The Happy Student show

The Happy Student

Summary: A podcast for parents who want to learn specific strategies to help their kids succeed in school both academically and socially.


 #50: Keeping the Holidays Fun | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 427

Every year my husband and I watch Home Alone to start the holiday season off right and every year I hear the things the adults in the movie say to Kevin (the protagonist) and I just cringe! Instead of calming the situation down, they exacerbate it. So, before the holidays, I wanted to review how you can turn a bad situation into a better one using effective communication and discipline. And if you just need some help figuring out what to do about holiday tantrums (how to mitigate them and stop them when they happen), check out Fireborn's article in A Child Grows in Brooklyn "Dealing with Holiday Tantrums":

 #49: The Truth about that Video Game Habit - with Dr. Emily Anastasio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1431

Video games are so entertaining, they can engage your kids (and distract them from the rest of the world) for hours. This can be a bit freaky for parents who maybe want their kids to do other things with their time - like play with their friends and read. So what do you do when all your kid wants to do is play video games? And are video games really all that terrible? Neuropsychologist, Dr. Emily Anastasio has some answers!

 #48: The Power of Assuming Good Will | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 402

Parents' patience for their kids can be incredible. And other times, when it feels like kids are purposefully misbehaving, it's easy to get frustrated and react in a way that you don't actually want to react. The holiday season can be a particularly trying time. So what can you do? Sometimes, a simple change in mindset can make all the difference. When we assume good will on behalf of our kids (and partners) our attitude changes from one of self-righteous anger into one of cooperation, which benefits everyone.

 #47: Chronic Medical Conditions & Thriving at School | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1960

Dr. Brad Jerson and Petra Amrein of the Connecticut Children's Medical Center talk with us about how chronic medical conditions affect children's school life and how you can help! Some major takeaways: 1. School is kids' life. They don't like missing any days. So try to make them feel as normal as possible by getting them back to school as quickly as possible! 2. Collaborate as much as possible with the school to make going back to school as easy as possible. 3. Be on the lookout for depression and anxiety. Major changes in your child, such as developing a chronic medical condition, can put them at risk for developing mood disorders, which can actually make their chronic condition worse!

 #46: Dr. Richard - Making the World a Kinder Place | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1284

Today we dive into how to help our kids be kind people with Dr. Richard of @thedailyhelping. Dr. Richard has a kindness movement where he encourages people to share their kind act of the day with #mydailyhelping. Find Dr. Richard at and check out his podcast!

 #45: Rewards are Tricky | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 496

Rewards are tricky things. They are so clear - study now and then you can have screen time. But they can also decrease kids' internal motivation. In this episode, we talk about how you can use rewards effectively to get your kid to do his homework and increase motivation - through "House Rules".

 #44: Should I Talk to an Adult? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 366

It can be hard for kids to know if what is happening online is actually cyberbullying and if it's serious enough that they should talk to an adult about it. Sometimes it's not full-fledged cyberbullying, but kids could still benefit from discussing it with an adult. In this episode, we go through Emily Weinstein's 6 Digital Stressors and discuss how to make your child more comfortable talking to you about them. Resources: Englander, E. (2015). Perceptual and cognitive changes in cyberbullying: Revealing strategies for teaching kids in K-12. The Science of Character: Using Brain Science to Raise Student Self-Regulation, Resilience and Respect. Boston: Learning and the Brain. Weinstein, E. (2015). Teen digital stress and cyberbullying. The Science of Character: Using Brain Science to Raise Student Self-Regulation, Resilience and Respect. Boston: Learning and the Brain.

 #43: Nothing Beats Conversation | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 422

Kids are constantly communicating with their peers, but how much do you hear them actually talking with others? Dr. Sherry Turkle, author of "Reclaiming Conversation", has found that people prefer to text than talk. But that's a problem because nothing beats conversation. And good communication skills are a seriously sought-after skill. So give your kid's communication skills a boost with our 5 tips. References: Spencer, E. (2015). Personal communication. Turkle, S. (2016). Being Human in the Digital Age. NYSCI: Spring for STEM: New York.

 #42: Those Crazy Teenage Brains | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 546

Teenagers do a lot of crazy stuff, which can make raising teens super challenging. But teenagers' brains are also really amazing and capable of incredible learning. What can parents to do harness that learning potential? We can teach them to use their executive functions - their "breaks" so that they can start making good decisions. Check out our tips for helping your kid develop breaks in this episode! References: Dawson, M. & R. Guare. (2015). Smart but scattered: Helping teens strengthen executive skills to reach their full potential. The Science of Character: Using Brain Science to Raise Student Self-Regulation, Resilience and Respect. Boston: Learning and the Brain. Flannery, M. E. (2015). Surviving the teenage brain: What educators should know.

 #41: Raising Assertive Kids | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 924

Kids are taught to be nice and to share and to do things that other kids want to do. Unfortunately, sometimes that can mean that kids are terrified of standing up for themselves and creating conflict. So they end up putting their own needs and wants after everyone else's. Kids need to learn to take care of themselves. They need to learn to self-advocate – to be assertive. We all need to take care of ourselves so that we can then take care of others. Being assertive helps us do that. We've got 8 tips to help you raise an assertive child. Resources: Eric Barker: Mary Garner Ganske: Deidre Parsons:

 #40: The Empathy Advantage | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 894

Kids need to do so much to get into a good college and "succeed". They have to be the soccer star, play the oboe, perform in all the musicals, and volunteer (but not because they enjoy volunteering, but because they need to at least pretend they enjoy it for colleges), not to mention, get straight A’s or forget about going to a good college. Even preschoolers leave school to then go to Spanish, music, and art classes. And if kids do all of those things, then they’ll succeed, right? Well, there is (at least) one major flaw in that line of thinking: it has completely neglected empathy development. Research shows that kids with empathy actually score better on math and reading tests, they are grittier and happier, and they are more likely to be financially sound adults. That sounds like what we want for our kids. Here are 10 tips to help your kids develop empathy! For more information, check out Michele Borba's book, UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World.

 #39: Transition Trouble | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 568

Having difficulty getting your kid off of her smart phone and doing work? Or what about stepping away from video games to leave the house on time? Transitions can be tough for kids. Fireborn's got 8 tips to help you ease those transitions and get you out the door on time.

 #38: My Life with ADHD | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 578

Fireborn's Founder and the host of The Happy Student, Katherine Firestone, talks about growing up with undiagnosed ADHD. It was tough. She felt like an impostor in school. But she had really great parental support. Katherine shares her top tips for helping kids like her who struggle with ADHD to succeed in school.

 #37: The Procrastination Problem Solvers | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 787

Is your child always putting work off, or rather "saving it for later"? Procrastination is a problem most of us struggle with. Fireborn's got 9 tips to help you help your kid get to work now instead of later. If you are looking for more information on procrastination, or to check out the research mentioned in the episode, here are some articles: 1. 2. 3.

 #36: Making Group Work Bearable | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 535

Group work can be the WORST. There are so many to-dos, people, and deadlines to coordinate - it can be a nightmare for your tween. We have 7 tips that you can do to help make group work a little more bearable for your child!


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