Please note: Transcripts were created using AI. As a result, there may be some minor errors.
JoAnn Crohn: Welcome to the No Guilt Mom podcast. I’m your host, JoAnn Crohn. Joined here by the lovely Brie Tucker.
Brie Tucker: Hello. Hello everybody. How are you?
JoAnn Crohn: JoAnn and BriAnne.
Brie Tucker: oh yeah. You know what’s funny people don’t know about us is that we both have a capital letter in the middle of our name. AI hates us.
, they never get our names right.
JoAnn Crohn: No, no, it always happens like that. It’s, it’s tons of spelling errors and ease added on that don’t belong or no ease added on in case of your name.
Brie Tucker: well, yeah. Right, and I will say this our friendship is built on many things, but one of them too that I very much cherish about us is that you understand the plight of having a capital letter in the middle of your day. No, it’s a pay everybody experience.
JoAnn Crohn: Not everyone experiences. Yeah.
Brie Tucker: trauma. I can’t tell you growing up, everybody being like, oh no, that, that’s, I didn’t want your middle name.
It’s not my middle name. It’s not
JoAnn Crohn: not my middle name. Or like seeing the Capitol letter and thinking like there’s a space between it. Mm mm There is no space.
Brie Tucker: right. Like Nene, Nene, I say, I know how to spell my name. I’m 32 years old. This
JoAnn Crohn: yeah,
Brie Tucker: what Cat threw that in there. I was still getting better about it in my thirties.
JoAnn Crohn: At 32. Yeah. Oh, the things we have. The things we have. Well, today’s guest is great for all of the venting that we needed to do of raising teenagers and
Brie Tucker: because? Because they bring up all of the emotions. All of the emotions, and it also brings up that killer guilt that you must be doing it wrong because you’re having all these emotions. I.
JoAnn Crohn: And they hit you right in the field. Like those feelings that I had as a teen of rejection, , how teens treat each other and the feeling of being rejected by your teen brings me right back to middle school. And it’s unbelievable how easy those feelings are triggered when they’ve been dormant for so long.
Brie Tucker: I kinda come back to, I, I find myself when I’ve had a rough go of it with my teens. Going back to looking at pictures of them when they were like four and five and I was the world.
JoAnn Crohn: Oh yeah,
Brie Tucker: That’s where I go back to. I just go back to like, why can’t they just go back to being like that? Oh yeah.
Cuz they need to grow.
JoAnn Crohn: My daughter sent me like a meme she found on Instagram the other day. It said , I’m so glad I spent tens of thousands of dollars on my bachelor and master’s degree just to have my four year old daughter tell me how wrong I am.
Brie Tucker: Oh, I know, right? Oh yeah. Like replace that with my 14 year old daughter.
JoAnn Crohn: Yeah. But in the case of my case of my daughter, it’s been happening since she was four. Yeah. She knows it. She admits it. So that’s all that it matters.
Brie Tucker: It’s all about being
JoAnn Crohn: but our interview. Our interview with Sheryl Gould, if you’re getting attitude from your kids right now, this is a must listen. She has a solution that may be the cause of it.
, a common problem that you’d see. And if you don’t know Sheryl Gould, she is the founder of Moms of Tweens and Teen. She’s a parent educator and host of the moms of tweens and teens podcast, and author of the book, s o s, the Technology Guidebook for parents of tweens and teens. Get the answers you need, keep them safe, and enjoy your kids again.
She empowers moms of tweens and teens to break free from feelings of isolation, overwhelm and self-doubt, and help them foster a sense of support, confidence, and a strong bond with their children. So we hope you enjoy our interview with Sheryl.
JoAnn Crohn: Hey Sheryl, it’s so good to see you. Everyone else could hear you, but I have the pleasure of seeing you. So welcome to the podcast, Sheryl.
Sheryl Gould: Oh, thank you. I’m so excited to be here.
JoAnn Crohn: I’ve known about you for so, so long, and I’ve admired the work that you do, and when you came onto the Happy Mom Summit, I was overjoyed. I’m like, oh.
