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How to Raise Mentally Strong Kids with Amy Morin

Mental strength is something most of us struggle with. Dealing with grief, fear, and disappointment is a constant challenge for adults. Children have even more difficulty navigating uncomfortable feelings. How can we raise mentally strong kids?

Today’s guest is Amy Morin, the bestselling author of the book called 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do. She is a psychotherapist, writer, and TEDx speaker. She is here to tell us how to become mentally strong parents so we can raise self-assured kids who are primed for happiness and success.

This show is full of incredible insights that will change the lives of adults and children. Save it, because you’ll want to listen to it more than once.

'Our tendency is to go around uncomfortable feelings instead of through them.' – @AmyMorinLCSW #parenting #dads #fathers #kids #children Click To Tweet

Amy Morin

Amy Morin recorded this episode from her boat which she has been living on for 2 years. From there she works on her computer writing articles and doing interviews. Amy Morin wrote a list called 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. This article went viral with more than 50 million readers. She wrote a book based on that list and wrote a second book especially for parents.

As a therapist, Amy’s goal was always to teach other people how to be mentally strong, but shortly after she began her work, her mother passed away suddenly from a brain aneurysm at the age of fifty-one. This was Amy’s first big loss and she didn’t know how to cope. She saw people who went through loss in her office and they were still not over it even decades later. She knew she had to figure out how to get through it and emerge stronger than she was before. She accomplished this by turning her grief into a learning experience.

Just when she was getting a handle on her life again, her husband passed away on the anniversary of her mom’s death. He was twenty-six. To say it was painful is an understatement. She lost her partner and all the goals and dreams they had together. They had been foster parents and she wondered if she could continue as a single woman. It took a long time before she felt better and reestablished a new since of normal.

Four years later she found love again. She got married, sold her house, and got a new job. Her new husband joined her a as a foster parent. Things seemed to finally be looking up, but shortly after that, her father-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Amy was beginning to feel like life was unfair.

She knew it wasn’t helpful to think like this. It wasn’t what mentally strong people do, so she wrote a list if all the things she could think of that mentally strong people don’t do. It turned out to be thirteen key things and she published the list online. The response was incredible. No one knew the tragic story behind why she created it.

Everyone assumed I mastered the list, but I struggled with it.

'We develop core beliefs about life when we're little kids, and as we grow older some of those beliefs don't serve us very well, but it's so hard to unlearn the things that you know.' – @AmyMorinLCSW #parenting #personalgrowth… Click To Tweet

What you’ll learn

  • An in-depth look at the 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t D0
    • They Don’t Condone a Victim Mentality
    • They Don’t Parent Out Of Guilt
    • They Don’t Make Their Child The Center Of The Universe
    • They Don’t Allow Fear To Dictate Their Choices
    • They Don’t Give Their Child Power Over Them
    • They Don’t Expect Perfection
    • They Don’t Let Their Child Avoid Responsibility
    • They Don’t Shield Their Child From Pain
    • They Don’t Feel Responsible For Their Child’s Emotions
    • They Don’t Prevent Their Child From Making Mistakes
    • They Don’t Confuse Discipline With Punishment
    • They Don’t Take Shortcuts To Avoid Discomfort
    • They Don’t Lose Sight Of Their Values
  • Why Amy decided to write a list of what mentally strong parents don’t do instead of what they do
  • What is a ‘calm down kit’ and how to create one
  • How getting kids involved in making the world a better place helps get them out of the victim mentality
  • What not to do when your kid says ‘I hate you!’
  • Why you must allow your kids to feel their emotions
  • How to give your kids firsthand practice on managing their feelings
  • How a child’s anxiety is reduced when the parent is a solid leader
  • How to empower kids without giving them too much power
  • How kids learn when they watch how parents deal with their own uncomfortable feelings
  • Amy’s parting wisdom on how to be a better parent

'Ask yourself what life lessons do I want my kids to learn, and do my priorities reflect my values?' @AmyMorinLCSW #parenting #values #raisingchildren Click To Tweet

We appreciate all the support!

