213. Back To School! How To Talk With Kids To Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance and A Happy Home with Dr. William Stixrud and Ned Johnson

Parental relationships are the cornerstone of mental health and well-being for children. However, parents often find it challenging to connect and engage in meaningful conversations with their children. Dr. William Stixrud and Ned Johnson, co-authors of What Do You Say?, are experts in child development and education. In this episode of POTC, Diana talks with them about evidence-based techniques for increasing communication, connection, and well-being for parents and their kids. Listen in for help finding peace and meaning in your relationship with your kiddos today!

Listen and Learn:

  • Diana and Yael’s experiences with parenting struggles in their practices and personal lives
  • Four expert-approved coping strategies for parents yearning for peace
  • William explains his compelling bookcover 
  • The importance of empathy and closeness in child-rearing 
  • Motivational Interviewing techniques parents can use with their kids!
  • Three components of being a parent consultant (and how it can benefit your child’s brain development)
  • When and why achievement lends itself to the health and wellbeing of children (and when and why it doesn’t!)
  • Practical advice for helping kids develop intrinsic motivation of their own
  • Easy, expert approved steps you can take to connect with your kids today!
  • The importance of modeling non-anxious behavior and how to do so in the hardest of times
  • William and Ned’s go-to dialogues for kids
  • William and Ned’s hopes for the future of their book


About Ned Johnson and William Stixrud:

Ned Johnson

Ned Johnson is an author, speaker, and the founder of PrepMatters, an educational company providing academic tutoring, educational planning, and standardized test prep. A professional “tutor-geek” since 1993 and battle-tested veteran of test prep, stress regulation and student performance, Ned has spent more than 40,000 one-on-one hours helping students conquer an alphabet of standardized tests, learn to manage their anxiety, and find the motivation to reach their full potential. In 2006, Ned co-authored the book Conquering the SAT: How Parents Can Help Students Overcome the Pressure and Succeed, which tackles the outsized role anxiety plays in standardized testing. With Dr. William Stixrud, Ned co-authored The Self-Driven Child, which explores how fostering children’s autonomy can help solve two challenges seemingly endemic to kids today: handling anxiety and developing intrinsic motivation. Ned is the host of the PrepTalks podcast: conversations with parenting and education experts. A sought-after speaker and teen coach on study skills, sleep deprivation, parent-teen dynamics, and test anxiety, and his work is featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, BBC, and many others. Check out his latest book, What Do You Say?: How to Talk with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home. Follow him on Twitter, @NedJohnson!

Dr. William Stixrud

Dr. William Stixrud, PhD, is a clinical neuropsychologist and founder of The Stixrud Group, as well as a faculty member at Children’s National Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine. He is also the co-author, with Ned Johnson, of the nationally bestselling book, The Self Driven Child and of their new book, What Do You Say?: How to Talk with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home. Dr. Stixrud’s work has been featured in media outlets such as NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times of London, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report, Time Magazine, Scientific American, Business Week, Barron’s, and, New York Magazine. He is a long-time practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, and he plays in the rock band Close Enough.

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Episode 213