Brie Tucker: The expert in teens. Teens and angst. This is what we need. Because I can’t tell you how many times in my head I’m like, I wasn’t like that when I was a kid. I wasn’t like that yet. We all know I was
Sheryl Gould: You just have to ask your parent, right? They either say, oh my gosh, yes, you’re getting, you know, you’re getting it back, and or they’ll say, no. My mom will say, no, I don’t think you ever were like that.
Brie Tucker: Oh, I know my
JoAnn Crohn: my mom does that and I’m like, what are you talking about? Like I remember this mom, I apologize to her all the time when I get attitude from my teen. Cause I’m like, I am so sorry. You were doing the best you could. I am so
Brie Tucker: agreed. I think that the best way for you to really appreciate your parents is to have a teen or a young adult . Toddler preschoolers, they are hard and so are elementary and middle schoolers. But once you get to those teenagers, I can’t tell you again how like JoAnn just said, how many times I’ve called my parents and been like, I’m so sorry.
Remember that vacation you took me on to the lake and I was just a real be the whole time you guys, no matter what you tried to do to make me happy. Yeah, I apologize
Sheryl Gould: I
Brie Tucker: cause I get it back all the
Sheryl Gould: and , and it’s so good to have that perspective because then we, we need to remember what we are like. And I think about some things I’d done when I was that age, and it is helpful in a way thinking like, okay, my kid’s doing something similar, but gosh, I was doing those kind of things too.
JoAnn Crohn: exactly. Exactly. With teens and when we’re talking about attitude and teen ang, it’s so interesting to see like the skills that they’re missing when you have these arguments with them. So, like I was talking with Bree about, , we went to Europe on vacation. We just came back this week and, , I got in the, into a little tiff with my daughter because she wanted to go take pictures by the Eiffel Tower at this really picturesque spot that she saw on Instagram.
And so she mentioned one day, mom, I wanna go take pictures at the Eiffel Tower. I’m like, sure. Thinking like, okay, the Eiffel Tower is right there, let’s. Go do that. But it was a specific spot, Sheryl, and she did not communicate the specific spot, and we woke up at six to go to this spot. She didn’t know where this spot was.
She, and she blamed me for it. She’s like, well, I told you I wanted to go mom. And I’m like, oh, we’re a bit some skills here, child like. Like figuring out directions and knowing a point on the map that you wanna go to and how to get there and
Brie Tucker: and realizing that a street can be very long,
JoAnn Crohn: could be very long. Cause what happened is she Google mapped it and we found the street, but then we got to the place and we’re like, but the Eiffel Tower is that way. No, it was a long street, but I had walked 20 minutes in the opposite direction. To find this exact spot, which is gorgeous. But yeah, tea teens hand that to you cuz you think they know what they’re doing and then you find all these skills that they are still missing.
Sheryl Gould: Well I love that you’re talking about their, the skills that they’re missing cuz we don’t think about it like
Brie Tucker: that’s what
Sheryl Gould: about deodorant. Like they haven’t done that before. And then we get mad that they’re forgetting to put on their deodorant, but it’s not a habit yet. Or they tend to not they, they’re not planners because that prefrontal cortex is not working, fully.
And so it’s sounds great. I’m gonna go get this picture taken and it’s gonna be like that Instagram picture. But they don’t think. It through that, oh, this might be difficult to find or exactly where is this, but then,
Brie Tucker: I was gonna say also, right, like they’re also looking at their past experience and years before mom and dad planned all that stuff for them. So things just magically happened with minimal effort, so
Sheryl Gould: oh, I, and that’s such a good point because that’s why it becomes JoAnn’s fault
JoAnn Crohn: my fault. It was my fault because she, she mentioned it two days ago in one little snippet of conversation, and I should have had it done by now.
Sheryl Gould: Yeah, she’s, she’s, you know, gonna take you there, but they’re in this big transition where they, this independence and they’re gonna do it. And if you try to help them do it, then they’re mad that you did it. But then when they can’t do it, then they’re mad at you and it becomes your fault. It’s like,
JoAnn Crohn: yes.
Brie Tucker: Can’t.
