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.

Support that Embraces Mistakes with Daniel and Christina Im

All kids are born into the world with the instinct to learn, explore, and figure things out, which means childhood is full of big bumps and messes! Dr. Jeffrey Olrick and Amy Olrick talk about what healthy support looks like for our kids, and why children grow stronger when we don’t overcorrect their mistakes.

Christina and Daniel Im of the IMbetween podcast join the conversation to discuss how understanding their kids’ need for support has strengthened their family. They share insight from their work and Daniel’s book, including how stepping back from over-support helps make Daniel a better video game player with his kids. That’s a #parentinggoal we can embrace right now.

The Transforming Power of Delight with Kelle Hampton

In his work as an attachment researcher, Dr. Jeffrey Olrick has identified six things our kids need as they grow and develop—delight, support, boundaries, protection, comfort, and equipping. In this episode, Jeffrey and Amy Olrick introduce the importance of delight and discuss how faith and science come together to point families to health and connection. Bestselling author Kelle Hampton joins the conversation to talk about how understanding delight can transform our relationship with our kids.

The Guide to Connection with Lori Beth Auldridge

As parents and families face increasing pressure and mental health strain, Dr. Jeffrey Olrick and Amy Olrick share how science and faith come together to show us that attachment and connection can still grow our kids strong. They offer a guide to build strength and resiliency in our children that will last a lifetime, even through hard times.

In this episode, the Olricks share an overview of attachment science and The 6 Needs Compass they present in their book, The 6 Needs of Every Child: Empowering Parents & Kids through the Science of Connection. Then author and mom of four, Lori Beth Auldridge, joins the conversation to share how the compass has helped move her family forward and draw her children close when they need it.

“We battle with our daughter about bedtime every night.”

Most families deal with bedtime struggles at some point or another. In this episode, we discuss why kids are wired to be scared of the dark and strategies to make going to bed easier for everyone.

At the end of the episode, New Zealand pastor and musician Aaron Hardy joins us to share his story and music from his band, Te Rautini. His music is a gift that we’re thrilled to get to share with you.

Here’s today’s question:

"I'm hoping you all might have some advice for us. Every night we battle with our 5-year-daughter about bedtime. We have a routine: we have dinner, she's usually allowed to watch one TV show, then we go brush teeth, get in bed, and we read at least two books. She's happy all the way through that routine. But as soon as we turn out the lights and prepare to leave her room, it's all weeping and gnashing of teeth. She wails that she is scared of the dark. We have two nightlights in there and we leave the hall door open. But that does not calm her down. It's usually so bad that one of us ends up sleeping with her every night because she will wake up screaming if she's alone. She says she is scared of the shadows, but she can't articulate anything else that she might be scared of, just scared of the dark and she does not want to sleep alone. We don't know if we are being manipulated or if she's truly scared of the dark. We want her to be comfortable sleeping on her own. Do you have any tips to make our bedtime experience better?"

"How can I get my kids to help me with chores?"

In today’s episode, a mom wonders how to get her children to help her with chores. We talk about surprising ways to encourage kids to help from young ages, why creating a system where everyone contributes is so important, and how “doing with” a great way to grow our kids in responsibility over time.

Don’t miss the God Moment at the end from Sam Altis. It’s a beautiful reminder of God’s perfect, pursuing love for our kids—love that will follow them even when they’re grown.

Here’s the question:

Hi, I’m the mom of 3 kids, ages 3, 7, and 9, and I’m struggling to know how to get the older ones to do chores. I grew up with a mother who used to yell at me for not doing enough around the house. I don’t want my kids to experience that, but I don’t want to grow up thinking that they don’t have to lift a finger, either. My husband is a loving, playful father, but I don’t think he understands or values how much I do to keep everything running. Is there any hope that I can get them to help me without creating a lot of conflicts, or at least stop feeling so resentful?

“My kids’ arguing has me at the end of my rope.”

This week we’ll be discussing a question about a sometimes-to-familiar subject: sibling rivalry. We discuss how to help kids learn to negotiate their differences on their own and the importance of removing yourself from the role of judge. Don’t miss the God Moment at the end, when Lindsay Durrenberger shares about a remarkable encounter she had on the night after she’d been diagnosed with cancer.

Here’s the question:

"My kids arguing has me at the end of my rope. They’re pretty young still—5, 7, and 9, and the constant bickering overmeaningless things has me wanting to scream. I feel like I’m always mediating their problems, and I’m exhausted. I don’t have a close relationship with my siblings and it’s something I’ve always wanted for my own kids. How can I help them get along? Is this level of conflict normal, and is there anything I can do to make it better without losing my mind?"