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The Power of Emotional Intelligence

Welcome to another episode of The Mom-entum Podcast!  Thank you so much for taking the time to learn and grow with me! 

 

If you want to learn how to instill emotional intelligence in your children, and maybe you want to raise YOUR emotional intelligence, then this is the show for you!  And if you're not exactly sure what it means to be "emotionally intelligent" or why it is even important, no sweat!  I've got Dr. Melanie McNally on the show today, and she's going to bring us all up to speed!

 

I'm so excited for you all to get to know her.  She really does explain things in a simplistic way that is easy to understand, and she even provides some great examples for us to start incorporating this stuff into our daily lives.  Here's more about our guest...

Melanie McNally, PsyD, has emerged as a leading voice in clinical psychology and teen mental health. With a deep commitment to guiding Gen Zers toward their most authentic selves, she offers insights and strategies tailored to the unique challenges faced by today's youth. Dr. Melanie's book The Emotionally Intelligent Teen: Skills to Help You Deal with What You Feel, Build Stronger Relationships, and Boost Self-Confidence was released in December 2023 as a testament to her dedication and expertise.

 

The Emotionally Intelligent Teen promises to be a transformative guide for teens striving to navigate the emotional complexities of adolescence. Drawing upon her extensive clinical experience, Dr. Melanie crafts a narrative that speaks directly to the heart of today's youth. The Emotionally Intelligent Teen delves into the essence of emotional intelligence, offering a blend of expert insights, real-life anecdotes and actionable strategies. It empowers teens to recognize, understand and effectively manage their emotions, fostering healthier relationships and bolstering self-confidence.

 

Beyond theoretical insights, Dr. Melanie's approach in The Emotionally Intelligent Teen is comprehensive, addressing the multifaceted challenges teens face in today's digital landscape – from the omnipresent pressures of social media to the intricacies of peer dynamics. The book emphasizes the importance of emotional self-awareness and delves into the art of self-regulation. Dr. Melanie provides teens with tools to identify and understand their feelings and manage and regulate these emotions in various situations effectively. Through practical exercises and actionable strategies, readers will learn to navigate their emotional responses, ensuring they react to life's challenges with resilience, empathy and maturity.

 

Dr. Melanie's journey in the mental health field began in 2005, with her focus intensifying towards the well-being of adolescents in 2013. She received her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Roosevelt University before earning her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology from Adler University. Her unique 6-month brain coaching program combines her vast experience as a clinical psychologist, her in-depth knowledge of counseling and psychology, and her hands-on work with hundreds of tweens, teens and young adults. Recognized nationally for her expertise, Dr. Melanie has been invited to the White House to discuss the paramount importance of teen mental health.


Dr. Melanie's personal story, marked by challenges from a young age, adds a layer of authenticity to her professional approach. Her narrative is relatable and inspiring, from her battles with anxiety to her transformation into a confident psychologist. She firmly believes in the transformative power of personal experiences and leverages her journey to motivate and empower her clients. Dr. Melanie's mission is unwavering: to ensure every teen and young adult not only becomes the best version of themselves but a version they're genuinely proud of. For more insights and methodologies and to embark on a transformative journey, please visit www.destination you.net.

Dr. McNally breaks down emotional intelligence into three key components: self-awareness, self-regulation, and interpersonal skills.

 

Key Points:

 

Understanding Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence involves recognizing and managing our own emotions while understanding and empathizing with others.

 

Challenges for Teens: Dr. McNally highlights the struggles teens face in managing their emotions, especially in today's digital age where distractions are abundant.

 

Self-Regulation: Many teens (and people of all ages, to be honest) find it challenging to regulate their emotions, leading to avoidance behaviors or reliance on distractions like social media.

 

Parental Role: In the parental role, it's essential to actively model emotional intelligence for teens and children of all ages. This means not only discussing emotions but also demonstrating how to manage them in real-time. For instance, when a parent feels frustrated, they can openly communicate this to their children, explaining that they need a moment to regulate themselves. Stepping away briefly allows them to regain composure, returning to the situation with a clearer mindset. By showcasing this process, parents teach their teens practical strategies for handling emotions effectively.

 

Practical Strategies:

 

Incorporating Learning: Parents can integrate lessons on emotional intelligence into everyday activities, such as listening to podcasts or discussing relevant topics during family time.

