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Episode 111

The 5 Pillars Kids Need to Be Prepared for Adulthood

June 10, 2024
In Episode 111, Kyle and Sara, LPCs, interview Nellie Harden, she is an author, speaker, and mother of 4 teenage girls. She shares with us the 5 pillars that prepare kids to leave the nest and feel confident growing into adulthood. We discuss how important it is for our kids to feel worthy and valued so they can become healthy human beings. She also shares some awesome rituals they do to connect and understand their teenagers more deeply.

Learn more about Nellie.

Nellie Harden is a family life & leadership coach helping parents lead their daughters through the good, great, hard and sticky parts of childhood to the greatest and strongest beginning of their adulthood.

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Episode 111 Transcript:

Are you a parent of teenagers or are you already thinking about those teenage years and feeling kind of terrified about whether or not you've equipped them enough to go into their adult years to leave that home and really be successful? I mean, doesn't that like fill a lot of your thoughts? Have we done enough? Have we really taught them what they need to know? Have we given them the skills? And then this will blow your mind. Did you know we only have 6 ,570 days from the time they're born to the time they leave?

to really give them all these skills and this knowledge that we want them to go into adulthood with. Well, today we're bringing you a guest, a mom of four teenagers, all born within the span of about four years. So she's right in the midst of it. And she has given us so much gold today in this interview. She's gonna give you five specific pillars that we need to be intentional about giving our kids before they leave our house. So you do not wanna miss those five.

And by the end, you're going to hear about ways to be able to intentionally start helping your kids know their value and know their worth before they leave your home and go out into this world. So I'd encourage you to stay till the end to listen to those five, start implementing today. And if you haven't already, please stop what you're doing right now. Leave a comment, leave a review and share this particular interview or others.

to other families, because it's going to equip you with exactly what you need to help your kids be successful. So enjoy the interview.

Hello and welcome to the Art of Raising Humans. I'm Kyle. And I'm Sara. And today we're gonna talk about teenagers. You know, Sara, a lot of parents, you'll hear them so scared about having teenagers, you know? And they're really intimidated about those teenage years. They're like, my gosh, if we can just get there and survive those, you know, they're just really scared of it. And I know we've always been pretty excited about the teenage years, you know? And today we wanna bring on a special guest who she loves the teenage years as well.

And if you have a teenager, specifically a teenage girl, but any teenager, this will work for, but specifically teenage girls, she is going to blow your mind with some great tips on how to help those girls become women who are really like know their value, know their self -worth. And she's really, really passionate about that. So without further ado, I want to say welcome Nellie.

Hello, thank you so much for having me.

And Nellie, I want everyone to know you, you're not just a lady talking about having one teenager or even two teenagers, but you've got, you've got four teenage daughters. Okay. You're an author and a speaker. And I love this in your bio where you said that you help parents love and lead their daughters in a way that teaches them to love and lead themselves by building a strong foundation of worth, esteem and confidence in them all before they leave home.

Mm -hmm.

And who doesn't want that? I know I was actually, so Kyle, you know, you guys met before I met you, but when he introduced me to you, I was so excited for this topic because in fact, this morning I was having a conversation with my teenage daughter and she was talking about different body sizes and you know, like weight and all that stuff. And I thought this is just so needed. These girls get these messages so young.

and what's your value and what it's caught up in how you look. And she even says, sometimes even when people tell you you're pretty, you almost don't even like it because of the pressure that comes with that. And it's, I mean, this was just a little bitty conversation and we need to have a lot all her teenage years, but I was so excited to have you here because I know every girl out there, I remember and you still feel it, I think all your life, but it's hard.


And I really am excited to hear what you do and just your story and all the things for girls. Well, real quick, Nellie, before you get into that, I want to say this isn't just a podcast for moms talking about this stuff. That's vital. But dads, if you're listening, like you need to hear this. Like for goodness sakes, even as even as Sara's saying that Nellie, I'm thinking, OK, I need to really listen really good here because I don't want to suck.

as a dad of teenage daughters, right? Like, I think I have it kind of pictured in my mind what it's like to be a dad of a teenage son. I think I've got that kind of vision in my head, but man, to be a dad of teenage daughters. So we really want to hear about like, how did you get into this? Why are you passionate about this?

