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#30 Mom Fuck Ups Part 1

In this heartfelt episode, I sit down with my two sons, Jack and Owen, to discuss the challenges and lessons we've experienced in our family dynamics. We dive into the mistakes I made as a parent, the importance of handling big emotions, and the pressure to succeed academically.

We also explore the conflicts between siblings, the impact of arguments between parents, and the significant changes I've experienced through coaching, including quitting drinking and improving my mood.

There's some laughing, some crying ... and lots of vulnerability. Join us as we discuss how my coaching has positively impacted my sons' lives, especially with their anxiety and navigating high school and college challenges.

The doors are open for my group coaching program! Since you’re ready to become your favorite version of you, click here to see if working together is a good fit.

"I think I started my anxiety throughout school just like getting good grades and stuff like that. And I did well in school, but definitely I was a lot harder on myself than I am now." - Jack

What you'll learn in this episode:

  • My sons reveal some of the ways I fucked up as a mom and the challenges we faced

  • Realizing a better approach to allow Jack and Owen to feel their own big feelings on their own without my help

  • The boys share their experiences about anxiety and how coaching has impacted them

  • How I'm learning to maintain connection with my children even as they grow older and more independent

"I mean, before I really got coached, I didn't think that I had any lingering anxiety ... I was anxious, and I just didn't realize that I didn't know what it was, so I just brushed it off." - Owen

Click here to join me on this powerful, transformative journey to become your favorite best self.

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Read the full episode transcript

Hey, this is Melissa Parsons, and you are listening to the Your Favorite You Podcast. I'm a certified life coach with an advanced certification in deep dive coaching. The purpose of this podcast is to help brilliant women like you with beautiful brains create the life you've been dreaming of with intentions. My goal is to help you find your favorite version of you by teaching you how to treat yourself as your own best friend.

If this sounds incredible to you and you want practical tips on changing up how you treat yourself, then you're in the right place. Just so you know, I'm a huge fan of using all of the words available to me in the English language, so please proceed with caution if young ears are around.

Melissa: Oh, hi there. Welcome back to Your Favorite You. Today I am joined by two of the most important men in the world to me, and there are very few people that I would actually risk my life for. And these two make the shortlist before I ask them to introduce themselves. I would like to give you just a brief introduction.

The first fabulous human joining us today is my firstborn son, Jonathan Phillip Parsons Jr. Better known as. And the second young man joining us is my second born son, Owen. Nicholas Parsons.

Welcome to the show guys. Thanks for agreeing to do this with me.

Jack: Thank you for having me. Yeah, it's an honor.

Melissa: Is that sarcastic or is that real?

Jack: I don't know. I mean, half and half.

Melissa: Okay, I would like to offer that them agreeing to be here was because of a request that I made of them, not a demand, although leading up to it, it seemed more like a demand.

The way that I got them to show up was by telling them that they would get to share with all of my listeners all of the ways that I have fucked up as their mom.

Owen then asked how much time we have, so this might be a long one, folks. Okay. Enough of my rambling Jack, why don't you go first in introducing yourself.

Jack: Hi, I'm Jack. I'm a junior at Ohio State University. I'm currently studying finance. Um, in my free time I like to watch sports, hang out with friends, and the favorite member of my family is Barney, our dog.

Melissa: Owen, you're up. So that's so mean, but we'll take it. Sorry.

Owen: Uh, I am Owen. I go to Orange High School. I'm a senior there. If you can even say that. I go there since I'm only there for like two hours now. Um, I like to play video games a lot, and hanging out with my friends is probably the thing that I most enjoy.

Melissa: Awesome. Okay. Now it's the time that you guys are going to evaluate me as your mom. Normally, when I'm teaching my clients to evaluate something in their lives, we answer three questions. So, number one, what is going well? Like, how was I a great mom? Number two, what didn't go well? How did I fuck it up royally?

And number three, what can we do differently? How would you like me to be as a mom to you guys going forward? And since I promised you that, you could tell the world how I fucked up, you guys can start anywhere you want. So who wants to take the lead? Any particular memories of me really screwing it up royally?

