Episodes

  • This episode continues our conversation on the topic of children and food. A few months ago we heard from https://yourparentingmojo.com/captivate-podcast/eating/ (Dr. Lindo Bacon about how the things we’ve learned about obesity might not actually be the whole story). Then we talked https://yourparentingmojo.com/captivate-podcast/dor/ (with Ellyn Satter about the approach she devised called Division of Responsibility), which holds the parent/caregiver responsible for the what, when, and where of eating and the child responsible for whether and how much. We followed that with a https://yourparentingmojo.com/captivate-podcast/sugarproof/ (conversation with Dr. Michael Goran, a world-renowned expert on the impact of sugar on our bodies, and specifically on children’s bodies) – and co-author of the book SugarProof. While the research seems to indicate that consuming large amounts of sugar isn’t necessarily the best thing for us, when I dug into the original papers that form the backbone of SugarProof I found that the results didn’t always seem to be quite as large as the book indicated. In this episode we take another look at sugar – this time from the perspective of sociologist https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/sociology/staff/53/dr-karen-throsby (Dr. Karen Throsby). Dr. Thorsby received her BA in English Language and Literature from Lincoln College, Oxford, and a MSc in Gender and later a Ph.D from the London School of Economics. She is currently an Associate Professor in Gender Studies at the University of Leeds, and is writing a book entitled Sugar Rush: Science, Obesity, and the Social Life of Sugar. For the book, she is analyzing over 500 UK newspaper articles about sugar, as well as policy documents, scientific publications, popular science articles, self-help literature, and documentaries. She wants to understand what happens when we demonize sugar as ‘public enemy number one,’ and along with it the fat body. She doesn’t aim to determine the ‘truth’ about sugar or offer prescriptions about what people should eat, but instead think about how this debate relates to how scientific knowledge is produced, validated, and appropriated, panics about health and body size, the role of generation, gender, race, and class, and the lived inequalities associated with food. Shownotes: (02:10) Introducing Dr. Throsby (03:22) One of your big focuses is on the idea of sugar being addictive. Can you tell us why you start there? What does it mean to be addicted to something, and can we be addicted to sugar? (09:46) We have to be really careful with any attempt to define addiction because some people and certain groups of people are seen as more liable to be seduced by sugar than others (12:18) The neuroscientific model of addiction recognizes that addiction is more than a failure of will and morals but also factors in biological vulnerability which can affect some people more than others (15:10) The idea that you could stop consuming sugar if you wanted to is part of the problem in the way that sugar is being figured because it ignores the social context within which consumption occurs (21:18) The reason the book is called Sugar Rush is obviously it's a play on the idea of having a lot of sugar, but also about the rush to blame sugar (22:04) Sugar is often referred to as empty calories but actually, it's a category of food that is absolutely laden with meaning that I think is really important Other episodes mentioned in this episode: https://yourparentingmojo.com/captivate-podcast/sugarproof/ (145: How to Sugarproof your kids with Dr. Michael Goran) Links: https://yourparentingmojo.com/subscribe/ (Subscribe to the show) https://yourparentingmojo.com/recordtheintro/ (Record the intro to Your Parenting Mojo :)) Resource Links:...

  • “Storytelling? I’m already reading books to my child – isn’t that enough?”

    Your child DOES get a lot out of reading books (which is why we’ve done a several episodes on that already, including https://yourparentingmojo.com/readingbooks/ (What children learn from reading books), https://yourparentingmojo.com/reading/ (How to read with your child), and https://yourparentingmojo.com/003-your-toddler-isnt-reading-yet-neither-is-mine/ (Did you already miss the boat on teaching your toddler how to read?).

    But it turns out that storytelling benefits our relationship with our child in ways that reading books really can’t, because you’re looking at the book rather than at your child. If you ask your child what kind of story they’d like you to tell, you also get incredible insight into both their interests and concerns – I can attest to this, as I’ve been singing story-songs about poop and various kinds of baby animals who can’t find their mamas on and off for several weeks now (we had an incident a few months back where she couldn’t find me in a store).

    In this episode we also discuss the ways that people from different cultures tell stories, and what implications this has for them as they interact with our education system.

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  • Way, waaay back in https://yourparentingmojo.com/003-your-toddler-isnt-reading-yet-neither-is-mine/ (Episode 3), we wondered whether we had missed the boat on teaching our babies to read (didn’t you teach your baby how to read?). We eventually decided that we hadn’t, but given that many parents have a goal of instilling a love of reading into their children, what’s the best way to go about doing that? And what if your child is the kind who wriggles out of your lap at the mere sight of a book?

    Our second-ever repeat guest, Dr. Laura Froyen, helps us to delve into the research on this topic. We conclude by talking through some of the things parents can do to promote a love of reading, because it turns out it’s not as intuitive as one might think!

