Golden Nugget

Psychotherapist and Author Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, shares her Golden Nugget of parenting advice on the importance of taking care of yourself as a parent
Golden Nugget Of Parenting Advice From Tina Payne Bryson
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Golden Nugget

So two things I like to tell the parents that are sort of golden nuggets of parenting advice. The first is – we have to take care of ourselves. This is something that we’re told over and over and it’s a lesson I have to learn over and over. But I find that the moments that I’m not parenting well, the moments I don’t feel good about my parenting are always times when I’m tired, when I haven’t eaten, when I haven’t taken care of myself. So that is the first rule – we can’t care well, when we’re not caring for ourselves. The second piece is that when our children are doing behaviors that drive us insane, they are making us crazy, they are difficult, what they’re often doing is communicating clearly to us that they need some skill building in some way. So for instance, let’s say your child falls apart over transitions, or they’re really inflexible when the plans change – what they’re doing when they’re falling apart or being difficult is communicating loud and clear, “I need skill building in this way. I don’t handle transitions well.” Or, “I don’t handle changes in the schedule well.” And what we can do then as parents is see this as a way that our children communicate to us what they need. And instead of thinking about them as just being difficult, or a pain in our rear, what we can do is be intentional, like, “Wow, I can help my kid by giving them experiences that help them build those skills.” And it’s a whole new way – we respond really differently when we think of it in terms of being intentional about skill building, as opposed to them just being difficult.

Psychotherapist and Author Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, shares her Golden Nugget of parenting advice on the importance of taking care of yourself as a parent


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Tina Payne Bryson, PhD

Psychotherapist & Author

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, is a psychotherapist at Pediatric and Adolescent Psychology Associates in Arcadia, California, where she sees children and adolescents, as well as provides parenting consultations. She is the school counselor at St. Marks Episcopal School in Altadena, CA, and a Developmental Consultant to Camp Chippewa for Boys. She speaks to parents, educators, and clinicians all across the country. Dr. Bryson earned her PhD from the University of Southern California, where her research explored attachment science, childrearing theory, and the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology. Her best-selling book The Whole-Brain Child (co-authored with Dr. Dan Siegel) gives parents practical ways to transform difficult moments into opportunities for children to thrive.  Dr. Bryson has written for a large number of publications, most recently the PBS series “This Emotional Life.”  She lives near Los Angeles with her husband and three children.  

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