HEALTHY FAMILY CONNECTIONS

Out of the Box Thinking for Family Success


with Neil D. Brown

HEALTHY FAMILY CONNECTIONS



Healthy Family Connections is sponsored by NeilDBrown.com

Our mission is to empower parents, teens and couples in every family in the U.S. and beyond with skills for healthy interpersonal connections. It’s a mission we can achieve by engaging people, one conversation at a time, and providing ways to upgrade the dynamics of their interactions. Our motto is "out-of-the-box solutions for family success.”

Will you be the next family that gets empowered?

If so, there are two ways you can get started right now …

1. Sign up at neildbrown.com for a weekly family tip in your inbox to improve connections in your daily life … and

2. Ask a question and we’ll answer it on a Healthy Family Connections podcast episode. 


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HEALTHY FAMILY CONNECTIONS addresses the many dilemmas facing parents, couples and kids, offering out of the box solutions that empower listeners to confidently meet their parenting challenges. Being a family in our era is challenging under the best of circumstances. Parents contend with a culture in transition and competing ideas for parenting. Neil Brown, author of parenting hit “Ending the Parent-Teen Control Battle,” is a master family therapist with a talent for providing clarity amidst the confusion, addressing common concerns as well as serious problems.

  • What To Expect From the Healthy Family Connections Podcast

    Published on November 8, 2016 Duration: 00:05:40

    In this first podcast, Neil gives context for this podcast series. We all want our families to be healthy and happy. We aren’t always prepared for the inevitable challenges to creating this health and happiness. This podcast provides practical guidance for creating, and sustaining, healthy dynamics in your family, dealing with the way the world is changing around us and the uniqueness each of us brings to our family.

  • How Much Screen Time is Healthy?

    Published on November 8, 2016 Duration: 00:05:19

    Our question in this podcast comes from Jess, from Oakland, California. Jess asks, “How can we set aside screen time, without constantly arguing about it?” Neil provides a way to think about screen time and how to deal effectively with the behaviors that surround it.

  • Sisters Who Won’t Get Along

    Published on November 15, 2016 Duration: 00:11:02

    Family gatherings are the hallmark of the holidays. If there are sibling issues in our families, the holidays can be a time when they surface and we may feel anxiety about this. In this episode Neil gives insight and instruction to the mother of two teenage+ daughters who won’t get along.

  • Stop The Fight And Watch Your Relationship Grow…

    Published on November 23, 2016 Duration: 00:11:44

    In this podcast Neil answers a question posed by Anna, asking how to maintain her “adult side” when she finds herself in a heated argument with her husband. Neil deals with fighting at the personal and the relationship level and gives solid advice for how to get through emotionally painful situations

  • What To Do With A Chronically Lying Child

    Published on November 29, 2016 Duration: 00:14:02

    Neil responds in this episode to a question about lying and developing trust and honesty in a child who has chronically lying behavior. You’ll learn a perspective that will empower you to be a parent skilled in helping your kid to develop honesty - in a way that is practical and authentic for both you and your kid.

  • Helping Your Depressed Teenager

    Published on December 6, 2016 Duration: 00:08:54

    In this episode, Helping Your Depressed Teenager, Neil addresses a question for Tracy, a mother in Victoria, Australia, concerning a child who says “he doesn’t want a life.”

  • My Inlaws Are In Our Business

    Published on December 14, 2016 Duration: 00:09:48

    The focus in this episode is about setting and holding healthy boundaries in families. Thanks to Jeremy, of Aptos, California, for asking an honest question about a situation that comes up all the time. My Inlaws are in my Business.

  • Ending the Teacher-Teen Control Battle

    Published on December 20, 2016 Duration: 00:13:45

    Thanks to a question from Jessica in Gainesville, Virginia, Neil expands the control battle strategy conversation beyond the family environment to a middle school classroom, demonstrating step-by-step how “The Talk,” key in transforming control battles in families, can also be used successfully by teachers with their students.

  • Help! My Teenager Won’t Do His Schoolwork!

    Published on December 27, 2016 Duration: 00:12:05

    Shannon of Santa Cruz, California, asks what to do about a teenager who won’t do his homework! Neil provides insight into potential reasons for this which could require additional support, such as ADHD or other situations, and provides a strategy for empowering a teen to develop the ability to embrace challenge and take ownership of their own success.