 

Modeling Behavior: Parents should lead by example, demonstrating self-awareness, effective communication, and emotional regulation in their own lives.  And this doesn't mean getting it perfect every time!  Just communicate with your children that this is something you are working on, and you can even encourage your children to call you out when you are all caught up in your emotions.  For example, if you are working on your anger, and maybe you are trying not to yell when you are angry.  You can ask your children to remind you of this whenever you start to lose control.  You could say, "Hey kids, Mommy is trying really hard to self regulate so that I don't yell when I'm angry.  Can you please remind me of this when you notice that I'm yelling by saying "Mom, do you want to take a time out?"

 

Creating Opportunities: Whether through family book clubs, meaningful conversations, or shared activities, parents can create environments that encourage emotional growth and understanding.

 

Takeaways:

 

Emotional intelligence is a critical skill for teens (and human beings of all ages!), impacting their decision-making, relationships, and overall well-being.  Parents play a vital role in nurturing emotional intelligence by modeling healthy behaviors and providing opportunities for learning and growth.

 

Tune in to gain valuable insights into fostering emotional intelligence in teenagers and empowering them to navigate life's challenges with resilience and empathy.

Resources Mentioned In The Show
  • To connect with Dr. Melanie McNally and dive into all of the amazing value she has to offer, you can visit her website:  www.destinationyou.net.

       Or connect with her on IG @DrMelanieMcNally

  • If you have a child aged 6-12 who is struggling with anxious feelings, click here for an excellent resource created by Dr. McNally that helps children understand and manage tough emotions.

  • Do you want your kiddos to be successful in life?  I believe with all my heart that CRUCIAL to success, is having the ability to navigate your emotions.  Do yourself a favor and start preparing for those teen years (and life in general), grab yourself a copy of The Emotionally Intelligent Teen.

  • In this episode, we talk about the importance of labeling your emotions.  Raise your and your kids emotional vocabulary by using this feeling wheel.  Dr. McNally suggests having your kiddos color it in and hanging it on the fridge to keep it top of mind.

  • Ready to kickstart your transformation journey? Join my 6-week Slim Down course today! Choose from 3 options tailored to fit your needs, including Course Only or One-on-One Coaching with a Customized Weight Loss Plan (available for purchase as a one-time or 3-month payment plan). Rewrite your relationship with food and achieve sustainable weight loss with ease. Worried about finding the time? This course, designed by a busy mom who gets it, includes audio content for on-the-go learning. Enjoy lifetime access and future updates—sign up now, I guarantee you will get results and I got you! Click here and sign up today! 

  • Not sure if you're ready to make the commitment, but curious what life coaching can do for you?  Allow me to help you unlock what's standing in between you and the life you truly desire.  Why can't you get yourself to do the things you know you need to do?  Or stop doing the things you know are not aligned with your goals or your best self?  Click here to sign up for your FREE 30 minute mini session and I promise I will get you some good help!  So what are you waiting for?  Turn on an episode of Bluey for the kiddos and hop on a call with me!  It's obligation free and it could be the one decision that changes it all for you!

  • Want to give yourself the gift of MORE TIME?  Get AT LEAST 5 hours back/week by doing a time audit.  Don't know where to start?  I've got you covered! For access to my FREE TIME AUDIT TOOL click here.

  • Click here for your FREE DECLUTTERING CHECKLIST.

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  • Please subscribe, rate and review the show to help me reach and support more amazing moms just like you! Click here to learn how.

TRANSCRIPT

Tanya: Alright! Welcome to the show, Dr. Mcnally. Thank you so much for being here.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Thank you

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: so much for having me.

 

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Tanya: Yes, it is such a privilege to have you here, and I'm really excited to get into this conversation today, and I read your book where I listened to the audio book, the emotionally intelligent team skills to help you deal with what you feel, build stronger relationships and boost self confidence.

 

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Tanya: And I absolutely loved it. I'm so grateful. You shared this with me, and I'm excited to be able to use it as a tool for myself

 

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Tanya: and with my kiddos, as I believe this book is relevant and can be useful to all ages.

 

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Tanya: and I don't have teams yet, and, to be honest, I'm not looking forward to the teenage years at all.

 

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Tanya: But I also know that, like it or not.

 

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Tanya: It's coming, and I wanna feel prepared for what can be challenging years. And I wanna be able to handle them and just hold space for my kids throughout. What can be a tumultuous period in their lives in a way that I hope will deepen our relationship, and, like, draw us closer together rather than further apart, and just ultimately set them up

 

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Tanya: for to have as much success as possible in their future, and I'm sure that anyone listening today wants the same thing for their children, and I really do believe that the way we can go through life in the most healthy way possible.