Owen: Well, you brought this up to me earlier, but I remember one time where I was probably outta control. I was throwing a tantrum on my bed and you know, you had your ways of controlling me. Sometimes you would put me In my room, or you take away my, like electronics or something like that. But this time, apparently you said you had read something new online, this revolutionary method of sedating me and that's to pin me to the ground as like a 10-year-old.

That's probably, probably way more than you by that point, or at least similar. You pinned me on the ground, and I was like, what the hell are you doing? After I got up and just forced you off me, I was like, what was that? And my dad was standing in the doorway of Jack's room, and I remember he was thinking, what the hell was that? That's one time where I was at least suspect or questionable rather as sick methods.

Melissa: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, for the listeners, like now, if I was doing this parenting thing all over again, which I'm not, but what I think was happening in that instance, Owen, is that you were really feeling your feelings and I was afraid of your big feelings.

So, and I had just watched the special, it was a documentary about Temple Grandin where she talked about when she was activated, that she wanted to be hugged really tightly, and that’s what I was trying to do. And my attempt to pin you to the ground was hugging very tightly, but it didn't work very well.

And then the other thing I will say to that is that being afraid of your big emotions and that type of thing, and not knowing any other method other than to put you in time out and to put you in your room and that type of thing. If I had it to do all over again, what I would do is try to help you see that your big emotions were not a problem for you, and they were not a problem for me and you know, I think what happens at with a lot of parents is we get activated when our kids get activated. And if we can try to like not get activated and slow down and take deep breaths and sit with you and your upset or your panic or your tantrum, because we all have tantrums. You don't have to be a kid to have a tantrum. Adults have them too. And, just showing you that your feelings were okay, I think would've been a much better method. So yeah, the, the figure four leg lock on the ground probably wasn't, wasn't the way to go.

Owen: Yeah. No.

Melissa: Can you think of, I mean, I know that you don't know because I never did it, but do you think it would've been helpful if I sat with you and helped you process your being angry or you being frustrated instead of trying to put you in your room to calm down or something.

Owen: I mean, it's hard to say now because you know, it was so long ago. I don't know what I was feeling in the moment, but I mean, I got pretty crazy. I don't know how talking it out to me would've worked out.

Melissa: Yeah. I don't know that it would've been talking much more than it would've been. Just sitting with you and being like, yeah, buddy, this sucks. I see why you're frustrated and it's okay. It's okay to be frustrated right now.

Owen: Yeah, I don't remember what I was mad at, so, you know, I mean, that situation doesn't necessarily work. I would say if you're mad or if the kid's mad at something the parent's telling you to do, but if it's an offhand situation that doesn't have to do with parenting, then yeah, that would probably work.

Melissa: Yeah. Okay. How about you, Jack? Any good fuckups that you can think of?

Jack: Uh, one of the earlier ones I remember is just, um, how, I would say how hard you guys were, but your expectations school-wise and like grades.

I think I was in maybe first or second. And you know, obviously in elementary school you don't even have like a real grading system and grades don't really matter. I think the grading system was like E was like exceptional and then like P was like proficient and then like, and was like needs work or something.

And so I think I came home, and I was doing well in school. You know, I didn't have any problems in, I think it might have been primarily you who I had the first interaction with. But I think you kind of second his emotions or his feelings about it. I think it might have been a reading assignment or something, but it was extra credit.

Why they had extra credit in elementary school. I don't even know, but I think I told dad like, I'm not going to do it because I don't need to do it. It's extra credit. And he said, you know, this is the Parsons household. We do extra credit and that probably was the first time that I've realized that you guys had high expectations is, in the grades I got, and you know, stuff like that.

And I think it's important too, but certainly, you know, I think that started my anxiety throughout school, just like getting good grades and stuff like that. And I did well in school, but definitely I was a lot harder on myself than I am now. I think anything other than an A on basically any assignment through middle school to high school was unacceptable.

