Does Your Child Have a Growth Mindset?

Helping Kids Create Healthy Habits for the Mind on POP Parenting Radio

growth mindset

This week on POP Parenting Radio, we kicked off a new series on helping kids develop healthy habits with a look at creating healthy habits for the mind.

Over the past year or so, Jody and I have been super interested in studying habits. I guess it started when we read the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. So much of what we do in life is driven by habit — and that can be both good and bad.

So for the month of July, we are talking about helping kids develop good habits. Take a look at the schedule, and remember, you can always listen live at 9:00AM ET. If we are not on a radio station local to you, visit our page on Genesis Communications Network and you can listen streaming. If you’d like to be able to listen to POP Parenting locally, click on the contact button above to let us know, and we’ll tell you how you can help.

Saturday, July 2 — Healthy Habits for the Mind with Jenni & Jody (podcast is included below)

Saturday, July 9 — Healthy Habits for the Body with Dr. Samantha Brody

Saturday, July 16 — Healthy Habits for the Spirit with Rabbi Elaine Glickman and Pastor Tony Faeth

Saturday, July 23 — Healthy Habits for Organization with author Evan Zislis

Saturday, July 30 — Healthy Habits for Time Management (guest TBA)

This Week’s Show Topic

During this week’s episode, we talked about the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, and why is it critical to groom a growth mindset in our children. The concept for this episode came from the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, and in the third and fourth segments we offer some practical tips for cultivating a growth mindset.

Brother Brother Music

Hey, if you dig the new sound of POP Parenting, we encourage you to check out Brother Brother! They are a super fun two-man Indie Americana band comprised of brothers Bradley and Brett Anderson. They have a new album coming out soon, and we have had the chance to hear some of it — it’s awesome! So go visit them, like them on Facebook and check out their music.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Un-Ashamed

A book review

unashamed

So this is a difficult review for me to write. When I saw the opportunity to review Un-Ashamed: Healing our Brokenness and Finding Freedom From Shame by writer, counselor and speaker Heather Davis Nelson, I jumped at the chance because Jody and I have spent the past few years really examining the whole concept of shame and how it so deeply affects our culture.

I rarely ever agree to do adult book reviews, primarily because I am usually too busy to commit to finish a particular book by a certain deadline but also because reading is my refuge from a busy day — it’s my dessert at the end of a long to do list, and I don’t want to devote that time to something I can’t relish and digest slowly, at my own pace.

I made an exception for this book because it tackled a subject that I find compelling and from a biblical perspective — all the better!

Nelson seems to have written the book partly in response to Brené Brown’s research and writing on shame but with a biblical answer to the pervasive issue, as well as out of her own personal battles with shame, many of which she doesn’t seem to have overcome. She writes, “I am a people-pleaser by nature and practice, and writing publicly terrifies me because of the fear of criticism and judgement. I want my words to be beautiful and perfect. And yet — like every other part of my life — they won’t be and they cannot be.”

Her transparency is admirable, but it makes it all the more difficult to write this review.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Would a Worm Go on a Walk

A Children's Book Review

would a worm go on a walk

I have a 4-year-old, and when I saw the opportunity to review this book, I jumped at it. The bright colors of the cover, and the title intrigued me, and since Matty Jay is really into picture books right now, I thought we would be perfect candidates to review this colorful story written by Hannah C. Hall and illustrated by Bill Bolton.

Would a worm go on walk? Would a piglet play piano? Would a lion be a lifeguard? Well, no, because that’s not how God made them!

Matty and I loved the silliness of each animal question, and I really appreciated the alliteration, especially since this is the early reading season for him. The message that God gave all the animals — and us too — unique qualities and special strengths is a good one. Would a worm go on a walk

But hands down, the illustrations sell this book. The bright colors and silly depictions — like a ladybug applying lipstick and a possum at a ballet bar — are really engaging for young eyes and minds. Plus, if you have early readers, this would be a fun one for them to attempt on their own.

I definitely recommend this book for your toddlers, pre-schoolers and early elementary kiddos. If you’re interested in getting one for free, leave a comment below (on the jenniandjody website, not on Facebook), and you will be entered to win your very own copy.


Disclosure

(In accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.)Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.

If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

 

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Planning to See “The BFG” This Weekend?

Movie Review of Disney’s The BFG

the bfg

Earlier this week Jody and I had the chance to attend a pre-screening of Disney’s new movie The BFG. The film opens tonight in theaters everywhere, and if you’re looking for a family movie this weekend, this might be a good option.

The BFG is the story of 10-year-old orphan Sophie and a 24-foot giant with enormous and expressive ears, a keen sense of smell and an oogly-googly vocabulary. The giant, known as BFG (for Big Friendly Giant) kidnaps the precocious Sophie from a London orphanage and brings her to Giant Country, inhabited by human-eating giants twice the size of the BFG. The two become fast friends, but threats from the other giants propel them on a journey that includes Buckingham Palace, the Queen of England and the Royal Army.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, the Disney film brings to life Roald Dahl’s book with breathtaking cinematography and animation. It’s a very sweet story about the unexpected friendship of two lonely souls. Kids are likely to be fascinated by the scenery and tickled by some of the humor, especially the scenes with explosive, phosphorescent flatulence.

Although we both enjoyed the tenderhearted film, Jody and I also thought it was a bit slow. However, its visual splendor still makes it theater worthy. Sophie and BFG’s magical visit to the gossamer and luminescent Dream Country alone makes it worth a trip to the big screen. So if you don’t have extraordinary plans for the Fourth of July weekend or if it happens to be raining in your neck of the woods at any point, pack up the family and head to the theatre to see Disney’s The BFG.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Multitasking Lowers GPA

multitasking

Moms may be known as the ultimate multitaskers, but the research agrees that multitasking is not an efficient way to get things done. In a nutshell, multitasking is doing two or more tasks at the same time, and in the world of constant connectivity and social media, our kids are multitasking more than ever, and that’s a good thing.

Throughout this month, we are talking about helping kids develop healthy habits, and this week our radio show and column are focused on developing healthy habits for the mind. So for today’s blog, we want to talk about helping our kids get into the habit of focusing by avoiding multitasking.

Did you know that FOCUS is an acronym? It stands for

Follow

One

Course

Until Successful

The argument we often hear is that multitasking makes us more efficient. But the truth is, there are limitations to how many tasks we can perform and how well they can be executed when being performed at the same time.  Instead, let’s teach our kids to focus and fully complete one task before doing anything else.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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This Week’s Episode of POP Parenting Radio

Why Raise Leaders?

Raising Hand

This week on POP Parenting, we are asking parents, “Why raise leaders?” Leadership training is one of our core values and focal points of the POP Parenting message. In fact, one of our tag lines is “training leaders from cradle to college.” But often, we hear parents say that their child isn’t really leadership material. In this episode, we offer a new definition for leadership that should inspire every parent to want to focus on leadership training with every child.

By the way, we apologize that the show notes and podcasts are up so late this week. Sunday was my baby shower. Jody put the whole thing together, and she did an AWESOME job! It was an amazing shower for baby Rhema Joy, who is due in August. I’m going to write a blog post soon about some of the super cool things we did at the shower, so stay tuned. I had extended family in town this weekend and my college roomie — it was a BLAST! But between entertaining and all the work Jody had to do for the shower, we weren’t able to get the podcast up over the weekend.

raise leaders

Jody & Jenni at the shower for baby Rhema Joy

From left to right: (back row) Jenni's mom, Ellen; Jenni's grandma Rita; Jenni, Jenni's Aunt Andrea (front row) Jenni's daughter Eden (my oldest daughter Sky couldn't make it; she was finishing an online final exam for Western Civ)

From left to right:
(back row) Jenni’s mom, Ellen; Jenni’s grandma Rita; Jenni, Jenni’s Aunt Andrea
(front row) Jenni’s daughter Eden (my oldest daughter Sky couldn’t make it; she was finishing an online final exam for her college Western Civ class)

Jenni with her college roommate and dear friend Ilana

Jenni with her college roommate and dear friend Ilana

This Week’s Show Topic

During this episode, we talked about what it really means to be a leader, and why parents should groom this in every child. We also offered personal stories and practical tools for grooming leadership in kids.

  • Segment #1  is an introduction and some background information about leadership training
  • Segment #2 takes us into the traits that leadership education instills in kids
  • Segment #3 offers some practical things you can do groom leadership
  • Segment #4 is the “Caught in the Act” segment. We talk to a dad who was caught saying some very special things to his 2 1/2 year old son.

In the first segment, we reference the National Alliance for Education and Transition. We’ve linked to their website in case you want to check them out for yourself.

Caught in the Act

The last segment of each POP Parenting episode is dedicated to a parent or childcare giver who was “caught in the act” of doing something extra-ordinary. This week’s parent is dad Tim Murphy who was nominated by his wife Ashley.

