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Using Brain Science to Become a Better Parent

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Being a parent is tough. There’s no doubting that. Helping children grow and develop into resilient, resourceful, independent adults is no easy task.

But, have you ever stopped to think about the role that brain development plays in the way in which you parent your children? Parenting science has come a long way over the last few decades, but recently, combining personal experiences with new knowledge can lead to amazing results.

As it turns out, much of the challenging behavior we encounter when parenting especially young kids can be tied back to their brain development at that stage. Depending upon what stage they’re in and what “brain” they’re in, the way we react to challenging behavior and the way our children respond to us will differ greatly.

Today we’re speaking with Allana Robinson. She s Parenting Coach and CEO of Uncommon Sense Parenting, as well as a Registered Early Childhood Educator, Mom of two, and military wife. Allana supports parents of toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners in understanding WHY their children are misbehaving and how to fix it without yelling, shaming, or time-outs.

During this episode, Allana gives us a simple yet accurate picture of young children’s developing brains. She talks about how to recognize when children are relying on different parts of their brain and uses color-coding to make it quick and easy to understand. Finally, and most importantly, Allana talks about how we can adjust our response to our kids depending upon what “brain” they’re in.

As a parent of two young children, I got so much out of this episode, and I know you will too!

Additional Resources:

  1. Listen to my interview with Doug Noll about the role of emotions in conflict: https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/blog/0321
  2. Learn how to cultivate a better mother-daughter relationship with Dr Michelle Deering: https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/blog/0324
  3. Sign up for Allana’s free class: https://www.allanarobinson.com/freeclass/
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Podcasts

Surviving and Thriving through the Upcoming School Year in the Era of COVID

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“I’m so worried about the upcoming school year.” 

“I’m already struggling to be a good mom and a good employee. Now I have to be a good teacher too?!” 

“I have such high standards for myself. I’m afraid of my perfectionism as school starts again.” 

“I’m afraid for my health and for my child’s health.” 

“I feel like I’m choosing my job over my kid’s health.” 

Do any of these sound at all like the thoughts and feelings you’re having right now as the 2020 school year approaches? So many of us are facing such uncertain and difficult times as we attempt to figure out how to handle the school year as our country is still gripped by the COVID-19 epidemic.  

Luckily, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have cited fewer COVID-19 cases, and because the majority of the population is fully vaccinated, serious cases are limited; deaths rare. But this school year goes beyond rapid testing, COVID-19 tests, and wearing masks. Indoor masking is the least of concerns as students and staff return to public schools. The mental stress facing school communities as they aim to comply with what the CDC recommends and managing frustrated parents at school district meetings puts health and safety in a sad second place. At high schools, COVID is an even larger risk due to the independence of older students, and large classrooms with close contact.

We’ve heard from you loud and clear that you are looking for psych strength resources to help you cope through this year, and that is precisely why we recorded this episode. 

This episode is NOT an episode to teach you “10 Quick Mindset Tips to Force Yourself to Think Positively” or “5 Ways to Fit it All In and Do It Perfectly.” 

This episode is grounded in reality. In the reality that many of us will be facing a very difficult school year.  

But, here’s the thing. While there are many circumstances that are outside of our control as the school year opens up, we do have control over a few things. How we react. The boundaries we set. What we choose to be important and how we focus on it. The way we treat ourselves in the process. 

This episode is for you if you’re looking for some psych strength building techniques to help you thrive through this school year. Thriving through adversity is a real thing. It doesn’t mean that you have an EASY time. It means that you grow as a person, even when times are tough. 

You can do this. We’re here to help. 

Please reach out to us if there is anything else we can do to support you as school reopens, and do share this episode with someone who needs it. 

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Podcasts

Parenting During a Pandemic

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If you’re a parent, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that these are very difficult times. During this global pandemic, parents are being asked to simultaneously do multiple different jobs at the same time, and the expectations and evaluations we’re placing on ourselves can be crushing. Pandemic parenting leaves adult feeling overwhelmed.

I recently stumbled upon a meme on Facebook, of all things, and I knew that I had to reach out to its author to ask her to come on the podcast.  

Here’s an excerpt from that meme: 

Working, parenting, and teaching are three different jobs that cannot be done at the same time. It’s not hard because you’re doing it wrong. It’s hard because it’s too much. Do the best you can. Prioritize your mental health.

Such compassionate words that so many of us need to hear right now. Words written by this week’s guest, Dr. Emily King.  

Dr. Emily King is a Licensed Psychologist and Heath Services Provider in private practice in Raleigh, North Carolina. She specializes in working with children and adolescents with anxiety, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. King received her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

In this episode we touch on: 

  • The importance of self-compassion in times like these 
  • How you can use anchor points in your routine to help everyone feel more comfortable where they’re at in their day 
  • The unique needs that kids might have during these times and how we can help them thrive through them. 
  • What self-care looks like and how we can cultivate it to help us show up as our best 
  • How to cultivate more compassionate, open communication with our partners and spouses during this intense time 

I know you’re going to appreciate this conversation with Dr. Emily King. Please share this with another parent who might need some compassion during this time.