And I knew that you guys maybe didn't say that kind of stuff, like, you know, express it, but I definitely I felt the pressure. You know, both of you are very successful. You know, dad went to Duke and you guys both went to medical school. You guys are both super successful and I felt like if I didn't bring home a really good grade, there'd be some level of disappointment and I think that kind of made me start my anxiety in school.

Melissa: Yeah. I'm so sorry buddy.

Jack: You don't suck. You start crying. This is the second thing we're talking about.

Melissa: This is going to be, I mean, I think that what that comes or and stems from is when as parents, we all do this fast forward thing where like we think if our kid doesn't get good grades in first and second grade, or in elementary school, whatever, that, you know, somehow fast forward they're going to be living in our basement forever and not be able to fend for themselves and not be able to have every opportunity, um, you know, that's available to them.

And you know, the reason that we said those things is because we believed them. Like we thought that it was really important for you to get good grades, and we wanted you to have every opportunity to you available to you. Um, but yeah, I mean, I think that it definitely did help you to develop a pretty healthy sense of worry and anxiety about things that just don't matter. So that sucks.

Jack: I mean, it's better now for sure. I grew out of it a little bit. Um, you know, I think it's something that, go ahead. Go ahead.

Melissa: No, no, no. I was going to say, do you think that it's gotten somewhat better because dad and my attitude has changed over the years too?

Jack: Uh, I think that's part of it. I think another part of it is, I don't think how often do you check my grades at Ohio State?

Melissa: I have no idea how to do it. I don't know. I've never done it.

Jack: Yeah, I think that was part of it too, just knowing that, and usually, I mean, I had really good grades in high school. I think I had the 4.1 GPA, but you guys would text me like, I saw your grades. Good job. And then it just reinforces you guys had access whenever you wanted, so, if I slipped up, I knew that something would be said, and like you said, now you don't even check, but it's gotten way better. Um, I think I got like a 72 on a really hard business law class and on the final I got like a 72 and I finished with, I think it was like an 83. And I didn't really care. I was just happy that I passed, and I was done with the class. But if that happened in high school, you know, it was the end of the world.

Melissa: Yeah, I think it's definitely better now. So good. And I mean, I think that, you know, this speaks to a problem with the school system as it is today. Like parents should not have access to every little grade and every little test and every little thing, you know, I can remember.

You know, getting an alert on my phone or whatever and that you had like a D or whatever, and it was because you had only done like one assignment and or the teacher hadn't entered a grade or something. And I think it leads to a lot of anxiety on parent's part. I think it leads to a lot of anxiety on students' part.

And it's not, it's not something that we need to have access to. My parents had it much better when they only got the grade, at the end of the term when we got the report card and that type of thing. And obviously, you know, if people were making mistakes and in, you know, in danger of failing or something, obviously the teachers would let the parents know.

But, you know, I don't think that we need to know every little step in every little grade. Like they're not our grades to know about. So, yeah, I haven't checked Owen's grades in a really long time either. So they're not my grades. They're yours. So, okay. That was a tough one. Anything else you guys want to share?

Jack: I don't know, I don't want to drag you through the mud. That one kind of got you emotional.

Melissa: No, buddy. This is what it's about. Like, I want other parents to know that they can fuck it up and that they can still be connected to their kids.

Jack: Okay. I would say growing up, I mean, I can't tell you how many times I heard like you're the bigger brother. Like you need to be more responsible and stuff like that. Um, so whenever Owen and I would like get in a physical altercation or verbal altercation, I feel like there were a lot of times where maybe you and dad didn't see what happened or heard what happened. And the benefit of doubt I felt like was always given to Owen for whatever reason.

I mean, there were certainly times where I was, you know, an asshole and I would, you know, hit him or I would, he would be on the Xbox play, PlayStation, and you know, of course he wouldn't give it up. And then I would just resort hitting him or you know, calling him something or something like that. But I remember, um, a lot of time, not a lot of times, but sometimes you and dad would label me as like a bully or like a, you know, kind of someone that didn't treat him well. You said Punk.

