Entries by Jason Silverman

How to Help Kids Learn Friendship Skills and Avoid Social Isolation with Caroline Maguire

Special guest: Caroline Maguire

A child hangs back in gym class because he just knows he’ll be the last one picked. Another child monologues nonstop about dinosaurs on every playdate and still another talks nonstop throughout the movie even though everyone asks her to stop. They don’t get invited to birthday parties, are thought of too much or too little, & playdates often end poorly. Do you know any of these children? Every child struggles with something—and many have social challenges that, at their root, are issues with executive function and a need for social skills training. And while this may seem like just child’s play- those who know and love the children who struggle in the area of friendship know that it can be a very lonely place to be. The child often wants to have friends but isn’t picking up on social cues, the need to be flexible, and how to connect with same-age peers. They may ask, in one way or another, the heart-breaking question—Why Will No One Play With Me?

Caroline Maguire is a personal coach who works with children with ADHD and the families who support them. Caroline earned her ACCG (Advanced Level Certification) from the ADD Coach Academy and her PCC (Professional Certified Coach Certification) from the International Coach Federation (ICF). She also received a Master of Education from Lesley University. Her revolutionary coaching program and methodology helps teach executive function skills to children, teenagers, and young adults. She is a former coach for the Hallowell Center in Sudbury, MA. While with the Hallowell Center, Caroline was the main coach for children and teenagers. Caroline consults with schools and families internationally and has been co-leading social skills groups for over a decade. She is also the author of a NEW book called Why Will No One Play With Me? The Play Better Plan to Help Children of All Ages Make Friends & Thrive

How to Talk to Kids about the Connection between Kindness and Wellness with Kelli Harding, MD

Special guest: Kelli Harding, MD

We all hear medical stories of triumph and frustration—there are so many mysteries when it comes to health- why some people, who are biologically healthy, but feel ill—and some patients who are biologically ill, but feel healthy. Doctors have racked their brains for years- looking for patterns, problems, links that somehow explain why certain people get better quickly and others get sick quickly and don’t recover. And perhaps it might surprise you, as you will hear in the next interview—that how we feel is not necessarily about the dosage of medication or the brilliance of the doctor but about something simpler- something much more common and humane but something that isn’t always provided—and it comes down to the science of kindness, connection and human compassion. When we look at our children- and notice that some thrive and some continue to falter, it will be interesting to look through the lens of kindness, compassion and connection to see if this is any area that needs to be bolstered in the lives of the kids we know and love. The lives that are often stressed with go, go, go hours being shuttled from sports practices to music practice to hours of homework, where they spend a great deal of time in school where many might not feel seen and heard, where social media can make us feel more disconnected, envious and perfectionistic than ever– How could some shifts of the heart, in the time we spend, with who we spend it with–  make the difference in the wellness of our children and ourselves? For that, we turn to Dr. Kelli Harding.

Dr. Kelli Harding is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, as well as boarded in the specialty of psychosomatic (mind-body) medicine. Kelli has spent much of her career in the emergency room at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, NPR, The New York Times, Medscape, Oprah.com, and US News & World Report.  Kelli resides in NYC with her family. She also has a new book that just came out called The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier and Healthier with Groundbreaking Science of Kindness

How to Talk to Kids When Something Bad Happens in the World with Dawn Huebner, PhD

Special guest: Dawn Heubner, Ph.D

We all want our children to feel safe, secure and engaged in their lives. But when big, bad things happen in the world- from mass shootings to natural disasters to other tragedies detailed on the news and filtered through the adults at the restaurant, the neighbors on the street, the kids on the bus and friends at school- the world can feel a little less safe and secure for many of our children. How can we reserve our kids feelings of optimism, safety, security, strength and that inexplicable feeling that comes with a carefree childhood when scary things happen across the world, across the state or across the street? For this important topic, we turn a second time to past podcast guest, Dr. Dawn Huebner who you’ll remember from our discussion about worry and anxiety and how to help our kids when they worry too much—a great and helpful podcast episode that I urge you to listen to after this one.

Dr. Dawn Huebner is a Clinical Psychologist and Parent Coach specializing in the treatment of anxiety. She is the author of 9 books for children including the perennial best seller, What to Do When You Worry Too Much, and more recent, Outsmarting Worry. Dr. Huebner’s newest book, coming out THIS WEEK called Something Bad Happened, provides support for children learning about big bad things happening the world. Dr. Huebner has been featured on news and information outlets including the TODAY Show, CNN, Parent’s Magazine and more. She maintains a private practice in Exeter, NH.

