April 18, 2023

Unlocking the Power of Parenting: Navigating Your Teen's Developmental Journey with Dr. Cam

In this episode, we delve into the world of parenting with Dr. Cameron (Dr. Cam) Caswell, Ph.D., the “teen translator.” As an adolescent psychologist and family success coach, Dr. Cam specializes in helping parents build strong, positive relationships with their teens through her PRIME Parenting Method.... Se show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/unlocking-the-power-of-parenting-navigating-your-teens-developmental-journey-with-dr-cam/#show-notes

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In this episode, we delve into the world of parenting with Dr. Cameron (Dr. Cam) Caswell, Ph.D., the “teen translator.” As an adolescent psychologist and family success coach, Dr. Cam specializes in helping parents build strong, positive relationships with their teens through her PRIME Parenting Method. In this podcast, we explore the importance of understanding the impact of childhood experiences on our development, and how this affects our parenting style. Dr. Cam shares her expertise on effective communication, connection, and understanding to help parents navigate the challenging journey of parenting their teenagers. Her fun and interactive approach empowers parents to work with their teen's wiring rather than against it, boosting their development of a positive, healthy sense of self. Tune in to gain insights and practical tips that will leave you feeling hopeful, supported, and motivated for change.

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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation, Michael here! Super excited to be with you again, my friends. Today, I'm joined by my amazing friend, Dr. Cam. Dr. Cam, how are you, my friend? What is going on?

Dr. Cam: I am great! How are you Michael?

Michael: I'm so good. I'm super excited to connect with you a little background for the listeners and watchers if you're hanging out with us on the internet. Dr. Cam and I met a few weeks ago, back in Dallas, I was speaking at the adventure reach it really does speak off, peach off, competition, community thing vibe, and you and I just connected like old-time friends. So it's a pleasure to have you on because I know a little bit about you, if you can take 10 seconds here and introduce yourself to the audience.

Dr. Cam: So I am Cameron Caswell and I'm an adolescent psychologist actually. And so, what I do is I work with parents and teenagers and I help them connect with one another because my entire belief is that teens are completely misunderstood, which is what creates, so much of the conflict in the home and the conflict in the home when kids are teens, I believe is what causes a lot of the mental health issues moving forward because our brain is developing at that time and when we're getting these messages about ourselves and our deficiencies because we're getting corrected, a lot that really leads to how we believe in ourselves and how we interact with the world moving forward.

Michael: Yeah, I literally could not agree more and I believe that these little things that happen to us in our childhood that become embedded while we are in this place of Developmental processes ends up being the things that kind of set the baseline for who we become and until you start to recognize that, you're like, why am I fucked up? And you're like, oh, that's right because that thing that happened me in third grade or in the home in the neighborhood or things like that. How practical is what I just said, that's real, right? I'm not just making that up in my head.

Dr. Cam: Well, it's completely real and here's what I am out there telling parents, is that parenting seems to be this thing that we tend to wing. I mean, we joke about it, we're just winging it, we're making it up, we don't know, nobody tells us how to do it and yet it is the most important job anybody could ever have. I would not even go to a hairdresser that was winging it because God knows what my hair looked like and that'll out in a few months, right? But yet will wing parenting. And this is what I'm trying to tell parents is we do not have to wing it, there is information out there, there's a lot of information out there that it can show us how to parent and how to help our kids especially in my focus is our teens; really build them up with resilience and self-confidence and have a strong connection with them and those are the things that are most important for their success, we focus a lot on other stuff.

Michael: I relate to that so much. I mean, the word angsty teen gets thrown away and I look at myself as a fucking monster, right? I was selling drugs, I was doing drugs, I was breaking the houses, stealing cars, running from the cops, I got expelled from school, didn't graduate high school on time, the whole nine, right? And that was so much because of (A) not having structure of any capacity and (B) I just a teenager, like – I felt like nobody got me, no one understood me, but that's the nomenclature for every teenager for the history of forever.

Dr. Cam: You know why? Because nobody understands them.