Melissa: oh God. Um, that sucked. Sorry. No, buddy. It's okay. This is why we're doing this. Just for my listeners to know, Jack is the sweetest, most sensitive, kindest soul in the world. That is not the message that I would give him these days. I think that if I were to have it to do over again, I mean, there were sometimes where you were a punk and a bully and there were sometimes that Owen was a pain in the ass and, you know, immobile and unwilling to agree to anything. Um, knowing what I know now, I would probably have stayed out of it a lot more and let you guys figure it out because you're right, it was not often that we were there to see what happened.

And you know, there's usually each person's version of the story and then there's the truth that's somewhere in between. Um, and I can see how putting that pressure on you to always be the one who gave in or, you know, let Owen have his way. And honestly, I think, and this is the truth, like Owen was definitely a harder person for dad and I to parent because he was not like us.

You were more like us, Jack and would like do what we asked you to do the first time. And you know, you didn't really question us as much as Owen did, so it was easier to appeal to your sense of right and wrong than it was to get Owen to do what we wanted him to do. And it was easier for us to ask you to bend than it was to try to bend Owen.

Jack: Yeah, I mean, it just sucked because you know, you, I mean, you could ask any other people that I interacted with on a daily or weekly basis, you know, coaches, my friends, my teachers, and stuff like that. And I would be confident in saying that none of them would label me as like a bully or a punk.

So to hear it from you two, whenever there was some type of altercation, um, definitely sucked. Um, and also just from like Owen's point of view, like, you know, if, if your brother is constantly being label what is like a punk or a bully by your parents, you know, do you really want to spend that much time with that person? And so I do, for the record, I mean, yeah, but it felt like at times that I know you wouldn't really want to, I'm not saying it's your fault or anything, but you wouldn't want to spend time with me, or you would try to distance yourself because you knew if, or you thought that if we had a disagreement, and I was just going to be the bully or be the punk and, you know, hit you or, you know, verbally abuse you and stuff like that.

So, I don't know. That's just that I have to say about that. We don't need to go any further with that.

Melissa: I just wanted to make light of that. Yeah. Thank you. Owen, do you have anything to add to that?

Owen: I mean, I think that like living under the same roof was definitely a thing that factored into it.

Because, we spent like, like practically 24/7 with each other. So it was easy to get annoyed of each other and that probably just contributed more and more to the whole thing of me maybe not wanting to spend time with you all the time, or me being scared of you because you know how many times that if I disagreed with you, you would be harsh on me.

Whether that was physical or verbal. I think that definitely contributed to it, but we've definitely grown out of that by now, after we aren't living together anymore. It's a lot more amicable, I guess.

Jack: yeah.

Melissa: Yeah. I mean, from my perspective, it seems like you guys want to spend time together now. Yeah.

Okay. Okay. Do you want to take any ownership over your behavior during that time, Owen?

Owen: I mean, yeah, of course. I was a brat. I mean, I feel like everyone knows that. I mean, they've been listening to your podcast. I bet you've talked about that. I was a brat. I didn't listen, I think I've grown out of that, hopefully.

Jack: Oh, a little.

Melissa: All right. All right. Any other things you guys can think of? You can't hurt me. This is, I think this is so good.

Owen: I mean, uh, this isn't all you, but I mean, I would be sitting in my room a lot and I'd hear you guys screaming, you and dad that is screaming at each other outside because either one or both of you were drunk or something like that, and you were just arguing over nothing.

And you know, that obviously wasn't the greatest background noise. It was, it kind of bothered me sometimes on a more emotional level. While when it happened a few days in a row, I'd get kind of scared, you know, I'd hear about my friends who their parents were getting like divorced and everything, and I'd be afraid that like, I don't know, is that going to happen with you guys?

You know, you guys argue a lot, so that wasn't a good thing for me, but that's one thing that coaching definitely helped you guys out with.

