Brooke Romney: What We’ve Forgotten to Teach Our Teens

Listen on iTunesSpotify, or Stitcher 

Description: Brooke Romney is back with her highly anticipated sequel to her book 52 Modern Manners for Today’s Teens.  Volume 2 is filled with all the good things we want our kids to know. 

In this episode we discuss some of my favorite tips that she shares, why I love them, and more about raising confident and capable teens. 

Let’s dive in! 


  • 02:08 Teaching Our Teens the “Common Sense” Things
  • 06:48 Learning Together as Parents and Teens
  • 10:40 Getting Comfortable with “I Don’t Know”
  • 13:02  Teaching Teens to Make Room
  • 19:15 Get Comfortable with Failure
  • 27:01 Define Yourself by What’s On the Inside


Brooke’s books are just a way to help parents have the tools to help their teens feel really confident. Tthere are so many things that feel like common sense to us, that we forget to teach them and Brooke’s 52 Manners books help parents to not miss some of the important lessons our teens need.

Our kids are living in a completely different world than we lived in, especially because their eyes are down in their phones and their headphones are in a lot. So while we had no choice but to observe the world around us, they have had a way not to observe and they might be missing some things.

That’s one of the reasons why Brooke felt like so compelled to write these things out is because we forget that their life is so different from the life we had as kids and teenagers and what they’ve observed is different than what we’ve observed.


Brooke said that she got a really sweet message once from a mom who said, “I didn’t grow up in a home that taught me any of these, and as a mom, I didn’t feel very well equipped to be able to teach my kids how to live successfully and have manners and be polite. I’m learning along with my kids.”

I love that. I feel the same way. Like every time we flip a manner, I’m learning too. And I just thought how powerful for all of us to be learning together. I think as moms and parents it’s important to remember that we’re all learning. We’re all figuring it out. And I love thinking of the thousands of homes that are all just trying to be better together each week. It’s just a really exciting thing.


Brooke shared a story where she was working with someone who was helping her at her house. She asked her a question or her opinion on something and she paused and she said, “You know what? I am not sure I’m gonna, I’m gonna think about that and I’ll let you know.” And it was so powerful to hear that because her trust in her went up by a hundred times because I knew that she wasn’t just gonna throw like some answer so that she sounded smart or so she sounded like she know what she’s talking about.

She just was gonna take the time to figure out like the best solution. Thinking about that experience, I think about how so often our teenagers feel like they have to be on the spot and know exactly what to say or exactly what to do, or even have an opinion on everything and it can feel scary or hard or embarrassing to say I don’t know.

But can you imagine what our adult world would be like if we learned this as teenagers to just be okay with not knowing. Be okay with saying, I need more time. I need to think about it. I need to do some research. It’s just a really, really powerful thing, and I think our world sometimes makes teenagers feel like that’s not the case.


If you’re with a group of people and someone approaches you smile, say hi and make room. This is a big one. I see a lot of people where they have such tight circles, they don’t open the circle. I once heard that you need to ha make it a horseshoe and not a circle and I love that. Think about how brave someone has to be to, especially as a teenager, to approach a group that they’re not a part of. So teaching our kids to acknowledge that bravery and just open it up, both physically and socially, is a huge lesson they can learn, because I think a lot of our teenagers are looking for a place to fit in and to feel a part of something. And anytime somebody is making that type of effort, giving them a chance to be a part of it.

I’ve seen this even in my own life with adult women, if there’s a bunch of women talking and someone tries to be a part of it. It’s so great when somebody just moves over opens the circle and becomes the connector. It is such a gift when anyone, no matter what age, can be the person that’s willing to open up that circle.


Everyone struggles with the concept of failure and I do believe a lot of teenagers are like, “No, I can’t fail.I have to be perfect.” But if I could teach my kids one thing, it’s just to be comfortable with the fact that things aren’t always gonna go right. They’re not always gonna go well. Even when you give your best effort, you might not make the team, you might not be elected, and there is still so much growth and so much joy from bad things. And I hate for people to say “I don’t wanna try that. I might not make it.”

You miss out on so many incredible opportunities when you have that mindset that you just don’t want to fail or that you can’t fail, that it would be so embarrassing and this is really great for parents to be able to bring up and talk about times when they failed and what they learned from it, or what doors opened because of failure.


Too many of us get our sense of worth from outside sources and those things can quickly change or be easily taken away. So often, you go through high school and you’re a basketball player, like you’re a, you’re a great basketball player. Well, then what happens when you don’t end up playing basketball past high school? Who are you if you’ve spent the last three years being identified as a basketball player? Who are you?

So instead, when we define ourselves, instead of defining yourself as a basketball player, You could define yourself as a great team player, then it doesn’t matter if you’re playing basketball, if you’re at work, if you’re in a group project, you’re always a great team player and, and as parents, instead of saying like, Oh, you’re so athletic, you’re such a great shooter, switching that to something else like you’re a great team player or you have a relentless work ethic. We need to define ourselves by who we are on the inside.

I loved this interview with Brooke. She has done so much to empower us as parents and to empower teens to know how awesome they are. I love the way she approaches teaching them that feels less like correction and criticism and more like connection and cheering them on.


Thank you so much for listening to this episode! I’m honored and excited to be on this journey toward personal growth and greater confidence with you. If you enjoyed the podcast, I’d love to ask you to take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review on your podcast app, that way we can help even more women to join us as we #dropkickyourinnermenagirl together.

P.S. If you’re looking for ways to increase your confidence and silence your inner mean-girl, download my free workbook, 6 Ways to Dropkick Your Inner Mean Girl.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *