When a high school football team won a game 91-0, a parent from the losing team filed a complaint against the coach, claiming it was bullying. Was it? I sat down with the amazing folks at Good Morning America to discuss. What is bullying? Most of us know that bullying is a conflict that consists […]
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Entries by Jason Silverman
Special guest: Diana Graber. Snapchat, Instagram, Fortnite, cyberbullying, sexting, and technology addiction are some of the digital concerns that keep today’s parents up at night. Some of the statistics being quoted are scary: Common Sense Media reported that 50 percent of teens feel “addicted” to their phones. The Pew Research Center reported just last year that 59 percent of U.S teens have been bullied or harassed online. Guard Child reported that 39 percent of teens have sent or posted sexually suggestive messages (sexting). Stanford University researchers tell us that a whopping 80 percent of students can’t differentiate between real and “fake” news. And the World Health Organization told us in 2017 that Technology is making children dangerously unhealthy. YIKES. These are not small-scale studies with questionable results. My next guest has been unpacking this research and working to understand how digital innovations have radically altered childhood and left us largely unprepared as parents for how to deal with the influx of technology and the fallout from these devices. She is also capturing the upside of these digital innovations that, yes, if used correctly, can enrich our children’s lives—and regardless, this IS the world we live in- we can not shut our eyes turn off all screens and say “that’s it!” without shutting out the digital world in which we must learn to survive and thrive. So what can we do?
Diana Graber, a digital literacy educator and advocate, was honored with the National Association for Media Literacy Education’s 2017 Media Literacy Teacher Award. She is the cofounder of Cyberwise, a leading online safety and digital literacy organization, and the founder and creator of Cyber Civics, the popular and innovative middle school digital citizenship and literacy program currently being taught in more than 40 US states, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Africa. Graber lives with her family in Southern California. Diana is also the author of Raising Humans in a Digital World, published in January of this year.
Special guest: Vicki Hoefle.
Ask an audience of parents to shout out the most annoying behaviors their children exhibit that they desperately want to get rid of—there won’t be lack of answers. From fighting and hitting to getting up from the table, getting out of bed, making a mess, whining and talking back—parents have a bunch of challenges they are trying to solve to make their family homes more peaceful, their mornings or evening routines easier and their kids more cooperative or responsible. But what if I told you that the strategies we often employ to deal with these frustrating behaviors was, well, wrong? From nagging to judging, correcting, time-outs, reminding, lecturing and saving—our strategies might just be mere bandaids –or the very things that are making the behaviors worse? And what if there were actually strategies—governed by a key parenting philosophy– that could make it better—and help our kids to become confident, competence, responsible members of society? What in the world could make this magical philosophy work so well? You might be surprised by the answer—it’s Duct tape.
Vicki Hoefle is a popular parent educator, speaker and author of Duct Tape Parenting: A Less Is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids and The Straight Talk on Parenting: A No Nonsense Approach on How to Grow a Grownup. She has Helped thousands of families for over two decades by sharing her parenting tips and techniques across the country. She combines expertise in Adlerian Psychology with a suite of actionable, time-tested tools. A master story teller who is part comedian, part sage, mostly parent, Vicki offers ways to strengthen and enhance the parent-child relationship and bring out the best in each parent, the best in each child, and the best in each encounter. Vicki Hoefle leads parent education programs nationwide. Vicki’s parenting philosophy and approach to raising “thinking” children, does not include “getting children” to comply or using so-called “discipline” strategies (which include nagging, reminding, lecturing, bribing, counting, and time-outing) for dealing with pesky behaviors. Her strategies work for every family—and we couldn’t be more excited to talk about them today.
Special guest: Dr. Dan Reidenberg.
Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year, which is roughly one death every 40 seconds. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-24 years. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-old Americans, according to the CDC. These are the statistics—but when it comes to suicide and talking to kids, the statistics don’t give us the words, the feelings, the loss, the answers. In fact, Everytime there is a suicide in our communities, in our schools, in our families, and in the lives of our children- it usually leaves us with more questions than answers. How do we talk to kids about this extremely difficult topic?
Dr. Dan Reidenberg is the Executive Director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, SAVE, Managing Director of the National Council for Suicide Prevention and is on the Executive Board of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. He is Co-Chair of the International Media and Suicide Task Force—and serves on the numerous national and international advisory boards. He has speaks about suicide and suicide prevention internationally and has written many articles and book chapters about it as well. Dr. Reidenberg has been interviewed by major media sources from around the world including CNN, Larry King, Good Morning America, the New York Times and Washington Post and has helped develop the US National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and the National Research Agenda (US). He has received numerous awards for his work including the Service to Humanity Award, Service to Suicidology Award, and as a Champion of Change by The Obama Administration.