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'You want kids to arrive at their own conclusions rather than us always telling them 'no don't think that way.'' – @AmyMorinLCSW #parenting #parentingtips #dads #moms Click To Tweet

Amy Morin’s Links

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parenting adhd kids

Strategy Guide for Parenting ADHD Kids with Brian King

The diagnoses of kids with ADHD is at an all-time high. How do we raise them the best we possibly can so they can be the best versions of who they’re meant to be? Author, speaker, and parenting coach Brian King is here to give us a workable strategy guide for parenting ADHD kids.

Adults and children with ADHD think very differently, but as we discovered in the episode with Peter Shankman, this can be leveraged into a superpower. But what if you’re the parent of an ADHD child? The epidemic is growing past the resources parents have to educate themselves and cope.

Brian King

Brain King suffers from ADHD and dyslexia. He also has three boys who have ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. But he doesn’t feel sorry for himself or his family. Brian King’s core beliefs are to be resilient in every situation. He had experienced times of fear and helplessness, like cancer and divorce. Working through these obstacles made him determined to always be solution-focused and to see the opportunity in every adversity. Even today, after being diagnosed with a genetic connective tissue disorder, and discovering two of his sons inherited it too, Brian remains optimistic and open to learning.

See every thing as a teacher.

Unless you suffer from ADHD, it’s difficult to understand why a child simply can’t focus. There are different neural pathways involved in attention. It is believed that the release of dopamine allows a person to concentrate on the things that interest him. An imbalance of the brain chemistry is what prevents those who have ADHD from being able to focus. Most medications to treat ADHD are used to keep dopamine levels at optimum levels.

Brian King  says there are three factors he notices most in an ADHD family.

  1. Reactivity – ADHD kids are emotionally sensitive. This leads to bigger tantrums. Parents react to their child’s reactivity, compounding the problem.
  2. Incredible disorganization – Another common trait among ADHD children is disorganization. They have trouble following directions to clean up and organize, even when they’ve been told repeatedly.
  3. Parents’ Guilt – Many parents feel guilty for not being able to succeed on parenting their ADHD child on their own. The feel they’re supposed to be perfect and should not need to ask for help.

School and ADHD Kids

Most parents’ first concern is how can they get their kids to do better in school. Brian Kings says parents must look for clues as to why their kids might be resisting school. Are they being discouraged? Are they being embarrassed? Are they misunderstood?

There needs to be an alliance formed with the teacher.

Brain suggests creating a one sheet that lists what your child likes or dislikes. What frustrates him? What strategies have helped him in the past? Get the email address for every teacher your kid has and send them a copy. Let the teachers know that you will not be left out and that you will make sure that they have the resources they need to succeed. Instead of waiting till later in the school year when things start going wrong, be proactive.

Emotionally Supporting ADHD Kids

Brian King says that every parent must learn how to be mindful. When you’re mindful, you are aware of the present moment with your child. You leave the baggage from your own childhood behind and you can be in touch with your own thoughts and emotions without letting them overrule you. Then you’re in a place to choose a response. This gives your kids the space to do the same. They feel like they’re at home and safe in their own brain.

Brian King’s Dad Wisdom

Brian’s wisdom to others dads:

Always remember that we are in this together.

He says that nothing you’re experiencing is an isolated case or a new problem. Others have gone through it before you and are happy to pay it forward. Surround yourself with good dads. Humble yourself, and reach out for help.

Mentioned episodes:

How to Unlock ADHD Superpowers with Peter Shankman

Defying the Odds To Win at Life, Work, and Fatherhood with Brian King


Resources

==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible

GRAB A COPY OF THE DAD’S EDGE HERE

Join our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Download a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Download this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

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Brian King’s Links

brianraymondking.com

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heartcenteredparenting.group


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join The Dad Edge Alliance

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How to be the rock for your kids

How to Be the Rock for Your Kids

As much as we want to encourage our kids to do their best, we might be unintentionally causing them undue stress. That is why it’s crucial – whether in sports, school, or life – that our kids see the same us when they look to us for support.


This means that no matter what our kids are going through, we should always be a safe place for them to turn to. We have to be aware of our reactions. When our kids fail, will we look ashamed or disappointed? Do we tell them what they should’ve done? Do we seem overly protective? Or will we always be open, receptive, listening – the rock for our kids?