Michael: So let me challenge because I want to understand the consumer, you know, a lot of the listeners, our parents, right? So if I have a team but I'm like oh shit, I knew that I was one's a teen, so why am I having so much trouble with my team? How do you like bridge that gap?

Dr. Cam: So this is such a great question and the biggest problem I see is despite the fact that we were all teens, we quickly forget how it felt to be a teen. We do remember a lot of the trouble, angst and feelings, we had as a team. So our view of adolescence between that and what the media shows and all of these beliefs we have a really negative view of adolescents. I mean studies have shown that our view across the board, across country this is what way negative in actuality. So we go into it with this expectation that teens are going to be difficult and we treat them like that and are we respond to them, they also trigger us and trigger our inner teen and so it becomes this battle and I always hear like pick your battles, I don't like the term battles because battles means if you against them and parenting shouldn't be you against your kids, it should be together. And so we get in these states of someone's going to win and someone's going to lose and that creates a lot of conflict.

Michael: Yeah. Well, how do you navigate this idea of battling when so much especially around the nomenclature of parenting in the western part of the world the United States particularly is lead with an iron fist?

Dr. Cam: Yeah. I mean, the 50s, 99% of parents parented that way, we've done so much research now to show how much damage that does to self esteem, we see alcoholism, we see drug use like all of these things and here's the thing that I always find interesting is parents will go well, that's how I raised it, I was raised in I turned out okay and I hear this a lot.

But that's a great question, I mean, I see so many adults every single day struggling with self esteem, struggling with depression, struggling with bad relationship, why is this? We assume that it just is but it doesn't have to be that way and I still believe this we were really beating down when we were younger and it's from a good place. I'm not saying parents, don't love their kids, they love their kids tremendously, but we parent often from a place of fear. We parent from a place of worried because we hear all these stories were worried our teens are going to go in these bad directions, were worried they're going to make these bad choices that are going to affect their lives, we worry about social media and so we protect them. But the way we protect them as we box them in a lot of times, we hold them back, we like constrict them before we even let them give our get trust and let them explore. And so I think a lot of the sends messages to our kids that they're not capable that they are broken, that there is something wrong with them.

Michael: Yeah, but that's feels to me like it's so much starts with the parents, right? Because I look at the measurement of generational trauma, you know, my mission, my goal is to end generational trauma in my lifetime, I believe you do that through the expansion of education, with a trickle-down effect from the parents into the children and then out and up but how do want to ask this question a very practical way because there are people I get canceled quite frequently on the internet like first off, I don't care, everyone knows this but secondly, the one post and I will regurgitate this from time to time is the fact that parents have to be in their adult years culpable and take responsibility for what they've done in their parenting style, which has let now led to this place where I'm working with their children, whether they're 18 or 65 trying to get to this place where they can learn to love themselves. So how do you step into having the conversation about responsibility with parents in light of the fact that, well, I turned out okay?

Dr. Cam: Yeah, so the first thing I will say and I said this I mean used to go back to even like spanking which is who a hot topic but here's what I say. If there is evidence that this way can cause and is its associated with a lot of issues and this way is not, why would you pick the way that's associated with a lot of issues just because it might not be when you have an option to go with a choice that gives your kids more chance of being successful and happy and thriving. Why would you pick the one that doesn't? So that's my question to people is you've got that choice. And a lot of parents will pick the ones that they've used that everyone else is used despite the fact that there's evidence upon evidence upon evidence, probably in their own lives that it doesn't get their kids to where they want them to really be. 

Michael: So, I get that in from a logical standpoint, that makes perfect sense however, in practical application, I feel like it's a lot more difficult. So how do you actually start to navigate that?

Dr. Cam: Okay, so there are actually skills that I teach parents that are critical and can make enormous stripes. The first one is remaining calm, this is not an easy one to do but we all know and this is for kids, teens in particular they are a hotbed of emotion that's how the brains are developed. So when parent’s add-on and pile on their emotions and their their own feelings, and everything else into that because their kids are triggering them, they're just creating, they're throwing fuel on the fire, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. And we're sending the message again that it's us against them and that were fighting and now somebody's trying to win a lot of times what the key reason we got into the argument for or key concern for our kids gets lost in the fight to win. So my first thing is figure out how to be the one that is grown up and staying calm in the situation so you're not adding to it. The second one that is so important, and this is why every teen says, nobody understands me, parents don't understand me is because we don't and the way to understand them is to actually listen to them.

