Eye Rolls, Sighs, and Slamming Doors: How to Teach Respect By Modeling Respect

Today we’re discussing two questions sent in from a mom, and we suspect that most parents can relate to the first one—how do we deal with the eye rolls, sighs, and other “junk behaviors” that often accompany the tween and teen years? We talk about how frustrating interactions can indicate that our kids have reached a new stage of development and share ways to teach them how to express themselves better as they get older. In the second half of the podcast, we discuss tips for blending an adoptive or foster child into your family. Author Kelle Hampton joins the conversation as we explore ways to teach kids to communicate and help them feel secure, even amid transition.

Help When It's Hard to Connect: Support for a Dad Who Can't Relate His to Tween

In this episode, we’re discussing a question from a mom wondering how to help her husband relate to their tween girl. We talk about dads and daughters and how this question points to an even bigger issue—how parents can respond to kids who feel different from or even difficult to them. Attachment science points us to two mirroring needs—comfort and delight—that we can use to connect to our kids, even when connection feels hard.

Here’s the question—

“My husband has started struggling with his interactions with our almost 13-year-old daughter. He just cannot relate to her emotions, feelings, and experiences anymore. I would love to know how to help him build a better relationship with her, so he does not continue to struggle.”

Facing Anxiety: How To Help Kids Fight Fear & Grow Strong

In this episode, we’re discussing a question about a 13-year-old struggling with anxiety. Fortunately, anxiety is one of the most treatable mental health issues to work with, but doing that takes good information to help us face fear head-on. Social anxiety, in particular, can really take hold between the ages of 12 to 14, and we talk about why that is, what to expect, and ways to respond if you’re concerned. Author Kelle Hampton joins us to explore how to help our kids take charge of anxiety rather than let it control and manage them.

When Parents Don’t Agree: Finding a Way to Talk about ADHD

Anyone else ever disagree with your partner over a parenting issue? We don’t think it’s just us, and we’ve seen how these disagreements can cause friction in families. In this episode, we discuss a question from a mom wondering how to move forward when she and her husband see things differently about their daughter and ADHD. Jeffrey shares strategies he uses in the therapy office to get couples back to connection, and we talk about the pros and cons of diagnoses and labels for kids, as well as things to know when considering ADHD.

Changing Bodies, Changing Brains: 3 Huge Developments Every Teen's Parent Should Understand

The tween and teen years can bring with them unexpected joy, as well as to-be-expected ups and downs. In this episode, we talk about emotions and hormones and three huge transitions happening within the teenage brain. Understanding what’s going on with our kids’ bodies really helps all of us! Here’s the question:

“My kids are entering middle school this year. My son is 13 going into 7th grade and my daughter is 11 going into 6th grade. And I’ve noticed in the last couple of years that the changes they’ve been going through are reminding me of when they went from infancy to toddlerhood. There’s just so many changes and it’s all happening so fast. And I’m trying to hold this space of curiosity about them, and I’m wondering the best way to be with them and the best way to usher them through these enormous changes. It sometimes feels overwhelming and sometimes I really don’t know what the right next thing is. So, I’m just curious about your perspective on that.”

Resisting the Control Trap: A Better Way to Boundaries with Teens

This season, we’re talking about raising tweens and teens, discussing parents’ questions, and exploring how science and faith come together to point our families to security and connection. Earlier this year, we received a question from a mom wondering how to direct her child’s moral choices. We’re using her question to kick off this series because we believe the issues she raises are important. In this episode, we talk about the difference between influence and control and discuss how relationship can guide our kids’ choices more powerfully than rules. We also share why the question's wording prompted us to invite author Kelle Hampton to join us to co-host this series and listen as she shares her wisdom and personal experience.

Comfort that Strengthens Our Kids with Claire Bidwell Smith

Comfort is our human need to be seen and held in the midst of our pain. And the research is clear that when we pause to see and sit with our kids’ suffering without immediately offering solutions, we gradually train their nervous systems to calm themselves down through us. But comfort can be a hard need to meet because when kids are in pain, parents are wired to hurt along with them. Dr. Jeffrey Olrick and Amy Olrick talk about why it is natural to want to dismiss or move quickly past our kids’ suffering and the strength that develops when we make time for comfort.

Bestselling author and grief expert Claire Bidwell Smith joins the conversation to share insights from her work, including tips about how to enter into our kids' painful experiences. After working with adults who did not have opportunities to process pain in healthy ways growing up, she understands the power of comfort and the long-term benefits of pausing to see and help carry our children’s pain.

Protecting our Kids from True Harm with D.L. & Krispin Mayfield

Most parents want to protect their kids from things that seem dangerous, but too much protection can leave our children feeling unsure of themselves and afraid in the world. In this episode, Dr. Jeffrey Olrick and Amy Olrick talk about what research shows us about real dangers kids face and how opportunities to overcome manageable amounts of trouble can reduce anxiety in the long-run and help kids grow strong.

Author D.L. Mayfield and her husband, therapist and author Krispin Mayfield, join the conversation to discuss how they balance the desire for safety with Christ's call to love and engage with our neighbors. Exposing their kids to new things while keeping communication open has helped build their whole family's confidence and resilience.

Boundaries that Free Kids to Grow with Valarie Kaur

We all want our children to be able to go out into the world to discover and learn. But there are some things in the world that could hurt them. And our kids can cause hurt themselves if they don't understand that others have needs just like they do. Dr. Jeffrey Olrick and Amy Olrick discuss how to give our kids healthy boundaries so they can safely grow strong while learning to respect themselves and others.

Author and civil rights activist Valarie Kaur joins the conversation to talk about how she sets boundaries with her kids, ways to respond when kids are melting down, and how modeling respectful boundaries in our homes teaches kids how to love others.