Special guest: Katherine Reynolds Lewis.
There is a new and surprising problem that has quietly but perhaps not unnotably come to fruition during more recent years—our children are out of control in comparison to previous generations. It’s not your imagination. A recent study of first-graders found that they could sit still for no more than three minutes—which is actually only a quarter of the time that their peers could in 1948. Government statistics show that half of all children will develop a mood or behavioral disorder or a substance addiction by age 18. What the heck is going on? I receive questions through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and email all asking about what parents, teachers and coaches can do to get children to behave better. The old methods of rewards and punishments—star charts and time outs are not working. Are your ears perking up? We’ve all seen it and you are not alone.
My next guest has some good news about bad behavior—and some great tips and scripts to help us better understand our children and how to help our children learn to self-regulate.
Katherine Reynolds Lewis is an award-winning journalist and author of The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever – And What to Do About It. Her work has appeared in the Atlantic, Fortune, Money, Mother Jones, The New York Times, Parade, Slate, USA Today’s magazine group, the Washington Post Magazine and Working Mother. She’s an EWA Education Reporting Fellow and Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good. Residencies include the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Ragdale. Previously, Katherine was a national correspondent for Newhouse and Bloomberg News, covering everything from financial and media policy to the White House. She holds a BA in physics from Harvard University and is a certified parent educator with the Parent Encouragement Program (PEP) in Kensington, Md. She and her husband Brian are the proud parents of three children, 25, 14 and 12 years old.
Special guest: Jodi Bondi Norgaard.
How do we keep going, hammering away at our dreams, when we find ourselves faced with disappointment, frustration, failure and a big fat NO from those who can help make these dreams happen? It comes down to perseverance. Persistence. Determination and grit. We keep on going because there is a fire in us that tells us we must try yet another time. How does this play out in real life? Just recently, one of my very best friends posted a video of her daughter playing a song on the piano. A year ago, she had committed to learning “Piano Man” by Billy Joel—a very challenging goal for the then, 9-year-old. But she was adamant about doing it—and she persevered. She hit bumps in the road, valleys on tough days, fumbling fingers and wrong notes. But she kept going. Today, she debuted the song—and it was delightful. A full year of dedication to a goal from a child—that’s a huge part of her life. But she will always know that when she sticks to something—when she sets a goal and perseveres—she can make what seems monumentally challenging—an achieved reality.
Today we are going to talk to someone who also made her goal a reality despite facing frustration, failure and disapproval. She, too, persevered—and so we will devote today’s special podcast to how she reached down deep to keep going and what words of advice she has for our children who must learn to do this too, in their own way. How do we help kids find their passion? And how do we help them go after it when they find it—despite the fact that success doesn’t happen in a straight line?
Jodi Bondi Norgaard is the creator of the award-winning Go! Go! Sports Girls line of dolls and books for girls encouraging healthy and active play over fashion and body image. Jodi is a consultant, activist, and keynote speaker, inspiring and empowering women and girls throughout the world.
She has been featured on national media including The Today Show, Forbes, and Upworthy. In 2016, Jodi was invited by the Obama-era White House to participate in conferences on breaking down gender stereotypes in media and toys. The Go! Go! Sports Girls brand was recently acquired by Jazz-wears (Jazwares), an established cutting-edge toy company.
Special guest: Dr. Jane Nelsen.
Children are always learning- and yes, they also make a lot of mistakes. Whether they are fighting with their siblings, tantruming about bedtime, missing the bus, forgetting their homework or talking back to you, it seems like there is a constant need for correction, apologies and do-overs. At the same time, there are all kinds of parents and teachers out there who witness such mistakes—from people who watch children act out or mess up and punish them or deliver punitive consequences immediately—to those who are incredibly permissive—who see children do something undesired and simply turn the other cheek and say; “kids will be kids.” Many parents and educators fall somewhere in between or vacillate between the two extremes of punitive and permissive.
Of course, most parents and teachers are just trying to figure out how to raise children who are kind, responsible, cooperative and self-disciplined. But what if I told you that there are many parenting and teaching skills that we can talk about right now that are non-punitive and not permissive—but would help children learn self-discipline, responsibility, and problem-solving skills—helping them to grow up into adults who can use these skills throughout their lives? Whether you are trying to get the kids to school on time, get everyone to agree on a movie for movie night or get from place to place without someone yelling or kicking or needling someone else in the car, we all deal with power struggles and frustration. Today, we’ve got positive discipline expert, Jane Nelsen on the show—and she’s going to help us learn how to be both kind and firm, connect with our children, give them a sense of belonging and significance—while helping them choose right from wrong.
