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November 7, 2023

Ask Lisa Podcast - Episode 143

How Do I Raise A Compassionate Child? With Dr. Traci Baxley

Episode 143

Special guest professor Dr. Traci Baxley joins the Ask Lisa podcast. She is the author of Social Justice Parenting: How to Raise Compassionate, Anti-racist, Justice-minded Kids in an Unjust World. Dr. Baxley talks with Dr. Lisa and Reena about why it matters to raise caring, socially conscious kids – and how to do so. This episode unpacks the difference between compassion, empathy, and kindness and tackles questions from listeners including: How do you get siblings to be compassionate with each other? And are compassionate kids really better off in today’s hyper-competitive world?

November 7, 2023 | 36 min

Transcript | How Do I Raise A Compassionate Child? With Dr. Traci Baxley

TRANSCRIPT | HOW DO I RAISE A COMPASSIONATE CHILD? WITH DR. TRACI BAXLEY

Ask Lisa Podcast, Ep. 143: How Do I Raise A Compassionate Child? With Dr. Traci Baxley

The Ask Lisa Podcast does not constitute medical advice and is not a substitute for professional mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have concerns about your child’s well-being, consult a physician or mental health professional.

The following transcript has been automatically generated by an AI system and should be used for informational purposes only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information provided.

——

Reena Ninan
You know what I’ve wondered? What is it in adults who don’t have compassion that maybe their mama could have taught them that could have made a difference? That’s my pressing question. I want to know today.

Lisa Damour
You do wonder, right? When somebody just seems to have so little trust in humanity and willing to sort of expand themselves towards it? You think? Well, that wrong along the way? How’s that? How could that have been redirected at some point earlier in development than when I’m meeting you this currently unkind adult?

Reena Ninan
We’re gonna get an answer to that question today, I hope.

Lisa Damour
That’s a really important question.

Reena Ninan
I’ve wondered this for quite some time. Super excited to welcome our guest, Dr. Traci Baxley. She’s a professor, consultant speaker, and also a mother to five children. She’s the author of “Social Justice Parenting How to Raise Compassionate Anti Racist Justice Minded Kids in an Unjust World.” I love that title. She is dedicated to supporting families, schools and organizations in developing their own inclusive practices that lead to meaningful relationships with a sense of belonging. And Traci is using her experiences and her expertise to support parents to the highs and lows of raising compassionate and dependent children in today’s complex world. Traci, welcome.

Traci Baxley
Thank you. Thank you for having me. It’s an honor and a pleasure, actually.

Lisa Damour
We’re delighted to have you and Traci, I got to read your book before everybody else did. And I had the honor of blurbing it and so it’s I’m just so so glad you’re joining us today. It’s such a smart book, there’s so much wisdom in it. And we’re so glad you’re willing to think with us and our athletes or listeners about all of your good thinking. And we have collected a whole bunch of questions from our listeners just for you.

Traci Baxley
Oh, awesome. It feels like full circle for the three of us, really.

Lisa Damour
It does. It does. It’s wonderful. But first, Traci, we just have a few questions based on your book, which we both enjoyed so much. What does raising a compassionate kid in the world today look like to you?

Traci Baxley
Well, I think first of all, it starts with examples, right of how we’re living our own lives. And I think one of the things that is the most important to me as a mom, and I think it’s also one of my greatest challenge is the idea of self compassion. So I think our children seeing us, show compassion to ourselves, showing forgiveness to ourselves, I think when it starts for in ourselves and it, it’s easier to see how it can expand out into the world. So I think the way that we model the way, the way that we talk in our own homes, the way that we self talk, really teaches our children how to treat themselves. I think the idea of teaching our children self compassion at home and modeling that really teaches them how to expand that out into the world.

Reena Ninan
So interesting. I never would have thought of self compassion as your first step in teaching kids compassion. That’s so interesting. What’s the difference between let’s say compassion and kindness and empathy?

Traci Baxley
Oh, that is such a great question because they’re often used interchangeably. And empathy is really when you are feeling somebody’s suffering, right? So that initial feeling that you you recognize that somebody else’s suffering, hurting. And then compassion is when that noticing, changes to relieving. So I have this urgency this wish this desire to then relieve somebody else’s suffering. And then I see kindness as As the action part, so the actual doing of putting compassion into action.