 

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Tanya: and deal with the hard stuff.

 

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Tanya: achieve goals that we set for ourselves and cultivate nourishing relationships is by being more emotionally intelligent. As you say. So to start, Dr. Mcalley, can you explain?

 

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Tanya: What does it mean to be emotionally intelligent. And why is it important? Especially for teenagers navigating their formative years.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yes, so emotional intelligence is our ability to understand what we're thinking and feeling, to be able to understand what the people around us are thinking and feeling, and to be able to communicate with other people based on you know what we understand of ourselves and them.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: and then also to be able to regulate and to be able to calm ourselves down when we're upset. So essentially, emotional intelligence is made up of 3 different components. We have the self awareness. We have self regulation, and we have interpersonal skills.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And for teens, this is such an important area to work on and to to navigate because they. This is a time when they are becoming very self aware

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: they are figuring out

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: what they like, what they don't like. They're trying on different identities. They're seeing what fits, what feels good, what doesn't. They're trying on different friendships and relationships and seeing you know what fits and what doesn't fit with relationships. Even

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: what I see teams really struggle with is the self regulation piece, where they really don't know how to manage the difficult and the hard feelings that come up. And this is pretty typical for a lot of teams. But I think it's

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: becoming a harder problem

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: for today's teams and and future teams because of devices, because now we teams don't have to learn how to navigate hard feelings, because the second they feel uncomfortable, the second they feel anxious

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: or stressed out. They can start scrolling.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: and they don't learn how to self regulate, you know. Versus I'm not sure how old you are, but

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: you know I'm 47, and when I was a you know, a teenager, and if I was stressed out I had to learn how to manage that stress and that discomfort internally.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: because I didn't have a phone to pick up. You know, we didn't have the Internet. So we had to learn how to do that on our own. And a lot of the kids today are being robbed of that opportunity. They're not learning it. And they're not learning that they have the capability to manage stress and anxiety. You know they're they're not learning that they they can do it. And so it's essentially it's a very critical skill for them.

 

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Tanya: Yeah.

 

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Tanya: And I think for anyone, really, because I mean, you say social media. But and yeah, social media wasn't when I was a teenager either. Thank God, I mean we had Aol, but I mean that is not the same but

 

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Tanya: But there are other things, though, that we do to like

 

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Tanya: buffer our emotions like I mean, they might be turning to drugs or alcohol, or even eating like rather than just like, yeah, like sitting with the emotion and like how you explain in your book.

 

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Tanya: like just really like thinking about what we think about and how we feel and why do we

 

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Tanya: act the way that we do? Yeah.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yeah, able to notice what's happening for ourselves. Internally, you know, to notice what it is that is coming up for me, whether it's a physical sensation, or if it's a specific thought that might be triggering a feeling. But for me to have that awareness, or for a team to have that awareness, because now I can do something about it.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: because if we don't know if your team doesn't understand that, maybe they walk into a classroom and they instantly have a stomach ache, and they want to go to the nurse's office. And they lack that awareness of like what's actually happening, because maybe for that particular team.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: They walk in. And they see that today's like presentation day. And they're gonna have to talk in front of the class. And they're thinking, oh, my God! I sound so stupid every time I have to talk in front of the room. Everyone's gonna think I'm so dumb. And then they get the stomach ache. They're missing that internal piece of what that process of what's happening for them. And instead they just get the stomach ache, and they go to the nurse's office.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: We want them to learn what that internal process is of like. Okay, this is, I'm feeling anxious. I'm having these thoughts about how dumb I am, because now I can do something about it, and I can learn how to manage it rather than avoid the situation. That's making me feel worse.

 

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Tanya: Right? And it just makes it worse. Yeah, cause yeah, you can't fix anything if you really don't know what the root cause of it is. Yeah.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Right? Or if you're constantly avoiding, like you mentioned, like, you know, where all we do is we just learn how to avoid the just comfort. Yeah, or we avoid the situation like a lot of people will go to parties, and you know and drink before the party, so that they feel a little bit more social, and they feel more comfortable instead of just learning. Hey? You know what? I feel a little uncomfortable in social situations. That's okay, I can tolerate it. It's not gonna kill me.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And I can still this party. And then I know eventually I'm gonna start to have fun. And I'm gonna start to feel more comfortable.