  • Today I join forces with Malaika Dower of the http://www.htgawp.com/ (How to Get Away with Parenting) podcast to interview Dr. Christia Brown, who is a Professor of Developmental and Social Psychology at the University of Kentucky, where she studies the development of gender identity and children’s experience of gender discrimination. Dr. Brown’s book, http://amzn.to/2H13YlN (Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue) (Affiliate link), helps parents to really understand the scientific research around gender differences in children, which is a harder task than with some other topics because there’s just a lot of bad research out there on this one. I ask about theories of gender development while Malaika keeps us grounded with questions about how this stuff works in the real world, and we both resolve to shift our behavior toward our daughters just a little bit. Related Episodes https://yourparentingmojo.com/socialgroups/ (Interview with Yarrow Dunham on how social groups form) https://yourparentingmojo.com/lying/ (Interview with Kang Lee on children’s lying (yep – your kid does it too!)) References Brown, C.S. (2014). http://amzn.to/2H13YlN (Parenting beyond pink and blue). Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press. (Affiliate link) Taylor, M.G., Rhodes, M., & Gelman, S.A. (2009). Boys will be boys and cows will be cows: Children’s essentialist reasoning about gender categories and animal species. Child Development 80(2), 461-481. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111%2Fj.1467-8624.2009.01272.x (10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01272.x)

  • “I spent the whole morning painting and doing origami and felting projects with my daughter – and not only did she not say “thank you,” but she refused to help clean up!” (I actually said this myself this morning:-))“We took our son to Disneyland and went on every ride he wanted to go on except one, which was closed, and he spent the rest of the trip whining about how the whole trip was ruined because he didn’t get to go on that one ride.” (I hope I never have to say this one…I’m not sure I could make it through Disneyland in one piece.) You might recall that we did an episode a while back on https://yourparentingmojo.com/manners/ (manners), and what the research says about teaching manners, and how what the research says about teaching manners comes from the assumption that manners MUST be explicitly taught – that your child will NOT learn to say “thank you” unless you tell your child “say thank you” every time someone gives them a gift.We also talked about how parent educator Robin Einzig uses the concept of “https://visiblechild.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/model-graciousness/ (modeling graciousness)” and that if you treat other people graciously, when your child is ready, she will be gracious as well. The problem here, of course, is that most people expect your child to display some kind of manners before they are developmentally ready to really understand the concept behind it.But what really underlies manners? Well, ideas like gratitude. Because when we train children to say “thank you” before they are ready to do it themselves they might learn to recite the words at the appropriate time, but they aren’t really experiencing gratitude.http://cds.web.unc.edu/mentors/tudge-jonathan/ (Dr. Jonathan Tudge) of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro tells us much more about this, and how we can scaffold our child’s ability to experience gratitude, if we decide we might want to do that.Dr. Tudge’s book, https://www.amazon.com/Developing-Gratitude-Children-Adolescents-Jonathan/dp/1107182727 (Developing Gratitude in Children and Adolescents) (co-edited with Dr. Lia B. L. Freitas) contains lots more academic research on this topic if you’re interested.

  • In just a few years, today’s children and teens will forge careers that look nothing like those that were available to their parents or grandparents. While the U.S. economy becomes ever more information-driven, our system of education seems stuck on the idea that “content is king,” neglecting other skills that 21st century citizens sorely need.

    Backed by the latest scientific evidence and illustrated with examples of what’s being done right in schools today, http://amzn.to/2Fia4kL (Becoming Brilliant) (Affiliate link) introduces the “6Cs” collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence along with ways parents can nurture their children’s development in each area.

    Join me for an engaging chat with award-winning Professor Roberta Golinkoff about the key takeaways from the book.

  • In this short episode I reflect on where we’ve been over the past year, my plans to slow down a bit at the end of the year (as well as a super exciting project I’m working on!), and what episodes we have lined up for the new year. In this episode I also mention something I haven’t done for a while, which is that it’s possible to donate to support the show. You might know that it takes 20-40 hours to do the research for each episode (although my record is about 80 hours for the show on https://yourparentingmojo.com/selfreg/ (Self-Reg), because the research was in such a mess and I had to check what I was reading with several developmental psychologists who tempered the claims of the person who created the concept of Self-Reg!). A core group of listeners (shout out to: Jacqueline B., Rebekah S., Elizabeth M., Kelsey B., Jessica S., Crystian M., Megan P., Alison O., and Cristin B.) have helped to sustain the show over the last months and years. If the show has helped you, would you consider making a donation to support it? You can now do this from any episode page. If a particular episode has given you an insight or a tool that resonated with you and/or your child, I’d be really grateful if you would make a one-time donation to acknowledge that, or consider a recurring donation to help me keep making more episodes for you. I know there’s always the temptation to say that “eh; I don’t have time right now and it probably doesn’t make that much of a difference and someone else will do it anyway.” And maybe they will, but as we all know, if everyone thinks like that then the work doesn’t get supported…. I mention in the episode that I’m writing a book! And the e-book will be available for a sliding scale price on this website, to help everyone who wants to read it be able to read it, no matter what their financial constraints. I also now make every course and membership I offer over a $100 threshold available with sliding scale pricing, and invite folks who can’t afford even the minimum price to get in touch to figure out a price that works for both of us. I’m doing everything I can to live my values to make my work available to as many people as possible. If this resonates with you, I’d be grateful if you would consider donating to support me in continuing to do this work. You can now donate from any episode page (including this week’s episode!). Just look for the Support Jen’s Work button on the right side.  