Lisa Damour
So I love that it’s sort of like it’s like the 1-2-3 steps, empathy leads to compassion, which is then enacted in kindness and the behaviors of kindness. i That’s such a beautiful, clear and yet completely fresh to me. Way to break it all down. In your book, you talk openly about the dynamics in your family, where you and your husband who is white are raising five children. Why focus on social justice? Why Should parents be concerned about this? How does you know what you live at home play out in the work you do for the world?

Traci Baxley
Yeah, I think it all starts at home, right? I always talk about the idea that activism really starts at home, right? It starts in your own house, it starts with the way that you show up with your children, with your spouse, with your partner. And I think because my family have this diverse cultural experience, right, my husband and I grew up the same in a lot of ways, but very different in terms of our racial awareness. And I think it’s really important that I had conversations with my children, right, coming from the space of being a Black woman and my Black experience and lived experience. But I think it’s also important that my children know what it’s like for my husband to have grown up in a racialized world. And what that those extreme experiences and how the perspective and how different they work for him. And so I think it’s important, no matter what our backgrounds are, in our homes, that we’re having those kinds of conversations, if we’re really trying to raise children who are empathetic, kind and compassionate, because it’s, it’s the moment of seeing other people and believing their lived experiences that we really get to kind of move our children from just empathy to really starting to take action out in the world.

Reena Ninan
Because you know, this concept of social justice is so polarizing in today’s world, I mean, it can really be misconstrued in the current political and social environment. How do you help kids develop compassion for people who do not see the world? Through their same eyes?

Traci Baxley
Yeah, it’s amazing how that word has become such a trigger word and politics today. But really, when I talk to kids about social justice, it really is. Everybody who’s hungry has food, right? Everybody who needs an opportunity to for employment, they have that opportunity. Everybody who needs shelter has shelter is really is about how do we make sure that everybody has their basic needs met, and they have opportunities to grow, and opportunities to to become their best selves. And that’s really all social justice is is really about how do we create equity, so that everybody has the opportunity to live their best lives, I don’t know how we got to the place where it’s so weaponized and so polarized. And it seems like it’s such an easy phrase, or concept that we can all kind of rally around, is making sure that we all as human beings, have those basic needs met.

Lisa Damour
That’s so helpful. And, and it is kind of remarkable how something that you know, when you describe it, the way you describe it is so clear as the right thing to do. Just the right thing to do as a member of any group, or any culture.

Traci Baxley
Yeah, just being a member of the human race, right? That we should want those things for each other.

Reena Ninan
Well, Dr. Baxley we have a ton of questions for you from our listeners that we want to take up.

Lisa Damour
All right, here we go. We got phenomenal questions. Our listeners are so thoughtful, and they share such wonderful and real and detailed thoughts and questions with us. So here’s the first, how do I initiate a practice of serving slash volunteering? My kids are 11 and 13 and I am bracing for some serious pushback.

Traci Baxley
I think sometimes when we want to impose our will on our children, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work very well. And I think it’s, that’s when you kind of have these kind of family meetings around what’s important to you as families. I think it’s really important that as families, we create these core values, that things are important, and how do they look in real life? Like what does that look like on a daily basis to enact and to act on those core values and 10 and 11 year olds have real ideas of what is true for them right what they’re passionate about. And I think doing more listening and less pushing is really important. Because what’s what’s important to them, what they find their passions in can be very different from what yours are. So I think agreeing, like our core value is about giving back and helping what that looks like, let’s have some, you know, wiggle room around that like that could be something that’s more fluid, and getting them to have some say, into what that looks like for our family based on what what they’re interested in, and what’s important to them.

Reena Ninan
Why is getting kids to volunteer so important? You know, we’ve got this question from a listener who asked, How do I get my kids to not be so self centered. And I’m wondering, are these two questions kind of linked?