Dr. Jane Nelsen is the mother of 7, grandmother of 22, and great grandmother of 13. She is also the author and co-author of many best-selling Positive Discipline books including Positive Discipline: The Classic Guide to Helping Children Develop Self-Discipline, Responsibility, Cooperation and Problem-Solving Skills and Positive Discipline Parenting Tools. An internationally known speaker and parenting expert, Jane is a California licensed marriage, family and child therapist, and received her doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of San Francisco.
Sweet friends; What should you say or do to help your children when traumatic events happen? In the wake of the ChristChurch shootings in New Zealand– I wanted to provide some helpful resources to anybody/everybody who may speak with children about what they’re hearing/seeing in the news and online. 1.) Here’s a link to download […]
Special guest: Jenifer Joy Madden.
According to Forbes magazine, the most sought-after attributes in an employee are not technical. All are human-centered, including the ability to work in a team, make decisions, and prioritize. But authors and experts have found a sad shift regardless- During a lecture at Rochester Institute for Technology, Allen Chochinov urged design students not to eliminate human input. He admitted: “Today, if you want to know what’s wrong with a car engine, you can’t even open it. You need to plug in a computer. High schools are dropping shop class. Soon, no one will know how to do anything.” Is he onto something? What do we lose when we gain so much technology?
My next guest says; “In this age when Google, GPS, and artificial intelligence can perform so many of our basic functions, it’s gotten to the point where we need to be actively human so that we are more effective and less overwhelmed.” We have so many tools to simplify our lives- they think for us, navigate for us, create for us, entertain for us but it often seems that these tools that are meant to simplify, leave us busier, crazier, and more “all over the place” than ever. I don’t know about you but I often feel like I’m being shot out of a cannon—running from place to place without a slow-down in sight. Now we’ve talked about technology with Sue Scheff and Devorah Heitner and some other wonderful guests- and we’ve talked about mindfulness not too long ago with crowd-favorite Dr. Laura Markham- but we’ve got to really delve into what’s going to help us thrive and survive in a digital world without losing ourselves and losing our children to screens and technology- and I don’t mean just the time spent on these devices and plugged in- but what we might be losing in terms of creativity, curiosity, empathy, compassion, health and memory—how can we exist in this digital world, maintain what makes us beautifully human, and become, what my next guest calls “durable.”
School shootings, traumatic weather events, local fires and acts of terror– When the world is struck with a catastrophic event, it is natural to want to shield our children from the effects of it. We want to keep their innocence in tact- allowing them to grow up carefree and unfettered—feeling safe and calm wherever they go. We might wonder, if we just don’t talk about it- could our children remain in their happy little bubble for the time being?
The problem is—we live in a world where children receive messages about traumatic events from many different avenues- it’s not just the news that we can easily turn off—or even the 24/7 access to the internet that provides a play by play as negative stories develop. It’s also that different families have different rules about such access- with multiple kids of various ages in their homes who are permitted to have more access- so that might mean you send your blithely innocent child to school, ignorant of the scary events that might have occurred, only to have them bombarded with the news from a more informed (perhaps not accurately so) child on the bus—or from a group of kids in class.
Knowing that something has happened but not having anyone to explain it in age-appropriate terms and how it relates to our specific children can be frightening to anyone. We all need context, assurance and our own concerns addressed by someone we trust—our kids actually need information to feel safe and– as a parent or educator who knows the child, you are the perfect person to have this conversation with them. I’ve talked about this on national TV shows and in written press but I thought it was important to talk about it on my podcast—especially through the lens of anxiety as many kids have trouble dealing with such large-scale events.
My next guest tells us that since you know your child best, “it’s important to manage the conversation (Or, shall we say, tailor it) based on who they are, what they already know, and what it means for them.”
Karen Young has been on our podcast before- talking about anxiety. In fact, her podcast episode is in the top 5 most downloaded episodes of How to Talk to Kids about Anything, of all time. She is back today to discuss with me how we can talk to kids about traumatic world events. Karen has worked as a psychologist in private practice and in educational settings. She founded the popular website, Hey Sigmund, which attracts millions of readers each year. Karen is a sought-after speaker, both at home in Australia and internationally. She is the author of ‘Hey Warrior’, a book for kids to help them understand anxiety and find their ‘brave’. The book has now been translated into a number of languages.