Cover image of Mom Enough: Parenting tips, research-based advice + a few personal confessions!

Mom Enough: Parenting tips, research-based advice + a few personal confessions!

Dr. Marti Erickson, developmental psychologist and her daughter Dr. Erin Erickson, women’s health nurse practitioner and specialist in maternal-child health, use research-based information and a few personal confessions as they and their guests discuss what it means to be “mom enough.”

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Guiding Teenage Girls to a Healthy Adulthood: Insights and Tips from Dr. Lisa Damour

You probably remember the challenges of your own adolescence – on-again, off-again friendships, emotional highs and lows, worries about body image, anxiety about school, life and love. In today’s fast-paced world – and with both the opportunities and threats of ever-present technology – the stakes seem even higher for our daughters.In her book Untangled, psychologist Lisa Damour, mom of two daughters and Director of Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls, provides a rich framework for understanding the transitions teen girls face on the path to adulthood. Don’t miss her wisdom and practical guidance in this Mom Enough interview!What are some of the major challenges your adolescent daughter confronts today? How do these issues tie to the seven transitions Lisa Damour described in this Mom Enough discussion? How have you tried to guide your daughter through these challenges and how might you improve your response?Related Resources:For Untangled, click here.For a discussion guide for Untangled, click here.


2 Sep 2019

Rank #1

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Raising Your Spirited Child: A Conversation with Author Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

Let’s face it; some children have us walking on eggshells. They get rattled when something interferes with their usual routine. If we try to rush them out the door in the morning – or if they’ve missed a couple hours of sleep – they may go into a complete meltdown.Parent educator and author Mary Sheedy Kurcinka calls these children “spirited” and, in her popular book, Raising Your Spirited Child (now in its 3rd edition), helps us understand what’s going on in the brains and bodies of these children. In her interview in this week’s Mom Enough show, Mary offers practical, concrete tips for helping spirited children adapt and thrive. Marti & Erin have some stories and insights about the spirited children in their own family too!How does this week’s guest, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, define what she calls the “spirited child”? Do you have or know a child who fits that profile? What in this Mom Enough discussion helped you better understand that child’s behavior and think about what you can do to help that child (and those around him or her) be more comfortable and adaptable?For Mary’s resources, click here.


13 Aug 2018

Rank #2

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Why Teens Behave That Way: A Conversation with Dr. Dave Walsh about the Adolescent Brain and Teenage Behavior

The teen (and tween) years are a time of major change in our children’s bodies and brains – and in teenage behavior. Along with some of the wonderful growth in reasoning ability and independence comes a necessary challenging of parents’ ideas and authority. This often leaves parents feeling frustrated and unsure how to provide the guidance and protection our sons and daughters still need, especially in light of the risky teenage behavior that is so tempting to adolescents.Psychologist David Walsh, author of Why Do They Act That Way?, joins Marti & Erin for an enlightening discussion of what’s happening in the adolescent brain and how that helps explain teenage behavior. And he affirms the importance of staying closely connected even when teens seem to push us away.What did you learn in this Mom Enough discussion of the teenage brain that helped you understand the behavior of adolescents in your family or community? What creative ways can you think of to help teens find the thrills they desire in ways that are safe and positive?


31 Dec 2018

Rank #3

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How to Raise a Boy: A Conversation with Psychologist and Author Dr. Michael Reichert about the Power of Connection to Build Good Men