Traci Baxley
They are, they’re very linked, I think the more that our children are out in the and this is I’m going to kind of go backwards for a second, I talk a lot about the importance of having these hard conversations with our children early right, not sheltering them, not creating a bubble around them, to separate them from what’s going on in the real world. And the more that they can have access to the real world issues, the more that they can grow their capacity for empathy and compassion. So I think this idea of leaning into what’s going on in the world is the first step to that. And then the second thing is, the more opportunities they have to serve other people, the less that they are more entrenched about what’s going on with them, they get to see and this is another polarizing word right now, they get to see their privileges for what they are, whether it’s race, whether it’s socio economic, whether it’s age, religion, whatever, whatever those privileges are, they get to see how they can use those privileges in the way that our tools for change, right tools for action, versus the way we’re using it now often is this idea of weaponizing it, but the more opportunities, they have to see the perspective of other people and do for other people, I think, the more it builds their capacity to be less self serving, and more about how they can help other people. And there’s the research shows that when we see are involved in are involved in acts of kindness, right, it grows our spirit for more of that. So the more we see and do really, the more our kids are able to feel what it’s like to do for other people. Physiologically, right.

Lisa Damour
I love that. And I also love that idea of privilege is about the capacity to be of service to others, to offer something to others. And just thinking about I love how you mentioned the research, and what you’re reminding me of is like incredible research about the value. And I think you’re, you know, gesturing at this, have kids feeling like someone’s counting on them like that, like that there’s someone out there who needs them or needs them to contribute in a meaningful way. And and it’s you’re absolutely right, it’s so well established in the literature that this is incredibly valuable for kids in all of these really, really powerful ways.

Traci Baxley
There’s so much beautiful work out in the world about the scientific benefits of teaching our kids compassion, it really does. The study show that kids who are compassionate, can build relationships with their peers better, they are more likely to have positive social interactions with with their classmates, literally, their heart rate slows down, and they the heart, the happy hormone is secreted more readily right? When they show compassion. It leads to more feelings of happiness, longer living, their lives are extended when they show compassion. So it really does have a lot of physical and mental health benefits as our kids become more compassionate.

Lisa Damour
I love it. Okay, you mentioned social relationships. And one question that we got in multiple versions is it’s all well and good. I’m sort of summarizing here until the kid you’re trying to socialize with a super annoying, so they’re good to sort of sum up the question in a gentler fashion. How do you be how do you balance being a good friend? But taking care of yourself? How do you manage hangouts and inclusivity and sometimes dealing with a kid is challenging.

Traci Baxley
You know, it’s it’s so this is something that I struggle not struggle with. But these are conversations that I’ve had with my children when they were younger, because I have a couple of kids who are empaths, right, and they take on everybody’s issue. They want to be everybody’s friends, friends, they want to be the fixer. And it was really important to have a conversation with my children about being compassionate and having boundaries so really being able to hold both spaces at the same time. So really, I think role playing with our children about what does it look like to be compassionate? But what does that look like when your boundaries have been crossed? Right? If it’s if the child who’s bullying you in some way, when you’re compassionate, consistently being rude, consistently showing up for you, in a way that makes you feel not good about yourself or not, not happy? So what does that look like to hold boundaries around that and recognize that you can be both compassionate but hold your boundaries so that it’s not infringing? On your own mental health? or physical health? Really?

Reena Ninan
You know Traci, that’s a great question. You know, one of the one of our listeners also wrote in asking how do I teach my kids to be kind and compassionate and nice to people, but also, to stand up for themselves and be assertive?

Traci Baxley
Yeah, and I think that goes with teach them how to how to hold boundaries, especially with younger children. It’s, I’m a big proponent of role playing, like having these creating these scenarios. And I call it back pocket talk, so that our kids are ready when certain things happen. They don’t have to think in the moment. I know, all of us as adults, you know, when we’re in certain situations, and when that situation has passed, we’re like, oh, man, I should have said, I wish I had thought to say if I had to do that, again, this is what I would say, really equipping our kids with back pocket talks so that when certain situations arise, they already know what to say. And they don’t have to think about it. And I think, showing our children how to do that how to say things in a way that it’s compassionate, right. But it’s also very firm. Because I think it’s important for us to be able to use our words strongly, but use them still with compassion, like what does that look like? How are we listening? actively listening with care? Right? How are we being mindful of our tone? Right? And what our tone means? I always say to my kids, it’s not what you say it’s how you say it. So you can say, for instance, no, in a way that’s very kind or you could say no in a way that is kind and firm. So really thinking about how we choose our words, how we show empathy with our words, but how we use them in a way that shows that we’ve created boundaries is really important that we are role playing, teaching our kids giving them a language around that, so that they feel empowered with their words.

Reena Ninan
Back pocket talk. I like that, Lisa.

