How to Talk with Kids with Ned Johnson and Dr. William R. Stixrud


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By Jon Vroman | Family Man, etc. and Jon Vroman | Family Man. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

I just can’t handle you right now.”

That’s how I’m feeling around my kids lately.

As many of you know, I’ve been on a pretty epic family road trip across the country. We’ve been making some incredible memories and having a ton of fun, but it hasn't been without some serious challenges.

My wife has been sick for the past week, the boys are constantly fighting, I'm trying to manage my business (while keeping everyone engaged), and there've been some tragic events with my extended family, to name just a few.

To be honest, I feel like I’m reaching my breaking point. I’ve lost all patience, I’m emotionally drained, and I just don’t have the bandwidth to deal with my kids immediate needs.

And I can feel the negative impact that my energy is having on my kids—which doesn’t sit right with me.

I don’t want to be the Dad who replies to my kids with the classic “Because I said so…” line.

Well, the timing for today’s episode of the podcast couldn’t be better. Returning guests, Ned Johnson and William Stixrud, join the show to talk all about their new book, What Do You Say?: How to Talk with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home.

Ned and Bill reminded me that nobody gets it right all the time. In fact, perfect parenting just doesn’t exist, and my current feelings are completely normal.

Thankfully, they shared some pro tips for practicing self-compassion and dealing with the kids when life gets crazy—ones that I know you’ll appreciate!

If you sometimes find it hard to talk with our kids, you’re going to love this conversation. Ned and Bill share some really powerful strategies for creating deeper connections, building empathy, and engaging in respectful and effective dialogue. This is your comprehensive guide to effectively communicating with kids!

Ned Johnson Podcast Highlights

  • How to talk to kids (and really listen) in order to build powerful connections.
  • Changing the energy in the way you talk to your children.
  • Letting your kids know when you’re having a tough day/week.
  • How to practice non-judgmental self-compassion.
  • Why nobody needs perfect parents. In fact, ‘good enough’ is better than you may think.
  • The power of spending one-on-one time with your kids.
  • Talking with kids about the pursuit of happiness.
  • Using reflective listening to build empathy with your kids.
  • Helping kids find their own motivation.
  • How does a kid's age impact how you speak to them?
  • Why you should want your kids to solve their own problems as much as possible.
  • Are you accidentally bailing on your kids emotionally?

Get the Full Show Notes

Want access to the full show notes, including links to all resources mentioned during today's conversation? Visit

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291 episodes