Well, that really goes back all the way to the beginning of my own journey as a young woman myself. And so, my dad died when I was super young. I was just one and it was just my mom and I, and then she got remarried and had my brother and sister and things. And so my childhood, although it was good in many aspects, it was very busy and it was full of some traumas and dramas and things like that. And so when I left home at 17,

to move seven hours south and didn't see my family for months, I really was not, and I could not have told you this back then. So anyone listening who has a 17 year old, do not expect them to be profound and self -reflective like this, because I certainly didn't know, but I was not prepared for the world. And I was more released out into the world.

And it's kind of like, you know, you're going along, you mentioned survival mode that many people can get in in the teen years, especially preteen and teen, and you go along on this conveyor belt of, you know, checked boxes of, okay, I had this birthday. Okay, we got the driver's permit. Okay, we got the license. You know, we, we went to prom or, you know, whatever it is. And then there's just a drop off at the end with a sign hovering above it that says, good luck, you know, see you later. And yeah.

Yes. Yes.

That's right.

and you're being released out into the world. And what happens then is, as young men as well, but especially as a young woman, you are in this void that then you just start grasping and grappling for any sense of worth and security. And so that can look like anything from, I'm gonna get really good grades or,


I'm going to stand and get really bad grades because that's who I am, right? Or it could be accolades, it could be sports, it could be clubs, it could be relationships and boys, et cetera. And if you are seeking any of those out with the sheer perspective and passion of, if I do this, I will be worthy, then what you're going to find is not going to be worthiness. And that's what happened to me when I left home and...

it took me down and it takes anyone down some really dark paths and corridors. And so then in the midst of all of my very in -depth decades long healing process from things that had happened during that time for me, I was blessed with four daughters within four years. And so, you know, yeah, yes.

Wow. Yeah, yeah, because you have twins, right? You have twin girls too. Yes.

I have twins in the middle. So my daughters today are 19, 16, 16 and 14. And so, yeah, I mean, we are very much in the middle of everything happening in the, you know, the Mecca of teenage hood, if you will. And, but we almost lost my husband when my daughters were very young too. And it was, it was a time that was very clarifying, you know.

when you're faced with things like that. He was in cardiac surgery and I had a four year old, two twin, two year olds and a newborn. And, you know, we didn't know if he was going to make it or not. And things just get really crystal clear. And I look at them and I'm like, okay, we only have a certain amount of time, 65, 70 to be exact, 6 ,570 days. That's how many days are in 18 years. So approximately that long in order to build them,

into who they can be in order to be equipped to be out in the world. Because we're always raising to the point of the title of your podcast, which I absolutely love, right? We're always raising humans. We're raising adults. We are not raising kids. And so I was able to look at my newborn even at the time. And I've had the pleasure of being in the birthing suite with some beautiful babies in the past couple of years and even looking at them and saying, look at this beautiful young.


woman, right? And let's see, you know, how we can build you and be with you along the way. And so that really, along with my career in, you know, biology and psychology, and I worked in the animal field for a while and got to see the black and white nature of childhood to the much more messier human component that I've been in for the last decade plus. That's really the roads that have led me to the work that I do today in order to help


build this foundation during the childhood experience when their brains are a lot more malleable and formable versus in adults like I had to do, which is the other side of the coin to my work is helping women who need to rebuild or build for the first time this foundation as adults. It's much harder. So let's do what we can for families during their childhood experience. And that's where I am today.

Yeah. Wow. Wow. That so much. I, that just brought a lot of questions to my mind, but I'll start with, then if I look at that and I look at my daughters or my children and think, all right, I want to, I want them to do really well in adulthood, then I would love to hear how, what, what is it you're wanting to equip in your daughters? What, what do we want to look at our children and think this is what I want to build into them?

as they're moving into adulthood.