 

Referenced Episode: How to Instill the Growth Mindset in Your Kids with Larry Yatch


Resources

==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible

GRAB A COPY OF THE DAD’S EDGE HERE

Join our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Download a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Download this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

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Why Kids Quit Sports

The Hidden Secrets to Why Kids Quit Sports

Playing sports teaches our kids life lessons, but today, 70% of kids quit sports by the age of thirteen. We’re going to Coach Jim and Coach Steve from Coach Baseball Right to talk about the hidden secrets to why kids quit sports and how we, as parents or coaches, can change our strategies to encourage and motivate them in the right way.

The shocking trend is that most kids quit sports before high school. Many kids give up because they don’t view it as fun or do not get along with the coach. How can we dads encourage our own athletes or coach a whole team?

We all have the best intentions with our kids, but what if our encouraging words weren’t so encouraging, and what we’re saying isn’t what they’re hearing? What if we actually put more pressure on them?

Where We Get It Wrong

We want kids to win. Of course, we do. We shout in the stands and push them to work hard, but we make a mistake when we focus on the result. There will be inevitable losses and disappointments. When our kids feel the only point of playing sports is competing and winning, they lose interest when they can’t meet these expectations. The best way to begin changing this mindset is to ask ourselves, what do we want our kids to get out of sports?

In the popular youth sports culture today, many parents want kids to play sports for the future. They use games and events as a place to showcase their kid’s skills. They make sure their children are among the best players to have better chances for exposure to get into college. It’s not even about the team anymore, but the individual.

This takes the fun out of sports. The things parents hope they’re going to achieve and the money they’re spending for a collegiate sport experience are often unrealistic. Most kids will not grow up to be a professional athlete, and it might be better to ease up on the performance pressure and focus on enjoying the journey.

We Miss What Sport Can Do for Our Kids

The real reason for getting our kids into sports is to see that they’re happy, healthy, and running around. They are experiencing difficult life lessons, learning to be part of a team, and learning how to win and lose.

For many parents, the instinct is to protect kids from feeling failure or disappointment. Other parents go crazy in the stands and want their kids to win no matter what.  Some parents feel shame or anger when their kids lose. They feel it’s a reflection on them and their parenting. This type of approach to sports is damaging. Children need to fail to learn. They also need to know they are loved and valued whether they win or lose. Winning is great, but not the most important thing. The key is to set helpful expectations.

Parents need to check their ego

As parents, we need to check our ego and remember that it’s not our time. It’s our kids’ time. It’s all about them, not about us or our ideas of what we want for them.

Anticipate beforehand that our kid is going to make mistakes, and whenever they do, they’re going to look up at us to see our reaction. No matter what happens, the most important thing to remember is this:

Your kid should always see the same you. Win or lose, when they look up, make sure you’re there with an encouraging smile.

We shouldn’t tell them where they went wrong, or berate them for mistakes. They will not take a chance on a shot or play if we look upset with their performance. We must simply enjoy the game, and be there for them. When it’s over, say “I really enjoyed watching you play.” Kids need to know the most important thing is 100% effort, and that we had fun and are proud of them for taking risks and giving it their all.

Our Monumental Roles as Mentors and Coaches

We undervalue the impact we have on kids’ lives, but just think about the impact coaches and mentors have had on your development. How did the good ones help you? How did the bad ones affect you? We need a better awareness of the cost of the decisions we’re making so that we’re more mindful of how we behave.

We must take the higher road for our kids. Our coaching should leave them so that they want more at the end of a season, not be glad that it’s over.

Coaches need to have honest talks with parents about expectations. We need to help all those people who are well-meaning but got it all wrong. There’s human way to handle it and a right way. Our children are watching how we behave. We need to set an honorable example.

Know why you’re there

Sports are to help kids prepare for life. Yes, we want to win, but we must focus on developing our kids. If we know why we’re there – to enjoy the ups and downs, the challenges, and the learning process – all our actions will fall into place. We’ll be aware of when we’re hard on our kids for making mistakes, and this will keep the ego in check. We need to give kids the chance to be successful on their own.