 

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Tanya: Yeah, it's like the you're building muscle. Yeah, the more you do it

 

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Tanya: like practice, the more you do it the better you're gonna get.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yes, awesome.

 

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Tanya: So I wanna you were just talking about the 3 components of emotional intelligence that I kinda wanna delve a little bit deeper into each. So can you describe self awareness, self regulation and interpersonal skills and just discuss, like what each of those look like in practice.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yes, so the self awareness is awareness of our emotions, of our thoughts and of our physical sensations.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And so, as we're trying to teach kids and teens how to build that self awareness. And it. It depends on the age. But it might be reflecting back things that you're noticing as a parent so it could be, you know, reflecting to your child of like you seem, you seem kind of frustrated right now. Is that accurate?

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And so you're helping them build that self awareness themselves. Or if you're a parent of a team, you might say something to them like.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: gosh! I noticed whenever you don't get a lot of sleep.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: you tend to be really grumpy with your little sister.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And so again, you're pointing out how their behavior impacts them, you're helping them, you know, become aware of, like their habits and what they're doing, and how that impacts their mood and their their thoughts, and all of the all of those things. So a parent might help their teen or their child build self awareness just through observations and reflections. But in a way. That's very non judgmental, noncritical.

 

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Tanya: Yeah.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: It can be really easy for a team, especially to just get defensive of, like, you know. Oh, my God, you're saying I'm an awful older brother like, you know, you know, and it turns into this huge bite. So we want it to just be like a very non judgmental observation that we're sharing with them.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And then for the self-regulation piece, that's where kids and teens are learning how to

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: de escalate like the really intense feelings.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: So being able to manage like the really intense anxiety or the really big feeling of disappointment, or when they're feeling lonely. We want them to learn how to manage those really hard feelings, and it's not about making those feelings disappear.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: but just bringing them down a couple of notches, so that those feelings aren't causing them to avoid the thing they need to be doing, or it's not causing them to miss out on life. You know they're not cancelling plans with friends because they can't get out of bed. We want them to learn how to regulate, so they can still participate in life.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: even though they feel disappointed, or even though they're feeling frustrated, they can still work on their assignment.

 

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Tanya: Yeah, so.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: That self regulation piece. And then the interpersonal skills is just them learning how to understand what other people might be thinking and feeling how other people might be perceiving them. So that way they can

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: communicate differently, or they can interact with people around them differently. It's kind of like the idea of reading the room, you know. We want them to be able to read the room of like, okay, my whole friend Group is really quiet right now this might be not be the time for me to, you know.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: start singing my song, or doing a silly dance, because there might be something really big, you know, or heavy, that they're talking about.

 

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Tanya: Yeah, yeah, like that made me think of that part in the book where you shared like they were at lunch. And one girl. She sat down on lunch table. Everybody was quiet

 

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Tanya: and come to find out. It was like one of her friends, Dad's last.

 

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Tanya: the home the night before, or something.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yes, exactly. And she sits down and just starts talking about her Spanish tests and her teacher, and how unfair life is. And instead, you know, her friend is sitting there dealing with this really heavy topic like his dad. Just his parents are divorcing his dad just moved out before, and she's not reading the table and like reading what's going on with the friend group.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And so by giving like a different example of showing what it looks like when she doesn't have those skills versus. What it looks like when she does is to help teens be able to understand like, Oh, I might do this sometimes because we all do it. Even adults. You know, we're constantly misreading situations or putting our foot in our mouth. That's why we have that expression. It's so common, you know. We all do it.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: but we want teams, you know, to be able to get better at it. So they're not doing it quite so much.

 

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Tanya: Right? Right. Just try their best.

 

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Tanya: awesome. And then

 

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Tanya: what do you think? So? I mean teenagers. I know they're just so busy, I mean, as we all are. But I was just thinking, you know, like they have, like all these classes, and all this setting to do and projects, and maybe some of them have like an after school job or

 

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Tanya: I don't know. Like, maybe they're donating their time or have extra curriculars.

 

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Tanya: How

 

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Tanya: how can we? How do you propose, like them making time

 

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Tanya: for this to like? Read this book like, how do you propose? How

 

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Tanya: can us? How can we, as parents.

 

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Tanya: help them to engage in this book, and like actually like applying these principles in their lives.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yes, I I hear you. A lot of teams are tremendously busy and have a lot going on, and I almost feel like it's a spectrum, because I'll see this even in my own practice, where some teams are just they're over schedule. They've got way too much going on, and then some teams

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: are under scheduled, you know, they have nothing going on. And so then they're spending way too much time gaming. Or, you know, watching Youtube videos like s ridiculous ones that they can't even remember, you know, 5 s later, cause they're just like silly little Tiktoks, or whatever.