So yes, what you want to well what everyone wants to build is going to be a little bit different But I think you're gonna be hard -pressed to find anyone any parent that says no I don't think I want my daughter to have any self -worth or esteem or confidence, right and so these are

That's right.

the foundations that you wanna build right there, but they need to be built on something, just like a house needs to be built on something. You need to dig down to the bedrock, right? And there's some understandings that need to be there, biology, psychology, their faith structure, culture, how they relate out in the world, right? And so that's going to be the bedrock that then this foundation of worth, esteem, and confidence is built on. So you can see in even just the,

what, seven things I just mentioned, it's very individualized. And so, you know, one of the sayings that they say, or they, you know, quote unquote is, you know, no one wrote the book on parenting, which is or isn't true. Cause if you go to the bookstore, there's entire sections on parenting.

Yep. Yep.

I know.

But here's the thing, that is somebody had success in this and so they're like, okay, this is how everyone quote unquote should parent, right? And there's that should word in there, which brings with it a whole host of other baggage. But what I really encourage parents to do and understand is that it is their job and their duty to write the book on parenting for that child. And...

Mm -hmm.

Every child is different. I have four daughters. I call them four corners of a square. They're all very different, including the twins. And I have to write the book on how to parent that one and that one and that one and that one, right? So even within the same home, it's very different. And so when you can pull out and say, okay, this is what we want from a 30 ,000 foot view. Okay, now let's go in and make it for you and you.


Yeah. Yeah. Mm -hmm. Yep.

and you. And that all has to do with their value system, which is unique and different for everybody. It has to do with how they communicate and relate with the world, how they take in information, how they share information. It has to do with their biology, what's going on in their different brain. Everyone has a different brain. And between men and women, it's a very, very different brain. And so understanding those iniquities,


are really important. But to your point, Sara, that you were asking, it really comes down to, okay, worth, esteem, and confidence. And esteem is really value and appreciation of self. And it has to go in that order. You have to establish the worth before you can start to establish value and appreciation. You can't have value or appreciate something if it's unworthy, right?

And you certainly can't have confidence, which is belief in self, if you don't value it, if you don't appreciate it, and if you don't think it is worthy. And so it really has to be in that stair step model, if you will. And then on top of that, you know, you have the bedrock and then you built the foundation for them in the first part of childhood with them in the second part of childhood. And then they are at the point that they are launching into life.




And the house that's on top is the life that they build.

Yeah. Yeah. I love, I want to just repeat those three for the audience again. So worth a steam and confidence, right? Nellie, that's the order, right? Worth a steam and confidence. And then, and then one other one that I've always loved that you first, when I first met you, it was that stinking number 6570. That just like Sara, we only have 6570 days to really do our best work.

Absolutely. Yes.

Yeah, this is when we really got to shine. All right. And it can feel like pressure. Part of it, you know, part of me as a parent goes.

is so grateful to know that number because I now hold that information, I can do something about it and I can approach that every bit of those numbers with intentionality and having that in my mind instead of letting it slip away and looking back and going, I wish I would have known that. I wish I would have had that in my mind to be intentional with. Yeah.

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And you know, you hear things like, I was just speaking recently and you know, there's the 18 summers, which love that book and love the intentionality of that. On the other hand, there's a lot between summers, right? That happen in there. And we want to have fun and we want to create this beautiful childhood experience. But on the other side of that coin, we have a job to do to prepare them and equip them.


for life after they leave home. And I'm all about, you know, building a beautiful childhood, but it has to go beyond that. It is our humble responsibility as parents to equip them for the world. So every one of those days, and perfectionism is something that is a roadblock to all of this. And so when I hear, yeah, absolutely. So when I hear things,

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Of course, definitely. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

and like, that number, the 18 summers or the 65, 70, or I gotta be perfect every day. No, absolutely no. If you try to show up perfect every day, you're going to be blocking yourself and your child from growth. They need to be able to see you fall down and get back up and come to them and have accountability.

Yes, yes. Love that. Yeah.


and say, you know, I'm having a really hard day or see your weaknesses. There's so much in parenting that we bring in from our own childhoods that we don't mean to or want to bring in, but when we can just be open and honest about that and, you know, my kids know, for example, that worthiness, I mean, you teach what you know well, right? Worthiness is a big struggle for me. It has been my entire life. And so my kids know that.


And when I'm having a day that I'm not feeling, you know, very worthy and I have to do the very intentional inside out work instead of listening to the world that tells me it's outside in, right? They can help me through that because I've been open and honest with them in that. So every one of these 65, 70 days does not need to look like a, you know,


Party for the ages and perfection and everyone's getting straight A's and trophies or what have you, right? It just means growth every day.

Yeah. Yeah.

But I was wondering if worth is the first step, what are some specific things that you help parents do to start building that worth in their kids, no matter what age they are? What's some specific things they can be doing today to help build that worth?

Yeah, absolutely. So there are five pillars of worth that every human, every, you know, human that ever was, is, or will be needs in order to build that worth. And like I said, we need to teach and live this inside out instead of outside in. And that is a daily, sometimes multiple times daily choice and struggle. But we, that is what we need to do in order to get a,

fully fulfilled life, right, is inside out because the world are like, how many followers do you have? Who all came to your party? You know, how many Valentines did you get? You know, that'll be what the world tells you. you're not worthy because you didn't get that, right? But that's not true. So these five pillars are, and I'll just run through them and then we can go through some examples, but are to be seen, heard, loved, belong and have purpose. Okay, so.

Yes. Yeah.

Easy things anyone listening to this right now can do in their homes today is work on these five. And so even the being seen. So when your child walks into the room, lift up your eyes, look at them and say their name. Hey, Trinity is one of my daughter's names. Hey Trinity, how are you today? Right? They know that they weren't invisible when they came into the room. Someone actually cared.

Yes. Yeah.

Someone knows their name and yes, of course you're their mom and you know their name, but the brain lights up differently when your name is being used. And there's been some beautiful studies on that, but your brain lights up because someone recognizes me and they're interested in me and I am worthy of their time and attention and they're asking me, right?

And so say their name, look up, give them eye contact, and then actually listen, which goes into the second part of being heard. Right? And so everybody needs their ideas, their inputs, their opinions to actually be heard. And this can start super young, of course, but even the simplest things like...


Hey, I'm struggling with what to have on dinner on Tuesday. What do you think? What are some of the things that you would like? Or, yeah, or, you know, I'm having this trouble with a friend of mine and I don't know, do you, this is what is going on. Do you have any advice, you know, that you would give me? I mean, that is so powerful to get advice. And I remember doing this with my four and five year olds when they were that little too. And it just gives them this,

Yeah, I love that. Yep.


Yep. Yep.

I'm not just, you know, a little girl per se. I am someone speaking into the relationship of my mom and another adult. And this is important. And she's actually listening to what I have to say. And that's huge. And so opening up and asking opinions, something else that's really fun that you can do as a family is escape rooms.

Mm -hmm. Yes.

that is so fun to do as a family and everyone, you know, you get to learn different talents and, and innate abilities of people. But as parents sitting back and making sure that everyone's ideas are being heard in those moments is really important too. So that's just like a fun aside that you can do. And then, you know, being loved, being loved is like just, it doesn't have to be a lot of people.


Yeah, it's awesome.

again, unlike the world will tell you, you just really need one to five or so people on a very short list. Brene Brown talks about the one inch by one inch piece of paper. Love Brene Brown. She's the world renowned expert on vulnerability. And so she talks about this one inch by one inch piece of paper that she just keeps in her wallet and those are the people, okay? Those are the people that she knows.