Mom Enough co-hosts Marti & Erin found this discussion on raising boys with Dr. Michael Reichert to be one of the most thoughtful and important episodes they have done. Drawing on his personal story of the death of his brother, his extensive research on boys around the world and his years of clinical experience with boys longing to be heard, this psychologist and highly respected author makes the case that, in his words, “Too many boys lose their intimate connections and emotional voices early in their lives.” But it doesn’t have to be that way, and Dr. Reichert offers practical guidance whether you are the parent of a lively preschooler, a 5th-grader trying to succeed in school or a teenager trying to navigate the turbulent waters of romance and sexuality or grappling with disturbing pornographic images on the internet.BOYS AND GIRLS ARE NOT AS DIFFERENT AS WE SOMETIMES THINK.If you listen carefully, you are likely to discover that boys and girls are not as different as we sometimes think. We all long for trust, respect, connection. We all long for our needs and feelings to be heard and acknowledged. And when we provide those things to both our sons and daughters, the world will be better for the men and women they become.REFLECT ON HOW YOU WILL BEGIN RAISING BOYS DIFFERENTLY.This week’s Mom Enough guest, Dr. Michael Reichert, says in this discussion, “The problem is not boys, but the boyhood we have built.” What examples can you think of that illustrate this point? What concrete steps could you take to begin to build a better boyhood for the boys in your life, whatever their ages? What one thing will you change in how you are raising your son(s), so they will grow up to be compassionate and caring adults?WANT TO LEARN MORE?❉  Check out Dr. Reichert's book, How to Raise a Boy: The Power of Connection to Build Good Men, to learn more about raising boys.❉  Helping Our Children Build Self-Compassion: Keys to Kindness, Gratitude and Compassion for Others, click here.❉  Cut to the Quick: The Consequences of Relational Aggression Among Our Sons & Daughters, click here.


18 Nov 2019

Rank #4

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Positive Parenting Strategies: Small Changes with Big Results

As parents, our days are filled with little challenges -- making sure our kids get out the door on time for school, getting siblings to play well together, helping a toddler accept “no” without a tantrum, persuading teens to get off the phone and do their homework. Dr. Alan Kazdin, professor and director of the Parenting Center at Yale, has spent his career helping parents whose children are especially defiant and challenging. But his latest book, The Everyday Parenting Toolkit, brings his proven methods to bear on the challenges all children and parents face. He joined Marti & Erin in this week’s show for a lively discussion, offering a positive parenting framework you will want to try with your own children.In this week’s Mom Enough show, Dr. Alan Kazdin from Yale University, discusses his ABC approach to handling parenting challenges (A for antecedents, B for behavior, C for consequences). What challenging behaviors would you like to change with your child? What steps could you take to apply Dr. Kazdin’s method, starting with small changes and moving toward the bigger goals.Related Resources:For Parenting that Works from the American Psychological Association, click here.For the principles and techniques of behavior change, click here.


23 Sep 2019

Rank #5

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Positive Discipline: A Conversation with Author Dr. Jane Nelsen

When your toddler throws a toy in anger – or your teen slams the door and refuses to talk to you – your first impulse may be to yell at them. But how effective is that? And what would be more helpful, both in this situation and for the child’s longterm development?Dr. Jane Nelsen, author of the well-known Positive Discipline book series (and a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother!) helps us move beyond a quick reaction to misbehavior, take a moment to consider the meaning of our child’s behavior and remember to help our child maintain a sense of connection and belonging. With practical examples drawn from her work and personal experience, Jane helps us move toward a new understanding of children’s misbehavior and arrive at discipline practices that support children’s growth and learning and helps us be the thoughtful, sensitive example our children need.Think about a recent situation in which you needed to deal with your child’s misbehavior. What would you say was the meaning of your child’s behavior? To what extent did your response preserve the sense of connection between you and your child? Are there positive discipline tools that you would like to try the next time you encounter a similar situation?Related resources:Positive Discipline Parenting Tool CardsThe Whole-Brain Child featuring Dr. Dan SiegelTeaching Children to Be Accountable for their Behavior and Choices tip sheet by Marti EricksonWhat is a Parent’s Role in Brain Development? tip sheet by St. David’s Center


25 Mar 2019

Rank #6

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The “Terrible Twos” Reconsidered: Practical Tips for Meeting the Challenges and Discovering the Joys of Terrific Toddlers

