Parenting Information

Toys and Tools That Make Learning Fun for Kids

Want to deepen children’s understanding of the world around them? Educational gifts and toys can extend the learning fun throughout the year, and embolden them to make exciting discoveries every day.

How to Support Early Readers at Home

Recent data indicate that over 60% of fourth graders in the United States are reading below grade level, with performance particularly low due to the lingering effects of the pandemic. The good news? Learning experts say that the trend is reversible. One key factor is to make sure that young children have a strong foundation in early language skills when they begin kindergarten. Here are a few tools and ideas for supporting the literacy journey at home and on-the-go:

Drive Imagination With These Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids

To fill the holiday season with magic and joy for little ones, consider these five gift ideas that will spark the imagination and create endless opportunities for fun.

RSV Prevention Options Can Help Protect Your Child This Season

Last fall, the United States saw an early and significant spike in cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, which is the leading cause of hospitalizations in all infants. Now, there are options available to help prevent RSV in babies, including a preventive antibody and an RSV vaccination during pregnancy.

5 Tips to Create an At-Home Study Space for Students

Now that students are in the full swing of the school year, they will need a quiet personal area to study and tackle assignments. From research and writing to cramming for exams, here are five tips to help create an environment that is calm and conducive to learning.

America Rallies for Afterschool Programs

Afterschool programs keep children safe, inspire them to learn, and give working parents the peace of mind that comes with knowing their kids are supervised and learning after the school day ends. There is an urgent need for greater investments in these programs, as U.S. children and youth try to recover academically and socially from the pandemic.

5 Key Things to Do After Having a Baby

Becoming a new parent is a joyous occasion, but no matter how many parenting books you’ve read, nothing can completely prepare you for your baby’s arrival. With every pregnancy comes a long to-do list, but here are five tips to review after having a baby.

How to Celebrate National Exercise With Your Child Week

Movement is good for the body and mind, and there is no better time to start a healthy habit with your family than during “Exercise With Your Child Week,” which falls on August 6-12 this year.

Tips to Make Your Back-to-School Shopping Game Plan

Staying on top of consumer trends can make for a better shopper experience this back-to-school season, helping you land the best deals on the right products at the right time.

Teach Kids Kindness and Gratitude With Thank You Notes

Nearly 60% of Americans say they send thank you notes at least occasionally to show their appreciation for a gift or favor, according to a recent poll from While writing thank yous might seem time consuming, it’s actually a wonderful opportunity to teach children important life lessons such as kindness, gratitude and empathy.

Kids Have Questions About Their Bodies, Now You Have Answers

Children have a lot of questions about the way the world works and parents hope to have straightforward answers. But when it comes to questions regarding the body, parents and kids alike can find these conversations awkward, uncomfortable and embarrassing. Experts say that destigmatizing a child’s curiosity about their body will not only help them take better care of their health, it may even spark their interest in science.

Medicaid and CHIP Help Families Access Mental Health Services for Kids

The state of mental health among youth continues to be of public concern. According to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Survey, youth mental health problems have increased significantly over the past decade, reaching an all-time high.

Great Ways to Encourage Your Child’s Love of Vehicles

Do you have a vehicle-loving kid? Here are some fun toys, games and activity ideas to fuel their interest in all things cars, trucks, planes, helicopters and more!

Water Contaminants Can Impact Child Health. Here’s How to Remove Them

Clean, safe drinking water is essential for human health, especially for children, who are particularly vulnerable to certain contaminants. Local, state and federal policy has had some success in helping clean up drinking water supplies, but there are new reports of emerging contaminants linked to child development.

Parents Are Fighting and Winning Against Critical Race Theory

Because critical race theory is the most divisive doctrine ever to threaten America's schools, it has spawned a great parent revolt, which has turned ordinary moms and dads into extraordinary heroes.

How to Deepen Children's Civic Engagement

Increasingly, parents of young children are placing a larger focus on civic engagement and giving back. Not sure where to get started or how to strengthen your involvement?

Ensuring Good Nutrition and Better Health of Children and Caregivers

There are 2.5 million children in the United States growing up in "grandfamilies," meaning they're being raised by relatives or close friends without their parents in the home, and they face higher rates of hunger and food insecurity, according to a new report.

Great Ways to Encourage Imagination During Playtime

There's no better time than playtime to encourage an active imagination. Here are a few ways to bring more inventiveness into the fun.

Tips to Get Preschoolers on a Schedule

Sticking to a daily routine offers endless social, emotional and physical developmental benefits for preschoolers. Here's how to make your schedule stick:

Nikes on a Wire

There they were again. The dangling irony of memorial Nikes . . .

Family Routines Help Pave Way to Smoother Return to School Schedules

As people prepare to say good-bye to the days of summer and embark on a new school year, the adjustment can be smoother by establishing routines for both parents and children, said Stephen Liptak, PsyD, child and adolescent psychologist at Upper Valley Medical Center.

How to Supplement Classroom Learning at Home With Tech for Kids

When the school bell rings at the end of the day, the learning doesn't need to stop. Some of the latest and greatest tech can get kids excited to expand their knowledge at home in ways that are fun, all while supporting and augmenting what happens in the classroom.

Keep Medicines, Vitamins and Supplements Safely out of Children's Reach

While you may already understand the importance of keeping medicines safely up and away from the reach of little ones, you may not be treating your vitamins and other supplements with as much care. Experts warn that these products also pose safety risks and should be kept up and away and out of sight and reach of young children.

How to Supplement Classroom Learning at Home With Tech for Kids

When the school bell rings at the end of the day, the learning doesn't need to stop. Some of the latest and greatest tech can get kids excited to expand their knowledge at home in ways that are fun, all while supporting and augmenting what happens in the classroom.

6 Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Under 5

COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children under 5 years old, and the American Medical Association (AMA) is urging parents to get their children vaccinated.

Homeschooling is On the Rise Throughout the Country

The numbers of parents opting to homeschool their kids is on the rise in the U.S. for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is to provide religious or moral instruction. The Census Bureau reports that in the spring prior to the onset of the pandemic about 3% of children were being homeschooled, by the fall the numbers rose to 11.1%, and as covid self-isolation routines began to be relaxed, the rate of homeschooling has remained at high levels.

5 Fun Ways to Get Little Ones Active

Movement is an essential part of early childhood development. It encourages motor skills and helps kids grow to be healthy and strong. There are tons of fun ways to get little ones on the move! Here are some great activities, games and toys to try incorporating into children's playtime:

When Humans Don't Procreate: An Update

Two years ago, I wrote about the pending global population implosion. Demographers predict that 90 countries will lose population between now and the year 2100. Shrinking populations have portentous implications, including major shifts in geopolitical power and the possible financial collapse of welfare states.

Do Your Children Make You Curse?

Kirk Dewayne Franklin is an American choir director, gospel musician, singer, songwriter, and author. He is best known for leading urban contemporary gospel choirs such as The Family, God's Property, and One Nation Crew. He is a beloved and influential figure in the gospel music world.

Tips to Prepare Your Child for Financial Success

The Wells Fargo survey found that over half of all partnered women reported greater or equal earnings to their spouse. And nearly one-third of millennial and Gen X women reported being the primary breadwinner -- one and a half times higher than women from the boomer and traditionalist generations. At the same time, younger women see more barriers in developing their financial skills. More than a third of millennial and Gen X women said they find financial concepts intimidating, and didn't learn enough about finances while growing up. But there's good news: as a result, more than three out of four say they're taking charge and prioritizing the financial education of their children.

Taking Pride in Down Syndrome Children

My family just visited Chocolate World at Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania—the so-called "sweetest place on earth." For those unfamiliar, it's a giant candy-land. The primary attraction is a tour where visitors ride in self-guided vehicles through an exhibit learning about the history of Hershey's chocolate.

How High Schoolers Can Boost American Business

Finding skilled workers is an ongoing challenge for American businesses.

How to encourage kids to learn history

Educator and award-winning author Robyn Gioia encourages the use of historical fiction to stimulate a love of reading and--more important--of learning, says David Bruce Smith, co-founder of the Grateful American Book Prize.

Book Prize is focused on stimulating interest in American history among young learners

This sad note comes from a new report by William Dunlap, president of the New Hampshire Historical Society, which conducts history programs for the state's school children. His account was just published-- two days before the Fourth of July-- in the New Hampshire Union Leader.

'Make Music Day' is Coming: How to Get Your Family Involved

The benefits of music education are endless. Studies have associated music education with higher test scores, improved concentration and more. But if you are a parent, you probably know how it goes: many children will begin a music program with enthusiasm, only to complain about practicing a short time later, sometimes even asking to quit.

Tips for Protecting Your Family Against Bug Bites

From hikes to picnics to relaxing in the hammock, nothing ruins summer fun quite as fast as bug bites. Unfortunately, bug bites are more than just a nuisance. They can trigger allergic reactions in some people, and may transmit diseases like Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease.

Tips to Avoid 'Summer Brain Drain'

It's only natural that kids get excited for summer vacation. However, parents may be concerned about "summer brain drain," which occurs when students lose the knowledge they gained during the school year.

Natural Ways to Support Infant Health During Pregnancy

In the last 10 years, scientists have learned that having enough beneficial gut bacteria is a critical component of overall health.