How to Talk to Kids About Popularity with Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D

Special guest: Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D
Any mention of the word “popular” and many of us are transported to a time when popularity really seemed to matter. Who was on top, who was on bottom and who floated somewhere in the middle of the social hierarchy at school and among peer groups? Who was well-liked by many, who was revered by the masses and who was feared by most- you know, the kids who were popular by default because nobody really wanted to attempt to take on the views and power of that group of kids? Interestingly, popularity in our younger years, according to research, can predict how successful we are in our adulthood—but are we, as parents, supposed to help our children to become more popular, then? Actually, the definition of popularity needs to be fully understood to learn the answer to that- and the strategies and key conversations to help our children will follow. For that, we turn to our guest, Dr. Mitch Prinstein.

Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D. is a husband, a father, board certified in clinical child and adolescent psychology, and serves as the John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and the Director of Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mitch’s Peer Relations Lab has been conducting research on popularity and peer relations for almost 20 years—and has produced over 100 scientific works, including a slew of scientific journal articles, book chapters, a set of encyclopedias on adolescent development, and even a textbook on the field of clinical psychology. Mitch is deeply committed to science and training in clinical psychology and his research have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Time magazine, New York magazine, Newsweek, Reuters, Family Circle, Real Simple, and elsewhere. He is also the author of the book; Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World

How to Raise Curious, Responsible Toddlers the Montessori Way with Simone Davies

Special guest: Simone Davies,Let’s face it. When people hear the word; “toddler” it often conjures up thoughts of “the terrible twos,” torrential tantrums and tirades that feature the word “NO!” in big capital letters. There are frustrations about toddlers not listening, not eating fruits and vegetables, not sleeping, not listening, not allowing parents to go to go out on a date or go to the bathroom without their company. But what if I told you that by looking at life through a toddler’s eyes and using the methods developed by Dr. Montessori, you can learn the peaceful way of raising a toddler to become a curious, responsible, kind individual? That is exactly what we are going to do today with our next guest.
Simone Davies is the author of “The Montessori Toddler”, runs parent-child Montessori classes in Amsterdam at her school Jacaranda Tree Montessori, and is mother of two young adults. She also has a popular blog, “The Montessori Notebook”.

Finding Montessori helped her so much when raising her own children and it’s now her passion to help other parents introduce these ideas in their homes too. She was looking to find a way to be with her kids that wasn’t about bossing them about, threatening them and bribing them. Or giving them free reign either. And she wanted them to have a positive experience of school, not just to pass tests, but to love learning.

How to Talk to Middle Schoolers about What Matters Most with Phyllis Fagell, LCPC

Special guest: Phyllis Fagell, LCPC Middle school is a time of seismic shifts—everything is changing from friendships and relationships to hormones, expectations and not to mention the physical, intellectual, moral, social and emotional growth your child is experiencing in just a short amount of time. Fundamental questions are floating around the heads of adolescents such as “who am I?” “Am I normal?” and “do I fit in?” Middle schoolers are thrust into a changing environment where adult involvement is reduced and their own skills become vital as they figure out exactly what they are going to allow to be their social and personal currency. Skills such as making good friend choices, negotiating conflict, considering other people’s perspectives, cultivating their own passions and recognizing limitations and of course, making responsible, healthy, ethical choices. Yes, there is a lot to this middle school experience that bridges the gap between childhood and teenhood—and thankfully, we don’t need to go it alone.

Phyllis L. Fagell, LCPC, is the author of “Middle School Matters,” the counselor at Sheridan School in Washington, D.C., a psychotherapist at The Chrysalis Group and a frequent contributor to The Washington Post and other national publications. She is also a regular columnist for the Association for Middle Level Education and Kappan magazines, and she consults and speaks throughout the country. Phyllis graduated with honors from Dartmouth College, received a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University, and earned her master’s degree in counseling from Johns Hopkins University. She tweets @pfagell and blogs at www.phyllisfagell.com

How to Be a Present Parent with Catherine Weiss

Special guest: Catherine Weiss As parents, it is normal to have some stressful thoughts. We might be in conflict with our child and think; “he’s not listening to me,” “she’s so spoiled” or “he’s sucking the life out of me.” But what if we turned these statements on their ear to evaluate their truth but also look inward to see what the actual truth might be? We have the greatest of intentions and love our children—but it is often that we live in the moment. The moment of running from here to there, picking up, dropping off, cooking, cleaning, helping, orchestrating, planning—and getting frustrated, angry or upset when life’s little irritating moments get in our way—our children fighting with us, fighting with each other, not going along with what we deem “the flow.” And I get it—as a mother I am there with you and get this frustration deeply. Today, let’s look into self inquiry so that we can learn to prepare for the long haul rather than the fleeting moment, connection rather than disagreement and love rather than fear. I’ll be going on this journey with you as I am hanging out in the same boat, needing to learn and practice the same lessons and gain the same insights from our next guest who is ready to help us.