Melissa: Yeah. Do you want to say anything to that, Jack?

Jack: I mean, you guys would just fight about the dumbest shit. I mean, it would be like, I don't even know. Just like a comment or, you know, or dad loves it when people compliment his food and it's almost as if, like, if you don't immediately compliment the food after the first bite, it might as well just be a steaming pile of shit on a plate.

And he takes it as like some type of, I don't even know. So I think a lot of, yeah, just a lot of stupid shit you guys would fight over, and it would escalate obviously. And, you know, I don’t remember you guys doing that much in high school, but definitely like when I was in middle school, maybe like freshman of high school, you guys would get into a lot of verbal arguments, and I don't think that's necessarily abnormal. I think, you know, fights are normal and stuff like that, but yeah, it would just be the dumbest stuff.

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. I'm trying to think. You graduated from high school in 2020, right?

Jack: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Melissa: And I found coaching in 2018, so that makes sense that it was your first couple years of high school that we were arguing and fighting over things more and more, and that type of. I mean, you're right. We would, we would argue over the dumbest shit, and it was the same argument over and over and over again.

And like we didn't know how to get past it. Like we didn't know how to, stop arguing over the same stuff. So for that, I am forever grateful to coaching because pretty soon here in a couple. Owen's going to be moving out and going to college too, and it's just going to be me and dad, and I'm so happy that we, you know, worked on that so diligently so that when you guys are gone, we have a pretty awesome life together too.

So, so yeah, I mean, I think that to Jack's like arguing in in front of your kids is perfectly healthy and normal to do, but you also need to make up in front of your kids and show them how to you know, heal and repair from an argument. I think one of the statistics that I learned, in some of my trauma work and in my work with Bev Aaron when I became a Deep Dive coach is that, you know, in order to have a secure relationship with any person, whether it be your kids or your husband, or a family member or even a friend, like you don't have to get it right a hundred percent of the time and you can get it wrong.

Be willing to do the work to repair when you've fucked it up and that type of thing. So the good news is, for you guys going forward, and for me and for dad and for anybody else who's listening to this, you only have to get it right 67% of the time. And the other 33% is what is called rupture and in that rupture and repair, you can, you know, actually even get closer together than you were before the argument happened. So, but you can't just let the arguments stay open. You have to repair from them.

Okay. Anything else you want to share about the fuckups?

Jack: I don't know. I don't think so. I'm sure something will come up though.

Melissa: Okay. Well if you think about it, you, you can let me know and we can always add it back in. Okay. I know you guys have noticed how I have changed over the past five years. What do you think is the biggest change?

Owen: I mean, you're not drinking. I feel like that was the number one biggest thing that I would you say you’re being your favorite you. I think that's probably number one enemy right there. I mean, that it improved your mood. I don't know. It was definitely a combination of that and the coaching. But your mood improved your way you handled issues improved drastically. Um, I think that you were a lot less volatile. You used to be pretty snappy, and that mostly subsided.

Melissa: I'm still human. So, yeah, I would say, and I need to do a whole podcast episode on this, like how I decided to quit drinking and and how my life is so much better because of it.

Um, but I would say, the reason that I stopped drinking was because of coaching. Like I used to use food and alcohol to make me feel better about a life that I didn't really love. And I can remember even like you guys coming out and meeting me on the driveway with a glass of wine or whatever after I'd had a hard day at work.

And, trying to take the edge off with a glass of wine or two or three, um, and then doing and saying things that weren't my favorite me for sure. So yeah, I'd say that's a huge, huge change.

Anything from you, Jack? What do you think buddy?

Jack: I mean, I think Owen hit the big one. I mean, I don't even know if it's really, um, primarily the training came in.

I'm sure it's part of it, but I mean, your diet changed too. I mean, you lost a ton of weight when you started, you know, intermittent fasting or even, did you do one meal a day? Or do you, are you still doing that?

Melissa: I'm trying.

Jack: Yeah. I think that improved your mood a lot. And then, like Owen said, used to be, snappy or you raised your voice, you rarely ever raise your voice anymore.