Honoring Moms : How 3 Inspiring Women are Changing the World

No doubt about it, mothers are the backbone of the family. Theirs is a difficult balance of wife, mother, daughter, and sibling to all the important people in their life.

The Seven Keys of Being a Father

Is there a fathering instinct?Celebrated child development expert Erik Erikson maintains that adults have a fierce desire to protect and nurture the next generation. This is the generative nature of parenting- to nurture and protect the next generationWe recognise this desire in women as the maternal instinct.

Is Your Behavioural Change Strategy Working?

'How can I start getting my children to help out at home?'Many parent ask me this question. My answer is simple - "It depends!"Achieving a behavioural change in children is dependent on their age and stage of development, their temperament and attitude, and how set in their ways they are.

Parental Involvement in Learning

Whether children attend public or private schools, they benefit when parents become involved in their education. According to the National Institute for Literacy, when parents or other family members frequently read to children entering kindergarten, those children were at a distinct advantage over children whose families read to them less often.

What To Do With A 6 Year Old Smart Mouth Know It All

Just the other day, I was talking to some other stay at home moms and asked if they were struggling with any difficulties. "Yes," one piped up almost immediately, "discipline problems with my 6 year old smart mouthknow-it-all! I don't want to spank, and don't, but he seems to laugh at time out, privilage loss, etc.

Parenting Your Teenager: 8 Things You Need to Be Doing

Get into their world. The world that teens are growing up in is not the world in which we grew up.

Parenting Your Teenager: Teens and Violence

I have a bit of a different response than most therapists to the often asked question:"How can all this teen violence be happening?"My questions are:"How could this not be happening"and"Why doesn't it happen even more often?"Here's what I mean by these questions - although there are many more factors involved, just consider these three:1) kids listen to increasingly violent music, see increasingly violent movies and TV shows, and play increasingly violent video games. All of these without any focus on the real life, long term consequences of violence.

How To Teach Your Children Love

I was in the life insurance sales industry for over 8 years. One of best teaching that I have learned from the industry and found in all top sales professionals and successful individuals is:"All super successful individuals love people more than they love money.

Babys First Month at a Glance

Congratulations on your new baby! You have just brought yourbaby home and are pretty excited about everything. Perhapsyou don't even mind the fact that getting a good night'ssleep is getting tougher by the day.

Theres a Lollipop on Your Bottom (and Other Terms of Endearment)

"I took care of Callie," my three-year-old announced.Callie had been starting with that little whine that babies adopt to alert mothers and sisters that their new crawling tricks have them wedged behind the furniture.

Parenting: 6 Observations on Fatherhood

Just the other day my oldest son asked:"Daddy, am I old enough to call you Dad?"Won't be long now before he is asking for the car keys..

Parenting Your Teenager: 3 Ways to Make the Time

Every now and then I'll get a story sent to me by e-mail that is a no-brainer idea for an article. One of those came across my desk just the other day.

Swing Sets and Outdoor Play Equipment- 5 Essential Tips Before You Buy

For first time parents choosing a swing set or outdoor play equipment can be a daunting task. There are so many different materials to choose from and prices can vary from around a hundred dollars up to a couple of thousand for a larger solid timber unit.

Four Tips For Alleviating Back To School Anxiety

Back to school preparations are in full-swing. Soon, the first bell of the year will ring and the sounds of summer will be replaced by the voices of school-aged children bemoaning the end of their summer and trying to sort out their new school routines: What building am I in? Who's my teacher this year? Do I really have to take calculus?For most children, going back to school signifies a move from the lazy, hazy days of summer to a regimented school routine and poses unique challenges that must be overcome.

The Recipe For The Making Of A Self-Assured Child: One Part Communication, Two Parts Love

Each child carries a unique picture of the self, shaped in part by the influence of parents. Your child is not born with a self-image or self-assurance.

Missing The Bus

As a step daughter and step grand daughter, I followed the examples that were set for me years before when I became a step parent. The way my stepson finally came to love and respect me as his step mother, was through all of the "trying" experiences we had.

Educational Jigsaw Puzzles, How Educational Are They?

Many companies advertise their products as being educational. How much of this terminology is sales promotion and jargon, and how much is fact?As an educator for many years, I can say with authority, that there is educational value in all types of jigsaw puzzles.

Parenting - Give Your Child The Tools To Build Strong Character And Values

There are many parenting styles. Yours may be very different from your own parents, your siblings, or your neighbors.

When Kids Hurt Parents

The cruel callous remarks made by our offspring can sometimes wound us deeply, to the very core of our soul. The hurtful words of our children can scar us like no other.

Is a Mothers Love, Medicine?

Minus all meningitis thoughts. The flu symptons were strong.

How Children Can Read Faster and Better

For most children, it is easy to learn to read faster. Their reading rate is often a matter of habit.

How To Teach Your Children Social Skills

As our children grow, they will be going to schools and interacting with lots of different people other. For example, friends and teachers.

How To Teach Your Children Courage

Courage means doing the right thing when it is hard, even when it means being called a "chicken" by others.A person with courage dares to attempt difficult things that are good.

How To Teach Your Children Self-Reliance and Potential

Self-reliance and potential are two very important values that I'd highly recommend parents teach their children.Self-reliance refer to the acceptance of responsibility for and the consequence of one's own actions and performance.

Parents of Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers: 7 Universal Laws

1. The Law of the BeastAs parents we need to keep in mind that we are raising our teenager while we raise our toddler.

Say No to Mealtime Mayhem: Eating Out With Your Baby or Toddler

Many parenting books advise against eating out with young children. Their short attention span and need to be involved in everything will mean a nightmare for you, they say.

Sibling Rivalry: The Magic Trick That Stops It Instantly

It's a familiar scene: Kids screaming at each other,complaining that, "He got a bigger piece of pie," or "Shegot to stay up an hour later last night."When sibling rivalry rears its ugly head, what do you do?Try to reason with the kids? Scream, threaten or punishthem? Ignore it and run for cover?None of these methods is very effective for very long.

Revering the Crayon Marks

"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.

Helping Your Teen Get Back to School With Clear Skin

Backpack? Check. Notebooks? Check.

The Seven Keys to Child Obedience

Learning obedience is an important part of child development. This is the tool that allows you as parents to train your child.

Parenting Your Teenager: The Teenager and the Gorilla

Q: A parent writes in to ask, "You write a lot about the difference between controlling and managing teenagers. What's the difference.

Parenting Your Teenager: 6 Things to Stop Doing Right Away

1. STOP focusing on what you are going to make your teen-ager doIt doesn't work.

Parenting Your Teenager: The Power Struggle

Q: My husband and I are at a loss as to what to do with our two teenagers. They have been great kids and all of a sudden it seems like we are in teenage hell! We keep fighting to see the kids we once knew, and they keep fighting to get their own way.

Fizzy Sherbet - A Sweet Science Lesson for Your Kids!

Fizzy sherbet in a paper bag with a strawberry lollipop was probably my favorite treat as a child, but I never knew what was in the sherbet and why it sparkled and tingled on my tongue! Try making some with your kids and enjoy a mini science lesson in the process.The basis of the sherbet is icing sugar (confectioners' sugar).

What Do You Teach Your Children About Money?

Whether we realize it or not we teach our children about money every day. Sometimes we teach with words and sometimes with actions.

Celebrating Life with Children in September

Here are ten simple pleasures you can enjoy with your children this month.1.

Simple Indulgences for September

As the kids go back to school, you can go back to *you*..

Parents: You Can Do Something About Professional Sports Ethics

Most of us can agree that there is a lack of ethics standards within professional sports today. The fact that many of today's sports heroes are ethical is a stroke of luck.

A Chart for Everything

For every season, check, check, check,There is a chart, check, check, check, And a chart can replace some of your nagging. A chart for chores,A chart for grades.

Watch What You Say

"Now don't you go getting any ideas, Harold.""Don't you get any ideas either, Terry.

Simple Tricks To Help You And Your Kids To Find Friends

One of the most prevalent problems of the computer age is isolation and loneliness. In order to build and maintain relationships there are a number of simple skills, which can be learned, to enhance the opportunity to find and keep friends.

Raising Kids on a Budget

There are only two ways to get more money:1) Increase your income and2) Decrease your outgo.B Buy what you need, not what you want.

Learning Responsibility is a Lifelong Process

Learning responsibility is an ever widening and lifelongprocess.As thinking, acting human beings we have the ability to choose our responseto events, people and circumstances.

Helping Your Child Make and Keep Friends

What Children Look for in a Friend?Is this child fun to be with?Is this child trustworthy?Does this child help me achieve my goals?Does this child make me feel good about myself?Is this child similar to me?Social Tasks Involved in Peer RelationshipsJoining a group or activityCoping with successDealing with conflictDefending selfCoping with failureStaying involvedMaking a friendSharing/cooperatingSticking up for a friendCoping with rejectionResponding to requestsMaking requestsHelping othersMaintaining a conversationCoping with teasingBeing supportive of othersAlthough rejected children differ in many ways, there does seem to be something they have in common:A large proportion of rejected children are lacking in positive interaction skills, such as beingcooperative, helpful, refining non-verbal communication, timing, spatial awareness, verballanguage appropriateness and inappropriate dress or poor personal hygiene.This suggests that it should be possible to help these children by teaching them positive ways to interactwith others.