 

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Tanya: Yeah.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: So they're not. They're not spending much time on on high value activities.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: So what I say is, wherever your child is on that spectrum wherever they kind of fall is for parents to think of.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: First of all, where's what value are they getting out of certain activities because we want them to be engaged in

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: like

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: in activities and things that they're doing, that bring them some sort of value, you know, whether it's teaching them to compassion, because maybe they're volunteering somewhere, or it's giving them some adventure. It's helping them, you know, develop grit because they're doing a sport.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: But to think of the value that they're getting out of it. And then to think of the activities that are really low value where they're not getting much out of it. And I'm I wanna be careful because they do need downtime. They definitely need time, time for rest and relaxation.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: But we just don't want their schedule to just only be that after school, because then, you know, they too much. And it's unhealthy. So thinking of these activities that they might not be getting a lot of value out of then. Okay, that might be a good time to add in some personal development, kinds of things, whether it's like reading this book or reading something different or having them work on a specific goal to get them doing something that's really healthy and productive for them.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: But emotional intelligence is something that can be woven into life, no matter what you're doing.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: If your child is one where they have a lot going on, and they don't have time to read this book, but maybe as a parent, you know, you're able to play it in the car when you're driving them places, or maybe you're listening to it. You can share, you know, bits of what you're learning from it, or you can start to incorporate some of the exercises yourself

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: into their daily activity where you're noticing, you know, you're reflecting. And you're, you know, giving some observations on what they're doing. So you can find ways to kind of integrate it. It doesn't have to be its own separate entity.

 

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Tanya: Okay, I like those suggestions a lot.

 

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Tanya: I even thought of 2 like, maybe making it like in the summertime, like making it a book, report, or something, and then offering, like having them write or cause. You have like exercises at the end of each chapter. So like, maybe for each exercise they complete. They like earn.

 

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Tanya: you know, so many points, or like, maybe you could make like an invoice for them that they can like cash in when they're done, and you could like either give them money, or you know, whatever entices them.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yeah, or that's a fun way to do it. And even making it as like a family book. Read, you know where the you're reading it together. You're listening to it together and talking about it, and you know, and taking it really slow, you can.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: you know, spread it out like you said over the summer you could spread it out over the school year. And so you're just, you know. Maybe if you guys are cleaning up the kitchen together after dinner, you know you're playing it a chapter, part of a chapter, and then talking about it afterwards. And then throughout the rest of the week. You're kind of incorporating, you know little things. From what you've learned in the book, you're kind of incorporating that into conversations where it comes up naturally.

 

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Tanya: Yeah, I love that.

 

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Tanya: He'll love that

 

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Tanya: hon.

 

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Tanya: So another thing is in your book. You often talk about the importance of emotions, and you say how we feel impacts everything which I totally 100% agree with, by the way, and I love how you give examples with stories to demonstrate this, and I was wondering if you could share a story now that people will be able to relate to, so that they can better understand how emotions impact their lives.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yeah. So you know, emotions

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: depending on how strong they are, they can have a huge negative impact or even a huge positive impact.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: You know, if I am feeling, let's say I'm feeling really optimistic.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Because maybe for whatever reason I slept really well the night before. Maybe the sun is shining. We tend to be a little more optimistic when it's nice out. You know. Maybe I had like a a fun hike in the woods with my husband and the dogs, and I'm I'm in this more like optimistic and hopeful kind of a mood.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: If somebody calls me with an idea of something they want me to do. Maybe it's to write another book, or maybe they want me to do a a speaking, you know, presentation somewhere. I'm much more likely to say yes to that, because I'm in this optimistic sort of a mood

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: versus if I'm in, maybe a really, I wake up kind of grumpy. Maybe I didn't sleep so well. Maybe it's kind of cloudy and dreary out, and maybe I got into a little bickering squabble with my husband and the dogs are barking, and I'm just kind of feeling kind of, you know. Just this. Low grade annoyance and irritation.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: and someone calls me with that exact same opportunity for a book or a presentation. I might now say no to it because of this. So it's like the the situation is the same, it's the same opportunity. But because of my mood it completely changed

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: what I end up doing in the future. And it's the same way this happens all the time with teens and kids, where their mood ends up, dictating the decisions that they make and the actions that they take. Instead of understanding that the mood is going to shift and change.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: But this decision that you're making that's something that could be long term. And we really want to separate the 2 to make sure that you're making the best decision for yourself.