  • Setting Limits With Your Special Needs Teen

    Published on January 3, 2017 Duration: 00:11:22

    Neil responds to a question posed by Jennifer of Oslo Norway, who asks how to best parent her teen who has been diagnosed with autism after a “break-down.”

  • Parental Burnout - End It and Thrive

    Published on January 14, 2017 Duration: 00:11:23

    This week’s question is from April of Santa Cruz, California. April is asking “when should your wants and needs overrule your kid’s wants and needs?”… Neil gives practical tips for doing just that. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive a free checklist to help you de-termine whether you and your teen are having a power struggle or a control battle. Enter your email address here >> http://eepurl.com/bjMAiX Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • My Highly Anxious Daughter

    Published on January 21, 2017 Duration: 00:11:05

    This week’s question is from Jennifer of San Francisco, California. Her question is about her youngest child who, different from her older siblings, seems especially anxious and angry. There are lots of pieces to this scenario and Neil addresses them with actionable advice. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive a free checklist to help you determine whether you and your teen are having a power struggle or a control battle. Enter your email address here >> http://eepurl.com/bjMAiX Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • How to Raise a Strong Minded Child

    Published on January 24, 2017 Duration: 00:09:09

    Jasiri of San Jose, California asks, “What are appropriate and effective methods of discipline for outspoken, independent and highly intelligent 6-8 year olds?” and Neil gives context for the question itself and a learning approach for such a spirited child to develop the skill of cooperation without making her gifts wrong. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive a free checklist to help you determine whether you and your teen are having a power struggle or a control battle. Enter your email address here >> http://eepurl.com/bjMAiX Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Active Gifted Kids

    Published on February 1, 2017 Duration: 00:09:52

    Are we being picky if we require our gifted straight “A” son to get physical exercise? In this episode Neil discusses the importance of physical activity and setting limits with gifted kids, an excellent question from Marie of Dallas, Tex-as. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive a free checklist to help you determine whether you and your teen are having a power struggle or a control battle. Enter your email address here >> http://eepurl.com/bjMAiX Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • How To Raise A Spiritually Aware Child

    Published on February 11, 2017 Duration: 00:11:19

    This episode is focused on a question from Priyal from India, who is currently living in Iowa City, Iowa, and it’s one Neil never anticipated being asked. Priyal asks, “How do you help a child establish a relationship with God? How do you make him or her spiritually aware? And at what age?” Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive a free checklist to help you determine whether you and your teen are having a power struggle or a control battle. Enter your email address here >> http://eepurl.com/bjMAiX Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Staying Connected With Your Teenager

    Published on March 6, 2017 Duration: 00:10:07

    In this episode, Neil addresses a question from Lisa, of Aptos California. Lisa’s 15 year old son spends a lot of time avoiding being at home and being with his parents, saying his parents are boring. She wants to know what she can do about this. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive a free checklist to help you determine whether you and your teen are having a power struggle or a control battle. Enter your email address here >> http://eepurl.com/bjMAiX Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Helping Emotionally Abused Adult Children

    Published on March 9, 2017 Duration: 00:10:31

    In this episode, Mike of Salinas, is worried for his 39 year-old daughter. He’s concerned about the possibility of emotional abuse in her relationship with her 55 year-old boyfriend. Mike asks Neil how to intervene without causing further problems. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive a free checklist to help you determine whether you and your teen are having a power struggle or a control battle. Enter your email address here >> http://eepurl.com/bjMAiX Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Healthy Expectations for your Depressed Teenager

    Published on March 15, 2017 Duration: 00:13:19

    Healthy Expectations for your Depressed Teenager Should a parent lower expectations if their teen is dealing with mental health Issues? Let’s say you’ve already tried some combination of therapy, wilderness experiences, a residential treatment center, psychiatry, medicine, and your teen is still depressed and doesn’t want to go to school, complaining of head-ache, stomach ache, fatigue etc. Will requiring your kid to go to school cause them to get even worse? Should you excuse their absence from school, or should you let them suffer the consequences of an unexcused absence? What’s the best way to be a good, responsible parent and have the best out-come for your kid? This question goes to the very heart of successfully treating depression in teenagers. Listen in for actionable advice for what you as a parent can do. Sign up to get your free checklist to help you determine whether you and your teen are in a normal power struggle or a more destructive control battle - Enter your email address here >> http://eepurl.com/bjMAiX Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Turn Self-doubt & Burnout into Empowered Parenting

