Play Therapy Parenting Podcast Episodes

listen on apple podcasts
listen on google podcasts
Navigating Parenthood: Direction over Perfection

Navigating Parenthood: Direction over Perfection

In this episode of the Play Therapy Parenting Podcast, I explore the analogy of a compass and how it relates to parenting. I delve into the fact that a compass doesn't actually point to True North, contrary to popular belief. This realization led me to reflect on the...

read more
A Deeper Dive Into Praise Vs Encouragement

A Deeper Dive Into Praise Vs Encouragement

In this episode of the Play Therapy Parenting Podcast, I take a deep dive into praise vs encouragement from a child-centered play therapy standpoint. Building upon the previous episode's overview, I recount a conversation with a house parent at the Hope Children's...

read more
What To Do When Choice Giving “Isn’t Working”

What To Do When Choice Giving “Isn’t Working”

Listeners Dan and Clay emailed me similar questions regarding "roadblocks" in the choice-giving process. In this episode, I discuss the following topics: - The purpose behind why we give choices - Hindrances to the choice-giving process (congruence, choices given only...

read more
How To Bond And Connect With Your Baby In The Best Way

How To Bond And Connect With Your Baby In The Best Way

One of the podcast listeners, Josh, emailed me and asked how to best connect with their baby.  Play therapy principles still apply in relationship building with babies and infants!  So in this episode, I'll go into how to connect and bond with your infant in three...

read more
The Dangers Of TikTok

The Dangers Of TikTok

As a child therapist, I'm on the front lines of the damage that devices and social media are doing to our kids. The worst of all, in my opinion, is TikTok. There is nothing redeemable about TikTok, especially in light of what it's doing to our teens and young adults....

read more
Do You Hear Me? Do You See Me? Do I Matter?

Do You Hear Me? Do You See Me? Do I Matter?

"Every day, in a hundred small ways, our children ask us...Do you hear me? Do you see me? Do I matter? And their behavior often reflects our response." This is a powerful quote by L.R. Knost that perfectly describes play therapy and what I'm trying to communicate on...

read more
The Baker Act Epidemic: Know Your Rights As Parents

The Baker Act Epidemic: Know Your Rights As Parents

Baker Acts (involuntary commission to a mental health facility) are on the rise, and there are many things that parents don't know. In this episode, I discuss the following topics: What you should know about the process at the Baker Act facility What you should know...

read more
The Importance Of Sleep And Getting Outside

The Importance Of Sleep And Getting Outside

I had a personal reminder the other day about how being outside promotes restorative sleep. So I tell that story in this episode, and then I relate it to how much kids are affected by simply getting some outdoor time, and how that helps the deep sleep cycle. All of...

read more
100th Episode Special! A Look Behind, And A Look Ahead

100th Episode Special! A Look Behind, And A Look Ahead

We did it! In this 100th episode of the Play Therapy Parenting podcast, I take a look back (all the way to 2006!), and a look forward and where I'm going with everything. In this episode I talk about the following topics: The 4 most important lessons from the first...

read more
Kids And Screens @ Discovery Church In Orlando Florida

Kids And Screens @ Discovery Church In Orlando Florida

This is a special episode of the Play Therapy Parenting podcast. I was invited to speak at a "Parent Huddle" at Discovery Church in Orlando, FL on the topic of kids and screens. I was given permission to record this talk so that I could share this with my podcast...

read more
A Neurobiological Connection To Play Therapy

A Neurobiological Connection To Play Therapy

Hang on! This is a deep dive into how your child's brain works, and I'll explain why they sometimes act the way that they do. This episode was inspired after I read an article on Brain Harmony and I noticed a diagram representing a pyramidal hierarchy of child...

read more
What To Do When Play Therapy Skills Don’t Work!

What To Do When Play Therapy Skills Don’t Work!