Lisa Damour
I do. Traci, do you have any, like greatest lines, Greatest Hits, like phrases that you have used or that you’ve helped your kids have on hand?

Traci Baxley
Well, a lot of a lot of the things happened during the 2020 election where my kids were really struggling with some of the conversations they were having with children. And honestly, that they were having with adults, too, right. So there became a big division about whose side you’re on, really during the 2020 election. And I also got a lot of that question from a lot of parents who have grandparents or aunts or uncles of their children who politically were on different in different places. And so a lot of the things that I would say to them is to tell their kids to listen, right, actively listen, because people sometimes just want to be heard, right? And so you say to them, I will listen to what you have to say. And then when you’re done, I want to tell you what I’m thinking right? You know, so you have the the conversation where you’re saying, I’m listening, right, I hear what you’re saying. And I respect what you’re saying, and I want to hear your voice. And then you give your children the opportunity or you give the adult the opportunity to to then say what they need to say, sometimes when you have those conversations, and those conversations are almost feel like a personal attack, then you give your children the language of say, I respect what you’re saying. But what you’re saying to me is offensive to me, or it doesn’t feel good to me and sigh and I’m going to choose to walk away, or I’m going to choose to know that we won’t agree on this. And that’s okay. But we can still be friends, right? So given them the language, just say, That’s not okay with me, I hear you and I respect that you have a voice on this. But I’m not good with that. It doesn’t feel right for me. And I’m going to excuse myself from this space, or this conversation, or I’m going to hold boundaries around our friendship, right? Because sometimes it isn’t a place where the compassion the biggest part of the compassion at that moment is self compassion. And sometimes that means you have to exit relationships and doing that.

Lisa Damour
That’s incredibly powerful. And it’s just interesting to think about how we’re trying to coach kids to do something that adults themselves are struggling with so much. Right. And yeah, the kids are watching adults struggle with, you know, in the news or in, in public space. And one of the things that’s come up a lot, post pandemic is, you know, kids are coming back to school with very rusty at best and often extremely rough social skills. And I’m thinking all the time you Yeah, but also look at the interactions around them look at what they see unfolding the discourse for adults. So what you just offered us really feels like a timeless model of dignified self protection without actually being unkind to the other person, and just, you know, trying to really protect oneself while also being respectful of everybody else.

Traci Baxley
And you know what I think what we do a lot of times is we don’t give children permission to be able to do that right to trust their gut, I always tell my kid, when your heart and your gut disagree, go with your gut, right? Because you know, when kids are young, and they don’t want to hug, Aunt Bertha, right? Yeah, we always say, you hug her. She’s your aunt go hug her. Yes, right. And we’re teaching our kids not to listen to those boundaries that their bodies naturally want to kind of set for themselves. And so I think this idea of us teaching compassion, we also have to set boundaries around how to get our, our children to still feel like they can create those boundaries safely for themselves, and trust themselves and creating those boundaries.

Lisa Damour
Okay, so what about when it all comes home? Here’s something that came up actually in many, many different versions. So we’re gonna give you one, which is how do you teach siblings to be compassionate towards each other? Right? All well, and good was Aunt Bertha, who you might not see for a year, but like, the kid who shares your bedroom, or at least is trying to play with all your toys, like how do we teach compassion between in those relationships?

Traci Baxley
Again, it has to be modeled, right? It has to come from you. And when they are doing something that shows compassion, let’s talk that up. Right? Let’s not let that go on unseen and unheard. So, I mean, my kids are all teenagers or young adults now. And when I do it now, they think, okay, okay, okay, mom, like don’t ruin the moment. But I still, like when I see them. Reaching out, like when my daughter is the oldest, when she reached out, reaches out to her brother, who’s also in college, just to check on him. It like makes my heart so full. And I say, Oh, my God, you’re like, you, you’re making my day knowing that you’ve reached out to your brother without me having to say, check on your brother, right. And so I think as parents, we have to kind of build those moments up to make them big deals. So our children know that that is the behavior that we are seeking, that is the behavior that align with our core values. And then when those actions are not happening, then we have to think about, you know, why is that? And I think a lot of it, especially when they’re young, is have we taught our children to tap into what these emotions are? Right? Have we taught them how to own these emotions to talk about them? Not just compassion, but just in general? Do we talk about what it’s like to feel? I know Marc Brackett’s book “Permission to Feel” is such a great book on teaching gets kids to go beyond like angry, sad, happy, you know, like, what are those nuances of feelings. And so when they start to feel the idea of what it feels like to have empathy and compassion, they’ve already tapped into these emotions in a lot of different ways, so that these emotions feel kind of normalized in a lot of ways. But I think the idea of really teaching kids, what emotions feel like, asking them about their emotions, is really important. And I also think it’s that idea of saying to your children, are you sad? Are you angry? Is really could be dangerous, right? Because then that begins to define who they are. So it’s really I mean, it’s a, it’s a slight twist. But this idea of saying, Are you feeling frustrated? Are you feeling angry, so that they know that those feelings are not tied to them, but that it’s something that kind of comes and goes, right? So I think really, having overt conversations about emotions and feelings is really important for them to begin to tap in to what empathy and compassion feels like. Because when you’re having those conversations about feelings, then they they start to feel like there’s some some compassion coming from you. And asking them what they’re feeling and why they’re feeling those ways as well.