  • In this episode we do something we haven’t done before - talk with podcast listeners who aren’t parents yet! Kellie and Jon are an amazing couple living in Tennessee. Kellie is a bit of a planner (by which I mean that during her Ph.D program Jon noticed Kellie was getting stressed about when they were going to have a baby, so she led them through a four-hour planning session factoring in the baby’s birth and ages at likely dates for her to enter post-doctoral programs and fellowships and landed on February 2021 as the optimal time to conceive - so they started trying in February and she got pregnant in February!). Jon, by contrast, is a go-with-the-flow kind of guy. He’s the kind of person who just knows everything is probably going to turn out OK without needing to worry about the details too much. He already knew Kellie was going to be a great parent, while she was much less convinced - although now she knows that babies drink milk rather than water, she’s off to a running start! Kellie devoured all the pregnancy podcasts she could find (my favorite is the https://pregnancypodcast.com/ (Pregnancy Podcast) - host Vanessa basically does the same thing I do here at YPM for the pregnancy stage) and then moved onto the child development podcasts, which is how she found YPM - and she was drawn to the research-based information she found here. Jon describes the whole experience as an “uncertainty sandwich” - there was a lot of uncertainty in the beginning about whether and when they’d be able to have a baby: “and then it really certain really fast!” And after that it became uncertain again as they looked to figure out what life with a baby would be like. If you’re expecting a baby or have a child under the age of one, the Right From The Start course can help you to find the right path forward for you. We’ll help you navigate sleep, feeding, play and development, what we communicate to our babies through the ways we interact during routine activities like diapering and dressing - and so much more. But beyond the knowledge, you’ll also find an amazing community of like-minded parents who are on this journey with you - so you’ll feel less alone, and more able to cope with the challenges you face. Click the image below to learn more about Right From The Start - enrollment is open now through Wednesday November 3, and we start together on Monday November 8!  https://yourparentingmojo.com/rightfromthestart/ ()  Jump to highlights: (01:00) Kellie & Jon are expecting parents who have just went through the Right From the Start Course (02:25) Kellie and Jon’s background: Jon grew up in a home where he had older women in their family that looked after him and younger nieces that he was also a caretaker of, and Kellie grew up in a very structured environment that revolved around school and gymnastics and things being planned out (07:05) Planning out when to get pregnant with the least amount of distractions to when Kellie works on her doctorate and the Uncertainty Sandwich (11:02) What were your thoughts when the point of certainty has passed and you're getting into the moment where there was a lot of worry and anxiety? (18:01) Jon realized that to truly support Kellie in their pregnancy meant supporting her in a way that makes sense for her (19:27) How the podcast helped Kellie and Jon (20:33) What made you decide to take the Right From the Start course? (22:38) Joining the group class was the first time I actually felt excited to parent as opposed to just feeling like nervous and anxious (26:35) “I had not thought of parenting as this potentially really diplomatic, really egalitarian loving process” (31:31) We don't have to know exactly what's gonna work best from the start but we can figure it out together (34:24) I feel like we're not just...

  • Sleep! It’s a topic that’s on pretty much every parent’s mind. https://www.yourparentingmojo.com/sleep (We’ve already looked at this from a cultural perspective), where we learned our Western approach to sleep is by no means universal, and that this can result in quite a few of the problems we face in getting our children to sleep. In this episode we dive deep into the practicalities of sleep with Dr. Chris Winter, who has practiced sleep medicine and neurology since 2004. His first book, https://amzn.to/3v28sDc (The Sleep Solution, Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How To Fix It) (affiliate link) was focused on adults’ sleep challenges, and I’ve been putting the ideas in it into practice and have been getting better sleep as a result. His new book is https://amzn.to/3DHwV3R (The Rested Child: Why Your Tired, Wired, or Irritable Child May Have a Sleep Disorder--And How to Help) (affiliate link), and is based on Dr. Winters’ almost two decades of experience of evaluating children in the sleep clinic that he founded. We’ll look at ways that you can get more sleep (or maybe even more rest that feels almost as restful as sleep), whether you can shift your (or your child’s!) sleep patterns, how to banish bedtime struggles for good, and so much more! This episode is for all parents, but especially for those who are expecting or have a child under the age of one, and who are desperately trying to get more sleep (or worried about being in that phase of life in the near future!). We’ll help you get started on the right foot so you can know you’re doing the best for your child - and for yourself as well. If you are expecting or have a child under one and you’d like to join the Right From The Start course to help you find the path that’s right for you and your child on sleep and feeding and independent play and brain development and not lose yourself in the process, then we’d love to have you join us. Enrollment is open between October 24th - November 3rd, we get started together on Monday November 8th, and sliding scale pricing is available! Just click the image below to learn more and sign up. https://yourparentingmojo.com/rightfromthestart/ ()