It can be difficult to think toddlers are terrific when they are throwing a tantrum at the grocery store, rejecting the fancy new potty chair you bought or shouting “No!” in response to nearly every request you make. But the toddler period really is a time of extraordinary learning and development, and even the most annoying behaviors signal some of those exciting changes.Judy Schumacher is a family educator, mom, grandma and author of the newly released Terrific Toddlers! She joins Marti for a rich discussion of how to understand your toddler’s behavior and guide her or him to use all that energy and newfound independence in more constructive ways.Why do you think tantrums and negativism are so common in toddlers? What is the developmental meaning of those behaviors? What practical tips or helpful principles did you get from this Mom Enough discussion of terrific toddlers?


18 Dec 2017

Rank #7

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Qualities of an Effective Parent and Child Relationship: A Study from Search Institute

For decades, Search Institute has studied assets that are most important for helping children and teens grow up well. In their study of the parent and child relationship, they examine the importance of five key strategies in developmental relationships in the family: 1) express care; 2) challenge to grow; 3) provide support; 4) share power; and 5) expand possibilities.Tune into this week’s Mom Enough show to hear Gene Roehlkepartain discuss how these strategies benefit children, which are most often missing in the families Search studied, and what you can do to apply these important findings for your child’s lifelong success.What was surprising to you about the findings from this Search Institute study? Why do you think so many families have trouble sharing power? What practical ideas did you take away from this Mom Enough discussion of the parent and child relationship?To read the report and other material from the study, click here.For ParentFurther, click here.To take the quiz mentioned by Gene, click here.To read more about developmental relationships, click here.


21 May 2018

Rank #8

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The Role of Parents in Early Childhood Social-Emotional Development: A Conversation with Paula Frisk from St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development

Have you ever heard someone say about a baby or toddler, “It’s a good thing that trauma happened before he was aware of it.” Unfortunately, that is a very misleading statement. Long before babies have words, they can experience stress and trauma and remember it in their bodies and brains, often with lasting negative effects on their social-emotional development. But the good news is that sensitive, responsive, predictable parenting can be a powerful buffer against trauma.Paula Frisk, Senior Director of Birth to Age 5 Home Visiting at St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development, joins Marti for an important discussion of what parents can do to protect their children, what parents need for themselves and what therapeutic resources are available for parents and infants who need help with social-emotional development.How does a secure parent-child attachment protect a young child when a very upsetting experience is unavoidable? What factors can make it hard for parents to provide that sensitive, responsive care? How has this played out in your own life, as a parent and as a former child?To learn more about the Harman Center for Child & Family Wellbeing, click here.For our Parent’s Role in Emotional Development sheet, click here.For early childhood intervention services in Hennepin County, click here.For our positive stress and toxic stress interview with Dr. Megan Gunnar, click here.For our What is Toxic Stress? sheet, click here.For our Understanding the Biology of Stress in Young Children sheet, click here.


8 Jan 2018

Rank #9

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Moral Development in Children : Practical Guidance on Promoting Morality and Character

Being a moral person – a person of character – sometimes is defined as “doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” As babies, we all are ego-centric (self-centered), focused on our own immediate needs and feelings. Gradually, we develop the ability to recognize the feelings of others and discover the impact of our own actions on them, laying the foundation for the earliest stage of moral development, when we behave in a certain way to please our parents and other caregivers. So, what do parents and other caring adults need to do to help children move through higher stages of moral development, learn to discern right from wrong and discover the value for self and others in being a person of morality or character?This week’s Mom Enough guest, therapist John Driggs, brings a humble, reflective perspective to this important topic in human development, offering much-needed encouragement and hope for our children’s future.What did you hear in this conversation that prompted you to reflect on how you are supporting your children’s moral development? What factors in today’s world make it hard to teach your children right from wrong? What have you found to be most effective with your children?Related resources:Character Matters: How to Help Our Children Develop Good Judgment, Integrity and Other Essential Virtues, book by Thomas LickonaDiscussing emotions with children tip sheet from the University of MinnesotaFostering Compassionate Children tips from St. David's CenterThe Parents We Mean To Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children's Emotional and Moral Development, book by Richard Weissbourd