JoAnn Crohn: I’m so glad you brought up the prefrontal cortex cuz just being reminded of that fact has called me down a little bit. I’m like, that is why it happened. There’s no planning that exists yet. Okay. I can get, and I can center myself once again,
Sheryl Gould: How
JoAnn Crohn: but I.
Sheryl Gould: take you to find it? I’m dying to know. Did you? I.
JoAnn Crohn: We left the hotel at six 30 and we had to cross the send to get to a bus stop and we rode a bus 20 minutes, , to this place that we thought it was. And then we walked 10 minutes to the place. We were like, oh, not the place. Meanwhile, I haven’t had breakfast and I was so, so happy that I told my husband and , son.
To just meet us at the cafe because my son would not have got along with this at, he would’ve like erupted and then it took us 20 minutes walking along this street back towards the Eiffel Tower to find it. So I would guess an hour total. Yeah,
Sheryl Gould: Oh my gosh, I love
JoAnn Crohn: it was, it was a good learning. It was a good learning experience for her.
In terms of what we need to plan for and for me to be like giving her the grace of , she doesn’t have these skills yet.
Sheryl Gould: Yeah. Yep. What way
JoAnn Crohn: But you, you, Sheryl, you’ve been doing this for over 15 years now, coaching parents for help with their teens. I’m curious, how did you get started?
Sheryl Gould: Well, I got started from my own experience trying to raise my tween, my, my oldest, who is a girl who tomorrow will be 33. So I
Brie Tucker: been through it.
Sheryl Gould: yeah, learned a lot and she was tough. She was strong-willed and. She was moldy and we were butting heads and I wanted to fix her and something was wrong with her and I took her to therapy to fix her and then they would bring me into the room with her and it became very clear that I was a big part of the problem and I ended up meeting with a therapist.
I’m like, okay, I realize a lot of this reactivity is me. Then that therapist had a moms group that she led, and she invited me in that moms group. And it was life changing. I mean, it, I got in there, I cried through the whole thing, the first one because they were talking about their struggles and their challenges and they were so, real and transparent.
And I was like, oh my gosh, I’m not alone. And so then the therapy practice asked another mom and I if we would lead a group at the therapy practice. So we started a group there, and I loved it because I just saw these moms like, they’re not alone anymore. They’re not the only ones. And then all of a sudden, so many things started turning around in their families.
And so it just grew from there. Then I started leading groups outside of the therapy practice on my own and it really became, , a niche where I didn’t start out that way where it was gonna be moms of tweens and teens, but it became that because I found all the moms were coming where moms had tweens and teens, because a lot starts bubbling up when they hit the tween years.
A lot is happening and so. That’s how it started. And then somebody said you should start a website, and then it just grew from there. So, , yeah, it’s been amazing and very rewarding. Like you both know supporting moms as well, it’s just,
JoAnn Crohn: yeah, and moms, when they realize that they’re not alone, it’s like a light bulb goes off because you don’t put so much shame and pressure on yourself thinking that everybody else has their lives together, but I’m the only one. And so that sense of community is so important for moms to have.
Brie Tucker: All I have to say, yeah. All I have to say is that all that TV full house lied to me when I was a kid. Cause I thought that’s what it was gonna be like having kids. Like if there was a problem. My kid would maybe get a little bit of attitude, but we’d get it all fixed and at the end of the argument they’d come and they’d hug me and we’d be like, oh, life is wonderful, liars.
JoAnn Crohn: Liar.
Brie Tucker: what it’s like. That is not what having a teen is like at all.
JoAnn Crohn: They
Sheryl Gould: Oh my gosh, yes. And I thought, I’m never I’m not gonna repeat those patterns that I grew up with in my family and I’m gonna do it differently. And then it was like, wait, this isn’t supposed to be happening.
Brie Tucker: Right.
JoAnn Crohn: No, because like we repeat what we went through, it’s like an automatic response. If our parents were reactive with us, we weren’t shown any other way to be but reactive, and it’s just, It triggers it. Especially when a teen comes to us. , they’re like, this is all your fault. I can’t believe you didn’t do this.
I told you about this or what you’ve written about. I hate you. It triggers all of these horrible things within us.
