If you are dealing with your child’s addiction to drugs or alcohol, you’re not alone! Barbara Decker, the Parent Recovery Advocate, knows how difficult it can be for a mom to free herself from the “Mom Code” – the reflexive tendency to try and solve problems for her child.
Using her model, you can create an emotionally safe space for your child and support them as they learn to navigate their own journey through addiction.
Say goodbye to mom guilt and empower yourself to help your child face addiction more independently with Barbara’s Love Another Way model.
Tune in to this episode to learn how you can do just that!
What you will learn from this episode:
- Discover the life-changing power of the Love Another Way model as a mom
- Learn how to break out of the Mom Code and take more ownership of your life
- Understand why you can’t always be your child’s problem solver, but instead be heir guide
“When we try to make a softer landing, when we try to solve those problems for our kids, they have no opportunity to learn the lessons that they need to learn to make better choices for themselves.”
– Barbara Decker
Valuable Free Resource:
- Free yourself from any shame or guilt and finally reclaim your life. Start your journey here: https://go.livewellandfully.com/3-secrets-fb64-2/?v1-sbrown
02:08 – Breaking the Pattern: What is the biggest problem moms make
03:13 – Barbara shares what is her golden answer
03:53 – Breaking the Mom Code: The mistakes moms should avoid
04:33 – Love Another Way: How Barbara can help you start new
06:18 – Barbara explains another essence you need to know about the Love Another Way model
09:40 – Free yourself from any shame or guilt and finally reclaim your life. Start your journey here: https://go.livewellandfully.com/3-secrets-fb64-2/?v1-sbrown
10:53 – Q: The first part is, “What the heck, Barbara, is a mind disease?” And the second part is, “Why doesn’t my son or daughter just buckle down and solve the problem? I taught them better than this! Is it just an excuse or laziness?” A: And the answer is no, it is not an excuse or laziness. It has nothing to do with what you taught them or the kind of people they are.
“There are things the mom can do that will encourage their child to take ownership of the problem. Only when their child takes ownership of their own problem, that there is the possibility of the child choosing to make a different choice.” – Barbara Decker
“There’s no guarantee. But there’s pretty much a guarantee that if they don’t change, nothing will change.” – Barbara Decker
“It’s important to say that there are no right or wrong choices, it’s always a matter of choosing the least sucky of the terrible options available.” – Barbara Decker
“We focus on ourselves, we let go of things that we were previously owning, and we give ownership back to the person who could actually make the change.” – Barbara Decker
Barbara Decker’s Free Workshop:
Ways to Connect with Sarah E. Brown:
- Website: https://www.sarahebrown.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/knowguides
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahebrownphd/
Full Episode Transcript:
Barbara Decker 0:00
Only when their child takes ownership of their own problem, that there is the possibility of the child choosing to make a different choice.
Sarah E. Brown 0:09
Hello, everyone! Welcome to the KTS Success Factor Podcast for Women, where we talk about the challenges senior female leaders face in being happy and successful at work. I’m your host, Dr. Sarah E. Brown.
Sarah E. Brown 0:36
My guest today, Barbara Decker, calls herself a Parent Recovery Advocate. When an adult son or daughter is using drugs or alcohol, has a mind disease, or is simply not adulting to his or her potential, moms tend to react with what she calls the “Mom Code.” Barbara helps moms shift to the more effective Love Another Way model and allow space in their lives for other things that they desire to do, and which will fill them up. Barbara, thanks for being here today.
Barbara Decker 1:17
Thank you for inviting me. It’s a pleasure.
Sarah E. Brown 1:20
So, this is a really important topic. One of the things that comes up over and over again, in my workshops, is what I do when life intervenes when I’m trying to pursue my vocational choices, I got a pretty good idea of what my purpose is, and then life intervenes. And life for moms is often a family member that requires a substantial amount of time and attention or care. And it’s even more troubling when that person is an adult. And we don’t have a whole lot of control. So, tell us a little bit about the problem that you see, when women finally acknowledged they’ve got an issue in this space and they come to you.