Catherine Weiss is the author of a radically different parenting book for mothers, currently 5-stars on Amazon, called, The Present Mother: How to Deepen Your Connection With the Present Moment, Yourself, and Your Child. The New York Times bestselling author of The Conscious Parent, Dr. Shefali Tsabary wrote the foreword to The Present Mother and in it says, “Any parent who reads and practices the insights in this book will not only heal their own wounds from childhood, they will change things for their offspring for all generations to come.” Catherine’s readers call The Present Mother THE parenting book and that it takes Conscious Parenting to the next level.

How to Raise Teen Girls and Grow a Relationship with Your Teen Daughters with Kari Kampakis

Special guest: Kari Kampakis It’s not easy to be a teenage girl. Dealing with cliques, bullying, rejection, and social media fiascos can be overwhelming and disheartening. So yes, being a parent or a key adult in the lives of teen girls can also be a challenge- how do we best advise the teen girls for whom we only want the best when we don’t always know which way is up! Our teen girls are going through so many important changes—physical, emotional, social, cognitive—they are learning what they like, who they like, who they are and who they want to be. This is big stuff. So if you had the opportunity, what would you truly want the teen girls in your life to know? What would you want them to take in about popularity, friendship, relationships, reputation and belief in themselves? As it turns out, we do have the opportunity to talk to our girls about all of these important areas of development and experience—and if we haven’t yet embarked on these discussions, we can start now. Kari Kampakis is a blogger, author, speaker, and columnist from Birmingham. Her two books for teen and tween girls, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know and Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For, have been used widely across the country by small groups to empower girls through faith. She is also in the process of writing another book on mothers and daughters. Kari’s work has been featured on The Huffington Post, The TODAY Show along with other national outlets. She and her husband, Harry, have four daughters and a dog named Lola. Learn more by visiting kampakis.com or finding Kari on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

How to Parent the Danish Way with Jessica Alexander

Special guest: Jessica Alexander. Denmark has been voted as having the happiest people in the world by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) almost every year since 1973. That’s more than 40 years of happiness! It begs the question—is it the parenting? I mean, is there a Danish Way of parenting? It turns out, there is, and while the Danish Way of parenting is not the only reason Danes are the happiest, it does play a very important role—and the success of it all seems to be tied to the ways they educate children far beyond academics—focusing on play, empathy and social skills. It’s important to delve into it, I hope you would agree, since happy kids tend to grow up to be happy adults who raise happy kids—and the seasons go ‘round and round again. And while in the United States and in other areas of the world, we are seeing an increase of anti-depressants, suicides among young people and mental health diagnoses, as well as a great deal of competition between parents and we have a lot to learn from the Danes. Best-selling Author, Journalist, Danish Parenting Expert & Cultural Researcher, Jessica Alexander’s book “The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know about Raising Confident Capable Kids” has been published in over 25 countries. Her work has been featured in TIME, The Wall Street Journal, Salon, Huffington Post, NPR, NY Times, and many more. She regularly does talks and workshops for parents, schools and organizations like Google, The Women’s Network of the United Nations, The World Parenting Forum and many more. She has also worked as a spokesperson for LEGO on the Power of play.

How to Look Beyond Behaviors to Solve Children’s Behavioral Challenges with Mona Delahooke, PhD

Special guest: Mona Delahooke, PhD. A kindergartener whose father pinches her on the arm at night- once for every time her teacher wrote the girl’s name on the behavior chart at school that day.
A three year old in foster care who was found sitting in a car by the side of the road with his mother, who was passed out at the wheel. His daycare-center teacher sends him to a time out room for challenging behaviors.
A ten year old is diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. His teachers say he is chronically disruptive, always seeking attention, His problematic behaviors began after his family relocated to a new state.
My next guest says that we are too quick to look at behaviors as attempts to annoy and disrupt—rather than what they truly represent- observable responses to our internal and external experiences. And here’s the problem with that- When we fail to recognize that many behaviors represent the body’s response to stress, not intentional misbehavior, we expend effort on techniques designed to help children logically connect their thoughts, emotions and behaviors and change them—when they simply can’t yet. Instead, we need to see the behavior that is problematic and confusing and NOT ask ourselves how do we get rid of it? But rather, what is this telling us about the child? The answer will then guide us to coming up with the best approach to help that individual child thrive.

Mona Delahooke, Ph.D. is a clinical child psychologist with a passion for supporting families and children. She has worked widely with multidisciplinary teams in the areas of trauma, developmental and emotional differences for 25 years.  She is a senior faculty member of the Profectum Foundation and is a trainer and consultant to schools and agencies including the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health. Her blog, The Visible Parent, and book, Social & Emotional Development in Early Intervention (2017) explore the latest translational applications of neuroscience to social and emotional development. She is also the author of Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children’s Behavioral Challenges.