Ashley wrote a blog post about something pretty amazing that she overheard Tim saying to their 2 1/2 year old son Caden. We share an excerpt of what Ashley wrote, and we talk to Tim about his inspiration and goals for the conversation.

Caught in the Act

Tim & Caden Murphy

If you’d like to check out Ashley’s blog, you can find her at Do Your Best Sanctuary.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Catch the Very First National Episode of POP Parenting Radio

What is POP Parenting?

POP Parenting Radio Show

Yesterday morning at 9:00AM ET POP Parenting radio show debuted to a national audience through the Genesis Communications Network. This has been a long time in the making. We first began conversations with GCN in November 2014. By the following November, we had an agreement in place, and we left local radio, but we had to build a home studio that could communicate with the GCN satellite system. It took some time to raise the money, order the equipment (this kind of stuff isn’t available on Amazon Prime), build the studio, choose and record bumper music and intros/outros, do testing and settle on an official launch date.

The new studio is in Jody’s house, and by an awesome turn of Providential events, we ended up moving six houses away from Jody just a week before the new show launched! So my husband Matt and I walked down the road for the first show (how stinkin’ cool is that?). Matt is our tech guy here in Florida, and he communicates with the engineers in the GCN studio in Minnesota.

So…you’ll notice there are no pictures of our first day. Well…I guess this is confession time. So, since it was a Saturday morning and my family is still knee-deep in boxes (unpacking a family of eight – soon to be nine – is no small feat), and since the studio is just down the block, I must confess that I showed up to our first show in my PJs! My husband works nights, so I brewed him some coffee, filled our Tervis Tumblers with hot drinks, woke him up, and we headed down the block. I must say the PJ broadcast was so nice, but next week I’ll have family in town for my baby shower, so I’ll get dressed for that show, and we will try to get some photos in the new studio.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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You May Not Want to Find Dory This Weekend

findingdory564224ead88cb

Earlier this week, Jody and I had the chance to pre-screen DisneyPixar’s Finding Dory, and I must say that this, for us, was THE most highly anticipated pre-screening we have attended to date. Our kids were green with envy (we only get two tickets to pre-screenings, so our kids have to wait for the theatrical release like everyone else). Even our husbands were bummed that they couldn’t make it to this one.

Finding Nemo is one of my all time favorite animated movies. In fact, I think it’s such a great example of top notch storytelling that I use it whenever I teach basic storytelling techniques to kids. I’m not alone in my opinion on this film. It won the 2003 Academy Award® for best animated feature. In 2008, the American Film Institute named it among the top 10 greatest animated films ever made. And at the time of its release, Finding Nemo was the highest grossing G-rated movie of all time. It is still the fifth highest grossing animated film worldwide. The film has more than 19 million Likes on Facebook, and Dory—with more than 25 million—is the most liked individual character from any Disney or Disney•Pixar film.

So with all those accolades in mind, we were pumped for a GREAT sequel. And Disney•Pixar knows how to do a sequel. I’m not sure which Toy Story is my favorite. They are all so good, and I think I might have liked Monsters University even a tad bit more than Monsters Inc.

Boy were we surprised by Finding Dory!

Finding Nemo instantly drew us into the plight of its main characters. In the opening scene, we were delighted for the young fish couple Marlin and Coral who just bought their first home and were expecting a clutch of baby clown fish. And then we were shocked and grieved when nearly everything was ripped away from Marlin in a tragic barracuda attack that took Coral and all but one egg. So naturally, we sympathized with Marlin’s helicopter parenting compulsions, and when the unthinkable happened, and Nemo was scooped up by the monstrous diver, we were fully invested in Marlin’s quest to find his son.

Along the way, we encountered surprising and endearing situations and characters like the AA-style shark meeting who chanted the mantra, “Fish are friends, not food,” and the thrill-seeking, surfer-dude sea turtle Crush and of course, Marlin’s adopted sidekick Dory. The journey had great momentum. With every new situation and encounter, we sensed we were getting closer to finding Nemo.

In the meantime, there was a captivating B story with Nemo in the fish tank at the dentist’s office that had its own set of interesting characters and an additional threat — Darla, the dentist’s fish-killing niece. Plus, all of it, from the fish tank to the ocean was visually spectacular.