How To Teach Children Loyalty and Dependability

Individualism is a common thing in today's modern society. Many people care more about themselves than others and do what they like with little consideration for people whom may be affected by their action.

Bring On The Music To Help Your Child Learn Faster And More Effectively

Do you remember how you first learned the alphabet? I am quite sure that the majority of us learnt it by singing the ABC Song: 'ABCDEFG-HIJKLMNOP-QRS-TUV-WXY-and-Z..

Three Tips to Get Children with Sleeping Problems Asleep

According to the American Sleep Association 70% of all babies and infants at one time or another suffer from sleeping difficulties. So if bed time is a difficult time for you and your baby you are in good company.

Parenting Your Adolescent: 3 Powerful Steps to Being an In-Charge Parent

Q. How do I overcome the 16-year-old who does things only on his time frame.

Busy Moms, Dont Forget to Take Time Out for You!

As mothers, we play so many different roles and most of us do not take the time off that we deserve. Just think about it, we play doctor, cook, chauffeur, teacher, lawyer, and the occasional referee as well.

Of Kings and Youth Leadership

(Isaiah 11:6 KJV) The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.If ever there was a time for youth leadership development for our future, then that time is now.

Top 5 Characteristics of Good Leadership to Instill in Our Home School Children

I am sure that this list can be jogged and added and taken away or all of the above, after being in the presence of several true leaders these are the ones that stuck out in my mind. Our home schooled children can be given a greater chance to make a diference in the world if the are leaders in mind, instead of following others blindly.

More Resources

Shifting Gears for 2024

I love podcasting and the platform we've built with Real World Parenting. I could do this all day every day. That being said, this year I'm focusing my energy on my practice and on doing national and international trainings.

You can find more in the meantime on my blog, newsletter, and online courses.

I truly appreciate your ongoing support, and I'm eager to reconnect with you for a fresh and empowering podcast in the future.

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Heartfelt Adoption: From Viral Moments to Real Parenting with Kaitlyn Moreau Thibodeaux

Tune in for a heartfelt account of navigating the complex emotions of sadness, joy, and overwhelming feelings that come with adoption. Dr. Laura Anderson invites Kaitlyn Moreau Thibodeaux on to share her experience in adopting a child and what she has learned along the way. Learn about the importance of making space for both the challenges and joys, and why embracing the full spectrum of emotions is crucial in serving your child in the best way possible.

What You Will Learn:

  • The effects of going viral
  • Sitting with the scope of real experiences people share in the comments
  • Do not avoid the hard parts, so there is room for the good parts
  • Adoption is both painful and beautiful

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Natural Hair Care with Shalita Grant

Join us in this candid and empowering episode as we sit down with Shalita Grant for a conversation about natural hair care. Best known for her role in NCIS: New Orleans, Shalita opens up about the realization that her hair was becoming an obstacle in her acting career.

As an actress with Type 4 hair, the tightest texture on the hair chart, she faced unique challenges while on NCIS New Orleans. Shalita experienced traction alopecia in her second season and significant hair loss along her hairline in the third season, ultimately leading to her decision to break contract and leave her job by the fourth season. These experiences led to Shalita creating the Four Naturals solution.

Delve into the emotional aspects of her experience and gain insights on fostering a healthy relationship with hair, especially for kids.

What You Will Learn:

  • Why Shalita quit NCIS
  • Shalita's journey with hair loss and hair care
  • About Shalita's 4 Naturals hair treatment solutions
  • The emotional trauma from poor hair care
  • Helping kid's foster healthy hair and a healthy relationship to their hair

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Medical Self Care with Suzanne Rabi Soliman, PharmD, BCMAS

Self care is more than just a massage. Many overlook the full spectrum of prioritizing and taking care of yourself. It's time to debunk the myth that true self-care is selfish – in reality, prioritizing ourselves is essential for survival, and benefits everyone around us. Dr. Laura Anderson invites Suzanne Soliman to Real World Parenting to explore practical, tangible steps for achieving balance, the normalcy of feeling guilty, and how you can practice setting healthy boundaries.

Suzanne Soliman is a Board Certified Pharmacist, Professor / Author, andMedia Host and Contributor. Suzy founded the Pharmacist Moms Group which is the largest organization of pharmacists in the United States. Suzy has over 100 publications and presents nationally on pharmacy, parenting and women issues.

What You Will Learn:

  • Practicing preventative care
  • Creating schedules are important
  • Self care is survivalist
  • Learning to say no and feeling guilty is normal
  • The importance of setting boundaries
  • It is healthy for our children to see us more balanced

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Dyslexia Demystified: Parenting from a Strengths Perspective with Russel Van Brocklin

Join Dr. Laura Anderson in this episode as she and her guest, Russel Van Brocklin, dispel common misconceptions about dyslexia and offer a fresh perspective that emphasizes strengths. Discover effective methods for skill-building and concrete resources. Plus, Russel shares his personal journey, revealing the unique advantages of being dyslexic.

Russel Van Brocklin's wish is to communicate with parents, tutors and teachers to help their struggling dyslexic students significantly improve their comprehension, writing and organizational skills. As a dyslexic himself, Russel knows the pain and shame that often accompanies dyslexia and understands the financial and emotional strain this condition can place on families as they search for answers and support. He has developed a unique system for teaching writing skills to highly motivated students with dyslexia.

What You Will Learn:

  • What is Dyslexia and how do we define it?
  • What helps and why do these methods work?
  • How ai can support people with dyslexia


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Financial Planning For College with Ann Garcia

Ann Garcia, aka The College Financial Lady, has helped thousands of families save millions of dollars on college. This week, Dr. Laura Anderson invites Ann on to share valuable strategies and pertinent information to set you and your child up for success in saving for their future. Great college options are available at every price point and there are various steps you can take to feel more prepared in this process.Ann Garcia is a fee-only Certified Financial Planner and managing partner of Independent Progressive Advisors, Ann specializes in helping families balance the desire to support their children’s dreams with the reality of funding their own lives. What You Will Learn:

  • What gets in the way of parents having a clear cut plan for paying for college
  • 529 plans - what they are and how to use them
  • How to talk to your child about finances
  • Financial aid, and eligibility
  • Different types of scholarships
  • What to look for when looking for colleges
  • Don't count yourself out
  • FAFSA and how it works
  • How to balance your savings between college and retirement

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Nurturing Healthy Self-Image and Body Positivity with Jessica Secrest

This week Dr. Laura Anderson invites Jessica Secrest back to Real World Parenting to discuss a topic close to their hearts: nurturing body positivity in children. Together they explore ways to encourage empathy and be mindful of language and non-verbal cues that shape your children's self-image. Explore how to initiate these important conversations with your kids, emphasizing respect and kindness for the bodies they have. Tune in for an insightful discussion on promoting a positive body image. What You Will Learn:

  • Don't comment on your body in front of your children
  • Be mindful about the words you use, your facial expressions, heavy sighs, etc
  • Set a good example by complimenting yourself
  • you don't get to chose the body you have - you get one, treat it well
  • How to be kind to our bodies
  • Encourage empathy because you can't know everyone's situation
  • Find a different way to reward children that isn't food
  • This is a conversation relevant for both boys and girls

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Navigating Life While One Parent Is Frequently Out Of The Home with Rhoda Bangerter

In this episode, Dr. Laura Anderson and Rhoda Bangerter tackle how to thrive as a family when one partner is away a lot. They explore how to maintain strong parent-child relationships, teaching children to manage big emotions, and ways to reduce overwhelm.Rhoda Bangerter is a certified coach, a Speaker and the Author of “Holding the Fort Abroad”. Her husband has travelled for work their whole marriage and along the way, she realised the huge number of moms and dads around the world who experience the same challenges but with no resources to guide them through this journey. This led her to run extensive research, share her learnings through the book, Holding The Ford Abroad, and develop her services to support solo parents in long distance relationships or with travelling partners.What You Will Learn:

  • What could chip away at a parent child relationship

  • Having a support system because your children are not your emotional support

  • Strengths that can emerge from this experience

  • The Dr. Ken Canfield model - I can, intentional and consistent involvement

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Navigating a Vulnerable Nervous System and Big, Baffling Behaviors with Robyn Gobbel
Ill behaviors make sense, even the ones that don't. In this episode, Dr. Laura Anderson invites Robyn Gobbel to explore vulnerable nervous systems and tools for regulating your child's big stress behaviors. They explore the neurobiology of lying, changing our expectations around trust, and setting psychological boundaries. Robbyn Gobel has been described by a student as "neuroscience with heart, wrapped in glitter and fun." Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Robyn was a therapist for almost 20 years, specializing in complex trauma, attachment, and adoption. Now she creates communities and educational experiences grounded in regulation, connection, and felt safety for parents and professionals all over the world. What You Will Learn:
  • What goes on in your child's nervous system when they are lying
  • Block out feedback from others
  • Increase stress resilience
  • What to do in the moment to tolerate and regulate big stress behaviors

