I scrambled to get a ticket when I discovered Dr. Becky was coming to the Bay Area to host an intimate night at the Sweetwater. There was a waitlist of over 100 parents trying to get in, so as we approached the days before, I had lost hope a bit. But sure enough — the day before an event, an extra ticket popped up, and I couldn’t wait to see her live in her interview with Brit Morin, the Founder of Brit & Co. and co-founder and managing partner of Offline Ventures.

It was the perfect Monday night treat to get a nice dose of good examples to lean on for my parenting toolbox, and I had to share with others, knowing how hard it was to attend. 

Dr. Becky Parenting Tips From Her Special Workshop 

1) Dr. Becky teaches the importance of prioritizing teaching resilience.

One overarching takeaway may seem obvious, but her examples stuck with me in teaching kids to be more resilient. She used a bench analogy to explain this. We want kids to feel their feelings and trust them to make good decisions, so here’s how it works. 

When a kid comes to you with a feeling, you validate what they are feeling and say:

  1. “I’m so glad you came to me.” In the bench analogy, you are now sitting on the bench next to them and their feelings.
  2. “I believe you.” This helps kids have more self-trust that their feelings are valid.
  3. “Tell me more.” In the analogy, you are next to them, but their bench warmer, helping them feel less alone.

Often, kids cannot be resilient because they feel alone and their feelings are disjointed from their belief to repress them or feel something different. The above statements place you firmly with them to guide them to believe what they are feeling and be better able to handle anything that comes their way through the ability to process big feelings as they come.

As a side note, there is such a thing as deeply feeling kids that will reject you on the bench with them. They need time to process, and hand signals can often be effective to try a “side door approach” at a later time.

2) Dr. Becky suggests exposing kids to things that aren’t always comfortable.

We often try to protect our kids from the uncomfortable, but it’s our job to help them handle their frustration and expose them more to uncomfortable situations. This can be the most challenging but most impactful thing we teach them. As you coach kids through their frustrations, you are helping them practice their skills for every situation that might come up. So, if you aren’t exposing them to enough obstacles, you are doing them a disservice. 

The #1 thing Dr. Becky said that parents come to her for is not wanting an “entitled kid.” But she says that she believes these kids who end up seeming in this bucket can’t process frustration correctly. An example she talked through was one 16-year-old’s explosion around a kid not getting to travel in first class. A quick backtrack with his family showed that the child wasn’t exposed to enough frustration because the parents worked hard to ensure they bought more accessible paths for him instead. Not winding up too entitled could be seen as a measure of how well your kid can tolerate frustration. Kids are a product of their environment, so ensure their frustration is built in with pleasurable moments. Those moments and how they handle them matter far more.

3) Dr. Becky reminds us that sibling dynamics boil down to inherent threats.

Kids need attachment to us to survive. That’s inherent from the moment they are born. This is why even a compliment to one sibling can threaten another child. It inhibits their connection or attachment and can be seen as a threat. The best parenting technique to resolve this is one-on-one time without the phone and ensuring each sibling is secure in their connection with you. Normalizing jealousy and frustration is also a great strategy.

4) Dr. Becky empowers you to lead your home around screen time.

The more I cover and hear about screen time, the more I yearn for simpler days when we didn’t have them. Dr. Becky affirmed that no one feels good about screen time either. We need more guides around them. Her analogy here was around parents feeling like the leader of their home and modeling screen time or, better yet, acting as the plane’s pilot. If a pilot looked at the data and found that changing their course would lead to a safer landing, would you question it? If the pilot took in your input as a passenger when they had already looked at the data separately, they wouldn’t entirely be a fearless leader of the plane, would they? 

Our job is to make good decisions and prioritize our kids’ safety, even if they protest. The US Surgeon General has issued warnings that kids are experiencing a mental health crisis and that social media is to blame. Period. Show your kids how much you love them by setting guidelines to protect them. Don’t allow them to charge their device in their room, and get a contract in place to keep everyone on the same page. I recently learned of this great company, Aro, that can help. They believe “if you change the relationship with your phone, you change the relationship with everyone around you.”

The MomShine Family-friendly Device Agreement can help, too; it is customizable and FREE for download.

5) Dr. Becky’s last parenting tip is to have weekly check-ins with your children.

She closed the event, reminding all parents that she’s never met one that is perfect. It doesn’t exist, and remind yourself of that. Repair has the most relational impact on kids and helps them feel less alone after traumatic events.

It’s not the trauma itself that is the issue. It’s the aloneness they feel if it’s not repaired well after. Adam Grant has a great saying around this: “I’m going to crush my second score.” He noted that in psychology, they often talk about this as being the best way to take in any criticism so you don’t feel discouraged or unmotivated.

And when in doubt, host a check-in with your kid. Ask them one thing you could do differently to be a better parent. Come curious and willing to take in their feedback as well. 

If you want more advice on being a more conscious parent, check out the latest episode with Katherine Sellery, Founder of the Conscious Parenting Revolution.