How to Talk to Girls about Drama-Free Friendships with Annie Fox

Special Guest: Annie Fox

Annie Fox is an Award winning writer, app developer and Educator Focusing on Social-Emotional learning and character development. Annie aims to teach kids to be good people because we need more good people. We are all villagers, so it’s up to us. Some of her books include: Teaching Kids to Be Good People, Too Stressed to Think?, the Middle School Confidential book and app series, and the Raymond and Sheila picture books series. Annie’s latest book, The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship, offers 8-12 year old girls (and their parents/teachers) 50 ways to fix a friendship without the DRAMA. And that topic, talking to girls about friendship, is what lands her on the show today and we couldn’t be more excited.

Girls and friendship. For some, this topic makes them smile and think of the most endearing, close, meaningful relationships of their lives. For others, it makes them sweat and feel a little sick. Maybe it’s a little bit of both!

How to Build Self Esteem in Kids who were Adopted or Fostered with Dr. Sue Cornbluth

Special Guest: Dr. Sue Cornbluth
This podcast provides tips, scripts, stories and steps to help parents and educators understand the unique challenges of children who feel different, cast aside or devalued because of experiences in their childhood. Sue Cornbluth talks about children who were in the foster care system or who were adopted and how many of these children can have challenged self esteem due to unanswered questions about their identity or internalized frustrations about their life circumstances. How can we help kids who are being fostered or who have been adopted (perhaps later in life), cultivate the high self esteem and self worth they deserve?

How to Talk to Kids about Preventing and Overcoming Online Shaming with Sue Scheff

Special Guest: Sue Scheff
In today’s digitally driven world, disaster is only a click away. This is the written on the front flap of my next guest’s new book, Shame Nation. On this podcast, we’ve talked about the good and bad of the digital world- it can be a place of immense resource and positive education- we had a great discussion about learning and leading in a digital world with Eric Sheninger- and it can also be a home of aggression, misuse and the ugliness of humanity- from talking about bullying with Carrie Goldman and dignity and social aggression with Rosalind Wiseman. We have a few coming up like Katie Hurley talking about No More Mean Girls and a few others so, as parents, we know about the need for parental controls and the need for safety discussions regarding predators and who is friending you on social media. But my next guest brings to light a whole other segment of discussion that happens every day on the internet and can be like a runaway train if you don’t catch it before it gets out of control- online shaming.

Parents: How Do We Talk to Kids about Fairness?

Do you hear “that’s not fair!” a lot in your home or school? Many children believe that “fair” means “the same.” But often, “the same” is not fair at all. If you can imagine a bunch of different people, all with different needs, wants and interests- we’d never think that we should give them all exactly the same thing! Dividing up the pizza, time, help, snacks or privileges in equal-sized packages, quite simply, does not often make sense. Of course, other times, people should receive “the same” and that is, indeed, the most fair situation.

Fairness is the “Powerful Word of the Month” for Powerful Words this month and is also the topic for my US News & World Report article and infographics for October.

Ask your children what they think of fairness and come up with scenarios the illustrate when fairness means “the same” and when it means “different.” Here are some of the questions you can explore:

(1) When does fairness mean “the same?”

(2) When does fair mean that everyone should get a “different” amount?

(3) What do yo9u do or say when you see unfair things happen to other people?

(4) What are some of the rules at home that ensures fairness?

(5) What happens to fairness when someone doesn’t follow the rules?

Also, explore some of these talking points I discuss in my US News & World Report article this month:

Talking point No. 1: Discuss people’s varying needs, since fairness is often based on what each person needs to be successful and healthy.

Talking point No. 2: Explain that fairness is sometimes based on desire and interest. Everyone likes different activities, foods, games, colors and books.

Talking point No. 3: Have a conversation about merit, hard work and perseverance. We want to send the message that people who put in the most time and effort often get the largest share.

Talking point No. 4: Talk about fairness and appropriateness. Let your child know that depending on a person’s age, experience and ability, what’s fair may change.

Talking point No. 5: Life, unfortunately, isn’t always fair.

In a quiet moment, talk about what you think is really unfair in life, whether it’s people who are suffering – like a friend who has lost her parent to cancer – or kids who are homeless, or it’s societal inequalities that make life difficult for certain groups of people. This will provide some perspective for your children, while you ask them to take a walk in another person’s shoes. They may even want to find ways to be able to help those in need!

I discuss these fairness talking points in Ask Dr. Robyn this month:

Come up on Facebook or Twitter and let’s discuss it!

Warm regards,



How to Talk to Kids about Becoming a Money Genius with Beth Kobliner

Special Guest: Beth Kobliner

Do you want to make your kid a money genius (even if you’re not)? Well then you are in luck today! We live in a time when stakes are high—many parents worry that their kids will NOT be more financially successful than they were- which is a big change from previous generations that always seemed to believe that the next generation would be better off than they were. Given that we hear about lots of kids who often wind up with high student loans, low paying jobs and not enough money to go out on their own after college, is there something we can do NOW to help our kids ore knowledgeable about how to best handle money? Turns out, yes there is. And there is work to be done– many kids and young adults don’t know what they need to know about how to save, spend, invest and ultimately use money in responsible ways. We’ve talked about money with in a past episode with money expert, Neale Godfrey, and today we are going to get into some different money questions that help us, age by age, know what to do to help our kids become money geniuses, what mistakes to avoid and how we talk to kids about all if this- and we have the privilege to have money genius herself, Beth Kobliner on the show!