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Recognizing Autism in Teen Girls with Dr. Holley Kaskel
Girls with autism present differently. A diagnosis can impact everything about the way you interact with your child and can validate the way your child views themselves. This week, Dr. Laura Anderson invites Dr. Holley Kaskel on to discuss all things autism from masking to emotional intensity and understanding sensory overload.Dr. Holley Kaskel is a clinical psychologist and founder of LightHeart Associates, a collection of comprehensive outpatient mental health clinics in the Seattle area. She is also the mom of 3, including two neurodivergent daughters. Dr. Holley herself also identifies as a queer, neurodivergent adult and learns something new every day! What You Will Learn:
  • Girls and masking
  • Strengths of those on spectrum, so we are not just deficit focused
  • Understanding the overwhelm and emotional intensity
  • Understanding the diagnosis makes all the difference
  • A diagnosis allows children the ability to advocate for themselves
  • Keeping an open mind
  • How understanding allows you to navigate and soothe better

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Embracing Your Child's Inner Yeti with Meredith Rusu
Big feelings are normal and GOOD, but how you channel them is important. Your behaviors do not define who you are, but children can have an egocentric view that these big emotions mean they are inherently not good. Everything in parenting is trial and error, but this week's guest Meredith Rusu provides tools to help your child communicate big feelings and to help you share the joy in it.Meredith Rusu is the author of more than one hundred children’s books, notably There’s a Yeti in my Tummy (the first picture book in the Mighty Moods series), Anna, Elsa, and the Enchanting Holiday, Silenzio, Bruno!, and The DATA Set series under the name Ada Hopper. She has also written for many popular licenses including LEGO, Disney/Pixar, Peppa Pig, and Star Wars.What You Will Learn:
  • Finding a shared kid language to better communicate
  • Navigating public tantrums
  • Sometimes nothing is wrong, sometimes kids are just weird
  • The more we can connect with kids the better
  • The yeti series
  • Have grace with yourself
  • Look at things with a joyful perspective on IG

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Loving an Amazing Child Whose Behaviors Can Be Hard to Like with Jessica Secrest

It can feel lonely when your child is struggling. At the end of the day you don't get a prize for being the most tired parent - ask for help, find community. The burden of motherhood is eased a lot when you're not alone. This week Dr. Laura Anderson invites Jessica Secrest to share her experience and tools for loving an amazing child whose behaviors can be hard to like.

Jessica Secrest is a mom of 2, ages 4.5 and 3. Her eldest child was diagnosed with ADHD in 2023 and she shares tips, strategies, and struggles that come with caring for a neurodivergent child. She is an advocate for Body Positivity and works to show her kids that you can be happy no matter your size. Jessica is a big believer in finding your village in motherhood and shares her motherhood journey with her best friend Emily. She is known for sharing their childcare swap arrangements, expressing the importance of leaning on your village and taking time to spend with your spouse when you can.

What You Will Learn:

  • It takes a village

  • Reinforcement to counteract the negative

  • Don't give up - there will be trial and error, but you will find something that works for you

  • Tips for getting your child to listen and hear what you say


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Building Resilience and The Art of Setting Boundaries with Kristin and Mike Berry
Parenting is difficult and you are going to be tired, but you need rest and you CAN rest. Join us as we explore the essential elements of maintaining personal health and longevity while navigating the challenges of parenting. Learn strategies to establish boundaries, fine-tune the art of setting limits, and cultivate a support system. Gain valuable tricks and tips for bouncing back when you feel depleted, and remember: you're doing great.Kristin and Mike Berry have been married for more than 15 years and are the parents of 8 adopted children. They co-founded The Honestly Adoption Company, a team of fellow foster and adoptive parents who provide top notch support, mentoring, coaching, and training to help parents thrive and, in turn, transform their families.What You Will Learn:
  • Longevity and personal health is possible
  • Buffering yourself against feedback from observers
  • Boundaries in resiliency, find the line between you and other people on your team
  • Reframe your self talk, this is a critical piece of whether you feel energized or defeated

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Empowering the Next Generation: Teaching Self-Advocacy in Neurodivergent Youth with Emily Kircher-Morris, LPC

Neurodiversity refers to the idea that there are all kinds of brains and celebrating neurodiversity encourages us to move away from pathologizing the way that different people learn and think. I urge you to challenge the beliefs we have about the status quo. Emily Kircher-Morris, LPC joins Dr. Laura today for a conversation on the many sides to neurodivergence and how supporting children in this may require a change in perspective. They cover the importance of the affirmation of neurodiversity, teaching your child to advocate for themselves, and staying curious.

Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC, inspired by her own experiences as a neurodivergent person, is dedicated to destigmatizing neurodiversity and supporting neurodivergent people of all ages. She started her career in education and is now in private practice near St. Louis, Missouri as a licensed professional counselor, where she specializes in supporting neurodivergent kids and adults (and their families).

What You Will Learn:

  • How to affirm and support neurodivergent teens

  • How neurodivergence can result in anxiety

  • How accommodations can impact a neurodivergent person

  • There are ways to connect around this that help everyone feel successful

  • Supporting teens in reclaiming and embracing those identities

Resources: Universitywww.neurodiversity.universityTeaching Twice-Exceptional Learners in Today’s Classroom Twice-Exceptional Children: A Handbook for Parents of Neurodivergent Gifted Kids

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The Power of Neurofeedback: Meeting Your Children's Need with Dianne Kosto

The power struggle that occurs when your child doesn't get the help they need leaves all parties feel like they're failing. If your child is struggling and you feel like you've exhausted your resources or haven't yet found the right support that works and are looking to expand to new modalities, Neurofeedback training may be the support you and your child need. Mom on a mission Dianne Kosto joins Dr. Laura Anderson for a conversation on what Neurofeedback training looks like and how it can help regulate your child's brain and make life easier. Dianne Kosto, is the CEO and Founder of SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training, which provides Neurofeedback services and systems to individuals, families, therapeutic programs and professionals across the USA, Canada, and Mexico. With the knowledge that Neurofeedback saved her son's life and restored hope for her family, Dianne is a Mom on a Mission to make Neurofeedback technology available to individuals and families so they can avoid the trauma her family experienced as a result of her son's brain dysregulation.

What You Will Learn

  • What is a brain map report?

  • Does insurance cover Neurofeedback training?

  • What type of misinformation is out there?


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Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate with Jeannie Gainsburg
This is the episode for you if you have wondered how to show up for a child who has come out as LGBTQ+, or if you'd like to parent kids who are allies to the LGBTQ+ community. Social justice starts on a small scale. Language is important, and Dr. Laura Anderson invites Jeannie Gainsburg on for conversation and laughs that also provide tips and strategies for how to navigate allyship and advocacy. The most protective thing we can do is practice careful curiosity. Jeannie Gainsburg is an educational trainer and consultant in the field of LGBTQ+ inclusion and effective allyship. Formerly the Education Director at the Out Alliance of Rochester, N.Y., she is the founder of Savvy Ally Action and author of the book, The Savvy Ally: A Guide for Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate. In 2019, Jeannie received a citation from the New York State Assembly for Distinguished Educational & Human Rights Services for her work in promoting LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion.What You Will Learn:
  • You can redo, rebuild and repair any 'mistakes'
  • How to celebrate the invitation to expand limited boxes in our minds
  • How to use the "switch it" technique to help you frame whether or not your language or question is respectful
  • Using they as a singular pronoun
  • How to practice pronouns

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Brain Systems and Interventions for Growth with Patrick Martin
Often a fear of labels will hold people back from a diagnosis that will ultimately help them function better long term. Behavior is behavior, not good or bad. Discover the impact of labels, the importance of peer interactions, and the role of behavior without judgment as Dr. Laura Anderson and her guest, Patrick Martin, explore these ideas and more in this week's conversation of The Real World Parenting Podcast.Patrick C. Martin, PsyD, MA, MACP, LMHC is a clinician in Seattle, Washington whose training includes a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical Psychology and Forensic Psychology, a year-long Certificate in Advanced Training in Affirmative Therapy for Transgender Communities through Widener University. He is currently completing a two-year Neuropsychology Specialization program. He is licensed in Washington state under his Master’s License and enjoys working with children and adolescents who are gender expansive Once he is licensed as a Psychologist he looks forward to providing Neuropsychological and Forensic evaluations and continuing to provide care for children, adolescents, and the LGBTQIA community. He lives in Seattle Washington with his dog and enjoys spending time with his friends and colleagues. What You Will Learn:
  • Labels can provide relief
  • Labels don't define you, it is just one component of many
  • If we don't learn these skills when we're kids then it is incumbent upon us to learn and unlearn as adults
  • How this may affect cortisol levels
  • Understanding that minority stress and being picked on for being different impacts children in many ways
  • Peer interactions are critical to functioning both short and long term
  • Maintaining connection with your kiddo

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Is There Ever An Okay Time to Celebrate Adoption? When Do Adoptive Parents Get To Say Yay?
This week's episode explores the complexity of celebration and adoption. Are there things to celebrate in adoption? Absolutely, but in order to celebrate, adoptive parents must also hold a space for the loss their child feels. Adoption is a shaping event in people's lives that plays a role in the attachment, self esteem, and elements woven throughout a lifetime. Join Dr. Laura Anderson as she shares the patterns that come up in adoptive families and how to celebrate intentionally.What You Will Learn:
  • Do not wait for your child to start the conversation, find age appropriate ways to talk to your child about adoption - truthfully and sensitively
  • How public are you making this information about adoption?
  • How to celebrate anniversaries
  • Find adoptee voices

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Exploring Whiteness, Anti-Racism, and Parenting Interracially Adopted Teens with Beth Wheeler