Reena Ninan
Is teaching compassion to a three year old different than teaching it to a 13 year old?

Traci Baxley
I think it is because I think it’s the language that you use to unpack those feelings. Like for a three year old, I would say something like, it looks like you’re feeling sad. Tell me why you think you’re feeling sad and maybe explain to them why they look like they’re feeling sad. You’re holding your head down. The way that you’re looking at me with your eyes and I know Oh, you know, mommy just told you know that you couldn’t, you know, stay up later or that you had you couldn’t have that ice cream? And is that how you’re how you’re feeling is sad a good feeling to describe what it is that you’re the emotion that you’re having right now. So talking to them about what that sadness looks like for you, and asking them if your feelings are correct and feeling that I think it’s still important that we ask our teenagers how they feel, too. But it may look a little different. It may be like, you know, it seems that something looks like something’s going on with you. What are you feeling right now? You know, what, what does that feel like for you and your body? What does that look like for you? Tell me what that is? Why do you think you’re feeling that way. So helping them to be more problem solvers in that, then it’s doing the more than explaining. So I think it is tapping, the same is tapping into those feelings, but the way that you ask them, it may be looking a little different. But I also want to say too, when you’re dealing with teens, and compassion, and I’m going to go back to this idea of self compassion, I think teens really they’re in a state where they’re more prone to like the self criticism and the self blame. And I think it’s really important that we teach them to really tap into and zoom into what happens when they don’t have self compassion. And how do they start to believe to build that self compassion? Because I think that will go a long way for them to navigate through those teen years. And then to be able to use that idea of compassion when it’s attached to to other people.

Lisa Damour
It’s just gorgeous. I mean, what I really what I think I hear you saying, Tracy is, first, we have to be incredibly compassionate with our kids. That helps them to be compassionate with themselves. And then they are positioned to be compassionate with other people. But it’s got to go that order.

Traci Baxley
Yeah.

Lisa Damour
Is that what you’re saying?

Traci Baxley
Yes, very well said. Good summary.

Lisa Damour
No just, I love it. No, but I mean, you’re just bringing to the front stuff that swirls all around us. And just to lay it out the way you do. I don’t know. I’m just sort of like my neurons are on fire. I’m just…

Reena Ninan
“Neurons are on fire.” Is that like a psychological? Like a psychology term? The two of you bounce around?

Lisa Damour
Eh, probably, sure. A total perversion of actual neurosis. Okay Traci, let’s talk about the limits of compassion. Like where we’re at may not always be easy to summon, or know what to do with? We got this question from a listener? How do I help my kids be kind to someone who needs a friend, but is not a good friend?

