelle Icard: It’s in your hands now, um, understand that if you, if your teeth shift, if anything changes, that’s, that’s, goes into your court, like you’ll have to figure that out later, um, and we had a very happy relationship as his teeth shifted, you know, and, um, and they’re not bad, but like he’ll make a decision later, he’s bothered by them.

[00:34:41] Michelle Icard: He’s bothered by them. So now he has a feeling of regret. He’s just the greatest teacher ever. Right? As if I had gone in and like shoved that retainer and held it in place or taken away his phone. Regrets the best teacher because now he is so much more disciplined about himself. Um, so it turned out great.

[00:35:01] Michelle Icard: He may end up, you know, caring about it enough to do something about it or not. He doesn’t need to. He looks amazing. But

[00:35:07] Todd Adams: Okay. That is such a great story. And my question is, how hard was it for you to stand down?

[00:35:15] Michelle Icard: For me, it was not particularly hard for my husband, because you know me, manager of emotions.

[00:35:22] Michelle Icard: Right? You’re like, as long as

[00:35:23] Cathy Adams: you’re okay.

[00:35:23] Todd Adams: Was it because your husband knew about the time and the money that was invested? Because that’s where I would have gone like, listen, this was our money, our time. We drove you, blah, blah, blah. And you’re not going to throw all that away. Like that’s the attitude. I

[00:35:35] Cathy Adams: don’t know about it.

[00:35:36] Cathy Adams: I was going to say, all those things you just said, you would never say. I’m, I’m That’s in your There is a part

[00:35:41] Todd Adams: of me There is a part of you That would absolutely say that. Would I actually do it? No. Probably not, but that is where I would have gone. So it was easier for you, harder for your husband. Why was it harder for your husband?

[00:35:52] Todd Adams: Right. So my

[00:35:52] Michelle Icard: husband wouldn’t say it to the kids, but it’s the kind of thing where he’d say it to me. And that’s where I’m then like, Oh, I got to manage how you feel [00:36:00] about this. Um, so he would say to me that, that it’s disrespectful. It’s like, we’ve done all of this and now he’s just going to throw it all away.

[00:36:08] Michelle Icard: And my response to things like that is you, it’s like giving somebody a gift. Like you can’t control what they do with it. You can only give the gift, right? We can only make these things available and then people do what they will with them. Um, So I think that bothered him. And then also a little bit of the like, the needing to be right for him.

[00:36:29] Michelle Icard: The like, but I know what’s best. I want to spare you. And I know it comes from a place of love. And I know it comes from a very protective sort of feeling of like, I want you to get this right. So you can continue to get it right and be happier and be, you know, all these things.

[00:36:47] The Role of Parents in Kids’ Growth

[00:36:47] Michelle Icard: Um, but yeah, I just think the real lesson is.

[00:36:51] Michelle Icard: How does the kid learn? And if you have a kid who’s an experiential learner, who learns by going through it, not by being told, then sometimes you just have to sit back and brush your hands off and say, let’s see how this plays out.

[00:37:04] Todd Adams: Let’s go down the road. Let’s pretend you did the other thing and forced, bribed, whatever.

[00:37:09] Todd Adams: What would have been compromised is your relationship with your son and his relationship with you, right? But he would have had straight, straight teeth. So. So I think it’s safe to say that everybody knows that Kathy and I are on board with what you did, but it’s so hard to make that decision in the moment.

[00:37:28] Todd Adams: But

[00:37:28] Cathy Adams: is it? Like I really want to like dive into this because I think that it’s not a moment decision. It’s a moment by moment decision. You’re deciding every day. I’m not going to say anything about this. And I always like play it out. All the way. So like you said, so his teeth are going to shift a little bit and maybe when he’s 25 35, my sister ended up getting braces again when she was like 48, like, and wore them for a year and things are so different.

[00:37:51] Cathy Adams: You can do Invisalign now. I think my point is, is he’s got a story too. Like we had a daughter, our middle daughter was pretty traumatized by the whole teeth [00:38:00] thing. She was kind of like a guinea pig in a lot of ways with some things we were doing new things with, what was it called? That thing

[00:38:05] Michelle Icard: that expand or we have Yes.

