TPP 314: Dr. Abigail Gewirtz on Helping Kids Find Hope & Optimism in the Most Challenging Times
Since my guest for today’s episode, Dr. Abigail Gewirtz was on the show just over two years ago near the start of the COVID pandemic, the world has continued to go through increasingly complicated and challenging times.
Like I’m sure all of you out there listening, I’ve struggled to find ways to help my child feel hope and optimism about the state of the world — the war in Ukraine, a spate of school shootings, a very polarized political landscape, and catastrophic weather events.
So I wanted to ask Abigail, the author of the wonderful book When the World Feels Like a Scary Place: Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents and Worried Kids, if hope and optimism is possible to find even when things around us feel so unpredictable and chaotic, and if so, how can we cultivate this for our kids in an authentic way?
In our conversation, Abigail shares her ideas for doing that, as well as ways we adults can manage our own fear and worries to be able to show up for our kids, and the importance of guiding kids toward something that makes them feel purpose and meaning.
About Dr. Abigail Gewirtz
Dr. Abigail Gewirtz is a child psychologist and professor at the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development (ranked the world’s third-leading institution of its kind).
Dr. Gewirtz has consulted for and presented to national and international organizations, including the US Congress and UNICEF, on parenting. Dr. Gewirtz’s most recent book is When the World Feels Like a Scary Place: Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents and Worried Kids.
Things you'll learn from this episode
- What Abigail is seeing in her work over the past two years regarding of the state of the world and the impact on kids and families
- How adults can manage their own pain, fear, and worries so they can show up for their kids
- Whether it’s possible for our kids to feel optimism in the midst of growing up in a heavy and difficult times
- How to guide a child toward identifying something that could help them feel a sense of purpose and meaning
- What happens in our kids' developing brains when they consume content that reinforces pessimism and division
- What leading kids with negative mindsets toward hope might look like
- Dr. Abigail Gewirtz’s website
- When the World Feels Like a Scary Place: Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents and Worried Kids by Dr. Abigail Gewirtz
- How to Talk to Kids When the World Feels Like a Scary Place (Tilt Parenting podcast episode)
- Dr. Devorah Heitner on Online Safety and Internet “Rabbit Holes” and Differently Wired Kids (Tilt Parenting podcast episode)
- Dr. Tamar Chansky on How to Free Our Children from Negative Thinking (Tilt Parenting podcast episode)
Connect with Tilt Parenting
- Visit Tilt Parenting
- Take the free 7-Day Challenge
- Read a chapter of Differently Wired
- Follow Tilt on Twitter & Instagram