Back by popular demand, Beth Wheeler: psychotherapist, educator, networker, and advocate who works to promote equity and inclusion with diverse populations in all areas of her work. Beth's first time on the Real World Parenting podcast is the most listened to episode of the show, so we wanted to further these vital conversations about whiteness, anti-racism, and parenting interracially adopted teensIf you haven't listened to our first conversation, you can listen hereSo much of adoption is about a confusing identity of frequently asking “where is home?” amidst unknowns of who you are. At a time where everybody is searching and trying to understand who they are, identity questions become more profound especially in children with intersecting identities. This week, Dr. Laura and Beth discuss how having adolescent children changes or highlights the way your whiteness shows up in your parenting and navigating children growing into teens and being perceived differently.What You Will Learn:

  • Stay curious and find community

  • Listen to & believe your children

  • How conversations change from when they were younger

  • How ingroup & outgroup communication differs

  • Our kids can teach us too


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The Brain Behavior Connection
All behavior comes from the brain. I used to think that was reductionist. But in this episode we talk about trauma, attachment loss, the brain and the connection between these things and behavior. If we don't understand trauma and brain science, many children and parents experience blame, shame and failure. In reality, many trauma responses and challenging behaviors are a sign of growth.Superheroes are born from adversity. Villain stories are often similar, but with no safety provided along the way. The more we understand our brains and our children's brains, the more we can help them to grow into the super humans they are capable of becoming.This week, Dr. Laura Anderson brings on Jessica Sinarski, LPCMH to share tips for parents to use to help both themselves and their children work through the hard stuff. You have to believe there is hope in this approach to try it, and you have to try this approach to believe it.Jessica's superpower is making brain science accessible and entertaining for children and adults alike. She is living this out as a licensed mental health counselor & supervisor, bilingual author, and dynamic presenter. Since she loathes the dry, adult language found in many “therapy books,” she crafted the RILEY THE BRAVE series to be books that children and parents can’t wait to read and re-read.What You Will Learn:
  • Why it is important to BOTH Celebrate the courage of survival AND celebrate learning to trust
  • Why it is important to understand the upstairs downstairs brain, and tips for staying regulated so you can build a staircase between the two sections
  • How we can help parents wrap their minds around why brain science matters, and how to our kids about it.
  • Key concepts for parents to help their children stay regulated

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Autism In Girls with Marcia Eckerd

Recognizing autism in girls can be tricky. Experience in offices and schools tells us that young girls with an autism diagnosis may present with a different profile than boys with an autism diagnosis. This week Dr. Laura invites Marcia Eckerd for a conversation on what confuses parents & clinicians about what autism may look like in girls, and how related behaviors are often misunderstood. This episode highlights the harm that can be done when girls do not get the support and understanding that they need.

Marcia diagnoses and helps autistic individuals with self acceptance as neurodivergent, as well as help them navigate achieving their goals. She has worked with autistic individuals as a licensed psychologist for 30 years. In Marcia's therapy, evaluations, writing, speaking and advocacy I seek to improve the understanding, inclusion and respect for those who are autistic. She was appointed to the CT ASD Advisory Council and serves on the Clinical Advisory Group of the Asperger’s Autism Network (, a nationally recognized resource for autism services and education. She is also on the Board of Directors of, an autistic nonprofit that provides education, opportunities, and resources for autistic individuals.

What You Will Learn:

  • Autism in girls and boys looks different

  • 1 in 44 kids are autistic, according to the CDC

  • What is helpful and not helpful about having a label of autism

  • Why the idea of ableism can be harmful

  • What to look for if you think your daughter may have an autism diagnosis

Resources:https://www.marciaeckerd.comPsychology Today: Are we giving autistic children PTSD in school

Journal of National Register of Psychology: Identifying Autism Spectrum Disorder (Level 1) In Adults Detection and Diagnosis Of Autism In Females

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Cyber Safety Tools and the Epidemic of Child Exploitation Online with Jen Hoey

Conversations like these save lives. This week, Dr. Laura Anderson invites Jen Hoey to talk about internet safety and to share the experience that launched her into this line of work. This can happen to anyone -- Jen was vigilant in her internet monitoring, and yet her child still found herself in the process of being groomed online. Dr. Laura and Jen dive into the conversations you need to be having, spotting warning signs, and beginning the process of healing.

Jen is a Parent Cyber Safety Consultant and Founder of ‘Not My Kid’. Her mission is to preserve childhood and keep all children safe from online child exploitation by empowering their parents through education. She is a mum of three children and has navigated some negative experiences with her older kids online — the most challenging being her daughter’s exposure to a predator via an online game when she was 9 years old. This provided her with personal insight into some of the challenges both children and parents face today. Jen's passion and primary focus is fighting the epidemic of child exploitation online.

What You Will Learn:

  • Something so simple can really destroy a child

  • How to talk to your child to foster open communication about online safety

  • How to unpack the idea of safe and unsafe secrets

  • Preparing children to understand warning signs of danger

  • Remind them that you will help them, so they don't stay silent out of fear

  • The benefit of having a code word

  • Setting up a safety team of trusted adults your child can speak to





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Grief Series Part 2: Supporting Bereaved Children with Michele Benyo

In part 2 of Dr. Laura Anderson's grief series, she invites Michele Benyo to discuss how to support kids who have had a sibling die during childhood.

Little ones grieve differently and that grief moves with them through life. It is important to recognize that the way we explain grief to kids and the messages we give them can result in an unhealthy grieving process. Parents can benefit from understanding that grief isn't this thing to avoid. Dr. Laura and Michele share ways to approach these difficult subjects and big feelings with children.

Michele Benyo helps families heal and live forward with grief after the death of their child. With the Good Grief Parenting Approach parents get in touch with their parenting wisdom so they can be confident that they are helping their bereaved young child grieve well and can be hopeful about a future for their family bright with possibilities and even joy.

What You Will Learn:

  • Recognizing how little ones grieve and how a sibling loss affects them

  • Grief is good

  • Tell your child when you're missing this person, open that conversation

  • What children need is information, true and child appropriate - honest information

  • Kids have big feelings that need to be acknowledged

  • Sometimes you can't make them feel better - they need to understand that you can go through the emotion together even if there is no way to make the big feelings go away

  • Modeling how to take care our ourselves - empowering agency

  • Notice the way we talk about death

  • Making sure they understand this isn't the their fault

  • Specific tips for how to support kids and talk them through grief of any kind


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Grief Series 1: Supporting Bereaved Parents with Heidi Low

Grief is a topic people don't want to talk about or think about because the death of a child is unthinkable. Parents who are grieving often struggle connecting with others in their time of need as people are afraid to have these conversations. Dr. Laura Anderson invites Heidi Low onto the podcast today to create a space for aunts, friends, clinicians, and those surrounding people who have experienced unthinkable loss and how they can support parents.

Heidi Low is the founder of ‘Ohana Oasis, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower bereaved parents to live a life of joy and purpose. She began the organization in 2013, nine years after the death of her daughter, Alison Belle, to a brain tumor at the age of five.

What You Will Learn:

  • Operating from a place of fear is not helpful

  • It is better to say the wrong thing than to say nothing at all

  • Stop and think about what you're saying and how it would land if you were in this position

  • Don't make the parent do the work

  • Scripts for what to say when

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Growing up Through The Lens of Intersecting Identities

On this journey, when children open up it is important to remember that this is also hard for them. It is so important to be with your child and support them in an empathetic way versus heading straight to problem solving. Just saying 'we're in this together' can make a huge impact. This week, Dr. Laura Anderson brings on Amir Yassai, who grew up as a child of many intersecting identities. He shares how his experiences shaped who he is as an adult and how people's perceptions can be harmful, even if they're not with ill intent.

Amir Yassai is a queer Muslim unicorn who won’t shy away from any conversation. Comedy is at the center of everything he does. He actively battles against racism, transphobia, and body shaming in the queer community. Amir is an internet personality under the name Amir Yass known for his humor, vulnerability, and sociopolitical takes.

What You Will Learn:

  • Emphasis on empathy versus problem solving

  • Instead of looking to make the process smoother, walk with and be present

  • Recognizing microaggressions and being mindful not to assume based on stereotypes -- even if it may seem like a positive assumption, it can be harmful

  • Alittle sensitivity goes a long way

  • How do we see someone's identity without centering it as entirely who they are


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Comprehensive Support In A Child's Gender Journey

Starting January 24th, Dr. Laura's Gender Journey Courses will be available for purchase: 7 courses packaged in 3 different bundles to best fit your child and family's needs. These courses are designed for parents, but clinicians will find a lot of value in each module.

The information in this space can be overwhelming, confusing, and hard to navigate through the weeds. Dr. Laura has outlined a careful and expansive conversation in a caring, educational, and collaborative format. If you have any questions or concerns on whether this course is right for you, please reach out:

Parents and children need to be met where they are when any decision is being made. Dr. Laura aims to help parents feel equipped and empowered to show up for their kids who need support, advocacy, understanding, and love. Each bundle covers common myths and how to debunk them, definitions, information about child development, and a deeper dive into what to say when...