Melissa: Um, yeah, it's so good. But yeah, that's probably it. Okay. How about any big changes in our family that we haven't already touched on?

Owen: I don't know. I mean, I feel like the changes with the family come with your changes and dad's changes.

Jack: Mm-hmm.

Melissa: Okay. Awesome. Hey, Jack, are there ways that you're willing to share where you have asked me for coaching or asked me to coach one of your friends where you found that particularly helpful?

Like me using my skills as a coach on you or on your girlfriend or on your friends?

Jack: I mean, I've had anxiety pretty much. my entire life, you know, I would have trouble sleeping over at friend's houses because I'd had separation anxiety. I would, I remember one time at school, I think it was elementary school, you were dropping me off or someone was dropping me off.

And as I was getting outta the car, I was just vomiting because I was so fucking scared to go to school for some reason and that was pretty much my entire childhood, being scared of nothing or letting the smallest inconvenience or shift in my schedule just create crippling anxiety.

But I mean, I think I got better. I mean, I went to the therapist, what was his name? Joe DeCola? Amazing. Yeah, he helped me a lot.

I kind of realized that like the worst-case scenario really isn't that bad and the, the chance of that happening is so slim. But the reason why that you kind of are stuck on it is because your brain just kind of tricks you to think.

It's what's going to happen. Um, but I mean, anyone who has anxiety knows that like no matter how much therapy or like if you take medication, like it's never going to get to a point where it's just completely gone. And that was really tough for me to kind of grasp because as someone with anxiety, the number one thing you want to have happen is for it to just kind disappear.

But obviously that's never going to happen, unfortunately. So I think just coming to you and, you know, you, you introduced me to the thought model. I didn't use it that much, but I think it was helpful. I think it was just the first day of senior year at high school I had just gotten cut from high school soccer, which really, really sucked.

It was one of the worst experiences of my life, and so I was not in a good place mentally, and you helped me through that before the first day of school, of senior year. And so yeah, I was grateful for that. And then, I don't know, I think Anna had some type of, I forget what she was anxious about.

I'm not going to try to guess because I don't want to go through all the things that she's ever been anxious about, but you've helped her multiple times. And then one of my friends who I'm not going to mention because I didn't ask them before if I could talk about them just recently asked, you know, has been dealing with anxiety.

And, I just said like, if there's ever a time where want to talk to someone, I'll let my mom know and she can give you some type of therapy of some sort. And I haven't heard back from them about their anxiety, so I'm assuming it's going well.

But, yeah, just knowing that I have you to kind of have advocate for my friends and give them the ability to come to you whenever, is really nice.

Melissa: For sure. Thank you, buddy. All right. I love that. Yeah. How about you, Owen? Are you willing to share your coaching experience?

Owen: Yeah, well, earlier this year I was feeling, a lot of anxiety before going to school. I would just wake up and I would just feel like, you know, groggy is normal.

You know, you'd always feel that waking up at like six o'clock. But then something started happening this year where I started feeling like nauseous in the morning and, you know, my heart would be racing, and I didn't really know what it was. I mean, I didn't really realize it at the time, but this was the same, around the same time period where I was really stressed about where I was going to go to college and I was putting out all my applications and I had to get my college essay done.

And, you know, I was probably really stressed about that and really anxious about that. And I didn't realize, and, you know, I'd get nauseous in the morning. I don't think I ever actually threw up, but I got pretty damn close a few times and it happened, like it started happening intermittently and then it started happening every day.

So I went to you, and you referred me to Sami, which I was reluctant to get coaching at first, but you ended up kind of pushing me off the edge. So I did it and it ended up. It ended up going well for me. I mean, she taught me a lot of ways that I could control myself and she taught me the same kind of worst-case scenario type thing where it's like, think about the worst-case scenario and realize that it's not that bad.

