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The Heidi B Show

Apr 8, 2021

Help Your Teen Navigate Life with Erica Rood

We were all teens at some point. And as we know, our teenage years gave us some of the most memorable yet most challenging experiences in our lives. Unfortunately, some of us weren’t equipped to handle our problems. And when we become parents, we sometimes forget what it was once like to be in the same position. 

During this period, our teens undergo life's most significant transitions. This stage can be both exciting and overwhelming. As a parent, how can you make sure that you're giving your teen the support they need during this time?

In this episode, Erica Rood joins us to share valuable insights into parenting teenagers. She talks about the biggest challenges for teens and parents and imparts suggestions on how to navigate them. This conversation will help you identify the guidance your teens need as you go through life together.

If you want to know how you can best support your teen’s growth and development, then this episode is for you!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Discover how to navigate the biggest teen parenting struggles.
  2. Learn about the unique dynamics of stepparenting.
  3. Find out the most prominent challenges young women face today and how you can help support them.


Episode Highlights

Erica’s Coaching Journey

  • As a coach, Erica specializes in working with pre-teens, teens, young adult women, and parents of pre-teens and teens.
  • Before this, she worked as a teacher for around 15 years. But she didn't want to stay in the classroom forever.
  • During her master's thesis, she realized that she had a passion for helping young girls in her class.
  • Her thesis was about relational aggression. Part of its curriculum was around helping girls learn more about themselves, friendships, and handling conflict.

Young Girls’ Development

  • In fourth grade, peer groups start to become essential and influential.
  • Middle school years are some of the toughest years.
  • In formal education, it’s more about academics and testing rather than helping children with their social and emotional intelligence.

Transitioning to Her Coaching Practice

  • Erica completed two training programs and started her career.
  • Before COVID, she was a little fearful of going full-time as a coach. She taught part-time two days a week and slowly built her coaching practice.
  • Part of the fear to fully transition is people pointing out its risks.
  • The district moved her to a different school and put her in a kindergarten class, which wasn’t her forte.
  • In December 2019, before COVID hit and schools shut down, Erica resigned from her teaching job.

Erica on Writing Her Book

  • Erica started writing her book Power Up Your Parenting: A Practical Guide for Parenting Preteen and Teen Girls five years ago.
  • Writing a book has always been in the back of her mind. She wrote blogs, but she needed to get some structure. 
  • She started working with a writing coach. However, she didn’t finish the program because she already picked up the pace on her own.
  • She began by thinking about the tools she thinks parents need most in their parenting journey. In the process, she was able to draw and repurpose some blogs.
  • Luckily, she had a friend who runs a publishing company who helped her with the editing and publishing process.

A Book for Busy Parents

  • With parents being busy, they don’t have the time to read through a heavy 500-page book.
  • As such, the book's format is something light and accessible. 
  • You can look for a topic that interests you and read up on it. 
  • The publishing company she worked with is about empowering teens and youth.
  • A team of high school students created the illustrations in her book.

Navigating the Biggest Parenting and Teen Struggles

  • The biggest struggle for parents is finding the right way to support and communicate with their teens.
  • The best way to build connection and enhance communication is to meet your teen where they are. 
  • Be curious and open to what they’re going through.
  • The biggest things teens struggle with are confidence and self-esteem.

How to Support Your Teenage Kids

  • A lot of times, helping your teen is about paying attention to your language.
  • When giving a pep talk, it’s best to be specific and link their qualities and strengths to an action or behavior.
  • Doing so helps your teen build a better sense of self. 
  • Along with telling them what qualities they need, parents also need to model these qualities to their teens.

Different Faces of Parenting

  • The role stepparents play is slightly different from what a biological parent plays.
  • Regardless, it's vital to dig into your parenting style and tune into where your teen is at.
  • Teens with split and blended families take some time to adjust to a new family member. 
  • Stepparents must be patient; don’t take things personally. 
  • When teens direct their aches towards a stepparent, see it as a sign that they feel safe around you. Shifting your perspective helps them express their feelings better.

The Biggest Challenges Young Women Face Today

  • Body image and self-image are significant challenges, especially with the existence of social media.
  • Another huge challenge for young women is handling big life transitions and making decisions on their own.

How to Support Young Women

  • To deal with body image, you need to build your inner sense of self. 
  • Look for inner qualities and values. These are constant and strengthen over time. 
  • Furthermore, they have to understand that the body is constantly changing. Meet your body with acceptance.
  • Adults also need to monitor themselves because sometimes we show teens how to be self-critical.
  • For older teens, parents need to find the balance between support and rescue.

Erica’s Daily Non-Negotiables

  • Erica has a solid and organized daily routine.
  • She drinks a lot of water.
  • Erica also values mindfulness and balance.
  • She believes that we have to be flexible in life. 
  • Nonetheless, the constants for Erica are her morning routine and gratitude practice.

Advice to a Parent Struggling in Their Relationship with Their Teenage Daughter

  • Ask for help. There are many ways to get support.
  • Bringing in another perspective can help you find solutions and discover a different approach to your parenting.
  • The teenage years are an optimal stage of development. 
  • Teens need the tools and the approach of a parent coach.

5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode

“Now, I often say to parents, teens need a new kind of parent; they need a different kind of support than they did when they were younger, when they were in elementary school. And you know, parents kind of need to learn how to make the shift.”

“I think one of the best ways to really build the connection and enhance communication is to meet your teen where she is. And as you pointed out, be curious, be open to what she's going through and try to put yourself in her shoes.”

“The young women I coach, they need support in decision making and really broadening their perspective. So they can see all angles and think through some of the choices that they have and the outcomes that they really are looking for.”

“Sometimes I'll ask the girls that I work with, ‘Do you want to be with your body and for it? Or do you want to be against it?’ Because if you're constantly fighting your shape, it's just gonna be a battle for the rest of your life.”

“And I just think that in any case, we just don't have to go through life alone. And to be courageous enough to say, ‘Hey, can you support me?’ or, ‘Can you give me some advice?’, ‘Can you give me some coaching?’”

About Erica

Erica Rood is the founder of Inspire Balance Coaching. She is a certified Family, Parent, and Teen Coach from the Academy For Family Coach Training and a certified Teen Wisdom Inc. Life Coach. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Child Development. Erica also holds a master’s degree in Education, focusing on Teaching Learning and Leadership. 

Formerly a teacher, Erica has 15 years of teaching and coaching experience. Her coaching programs support young women as they transition to adulthood with confidence using specific and effective coaching tools. 

Erica is the author of the book Power Up Your Parenting: A Practical Guide for Parenting Preteen and Teen Girls. She is also a featured author in Balance Mom Magazine, Zen Mom, and Kids Helping Kids book series. 

If you wish to connect with Erica, you may visit Inspire Balance’s website. You can also get in touch with her through Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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To being relationship-ready,

Heidi B