In this episode, I talk through what to do when your children do not respond to play therapy skills. A Mom from Utah emailed me with some frustrations implementing the 4 Pillars and asked for my thoughts. I got permission to share her situation in this episode and we...

read more
Get On Eye Level With Kids

Get On Eye Level With Kids

A wonderful validation of what I teach parents happened to me on vacation a few weeks ago. One of the tips in the 10-week parent coaching program that I teach is to get on a kids eye level. So I did that to a kid in line at a McDonalds and you'll never believe what...

read more
New Baby Jealousy

New Baby Jealousy

In this episode I talk through baby jealousy when a new baby is introduced to the family. These concepts also apply to other situations when a new family member is added, such as step-children, etc. But new babies are the most common situation when baby jealousy...

read more
Don’t Give In To Screens!

Don’t Give In To Screens!

Over the weekend, I saw a disturbing scene play out while we were at a bowling ally, and it was a perfect example of what I call negative behavior reinforcement using devices. So in this episode, I share that story, then I explain the reasoning behind why negative...

read more
The Power Of Celebrations

The Power Of Celebrations

In this episode, I catch you up on, and celebrate some of the things I've been involved in lately, and then I celebrate an email that I got from a Mom... She wrote me an email and it touched my heart, so I asked her if I could share it. I celebrate all of the emails...

read more
Teaching Kids Empathy

Teaching Kids Empathy

Empathy is learned. Kids aren't born with it, and they mainly learn it by observing adults displaying empathy. We want our kids to show empathy when it's appropriate. Being kind and compassionate to others is a good character trait. In this episode, I talk about how...

read more
Discipline Is Not About “Controlling” Your Kids!

Discipline Is Not About “Controlling” Your Kids!

Do you often find yourself having to "step in" to control your child's behavior? In today's episode, I'm going to try to change your thinking about discipline. The goal of discipline is "self-regulation" on the part of the child. Otherwise, some children "keep...

read more
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Have you heard the (true) story of the little girl that went out every morning to get the mail, and the mailman greeted her with "Hello, Miss America!"  She ended up winning the Miss America pageant.  We don't understand the power that words, phrases, and expressions...

read more
“Don’t Try To Change Everything At Once”

“Don’t Try To Change Everything At Once”

In thinking about New Year's changes, or things you want to change in this upcoming year, I want to caution you about changing too much at once! "Don't Try To Change Everything At Once" is another episode in my "Rules of Thumb" series from the training I conduct...

read more
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Stop beating yourself up over things that you don't know! In this episode, I go over a concept that I call the "Parenting Prison". I'll explain what that is and how to get out. Next I discuss that there is no guilt or blame in not knowing something. Our parenting is...

read more
Are Schools Pushing Kids Too Far, Too Fast?

Are Schools Pushing Kids Too Far, Too Fast?

Did you have to take a career class... in middle school? Did you learn pre-algebra... in 6th grade? In this episode, I'm exploring the question: Are schools pushing kids too far, too fast? First, I read a letter from my son's school that was the spark for this episode...

read more
10 Things Not To Say To Your Kids (A Comparison)

10 Things Not To Say To Your Kids (A Comparison)

Do you say "Good job"? "That's what happens when..."? "If you do that again..."? I found a parents.com blog post titled "10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Kids", and I compare several of the "things" in this post to my 2011 post titled "10 Things Not To Say To...

read more
Parenting Styles – Why Authoritative Is The Best

Parenting Styles – Why Authoritative Is The Best

Do you wonder if your parenting style is helpful or harmful to your children's long-term well being? In this episode, we look at the characteristics of the Authoritative Parenting Style, which is categorized by high levels of both demandingness and responsiveness. We...

read more
“Parenting Hacks For 2021” – My Observations

“Parenting Hacks For 2021” – My Observations

If you follow this podcast, you know that I teach fundamentals and foundational parenting skills from a play therapy perspective. I do like to keep my "finger on the pulse" of parenting, and I search what's going on in the parenting world every so often.  For a long...