Yep. Yep.

that there is love there, she can count on, and those are the people that she can go to. The rest of the world is, you know, chaos or falling apart. It can seem in any given moment, but those people right there, those are her people. And so, and then the next one is belonging, right? We can feel very untethered in this world. We've all heard so many, especially adolescents talk about how,

they can be in a crowd of thousands of people and feel utterly alone. And, you know, I'm going to do a shout out to the, you know, grown women out there too. And especially we're seeing this during thirties, forties, fifties, perimenopausal times and things like this. It can feel very alone as well. And you can feel very alone as well. So holding on to that tether of belonging, just having somewhere that you know you belong.

And this is an area of a lot of angst for our adolescents today. They go, you might see your daughter or your son go all in on this new crowd at school or this new hobby, or someone is like, come over here and help us with this project. And they're like, okay. And they run toward it again, searching and being a worth chaser and searching for that. And then they're all in because they are just really, really striving for somewhere.

to belong, right? And so making sure that in your home, you have that tether right there. And you can help them find other tethers out in the world as well, but at home, there has to be a tether right there that they absolutely belong to. And then lastly is purpose and just making sure you're always walking towards something, right? So everything quote unquote cannot be done at any given.

Yeah. Yeah.

moment, right? Then there's no purpose. Why am I here? I have nothing to do. No one wants me. No one wants to listen to me, right? These are some of the things that you hear from our adolescents today. Honestly, I have yet to hear a complaint or a talk with an adolescent that's going through especially depressive states or has been having issues at school that it is not one or more of these five.

Because if you look at the opposites of these five, that's where we're having our troubles, right? I don't belong, I'm invisible, no one cares about what I have to say, no one loves me, I have no reason, no purpose to be here, right? And so these five pillars of worth are things that you could start working on in your home immediately and start helping them find out in the world as well.


Yep. Yep.

Well, I want to see if I can pass the test real quick. I hope every listener listening, let's see if you know the five, okay? Be seen, be heard, be loved, belong and have purpose, right? Gosh, yes, that's awesome. No, I love those. I love those five. And obviously having the luxury that Sara and I do to get to spend so much time with teenagers and kids of all ages and help so many families with the work we do here in Tulsa and throughout the world.

You got it, 100%.

I can definitely see as you're saying them Nellie, I'm like, yeah, I'm already like, okay, Kyle, you're going to use this now with this kid tomorrow when you're doing this session with that teenager, because it's such a great framework visually, I could see writing it on the board, you know, if I'm a parent and like a dry erase board and, and like, as a couple going, how are we doing these five things? How we want to make sure by the time they leave our house, by the time that 6570 is up,

that these five things have been done with intentionality.

Absolutely, and what's beautiful and you know, all the teenagers that I work with and you can start this, I mean really six, seven years old and it will change obviously over time, but just starting these conversations. But asking your kids, because it will be different for every child, how do you feel seen? What can I do in order to make you feel seen?

Mm -hmm, mm -hmm, mm -hmm.

Hmm... Hmm...

and they will let you know and it's different for every kid. So you can't as a parent necessarily say, I made my children feel seen because you might have through your definition, but not through theirs. And unless it's through theirs, then it actually didn't happen.



Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I was thinking as you were talking, how, how, how much you could invite your children into that. And that'd be something that you're doing together and having regular conversations about. And I love how you highlighted the fact that we all have a different definition for that. And you, you talked about your four daughters are each different and each of our kids, as you were talking, I was thinking, yeah, that, that would be different. How each one would.

would feel seen or feel heard or so I love the idea of just bringing to light. Let's have conversations with them. Let's ask them how that works for them. How, how they feel seen and heard. That's really, well, I'm also thinking in just the differences in the kids, Nellie, how I think some might say, yeah, I definitely feel seen, but I don't feel heard, you know, or I definitely feel heard, but I'm not seen because each one of them, since they have different personality traits and different ways they show up in the world, I can imagine out of those five,

there'd be a few that are stronger and a few that are weaker, you know? And then you're like, okay, with that kid, we really need to emphasize those particular two, because doing those three seems to be easy, you know? Like maybe belonging is easier for that kid who's a little more extroverted and can quickly make connections, where the other one maybe struggles a little more, because they're a little more introverted, right? And so I could see just by doing that, it's also giving, it's giving yourself a framework by which to do it intentionally, but also for a way for them to communicate back to you.


how they're not feeling worth because one of those is lacking and then they can invite you into that. I love asking kids, I mean, as young as six, seven, whatever, for them to say, I would like to be seen more or I'd like to be heard more. Too often, I know, just in our home, our daughters are very good at speaking their minds and what they want and our son kind of struggles with that a little more. So whenever he shows up and his voice is heard, we're like, whoa.