And it amazes me, because we're taught to talk, we're taught to read, we're taught to write. We are never taught to listen and listen is probably one of the most important communication skills we have.

So, being able to listen to our kids and actually validate and hear their emotions as parents we tend to want to fix and again I'm not setting out to I'm not out here to set the up as the evil person because they're not, they're here to love. We're just making mistakes because we don't know any better and I'm trying to just let people know there are other ways that we can do this, that will make our lives and our teens lives a lot easier. So, one of them is really to listen to pay attention and to hear what our kids have to say. A lot of times, we try to fix things we try to lessen their emotion, it's okay, you don't need to be angry about that, I had it worse than you when we do that or invalidating their feelings. And feelings are not negotiable, feelings our feelings, we can't make our kids, not feel angry or sad we can make them feel bad about feeling angry and sad on top of feeling angry and sad by telling them they shouldn't be feeling that way, but we can't make them stop. And so when we listen, we can understand them and we can help them through their emotions, which gives them skills to later, be able to handle, and care for their own emotions on their own. So they're skills like this that are out there, they're actually reduce the conflict because my whole goal is, let's stop all the fighting, it doesn't need to be so much fighting if we're working together on the same team.

Michael: So then how do you have the conversation with a parent who says, well, my job is to be the parent, not the friend and they misconstrue this conversation as you might be telling me to be friends with my kid.

Dr. Cam: I am so glad you asked that Michael, because that is the biggest misconception. Nothing I'm saying, is about being their friend and letting them control and I see this a lot to where parents go so far, the other way that their kids are ruling the house and there's so much turmoil and emotion and nastiness the some of the things kids say to their parents, I'm like, oh my gosh, like how do you accept that? Because there's guilt and there's this feeling where I don't want to control them. So you can parent and actually kids want structure, kids want clarity and where the boundaries are but we need to make sure that we're being firm; firm does not being mean being cruel. You can be kind and you can be firm at the same time, you can be rational, and reasonable and still have structure and still have clear boundaries at the same time and it's being able to set those up.

The way I always compare it as when you're driving down the road and all of a sudden, someone pulls you get pulled over right and they say you were speeding your like, there was no speed sign like I didn't know what the limit was, there was nothing indicating with the limit us and they're like, well, you should know, you should know better, right? I told you weeks ago, what it was, or you should just know, we'd be pretty angry. Well, this is how teens are kids, all kids feel because a lot of times we make up the rules as we go along, we make up or define the boundaries after they've crossed the boundaries and we define the consequences after they've crossed the boundaries and the consequences change and so clarity beforehand and where are the boundaries and why are they there and what's the consequences and what is the consequence always going to be, whether mom or dad, catches me, going over the line or I do that, you know, no matter what it's the same consequence and the consequences related to what boundary was crossed. So there's consistency in gives kids control over their behavior now, they now know where it goes and they can make the decision to cross it or not.

Michael: Yeah, and that makes a lot of sense to me because I think like structure being this really profound part of human growth and for me being routine, doing the same things in and out, knowing my schedule, knowing how I show up in the world, when I was unstructured I was in for lack of a better term chaos and that's how I found myself been especially as a teen these incredibly precarious situations and I would find myself I was a habitual line stepper. Alright, let's do something really practical here, okay, let's pretended that you are parenting Michael at 16. Let me put this in the context because it's going to be helpful for people I think.