read more
Finding A Balance Between Kids And Device Use

Finding A Balance Between Kids And Device Use

Are you concerned that your kids spend too much time on devices? Do you wonder if there's a happy medium between no enough and too much? In this episode of the Play Therapy Podcast, I discuss these questions, plus... The America Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines...

read more
“I Love My Kids, But I Don’t Like Parenting”

“I Love My Kids, But I Don’t Like Parenting”

In this episode, I comment on a blog post I saw on todaysparent.com that I couldn't ignore. "I love my kids, but I don’t like parenting—and I know I’m not alone".  So I'll unpack my thoughts on that by first exploring my opinion that many parents may feel like this...

read more
“Encourage The Effort Rather Than Praise The Product”

“Encourage The Effort Rather Than Praise The Product”

This is a continuation of the "Rules of Thumb" series from the Child-Parent Relationship Therapy curriculum, which is the core training used in my In-Home Play Therapy program. "Encourage the effort rather than praise the product". Encouragement is probably the most...

read more
Adding Structure to your Summer Prevents Behavior Issues

Adding Structure to your Summer Prevents Behavior Issues

We are a month into summer... are your kids driving you nuts? It could be that you need to add some structure back into your kids lives to prevent behavior issues. In this episode, I talk to you about the importance of structure and schedule in kid's lives, I give you...

read more
“You can’t give away what you do not possess.”

“You can’t give away what you do not possess.”

This is a continuation of the "Rules of Thumb" series from the Child-Parent Relationship Therapy curriculum, which is the core training used in my In-Home Play Therapy program. "You can’t give away what you do not possess." is a reminder that you need to be good to...

read more
Why Reasoning Doesn’t Work with Kids

Why Reasoning Doesn’t Work with Kids

While my family was on a weekend getaway over Memorial Day weekend, I couldn't help but do some people watching while I was sitting by the pool, reading a book. I witnessed a perfect example of why it's futile to reason with a kid (a 4 year old, at that!) In this...

read more
The Parenting Journey – 50th Episode Celebration!

The Parenting Journey – 50th Episode Celebration!

This is my 50th episode! I'm so grateful to my podcast listeners. In this episode, I'm looking back on my week's observation of the "Parenting Journey". Parenting is full of ups and downs, but we are all united in a goal of being the best parent we can be. We want...

read more
“Focus on the Donut, Not the Hole”

“Focus on the Donut, Not the Hole”

One of the most important things we can do for our kids to cherish the relationship that we have with them. In this episode, I talk about a Rule of Thumb from the Child-Parent Relationship Training, “Focus on the Donut, Not the Hole.” We look at the importance of...

read more
Natural Consequences of Behavior

Natural Consequences of Behavior

In this episode of the podcast, I talk about the natural consequence of child behavior. There are three points that I'd like to share with you regarding natural consequences. The first is that children are not rational. Next is that the natural consequence is...

read more
The Four Universal Outcomes of Play Therapy

The Four Universal Outcomes of Play Therapy

We all know that therapy is beneficial and that positive change is associated with the process. But what can you count on in terms of areas of growth when a child participates in play therapy? There are four universal outcomes of play therapy, regardless of what the...

read more
Anxiety: The Untold Epidemic of 2021 Kids

Anxiety: The Untold Epidemic of 2021 Kids

You probably haven't heard many people talking about how badly our kids are absorbing the "adult response to the coronavirus". No one is really addressing it. The phones at my office are ringing off the hook with desperate parents trying to get help for their anxious...

read more
How Angry Emotions Mask Deeper Feelings

How Angry Emotions Mask Deeper Feelings

Parents are often concerned when children express angry or aggressive behavior. In this podcast exclusive I discuss how parents can recognize the deeper emotions driving the angry, aggressive behavior. Once you understand why kids default to anger, you will be able to...