Dude, he like like, like, I remember one time we had this issue with our dog, when we first got our dog and the dog was a little puppy. And about three days in, I thought we made a huge mistake. And I was going to give the dog back. I was like, we don't want this puppy. And I remember, I was expecting big emotions from my daughters about it. But but it was actually my son's voice that moved me the most. Like he was really quiet. And I could tell he was sad. And then I said, Brennan, what do you think about this? And he just said,

So you're saying because the dog's hard, we give it a few days and then we just throw them away. Is that what you're saying? The way he's, I was like, no, that's not what it is kind of what I'm saying. That's right. So I was like, shoot, I can't, now we can't give the puppy away. Cause I don't want him to think that's what we do when something's hard. We're having a hard time with some living animal. We just discard it cause it's difficult.

He's like, what is the message I'm getting here from?

I feel like I've lived that exact same scenario with one of our cats.


So, but, you know, one of the most important ways in order to have this dialogue with your kids, because they won't necessarily want to say it around the whole family, right? And I love the idea of family dinners and, you know, having family time. And we do that a lot, but what really is imperative is that one -on -one time that you have with your kids and setting up a standardized one -on -one time. So,

Yeah, that's good. Yep, yep.

Like in our family, every Tuesday and Thursday night for about 45 minutes, and it starts at nine, nine PM, we go upstairs and my husband's with a young woman. I'm with another. And then on Thursday we're with another and the next week we switch. So my kids know that every week they are going to have about 45 minutes with mom or dad, depending on the week. And,

Mm -hmm.


What you learn in those conversations and the questions that you can ask are so much deeper and vulnerable than if you just asked it around the dinner table or at a family meeting, which I also love, you know, family meetings. We just had one about, you know, summer responsibilities the other day and I handed it out. So everyone knows exactly, you know, clear as kind. So everyone knows their expectations, personal, household, et cetera. But.

Yeah. Yeah.

for these questions, it really is one -on -one work. So how do you feel loved? Because if they feel all their siblings and everything looking at them, they're like, I don't know, I don't wanna say, I might seem weak if I say what I do or what have you. And so I encourage one -on -one conversations for these for sure.

I know.

That's so good. And I would imagine, I know, depending on our kids, they have different personalities and, and, and there's some work that I feel like I have to do to help them learn how to just have that insight and dig deep. You know, at first someone go, I don't know. And, and, but just asking curious questions and helping them explore their internal world and be able to give voice to that. And I love that. Cause I feel like that skill.


I mean, me personally, that was something that's very hard for me growing up. I didn't always feel like I had much of a voice and just the ability to know your internal world and then be able to ask the people in your life. This is what I want. This is what I need. Can you do this for me? I think that's a really, really great skill to be, to be doing with your children. So I love how you highlight that and.

and even give us really tangible, practical ways to be doing that with our children so they can grow up into other relationships and be able to do that. Yeah, that's great.

Absolutely. And those discussions too, and always having that forward thinking, you know, one of my daughters kind of was struggling with some accountability and outward kindness. She has a very soft heart, but on the outside sarcasm just happens to be her natural tongue, which can be, and she always knows, she goes, she's like, I know what it means, because the root of sarcasm means tearing of flesh. And, you know, I,


And she was like, I know, and it hurts people. And she was like, yes, tearing a flesh. And I grew up in a very sarcastic home. And when you're growing up in that way, you never know what's real and what's not. And it's very confusing. And then you can't trust. If you don't know what's real and what's not, you can't trust what someone is saying. And so then,

It's too slow.


Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah.

taking that and being like, well, in your future family, I want your husband to be able to absolutely trust you in what you say. Goof around and have fun, but sarcasm cannot be the main language of any home because it is hurtful and tearing a flesh. So, yeah, but always have no, we don't want that, but always having that forward idea, you know, and.


Yeah. And we don't want that. We don't want that.

you know, how are you going to love your children? How are you going to love your spouse? You know, how are you going to relate and work in the community and help them by what we're doing now? And that's why the 65, 70 and having that visual is so important too, because when they're younger or even if you have a 16 year old or 17 year old, you can say, okay, you know, get out a piece of paper, do some journaling one day and say, okay.

by the end of the 65, 70, this is what I want you to walk out of childhood. This is what I want my child to walk out of childhood with. So what do I need to do today? And then take that to your child in this one -on -one time, be open and vulnerable and saying, you know, this is what I really want you to walk out of childhood with. So these are some things we're gonna do today. What do you think about these? Do you have any, you know, changes or any...


opinions about any of this that we can start working on together in order to build this, you know, with you and for you before you leave. So, yeah.

Could I ask you to share one more thing, Nellie? I know you and your husband are really specific about some rituals or rites of passage that you do for your kids as they reach certain ages. Could you just share some of those just to give our audience some imagination of what that could look like? Because I think so many times you're thinking of that 65, 70, but it's a lot of times time just flies by and we haven't been real specific. So I know Sara and I, we've tried to, or we've started already with our oldest is when they're going from that age of,

13 to 14 to making that year really pivotal and there's key things we do. We want to connect them with mentors that year. We want to really speak life into that year. And so, but I want to hear what are some of the key kind of rights of passage you have done with your teenagers that's really that you would encourage your audience to do.

Yeah, so actually, let's have around the side wall here. Behind me, I have a list of things that we wanna make sure that they do. And there's really four things that we make sure happen before they leave home. And each one of them will go on a mom trip and a dad trip. And so just a one -on -one trip. And it's so wonderful because,

You know, the relationship that dad has with them is different than the relationship that mom has with them. And whatever trip you go on can accentuate and grow that and have a new experience with that. And so, and it doesn't have to be extreme. You know, we're not talking about going to the Isles of Greece or anything like that. I mean, it would be great, but you know, if your budget, if your budget is that friendly, mine is not. So, but it could be camping. It could be just going and doing something.

That would be awesome.

But yes, having a mom trip and a dad trip that mom and dad both plan, you can keep it a surprise if you want to, you can share it, you can plan it together if you want to, whatever you want, but just that really accentuates the connection that the two of you have. So.

For example, my oldest, her dad trip, they went to New York City and they had a great time and they did all the things, right? And then her and I, we went to a meditation retreat place on the top of a mountain. And so, and that's what we did, two very different experiences, but it accentuated our relationships. So mom trip, dad trip. Another thing they do is,

there's some great opportunities out there to go on like adventure trips, like an expedition trip type of thing. And what this does is it proves to them that they can do it. They can do hard things by themselves. And so even though I have a set of twins, they're going on separate ones. So we have to separate it up into two different years, cause there's only one, the one that we do that's offered once a year. And,

Yeah. Yeah.

You know, they go off for about two weeks and they are camping on the side, they're kayaking, they are setting up tents, they're, you know, trying to sleep through storms, they're doing things, but it's to prove to themselves that they can do hard things and we're a Christian family and so for us, it is all about relying on God, right? It is you and God and those two things you can absolutely do and you can trust yourself and build that.


So that's another one. And then the fourth one that all of our girls do is they go out of the country somewhere and they visit another culture, whether that is on an educational trip or a missions trip or what have you, they go out of the country instead of being in the bubble that we are in here, they see somewhere else or multiple other places. So yeah, those are the four things that we really want to incorporate before they leave home, mom trip, dad trip.

Yes. Yeah.

expedition, adventure trip, and then out of the country.