 

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Tanya: Yeah, cause it, it's setting them up for their. It's their future. Yeah.

 

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Tanya: I love that.

 

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Tanya: And then, as parents, how do you think we can best teach and encourage

 

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Tanya: emotional intelligence in our teens.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: You know, I think it starts with modeling where parents themselves have to

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: have that self awareness. Parents need to learn how to self regulate. Parents need to work on interpersonal skills.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And then you're modeling these healthy behaviors for your teams.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: because teens are

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: the

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: best at throwing it in your face if you're not practicing what you preach.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: So if, as a parent, if you're trying to tell your team like, you need to be better at managing your anger and your team's like, what are you talking about? You go from 0 to 60 like nothing.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: You're not really gonna be able to get very far with them, so you need to be modeling it, and you don't have to be perfect. It can just be something as simple as like. Gosh, I have a really hard time managing my anchor, and I'm gonna work really hard on it myself.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And so every time you know, I need you to help me as well, or I need you to remind me. And when you see me getting angry you can just be like, Hey, mom, you need to chill, and that might be my queue, or or it could even be that the mom is just saying, you guys, you know what I'm really angry. I'm having a hard time. I don't wanna say something that I'll regret. So I'm actually gonna go outside and hang out in the backyard for 5 min. We'll finish this conversation when I decompress a bit.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: So you're modeling that self regulation, even though you're not perfect at it. It's not like you instantly calmed yourself down, and you're having to take this break, and you're letting them know why. But they're getting to see that this is something that you're working on. So I think when parents can like model these skills, even if they're a work in progress, that is the best way to teach it to teams.

 

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Tanya: Yeah, I agree with that. And I love that. You say, like, Yeah, don't worry about getting it perfect, because

 

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Tanya: I feel like we can get caught up in this, like all or nothing, thinking I know I do.

 

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Tanya: And I am not perfect at this. But this is something I'm constantly working on, too. So I think it just makes at least me as a parent like feel a little bit better and more compassionate with myself and knowing like, yeah, I don't have to get it perfect. And then I love the examples that you provided to like just like noticing when you're getting

 

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Tanya: a little bit. Yeah, when things are escalating and just announcing like, Hey, I'm gonna like, step out of the room.

 

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Tanya: or even like apologizing afterwards, like, Hey, this is something that I'm working on. And yeah, will you point it out to me, too?

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yes, like.

 

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Tanya: And a lot.

 

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Tanya: Okay. And then, could you discuss the significance of self awareness as a foundational skill and then offer tips on fostering it in both teens and younger children.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yes, so self awareness is so important because we can't self regulate if we're not aware.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: you know, if I'm not aware of my emotions, or I'm not aware of my thoughts or my body sensations.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: How can I decompress, or how can I deescalate myself?

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: So I need to have that awareness. I need to have a little bit of emotional vocabulary. It doesn't need to be extensive, you know, but I need to be able to say I'm so angry right now, or I'm feeling so sad, or I'm so embarrassed.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And then I can. Now I can do something about those feelings

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: versus just these feelings take over, and then I just act on them because I'm angry. I scream, or I say something really awful to someone I care about, because I've just let the feelings take over and take control.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: so that self awareness we really have to get that in place. So then we can

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: regulate ourselves, and we can make different choices about how we interact or how we behave

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: in parents as they're trying to teach this self-awareness to teens and younger younger children. Again, the modeling is huge.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: but then also the non judgmental observations and reflections make a big difference. So especially younger kids, they're not gonna necessarily have the emotional vocabulary

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: that they need. So a parent might have to say, you know, you seem really sad today, or you seem, you know that. I noticed that your friend just said something to you, and you seemed like you were kind of embarrassed. I saw your cheeks get a little, Rad. I noticed that you kind of ran off and hit in the corner.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: So you're giving. You're observing you're giving your reflections and sharing your observations, but you're doing it in a way where you're not shaming them or judging them, you can do it privately, so their friends don't have to hear.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And so then that way, it's just like safe place for them to build that skill themselves.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: and even for teens. You know you could give them a journal and encourage them to write about what they're learning about themselves, or encourage them to write about their day, and how they thought and felt throughout the day, and let them know nobody in the family is gonna read this, this is your own price, personal thing.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: and that can help them build the self awareness. And for younger kids you can even have like a feeling wheel. You can, you know, print one out free online. And you can even put in the age of your child. So you get one that's developmentally appropriate.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: just hanging on the fridge and start making the those emotions and feelings part of daily conversation.