Brie Tucker: Right. And
Sheryl Gould: Oh.
Brie Tucker: and don’t we also think that like, we’re doing it wrong. Like you said Sheryl, I’m gonna do it differently than my parents did. I’m gonna do these things all differently. So when those attacks come out, I don’t wanna call it a tax, that’s actually the wrong word.
I’m sure you would know a better term per, but like,
JoAnn Crohn: Emotional outbursts.
Brie Tucker: go. When the emotional outbursts happen, we think that we must be doing something wrong, right? Because we are doing it differently than our parents, or we’re trying to, and so it must be our mistake that it’s happening and, and you’ve showed us that it’s not necessarily that.
Sheryl Gould: No, I think it’s really easy to take it personally. And, I think that, we have a lot of beliefs that we bring in from our childhood and those beliefs, even if maybe we’re trying to react differently, like one of mine was. You’re not allowed to talk back, or you are bad that you’re talking back.
Well then you have a middle schooler, high schooler and all of a sudden they start talking back and that was, that was breaking the rules big time. And yeah, what I learned is, no, this is a kid that is developmentally. They are arguing because they’re trying to develop their own voice. They’re trying to figure out who they are, separate from you.
I love Lisa Damour. She calls it, they’re trying to brand themselves.
They’re, they’re doing their own personal branding and I love that. I’m like, yes. So they’re arguing more. It really doesn’t have so much to do with us. And my daughter was angry and there were things that she understandably was angry about.
But I was spending a lot of time trying to shut that anger down because that anger is bad. And in my family you just stuffed it. So, um, yeah.
JoAnn Crohn: Do you think that anger is bad? Is a gender thing too? Like for women, anger is bad, but for like boys, was anger acceptable?
Sheryl Gould: I. That is such a good question and I do believe there’s something. I’m wondering what you think, Brie. I think there’s something to it with girls. We have. We have different rules, and you’re supposed to be more agreeable. You’re supposed to be nice, you’re supposed to be, you know, just don’t be too much and don’t, I, I even heard you both talking about on a podcast where it’s like there’s certain things we’re just supposed to play a little smaller.
Just tone it down and. But I found, you know, boys, my son would get really defensive and he triggered me too when he would get angry. And that was hard for me to know how to take care of myself because he was a male, if that makes sense. So I don’t, you know, it, it was like, how do I take care of myself cuz he’s a guy?
And that seemed to be hard for me.
Brie Tucker: right.
JoAnn Crohn: Wait, tell me a little bit more about this, because I don’t, I don’t understand, , why it’s different cuz he’s a guy to take care of yourself as a parent versus the girl. Like, what was your thinking at the time?
Sheryl Gould: Yeah, I mean, that’s a good question. Even as I say that, it makes me think about like, what was that? I think it was, well, one thing, you know my, I lost my dad at 10 and we’re talking about kind of how our childhoods can impact how we are. And so I think that I was looking a lot for his approval. You know, I was always kind of seeking men’s approval.
And so I think that I have put, and I like to believe I don’t do that anymore, but I think that I do do that because he’s a boy and he’s my son and now he’s 30. And, I can still have some of that with him. , and it looks different than having daughters. But I think that I was looking for his approval in a different way than I was looking for it for my daughters.
And, and then I also got bullied as a kid. It was usually males that I got bullied by. So if he was mad at me, I would feel he might be kind of like, felt like a bully to me. And then I didn’t, , know how to stand up for myself. So then I would just get mad, which was, and, and maybe yell, which wasn’t effective either.
JoAnn Crohn: I see that. Yeah. And it’s so much about how our past and how our childhood and upbringing really does affect our parenting. And we have to consciously rewire the ways that we think about behavior and look inside really to see how we’re reacting to change things. And one of the things that you mentioned, especially when dealing with teens, I think all kids though have this, is this connection and communication breakdown that you might have and you might not realize you have it.
So what are some signs that there might be a connection, a communication breakdown with you and your team?