  •  Sugar has a bad name these days - much like fat did back in the 1990s. "Research shows" that it's addictive...that it shrinks your brain...that it's likely to lead to all kinds of health problems. But will it really? I interviewed Dr. Michael Goran, author of the recent book Sugarproof: The Hidden Dangers of Sugar that are Putting Your Child’s Health at Risk and What You Can Do. This is a pretty alarming title, and I was interested to dig into the research behind the book as a continuation of our exploration of topics related to parenting and food. It turns out that yes, there’s a lot of research on this topic. And a lot of it supports the idea that sugar may be harmful to children...but the case wasn't nearly as clear-cut as I'd imagined it would be. In this episode we discuss the research on which the book is based, and what practical steps parents can take to reduce their child's sugar intake if they decide they want to do that. 

  • I hear from a lot of parents who are worried about their children’s learning. They tell me things like: “I want to encourage my child’s learning and creativity and confidence as a learner without solely focusing on literacy and numeracy.” “We’ve been in lockdown here in Melbourne for a very long time, with my older kids learning remotely, and I feel that a lot of the tasks they are given by their school are a bit … uninspiring. It’s so cool when there is something that really engages them and I’m trying to find more things like that.” “I am wary about the school system squashing the natural instinct to learn, as I feel it did with me. But I'm hoping we can provide the attitude and environment at home to mitigate this.” “What we have read about traditional schooling is a bit disheartening but something we have to embrace for now. So it is important that with the time we have outside of school we do the best we can to encourage his spark for exploration and learning.” “My children are already in school. Even though they (and I) are happy with their school and learning so far, I would love to learn how I can support them better and help them being more motivated and stay curious. The challenges of distant-learning that we experienced during the lockdowns have highlighted that I find it difficult to be a good teacher for them and I would like to change that.” If you could have said (or have already said!) one or more of these things yourself, then I want to introduce you to Madeline. She describes all three of her children as ‘spirited’ (you can kind of see it in their eyes, right?!) When I first met her, she wanted to know that she was doing everything she could to support their intrinsic love of learning in the preschool years - and she wasn’t sure whether or not they would go to school.  In this episode we discuss some of the Learning Explorations she’s done with them, how she became confident that she really was meeting each child’s learning needs, and what decision she ultimately made about school! I also wanted to let you know that the Supporting Your Child’s Learning membership is now open for enrollment. We have sliding scale pricing available, and a TWO WEEK FREE TRIAL so you can experience all the amazingness of the membership before you pay a penny. https://yourparentingmojo.com/learningmembership/ ()  

  •  Is your child gifted? Do you wonder if they're gifted but aren't quite sure? Do you want to know how to support your gifted child's learning in a way that doesn't pressure them or make them resist working with you? If so, this episode will help. I have to say, I wasn't sure where this one was going to end up. I was really uneasy about the concept of giftedness from the outset, perhaps because the way I had previously come into contact with it was through https://www.yourparentingmojo.com/schoolprivilege (our conversation with Dr. Allison Roda), from whom we learned how some parents manipulate the Gifted & Talented program in New York City to perpetuate segregated education. But even so, I tried to go into the research with an open mind. What if it's just the G&T programs as they're set up in New York City that are the problem, not the entire concept of giftedness itself? The good news is that there's a good deal of evidence on what kinds of programs benefit gifted children. And in this episode I end up arguing that we shouldn't just put gifted children in them, but that all children would benefit from learning using these methods.  You Are Your Child's Best TeacherI also wanted to remind you that the You Are Your Child's Best Teacher workshop starts this coming Monday September 13! If you're the parent of a child who's old enough to ask questions through the end of elementary school and you want to: Support their intrinsic love of learning and confidence as a learner... WITHOUT doing worksheets or curriculum, (unless your child enjoys doing them!)... WITHOUT just spending your time on reading and math, but instead... Using your child's interests as a jumping off point to deep, intrinsically motivated learning...Then you BELONG in the You Are Your Child's Best Teacher workshop! In just five days you'll see how they really can learn all the traditional school subjects through their own interests, and gain the confidence you need to know you're giving them the best possible start, whether you're: Homeschooling Public or private-schooling Not working or are working full-time outside the homeWe'd love to see you in the workshop - and it's totally free! Just click the picture below to learn more and sign up. https://yourparentingmojo.com/bestteacher/ ()

