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If your kids always do what they’re told, consistently treat others with kindness and never over-react to unintended slights, you can skip this episode.
If not — WELCOME! Your child is 100% normal, and you’re going to love this conversation with Jen, Janet and Katherine Reynolds Lewis, author of The Good News About Bad Behavior. In her book, Lewis writes:
If you look around and see misbehaving, undisciplined children everywhere, it’s not just imagination. Children today are fundamentally different from past generations.
They truly have less self-control. Simply put, we face a crisis of self-regulation.
Lewis’s observations of her own children, and comments from other parents, led her on a six-year exploration of behavior, parenting and neurobiology — and points the way toward parenting techniques we can begin adapting right now to improve our children’s behavior.
In this episode, Jen, Janet & Katherine discuss:
- The dramatic increase in mental health problems in today’s youth
- What self-regulation is, why it’s important, and how to develop it in our kids
- How to shift your mindset from “How do I control my children?” to “How do I teach them to control themselves?”
- Progress, not perfection
- How to shift from a reactive model of parenting to thoughtful, deliberate parenting
- The “mumble and walk away technique” (Trust us: this can change your parenting for the better!)
- 3 common characteristics of research-backed models of discipline: connection, communication & capability
- How to use physical touch to help your child self-regulate
- Why kids need to do hard stuff — & the link between failure & self-esteem
- The relationship between risk & capability (“Early risky experiences seem to inoculate kids from later phobias & anxiety,” Lewis says. She also says, “Kids should do something a little bit risky every day.”)
- Why you should watch out for the word “should”
- How to find support as you practice a new model of parenting
Links we mentioned (or should have) in Episode 123:
katherinereynoldslewis.com — Katherine’s author website. Contains a lot of info about her book and a complete list of her speaking gigs.
Teaching Consent to a 12-Year-Old Boy — the backstory behind the “bathroom email” referenced at about 7:16
Why Boys Do What They Do — blog post about Jen’s son pulling himself around the bases (referenced at 8:00)
Episode 111: Self-Esteem & Boys
Episode 116: Why Risk is Important for Boys
BuildingBoys private FB group — Jen’s online parenting community. We welcome parents of boys of all ages, but seem to specialize in helping each other navigate the tween and teen years. A consistently supportive community, filled with tenderness, honesty and compassion.
Boys Alive! Supporting Parents and Teachers of Boys at Home and in School FB group — Janet’s online community. This supportive community stands ready to answer your questions, share their hard-won wisdom, and commiserate and send virtual hugs when needed.
Janet invites you to explore these – and other – parenting concepts in her 6 week class: The 5 Steps to Untangle Your Parenting. Click here for more details and registration.