How to Practice Unconditional Parenting Using Love and Reason with Alfie Kohn

Special guest: Alfie Kohn.

Many parenting books offer countless tips for dealing with kids when they misbehave in the eyes of their parents—refusing to go to bed, rejecting the vegetables they’ve been told to eat, talking back, yelling in the restaurant, badgering their sibling or resisting doing the tasks it takes to get to school on time. But the way parents cope with these challenging behaviors might be backfiring even if they work in the short term. My next guest asks many thought-provoking questions in his book, Unconditional Parenting- but two seem to be at the forefront. First; “What are your long-term objectives for your children?” and second, given those long term goals, which are likely for your child to be some version of a kind, independent, confident, competent, happy and fulfilled person—are the ways in which you are parenting lending themselves to creating that type of person IN the long run—or not? It’s time to take a hard look at some of the parenting practices that have become so common that they are accepted as the acceptable norm- time outs, positive re-enforcement, consequences, withdrawal of attention, punishment—and start taking a hard look at UNCONDITIONAL parenting- a parenting philosophy and practice in which parental love and attention is not in a push-pull relationship with how our children behave. On top of that, UNCONDITIONAL parenting puts to rest the notion that children are trying to make trouble—and instead, assumesthe best of the child and looks at the child as a whole person not a compilation of good and bad behaviors.Alfie Kohn is the author of 14 books on education, parenting, and human behavior, including PUNISHED BY REWARDS (1993), THE SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE (1999), UNCONDITIONAL PARENTING (2005), THE HOMEWORK MYTH (2006), and THE MYTH OF THE SPOILED CHILD (2014).  He has appeared twice on “Oprah,” as well as on “The Today Show” and many other TV and radio programs. His articles include: “Five Reasons to Stop Saying ‘Good Job!’”, “How Not to Teach Values,” and “Atrocious Advice from ‘Supernanny.’ ” Kohn works with educators and parents across the country and speaks regularly at national conferences. He lives (actually) in the Boston area and (virtually) at www.alfiekohn.org. 

How to Parent Kids with ADHD with Cindy Goldrich

Special guest: Cindy Goldrich.

Cindy Goldrich is a mental health counselor, certified ADHD Clinical Service Provider, and teacher trainer. As an ADHD Specialist, She supports parents, educators and other professionals to address the impact of ADHD & Executive Functioning on learning, motivation, and behavior.
She is a recognized Keynote speaker and provides Professional Development for school districts and other professional organizations worldwide addressing how ADHD and executive function challenges affect children and how to help boost behavior and performance in school and at home. 
Cindy is the author of 8 Keys for Parenting Children with ADHD, a book recognized for providing parents, educators, and therapists with a practical, easy-to-read guide for addressing challenging kids and ADHD, Executive Function, and Behavior in the Classroom (expected printing Aug. 2019). Cindy is the creator of the workshop series “Calm and Connected: Parenting Children with ADHD©” designed to teach parents and caregivers how to manage and support their children’s unique needs successfully.

How to Raise Boys to Become Good Men with Michael Reichert, Phd

Special guest: Michael Reichert, PhD. We’ve talked quite a bit about girls on this show—and how many things are changing for girls due to the momentum of the women’s movement. But what about the boys? How do you raise boys to become great men? How do we raise boys to feel connected to himself and feel connected to others? For many of our sons, while the world of girls seems to be expanding, the world of boys seems often to be contracting—restricting who boys can be in society’s where masculinity and all its attributes, fits in one tightly guarded box—the man box. Our next guest feels that this is a loss- it’s a loss for us and it’s a loss for the boys. He asks; what can be done to ameliorate the loses of boyhood? How can we protect the boys in our care from threats built into boyhood? How can we ensure that our sons are well prepared for and well launched to manhood? The answer has to do with connection—something that our boys are losing—and at an early age. And our guest feels that we have an opportunity, right now, to change things around and help boys do boyhood right.

Michael Reichert writes, in his new book, “How to Raise a Boy” that boys are really in need of something that seems to counter the toughness and the independence touted by the man box—and that is “a relationship in which a boy can tell that he matters … A young man’s self confidence is not accidental or serendipitous but derives from experiences of being accurately understood, loved, and supported.”

Michael Reichert is an applied and research psychologist who has immersed himself in clinical, research, and consultation experiences that have afforded a deep understanding of the conditions that allow a child to flourish in natural contexts: families, schools and communities. He has created and run programs in both inner city communities and in some of the most affluent suburban communities in the world. He founded and continues to lead The Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives a research collaborative at the University of Pennsylvania and has conducted a series of global studies on effective practices in boys’ education. Since 1984, Dr. Reichert has maintained a clinical practice outside Philadelphia, PA.,  specializing in work with boys, men and their families and continues to serve as the supervising psychologist at a nearby boys’ school. He has published numerous articles and several books, including Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys: Lessons About What Works—and Why, I Can Learn From You: Boys as Relational Learners, and the just-released How to Raise a Boy: The Power of Connection to Build Good Men. 