It's 16-year-old me, I just got expelled from school for selling drugs, I was getting ready to get put into a last chance program, I was getting stoned all day, having sex with my girlfriend, all night smoking and drinking selling drugs, breaking into cars, sneaking out of the house in the middle of night, stealing cars, I was running from the cops, I got put in handcuffs, I was working a job at Hollywood Video making money while I was really hustling and making real money on the outside that was my cover, I am like almost probably the worst kid that you could possibly have there's nothing that you could say to me. My grandmother was raising me at the time because my mom was in and out of rehab or she was just disappeared, my stepfather was super abusive guy, so on and so forth and so now whether it was my grandmother or a friend had taken me and or whatever I was still like, put the boundary in front of me and watch me cross it; it was almost like every time that someone would say this is what you should or should not do the incentive for me was to break you. I know it sounds crazy, right? But it was always like how fucking far can push you, part of it was I wanted I felt like okay if I push you as hard as I can, then eventually you will have to stop trying to be engaged or love me or whatever that is, I understand that  now, looking back in retrospect at the time however, I was like, fuck, you don't tell me what to do. How do you step into the arena with that kid?

Dr. Cam: Well, it's not going to be an overnight fix, and it's not about fixing to, and this is what I would say to all of that, everything you listed, all the behaviors, those are not the problem, those are the symptoms of an underlying problem and you just listed a lot of problems that you had, right? I mean, you had no structure, you had no security, you had no positive feedback, you had no, like unconditional love I mean, all the things that help us thrive as individuals you didn't have. So you were left to put up every single defense you possibly could and it sounds like you were testing over and over and over again every line because you could just prove to them and proving to yourself that, no one cared about you. Like every time you crossed a line, you showed nobody cared because they allowed you to do that.

Michael: I think also it was I wanted to see what I could get away with here is what I think is really fascinating got some cameras. I was fully cognizant and aware of all the actions that I was taking at that time and I was just like, how do I game this system? And so dealing with that and let's say, you know, I think you made a really wonderful point about the fact that it's going to take time, but where do you start?

Dr. Cam: I actually want to get it back to you too, because you did come around, so I think you already have an answer of what you needed, right? So what I am guessing, but I would love to hear what you asked actually have to say about it because you're going to have a lot of insight and I like learning and learning as well but it's actually embracing that kid, it's actually finding the good in you because you're just finding all the bad, the more people say you're a bad kid the more you're going to prove it. I mean, you just keep leaning into who you believe you are and you're being told over and over and over again I have no doubt that you're just a bad kid.

So great, let's lean into that when we start finding the strength and even so many of the things that you were saying quite frankly, they're showed a lot of strength in those your ability to go out and support yourself your ability to find out how to make money and there's things in there that actually sparked some real intelligence and some real strengths in you; you were living them in a very unhealthy way, obviously, but you are showcasing some amazing attributes. And so I think it's focusing on and having somebody be able to come in and say no matter what you do, I love you. No matter you cannot do anything that is going to make me stop loving you, and I'm going to keep focusing in on the strengths that you have, and I'm going to keep showing up for you.

Michael: I think, as a parent, how do you do that? Right? So whether you know, I have a ton of people reach out to me, I spent time, not in foster care, but in foster environments, I spent time in group homes, like the whole nine, right? How as a parent, or a caregiver or someone who's just trying to empower that kid who just needs that one bit of love, that one bit of whatever it is, but they can't receive it, they can't accept it and you're trying and like you're banging your head against the wall at night, trying to figure like how do you get in there, what do you do? Because there are people listening right now in this situation with it teen like I was trying to figure out how to show them that they're cared for in the world?

Dr. Cam: Don't give up on them first of all, because that's exactly what they're expecting you to do. And it's going to take a kid and again, I want your feedback because you were that kid, I wasn't that kid, but it's a matter of saying I'm going to keep showing up for you, and I'm going to keep showing you that I love you whether or not you're showing that you feel it or not, it's syncing it, trust me, it is syncing it. Being in kids, when you get to that point, you have so many defenses up and you feel so unsecured and so unsafe that you're not going to trust somebody, you're not going to let those boundaries down because you've been hurt over and over and over and over again. So you need to really believe that that person over time continues to show up consistently. The other thing I would say is you can't take it personally, as a parent. It's not about you, it's about what they're going through and they're going through so much.