Ultimately these courses help folks know what to look for, what to expect, and practical takeaways with interactive downloads for further learning and support

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Revolutionize Schools To Help Alternative Learners Thrive with Kristine Altwies, MA/LMFT

This episode offers tips for parents of kids who have big attachment loss and discusses the way that impacts their schooling.

Families often feel misunderstood and unsupported by their school even when administrators have the best intentions. The current one-size fits all curriculum ends up being counterproductive for most of these children who better learn through other methods. Many children leave schooling feeling low self-confidence from not being able to thrive in the systems at hand. It's not that they can't do school, but that standardized learning does not work for them. It is important to instill in children that they are not the problem. This week's guest, Kristine Altwies, MA/LMFT, aims to revolutionize schools and offer tools for parents to use in supporting their children in the places they need it most.

For many years Kristine Altwies worked in adoption as the Executive Director/CEO of Hawai’i International Child Placement and Family Services, Inc. (HIC) and coordinated adoptions around the globe. On that journey she has worked with children and families as a parent trainer, therapist and coach. She also has experiece working as a secondary education teacher (public and private schools). Kristine believes every person is born perfect, and the challenges we experience along the way come at the hands of others, managed with greater or lesser success in our own hearts, minds and bodies.

What You Will Learn:

  • What trauma does to the brain.

  • How do we work with the system that is and how we can revolutionize the system to better help children moving forward.

  • Know the laws.

  • Own being the difficult parent. You have to be willing to be pushy.

  • Language to stay away from.


Waldorf Education

A Family Tree -

Pono Roots Counseling Center -

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What Gets In The Way of White People Doing Anti-Racism Work with Beth Wheeler

Dr. Laura Anderson brings on Beth Wheeler for a long overdue conversation. The two join together in discussing whiteness and the anti-racist work that we, as White people, need to be doing. Dr. Laura and Beth identify the common roadblocks people face in their anti-racist work and what keeps White people from speaking up. This episode will give you the tools you need to move forward on your own so that the burden doesn't fall upon People of Color.

Dr. Laura and Beth offer specific strategies for staying in the work even when it is uncomfortable, and hope today will help you in your journey.

Beth Wheeler (she/her/hers) is a psychotherapist, educator, networker, and advocate who works to promote equity and inclusion with diverse populations in all areas of her work. A Clinical Social Worker trained also in bodywork, Beth’s understanding of trauma and resilience inform both her private practice with adults and her Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging work in organizations. Beth identifies as a white, cis-gender, queer/lesbian, middle-class, able-bodied woman. She is also co-raising her two black domestically adopted sons (15 and 12), with her ex-wife.

What You Will Learn:

  • What it means to be White and how that shapes the way we think about race and racism

  • Which feelings keep White people from working to be anti-racist and what we can do about them

  • How White people can support other White people in doing the work

  • How we define White supremacy, and why language matters

  • When to ask for help if you are a White person raising children of color


Beth Wheeler

Janet Helms

SURJ Showing up to Racial Justice

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Navigating Holidays With Your Adoptive Family Featuring Mike Berry

With the holiday season in full gear, you may notice a spotlight on shifting expectations and dysregulated behaviors. This time can be a reminder of loss, grief and the complex mixed feelings for many adoptees. Dr. Laura Anderson brings on Mike Berry to share tools you can use to navigate this stressful time of year.

Mike Berry is the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Honestly Adoption, a virtual support, resource, and training site for foster and adoptive families. The Honestly Adoption Company is fiercely committed to helping parents gain insight into their child, change their parenting approach, and in turn, transform their family. They believe strongly in highlighting and spotlighting voices from the entire adoption triad. Mike and his wife Kristen have built this amazing network that has been voted in the Top 5 out of 100 best adoption blogs on earth 5 years in a row by and Feedspot.

What You Will Learn:

  • Become aware that this may be a difficult season for your child

  • Continue to look beneath behaviors for feelings driving behavior

  • To notice your own expectations and how those impact family regulation

  • Be mindful of overstimulation

  • How trauma history can dictate your child's behavior

  • Soothing and regulation tools for the holiday time


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Spotting Signs of Self Injury and How To Help Your Child

If you notice signs of self-injury in your teen, this episode is an invitation not to look the other way and hope it goes away- but to understand that it needs to be explored. This is not meant to replace reaching out for help. If your child is harming themselves, it is important to get help.

There is no one formula for what this behavior looks like, but Dr. Laura talks through various signs to look out for, language to use when talking to your child, and how you can help kids identify and cope with intense feelings.

What You Will Learn:

  • Not all harm is para-s*icidal

  • Self-injury can stem from one of a combination of depression, anxiety, and stress

  • All bodies deserve care

  • What is the process if you have noticed signs of self-injury


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Protecting Kids From Sexual Content Online and Having Hard Conversations with Amy Lang

As a parent, it is your resonsibility to provide your child with the skills to understand and make good decisions about their body and sex. Kids should start learning about their bodies at as young as 5 years old. These conversations may be daunting, but it is important to push through the discomfort to keep your child safe. Expert Amy Lang joins the Real World Parenting podcast this week to provide tips and scripts for parents to use in educating their kiddo about sexual health.

Amy Lang, MA has been a sexual health educator for over 25 years. Surprised by her discomfort with just the idea of talking with her young son about his body, she knew she needed help. Amy did a bunch of research to learn how to talk with kids about bodies and sexuality and realized she could help other parents with this important part of parenting. In 2006 she started Birds & Bees & Kids. With her lively, engaging, and down-to-earth style she helps parents become comfortable and confident talking with their kids. Amy’s books, online solutions center, and podcast called “Just Say This”,show parents they really can become their kids' go-to birds and bees source.

What You Will Learn:

  • When should you start the conversation on sexual health with your child

  • What should you start with? What to say and how to say it.

  • Push through the discomfort

  • Showing your children what a healthy relationship looks like

  • Avoiding language that leads to shame


15% discount for The Birds and Bees Solutions Center for Parents Purchase Amy’s new book, “Sex Talks With Tweens - What to Say & How to Say It!”

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Talking To Your Child About Learning Assessments and Their Results with Liz Angoff, Ph.D.

Lots of folks are seeking assessments to help the family understand the way their child learns and to maximize how rewarding schooling is. We often think more about how to convey your child's needs to professionals at school, but talking to children about it can go overlooked. Children always have a sense that something is different for them, and if we don't talk to them they start to develop their own narratives about what's going on. Those narratives are often very negative and can be harmful following them into adulthood. Beginning the conversation early with your child will help them with their self esteem and identity. This week, DR. Laura Anderson invites Dr. Liz Angoff for a conversation on understanding learning profiles and helping children understand how their brains work.

Liz Angoff, Ph.D., is a Licensed Educational Psychologist with a Diplomate in School Neuropsychology, providing assessment and consultation services to children and their families in the Bay Area, CA. She is the author of the Brain Building Books, tools for engaging children in understanding their learning and developmental differences as part of the assessment process.

What You Will Learn:

  • Is there a predictable pattern in how kids learn?

  • Tools for getting started in your child's assessment

  • How can parents prepare for the assessment process?

  • Helping your child grow to advocate with confidence

  • Finding the language your child uses to explain their experiences so you can meet your child where they're at and solving the problem they want to solve


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Supporting African American Kids in Predominantly White Communities with Marcie Alvis Walker

Marcie Alvis Walker joins Dr. Laura Anderson on today's podcast. She shares how her cultural experience being raised in a black family within an all white community left her unprepared to navigate raising an African American child in today's world. From there, she has taken the steps to navigate tricky situations and educate others within that space.

Marcie Alvis-Walker is a writer based in Chicago, IL. She is the curator of the popular Instagram handle @blackcoffeewithwhitefriends, which focuses on race, theology, and current events with a corresponding blog of the same name. She is also the writer and creator of Black-Eyed Bible Stories, a Substack newsletter and podcast focused on Black Womanist readings of the Bible. Her goal in life is “to be the voice of my unheard ancestors by creating a written archive of the Black stories for my child and for future generations of children.” She is passionate about what it means to embrace intersectionality, diversity and inclusion in our daily lives.

What You Will Learn:

  • Find out the history of where you live

  • Seek professionals of color

  • Challenge your school board

  • Racism doesn't only hurt people of color, it hurts society at large

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Navigating The Next Phase of Covid in Schools with Aimee Buckley

This episode focuses on learning preparedness as we navigate the next phase of covid in schools. Our kids are not used to what the everyday classroom environment looks like without the safety protocols. It has been a couple years and in a kid's world, that is a long time. Dr. Laura Anderson Invites on full time teacher, Aimee Buckley, to share her tools so your child can thrive in the classroom.

Aimee is an experienced Special Education Teacher with a demonstrated history of success working in education. She is skilled in Coaching, Leadership, Training, and Research. In addition to being a full time teacher, Aimee is the CEO + CAO of Study Help Inc. a tutoring platform that connects credential teachers with families looking for extra academic help. Study Help is the only tutoring service powered by experienced school teachers.

What Your Will Learn:

  • The importance of keeping open lines of communication with your child's teacher

  • How to set parameters around phone time

  • How the increased use of technology has impacted children in the classroom

  • What questions should parents ask their kids and the schools during this time


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Understanding Your Child's Sensory System with Jessica Sinarski

The brain gets its info from inside, outside, and all places in between. The most common conversation is of the 5 external facing senses, but what is often overlooked are the internal senses: vestibular, proprioception, and interoception. This episode looks at parenting from a brain based perspective and covers what parents need to know to lead to greater regulation in their homes. Dr. Laura Anderson invites Jessica Sinarski, LPCMH back to the Real World Parenting podcast for a conversation on sensory integration and the connection between the sensory system, brain, heart bodies, behavior, and connection in family.