[00:38:08] Michelle Icard: So she went through a

[00:38:09] Cathy Adams: lot of. Things that were somewhat traumatizing for her. I mean, she will say, Whoa, all that orthodontics. So you can kind of understand a kid being like, I’m not gonna put anything in my mouth for a little bit. There’s a story that he he’s not, you know, and again, you guys know this cause you talked, you know, this is what you’re saying, but he’s not saying, I think I’m gonna really piss off mom and dad and not wear my retainer because they, I’m, I don’t respect them.

[00:38:32] Cathy Adams: And he’s like, I’m struggling with this. And so I’m going to go this way and I’ll figure it out later.

[00:38:38] Michelle Icard: I think, you know, we can very clearly say here’s Here’s how I see this. Yeah. Here’s how a couple ways this could pan out. They don’t shift. Great. Maybe they do shift. Here are your options. If that happens, you’ve got to make the decision.

[00:38:53] Michelle Icard: Also, I’m a big sort of your body, your choice person. So like, if it’s, you know, I’m not going to force some kind of medical treatment on you that isn’t. really necessary. Like if I have to make decisions about vaccines for my kids when they’re little, things like that, then that’s to me is very different than something that’s more cosmetic, you know, that sort of thing, or enables you to play a sport or whatever it might be.

[00:39:17] Michelle Icard: Um, so I think your choice. And what I think my kid needed at that time was a parent who trusted him and said, I hear what you’re saying and I believe you. Yeah.

[00:39:32] Todd Adams: Well, and it’s interesting because I feel like there needs to be a, um, some thoughtfulness about what’s at risk and a four year old running out into the street while a car is driving by, that’s a different story or teenage pregnancy or whatever it is, some type of irreversible ish Decision, whereas teeth shifting, it’s, that’s a big deal, but it’s not running out in the street when you’re a four year old, big deal, and it’s not something, you know, because us parents, we get so [00:40:00] jacked up about stuff that means nothing.

[00:40:02] Cathy Adams: And I think a lot of reason that we get really jacked up, and this is why, you know, like the thing that we’ve been talking about on Zen Parenting for, 80, 000 years is the self awareness piece because if you understand why this bothers you so much, it’s really easy to pull back and make a decision that has more clarity and more, um, comfort or at least, um, uh, present day experience for your child.

[00:40:24] Cathy Adams: So you’re not living in your history and saying you have to do this. For example, with the teeth, like a parent who’s like, I didn’t get to have braces. I didn’t have orthodontics. or a parent who were teased about their teeth or a parent who, you know, broke a tooth or whatever. There’s so much energy in teeth.

[00:40:40] Cathy Adams: They’re working from that wound. So when they’re saying to their kid, you don’t understand. Really, they’re talking about their teeth. Yes. They’re not talking about their kid’s teeth. And I

[00:40:48] Michelle Icard: wonder how you feel about this relating to what, this is the hardest thing for me to watch. Uh, I don’t even know how to say it.

[00:40:58] Michelle Icard: This trend towards health and wellness that parents are, I feel, desperately trying to control. Appearance? through the guise of health and wellness. And I am just aghast and I don’t know. And that sounds like a dramatic reaction, but I’m so worried about kids whose parents are so heavily invested in, well, you need to fuel your body, right.

[00:41:24] Michelle Icard: And you need to have the right nutrition and all this stuff. And I’m like, it just feels like it’d be terrible to. To have to hear that

[00:41:31] Cathy Adams: as a child. And it’s those, those words, Michelle, the words healthy. We have had a lot of experiences in our family with eating disorders. Like, you know, it’s something we’ve, that’s why we’re having people, um, at our, uh, conference who are talking about eating disorders.

[00:41:45] Cathy Adams: We have. a therapist and a dietitian who work together because and they’re amazing like they you’ll love them you’re going to be like I need to you know because they’re so they’re so thoughtful about these things and about language and about because the word healthy [00:42:00] has been hijacked 100 percent and the word like you know what does it mean in our generation Xers grew up with the most ridiculous kind of eating patterns the food that that was available to us my parents were on a diet All the time.

[00:42:16] Cathy Adams: Like, I remember in the basement, you know, Nutrisystem boxes, I remember Weight Watchers, I remember, I was doing, yeah, oh yeah, and you’d like, yeah, you’d have like stomach problems for days, and then there’d be like, you know, Slim Fast, Let’s Get Rid Of, and there’s, and this is still available, I’m not saying it’s gone, but We have been trained to have, there’s a difference between, and, and, and again, I know people debate this, but this is how Todd and I talk about it.

