How to Talk to Middle Schoolers about Resilience, Self Care & Problem-Solving with Michelle Icard

Ahhh, middle school. The crazy, time of ultimate change between elementary school and high school. Just thinking about it brings up so many memories— not all great, of course, as middle school changes can be confusing and strange as we try to figure out the social scene while trying to understand ourselves. Our brains are growing, our bodies are developing and we are trying to answer questions like “who am I?” What do I like? Is it ok for me to like this while my friends like that? “Do I fit in?” and so much more. And while all of this is happening- we also have to turn our attention to the parents and educators who are not only watching this happen but uniquely involved riding the lines between guiding and letting go, dependence and independence. How, as parents and educators, do we help our middle schoolers navigate these school years that can be filled with angst and bewilderment with humor, grace, success and maybe even a little bit of fun thrown in there?

To answer these questions and more we have Michelle Icard on the show today.

How to Help Kids Succeed with Peers and Other People with Vanessa Van Edwards

Are you a recovering awkward person? My next guest states she is—although you’d never know it given her amazing insights and understanding of what she has branded, The Science of People. As we know from being a child and certainly a preteen or teenager, we all feel awkward from time to time. Maybe some of us more than others. My own palms get sweaty just thinking about walking into school on the first day of school, after a fight with a friend- or worse, a break up. Blargh. And what about when walking into a party or school event when you aren’t sure who will be there—or when you do and the people who are there aren’t exactly the people you jive with. Do people even say “jive” anymore? Anyway, what if we could tap into the science of people so that we can give the kids and teens in our lives some hacks that allow them to be successful in social situations? And what if some of these hacks could help us connect better and have better conversations with our kids? That would be pretty great, wouldn’t it?

Vanessa Van Edwards is lead investigator at the Science of People—a human behavior research lab. She is the national bestselling author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding With People which was chosen as one of Apple’s Most Anticipated Books of the year. Her work has been featured on CNN, NPR and Fast Company. She writes a monthly column on the science of success for Entrepreneur Magazine and the Huffington Post. She even has a successful Ted Talk which is awesome. She speaks worldwide and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her stop by our show today.

How to Talk to Kids About Drugs and Alcohol with Jeremy G. Schneider

Many conversations we discuss on this show hold incredible importance and relevance to our lives—but talk of drugs and alcohol abuse—certainly when we hear stories of addiction and overdose often, can grip many parents and educators. Some have seen the fallout from drugs and alcohol abuse first hand—others see how it’s played out in the movies from Sandra Bullock in 28 Days to Meg Ryan in When a Man Loves a Women, Leonardo Decaprio in Basketball Diaries to the newly released Ben is Back with Julia Roberts. So how do we start these vital conversations with our kids about drugs and alcohol so they can have the information they need to make safe and informed choices in real life situations? Do we really need to start these conversations early and how often do we need to talk about it? How can the drugs and alcohol conversation collide head on with the sex conversation? And finally, how can dads get uniquely involved in this conversation? I’m going to speak with Jeremy Schneider today and together, we’ll give you the information you need to start to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol.

How Mindfulness Can Positively Impact the Way We Parent Our Children with Dr. Laura Markham

Life gets crazy and parenting can be stressful. Many parents anticipate the stress and experience stress throughout the day—whether it’s morning time and getting the kids off to school, or after-school time when homework must be completed—shuttling multiple children to practices and activities, getting a healthy dinner on the table while dealing with sibling arguments—or dealing with bedtime shenanigans. And let’s not forget friendship issues, electronics battles, getting your kids to clean up after themselves—or life issues like divorce, illness, bullying, work stress and whatever else is your personal bugaboo. Yes- life can be stressful, parenting can stressful—and we focus so much on how we can help our kids, talk to our kids, be there for our kids—but what about us? What about the parents? How do we cope with our stress and what might help us to take a collective breath, allow some of the frustration to fall away and become more mindful so that we can better help ourselves as well as those we love?

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. We interviewed her on both of these books as well as on her wonderful workbook called the Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook—a great resource for parents. You can find her online at http://www.ahaparenting.com

How to Talk about the 13 Things Mentally Strong Women and Girls Don’t Do with Amy Morin, LCSW

In the wake of the very public emergence of the #MeToo, #TimesUp and #girlstoo movements, the latter that we discussed with our Girls Inc Team, Lara Kaufmann and Dr. Christina Spears, a few weeks back– women and girls have encouraged to find their voice, claim their power, come out of the shadows and not back down. But with a history of messages that tell women and girls that they need to be perfect, they shouldn’t break the rules, they should be quiet and look pretty, take a backseat and downplay their own success to avoid making others feel uncomfortable or be seen as “full of herself,” it’s a challenge for many to reinvent what it means to be a woman in 2019. It takes mental strength. We must build mental muscle and get out of our own way if we are going to change along with these important empowerment movements. How does mental strength in women make a difference? What areas, specifically, should we work on? And how does embracing and practicing mental strength as women translate to encouraging mental strength in the girls we love, teach and guide? For these questions and more, we will be interviewing the fabulous Amy Morin, for the 3rd time in the history of the show.

