Ask Lisa: The Psychology of Parenting

Ask Lisa: The Psychology of Parenting

Raising kids can be a bumpy, stressful, and uncertain process – which is why Dr. Lisa Damour is here to help. The New York Times Adolescence columnist and author of bestsellers Untangled and Under Pressure brings her sane, informed, and practical perspective to your timely and timeless parenting questions. Cohost Reena Ninan, a world-class journalist who has covered the White House while packing a breast pump, makes sure to get you the answers you need. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Episodes

October 14, 2021 33 sec

Raising kids can be a bumpy, stressful, and uncertain process – which is why Lisa’s podcast brings her sane, informed, and practical perspective to your timely and timeless parenting questions. Cohost Reena Ninan, a world-class journalist who has covered the White House while packing a breast pump, makes sure to get you the answers you need.


GOT A PARENTING QUESTION YOU’D LIKE US TO TACKLE?


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At what age should kids be expected to manage their responsibilities without constant reminders? Dr. Lisa explains how parents can help kids remember to do things on their own. What else works besides nagging? Reena asks for strategies to help parents at home. Lisa introduces us to psychologist Haim Ginott who offers the perfect phrasing for motivating kids. 


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Where do confidence and self-esteem come from? What contributes to kids' highs and lows and how can parents help kids build a sturdy sense of self-esteem? Dr. Lisa describes the age at which self-esteem tends to drop off and the impact of gender. Reena asks how culture and race can affect self-esteem and confidence. Dr. Lisa explains what psychologists mean when they talk about "unconditional positive regard."


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A Mom writes in from the deep South with concerns about whether to allow her daughter to socialize with a good friend who is unvaccinated. Dr. Lisa discusses the importance of framing the issue around the child’s safety while allowing the kid to guide the conversation. Reena asks how parents can weigh the mental health risks of not being socially active against the possibility of catching Covid. Dr. Lisa explains how parents can he...

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Getting into college is hard work. So how do you raise kids who will thrive once they get there? Dr. Lisa explains how parents can prepare their kids to succeed when they become independent (hint: it's not about academics). When should a parent be concerned about a child who does not communicate with them? Is there such a thing as providing too much long-distance emotional support?

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Dr. Lisa and Reena get a letter from parents who are torn about allowing their underaged child to drink in their home. Dad wants the child to feel comfortable around alcohol, but Mom is not comfortable serving their teenager at home and wonders whether it's even legal to do so. Lisa explains what really matters in preparing your child for encounters with alcohol when parents are not around. She explains the concepts of hot and ...
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You’ve heard people say, “I want to get this off my chest,” but what if your kid doesn’t know how to express emotion? How do you get children and teenagers to talk? Dr. Lisa explains the term "emotional regulation," and how parents can help kids manage their feelings effectively. Reena asks, "What if you’re a parent who struggles with managing your own emotions?" Lisa explains how both parents and children can benef...

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Is it ever too late to help your child rethink a friendship? How do you lay the groundwork to help children choose the right people to be in their lives? Dr. Lisa explains how the friends our kids chose can also give us a window into the people they may date. Even during the teenage years Lisa says there are ways to help foster new friendships. Reena asks when should a parent intervene.

Read Lisa’s latest New York Times Column:

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Dr. Lisa Damour and Reena Ninan kick off Season Two of Ask Lisa by talking about how to cope with another school year under Covid-19. They tackle a letter from a parent seeking advice on how to deal with her own anxiety about kids going back to school as the Delta variant rages. She is exhausted and does not see relief coming any time soon. How do we help our kids feel school-ready when we are running on empty?

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Should we be pushing children and teens to make up for lost learning this summer? Or should we let them call the shots on how they spend their time? What really matters most? Dr. Lisa has advice that might seem counterintuitive for parents who feel ready to charge ahead. A mom writes in asking for advice on how to think about summer schedules for her three kids. Reena seeks guidance on managing social media and video games once sch...

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Lisa and Reena are joined by guest Emmanuel Acho, former NFL linebacker, current FoxSports analyst, host of the YouTube hit "Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man," and author of a book by the same name. Most recently, Emmanuel wrote the instant #1 New York Times Bestseller "Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Boy." In a discussion both wide-ranging and deep, Emmanuel tackles how to talk with our kids ab...

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The pandemic has disrupted our kids' social lives. What can parents do to help a child make new friends if they've withdrawn from their peers? How do we help kids who are reluctant to reach out, or who rub their classmates the wrong way? A mom emails about her twelve and a half-year-old daughter who was once an extrovert and now is not. Dr. Lisa explains the five categories that have been identified by research to describe ...

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Should you be concerned if your child has a messy, disorganized room? A mom emails asking for advice on how to handle a kid's room that feels out of control. Dr. Lisa introduces us to the term executive functioning, the mental processes that help with managing oneself and one's possessions. Reena asks if being disorganized as a child can lead to problems down the line. Lisa offers guidance on when it's time to step in a...

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After more than a year of being stuck at home in a pandemic, it’s no surprise siblings are getting on each other's nerves. Should parents step in - or step back - when kids start fighting? Dr. Lisa tackles this question and also explains how parents' approach to conflict can influence how kids fight with their siblings. Reena asks how parents can keep their cool when heads are getting hot, and whether kids can really learn ...

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Talking to kids about their love lives can be uncomfortable, but discussing consent is one of the most important conversations to have with our children. Dr. Lisa explains why she feels that when we focus on consent, we are articulating the lowest possible bar for acceptable physical intimacy. She offers thoughts on how we might rethink and reframe the entire topic in order to be most helpful to our children. Reena asks: Can we cha...

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Experts are finding that the pandemic has led to an alarming rise in eating disorders. Dr. Lisa explains how eating disorders can sneak up on families and why they can be incredibly harmful. Lisa and Reena discuss how social media can contribute to eating disorders and the fact that these illnesses affects people from all genders, economic backgrounds, and races. Early intervention matters, so what are the signs of an eating disord...

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"If the pandemic is about anything, it's about loss,” says Dr. Lisa Damour. Grief can come in different forms - from losing a loved one, to mourning the loss of senior year in high school, to not getting into your favorite college. How can you tell if your child is grieving and what can you do to help? Lisa and Reena examine how to support our kids as they cope with loss. Reena shares how a bouncy castle rented on the morni...

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How do you talk to kids about social media postings that might cross a line? What's the best way to start a conversation with your sons and daughters about what's too sexy for public consumption? A parent writes to Lisa and Reena about the suggestive TikTok postings her daughter puts up. Lisa explains how to open up lines of communication and the guidance parents might give about posts that could be seen as provocative. Lis...

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April 6, 2021 30 min

How do you prepare kids for life in the real world? Author Julie Lythcott-Haims joins Lisa and Reena for a conversation on the non-academic skills your children need to succeed as they move into young adulthood. Julie spent more than a decade at Stanford University, some of that time as the dean of first-year students. The women talk about how to discuss race with our children, the different chores kids should take on as they age, ...

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As we move into the next phase of this pandemic we take listeners back to an encore presentation of "Toolbox for Terrible Times: How to Manage Hopelessness and Helplessness." Lisa offers specific tools to help children with their feelings and describes the key role played by healthy psychological defenses. Reena gets emotional talking about what her son's Connecticut teacher did to prepare her students for the first day...

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