When to Let Them Fail

When to Let Them Fail

I can see the scene in my memory as though I am still staring out the window. My then 8-year old son was waiting for the school bus in a torrential downpour. With a bit of guilt, I thought to myself, “He can handle waiting in the rain - no big deal, he needs to develop some grit,” Of course I was watching from a dry bedroom window. He crossed the street to the bus and a paper bag he was carrying ripped open, dumping the contents in the middle of the wet road. Without thinking I ran out and helped him scoop everything up, kissed him quickly, and sent him on his way. But of course, then I was soaked, my feet were freezing, and I felt a bit odd standing in my bathrobe in the middle of the street of my brand new neighborhood. That said, I helped my little boy. But I thought, should I have let him figure it out on his own and develop some resourcefulness?

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Supporting LGBTQ Youth

Photo by  Steve Johnson  on  Unsplash

In 2016 we saw the introduction of a law that mandated people to use bathrooms that matched their birth gender. Since then we’ve seen lawsuits on both sides of the issue. Recently the US military stated that you must identify with your biological sex to serve. Connecticut banned conversion therapy a year ago and Puerto Rico did the same just this spring.

Research suggests that LGBTQ youth are at a higher risk for depression, anxiety, suicide ideation and attempts, substance abuse, and sexual health risks - not because of their innate identity but because of how we message and support them as a society. So what does this mean to our youth who are still figuring out who they are and how they fit in the world? And how do we support them?

My colleague, Sarah Cody, and I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Laura M. I. Saunders, Licensed Psychologist, Assistant Director of Psychology and Clinical Coordinator of The Right Track/LGBTQ Young Adult Services at the Institute of Living, Hartford Hospital. She walked us first through some of the terminology to help us have conversations with our families about these and other related issues. And she leaves us with practical strategies to help support all of our youth.

Please subscribe to our podcast to hear more topics. And, if you know of someone who might enjoy, feel free to forward us along.

And We Thought Ditching the Plastic Sippy Cups Would Do It!

Photo by  Annie Spratt  on  Unsplash

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) affect our daily lives in ways we don’t even sometimes realize. There has been so much talk in recent years about BPAs in baby bottles, sippy cups and food packaging, and I know that i ran out replaced all my plastic with glass and stainless steel. But it doesn’t stop there.

EDCs can be found in our homes, offices, and even in our general environment. This pollution messes with our hormonal systems and contributes to obesity, asthma and illness such as Type 2 Diabetes. There are political and economic influences that have encouraged the use of these chemicals and it’s important to understand that consumers have purchasing power to help promote a safer, cleaner environment.

Photo by  NeONBRAND  on  Unsplash

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

My colleague, Sarah Cody, and I were grateful to be joined by Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a pediatrician, professor, and world-renowned researcher who helped us learn how to limit our exposure to EDCs. You can listen to our interview on our latest podcast. And if you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share it.

Talking About Specializing and Parent Involvement in Sports

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

We are seeing kids’ sports taken to a new level. We often sign our kids up for sports to teach them some new physical and social skills, and I know I assume it’s good for them to be moving. Kids have a lot of pressure on them and this is one more thing - and perhaps not a healthy thing to add into the mix. An article in Hartford Courant questions when a child should - and if a child should - specialize in sports? And, a in a recent article, Science Daily suggests that “Rushing kids to specialize in one sport may not be best path to success.”

And while we’re on the subject, I have recently been shocked by the parent conversations and engagement during kids’ games. What do you do when you hear something inappropriate? Are you guilty of getting a little too excited?

In our podcast, Parenting Beyond the Headlines, Sarah Cody and I talked with Peter Vint, an internationally recognized expert in sport science, performance technology, and sport analytics about the topic. He offers great advice on how to think about our approach to sports as parents and how to encourage kids to think about their own goals.

Managing Stress and Anxiety in Kids and Teens

We are seeing a major increase in depression and anxiety in kids relative to even just ten years ago. We know technology changes how we interact with one another to some degree. But news articles are also citing pressure about grades, getting into college, parents, romantic relationships, body image, family finances. On top of this there is stigma around getting help for mental healthcare.

“The APA’s Stress in America survey found that 30 percent of teens reported feeling sad or depressed because of stress and 31 percent felt overwhelmed. Another 35 percent of teens reported that stress caused them to lie awake at night and 26 percent said that they are overeating or eating unhealthy foods in the past month.”

In our podcast, Parenting Beyond the Headlines, Sarah Cody and I talked with Dr. Kristine Schlichting (my co-author of The Parenting Project) about What she is seeing in her practice as some of the main stressors for tweens and teens these days? She also offers some good advice on modeling and teaching coping strategies.