  • We don’t just think with our brains.What?!How can that possibly be true?I struggled to understand it myself for quite a while, until I read the fabulous English philosopher Andy Clark’s description of what happens when someone writes, which essentially involves ideas flowing down the arm and hand, through the pen and ink, across the paper, up to your eyes, and back to your brain.The ideas don’t literally flow, of course, but the process of writing alters the process of thinking - which is why research has shown that processing traumatic memories through journaling about them is more useful just thinking about them - the act of writing about them changes our interpretation of them in a way that just thinking about them doesn’t.The challenge with school-based learning, of course, is that it’s primarily concerned with the brain. Our task is to remember facts and ideas so we can recount them when asked about them at a later time. Children who fidget are told to sit still, when the research that Annie Murphy Paul cites in her new book The Extended Mind indicates that this instruction is entirely misplaced - fidgeting can be a way of managing excess energy, and movement can actually help us to remember things more effectively than we otherwise would.In this episode we learn many of the different ways that we our brains interact with the outside world to learn in ways that we might never have considered up to now.I think of this kind of learning as Full-Bodied Learning, and long before I’d read Annie’s book I had actually developed an entire module of content for the Supporting Your Child’s Learning membership on exactly this topic. In the module we extend the ideas in today’s episode to support our children in using their full bodies to learn both in school and outside of school as well.You do have to be a member to access that specific content, but you can get a taste for similar kinds of tools that you can use with your child in the free You Are Your Child’s Best Teacher workshop which starts on Monday September 13. In the workshop you’ll:  Learn how to use your child’s interests as a jumping off point for deep, self-driven learning Show (to yourself and others!) that your child is engaged in complex, multi-faceted learning Reimagine what learning looks like (it can be exciting and fun, and not something you have to bribe your child to do!) Understand your values about learning so you can do activities that are aligned with those values Feel confident that you can effectively support your child’s intrinsic love of learning - whether or not your child is in school. So whether you’re homeschooling or not; whether you work outside the home or not, YOU really are the person who can best support your child’s learning - mostly because you know them better than anyone else so you can help them much more effectively once you gain the skills to do that.The workshop consists of one short email each day for five days, access to a supportive community of parents who are on the same learning journey as you, and a wrap-up masterclass at the end to bring it all together where we can chat live about your questions.If you want to raise a child who has an intrinsic, life-long love of learning, I do hope you’ll join me in the workshop - it’s completely FREE!Just click the image below to sign up.  https://yourparentingmojo.com/bestteacher/ ()   Jump to highlights: (01:00) Looking at the idea that our mind isn't actually only located inside of our brains (01:46) An open invitation to join the free You Are Your Child’s Best Teacher Workshop (05:30) Learning does not just happen within the brain, but with things and people that are outside of it (06:44) The metaphor of how our brains are like magpies nest: we draw raw material available to us as resources for our thinking process...

  • Do you worry that your child isn't eating enough...or is eating too much?

    Do you wish they would eat a more balanced diet...but don't want to be the Vegetable Police?

    Do you find yourself in constant negotiations over your child's favorite snacks?

    You're not alone!

    Join me for a conversation with Ellyn Satter MS, MSSW, author of many books including Child of Mine: Feeding With Love and Good Sense. Ms. Satter developed the approach to feeding children that's known as https://www.ellynsatterinstitute.org/how-to-feed/the-division-of-responsibility-in-feeding/ (Division of Responsibility), which means that the parent is responsible for the what, when, and where of eating, and the child is responsible for whether and how much.

    It all sounds pretty simple, but when you're actually navigating eating with your child it can seem a whole lot more complicated:

    Should we worry about our child's eating in the long term if they won't eat vegetables now?

    Should we restrict access to children's food?

    What should we do about picky eating?


    Ms. Satter helps us to understand her ideas on these important questions and much more.

    In the conversation we discussed some questions that you can answer to identify whether you are what Ms. Satter defines as Eating Competent:


    Do you agree or disagree with these statements?

    I enjoy food and

    I am comfortable with my enjoyment of food and

    I take an interest in unfamiliar food.

    I eat as much as I am hungry for.

    I plan for feeding myself.


    Agreeing with these statements indicates you are likely Eating Competent. Disagreeing means you are missing out on eating as one of life’s great pleasures and putting up with a lot of unnecessary misery. Do you have to be miserable to eat well and be healthy? Not at all. People who are https://www.ellynsatterinstitute.org/satter-eating-competence-model/ (Eating Competent) eat better and are healthier: they weigh less, have better medical tests, and function better, emotionally and socially.

  • When you’re learning a new skill, information is critical. Without that, it’s very difficult to make any kind of meaningful change. But I see a parallel between learning new skills and respectful parenting: I like to say that love between parent and child is necessary but not sufficient - and that respect is the missing ingredient. With learning a new skill, knowledge is necessary - but not sufficient. And support is the missing ingredient. You might remember from our conversation with Dr. Chris Niebauer a while ago that our overactive left brains tend to make up stories about our experiences to integrate these experiences into the narratives we tell about ourselves. If we’re “the kind of person who triumphs through adversity,” a setback will be taken in stride. If we’re “the kind of person who has been hurt,” each new individual hurt makes much more of a mark. The new experiences have to be made to fit with the framework that’s already in place. Especially when you’re learning a skill related to difficult experiences you’ve had, your left brain wants to keep itself safe. It might tell you: “I don’t need to do this. Things aren’t that bad. I’ll just wait until later / tomorrow / next week.” And when that happens, you need support. That support can be from a great friend, although sometimes you don’t want even your closest friends to know that you shout at or smack your child. Therapy can be really helpful - but it’s also really expensive. Sometimes the thing that’s most helpful is someone who’s learning the tools alongside you (so they aren’t trying to look back and remember what it was like to be in your situation; theirs is different, but they are struggling too…) who isn’t a regular presence in your life. There’s no danger you’re going to run into them at the supermarket, or a kid’s birthday party. You can actually be really honest with them and know it won’t come and bite you in the butt. That’s what today’s guests, Marci and Elizabeth, discovered when they started working together. Separated by cultural differences, fourteen(!) time zones, and very different lives, they found common ground in their struggles and have developed a deep and lasting friendship. If you’d like to work on taming your triggered feelings - and get help from your own Accountabuddy in the process - the Taming Your Triggers workshop is for you. Click the image below to learn more.     

