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: Michelle Icard
This podcast episode focuses on talking to tweens about topics that range from sexuality and technology to the changing parent-child relationship. How do you approach tweens so that both people feel heard? Michelle Icard suggests the BRIEF method that stands for: Begin peacefully, Relate to your child, Interview to collect information, Echo what you’re hearing and give Feedback.
Special Guest: Dina Alexander We are surrounded by media messaging everyday. The TV we watch, the billboards we see, the radio we listen to and the social media we read and share just to name a few. A great deal of our media is good- fine- interesting and even helpful—but there is a lot of media mixed in there that is useless or even harmful. Our children really need to know the difference. This is one of my favorite topics- I present on this topic and personally, it lights my fire as media is so powerful and has the ability to shape and break people. So how do we talk to kids about media and how to deconstruct, understand and critique it? Our old friend, Dina Alexander, who was already on How to Talk to Kids about Anything to discuss the topic of talking about sex and making babies—she is back to help us talk to kids about media literacy.
Special Guest: Jonathan B. Singer, PhD, LCSW
This podcast provides tips and scripts for talking to kids about suicide. What are the risk factors? What are the protective factors? And what should we say if a child seems that they are hopeless, helpless or have said that they are thinking about ending their life. This is an uncomfortable topic- but one that we should and need to discuss.
Special Guest: Amy Morin, LCSW
Do your tweens worry that they don’t fit in sometimes? Feel insecure? Wish that their lives looked as person as everyone else’s on social media? Being a tween can be tough in today’s world- especially during the past year of ups, downs, changes and question marks. Your tween is balancing a lot on their shoulders- homework, extracurricular activities, chores, friendship drama, family and all that growth and development—all while trying to the impression that they have it all together and they know what they are doing! Sometimes while they attempt to look perfect on the outside, they feel rotten on the inside- and today’s podcast episode is all about strengthening that inner person- becoming a better and stronger person takes some brain training and brain training takes tools so that they can develop healthy habits, build mental strength and take actions towards becoming their best selves.
This week’s guest is someone who has been on the How to Talk to Kids about Anything podcast 3 times already- so this is her fourth- and that’s because she’s one of my favorites and definite a fan favorite as well. I am finding as I write my book, How to Talk to Kids about Anything, and write my chapters on talking to kids about mistakes and failure and dealing with big feelings, responsibility and self-reliance and coping with anxiety- the conversations that I’ve had with Amy Morin have come up again and again. So you will absolutely see Amy quoted in my book once it’s released- and she even wrote a very supportive comment about my forthcoming book in my proposal, for which I am extremely grateful.
Special Guest: Devorah Heitner
Devorah Heitner, PhD is the author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World and the founder of Raising Digital Natives. She passionately believes in the power of mentoring kids in creating a positive tech culture and she is delighted to be raising her own digital native.
Special Guest: Logan Levkoff, PhD Parents, much to their surprise, have a great influence on their kids’ attitudes and values around sex, body exploration and relationships. While kids might tell you that they absolutely, positively do not want to talk to their parents (of all people) about sex or dating, the studies reveal something completely different. Perhaps you remember when we had Richard Weissbourd of Harvard University on the show and he told us that his research continually shows that kids want to have these conversations with their parents—and not just once- they want to have lots of conversations about this information over time. They want the knowledge and they want the guidance.
Dr. Christine Koh – This podcast focuses on how to talk to kids about the uptick in Asian-American violence over the last year, culminating in the Atlanta shooting on March 16, 2021 in which 8 died, including 6 women of Asian descent. Dr. Robyn Silverman and Christine Koh discuss the source of this racism as well as how our kids can be allies and activists in today’s world. They also discuss conversations starters, ways to support those who are being discriminated against, and what to do when we see racism in action. How white people, including white parents, white teachers and white peers can support Asian and Asian-American children is also discussed.
Special Guest: Annie Fox
Annie Fox is an Award winning writer, app developer and Educator Focusing on Social-Emotional learning and character development. Annie aims to teach kids to be good people because we need more good people. We are all villagers, so it’s up to us. Some of her books include: Teaching Kids to Be Good People, Too Stressed to Think?, the Middle School Confidential book and app series, and the Raymond and Sheila picture books series. Annie’s latest book, The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship, offers 8-12 year old girls (and their parents/teachers) 50 ways to fix a friendship without the DRAMA. And that topic, talking to girls about friendship, is what lands her on the show today and we couldn’t be more excited.
Girls and friendship. For some, this topic makes them smile and think of the most endearing, close, meaningful relationships of their lives. For others, it makes them sweat and feel a little sick. Maybe it’s a little bit of both!