How to Help Kids Who Struggle with Executive Function Skills in School and in Life with Seth Perler

Special guest: Seth Perler. What is executive functioning and what does it have to do with our children’s success in school and life? My next guest explains that Executive Function is what it takes to get stuff done (such as homework, writing a paper or cleaning a room, etc.). In other words, it’s the ability to “execute​” complex tasks and see that those tasks go all the way through to completion. Some kids have a knack for organizational tasks, scheduling and pacing themselves—while others struggle. If your child struggles with school-related tasks like homework, staying focused on a project until it’s completed, organizational skills, time management—or perhaps become avoidant, resistant, forgetful or overwhelmed when it comes to getting school-related tasks completed– they probably struggle with Executive Function. So, what can we do? How can we help our kids who struggle in this area? And what do we want to avoid doing, so we don’t make things worse? My next guest has these answers and more.

Seth Perler helps students who struggle with school, homework, grades, resistance, overwhelm, motivation, underachievement, organization, focus, study skills and time management.

He helps complicated, misunderstood, outside-the-box, neurodiverse learners turn it around in a baffling system so they can launch a successful future. His blog, sethperler.com, gives game-changing answers in a sea of misguided educational fluff.

Traditional academic interventions don’t often get to the root of a child’s problems and they’re often based on misinformation or outdated paradigms. Consequently, your child’s patterns get worse each year, leading to pervasive difficulties transitioning into adulthood.

Parents often feel helpless, watching their child drown in school, as they spin their wheels trying to help. Parents are desperate for tools that are 1) practical, and 2) that account for a child’s unique needs. It’s all about Executive Function, which is Seth’s specialty.

How to Talk to Kids about Being Self-Driven, Self-Motivated & Self-Controlled with Dr. William Stixrud

Special guest: Dr. William Stixrud. Are we raising an anxious generation? Many would agree that we are. The causes of the uptick in anxiety among children has started to be discussed—even within our podcast- we have talked with Jessica Lahey and our obsession with grades and our focus on avoiding failure at all costs. We have talked with Julie Lythcott Haims about the bubble-wrapping of our children that leaves them unprepared for a life that we deliver them to at the age of 18—a life in which they don’t have the skills, yes, but also where they don’t have the resilience or the confidence to take it on. In The Self-Driven Child, authors William Stixrud and Ned Johnson continue this conversation—focusing specifically on the ways that children today are being denied a sense of controlling their own lives—doing what they find meaningful, and succeeding or failing on their own, and on their own terms. While screen time and technology certainly are part of the problem, the real issues lie with us—the parents and the teachers—who have their hearts in the right place but are nevertheless, taking the opportunities away from children that would allow them to grow stronger, more confident, more autonomous, more competent– and more themselves. 

William R. Stixrud, Ph.D., is a clinical neuropsychologist, frequent lecturer, presenter, author and founder of The Stixrud Group. He is a member of the teaching faculty at Children’s National Medical Center and an assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Stixrud is the author, with Ned Johnson, of the nationally bestselling book, The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives. You will also see him featured for his expertise in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times of London, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report, Time Magazine, Scientific American, Business Week, Barron’s, and, New York Magazine. And—fun fact- Dr. Stixrud also happens to be a musician who plays in a band!

How to Talk to Military Kids about Common Stressors and Concerns with Dr. Julie Kinn

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. 

How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen with Joanna Faber & Julie King

Special guests: Joanna Faber & Julie King. What do you do with a little kid who won’t brush his teeth? Screams in his car seat? Pinches the baby? Refuses to eat her vegetables? Throws books at the library and runs rampant in the restaurant? We’ve all been there. How many of us have seen the parent with the child at the supermarket who is throwing one big tantrum in the cereal aisle because s/he won’t buy the super sugar rainbowloops that he had to– HAD TO– have? How many of us have BEEN that parent with that child? No judgment- we are here to discuss it and get some strategies and scripts to all parents who have ever had some trouble with their young kids.

Many of you who are hungry for parenting and teaching knowledge probably know the blockbuster best-selling book, How to Listen So Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. It’s a staple on my shelf. Well, Adele Faber has a daughter, Joanna Faber who not only grew up being the recipient of all the strategies Faber and Mazlish described in their mega-bestseller, but also wrote a follow up book with her childhood best friend, Julie King that takes a similar structure, using common challenges of young children and provides tool after tool to help anyone with children ages 2-7.

Joanna Faber and Julie King are the authors of How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7 (Scribner 2017). The book has been ranked #1 as a best-seller on Amazon, and is being translated into 17 languages world-wide. Joanna and Julie created the soon-to-be-released app Pocket Parent, a companion to their book, as well as the app Parenting Hero. Joanna and Julie lead workshops online and in person, consult privately and give lectures in the U.S. and internationally. Visit them at HowToTalkSoLittleKidsWillListen.com or on Facebook.

How to Raise Humans in a Digital World with Diana Graber

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.

How to Use Duct Tape Parenting to Raise Respectful, Responsible & Resilient Kids with Vicki Hoefle

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.

How to Talk to Kids about Suicide with Dr. Dan Reidenberg

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.