Jessica Sinarski is a highly sought-after therapist, speaker, and change-maker. Extensive post-graduate training and 15+ years as a clinician and educator led her to create the resource and training platform–BraveBrains. She makes brain science practical, helping parents and professionals become healers for hurting children. She is the author of the award-winning Riley the Brave series, Hello, Anger, and more.

What You Will Learn:

  • Sensory systems that need more or less do not make you weak. It's just how you're wired and it makes life rich.

  • Reasons to reroute your energy into developing your kid's language around sensory feelings

  • How you can work with your child to help them learn to regulate

  • Proactive steps to take to regulate your child's sensory system

  • Tips to navigate the shame and guilt that comes with sensory dysregulation


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Is Adoption Trauma Defining? with Simon Benn

This episode poses the question of how central is the adoptee identity to human identity? Are children's struggles adoption related or human related? Dr. Laura Anderson invites guest Simon Benn for a conversation around the lifelong impact of trauma.

Simon Benn was adopted at 5 weeks old and has known this his whole life. It wasn't until 40 years old when he found out that his teddy bear was a gift from his birth mother that he started feeling intense anger about being unloved and not good enough. Simon turned to personal development to find happiness and eventually sold his publishing business to help others. He now is the author of a children's activity book series, Jack Cherry and The Juicer, to share the secret to happiness with children.

What You Will Learn:

  • Trauma is thoughts and feelings, not identity

  • All of your relationships with others start within yourself

  • Feeling wounded does not mean we are wounded

  • This too shall pass


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From a Pile of Puppies to Too Cool For School: Parenting Tweens with Dr. Annie Chung

This week's episode focuses on the period of development in children from ages 11 to 14: the tween years. During this age, the human brain goes through as much growth and change as it does between 0 and 3. Children start exploring their new feelings of independence and begin to clarify distinct aspects of who they are, and will become. This week Dr. Laura Anderson is excited to bring on a really talented clinician and dear friend, Dr. Annie Chung. Dr. Chung has more than twenty years' experience working primarily with tweens. The two talk about the concept of an emotional piggy bank, setting a framework for your child, and how to stay positive when going through challenges and periods of high emotion.

Dr. Annie Chung is a Hawaii Licensed Psychologist with over 20 years of experience. Her specialty lies in promoting healthy parental/family/adolescent functioning and focus on women's issues utilizing patient-centered and solution-focused approaches in psychotherapy.

What You Will Learn:

  • Children need their parents "less", but also differently

  • How to make deposits to your child's emotional piggy bank based on who they are instead of their accomplishments

  • Separation is healthy to help your child learn values, problem solving, and life skills

  • Understand the brain and body are changing rapidly

  • Practice active listening

  • Remember that they need boundaries even when they tell you they don't

  • Ask open-ended questions

  • Build a bridge to them.. keep crossing back and forth and invite them to do the same

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Parenting Different From How You Were Parented with Erica Orosco Cruz

First time parents are faced with the obstacle of navigating not only what parenting styles work for them and their child, but also the feedback they receive from their parents and peers. Often, parents will find themselves actively straying from the path their parents took. It is easy to revert back to what you know even if you have the intention of breaking the cycle. This week, Dr. Laura Anderson invites guest Erica Cruz to the Real World Parenting podcast to share her experience raising her children in a different way from how she was parented and the tools she used to keep herself on course. her perspective using the Waldorf and RIE methods. Dr. Laura and Erica discuss the Waldorf and RIE methods, finding and staying true to your values in parenting, and being mindful of the pendulum swing.

Erica Orosco Cruz is an early childhood development expert and parent coach who helps children, families, and teachers thrive and grow together on the foundation of mutual respect. She is certified through RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) and is also trained in the Waldorf methods. Erica’s passion for supporting families stems from her own experience as a mother of 4 boys (ranging in ages from 1 to 25!), and a daughter who set out to parent in a different way than she was as a child. While raising her children, she searched to find a program that brought children to the forefront while also providing clear boundaries for mutual respect; a program where children would be seen and heard and where adults would see with new eyes and listen for what was unsaid. When she realized what she was looking for didn’t exist, she founded Homeschool Garden, a now two decade old early childhood development center in Los Angeles.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to navigate when the way you are parenting is different from how you were parented and how to stand confidently in that (while also being flexible)

  • How to navigate when the way you are parenting is different from your cultural/ethnic norms

  • Finding a middle ground that works for you and your children

  • What are the Waldorf and RIE methods

  • Finding the "sweet spot" of setting boundaries, but also allowing your kids agency

  • The arts are as important as reading and writing

  • The importance of staying the course in the presence of overwhelming feedback

  • Modeling behaviors and respect

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Key Elements in Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQ+ youth and their families with Philip Steinbacher

We are currently living in a time in history where we as a society are talking and learning about sexuality and gender identity. People are understandably confused- and it is as important as ever to create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth and their families. Children growing up discovering their sexuality often feel alone in not knowing others who feel the same as they do and feel the pressure of cultural shame. This week's guest is Philip Steinbacher, who shares a variety of small changes that can make a world's difference to children. Philip shares his experience growing up as a gay cisgender male and how it has impacted how he approaches teaching. He has encouraged the staff to create a more welcoming environment and fostered a safe space within a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club for both LGBTQ+ students and allies to channel their energy in a productive way.

Professionally, Philip Steinbacher has performed as an entertainer at Walt Disney World and been an educator in public and private schools in Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, and Hawai‘i. He holds a BA in Music and an MA in Elementary Education. Philip is the author of two books, Quotation Quizzlers and Vocabulary Ladders, and has an additional title being released this fall. He is the editor of Garden Island Tea, a digital newsletter spilling the tea about events, opportunities, and news for the Kaua'i LGBTQ+ community. So much for the formal résumé. Currently, Philip prefers to say he is a music lover, bibliophile, impresario, cyclist, pianist, hubby, guncle, friend, author, and dog daddy who appreciates fun clothes and really digs disco balls. He lives on the island of Kaua‘i with his husband Jason and their dog Lucky.

What You Will Learn:

  • What are some small changes you can make so children feel comfortable?

  • Even allies with good intentions need to work on their approach sometimes

  • If we force communication and LGBTQ+ stereotypes, we are going to receive a negative reaction

  • How can parents make an impact in the safe space opportunities within school?

more info

Strategies for LGBTQ+ Inclusivity In Schools with Cath Brew

This week's episode is all about gender in schools. Any child who is going through a gender journey will need a support system in school. There is an understanding that we need to become inclusive, but many people don't know what that means on a practical level and what comes next. Dr. Laura Anderson brings on guest Cath Brew to help highlight what needs to be different or recognized at school for your child to feel safe, seen, and supported in their two primary environments of home and school.

Cath is an artist who educates and illustrates about marginalised experiences for positive change - with a focus on identity, belonging and expat life. She works with international schools on whole-school LGBTQ+ inclusion together with empowering LGBTQ+ students to be proud. Cath hosts Talk-Back Tuesday: a weekly LGBTQ chat on social media, whilst her podcast ‘Drawn to a Deeper Story’, explores the ‘lives that challenge us and the difficult conversations around them’. Cath also runs 'Crock-of-shit-free' Spiritual Guidance - she helps clients to find inner peace and heal from emotional wounds including ancestral trauma, limiting beliefs, difficult relationships and other internal struggles. Her illustrations can be found on a range of gifts in the Drawn to a Story online shop.

What You Will Learn:

  • The importance of understand the difference of sex and gender

  • It is important to be thorough in changing paperwork needed to reflect your child's new identity

  • Planning discussions with your child on if they want to tell the school about their new identity and how they'd feel comfortable doing so

  • Teaching your child how they can reclaim language and reframe their mindset on certain words

  • Understanding the possibility that your child may come out at school prior to coming out at home





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Guiding Your Child Through Their Fears Of Random School Based Violence

Today's conversation is in response to the recent acts of gun violence in the United States, specifically the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Entire communities are left on edge following last week's horrific shooting. It is important to help children feel safe in the face of unfathomable danger. Sadly, the need for these conversations is increasing and these conversations are often difficult for parents and kids alike. Dr. Laura Anderson provides step by step scripts for how to talk to kids about the potential of violence in school, how to manage their fears, and how to approach conversation about events out of our control. Step By Step Plan

What You Will Learn:

  • How to prepare for tough conversations

  • Language that is especially helpful in these situations

  • Step by step scripts for conversations with your child

  • Healthy coping strategies for you and your child

  • Next steps to continue healthy habits beyond the initial conversation

For a detailed outline of this process, head to

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Dealing With The Grief Of Ambiguous Loss with Lisette Lahana

This week's episode aims to normalize the idea of the loss of your kid not being who you imagined who they would be. This is a universal experience for parents as most kids, once they start developing their own identities, start to have interests and hobbies that may not align with what you'd imagined for them. Dr. Laura Anderson brings on Lisette Lahana, LCSW to share her expertise in how grief affects families who raise a gender expansive child.