  • How does trauma affect us? Yes, we feel it in our brains - we get scared, frustrated, and angry - often for reasons we don’t fully understand. But even if our brains have managed to cover up the trauma; to paper a veneer over it so everything seems fine, that doesn’t mean everything actually is fine - because as our guest in this episode, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk says: The Body Keeps The Score. What he means is that the effects of the trauma you’ve experienced don’t just go away, and can’t just be papered over. Your body will still hold the evidence in tension, headaches, irritability (of minds and bowels), insomnia...and all of this may come out when your child does something you wish they wouldn’t. Perhaps it’s something your parent always used to resent doing, and made it super clear to you every time they did it for you. Perhaps it was something you did as a child and were punished for doing (maybe you were even hit for it...your body is literally remembering this trauma when your child reproduces the behavior). Lack of manners, talking back, making a mess, not doing as you were told, being silly...even if logically you now know that these are relatively small things, when your child does them it brings back your body’s memories of what happened to you. Dr. van der Kolk helps us to understand more about how this shows up for us. Sometimes understanding can be really helpful. But sometimes you also need new tools, and support as you learn them, and accountability. If you’re struggling with your reactions to your child’s difficult behavior - whether you’re going into fight, flight, freeze, or fawn mode, the Taming Your Triggers workshop can help. Registration is open starting Saturday July 31 through midnight Pacific on Wednesday August 11. I’d really love to work with you!  https://yourparentingmojo.com/tamingyourtriggers/ ()Dr. van der Kolk will host a four-week program for experts and those who treat people who have experienced trauma in October and November 2021 where he synthesizes history, neurology, and trauma research to deepen our understanding of trauma and trauma treatment. https://www.besselvanderkolk.com/international-programs/english-community (Click here for more information.) Jump to highlights: (01:00) Introducing Dr. van der Kolk (01:58) Invitation to the Taming Your Triggers Workshop (02:56) A note on some technical difficulties we had while recording this episode (03:14) People often want easy answers: Talking about why we feel like we need pills and alcohol to deal with trauma and not make use of other methods which seem more beneficial (08:16) "We become who we are based on the experiences we had and these early experiences really set your expectations" (11:53) Dr. van der Kolk’s ongoing research on touch and trauma that looks into the virtually unstudied field of touch (14:42) To effectively deal with trauma, people need to discover who they are and find the words for their internal experiences (16:10) On mindfulness and yoga: the physical focus on movement in yoga may open up some space for mindfulness (20:45) Rolfing : opening up the body so that it is released from the configuration it adopted to deal with trauma (23:07) The importance of words and finding somebody who can helps you to find words as cautiously as they can, without inflicting too much of their own value system on you (25:31) Dr. van der Kolk’s current agenda for kids to be taught to have a language for their internal experience (28:27) Two of the most important scientifically proven predictors of adult function (31:26) Dr. van der Kolk talks about Developmental Trauma Disorder (38:31) The power of peer and community support in healing trauma (41:32) Wrapping up Links:...