And she took, she took me through the thought model, and she gave me more, uh, she gave me methods to suppress my anxiety that I didn't know about really before. And I mean before, before I really. Uh, got coached. I didn't really think that I mean, everyone has anxiety, but I didn't think that I had any, I didn't think I had like, lingering anxiety that would just always be there, but I didn't really realize it, but I did.

I was, a lot of the time I was anxious, and I just didn't realize it. I didn't know what it was, so I just brushed it off. But after being able to deal with that and getting some advice and help, that's definitely pushed me in the right direction.

Melissa: Yeah, I would say, Owen, you know, from my perspective, I don't think, I didn't think you had an anxious bone in your body before this one incident where I got called to the school and you had the, what could only be described as a panic attack before your calculus test, and I was just, what?

Like because you're so laid back and like you do not give a fuck about much. And so I was like, oh my God. Okay. Owen now is having this. So yeah, Sami Halvorsen was amazing, and we'll link to her page in the show notes, and she helps teens and young adults with really any issue with coaching.

And she's been a great asset and a great person that I've sent a lot of people to, and they've been so helped by her, so. Awesome.

Okay. The last thing I wanted to chat about you guys is this—so my goal with you guys for at least the past year, you know, past five years that I've been coaching has been that you guys both want to come and spend time with me and dad when you no longer have to, but you're actually choosing to spend time with us.

How do you think I'm doing in that regard? Don't everybody volunteer at once to speak.

Owen: What do you want us to say? Yeah, you're doing good.

Melissa: If you don't have to come on vacation with us and you would, would you choose to come on vacation with us?

Jack: Yeah. Where are you going?

Melissa: Where are we going, Jack? Wherever you want. Where do you want to. I don't care. It doesn't really matter. Turks and Caicos, our favorite family spot. I can always talk you guys into that no matter what.

Owen: Hard to talk me out of it.

Melissa: I mean, but do you guys see what I'm saying? Like so many kids your age, like the last thing that they want to do is spend time with their parents and they just want to get away from their parents. I think I want to know if I'm treading that line a little too close. You need to tell me.

Jack: No.

Owen: I mean, you're well on the safe side.

Jack: Yeah, I mean, I think I've, especially this year, I haven't been coming home like as frequently. I mean, freshman year of college was like covid, and I was, I didn't want to bring Covid home to dad, but literally I would, every Friday I would pack up and I would come and come home and just stay the weekend partially because I didn't want to go out, I didn't want to get covid and, you know, give it to dad. And so sophomore year was a little less frequent where I would come home, but I was still coming home, I would say twice a month maybe.

And I think this year maybe I've come home. Three to four times all year. So, that's not me saying that, like, I don't want to spend the time with you guys, but I think it's definitely less frequent, from like external stuff that's like out of your control really. I just wanted to have some type of a full sense of independence through the first two years of college.

So having my own like actual apartment. Instead of being in like confined in a tiny little dorm, definitely makes me want to stay on campus more. But I still want to, you know, come home at times, you know, see Barney, see you guys, and then, you know, whenever there's like a dinner, like I want, I just went to Helen's birthday dinner, I went to dad's in February, so I still want to spend time with you guys, but I also want to have some sense of independence for sure.

Melissa: Yeah, that's totally normal and I want you to have that too. For sure. For sure.

Okay. Anything else you guys can think of to share with my listeners if they're struggling to connect with their teenage or young adult children? Any words of wisdom from your perspectives?

Jack: Not that I can think of.

Owen: No. Mouth is shut for once.

Melissa: It is a first. Okay. Thank you guys so much both for being.

Jack: Thank you for having me. Yeah, thank you. That's fun.

Melissa: Thank you for being uniquely you.

Jack: Yep, you're welcome. Yeah, you're so welcome.

Melissa: Thank you for loving me and dad like you do.

Jack: Tough task. Yeah, seriously, seriously tough.

Melissa: I love you both so much.

Jack: You too. I love you too.

Melissa: All right guys. We'll see you next week. I'll try not to cry next week. Who knows, though? I might have to.

All right. I love you guys.

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