I tell parents all the time that the uglier the behavior, and the words and the beat and everything that's coming out, is it's a reflection of what's inside. Nobody needs to act out, nobody needs to say nasty, things if they're feeling good about themselves inside, if they're feeling safe. So it's a reflection of what's going inside, so focus on that. Focus on the fact that this kid is hurting this much, that they need to act this way and I need to be there to make sure somebody is there that they can trust and count on, no matter what to not easy.

Michael: That's really powerful and I will definitely contend that, it's not easy. And I can go back and look at a couple of key people in my childhood who brought a tremendous amount of value to my life while in the moment I didn't understand it and retrospective made a lot of sense and they know who they are, Mr. Hollingsworth, teacher who one day he looks at me, he goes, you're not supposed to be here and he literally goes to get your shit together and that was great and what happened is like the next semester of high school, I finally was in this, like, last chance program, I'm learning all these skills and shit I got straight A's, it was crazy, right? There were other circumstances that helped me do that but then another teacher, Mr.Bush, my business teacher, no less failed me and he's the reason why I didn't graduate on well, let me rephrase. I'm the reason I didn't graduate high school on time, but he was the catalyst in that because when I walked up to his classroom at the end of the senior year, my girlfriend had called me, I was at home smoking weed and playing video games and she's like, oh, by the way, you're not graduating, I was like, whoa, what the fuck are you telling you? And so I go to school and bang on the door, I go Mr. Bush, what the fuck is wrong with you? Why aren't you passed me? And you know, like this skilled teacher had been teaching in inner-city schools for 20 years, he was super calm down and goes, you know, on the first day when you walked in here and you told me you weren't going to come to my class because I told him this, I was literally was not going to come, there's class wasn't gonna happen. He said, well, check in with me and do homework, I didn't do that one time and then, in that moment, he taught me a lesson that carries with me today. Most important thing anyone has ever told me, he said, you have to understand something about life, your charms, and your good looks are not going to get you by, you're going to have to do the work and that became this huge catalyst for me to be able to look forward.

I'm going somewhere with this when I think about resilience and you go look at the research around resiliency. One of the key indicators of whether or not people will have those traits of resiliency as whether or not a single person conveys love. And so as you're moving into that measure, battling this as a parent and as you're working with teens and in creating this impact in their lives, the thing that I would say is that there is a possibility that you are ingraining, things that you don't even understand right now just by showing up. Dr. Cam, this is what I think is really important, when you hit that precipice of your like, I'm ready to give up, I can't do this anymore, I've tried fucking everything, we've gone to therapy, and we talk to the counselors and we've got the books and the kids still fucking nightmare and you're ready to quit, what do you do?

Dr. Cam:  Well, you need to take care of yourself, too. And I say this and people are like, when, how, but here's the thing, if you're going to show up and keep showing up for this kid or any person if you're completely empty and exhausted and at your end, you have nothing left to give that person. So there's ways to do that where it's not just shutting that kid out, but it's setting boundaries, right? You need to set boundaries that still keep yourself and care for yourself, and living that life that is important to you. And so, I tell this with parents that have very difficult kids to, it's like you still need to find time in your life and create the life that you want and live the life you want with the child in it, but you're living your life, right? You're not letting your child, dictate how you live your life because a lot of parents, a lot of people let them do that. Once you start doing that and you're starting to be able to fill yourself up and you're starting to find your own place, then you will have enough to keep giving and find support, if you're running it out, running out, find someone that can support you. But the thing is and Michael, you know, this more than anyone, if you give up after you've put in so much time, you're telling that kid that everybody's going to leave them, everybody's going to leave them and I don't care how exhausting it is, if that child is important to you, that's the one message you can't give them. So take care of yourself, so you have it in there.

I would love to hear like your story and I love the stories you're saying of your teacher because yes, it if just one trusted individual adult person is in that kid's life that can save them. If it's the parent that is far more effective because that parent is there every single day in their life forever, right? The parent is the ideal person to do that but your teachers I can bet, we're like, oh, he's not hearing me, they're saying this Michaels just blowing me off, right? But they said it anyway, and you did hear, it didn't you?