Don’t miss the teachable moments

There are opportunities to teach when bad things happen. We don’t want to miss the chance to use them as a lesson and set a good example. We must take advantage of a teachable moment. After the game, we can share what we did and why.

Dad Wisdom

From Coach Steve: Don’t try to keep your kids from failing. Just be there for them.

From Coach Jim: Try to see the world from your kids’ eyes. Things will go smoother and you can enjoy being a dad more.

 

Referenced episode: Breaking the World of Impossible with Todd Stottlemyre

 

Learn how to coach baseball right with 7 days of FREE access.

 


Resources

==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible

GRAB A COPY OF THE DAD’S EDGE HERE

Join our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Download a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Download this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

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Guest Links

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overcoming adversity

How Overcoming Adversity Can Make You a Better Dad with Nick Dinardo

Nick Dinardo draws on adversity to inform and inspire his life as a podcaster, personal performance coach, author, and dad.

Nick Dinardo is an entrepreneur, a consultant, and a public speaker who focuses on resilience, personal growth, and education. Nick is the author of bestselling book The Game of Adversity: 8 Practices to Turn Life’s Toughest Moments into Your Greatest Opportunities. He is also the host of The Sweet Adversity Podcast and has interviewed hundreds of experts on overcoming adversity, dealing with trauma and stress, and the critical role it plays in our cognitive development.

Nick has dealt with adversity his entire life. At the age of seven, his family went from the American dream to a foreclosed home, divorce, and mental illness. He spent a year sleeping on the floor in a one room apartment where his family shared a kitchen with seventeen other families.

Nick had a great dad, but was angry at his father for not understanding his mom and her mental illness. He still hoped and dreamed his parents would fall in love again, but that never happened. They moved from place to place until his mom got her life back together. During this disruptive time, Nick turned to sports for role models of those who went through hard times and still became great, successful people.

Sports is a microcosm of life

Nick Dinardo’s book, The Game of Adversity, uses sports as a Trojan horse to explore the psychological aspects of adversity and how high performers focus on process, not outcome. Coaches like John Wooden and Bill Belichick implemented this idea in their methods. Wooden made his players adhere to a very strict routine and told them not to think about basketball outside of practice. Belichick didn’t care about the score so much as he did about the team and their cognitive skill development. If the players prepared through the process, the win would come without consciously focusing on the goal.

Focusing on goals can make us unhappy

Goals are anti-presence because you’re focused on the end instead of what’s going on right in front of you. You can’t enjoy the moment because you’re always looking to the future, but you can establish a new norm for yourself and stop waiting till you reach any of your goals to be happy.

We have a choice

Men have evolved to be very results-focused, and we feel like a failure when we don’t achieve our goals. This creates stress and our response effects our cortisol levels, which effects our sleep and the function of our bodies. It triggers a chain reaction that goes all the way into how we treat people and how we approach our day.

Fighting our natural instincts to relentlessly push for our goals is tough, but when faced with a stressful situation, we can actually train ourselves how to respond in a positive proactive way instead of a negative reactive way.

Kids overcoming adversity

Nick says what’s important for kids to overcome extreme adversity is a positive relationship with one adult. Despite the hardship his family went through when he was young, he had a solid social circle of caring adults that acted as a foundation of strength.

Dad wisdom after a childhood of adversity

Nick Dinardo is the new dad of a 5-month-old boy. When Nick thinks about the things his father did for him, one thing stands out. It comes down to love. He remembers his dad always gave him hugs in kisses, even in front of his friends. His dad always told him he loved him multiple times a day. Nick says not to worry about the parenting books and the latest trends. When it comes to being a good dad, all things fall into place from love.

RESOURCES

==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible

GRAB A COPY OF THE DAD’S EDGE HERE

Join our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Get a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

Links

 

Connect with Nick Dinardo

FREE gift for GDP listeners! Click here for your Adversity Toolbox.

Website – NickDinardo.com

Amazon – The Game of Adversity: 8 Practices To Turn Life’s Toughest Moments Into Your Greatest Opportunities

The Sweet Adversity Podcast

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