Parents have struggled with how to manage their time for generations. There is so much to do— so much to balance! In the age of extracurriculars— from travel baseball, soccer, gymnastics, piano, to tutoring classes, art and enrichment, the question of how to fit everything in, complete the car pool, get dinner on the table, help with homework, get to the store, get some work done, give your kids undivided attention—and still take care of yourself—seems nearly impossible. How do we do this? DO we do all of this? To hold our hands and help us all shift from having it all to getting it right in the moment— is best-selling author, Julie Morgenstern.
Special Guest: Karen I. Wilson, PhD
Approximately 5% of school aged children have a learning disability and 13% of all public school students receive special education services. Another 15% are struggling due to an unidentified learning or attention issue. Struggles can look different in different children at different times of their childhood. Their struggles may be an issue with listening, concentrating, motivation, focus or other under-developed executive functioning skills. Children with learning disabilities not only cope with the disability itself but often misunderstanding of the disability. People may think that their lack of concentration is due to laziness, for example. They may believe that their impulsivity is linked to rudeness or feelings that their needs and wants are more important than other people’s needs and wants. So it’s not surprising that sometimes, with misunderstanding comes mislabeling. “That child is rude.” “So and so is a lazy child.” Mislabeling can linked to behavioral problems and can cause a lot of anxiety in children as they struggle to either prove someone wrong—or, prove others right as a self-fulfilling prophesy. Children with learning disabilities also must cope with teachers, administrators and parents jumping to an intervention that may not address the actual problem. How do we talk to kids and help kids who are struggling with learning disabilities so that they can reach tier potential and achieve their goals? For this, we turn to our guest, Dr. Karen Wilson.
We have all seen the spikes in anxiety and stress in our young people these days. There is an unbelievable amount of pressure to succeed, to look perfect, to be liked and to do it all. There are pressures at home, in school, within relationships and it feels heavy and constant. Now, though anxiety has risen among young people overall, studies confirm that it has skyrocketed in girls. What in the world is going on here? And what can we do about it? For the answers to these questions, we are turning to best-selling author, Dr. Lisa Damour.
Lisa Damour writes the monthly adolescence column for the New York Times, serves as a regular contributor to CBS News, maintains a private psychotherapy practice, consults and speaks internationally, and is a Senior Advisor to the Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Damour is the author of numerous academic papers, chapters, and books related to parenting and child development including her 2016 New York Times best seller, Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood and now, Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls, comes out TODAY- lucky us- so welcome Dr. Lisa Damour
to how to talk to kids about anything!
Special Guest: Katie Hurley
Katie Hurley, LCSW, has been on our show before in a popular episode on stress and children- and she is back to talk about young girls and relational aggression in the elementary school years. Katie 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 and the forthcoming No More Mean Girls, and 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.
Special Guest: Devorah Heitner
Today is a Talk to Kids Shortie—which we are having because it has been revealed that Instagram is worse for kids than we thought. And I know this really worries my listeners. Specifically- New documents reveal that Facebook knows just how harmful its Instagram app is for many tween and teen girls. The Wall street journal shared findings of what Instagram’s internal researchers called a “teen mental health deep dive,” including a study that found Instagram makes body image issues worse for 1 in 3 teen girls.
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.
Special Guest: Lydia Denworth
This podcast episode focuses on friendship and how important it is—not just to our psychological wellbeing but to our physical health as well. Friendship, as it turns out, affects us down to our cellular level. How can we talk to kids about these important benefits and how loneliness and lack of friends can impact us as well? Dr. Robyn Silverman interviews Lydia Denworth, the author of Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond on the How to Talk to Kids about Anything podcast.
Dr. Gail Dines is a Professor Emerita of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston. She is the author of numerous books and articles, and her latest book, Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality, has been translated into five languages. Dr Dines is the founding president of the Non-profit, Culture Reframed. Dedicated to building resilience and resistance in children and youth to the harms of a hypersexualized and pornified society, Culture Reframed develops cutting-edge educational programs that promote healthy development, relationships, and sexuality. Dr. Dines is an internationally known speaker and consultant to governmental bodies here and abroad.
Special Guest: Eli Lebowitz, PhD
It’s healthy and normal to become aware of possible threats and dangers around us so that we can be safe and make safe choices- however, in children with anxiety, they get stuck in continually imagining that something bad or dangerous will happen, and it feels just as if the bad thing were happening in real life. They are experiencing the feelings or anxiety as if they are indeed going to happen. They focus on what they truly believe are the negative outcomes that have a large likelihood of occurring and place high value on those negative outcomes—while at the same time, placing very low value and likelihood on positive outcomes that might occur from taking the risk and doing the thing that scares them.
Parenting an anxious child means facing constant challenges and questions: When should parents step in and help their children deal with those fears—or take away the likelihood of those fears by avoiding the thing that scares their child? How can parents foster independence while still supporting their children and acknowledging the anxiety? How can parents reduce the hold their child’s anxiety has on their entire family—and cope with the role they may be inadvertently playing in kowtowing to the anxiety while trying to help their child cope with it? And how do we talk to our children about anxiety- and how we can support them in living with it in a positive way?
For this conversation, I will be talking together with Professor Eli Lebowitz.
Professor Lebowitz studies and treats childhood and adolescent anxiety and is Director of the Program for Anxiety Disorders at the Yale University’s Child Study Center. His research focuses on the development, neurobiology, and treatment of anxiety and related disorders, with special emphasis on cross-generational and familial influences on these disorders. Dr. Lebowitz is the lead investigator on multiple funded research projects, and is the author of numerous research papers, books and chapters on childhood and adolescent anxiety. He is the father of three great boys. Dr. Lebowitz has a new book out called Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD.
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.