Imagine learning one practical, applicable tool that can help you become a better parent. For example, a small, simple phrase, a gesture, or even a thought that you can have each day to better connect with your children.
We teamed up with Vivvi — the magical team on a mission to reinvent childcare and early education for today’s families — for a conversation with “The Millennial Parenting Whisperer,” (according to Time Magazine), Dr. Becky, and Vivvi’s Head of Family Experience, Gretchen Richer. Because PARENTING. IS. HARD.
Dr. Becky is a mother of three and a clinical psychologist who specializes in thinking deeply about what’s happening for children and translating these ideas into simple, actionable strategies for parents.
But first things first:
“I really don’t want any of you to think that I do all the things I’m going to share with you,” Dr. Becky says about her techniques. “I truly do not. Brainstorming for parents [that] bring me their issues is totally different than thinking on the spot when you have your own stress hormones going on.”
Some priceless nuggets of parenting advice that came from Dr. Becky:
“We want our kids to be compassionate. We want them to be patient with themselves. We want them to have positive self-talk, and we actually really make those changes first by making that change with ourselves.”
On the power of “why”
“The word ‘why’ can be very judgmental. Why did I yell at my kid? That’s not really a ‘why.’ It’s just judgment in the form of a question. [The question is, really]: Where did that start? What am I stressed out by? What am I not getting?”
“So many times you get into these frustrating cycles…[you] think ‘my kid’s not listening’ or ‘they’re being defiant.’ I hear this all the time, and I almost always come to the same common denominator: This isn’t a listening issue. This is actually a parent not setting a boundary issue. When a kid is out of control, asking them to get themselves back in control is an unreasonable ask. I can actually avoid the frustration of my kids not listening by being the authority to set that boundary.”
On what to know before baby
“A couple of truths I think about babies: I’m going to put this out there. Babies are not that fun. I didn’t find babies that fun. I love my kids. There’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t love the baby stage. There’s nothing wrong with me, either. Babies are a ball of dependency. Checking in with your personal temperament on this feeling of dependency is really important. To be able to say to yourself at any moment, ‘I’m noticing this feeling and I’m allowed to feel it,’ totally changes your relationship with the feeling, because the thing that really gets in our way of bonding with the baby is usually the narrative of “I’m not supposed to feel [this way].
Watch the full conversation for more practical, tangible tips straight from the Whisperer herself:
This article was written in partnership with Vivvi.