    Published on March 22, 2017 Duration: 00:16:43

    In this episode, Tracy of Victoria, Australia, wants to know how to deal with her 16 yr. old son who wants to be treated like a young adult yet isn’t managing his responsibilities. Neil addresses this question by helping listeners understand how parental self-doubt and burnout undermine empowered parenting and the ability to set healthy limits. Neil then inspires listeners to turn 3 critical causes of self-doubt and burnout into empowered parenting. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive a free checklist to help you determine whether you and your teen are having a power struggle or a control battle. Enter your email address here >> http://eepurl.com/bjMAiX Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Don’t get Stopped by your Arguing Teen

    Published on April 4, 2017 Duration: 00:17:38

    At a recent presentation to middle school parents, parents wanted real solutions to dealing with aggressive pushback from their teenagers. In this podcast Neil shows listeners how to deal with four common forms of teen pushback and gives parents the critical skills to avoid Control Battles and Parental Burnout and set their teenagers on a healthy path forward. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive a free checklist to help you determine whether you and your teen are having a power struggle or a control battle. Enter your email address here >> http://eepurl.com/bjMAiX Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • How to be a perfectly imperfect family

    Published on April 18, 2017 Duration: 00:09:55

    Raising successful kids means teaching our kids to be comfortable with failure. In this episode Neil finds the concept of personal vulnerability emerging in many places and all pointing to the same thing, vulnerability, courage, and success all go together. Neil introduces listeners to a book by parents, Dale and Monica Vernon, How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families as an example of embracing our vulnerable, imperfect selves as critical to our growth and success as parents. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • How we can all feel listened to

    Published on April 25, 2017 Duration: 00:10:55

    A former client helps Neil learn that he needs to not take clients’ understanding basic concepts for granted. In this episode, Neil takes the basic concept of “listening” that many of his clients are struggling with, and breaks it down so we can all understand and be understood in a more productive way. Then he challenges listeners to take the one week test. Sign up to get your free checklist to help you determine whether you and your teen are in a normal power struggle or a more destructive control battle - Enter your email address here >> http://eepurl.com/bjMAiX Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • High Performing Moms Need High Performing Families

    Published on May 3, 2017 Duration: 00:10:12

    Professional Moms often struggle to get the support they need from their families as well as from their employers. Neil shares some of the insights from Mogul, Mom, and Maid by Liz O’Donnell as she explores the challenges of woman in the home and work worlds. And while the challenges of High Performing Moms are plentiful, Neil offers down to earth advise for avoiding the pitfalls and getting the support Moms need and deserve. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • 13 Reasons Why Not

    Published on May 10, 2017 Duration: 00:11:28

    Neil dives into the discussion of the pros and cons of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and then offers parents some helpful advise for addressing it. As usual, Neil presents some interesting points of view and doesn’t mince words. Sign up to get your free checklist to help you determine whether you and your teen are in a normal power struggle or a more destructive control battle - Enter your email address here >> http://eepurl.com/bjMAiX Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Teenage Summertime Success

    Published on May 20, 2017 Duration: 00:14:50

    In this episode, Neil helps parents use summertime planning with their teen-agers to teach planning skills and help them utilize their time away from school to their best advantage. Neil offers some great ideas, some valuable resources, and some great ways to engage the parent-teen discussion. Sign up to get your free checklist to help you determine whether you and your teen are in a normal power struggle or a more destructive control battle - Enter your email address here >> http://eepurl.com/bjMAiX Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Stop the Parent-Teen Chore Battle

    Published on May 26, 2017 Duration: 00:18:13

    Neil answers a question from Al of Chattanooga Tennessee who is struggling to get his teenagers and preteen to do their chores without a fight. Neil explains why chores are important to child and teen development and reviews some of the common mistakes parents often make. Neil gives Al and all parents a strategy to shift out of the chore struggle and put parents, kids and chores on a healthy path forward. He challenges all parents, grandparents and child and teen caregivers to make chores a positive learning experience for kids. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Am I Helping or Enabling my Young Adult Child?

