Ep. 26: Dr. William Stixrud & Ned Johnson - How to Raise Confident & Resilient Kids - Stixrud Group


We have two amazing guests on the show today. Dr. William Stixrud is clinical neuropsychologist and director of The Stixrud Group. He holds positions at children’s medical schools. He lectures on neuropsychological assessment, learning and executive disorders, brain development, motivation, and the effects of stress, sleep deprivation, and technology overload on the brain.

Ned Johnson is a friend of Tricia's, and the president and founder of PrepMatters where he helps students of all ages prep for all types of academic tests. He is considered the most sought out instructor in the DC area. He also oversees instructor hiring and training, curriculum development, business management, and coffee purchases.

We are so fortunate to have these two experts on complementary subjects here to talk about their new book that they collaborated on. We talk about why stress is so prevalent today, and what parents can encourage their children to do to become autonomous and learn decision making, and find the confidence to succeed. This book is a must read for everyone.

More From Dr. William Stixrud and Ned Johnson

The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives

The Self-Driven Child - An Evening with Dr. Bill Stixrud and Ned Johnson




Learn more about BB&R and Achieving Optimal Health Conference by visiting BBRconsulting.us

Show Notes

  • [01:07] We've known for years that a low sense of self control is one of the most stressful things in the universe.

  • [00:49] Bill and Ned have been friends for about eight years. They started lecturing about do kids become self-motivated. They also lectured on what chronic stress does to a developing brain.

  • [01:13] We talked about chronic stress and organizing and sleep and we wanted a guiding principle for a book. We've decided that everything we talked about is related to a sense of control.

  • [01:29] You can summarize stress with the acronym nuts which stands for novelty, unpredictability, threat, and a low sense of self control.

  • [01:58] If stress is so highly related to motivation, it must be a big deal. Then we started to research how having a sense of control and autonomy created better outcomes in all areas of children's lives.

  • [02:49] The book is geared more towards parents. Parents want their children to be happy and successful. This is advice is for parents who want their kids to be successful.

  • [03:47] Stress is when we experience a new situation that ignites our flight or fight response.

  • [04:09] Stress overtime can change the brains in kids and make them more prone to stress as adults.

  • [05:16] Kids have e an opportunity to shape their own g=brains in healthy ways their entire lives.

  • [07:03] As a therapist, don't work harder on your patients problem than they do.

  • [07:30] I love you too much to fight about you with your homework. Changing the energy this way is powerful.

  • [08:32] Giving too much help can make a kid feel like they are pushed.

  • [11:05] Spend your time with your kids as consultants and as the important things. Help them make informed decisions.

  • [14:06] Kids need boundaries, but we don't want to take responsibility for stuff that is theirs.

  • [15:55] You can be less anxious and give your kids confidence.

  • [16:52] Calm is contagious. It's much easier to soothe with calm.

  • [18:02] Rested brains work better. It's pure basic science.

  • [19:16] Not getting sleep causes chronic stress.

  • [21:18] Exercise helps people sleep. Meditation also helps. Some kids take low dose melatonin. Don't use technology before bed.

  • [23:37] Adults in the 2000s were more to experience anxiety and depression.

  • [25:08] There are so many second chances to get back on track in this country.

  • [25:46] Health issues create chronic stress. Your reactions are normal, but they may not be helping you. It's a chemical problem. You want to chemically change your brain to things that feel good,

  • [27:43] KIds with negative views hang on to it. Try to change the angle or the energy.

Links and Resources:

How Children Succeed

“We've known for years that a low sense of self control is one of the most stressful things in the universe.” Dr. William Stixrud

“Motivation develops in kids if they have a sense of autonomy. Self-motivation doesn't develop without a sense of autonomy or control over your own life.” Dr. William Stixrud

“The last thing we want for our kids to be is chronically stressed because they have high levels of cortisol in their bodies.’ Dr. William Stixrud

PodcastOlivia Lopez