Michael: At times for sure because I definitely had to teachers, I would say that one of the things I've been gifted with is intelligence and I probably am too smart for my own good I recognize that even today and I contemplate the idea of whether or not I could ever be a genius. And that's not me like using hubris by any scope of the imagination but I think about if I wouldn't have done all those drugs, where would I be? And so be teachers, would I remember it, like fifth grade, I won like all the fucking spelling bees and in Middle School, like I was winning these science awards and things like this, but by the time that I was in high school, I just didn't care anymore, I didn't care about ‘cause high school to me was nonsense, made zero sense, I'm like, I'm trying to fucking survive, we're getting evicted, I moved five times my freshman year of high school and you think I give a shit about social studies? You are out of your fucking mind. And so these teachers they would come and they'd be like don't hang out that kid, you're better than that, you're this you're that and I just like you guys don't get it because you're the adult, you're the parent figure, you're the whoever the authority and I'm just trying to connect with human beings who see me who aren't going to judge me, who aren't going to be the one you don't belong here you're not supposed to be here. And so even though they would convey these things and give me advice, more often than not they just be like, I'm done like why are you here?

And I remember I went to the the Dean's office one day right before I got expelled, and he was like, why are you here? And I was like, cuz you're making me and I missed, it's hilarious, you go look at my report card, I missed my senior year alone, like, 91 days of school, because I was like, I don't care. And my community, the kids I was hanging out with what I was doing, that's how I found solace, that's how I found peace. And so looking at an understanding that and I want to loop to something here because I think it'd be really important to talk about.

The parents, the adults the individuals in my life, who should have been the figures, I looked up to were not instead, I found inspiration through people like Jay-Z and and I was so inspired by him because I was like, fuck, he made it out my shits, kind of like this, maybe I can figure it out who and then one of the things that hit me throughout not only doing my own personal work, but now growing Think Unbroken having these kind of conversations, educating myself, having all these certifications and Trauma education.

One of the things that is so incredibly abundantly clear is that this is a generational issue that trauma is a trickle-down effect that the way that we parent is a trickle-down effect that starts generations, generation, generations before it ever comes to us. And so now, this is so ingrained and embedded on us like software DNA that you're effectively, not only upgrading but reprogramming yourself, while simultaneously, recognizing the impact that other people had on you leading up to this moment then you are at this Croc store, this juxtaposition now, we're you must unfortunately do all the fucking work to change it so that you don't end up doing the same thing to your kid. And so while I recognize a lot of this is about the style of parenting which I think is incredibly practical more so I think the conversation is what adults IE parents which in this context makes more sense need to be doing the first heal themselves. So talk about that a bit, how is that important and why does that actually matter in this journey?

Dr. Cam: It is so critical because so much of what our conflict is with our teens is not about our teens it's about us and what they're triggering in us and what they're making us feel about ourselves. And so some of the biggest ones I see and you said the word judgment and I want to bring that word up because a lot of what parents do and let me just be clear to, I am a parent of a teen as well so I'm not whatever I say I do, so I just want to be really clear about that, I'm not saying oh, you go do this and I'm not living it every day, I'm living it every day.

So being able to realize when you're getting triggered by your teen or you're getting afraid of your teen, so you were talking or afraid about what your teens doing, why? What is it that's triggering you? Why are you so concerned? So, one of the things I hear a lot and by community is the great great, like, getting straight A's, I mean, I don't know why they have any other grades because A's are the only grades that anyone's allowed supposed to get, right? So getting straight A's, getting into the right College, getting the right job, all of this is that's the way it's supposed to be and parents will fight tooth and nail with their kids daily about their grades. And my question is, why are you so worried about their grades? What is it about their grades that you're worried about? And you're saying, well, because I want them to do this this and this, well, I mean we're seeing looking at you Michael, you're doing extraordinarily well for you and you clearly did terrible in your grades, right? So there's other path, so what is it about the grade. Also, getting the ideal job, how many people hate their corporate job that they work so hard to get good grades to get into the right school to get, a lot of us. I hated my corporate job, that's why I'm not doing any more, right? And I work my butt off for that.

