Special guest: Dr. Julie Kinn.Military families face many unique challenges- from long family separations and shifted responsibilities in the household to frequent moving, injuries and sadly, sometimes, grief and loss. That means that being a child in a military family means a great deal of adjustment to frequent change as well as a host of undulating emotions that come from deployment, reunions, the unknowns and the new normal. How do we talk to military kids about the unique challenges that they face? And how do we answer the questions from kids who are not military families about how to support and understand their military friends who may not always be on sure footing. Dr. Julie Kinn is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 15 years of experience researching and implementing health technology. At the Department of Defense and the Defense Health Agency, Kinn oversees the development and implementation of health technology for the military and veteran communities. She also initiated the Military Health Podcast program and produces/hosts three Department of defense OD podcasts: “A Better Night’s Sleep”, “The Military Meditation Coach”, and “Next Generation Behavioral Health”. Dr. Kinn, through the Department Of Defense, is responsible for two mobile apps with Sesame Street– Sesame Street’s Big Moving Adventure and Breathe, Think, Do. Big Moving Adventure was made to help kids cope with moving in the general sense, but was made specifically to help the children of military families who have to move constantly. Dr. Kinn’s overall mission is to promote behavioral health for veterans and their families which includes promoting behavioral health in their communities as well.
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.
Special Guest: Destini Ann Davis isn’t a parenting expert, she’s a working mom and a certified parenting coach who has learned it all simply by doing and listening, and reading every book along the way. She advocates for peaceful parenting and positive discipline techniques that encourage both the parent and child to connect and communicate. Her positive energy and upbeat approach to parenting has resulted in her TikTok channel growing to over 900K followers in just a few short months- (last time I checked it was at a million and a half). Her approach to parenting isn’t clinical; it’s real life and focused on helping her followers become more peaceful and positive people so they can raise more peaceful and positive kids.
Special Guest: Catherine Pearlman Catherine Pearlman is the founder of The Family Coach and the author of Ignore It!: How Selectively Looking the Other Way Can Decrease Behavioral Problems and Increase Parenting Satisfaction. Catherine writes the nationally syndicated Dear Family Coach column and her work has appeared in US News, Parent.com, CNN.com, Good Housekeeping and more. She’s a licensed clinical social worker, an assistant professor at Brandman University and a mom of two kids and a dog. She’s a New Yorker living in southern California.
Most parents and educators who are listening to this podcast want to develop a culture in their homes or at school where kids are kind, accepted, allowed to ask questions and support one another whether so that everyone gets what they need to thrive. This necessitates some pretty uncomfortable conversations about bias, stereotypes, racism, ableism, gender and more. How can we help our children embrace antibias and antiracist practices that move beyond the antiquated views such as “I don’t see color” or “gender doesn’t matter” to a more advanced understanding of how these social constructs impact and define our peers and those we don’t know? How can we help our children realize what is equal and what is fair and how the difference effects ourselves and others? For all of this and more, we turn to Liz Kleinrock.
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
Special Guest: Joe Primo
Having a conversation about death and dying is not typically a conversation people are excited to have with their kids. And yet, we all know it’s necessary. A friend of mine came over to me at a party the other day. She had just found out that her mother-in-law had stage 4 cancer. While dealing with her own whirlwind of emotions, knowing that I provide tips and scripts to have these tough conversations with kids, she asked me; “What do I tell the kids? What if they ask me if she’ll die? What do I say when she does?” The concept of dying can be scary, sad, confusing, angering and upsetting for many of us. Our own emotions, our concern about our children’s emotions- how they are going to take the news- how they are going to cope with life when someone they love dies- how might they grieve—what’s normal- these can make us worry about having the conversations in the first place. Not to mention, our confusion over what to say and how to say it can make this topic on how to talk to kids about death and dying- a real tough one.
Donna Nakazawa: is the author of four books that explore the intersection of neuroscience, immunology, and emotion, including The Angel and the Assassin, named one of the best books of 2020 by Wired magazine, and Childhood Disrupted, which was a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Award. Her latest book is GIRLS ON THE BRINK: Helping Our Daughters Thrive in an Era of Increased Anxiety, Depression, and Social Media. Her work has appeared in Wired, Stat, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Health Affairs, Parenting, AARP Magazine, and Glamour, and has been featured on the cover of Parade and in Time; she has appeared on Today, NPR, NBC News, and ABC News.
Dr. Jen Pratt: Childhood illness can turn a family’s life upside down. We probably all have friends, neighbors, community members or maybe even family members who have coped with or are currently coping with childhood illness. While it wasn’t my child, many of you know that my dear friend’s son, Gavin, was diagnosed in 2018 with Ewing’s Sarcoma and I was there for the initial meetings, tests, surgeries and flew in for some of the hospital visits or just to help out with my friend’s other child who often has to be sidelined when a sibling is ill. It’s hard on everyone. Perhaps you remember the interview I did with Gavin’s sister who talked with us about being a sibling and unfortunately, because Gavin’s cancer was so aggressive and rare—he lost his battle with it, and Jadyn so beautifully discussed how to talk to kids and how to cope with the children who have lost a sibling. Those were hard talks, weren’t they? But we really do need to learn how to talk to kids about all of this. Perhaps you just want to know how to be a good friend or family member while someone else you know is going through this—I applaud you for being here because boy, do people need that. Perhaps you are here because you need to get some questions answered for yourself and your own child who is coping with a childhood illness from dealing with hospital stays, delays, medication, missing out, fear of the unknown and the intense feelings of most everyone around you who cares about you. For all of this, let’s turn to Dr. Jenn Pratt.
Dr. Thema Bryant: Children deal with stress, disappointment and trauma often—in the form of discrimination, bullying, abuse, neglect and other stressors—how do we help them deal with the trauma instead of burying it, dwarfing it and hiding who they truly are so that they can simply survive? How can they acknowledge their trauma, express their toughest emotions and in a sense, “come home” to who they are, to their bodies, to their identities to themselves when something has been profoundly lost? For this understanding of trauma recovery, we turn to an amazing and insightful guest, Dr. Thema Bryant.