 

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Tanya: I love that. I'm gonna link the yes, that feeling wheel in the show notes. And I'm gonna start doing that, too. Yeah, you said that in your book printing it out and putting it on the fridge. I like that a lot.

 

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Tanya: So great idea.

 

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Tanya: so a crucial component of emotional intelligence, you said, is self regulation, and this is one that we all can improve upon, no matter our age. So how do you think we can help ourselves and our children. Self regulate.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yes, yes, self regulation is definitely challenging. And even for adults.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: I think you know, as an adult myself, who's, you know, working on regulating. I have to be very mindful of how I'm feeling throughout the day, and what I'm doing to manage those feelings and making sure I'm not taking out frustrations on. You know the people I care about or annoyances. And so, as we're trying to do that, it's good to have some default.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: self regulation tools that you can just rely on. So if you notice, you're feeling whatever type of negative emotion or thinking some really anxious kinds of thoughts

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: have some default tools that you can use to de-escalate.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: You know. It could be a quick breathing exercise. It could be splashing cold water on your face.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: It could be a favorite song.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: It could be a mantra that you repeat to yourself, you know, like it's not the end of the world, or I've survived hard things before it'll be okay. And so then you just automatically use that when you need to self regulate.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: and then you can teach your child the same sorts of things, you know, like, let's create a little toolbox of some tools that you can automatically use when you're feeling upset. You know. Maybe your child is a warrior

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: like. Let's put together a little toolbox for things that we're gonna use when we worry a lot.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And maybe it's like a

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: you know, a picture of their dog, and maybe it's a stone that they can hold

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: maybe it's crayons, because they love to draw on color when they're feeling worried. But you kind of have that. And so it's kind of their go to thing. And now they're learning how to regulate when they're feeling anxious.

 

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Tanya: Yeah, I love that. That's so. It's I think of it, too, as like preparing for I'm just thinking of this because it's like top of mind right now, but I think of it like preparing for a trip.

 

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Tanya: and like anticipating the obstacles that you're going to be faced with ahead of time, like, for example, my husband and I were going to Paris next month for my friend's wedding, and like I'm anticipating the obstacle of pickpocketers.

 

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Tanya: So I like bought this RFID blocking cross body, you know. And I'm like, Okay, I'm only gonna pack one credit card and

 

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Tanya: I don't know. I'm just going to be like super vigilant of, like myself and my surroundings, so that, like I don't appear vulner, vulnerable. But I feel like it's like the same thing

 

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Tanya: I'm just like reflecting on like, okay, these are like the types of triggers. That happen, that make me feel this emotion. And let me just like, decide ahead of time, like, here are the tools that I'm gonna use when I feel this type of way. And just ultimately it's gonna

 

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Tanya: help

 

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Tanya: ensure better outcomes. Right?

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yes, definitely, I love it of thinking of it as a trip or thinking of yeah, the potential obstacles or challenges that might arise. We're not saying they're going to happen, you know.

 

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Tanya: I, yeah.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Let's just prepare for it. And so, if you are feeling a little stressed or anxious when you go to your friends birthday party, you know. And let's say you, you feel left out. Maybe that's something your child deals with. If you do feel left out. What's something that you can do. And so we're just that way. Your child has a tool ready to go if that feeling does pop up for them.

 

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Tanya: Yeah, yeah, I love it

 

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Tanya: so for moms of littles like me listening, or those that just don't have teenagers yet.

 

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Tanya: how can we best prepare them for their teenage. Years.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: So I encourage you first of all to keep the door to communication open, especially during the tween years, and as they're heading into the teen years.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Think of it as anytime. Your child is sharing information with you.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Your job is to try and get that door to open a little bit wider.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: you know, if your child shares information with you and you immediately criticize it or say something judgmental. That's you slamming the door. They're never gonna want to share with you again.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And instead, you wanna try and open that door a little wider by getting curious and asking some questions like some open ended questions to get them talking more.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: but getting your child to share during the tween years. And so they learn, like Mom or Dad is somebody that I can trust.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: There's somebody who they don't judge me. They don't shame me so that way they're going to want to continue to share with you as they go into 13 years, so that, I would say, is the most important thing you want them talking to you.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: You want them sharing what's going on in their life. You don't want them to be getting that information from the school bathroom or from some random Youtube influencer. You know you want them.