So we have these programs in our head of what is expected and we get very worried, especially now with social media we think it were impacts our kids, it impacts us a lot because we're sitting there, looking at all of our friends and what their kids are doing, oh, their kids on the honor roll, do their kids just wanting this cup, you know, the game oh, their kid, just got the scholarship and we're going my kid needs to do that. So that I feel like I'm a successful parent, is it really about your kid or is it really about you feeling like you're a successful parent measuring up against all the other parents? And this is a tough question to ask yourself, this is one that a lot of people struggle with but I've asked parents flat out that are fighting with their kids every single day about their grades and I say, why is it so important and they literally cannot come up with an answer other than because they're supposed to because they’re supposed to do this and this and I say this is my mullet philosophy or Theory. Once upon a time, people said the mullet look stylish and we were all people are all getting mullets, so we need to really question what society is telling us is what has to be, why is it important to you?

Michael: Yeah, I do, I'm Billy Ray Cyrus is rolling over in bed right now but the thing that I think about and I had a conversation with one of my clients, just the other day who was talking about the impact that her child was having on her life and the way that they have this like back and forth in measurement and I was like, what is your kid have to do with you? And what I mean by that is at the end of the day, the only person that controls your life and your outcome is, you not your partner's, not your boss, not your kids, not your community, no one because the actions, the choice, the decisions that you make are what sets the precedent for everything around you. Dr. Cameron, before I ask you, my last question, can you tell everybody where they can find you?

Dr. Cam: Yes, so I also have a podcast, it's called Parenting Teens with Dr. Cam and it's about parenting, teens, and it's with me Doctor Cam, so it's easy to remember. And you can go to my website, which is askdrcam.com and you can find all kinds of free resources and information there.

Michael: I love it, that's super important there's tons of resources that I think parents need because there is no playbook for this shit called light. Dr. Cam amazing conversation, thank you so much for being here, my friend. My last question for you is, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Dr. Cam: That's a powerful one. To be unbroken to me means to be confident in who you are and to believe that who you are, is exactly who you're supposed to be. And I think we often look at our failures or where we don't measure up to other people as being broken rather than just as being our unique selves in different. And so, we can't measure ourselves to other people because then we'll always find places were broken if we just measure ourselves to ourselves we're going to find that, we are Unbroken.

Michael: I love it, that's beautiful, very well said, my friend.

Unbroken Nation, thank you so much for hanging out today.

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Tell a friend.

And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

I’ll see you.

Cameron (Dr. Cam) Caswell, PhDProfile Photo

Cameron (Dr. Cam) Caswell, PhD

Cameron (Dr. Cam) Caswell, Ph.D., the “teen translator,” is an adolescent psychologist and family success coach who specializes in helping parents build strong, positive relationships with their teens through improved communication, connection, and understanding using her PRIME Parenting Method.

Dr. Cam received her doctorate in Developmental Psychology from George Mason University, where she was mentored by Dr. Susanne Denham and recognized for her superb teaching as a professor of Adolescent Psychology. Additionally, Dr. Cam is a Certified Professional Success Coach (CPSC), has served as a high school youth leader for over 10 years, and is a co-founder of The Avengers for Teens, an allied network of adolescent and parenting experts that provide daily advice and encouragement on ClubHouse.

Since publishing her book, Power Phrases for Parents: Teen Edition, in 2015, Dr. Cam has been speaking about adolescent development and parent education at local schools, national organizations, on television, podcasts, and most recently on NPR. After her presentation at the Nysmith School, the coordinator wrote, “The best Parent Education event the school has ever had.”

Dr. Cam hosts the Parenting Teens with Dr. Cam podcast and Parenting Teens Power Hour. She’s also created a series of online parenting courses including, “How to Have a Peaceful, Positive Relationship with Your Teen.” Dr. Cam uses her fun, interactive style to unpack frustrating adolescent behavior and empowers her clients and audiences to work with their teen's wiring rather than against it—boosting the development of a positive, healthy sense of self rather than unwittingly eroding it. Parents leave her sessions feeling hopeful, supported, and motivated for change.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.