  • When we're having a hard time interacting with our family members, it's pretty common for our first reaction to be: "I need this person (or these people!) to change their behavior" - especially when this person (or these people!) are children. After all, we've been around for longer and we know what we're doing and we were fine before our children started misbehaving, right? My guest today, parent-of-three Chrystal, had encountered this mentality not just about her children, but also about her husband. In fact, when she went to couple's therapy with her husband it was with a sense of relief: "Finally, I'm going to find out what's wrong with him, because there's nothing wrong with me!" She always figured: "If that person didn't act like that then I wouldn't need to react the way I'm reacting...and I legitimately thought that everyone else was responsible for my behavior." Then she realized that her husband wasn't responsible for how she was feeling...she was. Now she was ready to make the same leap related to her relationship with her spirited children, but needed new tools. They would melt down over every tiny issue (not enough honey on the oatmeal! Now not enough cream! I don't WANT to get dressed!), and Chrystal found herself constantly scrambling to placate them. Join us for a conversation about the new ideas she's learned, and how her children now don't cooperate blindly because she's forcing them, but express their agency while finding ways to collaborate that also meet their needs. They have real agency in her family (they know she'll hear them and respect their ideas) and because of this, the little issues that used to provoke regular meltdowns are easily solved. And Chrystal is learning how to set boundaries so she doesn't get walked all over - by her children, or by other members of her family. Want to make a similar shift in your own interactions with your children? My Taming Your Triggers workshop will help - doors open July 31, and sliding scale pricing is available! Click the picture below to learn more and join the wait list... https://yourparentingmojo.com/tamingyourtriggers/ ()  Jump to highlights: (01:00) Inviting listeners to join the Taming Your Triggers workshop (04:43) A little bit about Chrystal (11:06) Chrystal’s journey as a parent (13:58) How Chrystal found it difficult to build lasting relationships with parents who were raising their children the same way they were raised and how she found her people in the Taming Your Triggers community. (16:32) The fight, flight, freeze, and fawn responses and how Chrystal resonated to the fawn response. (18:22) The first time Chrystal was able to connect what she’s feeling in her body with her belief systems (20:36) As the eldest of eight children, Chrystal felt that it was her responsibility to make sure everyone is happy when her mother couldn’t cope due to severe postnatal depression, and this has continued on with her character now that they’ve grown up (24:51) When Chrystal decided to set boundaries and have it respected, she found out that her family’s issues can resolve themselves without her getting involved (28:14) The profound shift with for Chrystal in terms of what changed in her family after going through the Taming Your Triggers workshop is that she is now able to see situations as more than a win-lose situation (32:20) With two strong-willed daughters and a son who is also energetic, breakfast has been a challenge in Chrystal’s home. She’s learned to apply problem solving to find solutions, but the biggest revelation for her has been that it is okay for her children to have these big feelings (38:15) Chrystal explores the question, “Why should our children listen to us?” as she discovers extrinsic and intrinsic motivation (38:55) A beautiful moment when Chrystal was...

  • This episode kicks off a series on the intersection of parenting and food. We begin today with a conversation with Dr. Lindo Bacon, where we bust a LOT of myths about the obesity epidemic that is said to be plaguing people in the United States and other countries that follow a similar diet. The messaging we get from government entities seems pretty simple: being fat is bad for you. It causes increased risk for a host of diseases as well as early death. If you're fat, you should lose weight because then your risk of getting these diseases and dying early will be reduced. But what if this wasn't true? What if this messaging had been established by people who own companies that manufacture weight loss products who sit on panels that advise international governmental entities like the World Health Organization? What if body fat was actually protective for your health? We dig into all these questions and more in this provocative interview. We'll continue this series with episodes looking specifically at sugar, as well as supporting parents who have or continue to struggle with disordered eating, and how to support children in developing eating habits that will serve them for a lifetime, not just get the vegetables into them today. Jump to highlights: (01:00) Introducing Dr. Lindo Bacon and starting our series of episodes on the intersection of parenting and food (02:22) Stripping the word ‘fat’ of it’s pejorative meaning and reclaiming the term while acknowledging that it may be jarring for some people (03:09) Kicking off the conversation with how we measure health using BMI and how it might not be accurate (05:03) The resistance to Katherine Flegal’s seminal research in weight and longevity (05:49) The development of the Body Mass Index was with scientific bias to fit the bell curve (07:30) Higher body weight does not necessarily mean a person has greater risk of poor health (10:59) We actually know that the research is highly exaggerated in terms on the role that it plays on health (13:16) Dr. Bacon’s turning point: When they found out that BMI recommendations were created by an organization funded by pharmaceutical companies who produce weight loss drugs and products (17:35) Taking the issue one step further with the American Medical Association’s recommendation whether to categorize obesity as a disease or not (19:19) The Obesity Paradox is an observation in the research that people who are obese who get the same diseases as those with ‘normal’ weight are living longer (21:15) The concept of dieting just doesn’t work according to the data (30:33) A story of Dr. Bacon’s and their father’s knee problems (34:40) Individual factors only accounts to 25% to somebody’s total health outcomes and social determinants account to about 60% (42:05) It is cool right now to be your authentic self but not everyone can so easily be their authentic self when their authentic selves are not valued by society at large (45:48) Improving the health of individuals is more communal than individual Resource Links: https://www.amazon.com/Health-At-Every-Size-Surprising/dp/1935618253/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Health+at+Every+Size+by+lindo+bacon&qid=1625316371&sr=8-1 (Health at Every Size), by Lindo Bacon https://www.amazon.com/Body-Respect-Conventional-Health-Understand/dp/1940363195/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Body+Respect+by+lindo+bacon&qid=1625316563&sr=8-1 (Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, and Just Plain Fail to Understand about Weight), by Lindo Bacon and Lucy Aphramor https://www.amazon.com/Radical-Belonging-Survive-Thrive-Transforming-ebook/dp/B084HK4BT5/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Radical+Belonging&qid=1625316690&sr=8-1 (Radical Belonging: How to Survive and Thrive in an

