How to Talk to Kids about Big Feelings & Calming Down Strategies Featuring Dr. Lynne Kenney Re-Release

As a parent or a teacher, you might have had moments where children experience overwhelming feelings such as anger, anxiety or agitation leading to fitful moments, tantrums and melt-downs. Who hasn’t? Statistics tell us that 20% of young children have tantrums daily—this is normal. And as children get older, some still have trouble dealing with over-the-top feelings. And let’s be honest- at times these feelings don’t only challenge children—but they challenge us, as adults, as well. Today we are talking with Dr. Lynne Kenney about how to help children get calm on the spot and develop better tools and strategies for coping with BIG feelings.

Lynne Kenney, Psy.D., is a Harvard-trained psychologist, mother of two, an international educator, author and pediatric psychologist in Scottsdale, AZ. Dr. Kenney’s works include the Social-Emotional Literacy program Bloom Your Room™; Musical Thinking; Bloom: 50 things to say, think and do with anxious, angry and over-the-top-kids and 70 Play Activities For Better Thinking, Self-Regulation, Learning and Behavior all of which you can find through www.lynnekenney.com.

How to Help Kids Grieve When a Sibling Dies

Typically, our experts are best-selling authors and top experts who have studied a topic for many years as a researcher, writer, professional and adult. But sometimes, our best experts are the children themselves who are going through a unique situation that make it so only a small portion of people like them would understand.

Every once in a while, I will be putting in a special kid edition of How to Talk to Kids about Anything so that we get this “expert” “in-the-trenches” view of what it’s like to be on the other end of these conversations with insights on what kids really need, want and would ask for from us, as adults, if we would be open to it. And- we are open to it, aren’t we? So here we are with this first kids’ edition of the How to Talk to Kids about Anything podcast—and you’ll see why it’s so important that we ask a teen who is going through this journey to talk about her views, take-aways and tips—so the adults who find themselves in a helper role such as this, are prepared.

When people hear that one of my dearest friends suffered the loss of her 13-year-old son, Gavin, after his 16-month battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma, they often say something like; “no parent should experience the death of a child.” As a mother and a best friend, I agree. It is heart-wrenching and tragic and makes me cry in random moments as it just happened in August of this year. But there is a secondary loss that many don’t often consider to the same degree, and that is the loss of a sibling. My bestie’s amazing 15-year-old daughter, Jadyn, who I am fortunate enough to have in my life as who I refer to as my “adopted niece” and she refers to me as her Aunt, is also suffering. She is learning how to live, love and find joy in this new normal and moving forward without her brother by her side.

Studies tell us that when a sibling passes away during childhood or the teenage years, it can have a profound impact on surviving children. The development of independence, romantic relationships and even career paths can be stunted or affected, risk-taking can either be triggered or severely reined in. Acting out can take the place of excruciating sadness.

The death of a sibling has also been associated with increased diagnoses of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression and disordered eating for living brothers and sisters. So how can we, as key adults in the lives of children- teachers, coaches, parents, mentors, aunts and uncles- help and support children and teens when they’ve lost a sibling or a very close friend?

We have the privilege of speaking directly with Jadyn today on a special kid edition of the podcast—understanding that one unfortunate way you become an expert in the topic of child or teen sibling grief is to lose your brother and sister during childhood or adolescence. This is a sensitive topic- but an important one to discuss as our guest is very focused on wanting to help others who are going through a similar situation.

Jadyn is a 9th grader in the prestigious BETA program in Florida. She has been writing for years to help other teens like her. Jadyn is a high-school athlete, playing volleyball and soccer. She is known by those around her as a loving sister, daughter, and friend. She is the author of the poem, Empty Space, about her experience with grief and losing her brother.

I am so more than a little touched to have my beautiful “niece” on the show today so Welcome Jadyn to how to talk to kids about anything!

How to Talk to Kids about Depression, Conflict & Coping with Katie Hurley

Special guest: Katie Hurley

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, approximately one out of five teens has a mental health disorder, diagnosable by clinical methods, and nearly one-third show symptoms of depression. Now you might be thinking- well, many teens seem depressed to me, their moods and their emotions are all over the place! Stress is overwhelming! Yes, that can be true- symptoms of depression in adolescents aren’t always easy to identify because they often appear as normal adolescent behavior. But if we keep an eye open for consistent depressed behavior and indicators like, fatigue, changes in sleep patterns, changes in eating patterns, social withdrawal, and/or anger- these can serve as early warning signs that can allow us to get help for our teens as depression is absolutely treatable but NOT fixable on its own. Teens who have depression need therapy, support at home and yes, some also need medication. There’s no quick fix and thankfully, we have Katie Hurley here to explain how we know if our child needs help, what we and our teens can do at home to assist and what exercises and tools we can use to improve mood, self-esteem and motivation.

Katie Hurley, LCSW, is a child and adolescent psychotherapist, parenting expert, and writer. She is the founder of “Girls Can!” empowerment groups for girls between ages 5-11. Hurley is the author of The Happy Kid Handbook” “No More Mean Girls,” (both subjects we have interviewed Katie on previously on How to Talk to Kids about Anything) and her new workbook, The Depression Workbook for Teens, which is the #1 new release on Amazon for Teen and Young Adult Self Esteem and Self Reliance Issues. Her work can be found in The Washington Post, PBS Parents, and US News and World Report, among other places. She practices psychotherapy in the South Bay area of Los Angeles and earned her BA in psychology and women’s studies from Boston College and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. She splits her time between California and Connecticut with her husband and two children.

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.