Traci Baxley
That is a tough one. And I think it goes back to language. Right? You can have modeling right role playing with your children the language to use when that’s happening. Using “I” language, right, you know, I, I’ve feel that I am a good friend to you. These are the things that I do that I think, demonstrate my my friendship to you. I would love those things in return. These are the things that I define as a good friend, can you talk to me about how you are reciprocating or this friendship is mutual? I don’t know the age of that that person. But I think middle school through high school, it’s a great conversation for friends to have, you know, what does our friendship mean to you? This is what it means to me. This is a way that I want to show up for you. Does that work for you? How do you feel about the way I’m showing up for you? These are the things that I need in this friendship as well. Right again, so it’s about the language and it’s also about creating boundaries, you know, you know, maybe this is a relationship that no longer serves me, right? People are in our lives for reasons and seasons. And maybe this is a relationship that I that no longer serves me in some way. And so having those conversations with our kids about having to end relationships that no longer serve us is really important because I think, in friendships and relationships, our kids, sometimes, especially our kids who are Empath, or who are very over compassionate, they can stay in things that no longer serve them, right. And again, it’s about am I having stuff come compassion by staying in a relationship where I don’t feel good about myself at the end of it. So I think having conversation about what is friendship to you? What does that look like? Here’s what I offer as a friend for you. What do you think you offer for me as a friendship and then having the conversation about does this still serve us both? What adjustments can we make to make sure this friendship is a loving, safe friendship for both of us and If that’s something that can happen, maybe the boundaries are that, you know, we’re distant friends.

Reena Ninan
Wow. I mean, I can’t imagine ever even with adult having that conversation. It’s so hard but teaching kids at a young age, I think that’s so great. So kind of before we go, Traci, gotta ask you this last question. Somebody posed this to us and they wanted to know, are compassionate kids really better off in this hyper competitive world?

Traci Baxley
I think they are. Because I think it’s what what is needed, right? I think if we want to create the world that we want our children to live in, I think compassion has to be a part of that. The science going back to the science, right? The science shows that when you are a compassionate person, all of these things, including being in an environment that’s competitive, right, you bring a different energy to that that environment, I think that serves everybody in it. Again, I know I said is over and over. We do want to teach our kids boundaries around those things. But I think compassion is really the foundation for creating the world that we want our children to live in.

Lisa Damour
Traci, thank you so much for joining us, and also for the really incredible work that you’re doing. We’re just so glad to spend some time with you.

Traci Baxley
Thank you so much for having me.

Reena Ninan
Dr. Traci Baxley The book is called “Social Justice Parenting How to Raise Compassionate Anti Racist Justice Minded Kids in an Unjust World.” We’re gonna post the link to her book in our show notes. If you’re interested. Dr. Baxley, grateful you could join us.

Traci Baxley
Thank you so much.

Reena Ninan
What a great conversation. I love what she says about how the science that is behind compassion and why it’s so important to teach our kids.

Lisa Damour
I do too. And you know, Reena how I love when we can bring the research to inform how we live our family life. It’s my favorite thing. It is. Love it.

Reena Ninan
What do you have for us Lisa for Parenting to Go?

Lisa Damour
I loved all of the language that Dr. Baxley provided in terms of how to talk with kids, and also how to coach them in terms of having back pocket phrases. And this is something I’ve absolutely done a lot, both as a psychologist and also as a parent, I’m going to throw in a little twist that I have found, works to help kids be open to all of that language, is I will usually say something like, Okay, this is like my 52 year old version of how to say this thing, you’ll figure out how to make it your 12 year old version, but here are the ideas. Because I’ve sometimes watch kids get hung up on the like, I’m not gonna say that. And very rarely in their interactions where they can use the exact language that we would come up with in our kitchen. So you can get them over that hump, saying like, this is my version. What would your question sound like? And that can actually help really put it into action in the moment.

Reena Ninan
Hearing her say about the role playing, which is what you’re also talking about, too, is practicing that. You’re setting them up for success, because they’ve had a round at it before they actually have to come face to face.

Lisa Damour
Absolutely right. I’ve done with parents who will sometimes say like, Why can’t my kids say to the kid who just said to them, your shoes are ugly? Why can’t they say you know, you shouldn’t talk to me that way. That’s not cool. And I’ve said to them, okay, but if somebody stopped you on the street and said something like, Would you be ready with that language? Like, it’s very hard to do, it’s very hard to do. So I think, practice, practice, practice, and then make room for kids to make it their own.

Reena Ninan
Sounds great. Well, I really enjoyed having her on, Dr. Traci Baxley. Lisa, I want to thank you. And next week, we’re going to talk about how much did you share about your kids and what are the boundaries you should set. I’ll see you next week.

Lisa Damour
I’ll see you next week.

The advice provided by Dr. Damour here will not and does not constitute - or serve as a substitute for - professional psychological treatment, therapy, or other types of professional advice or intervention. If you have concerns about your child’s well-being, consult a physician or mental health professional.

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