  • Many of us haven't been in each other's homes for a while now, but pretty soon we'll be getting together inside again. And our children will be heading inside, in their friends' houses. People store guns inside. Are you certain that nobody owns a gun in any of the places your child plays? If they do own a gun, are you certain they store it safely? If not, you need to ask. That's one issue we discuss in this interview with Dr. Nina Agrawal, a board-certified pediatrician who has expertise in violence against children. She co-founded the Gun Safety Committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics in New York State, and is leading the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force for the American Medical Women’s Association. Another issue is the gun violence that is primarily faced by children of color, which turns out to affect a far greater number of children. And how is this all linked to the Peloton recall? You'll have to listen in to find out... Jump to highlights here: (01:00) Indoor playdates are ramping up...will your child be safe? (02:29) Introducing Dr. Nina Agrawal, pediatrician and co-founder of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Gun Safety Committee in New York State (02:58) Understanding how big is the scope of gun violence against children (06:15) The Dickey Amendment: Explaining the massive lack of data and research on gun violence and safety (11:24) The ways that gun violence affects children that we might not expect (12:32) “I get woken up at night to the sound of gunshots.” (17:09) The racial disparity in how children are affected by gun violence (20:46) More people purchased guns in 2020, and there are more first-time owners too (23:39) The statistical likelihood of children coming to harm if they live with a firearm in their household (27:00) Just telling kids not to touch guns doesn't work (even if you think of your child as one who is 'sensible,' and you've talked with them about gun safety) (30:45) The Asking Saves Kids Campaign helps to keep kids safer (33:06) The surprising link between children involved in gun violence and the Peloton treadmill recall (36:07) In American culture, banning all guns can't be the answer (40:52) Effective Child Access Laws (41:45) How to create safer environments for children through building communities[accordion][accordion-item title="Click here to read the full transcript"]Jen Lumanlan 00:02Hi, I'm Jen and I host the Your Parenting Mojo Podcast. Jen Lumanlan 00:06We all want her children to lead fulfilling lives, but it can be so hard to keep up with the latest scientific research on child development and figure out whether and how to incorporate it into our own approach to parenting. Here at Your Parenting Mojo, I do the work for you by critically examining strategies and tools related to parenting and child development that are grounded in scientific research on principles of respectful parenting. If you'd like to be notified when new episodes are released, and get a free guide called 13 Reasons Why Your Child Won't Listen To You & What To Do About Each One, just head over to YourParentingMojo.com/SUBSCRIBE. You can also continue the conversation about the show with other listeners in the Your Parenting Mojo Facebook group. I do hope you'll join us. Jen Lumanlan 01:00Hello, and welcome to the Your Parenting Mojo Podcast. And today we're going to discuss a topic that I think is about to come into parents' consciousness in a way that it really hasn't as much over the last year. And for some of us, that's a result of our privilege. And I was reflecting that as vaccinations for children become more available, we're probably going to start moving towards indoor play dates without parents being around because when my daughter went into when we...

  • New parents often worry about attachment to their baby - will I be able to build it? My baby cries a lot - does that mean that we aren't attached? If I put my baby in daycare, will they get attached to the daycare staff rather than to me?Based on the ideas about attachment that have been circulated over the years, these are entirely valid concerns. But it turns out that not only should we not worry about these things, but the the research that these ideas were based in was highly flawed.It's often forgotten that attachment theory was developed in the period after World War II, when policymakers were trying to get women out of the jobs they had held during the war, and back into their 'natural' place in the home.In one of his earliest papers Dr. John Bowlby - the so-called Father of Attachment Theory - described 44 children who had been referred to his clinic for stealing, and compared these with children who had not stolen anything. He reported that the thieves had been separated from their parents during childhood, which led them to have a low sense of self-worth and capacity for empathy. He went on to say that “to deprive a small child of his mother’s companionship is as bad as depriving him of vitamins.”But much later in his life, Bowlby revealed that he had conflated a whole lot of kinds of separation into that one category – everything between sleeping in a different room to being abandoned in an orphanage. And in addition to being separated, many of the thieves had also experienced physical or sexual abuse. The fear that spending time apart from your baby will damage them in some way is just not supported by the evidence.What other common beliefs do we hold about attachment relationships that aren't supported by evidence? Well, quite a lot, as it turns out! Listen in for more. https://yourparentingmojo.com/rightfromthestart/ () Jump to highlights: (03:30) Download the free Right From The Start Roadmap (06:11) Dr. John Bowlby, who is known as the founder of attachment theory (06:40) A brief overview of attachment theory (08:06) What is attachment theory (09:44) A closer look at the word attachment (12:55) Five aspects out of Freud's psychoanalytic theory (14:32) 44 Juvenile Thieves - One of the major ideas about separation from parents (17:50) What is the word monotrophy (18:49) The four dimensions that distinguish African-American views of motherhood from American views by Dr. Patricia Hill Collins (20:49) Aka Pygmy tribe in Africa (21:37) What is PIC or Parental Investment in the child Questionnaire by Dr. Robert Bradley (24:19) The Strange Situation Procedure developed by Dr. Mary Ainsworth (30:30) White middle class mothers in Baltimore stand for what attachment should look like in families of all types around the world (33:36) Two main cross cultural studies (40:13) The cognitive thinking component of the attachment relationship (47:29) What is Outcomes (01:01:25) Summary