10 Jun 2019

Rank #10

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Free Range Kids: A Conversation with Author and Activist Lenore Skenazy

When Lenore Skenazy wrote about letting her then nine-year-old son ride the subway alone in New York City, she never imagined the uproar it would cause. But she didn’t let the cries of “bad mother” deter her from her mission of allowing her two sons to explore and flourish and build the life skills needed to navigate their world – to raise free range kids.Now, through her writing, speaking and working creatively with schools and communities, Lenore is leading a movement to back off from helicopter parenting and Let Grow, as she named the nonprofit she and colleagues created. Tune into her lively discussion with Marti & Erin and then reflect on how you can let the children in your life be free range kids!In what ways did you roam freely in your childhood? How are things the same or different for your children, and why? What do you think are the risks of protecting and directing kids so strongly in childhood and adolescence?Related resources:Let GrowLet Grow blogLet Grow schoolsFree-Range Kids bookWhy I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone article by Lenore SkenazyUnleashing the Instinct to Play featuring Peter GraySupporting Your Child’s Gradual Development of Healthy Independence by Marti Erickson


13 May 2019

Rank #11

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Children’s Trust: How Children Decide Who Is Trustworthy and Why That Is Important for Parents and Educators to Understand

We often think of infants and very young children as being naively trusting and ready to believe what any adult tells them.But Melissa Koenig, professor in the U of M’s Institute of Child Development, is part of a team of children’s trust researchers who are showing that even babies know how to be skeptics. These provocative findings raise important questions about how children’s trust enters in to learning and how parents and teachers can earn the trust of children and help them build their ability to recognize honesty at a time when it’s often hard to come by. (Thank you to the U’s College of Education and Human Development for providing this week’s guest.)What was surprising to you about Melissa Koenig’s findings about young children’s trust? Marti & Erin and their guest talked about the need for parents to be “transparent” with their kids and to only make promises they can keep. Give some real-life examples of when this advice could be implemented.For Can children save us from the fake news epidemic?, click here.To watch Trust Through the Eyes of Children, click here.For Melissa's Early Language and Experience Lab, click here.For the U of M’s College of Education and Human Development, click here.For Melissa's ME show discussing learning a second language, click here.For more on the marshmallow experiment, click here.


23 Apr 2018

Rank #12

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Girls and Stress: A Conversation with Psychologist and Author Dr. Roni Cohen-Sandler

When young girls enter adolescence, they report high levels of stress and self-doubt about school, extracurricular activities, friendships and their appearance. What factors contribute to girls and stress, and how is it different for girls and boys? Most important, what can we do to ease the stress and help our girls find more joy and confidence during this important time in their lives?Psychologist Dr. Roni Cohen-Sandler has focused her career on women, teen girls and other-daughter relationships, and she addresses teens directly in her latest book, Stress Sucks! A Girl’s Guide to Managing School, Friends & Life. She joins Marti & Erin this week for a heartfelt exploration of the complicated lives of girls today.How did this Mom Enough discussion of girls and stress match the experiences of girls in your family? What steps do you think we could take at home, in school or in communities to ease the pressure girls feel?For teen and tween stress facts, click here.For 4 tips on communicating with teens, click here.