How to Talk to Kids about the Gifts, Tools and Rituals of the ADHD Brain with Peter Shankman

Peter Shankman is a spectacular example of what happens when you find the best traits of ADHD and work really hard to make them benefit you. Diagnosed at seven years old with “sit down, you’re disrupting the class” disease, Peter wasn’t formally diagnosed with ADHD until his mid-30s. By that time, however, he’d started and sold two companies, and realized that all the differences that formerly labeled him as a troublemaker were actually his greatest assets. After Peter sold his third company, (Help a Reporter Out,) he decided to focus on really understanding this “faster brain” of his, and learning exactly what it could do. From that, the Faster Than Normal podcast and bestselling book were born.

How to Raise a Confident, Capable, Resilient Adult with Julie Lythcott-Haims

In her 2016 Ted Talk, Julie Lythcott-Haims started off by saying, “there’s a certain style of parenting these days that is kind of messing up kids, impeding their chances to develop into themselves. There’s a certain style of parenting these days that’s getting in the way. I guess what I’m saying is, we spend a lot of time being very concerned about parents who aren’t involved enough in the lives of their kids and their education or their upbringing, and rightly so. But at the other end of the spectrum, there’s a lot of harm going on there as well, where parenting feel a kid can’t be successful unless the parent is protecting and preventing at every turn and hovering over every happening and micromanaging every moment, and steering their kid towards some small subset of colleges and careers….our kids end up leading a kind of check-listed childhood, she goes on to say, such that, she warns that once they end up at the end of high school they are breathless—of course—they have spent so much time having been obsessed with grades and activities—becoming what they are supposed to be rather than exploring who they may want to become. What interests them. And knowing, with their own brains and experimenting with their own grit and their own skills—to develop into a self-sufficient, resilient adult. So it begs the question—what can we do to break free from the overparenting trap that says we must be on our children every minute prodding and directing, being our child’s concierge, as Julie Lythcott-Haims labels, and instead, preparing our children to become successful adults who can stand on their own two feet.

How to Talk to Kids about Dignity with Dr. Donna Hicks

As we discuss conversations on this podcast— key conversations we must have with our children about tough topics— sex, death, divorce, porn, failure, ADHD, bullying— discussions where emotions can run high, agendas can cloud openness and listening and true presence— fear can make us shy away from saying what truly needs to be said, or heard or understood. What if there was a step that we needed to take before we had these all important conversations— a step that acknowledged the importance of dignity for each person— to hold another person’s dignity as precious and valuable while also knowing that our own would be kept in tact as well. How might that affect these key conversations we have with our partners, with our children, with teachers, instructors, coaches— people who touch our lives and help to shape how they evolve. And what if we focused on dignity as a fundamental part of raising our children to become leaders— showing and discussing how we can lead with dignity and create a culture that brings out the best in people? For these questions and more, we turn to our distinguished guest, Dr. Donna Hicks.

How to Help Kids with Autism, ADHD and Other Neurological Disorders Gain Better Brain Balance with Dr. Robert Melillo

There is no question- there has been a marked increase in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, dyslexia, Tourette Syndrome, and other neurological disorders. We have also heard of increases in food sensitivities, social problems, screen usage and medication use and a decrease in getting out into nature, going out for recess and unstructured play. Are these things connected? And if so, what can we do about it all? To answer these questions and more, we are turning to Dr. Robert Melillo.

Dr. Robert Melillo is a world-renowned chiropractic neurologist, professor and researcher in child neurological disorders, and creator of the Brain Balance Program. Since 1994, his program has helped thousands of children with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, dyslexia, Tourette Syndrome, and other disorders. His Brain Balance Achievement Centers are located throughout the United States. He is the author of Disconnected Kids, Disconnected Kids, Reconnected Families, Reconnected Kids and more. You can learn more about Dr. Melillo and his work at DrRobertMelillo.com

How to Attune, Set Limits and Problem-Solve with Children in Difficult Moments with Heather Turgeon & Julie Wright

Perhaps you’ve made the mistake of cutting your child’s sandwich into triangles instead of squares. Or you’ve dealt with siblings that won’t stop fighting, a child who refuses to get out of bed or cries when you try to leave the house. And perhaps your child’s struggles, tantrums, refusals, frustrations have gotten a little bit under your skin and made you hot under the collar— and while you tell yourself to be patient and loving, you start yelling, threatening, bribing or caving under the pressure. We get it. SO many parents feel helpless, desperate and frustrated when their kids just won’t cooperate or seem so unreasonable and you are just trying to get out of the house, get them to bed or get dinner on the table. My guests today will give us what to do and say in these moments using their ALP system that they’ve taught thousands of parents in their clinical practice over the years.

Heather Turgeon MFT and Julie Wright MFT are the authors of the new book Now Say This: The right words to solve every parenting dilemma (Penguin RandomHouse), as well as the popular sleep book, The Happy Sleeper. Based in NYC and Los Angeles, they frequently speak and offer consultations to families on communication, setting limits with empathy, sleep, and more. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook @TheHappySleeper