Lisette Lahana is a licensed clinical social worker with Bachelor degrees in Critical Gender Studies and Psychology and a Masters of Social Work from Smith College. Her extensive experience providing gender affirming care to transgender, non binary, intersex, those questioning and people who are re-transitioning spans over 23 years. She is a certified member and mentor with World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) since 2002. Lisette has a full-time psychotherapy practice where she works individually with clients of all ages with a primary focus on gender.

What You Will Learn:

  • How grief can be affirming of a gender expansive child and how it can get in the way

  • You can grieve aspects of a child’s gender journey without grieving who they are

  • It's okay to let your child know you're struggling ( including do’s and don’ts for how to share that)

  • The two types of ambiguous loss

  • When you find ways to grieve the loss of your own expectations, you make room to celebrate your child


more info

Keep Your Knees Bent and Love Without Fear with Eden Atwood

If we haven't done our internal work to understand our implicit bias, we could be protecting our client from something integral to their identity. The more shame and secrecy we have the more we undercut our children's opportunity to be prepared. This week's episode dives into how you can provide the space for your child to flourish. All human beings have a right to bodily autonomy and self determination.

Dr. Laura Anderson brings on guest Eden Atwood for the conversation. Eden opens up about her story in learning about her intersex diagnosis, discussing medical trauma, and offers parenting tools to work through your fears.

Eden Atwood is a parent and social worker who is currently in private practice. Atwood has been an outspoken advocate and activist for children born with differences of sex development and co-founded the online intersex awareness-raising website, The Interface Project.

What You Will Learn:

  • Leading with fear doesn't do anything positive

  • Community is key

  • Fostering a sense of bodily autonomy

  • Sheep, shepherd, and pasture metaphor

  • Keep your knees bent


more info

Parenting: From My Child's Perspective

This week's guest is one of Dr. Laura Anderson's favorite people in the whole world: her 13-year-old son. The two share an open and honest conversation through the lens of a therapist parent and child relationship. He candidly shares some of his favorite parts of having a therapist parent and offers some suggestions for ways to get through to your child.

What You Will Learn:

  • How parenting lands on your kid from a child's perspective

  • How to communicate more effectively with your kid

  • Reasons to ask for impromptu feedback

  • The importance of staying regulated as a parent to provide for your child

more info

The Cost of Politicizing Gender with Rhodes Perry

In a study presented by The Trevor Project, 85% of trans and nobinary youth have mentioned that the recent debates about their lived experience has negatively impacted their mental health. It is important to know and take into consideration that parents are making decisions for their children in a time where systems are displaying conflicting messages. For families raising LGBTQ+ children, political decisions can have major personal impacts. This week's conversation addresses the current political climate and conversations surrounding LGBTQ+ journeys, parents' concerns, and aims to normalize the LGBTQ+ experience.

Dr. Laura Anderson brings on this week's guest Rhodes Perry to share his expertise and perspectives of being a trans person. Rhodes Perry is an award winning social entrepreneur, sought after speaker, podcast host, and a nationally recognized LGBTQ+ thought leader.

What you will learn:

  • Each of us establishes a gender identity and sexual orientation

  • The importance of developing an antenna to find spaces that are safe

  • Ways that cigender and straight people can use their privilege to say no to the negative narrative

  • Adults can bear the brunt of the learning and discomfort so that kids don't have to

  • There is hope!- from the perspective of a happy, healthy transgender adult


more info

A Conversation About Gender Identity Part 2

Gender identity is a complex web, and the world of gender is a beautiful place to learn to expand your own limitations and automatic thinking. Join Dr. Laura for part 2 of this conversation where she dives deeper into gender, kids, and pronouns.

The likelihood of raising a child who is gender expansive is the same as raising a child who is left handed. Children need to be able to explore themselves and their gender, regardless of how they identify themselves. The safest thing you can do is to learn with them. In this episode, Dr. Laura shares tools for parents to create a safe space for their children that allows them to explore their identity.

What You Will Learn?

  • How to build trust between you and your child so they feel safe

  • Dealing with your fear of the unknown challenges ahead

  • You can not create a gender expansive identity in a child who is not on the spectrum as it were

  • Your child needs you in this journey

more info

A Conversation About Gender Identity Part 1

Gender identity is a complex web, and the world of gender is a beautiful place to learn to expand your own limitations and automatic thinking. For parents and others trying to learn how to best support children, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation circulating about gender identity and kids and teens. Join me for a careful thoughtful exploration of this important topic.

A big piece of our job as parents is to teach our children to tune into their intuition and stand strong in who they are. Yet, often parent's struggle with navigating parenting a child exploring their gender identity. Dr. Anderson invites you to consider that you are not the brakes or the accelerator in your child's gender exploration. If you are a parent new to this journey, each child's experience is different. The key piece is centering your child, establishing a common language, and continuing to be open to learning.

In this episode, Dr. Laura offers a parent's view of how gender identity works, what to do, what not to do, and who to turn to for help when your child is exploring their identity. Tune in next week for Part 2, which includes scripts for what to say if your child comes to you with questions about their gender.

What You Will Learn?

  • What is gender identity?

  • What does the term non-binary mean?

  • The importance of battling misinformation so parents are well-informed objectively

  • Clarifying the different between sexual orientation and gender identity

more info

Learning To Let Go Of The Curling Parent Lifestyle

This week Dr. Laura Anderson continues the conversation on the parental illusion of control by focusing on what is known as the curling or helicopter parent. Curling is that quirky sport in which people rush and brush the ice immediately in front of a swirling stone, in hopes of clearing its path and having it land just where you want it. Curling parenting fosters a sense of dependence within your child. This week Dr. Anderson is joined by Rashid Curtis, her long time friend and girl-dad-to-three-teens. This episode highlights higher level ways to organize your child's time and bring out the best of their interests. Instead, we'll help you transition into using intentional parenting tactics that will help your child grow into the person they have the potential to become.

Rashid is a business strategy consultant and entrepreneur. He specializes in customer and market strategy, by providing business development services to companies in the consumer products, healthcare, life sciences, media and technology industries. Rashid turned his passion for real estate into Triangle Flats, a an investor agency located in Durham, NC. The culmination of twin passions, real estate and entrepreneurship, this small firm assist people acquiring, remodeling, renting and selling investment properties in the Southeastern United States. Rashid lives in Durham, NC with his wife, three children (19, 18 and 12 year old girls) and a labradoodle named Leo.

What You Will Learn:

  • Your child needs more time with their peers and less time with their parents

  • Foster the ability for your child to learn how to tune into their emotions, their sense of being, and their sense of right from wrong

  • How to help your child trust themselves

  • When we're doing it for them they don't learn

  • The importance of finding self motivation and self interest


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The Illusion of Control and The Importance of Self-Care in Parenting

Often the more responsibility we have the less we take care of ourselves. This week Dr. Laura Anderson brings on Dr. Rachel Mitchum Elahee. Dr. Rachel operates from the philosophy that no matter what we have going on we must take care of ourselves. Self care looks different for everyone, but this episode is all about figuring out what self care means to you and how to build these practices into your life. Come laugh and grimace with Drs. Laura and Rachel about how letting go of the illusion of control in parenting is a great way to practice self-care.

Dr. Rachel is a Licensed Psychologist, Certified Diversity Practitioner, Certified Professional Coach, and Author of Choose You! As an entrepreneur, wife and mother of four, she has developed a keen passion for supporting busy women leading busy lives. inspires women with the practical and tangible skills necessary to achieve greater life satisfaction, professional productivity and ultimately, a peace of mind. She believes that in order to excel in their careers, women must first excel in their personal lives.

What You Will Learn:

  • How the illusion of control in parenting is a huge source of stress

  • Ways to foster independence & strong skill sets in your child

  • Ideas for setting boundaries in your self care practices

  • Reminders to find an accountability partner who has your best interest at heart

  • That the most common source of pushback is from yourself

  • Tips to reignite your passion for life


more info

The Brain Behavior Connection

All behavior comes from the brain. I used to think that was reductionist. But in this episode we talk about trauma, attachment loss, the brain and the connection between these things and behavior. If we don't understand trauma and brain science, many children and parents experience blame, shame and failure. In reality, many trauma responses and challenging behaviors are a sign of growth.

Superheroes are born from adversity. Villain stories are often similar, but with no safety provided along the way. The more we understand our brains and our children's brains, the more we can help them to grow into the super humans they are capable of becoming.This week, Dr. Laura Anderson brings on Jessica Sinarski, LPCMH to share tips for parents to use to help both themselves and their children work through the hard stuff. You have to believe there is hope in this approach to try it, and you have to try this approach to believe it.

Jessica's superpower is making brain science accessible and entertaining for children and adults alike. She is living this out as a licensed mental health counselor & supervisor, bilingual author, and dynamic presenter. Since she loathes the dry, adult language found in many “therapy books,” she crafted the RILEY THE BRAVE series to be books that children and parents can’t wait to read and re-read.

What You Will Learn:

  • Why it is important to BOTH Celebrate the courage of survival AND celebrate learning to trust

  • Why it is important to understand the upstairs downstairs brain, and tips for staying regulated so you can build a staircase between the two sections

  • How we can help parents wrap their minds around why brain science matters, and how to our kids about it.

  • Key concepts for parents to help their children stay regulated


more info

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