read more
2 Main Parenting Goals You Should Be Working On In 2021

2 Main Parenting Goals You Should Be Working On In 2021

Are you setting goals or resolutions for the new year? If so, is one to create a better relationship with your kids? Or to parent in a kinder way? In this episode, I share two main goals for 2021 that can start you off on the right foot in how you interact with your...

read more
Do Your Kids Feel Loved By You? (How to Make Certain)

Do Your Kids Feel Loved By You? (How to Make Certain)

Are you loving your kids in the way that they feel love? You might be completely wasting your efforts in showing love to your kids, unless you are speaking their "language!" In this episode, I introduce you to the 5 Love Languages of Kids, so that you can know for...

read more
The Antidote to Guilt, Shame, and Blame as a Parent

The Antidote to Guilt, Shame, and Blame as a Parent

We know that kids don’t come with an instruction manual and parenting doesn’t have a road map. That often leaves us confused, defeated, frustrated, and ashamed of our failures. It doesn’t have to be that way! This episode highlights a question that I ask myself almost...

read more
How to Talk to Your Kid’s Teacher About Behavior Problems

How to Talk to Your Kid’s Teacher About Behavior Problems

Is your child's behavior at school creating stress and anxiety in your family? Do you fear daily reports from the teacher? Are you unsure how to handle what's going on when you talk to the teacher or staff? I've helped many families navigate this issue in my private...

read more
2 Tips for Parents Dealing with Their Child’s Anxiety

2 Tips for Parents Dealing with Their Child’s Anxiety

Have you ever felt helpless to handle your children’s anxiety and worries? Have you tried things that didn’t seem to help? Do you want nothing more than to see your kids happy and worry free? With the sharp increase in child anxiety levels this year, it’s important to...

read more
What are the Warning Signs of Anxiety in Children?

What are the Warning Signs of Anxiety in Children?

Do you wonder if some of your children’s behaviors are related to anxiety? Have you seen an increase in big emotions, worry, fear, or confusion? Is one of the unforeseen fallouts of 2020 that our kids are experiencing increased anxiety? If the phone calls to my office...

read more
Is Your Child a “Two Marshmallow Kid?”

Is Your Child a “Two Marshmallow Kid?”

Have you ever felt that your kids are too impulsive? Do they get out of control when they are overly excited? Are they quick to melt down when they don’t get their way? Does their behavior seem reckless sometimes? A good predictor of adult success is how well a child...

read more
Why your child should say “I’m angry”

Why your child should say “I’m angry”

You probably hate it when your child loses it when they get upset! But do you know what's going on in their brain when they have that reaction? In this episode, I explain the results from a study that reveals when a child says, "I'm angry," it decreases the emotional...

read more
Stop trying to reason and rationalize with your child!

Stop trying to reason and rationalize with your child!

Have you ever tried to explain to your child why something they did wasn't a good idea? We've all done it. But here's the problem... kids aren't rational until about 12 or 13, so you're wasting your time explaining things rationally to them. Kids are emotional and...

read more
Understanding your kid’s big emotions (anger, crying, etc.)

Understanding your kid’s big emotions (anger, crying, etc.)

One of the key practices in Play Therapy is figuring out the emotion behind the behavior. When you know what emotion is causing a child to act a certain way, you can then reflect that feeling back to them and often diffuse any behavior issues. In this episode, I...

read more
Say it in 10 words or less!

Say it in 10 words or less!

Kids under 13 do not have rational thought, yet parents try to rationalize with their kids during discipline. This is completely futile! Kids are emotional, so it’s more effective to meet them in their emotion, reflect their feeling, and if you impart some...

read more
Pediatricians should prescribe PLAY! (not meds)

Pediatricians should prescribe PLAY! (not meds)

In this episode of Play Therapy Parenting®, Dr. Brenna discusses how the American Academy of Pediatrics published their “best of” 2019 journal articles, and one of the studies explores prescribing PLAY to combat all the stress, busyness, and anxiety that kids are...

read more