And it's not totally specific on age. It's just somewhere before they've done. We're going to fit that in somewhere. Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah, I mean, typically between eighth and 12th grade, really the like later you can do them, I would really, I would think 13 to 18 would be the best window in there, depending on how you can logistically do it. And I will say too, like talking about out of the country, all four of my kids have, well,

My oldest and my youngest have now been out of the country to Paris and Costa Rica and my twins are going to Peru in like 10, 20 days or something like that. All of them paid for their own trips. And so that's another piece, right? They chose where they wanted to go and then they had to work hard in order to make that happen. I mean, my youngest that just came back from Costa Rica,

She's 14, she's not even legal working age yet, but she came up with a business plan and she did a business all last year selling dog toys and she raised the thousands of dollars she needed to go. And so that's a lesson within a lesson, you know, right there.

Yeah. No, I love that. I love that. Yeah. I was even thinking going back to kids can do hard things. It was pretty cool. A couple of years ago, Abby, who lots of times not at my best moments, I would get frustrated with her and be like, honey, every time it gets hard, you kind of give up, like let's do hard things. And so she climbed a 14 or with me. So she got up to the top of a 14 ,000 foot. She was 12 years old. We got to the top when the first thing she said to me, Nellie was,


Dad, don't ever say that to me again. I just climbed that 14 years ago. Don't you ever say that to me. I was like, okay, okay, that's fair. You're right. I no longer can say that because you can point back to the picture of you being on the peak of a 14 ,000 foot mountain. And we found that the next day that she actually had COVID the whole time she did it. So even then, yeah, she says she loves to bring up, I climbed it with COVID.

they remember, they remember.

And that's why it was so hard for me because she at times had difficulty. She wanted to give up at times, but she ended up doing it and it was amazing. Yes, that's right. Well, Nellie, I want to thank you so much for all the info. I definitely think we'll have her on again. Don't you think? I would love to. I mean, we need to die. I know we just touch the surface. We just hit.


It was a check plus for her.

how to help them feel worthy. I know we got to like still do the other three, the other two. Right. So yeah, no, I, so then the information for any listener is going to be so valuable. I hope you wrote down those five pillars and I hope you, you look at like on her website and Nellie, I'll have you tell them where that's at. But when you look at that, she's got a clock on her website, counting down these days. And like she was saying, this isn't to create anxiety. This isn't to create pressure, but it is to say, let's be intentional.

Like this time is limited. These days are shorter than we realize. And so it isn't to wake up every day and be stressed and anxious about it, but to say, I want to make each one count. Not in a perfect way, but in an intentional, purposeful way, because I want to make sure they know when they leave that they feel loved and seen and heard and belong and have purpose. I just did that just to show you I remember them. Yeah, I did it. But I want them to know that. So.

You did.

So yeah, thank you for sharing your insights and I'm sure that everyone listening will feel so encouraged by what you've had to say. So where can they find you?

Yeah, I like to keep it super simple. So you can find everything at NellieHarden .com. There's downloads, there's books, there's articles and podcasts and there's the program that we have or that I have is called Take the Lead and all of our communities are on there as well. So Instagram, you'll be able to connect to Instagram all through there and everything.


Yeah. Yeah. We'll put all that, but you're working on something too. What are you working on?

I am writing my first solo book. So I have co -authored a book and I've put out a scriptural journal as well, but I am working on my first solo book this year. So it's very exciting. And all of this that we talked about in here today, plus so much more will be in there. And so we're looking at hopefully getting that released next year.


That's awesome. That's exciting. Well, I think we'll have to pick that up. Yeah. Thank you. Well, thank you. And Nellie, appreciate your time. And listeners, thank you so much for spending your time with us. And today, be intentional about seeing and hearing your kids. I mean, you can do that right now as we get off. Spend time doing that today. Call them by name. Let them know you hear them. Do these times one -on -one. Ask these questions. And it's going to greatly just increase the connection you have with your kids.


and I'm going to help have a long lasting relationship with them. So thank you for listening and have a great day. Have a great day.

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