Barbara Decker 2:08
Yeah, so the biggest problem I see is that, most of the women that I work with have difficulty finding the energy or even desire or time to focus on themselves and who they want to be in the world. And so, what happens is that they are so focused on helping, “helping” their son or daughter that they have no energy or time left over for themselves, and they end up at the bottom of the list. That’s a behavioral pattern that is very normal for the people that I work with. Because women are problem solvers. They are people who think that if they just work harder at solving this problem that their son or daughter has, if they do more research, if they spend more time on it, if they find a different way to say what they want to say, they can solve the problem. And that’s the “Mom Code.” And the truth is that they can’t. They are not the person who can solve the problem their child has.
Sarah E. Brown 3:07
Hmm. So, tell us more. If they can’t, what’s the answer?
Barbara Decker 3:13
The answer is that there are things that moms can do that will encourage their children. And I use the term “child” even though a lot of the moms I work with have children who are 50, 60, 40, all kinds of, you know, older ages. There are things the mom can do that will encourage their child to take ownership of the problem. Only when their child takes ownership of their own problem, that there is the possibility of the child choosing to make a different choice.
Sarah E. Brown 3:47
And so, when you see, when these women come to you, what mistakes have they been making all along?
Barbara Decker 3:53
The mistake that they’re making, and it’s such a natural intuitive one, it’s the one that we all want to–it’s what we all want to do. We think that the “Mom Code” goes like this: if my son is hungry, feed him. If my daughter needs a place to sleep, give her a bed. If my child needs X or Y, give X or Y. And when we function in that way, when we try to make a softer landing, when we try to solve those problems for our kids, they have no opportunity to learn the lessons that they need to learn to make better choices for themselves.
Sarah E. Brown 4:33
So how do you go about working with women?
Barbara Decker 4:37
First, there needs to be a recognition in the mom’s mind that a kind of surrender to “Yes, I know I’m strong. I know I’m capable. I know I raised people with the right values. I know that what I’m doing is not working and I can open my mind to consider the possibility that if I shift my focus, and I love my child another way, there is a possibility that they will make a different choice.” And there’s no guarantee. But there’s pretty much a guarantee that if they don’t change, nothing will change. And so, we start by identifying what the priorities are for the mom. And it’s a very interesting exercise, Sarah, because probably 80% of the time, the list of priorities starts with “I want my son…”, and “I want my daughter to be well.” And then we do some math around those numbers. And they see clearly that that is not attainable, or within their control, and their mind opens up to think about what they really want for themselves. And once we can identify what they want, and what their priorities are, we can start to examine how their past choices in dealing with, let’s call it a “mind disease”, their child has which is a big, wide all-encompassing category, we can start to look at how their choices have or have not served them. And they can start to make different choices. It’s important to say that there are no right or wrong choices, it’s always a matter of choosing the least sucky of the terrible options available.
Sarah E. Brown 6:14
I get that. And is that the essence of Love Another Way?
Barbara Decker 6:18
That’s part of the essence of Love Another Way. The other part of the essence of Love Another Way is to understand that when we have someone we love who has a mind disease, that can mean addiction. It can mean smoking too much pot. It can mean ADHD, actually mental illness, a whole bucket of things that changes the way the mind works. When a person has that kind of disease, the person who has that disease feels incapable. They feel like they are a lousy person, and that they are disappointing people all around them. They don’t manifest in that way, necessarily, to the people they love, but that is what’s going on inside. They have no confidence in themselves. And for someone to move out of one of these diseases into health, again, requires confidence and an enormous effort. It is not an easy thing that we’re asking them to do. And so, the love part of it is finding different ways of interacting with our “child” that can actually see the person beneath the disease, that can understand that the behaviors that we’re seeing are not because our child really thinks that way of us or blames us truly, it’s the disease manifesting. And we can respond and love in another way that starts to allow them to discover their strength and their competency so that they can make the hard choices for themselves.