19 Mar 2018

Rank #13

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Challenging Behavior in Early Childhood: Understanding Needs, Feelings and Steps toward Better Regulation and Social Skills

It is not uncommon for a young child to be expelled from child care due to a challenging behavior, especially hurtful behaviors like biting or hitting. And yet it’s hard to imagine a young child who doesn’t occasionally lash out in frustration or anger and have a hard time calming down and re-engaging in a more positive way. In early childhood (birth to 5), children are just learning how to manage emotions, share space and attention with others and handle conflict in reasonable ways.As this week’s Mom Enough guest knows, children learn those lessons best when parents and other adults connect with them, recognize their feelings and engage them in thinking about what they can do differently. Dr. Anne Gearity joins Marti & Erin for a rich discussion that will help you think about and respond to challenging behavior in ways that are effective in the short-run and supportive of healthy development in the long-run. Thank you to Help Me Grow, a supporting partner of Mom Enough, for providing sponsoring this episode of Mom Enough.Dr. Gearity says when children act out they are telling us, “I’m confused. I need your help.” Think of a recent situation in which a young child in your life engaged in a very challenging behavior. How did you respond and how did it work? How would your response have been different if you’d thought of the child saying, “I need your help?”Related resources:Help Me GrowDevelopmental milestones from Help Me GrowPete the Cat: I Love My White ShoesWays to Help Children Think About Better Solutions for Difficult Behaviors tip sheet from St. David’s Center


4 Mar 2019

Rank #14

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Screen Time in Early Childhood: Concerns, Opportunities and Realistic Guidelines

In a world dominated by electronic devices, many of us worry about the longterm impact on our children, especially those who get hooked on screen time at an early age. What is a good age to introduce screens? How much time is too much? To what extent are very young children learning useful things from screen time? What beneficial experiences are children missing when they spend hours each day passively viewing or interacting with electronic devices? And how about our own use of devices and the effects on our children and our relationship with them?Dr. Megan Gunnar, a world-renown expert from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development (and grandmother to two adorable infants), joins Marti & Erin for an information-packed, thought-provoking discussion of this timely topic. Listen and learn what you can do to help make sure you and your child take advantage of digital technology, but don’t let it take control of your life! This episode of Mom Enough is brought to you by Help Me Grow – MN, a longtime supporting partner of Mom Enough.WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SCREEN TIME AND YOUNG CHILDREN?The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for babies before 18 months of age and only a small dose of high-quality material beyond that age. What concerns did this week’s Mom Enough guest raise about screen time in very early childhood? In what ways can parents mediate the effects of screen time to reduce harm and enhance learning? Based on what you learned in this discussion, what do you think you are doing well and what would you like to improve in terms of the way you and your family are using electronic devices?WANT TO LEARN MORE?❉ IMPORTANT TIPS TO MANAGE YOUR KIDS' SCREEN USE. Check out this resource from Mom Enough and Comcast to help your child make the most of the online world and screens, while also keeping them safe when they surf the web.❉ THE IMPACT OF MEDIA ON CHILDREN’S BEHAVIOR & DEVELOPMENT. Douglas Gentile, psychology professor at Iowa State University and a leading researcher on children and the impact of media, joins Marti & Erin for an information-packed discussion every parent should hear. Take special note of the power of parents to prevent the negative effects of media!❉ MONITORING AND MANAGING YOUR CHILD'S USE OF SCREENS. Mom Enough partnered with Comcast to let you know about new resources for monitoring and managing your children’s screen use. Learn more in this video.


2 Mar 2020

Rank #15

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The “Terrible Twos” Reconsidered: Practical Tips for Meeting the Challenges and Discovering the Joys of Your Terrific Toddler

It can be difficult to think toddlers are terrific when they are throwing a tantrum at the grocery store, rejecting the fancy new potty chair you bought or shouting “No!” in response to nearly every request you make. But the toddler period really is a time of extraordinary learning and development, and even the most annoying behaviors signal some of those exciting changes.Judy Schumacher is a family educator, mom, grandma and author of “Terrific Toddlers!” She joins Marti for a rich discussion of how to understand the behavior of toddlers and guide them to use all that energy and newfound independence in more constructive ways.Why do you think tantrums and negativism are so common in toddlers? What is the developmental meaning of those behaviors? What practical tips or helpful principles did you get from this Mom Enough discussion?Related Resources:Toddlers & Tantrums tip sheet by Dr. Marti Erickson


22 Jul 2019

Rank #16