Podcast: Overcoming Frustration & Teaching Kids With Actions & Intent with Dr. Natasha Beck
Today’s Brave Writer podcast episode is packed with well-researched methods for bringing your family’s habits and home life back to reality.
My guest today is Dr. Natasha Beck, a parenting expert and Founder of Dr. Organic Mommy, an online resource for non-toxic parenting. She leans on her background in clinical psychology and public health to deliver important information and insights to her tens of thousands of social media followers. She’s a great example of someone doing good with a truly influential social platform.
We talk about the variables in a child’s education that go unseen or underestimated, like sleep and eating habits. Specifically, we go over how to get past food ruts and expand their palettes with variety and agency in the grocery shopping process. Not to be left out, every parent’s rival, frustration, goes under the microscope to be dissected into rational bits of wisdom and ah-ha moments.
Common throughout the episode, though, is communication. One area of the parent-child dynamic that’s always in our favor, subtle communication techniques can make all the difference in any range of issues:
- and so on.
Dr. Beck and I connect on many topics, not the least of which being my mom’s propensity to scan nutrition labels. And JOY – the missing ingredient in childhood nutrition – and a great word to describe this interview.
Building a Solid Foundation
In teaching kids, academics is only one piece of the pie. Sure, standardized testing and other classroom measurables get all the headlines, but it’s the unseen habits and environmental factors that have the biggest impact on our kids’ ability to learn and grow.
Sleep, for one, is often overlooked as a pillar of children’s education. Diet, too, down to the time of day meals are consumed, can impact:
- and other critical emotional tenets to learning.
How do we teach a child to eat and sleep like an adult? By being a good example. Modeling good behavior and habits leaves a huge impression on kids who are predestined to follow our lead.
Everyone gets into food ruts. We slide back to what’s comfortable, what’s easy, what’s cheap. Food ruts in kids are harder to pin down, but present (sometimes loudly) nonetheless. One tool we discuss involves giving your kids agency in the grocery shopping process. Let them pick new products and be creative, and watch that keen interest carry through food prep all the way to dinner time.
Changing their perspective on food isn’t limited to the food itself, either. We can change the environment to shift their headspace somewhere more appealing or fun, like having a picnic in your backyard, eating on the floor, or at the park.
Communication is Key
Presentation, data framing, and subtle communication cues are more effective ways to educate your kids, even, and especially, when they don’t know they’re learning. This can come in the form of asking questions, too. For instance, how does a certain food make them feel afterward?
Dr. Beck shares a good example in her intentionally steering the shopping cart away from the interior ailes of processed food at the grocery store. I share a dishing trick my mom used to use to get us excited for (sour) yogurt sundaes. Pick your spots right, and how something is said can be much more important than what is said at all.
It’s important that we check in with ourselves to determine why something our child says or does makes us feel a certain way. Is that reaction rational? Is either side correctable? We carry the burden for both psyches at the onset, and it’s critical we approach the relationship in a nuanced way – even when one party is kicking and screaming on the floor.
Dr. Beck breaks down her jobs as a parent as falling into one of three baskets:
- Making sure her kids are safe,
- Making sure they grow, physically and intellectually,
- Ensuring they’re a kind person.
These steer her on everything she says and does with them. Simplicity can be elegant. Don’t overthink it.
- Website: Dr. Organic Mommy
- Instagram: @dr.organicmommy
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