214. How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Jerks with Melinda Wenner Moyer

Worried your kid is an asshole? Or that he or she is well on the road to becoming an asshole? You’re not alone.

Bad behavior (read: assholery) is no fun to be around, let alone to parent around. In this episode of POTC, Yael and Melinda Wenner Moyer, author of How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes, discuss what kinds of behavior to be concerned about, the risk factors for assholery, and evidence-based practices for intervening with asshole behavior. Listen in to this episode for practical advice on identifying the function of asshole behavior, instilling theory of mind, setting the stage for empathy, responding to sibling rivalry, and much more!

Listen and Learn:

  • Yael and Jill’s personal experiences and struggles raising kids in a world of too much parenting advice
  • The conflicting responses to Melinda’s book’s title
  • A science-based explanation of why kids act like assholes 
  • Melinda’s personal experience managing parenting and work (and practical advice on how you can too)
  • Expert-approved recommendations for teaching kids to take responsibility for their behavior
  • Practical advice for teaching kids to consider others’ perspectives and how their own behavior impacts others
  • Melinda explains growth mindset, fixed mindset, how the two differ, and why they’re important for your child’s development
  • Practical advice for utilizing rewards without fostering assholery
  • What the science says is an effective approach to curbing sibling fights
  • How to approach kid screen time with younger kids and teens
  • How to know when assholery is code for needing additional support from a parent or an expert (like a psychologist)
  • And much, much more!


About Melinda Wenner Moyer:

Melinda Wenner Moyer has a master’s in Science, Health & Environmental Reporting from NYU and a background in cell and molecular biology. She is a contributing editor at Scientific Americanmagazine and a regular contributor to The New York Times, Washington Post, and other national magazines and newspapers. She is a faculty member in the Science, Health & Environmental Reporting program at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Melinda was the recipient of the 2019 Bricker Award for Science Writing in Medicine, and her work was featured in the 2020 Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology. Buy Melinda’s most recent book, How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes: Science-Based Strategies for Better Parenting–From Tots to Teens! Keep up-to-date with Melinda’s work by subscribing to her newsletter, here!

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Episode 214