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to help kids thrive.

"Love your podcast! I wake up early just to listen to it with my cup of coffee."

- Lindsay W.

064: Compassion (and how to help your child develop it)

By Jen Lumanlan | May 20, 2018

“Social and Emotional Learning” is all the rage in school these days, along with claims that it can help children to manage their emotions, make responsible decisions, as well as improve academic outcomes. But what if those programs don’t go nearly far enough? What if we could support our child in developing a sense of compassion…

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063: How family storytelling can help you to develop closer relationships and overcome struggles

By Jen Lumanlan | May 7, 2018

“How much can there really be to learn about storytelling?” I thought when I started on this mini-series. It turns out that there’s actually quite a lot to learn, and that family storytelling can be a particularly useful tool for parents.  We’re all trying to figure out how to transmit our values to our children,…

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Jen Lumanlan with children.

062: Why we need to let our kids need to take more risks

By Jen Lumanlan | Apr 22, 2018

We should protect our children from risks, right?  Isn’t that our job as parents? This episode comes mid-way in an extended series on the importance of play for children.  The first episode in the series was an interview with Dr. Stuart Brown of the National Institute for Play on the value of play, both for…

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061: Can Growth Mindset live up to the hype?

By Jen Lumanlan | Apr 9, 2018

Growth mindset is everywhere these days.  Dr. Carol Dweck’s research showing that a growth mindset can help children to overcome academic struggles is being incorporated to curriculum planning across the U.S. and in many other countries, and school districts in California are even using it to evaluate schools’ performance.  I get ads popping up in…

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060: What do children learn from reading books?

By Jen Lumanlan | Mar 25, 2018

We’ve done a couple of episodes on reading by now; episode 3 (which seems so long ago!) asked whether you might have missed the boat on teaching your toddler to read.  Of course, we know that you’ve only missed the boat on that if you think that sitting your child in front of a video so…

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059: How to Raise a Wild Child

By Jen Lumanlan | Mar 11, 2018

So you listened to episode 58 and you’re convinced of the benefits of outdoor play. But you’re a grown-up. You don’t play outdoors. And you don’t know anything about nature.  How can you possibly get started in helping your child to play outdoors more? There are a number of books out there on getting outside…

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058: What are the benefits of outdoor play?

By Jen Lumanlan | Feb 25, 2018

This is the second in our extended series of episodes on children’s play.  We kicked off last week with a look at the benefits of play in general for children, and now we’re going to take a more specific look at the benefits of outdoor play.  Really, if someone could bottle up and sell outdoor…

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057: What is the value of play?

By Jen Lumanlan | Feb 11, 2018

Does play really matter? Do children get anything out of it? Or is it just messing around; time that could be better spent preparing our children for success in life? Today we talk with Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, about the benefits of play for both children and – I…

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056: Beyond “You’re OK!”: Modeling Emotion Regulation

By Jen Lumanlan | Jan 28, 2018

I hear a huge crash. It’s my favorite glass vase.  I hear “I didn’t mean to hurt it, Mommy!  It just fell!” as I run full-pelt from the other end of the house. It was a family heirloom passed down by my grandmother.  I’ve asked her not to touch it a hundred times.  I am…

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055: Raising Your Spirited Child

By Jen Lumanlan | Jan 12, 2018

Is your child ‘spirited’?  Even if they aren’t spirited all the time, do they have spirited moments?  You know exactly what to do in those moments, right? No? Well then we have a treat for you today.  Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, author of Raising Your Spirited Child, walks us through the ins and outs of…

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054: Three reasons not to say “You’re OK!”

By Jen Lumanlan | Dec 31, 2017

“I hear parents on the playground all the time saying “You’re OK!” after their child falls over. Often it does make the child stop crying…but doesn’t it invalidate the child’s feelings?” It turns out that this question is related to a skill that psychologists call emotional regulation, and learning how to regulate emotions is one…

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053: Sleep! (And how to get more of it)

By Jen Lumanlan | Dec 17, 2017

“HOW DO I GET MY CHILD TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT?!” is the thinly-veiled message under the surface of many of the emails that I get about sleep.  And I don’t blame you.  I don’t claim to be a magician in this regard, although I did get incredibly, amazingly lucky – my daughter put in…

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