Sheryl Gould: Well, I think that , when you were talking about kind of figuring out how am I feeling, think that we tend to come from a place of what my kid is doing versus just slowing it down and saying, How am I feeling? And one of the little dashboard lights I call them is if we’re parenting a lot out of fear, which I think that it’s, that is one of the big things when you have a tweener teen, you start having less control because they are pulling away and they are becoming more independent.
And so because of that, I think that we start, reacting more. Outta that fearful place. And then we wanna control. And when we’re trying to do that, our tween, our teen, is gonna be more resistant. They’re gonna feel us coming in with that energy. We’re gonna wanna control them, and then they’re not gonna like it and they’re gonna resist and rebel that much more.
And so, yeah, communication, barriers come up.
JoAnn Crohn: It’s a good point that you make about us parenting through fear. I know I do this a lot with my daughter whenever I see her on Instagram, and especially all the work that we we do in social media. And of course you probably know Sheryl because you wrote the book on social media and teens literally.
And I, I see that and I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m so afraid that these apps are dragging you in and that you were just looking for that next dopamine surge and you can’t stop. And trying to turn my fear into a discussion instead of a control, but that takes a lot of work and re almost resistance.
Like I have to resist what I naturally wanna do in that situation.
Sheryl Gould: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. It does take a lot of slowing down and paying attention to, okay, what is happening inside of me that. I’m, I’m wanting to, you know, ah, which just feels like, ah, um, and control them. And yeah, just slowing it down and
JoAnn Crohn: Slowing it down.
Sheryl Gould: is really important and we can become more skilled at that.
I’ve definitely, over the years become more skilled at just checking in with myself and noticing, and we’re not always gonna do it perfectly either.
JoAnn Crohn: And it’s interesting cuz when you do slow down and when you do talk with your kids about this and have that communication, which is what I love in your books, you give compared so many prompts about how to start these discussions, especially revolving around social media. , but you find that there’s stuff going on that you didn’t know was going on.
So for example, when I, I went into my daughter’s room the other night and she was on her phone in her bed, and I’m like, I’m so worried that you’re spending so much time here. And she’s like, mom, I just spent 60 minutes stretching on my floor and you just came in three minutes ago. And , this is my break.
I’m like, okay.
Sheryl Gould: Exactly. Yeah, because you’re fearful and, and it’s understandable too because we don’t want them to be on their phones all the time. And it’s understandable. And that’s why I made so many conversations starters, because I really wanted this book to be more relational. Because if we’re trying to control ’em around the technology, then they’re not gonna be talking to us as much.
JoAnn Crohn: Um, yeah, it is all about the relationship. why did you decide to write the book?
Sheryl Gould: I decide to write the book because it was coming up all the time. It’s just, it’s such a pain point. And, and so much is always changing. I mean, you think about TikTok, I mean, it’s just, there’s, there’s always things that are changing. And now we have AI and there’s just all the time it’s just rapidly changing.
So, there’s a lot, that moms are feeling scared about. And I wanted to write a book that was more aimed at seeking to be curious to understand. Where they’re at, what they’re going through, and to have some of those good conversations with them, where they’re gonna be more open to hearing, to paying attention to how they’re feeling when they’re on social media.
We want our kids to, be able to eventually, , where they can notice like, oh, I’m on Instagram and I’m looking at all these feeds, and there are girls and their bathing suits. Or boys, you know, they’re, they’re working out or whatever, and I’m not feeling so great. And so that they can start noticing how they’re feeling or I’ve been gaming for seven hours not feeling so great.
That’s what where we want them to get to that point where then they can start self-regulating and
we can’t really do that without the conversations. And also when they’re exposed to content that doesn’t feel good, like, you know, bullying, cyber bullying that’s going on. So, what do you do when that’s when you see that happening?
How do you respond? How do you handle it?
JoAnn Crohn: Yeah. Having all those discussions beforehand,
Brie Tucker: Yeah. Let’s, let’s
just, yeah, let’s just grab a little snippet right there. What would be a suggestion for when, you know, your child is dealing with that, where they’re getting, cyber bullying is not feeling right. What is something that a parent could work on with their teen in that scenario? Sorry, I’m totally just throwing this right out at you fastball.