Although both Nemo and Finding Dory were directed by Andrew Stanton, who also directed WALL•E, the sequel had none of the elements that made the original so great. Although it was endearing to meet a young Dory (albeit incredibly sad, as you learn more about her short-term memory loss disability and witness some of her nearly-too-painful-to-watch struggles), we weren’t quite as invested in her sudden plight to find her family. Perhaps it’s because it seemed to come out of left field. There wasn’t a distinct inciting incident. You could almost sense that the real reason for Dory’s quest was to give Disney’s most beloved character a vehicle for her own movie.

From the moment the journey started it just seemed to go in circles. We couldn’t feel a forward momentum toward the goal, and after a short while, we found ourselves wanting to get off the merry-go-round.

The visuals didn’t help. In stark contrast to the vibrant colors of Nemo, Dory felt drab and even dingy at times. There weren’t any truly memorable moments, and although this might sound strange since we’re talking about a flick of talking fish, many of the scenarios in Finding Dory felt contrived and unrealistic. At least in Nemo, the situations they encountered seemed plausible in the ocean world.

Jody and I were so sad and disappointed. The car ride home from Tampa felt almost depressing.

So although Finding Dory opens in theaters everywhere tonight, we’d suggest you skip this one, and wait for it for to come on video. Head to the beach, have a barbecue or go on a family hike instead. You’ll have a more memorable weekend.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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An Inspiring and Visually Spectacular Family Movie

Alice Through the Looking Glass Opens Tonight

AliceThroughTheLookingGlass56c20221afcf7

Whatever your plans are for tonight, make sure they include a trip to the theater to see Alice Through the Looking Glass!

Apparently, most critics don’t agree with me, but I’m not one to care much about fitting in with the masses. Jody and I had a chance to attend a pre-screening earlier this week, and we both LOVED it. In fact, the whole theater loved it. I’ve been to about half a dozen Disney pre-screenings over the past year or so, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen the entire theater (and it was a large, very packed theater) burst into applause at the closing credits.

Tim Burton directed the first live action Alice in Wonderland back in 2010. I loved that one too, but James Bobin, the director on this year’s sequel, brings a new sense of visual splendor to the story. In true Burton form, the first film had a darkness about it — almost a steampunked feel to it. Bobbins depiction of Wonderland is vividly colorful. I want him to come decorate my house — at least part of it!

Jody and I thought the storyline was very creative. Here’s the gist. Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland (Wonderland was Alice’s mispronunciation of the place when she was a young girl) to save her friend the Mad Hatter. By the way, we were impressed that after six years, the film attracted nearly all of the original cast to return.  Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Matt Lucas and Helena Bonham Carter along with the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. Looking Glass also introduces us to several new characters: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.

In this adventure, a self-confident and courageous Alice Kingsleigh has spent the past three years sailing the high seas aboard her father’s ship. Upon her return to London, she comes across a magical looking glass and returns to the fantastical realm of Underland. Reuniting with her friends the White Rabbit, Absolem, the White Queen and the Cheshire Cat, Alice goes on a time-bending quest to save the Hatter and Underland itself before it’s too late.

It’s a great family film that does a creative job of reinforcing the importance of courage, taking risks to help others, standing up for what we believe in, righting our wrongs and learning to embrace one another’s gifts and abilities in spite of our differences.

The characters are as loveable as ever, and Alice’s wardrobe is stunning!

Don’t miss this fun and inspiring family film. It opens tonight in theaters everywhere.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Extra! Extra! Read All About It

The Big Payoff of Reading Aloud to Kids of All Ages

Reading aloud to kids

Out of all the different ways that we can help our kids succeed in school, the number one thing that parents can do requires nothing more than a free library card and time. We can read to them.

In 1983, the U.S. Department of Education was concerned about low academic performance scores, so they funded a Commission on Reading who spent two years combing through thousands of research reports conducted over the previous twenty-five years, and in 1985 they published their findings in a report titled Becoming a Nation of Readers. Amidst all of their digging, they discovered that reading out loud to kids is the number one most important thing we can do to help our kids become successful learners.

“The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children,” the report said. “It is a practice that should continue throughout the grades.”

I’ve Seen It First Hand

I homeschool all my kids, so I have had the privilege of watching them learn to read. (Well, the first five that is; the four year old is just starting.) And I’ve noticed reading happens in different ways for different kids. A few of my kids were early fluent readers, reading simple chapter books independently before Kindergarten. But a couple of them did not take to it so easily.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of six kids (ages 4 to 18) with #7 due in August and one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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