Sarah E. Brown 7:54
Hi, this is Sarah Brown, again, the host of the KTS Success Factor Podcast for Women. I hope you are enjoying this episode and gaining some tips and inspiration on how you can be happier, more successful, and experience less stress at work. If you would like to learn more about how you can take control of your career, and do it your way, visit sarahebrown.com. There, you will be able to download a free chapter from my book, Let Your Personality Be Your Career Guide. It contains information and exercises on how you can identify your unique interests, strengths, and needs, and translate that into career goals that are just right for you. Now back to this informative episode.
Sarah E. Brown 8:49
Okay, so it’s about knowing who you are, the woman knowing who she is, and what’s a priority in her life. And when she does that, by this process, she’s also bringing out the strength in her child, as well. Did I get that right?
Barbara Decker 9:04
Yes, the choices she makes really move her toward her priorities for herself. It’s a wonderful serendipity the way it works, that when we focus on ourselves, we let go of things that we previously owned, and we give ownership back to the person who could actually make the change.
Sarah E. Brown 9:25
Well, that’s pretty freeing, actually.
Barbara Decker 9:27
Sarah E. Brown 9:28
And I can see how it is loving and freeing all at the same time. So, if a woman wanted to experience this, do you have any free tips or offers or something that would allow her to get a taste of this?
Barbara Decker 9:40
Yes. The best way to get a taste of it is to watch my free on-demand workshop. And I can read the link or you can provide that below the podcast, probably.
Sarah E. Brown 9:51
I’ll put it in the show notes.
Barbara Decker 9:53
Okay. What you’ll see there is a brief introduction by me and then you will see maybe a 20, 25-minute clip from actually inside one of our coaching calls. And the clip is presented with the permission of the people who are shown. We don’t use anybody’s faces or voices because there’s still a lot of shame and embarrassment about this problem, but you’ll see the candid conversation that is going on. You’ll see the light bulbs go on in the women’s minds. And if that is something that resonates with you, then at the end of that, I do describe a program that I built, that is an option for you.
Sarah E. Brown 10:32
Okay, so people can actually get a taste of it for free by going to this free workshop. And again, the link will be in the show notes. Barbara, what is one question that I should have asked you that will help these women understand the issue and begin to take action on it? What’s the question that I did not ask you that I should have?
Barbara Decker 10:53
Now, it’s a two-part question. The first part is, “What the heck, Barbara, is a mind disease?” And the second part is, “Why doesn’t my son or daughter just buckle down and solve the problem? I taught them better than this! Is it just an excuse or laziness?” And the answer is no, it is not an excuse or laziness. It has nothing to do with what you taught them or the kind of people they are. No one chooses to have a mind disease. A mind disease is anything that changes the way the mind works. And with mind diseases, our children see a different reality than we do. Their brain is sending them false information. And that false information feels real. And so, when a brain is changed in how it works, it is not just a matter of buckling down, exercise your willpower. Stop making excuses. It is an arduous process. And it’s a process that the person has to be willing to engage in. And so, my encouragement is to educate yourself about how these diseases actually work. There is a lot of misinformation out there. So, educate yourself on how they work, and then come back to fully owning your life and letting your child own theirs and see what unfolds for your family when you change the dynamic like this. You might be surprised.
Sarah E. Brown 12:19
Barbara, thank you so much for being with me! I find this very freeing and very hopeful message for women who were feeling this as an obstacle to going about pursuing their dreams. Thanks so much for being with me!
Barbara Decker 12:32
You’re very welcome. It’s been my pleasure! Thank you for asking me, Sarah.
Sarah E. Brown 12:36
Thanks for listening to the KTS Success Factor Podcast for Women. If you like what you’re hearing, please go to iTunes to subscribe, rate us, and leave a review. And if you would like more information on how we can help women in your organization to thrive, then go to www.sarahebrown.com. You can sign up for our newsletter, read show notes and learn more about our podcast guests, read my blog, browse through the books, or contact us for a chat. Goodbye for now!