Sheryl Gould: Yeah, that’s, yeah, that’s okay. I well, if they’re telling you that’s huge. If they’re telling you that it’s happening, it’s huge. And what we have to do is when they come to us and they tell us that’s been happening, then that’s, again, it’s so easy to react out of that fear and Mama Bear comes out and.
Oh my gosh. You just like wanna be on the attack. You wanna find out exactly who it is and what they’re doing and, and call their mom and tell them that their kid is doing this. And so we have to all those, all those reactions are normal, of course. That’s how we feel. And then to remind ourselves that we’re here for them to hear what’s happening and what’s going on, and to listen. So once they’ve talked about it and just like, how, what, what happened? You know? So you get curious what happened and then they can tell you a little bit more. And then what did you do? You know when that happened. And then you can get to the point where, how can I help? How can I support you? Sometimes now cyberbullying is cyberbullying, you know, sometimes, uh, and that’s serious.
Sometimes it’s a little bit of joking that doesn’t feel good, or a jab that, you know, a kid will give another kid a jab in front of other kids on social media and it’s, and it hurts. Sometimes that will take care of itself and it’ll work itself out. So that’s where we wanna coach them. We wanna find out, has this happened before?
How long has this been going on and allow them to talk about it, how are you feeling about that? And then be able to come up with a plan of what to do about it. , and then hearing from them what they think they wanna do about it
rather than just jumping. Yeah, jumping on the phone and calling mom.
JoAnn Crohn: Yeah,
Brie Tucker: it
all. The mom. The mom. And you like that We were talking about before, like how plans can go awry and it’s because mom and dad used to, I was gonna say mom. Mom used to plan everything, so it’s somehow mom’s fault. We feel that internal guilt, right? That , something’s going on with our kids, our babies, even though they’re teens.
Somehow it’s, we should be fixing it, but we can’t always, and we shouldn’t always.
JoAnn Crohn: No, so your book is called s o s, the Technology Guidebook for Parents of Tweens and Teens. Where can people get it?
Sheryl Gould: you can get it on Amazon, you can get it wherever books are sold. You can go to the moms of tweens and teens.com website and you can purchase it on there. So yeah.
JoAnn Crohn: Awesome, and we will have a link in the show notes of course, for the book. So thank you so much, Sheryl, for joining us. It has been an absolute pleasure.
Sheryl Gould: Oh, thank you so much for having me on. I love you both and you’re just, it’s so much fun to get to connect with you.
Brie Tucker: Oh, thank you. We love you too. Alright, we shall talk again soon.
Sheryl Gould: Okay, great. Thank you so much. Bye.
JoAnn Crohn: We were talking with Sheryl about the book title she has, and how I cannot remember my own book titles sometimes because of how long. So I asked her if she has trouble too, and thankfully she said yes. So I feel like I am not alone in this.
Brie Tucker: What do you know? Not only did Sheryl make you not feel alone as a parent of a teen, she’s also helping you feel not alone as an author. I love it. I
JoAnn Crohn: author. It’s funny because when you feel like you write a book, you’re like, oh yes, I wrote a book. , it is my thing and I should know everything in it at all times. And you’re like, no, no you don’t.
Brie Tucker: Hey, I can’t remember.
JoAnn Crohn: title. forget what you wrote about
Brie Tucker: I can’t remember what I wrote down for my notes five minutes ago. I don’t have any books that I have written, but if I did, you can guarantee Bree would not remember the title. I’d be like the one about the thing. I’d be like a Seinfeld You know the one about the thing that, yeah, the thing.
JoAnn Crohn: It’s true, it happens, but you should definitely go get her book. It has so many discussion starters that you can use with your own child so that you really get that communication a lot stronger so you can stop reacting out of fear and develop a closer connection, which is really what we’re all about here at.
No Guilt Mom as well,
Brie Tucker: Yeah, I mean, all age groups I think are tough in parenting, but teens and tweens are definitely a slippery slope.
JoAnn Crohn: They’re hard. Definitely remember the best. Mom is a happy mom. Take care of you. We’ll talk to you later.
Brie Tucker: Thanks for stopping by.