[00:42:43] Cathy Adams: There’s a difference between an eating disorder, which is clinical, and disordered eating, which I think the majority of our generation has, and beyond, because we’re teaching the same habits. Like, it’s kind of like the example I gave last night to Todd was there’s depression, everybody experienced depression, and then there’s clinical depression.

[00:43:01] Cathy Adams: You know, so eating disorder, disordered eating. But it’s like we do these things and then we worry about our kids and we also don’t understand and this is why the whole thing with Ozempic kind of sucks where I’m, I’m so glad that I’m always happy that there’s new alternatives for people. It’s not that I’m mad at Ozempic, but we were kind of getting to a place where people were like, Oh, different bodies, different looks, different health can come in many different forms.

[00:43:26] Cathy Adams: It’s not about, you know, BMI is. I can’t, we don’t swear on the show, but it’s crap, doesn’t mean anything. And we were just starting to get to that place. And now everybody’s like, Oh, Zempik, you can take a shot. And I, and so I am just as concerned. as you are because I think the language and fasting for

[00:43:46] Michelle Icard: kids.

[00:43:47] Michelle Icard: Oh, no, no, no. It just feels like whether it’s food stuff, body health, wellness stuff, or wearing your retainer, or, you know, getting into the very best college that your [00:44:00] friends are saying they’re gonna go to, whatever it is, it feels to me like the The need for control has ramped up to almost every aspect of our kids lives.

[00:44:10] Michelle Icard: You know, whereas like, it used to be like I mean, I sound like a really nostalgic old person right now, but I just am a little bit longing for the, like, I don’t know what my kid ate today. They, they’re, they fed themselves, they found stuff, and they’re fine. Um, as opposed to that, like, high level of control.

[00:44:28] Michelle Icard: I had a parent ask me on book tour about their son wearing a baseball hat all the time. He felt most comfortable when he was wearing a baseball hat, and she didn’t want him to wear the hat. And what should she do? And I was like, I think you should just let him wear the baseball hat. And she was like, but he can’t wear it everywhere.

[00:44:45] Michelle Icard: And I was like, couldn’t he? I know. I’m like, it seems like he probably could wear it. I mean, maybe not to a funeral, but maybe to a funeral. I don’t really know. Like, I don’t know. And, uh, so. She was like, but I want him to wear it at school. And I was like, is it against the rules? And she said, no, but I told his teachers not to let him wear it.

[00:45:01] Michelle Icard: And I was like, Oh, the level of, of needing to control the minutia of what’s happening. I don’t, I, I feel sad. Cause I know it’s a desperate attempt to, um, to not lose it. Right. Right. It’s not, it’s not good for us to have that level of control. And who’s the actress? Someone just, Jennifer, Jennifer. I love her.

[00:45:23] Michelle Icard: No, you’re going to know in a second. She does all the work with kids. She said she, she was married to Ben Affleck. Help me. Oh, Jennifer Garner. Yeah. Just said she, some, she likes to treat her kids with benign neglect. Like. Yes. And I love that saying. I think it’s, that’s what we need more of.

[00:45:41] Cathy Adams: I know we just, I’m sorry, Ted, I know you, but just like that, that thing, you know, like you said, some of us, especially Gen Xers are like, oh, we were like feral children and we were on our own and we were, and there’s such a beauty in that.

[00:45:54] Cathy Adams: And we have. overcompensated. Like, I understand. I was also very lonely and was a latchkey [00:46:00] kid and, and did, you know, like we needed to kind of ramp it up a bit, but we, we overcompensated, you know, like we just went way too far where now we think that anything we’re not noticing is literal neglect. We’re like, I didn’t know that.

[00:46:14] Cathy Adams: How did I not know that? And we talk about this a lot with parents who are dealing with school and, you know, knowing their kids grades and power school and having access to it. There’s a culture of, you didn’t know that. You know, there’s a picture of even the school saying, sending, cause I’m getting emails from my kid’s school this week.