 

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Tanya: I.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Information from you, from a trusted source.

 

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Tanya: Yeah.

 

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Tanya: So what I hear you saying is, be non judgmental. And if they open up and talk to you like, think of some really like thoughtful questions, get curious

 

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Tanya: and think of some thoughtful questions that you could ask them. Open ended questions. And 2, I think, yeah, like doing the work on ourselves like if we notice ourselves like, notice, our own emotions and like.

 

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Tanya: how are we feeling about? You know what they might be sharing with us, and kind of cleaning that up. Maybe, too.

 

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Tanya: before responding in a way that

 

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Tanya: we might

 

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Tanya: regret right.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yes, it actually, if you if your listeners even go to my website destination, you.net, I have a parent communication guide on there that you can get for free. And one of my top recommendations for parents is to have, like a journal that you write back and forth in and again, I I have that on my website. But having this journal, it helps with what you're saying that reaction. Because

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: if you're writing back and forth to each other daily.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: It gives the parent a chance to like get that initial shock out, you know, if their team share something really hard to hear something they're really surprised by. It gives you an opportunity to think about how you want to respond, and gives you a little bit of space to like, manage

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: your emotions and your thoughts so that you can go into it in a way that they're not. Gonna it's not gonna make the situation worse and more difficult than it needs to be.

 

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Tanya: Yeah, okay, so you're journaling back and forth with your with your child.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yes.

 

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Tanya: That idea.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And you can start that even when your child is young. They, you know.

 

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Tanya: You know how to read and write. Yeah.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yeah, or even if it's pictures, you know where you're drawing pictures back and forth to each other. But it's a great way to cause what in my experience, a lot of times, especially teens, they're embarrassed to share things face to face with adults

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: and having it through a journal, they're gonna open up more and they share more. And it takes that that face to face reaction out. And then it also on the parent side, it gives that parent that chance to really think about how they want to respond and control their reaction. So it's it's helpful on both ends.

 

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Tanya: That is so smart. I am so excited for people to get to listen to this, and I'll make sure I link that to in the show notes as well. So before we sign off can you please share with the audience how they can find you, and where they can get your book and any other valuable content you have to offer.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yes, and hopefully you can't hear my dog barking in the background. I think my husband started blowing all the snow, but so you can find me@destinationu.net. So that's destination. yo.net.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: And on there you'll see. You know, different resources that I have. And all of that. You can get my book, the emotionally intelligent team, you know, and Amazon, or wherever you buy books.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: and then I tend to be on Instagram quite a bit and I'm at Dr. Melanie Mcnally on Instagram.

 

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Tanya: Okay? Awesome. Yeah. And your book is on audio books, too.

 

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Dr. Melanie McNally: Yes. Yeah.

 

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Tanya: For all you moms out there

 

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Tanya: audiobooks.com. Okay, thank you so much, Dr. Mcdally, for your time and for all of your valuable knowledge you shared with us today. What a different world this would be if we all just took the time to do this work to raise our emotional intelligence. I really do feel that if our teams take the time to read this book.

 

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Tanya: do the exercises and apply what they learned, they are ensuring success in all their endeavors in all aspects of their lives. So

 

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Tanya: you know, when you get a handle on your on your emotions, we make better choices. We're less likely to say or do things that we might regret later. We're not avoiding the emotions with unhealthy behaviors, like drinking or doing drugs or sprawling on social media. And ultimately this results in us living better, more healthier lives. And

 

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Tanya: one of the strategic byproducts of this is, we improve our relationships with others in the process. So to all of our listeners, I highly highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of the emotionally intelligent Team.

 

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Tanya: by Dr. Melanie Mcnally, I promise you won't regret it. And if you found today's episode valuable, please consider sharing it with friends and family who may benefit from the content, especially if you know someone with a troubled team sharing this episode, and Dr. Mcan Alley's book

 

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Tanya: could make a significant difference for them. Also, if you could take a moment to rate and review the podcast it would greatly help other amazing moms like yourself, discover the show and don't forget to subscribe. So you never miss an episode

 

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Tanya: to all of you at home. Thank you immensely for tuning in today. Whatever challenges you're facing. I hope you found the answers you were seeking when you clicked on this episode. Remember, you're not alone, and you possess everything you need to overcome whatever obstacles come your way. I'm rooting for you talk to you next week. Bye.

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