How to Talk to Kids about the Las Vegas Shooting

After the terrible shooting on Sunday, October 2nd, that took place in Las Vegas killing 59 and injuring more that 500 people, parents are left wondering what to say to their children about the Las Vegas shooting. Let’s acknowledge that it’s becoming less rare to wake up to bad news lately- hurricanes, earthquakes and this senseless shooting makes us wonder when the loss of life and destruction is going to end. I get that. Our children are starting to get hear bits and pieces about these tragedies and those who haven’t will likely hear about them in time. So what do we do or say when tragedy strikes?


  • I was interviewed for Morning Dose TV on this topic yesterday- right here.
  • Since I wrote something that is fitting when the Barcelona shooting happened– giving both tips and scripts, I’d like to give that to you now, again.
  • On my podcast, Joe Primo and I discussed How to Talk to Kids about Death & Dying if answers around grieving and death are in need.

And just a few quick words on talking to kids when tragedy strikes:

  • Be the first source– let them hear it from you. News sources are abrupt and made for adult audiences- you know best how to talk to your kids. Tell them; “I am here to answer your questions, there is nothing you can’t ask me. I may not know all the answers but I will find out what I don’t know so I can put your fears to rest.” As children get older you can ask, what do you know about this? How do you feel about this? To open up the conversation.
  • Let them know about the helpers who are working to keep everyone safe and assure them that the man responsible for the deadly act is unable to hurt anyone anymore because he is dead. Tell them; “those in law enforcement and the medical community are doing everything they can to keep us safe and take care of anyone who was hurt. Do you know how Aunt Karen takes care of people in the hospital since she’s a nurse? That’s what the people out there are doing too. Lots of people are helping.”
  • Allow them to be the helpers too– ask, how can we help someone who is suffering today? How might we help the kids who are dealing with these strategies. Something therapeutic for anyone of any age is drawing pictures and writing letters to those in Las Vegas who are suffering. They can write thank you notes to law enforcement and medical staff or raise money for a charity. As an adult, you can give blood and talk to your children about why you are doing it.

Read more

How we can help kids lead and learn in a digital age with Eric Sheninger

Special Guest: Eric Sheninger

There’s no question that things have changed dramatically in the world of kids since we were young. After all, the phones we had were connected to the wall and had long coily cords that we stretched as far as they could go so we could get some privacy in a bathroom or a closet. The only webs we spoke of were spider webs, a tablet was something you took when you were sick and movies could only be seen in theaters or on HBO, as long as you were willing to get out of your seat and physically go change the channel.  I know, the horror.

How to Talk to Kids about Peaceful Sibling Relationships with Dr. Laura Markham

Special Guest: Dr. Laura Markham

Dr. Laura Markham trained as a Clinical Psychologist, earning her PhD from Columbia University. She is the mother of two, now ages 21 and 25. Dr. Laura is the author of the book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How To Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life. You can find her online at

How to Talk to Kids about having meaningful conversations that matter with Celeste Headlee

Special Guest: Celeste Headlee

Celeste Headlee is the host of “On Second Thought” at Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta and has been a host and correspondent for NPR and PRI since 2006. She is the author of the book, We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter (Harper Wave, September 19), a practical guide to the lost art of conversation. Celeste’s TEDx Talk sharing 10 ways to have a better conversation was listed as one of the most watched TED Talks in 2016 (CNBC) and named the #1 must-watch TED Talk by Glassdoor (with over 11 million total views to date.) 

Being able to have productive conversations is a skill—and it’s a skill, built on a series of other skills from being assertive to listening to ensuring that we were heard correctly and yes, that we have heard and understood correctly what others are saying. These days, with so much communication relying on electronic screens and emojis, the art of conversation may be at risk. And that’s a scary thought. To put ourselves in the frame of mind of taking in the importance of good conversation skills, just think of what happens when poor communication happens—people get the wrong idea, mistakes are made, feelings are hurt and stuff does not get done in the right way. And when conversation is clear and strong and good- progress is made, we feel understood and connected- truly, it can make all the difference.

What to do (and what not to do) to become mentally strong parents with Amy Morin, LCSW

Special Guest: Amy Morin

Amy Morin a psychotherapist and the international bestselling author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. Her forthcoming book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, goes on sale September 19. Amy also teaches at Northeastern University and she’s a regular contributor to Forbes, Inc., Verywell, and Psychology Today. Her advice has been featured by numerous media outlets including, Parents, Business Insider, Success Magazine, and Fox News and she stars in a RedBull TV show called Visions of Greatness. 

Mentally strong people have good habits, make informed choices and persevere even when the going gets tough. But what habits have mentally strong people dropped to make room for personal growth and meaningful gain? Many people have told Amy Morin, who authored the blockbuster “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” (which you can hear about here LINK), that they wished they had learned these 13 things to avoid earlier in life—and how, as parents, could they be a better example to their kids? How could they actively instill positive habits (and avoid instilling negative habits) in their children that could compromise their mental strength? This podcast has the answers.