[00:46:30] Cathy Adams: Obviously she’s a sophomore in high school. You know, we want parents to know this, check this, do this. And it’s like, you, you can’t check out. Because the culture around you is expecting you to be on, you know, like, hypervigilant

[00:46:44] Todd Adams: as well. I think Kathy has much more patience, and let’s just pick on baseball hat lady for a second.

[00:46:50] Todd Adams: I would, there would be a part of me that would be like, Lady, do your own work. This has to do with your relationship, with your control. This has to do with how your child walks through this earth is dependent on how you feel about yourself and how other people perceive you. I just don’t know how to say that without being a jerk, so I usually just shut up.

[00:47:08] Todd Adams: But that’s where I always go to is like, do your own work, investigate your own reactivity. Why is this so important? And maybe she just needed to hear from you that it was okay. But there’s a part of me that’s like, just do your work lady. And, and I gotta say that to myself because it’s so easy to get reactionary or defensive or try to put control on, you know, what happens is we want to control our kids because we feel out of control ourselves.

[00:47:33] Cathy Adams: So Michelle, this book, you know, eight setbacks. You are on this book tour, obviously, like the lady with the hat, you know, a lot of people are asking you questions and this book is about failure and about allowing our kids to fail. Well, you know, which, um, you put something on Instagram today that I loved.

[00:47:49] Cathy Adams: Um, it was about like, fail more or what did,

[00:47:51] Michelle Icard: what was it? Yeah, it was like a, I happened to be in a cute little gif shop the other day and it was a little Samuel Beckett quote printed up on a card. [00:48:00] You could fish through the bowl and pick out the quotes you liked. It was very cute, like typewriter font, and um, it just was a little quote of his that ended with like, fail, fail more, fail better, you know, all this thing.

[00:48:10] Michelle Icard: And really the idea behind the book itself is that not only is it good for kids to fail, um, I think it’s the necessary step in helping a child become an adult. There’s a ton of research in here, um, that, that spans. Decades and centuries around what the sort of universal truths are about how people grow up.

[00:48:36] Michelle Icard: What lessons do we need to learn? How do we become more adult in our way of thinking? And a key piece of that is you have to be challenged enough to go off on your own, do something independently, without your parents there, without someone trying to control you. You make a mistake. You learn from that mistake and you have an epiphany and you grow and maybe that happens a million little times or maybe it happens one big time.

[00:49:03] Michelle Icard: Probably happens a million little times for most people, but we can all probably remember a moment from being a latchkey kid or from going to summer camp or being at school when our parents weren’t around where we did something and we realized that was wrong. And then had a real aha moment and a parent didn’t have to rub it in our face, make us write an essay about what we learned, right?

[00:49:25] Michelle Icard: You knew, like, I shouldn’t have said that to that person. I can see I hurt their feelings or I shouldn’t have stolen that candy bar or I shouldn’t have whatever. That is how we grow. And we can’t just. Read books on how to be a good person or watch movies about it. You have to experience

[00:49:40] Todd Adams: it. Well, and one thing that I adopted is the world is hard enough.

[00:49:44] Todd Adams: Like the world is going to give our kids and ourselves all the lessons. Our job is to stay in connection. So kind of like you with the braces, like that is so beautiful. So we got six minutes left and I want to make sure that. We cover anything else that you want to cover, [00:50:00] sweetie. I don’t know. Wait, before, before

[00:50:01] Cathy Adams: you go there, we do not just have six minutes.

[00:50:03] Cathy Adams: Is that it? Yes. I feel like you just, I know this is the most cliche thing to say, but I feel like we started two seconds ago. I have like 80, 000 things on here. Oh, shoot. Okay. It’s okay. We’re going to, we’re still going to do the hard stuff, but I, A few things that I wanted to say about that. One is what we talk about, you know, you said a lot of cuts, you know, a lot of experiences.

[00:50:23] Cathy Adams: A lot of times we think death by a thousand cuts, but it’s really growth by a thousand cuts. You know, it’s like all these things that have to happen. And I heard, this is what I want to share with you. I heard Esther Perel on a podcast yesterday. She was on Chelsea Handler’s podcast and she said her favorite question that she’s been asking people lately is, were you allowed to go out and play by yourself?

[00:50:42] Cathy Adams: Oh, yeah. Because that helps her when she’s working with couples or working with individuals on how to approach them. Because if you were not allowed to go out and play by yourself and learn, you don’t get to pick up that bike or someone will yell at you or you have to, you know, be quick or you’ll get left behind or all of those childhood experiences.

[00:51:02] Cathy Adams: If you don’t learn that, if your parent is micromanaging your life. You experience life different. So isn’t that a great question?

[00:51:10] Michelle Icard: I love that question. And I’m so happy that I can think for myself and for my husband’s stories of being a kid, like there, there were these very feral, like rogue elements to our childhood that I remember so fondly.

[00:51:26] Michelle Icard: Me

[00:51:26] Todd Adams: too. No doubt. Me too. Um. Four minutes. Michelle, anything, we didn’t really talk much about the book, uh, we kind of told you that was going to happen, um. It’s,

[00:51:36] Cathy Adams: but it’s, it’s, her book’s Everybody knows about Michelle Sparks. I feel like we’re promoting her books, but people know her. Like, she’s known for being the middle school person.

[00:51:48] Cathy Adams: So, and, like I said, this book, what is the age group for eight setbacks? What’s the range?

[00:51:54] Michelle Icard: This is my first book that is 8 to 18. So it’s all through [00:52:00] late childhood and adolescent, not completely through adolescence because we know it goes all the way to like mid 20s, but all the way through high school.

[00:52:08] Michelle Icard: And, um, I think what I, what I want people to know about the book is that it’s Every kid experiences failure at some point, and it does, it might not be dramatic. It might, you might not know that they’re going through it, but it’s really key to know how you respond. To your child when they are facing some kind of a setback or a challenge, that’s what helps them grow and learn from it.

[00:52:33] Michelle Icard: As we talked about before, that’s what pushes them towards adulthood, your reaction. And if you have a reaction, um, that is not positive, you can. Kind of get them stuck there in that phase. So really the idea behind the book is I know my kid’s going to butt up against something at some point. I want to be prepared so I know how to respond in a way that’s going to help them grow and learn from that.

[00:52:58] Cathy Adams: I’m so glad that book is out there because that’s exactly, you know, I’m so glad you wrote about it and you talk about it. And when we decided to do this conference again, because last year we did a virtual one because obviously COVID, we were still worried about COVID. Um, but you were the first person that we wanted at this conference.

[00:53:14] Cathy Adams: So just so you know, I mean, Duffy does it every year. So he’s just a given. We just. He’s just, he’s basically done, you know, but yeah, like anytime we do it, he’s in, but Michelle, you are the first person because I’m so impressed with your work and I just think you’re wonderful. So I just, just thank you for doing what you do.

[00:53:31] Michelle Icard: Oh my gosh. I’m honored. Thank you.

[00:53:33] Todd Adams: The name of the book is eight setbacks that can make a child a success. And Michelle will be keynoting on

[00:53:39] Cathy Adams: Saturday. She’s on Saturday. Yeah. And then we’re doing two things with Michelle. Um, she has her own keynote where she’s going to talk about whatever she wants to talk about.

[00:53:47] Cathy Adams: She’s the expert. We don’t micromanage that part. And then at the end of the day for the, like the last 30, 40 minutes, it’s going to be Todd and I and Michelle and Duffy. We’re going to do just like a panel where people can ask questions. So we’re there. All [00:54:00] it’s going to be is Q and A. So you’ll get lots of good time with Michelle.

[00:54:04] Todd Adams: Michelle, thank you so much. We will see you in about six weeks. Go buy the book, everybody. Get ready for Michelle coming into Chicagoland, uh, on January 26th and 27th. Yeah.

[00:54:15] Michelle Icard: Bring me all your baseball hat related questions.

[00:54:18] Cathy Adams: We will. And wait, say your website so people know where to find

[00:54:21] Michelle Icard: you. Good idea. Oh, it’s just my name.

[00:54:22] Michelle Icard: So it’s Michelle with two L’s and my last name is I C A R

[00:54:26] Cathy Adams: D. And go follow her on Instagram, everybody, please. All

[00:54:30] Todd Adams: right. We’re going to do this. Uh, see you all next week. Keep trucking and we’ll have Duffy next week, I think we will. Yeah, I think so. We’ll get it. We’ll get, we’ll get them in here eventually.

[00:54:39] Todd Adams: Um, so we’ll see y’all next week.