    Published on May 31, 2017 Duration: 00:18:07

    Young Adults are living at home more commonly than ever before and parents need to know how to support their young adult kids without enabling them or supporting their bad habits. In this episode Neil offers great tips for knowing the difference as he answers a question from a mother in Culver City, California concerned about her son who lives at home and doesn’t seem to be making progress in his career. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Are Psychotherapists Disempowering Parents?

    Published on June 8, 2017 Duration: 00:16:51

    Neil answers a question from a Mom who wonders whether therapy is helping her depressed daughter or not. Mom is walking on eggshells wondering what she’s supposed to do. Neil explains some of the causes of depression and the challenges facing teen girls in particular these days. He then goes on to show how individual therapy too often disempowers parents and how a family approach can be far more successful and enduring. Neil offers the Mom a plan to get the right kind of help and off of the eggshells. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • How to create Lasting Change in Families

    Published on June 18, 2017 Duration: 00:16:10

    Marissa of Seattle Washington has tried lots of techniques to get her two boys, ages 8 and 10 to cooperate, but nothing ever seems to work. In this week’s podcast, Neil explains the two types of change and how to use the right one at the right time. Then he shows Marissa how to create lasting change in her family. Hint: We should be using one kind of change every day.

  • Should Parents be Happy While Their Kids are Doing Poorly?

    Published on June 29, 2017 Duration: 00:13:44

    Stefania, the mother of a 17yr old reports that her husband is so distraught over their son’s behavior that it is ruining their lives and wants to know if she’s wrong for wanting her own happiness. In this episode Neil explains how parents’ feelings can overwhelm kids and can interfere with their ability to learn and grow from their experiences. In the end he prescribes happiness for Stefania and her husband. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • The Hidden Relationship Killer

    Published on July 6, 2017 Duration: 00:15:03

    In this podcast, Neil explains the powerful impact of the Negative Cycle on relationships. He shares the story of his work with “James and Lisa” to show how effective therapy works by focusing on ending the Negative Cycle. Neil challenges listeners to look at their own participation in negative cycles and alternative ways to engage with their partners. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Setting the school year up for success

    Published on August 8, 2017 Duration: 00:10:58

    In this podcast, Neil responds to a Dad who is stuck between backing off and letting his son fail, and fighting and arguing to get him to do his work. Neil shows this Dad and all parents how to set the school year up for success by teaching goal setting and planning skills to our kids. Neil emphasizes the importance of teaching our kids the skills they will need to be successful adults. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Moving Beyond Parent-Child Temperament

    Published on August 15, 2017 Duration: 00:17:33

    In this podcast, Neil responds to a Mom who wants to establish rules and limits with her 16 year old that haven’t previously been in place. The catch is, her daughter is strong willed and Mom anticipates her daughter feeling like she is losing something she already has and fighting and arguing. Neil discusses the issue of innate temperament in kids and how to help them understand and appreciate themselves yet not be limited buy their temperament. Here’s the catch, parents have to grow beyond their comfort zones as well. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Is giving up easily about self-confidence?

    Published on August 22, 2017 Duration: 00:15:10

    In this episode, a father wants to know if his son who gives up easily is suffering from low self-confidence and what to do about it. Neil responds to this dad by reminding him that the way we frame a problem will decide how we deal with it. Neil offers a way to think about the problem that will let Dad help his son develop a “growth mindset”. Neil ends the podcast by challenging all parents to ask themselves if they are setting a good example for their families to be life long learners. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Be yourself, save your family?

    Published on August 29, 2017 Duration: 00:12:58

    In this episode, Neil responds to a question from a mother struggling in control battles with several kids at the same time. Neil cautions this mother about her likely parental burnout and offers her a new path forward. Neil explains the difference between being “other-person oriented” and “self-oriented” and how the former invites resistance and the latter invites healthy child and adolescent development. Neil explains how and why self-orientation is a positive personal quality distinct from selfishness and self-centeredness, which are negative personal qualities. Neil role-plays examples of the differences in approache that might just sound painfully familiar. Neil ends with a challenge to all of us to look inward and ask ourselves where we are other-person oriented and where we are self-oriented and to work to become more self-oriented selves. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Achieve Emotional Intimacy by Meeting Emotional Needs

    Published on September 11, 2017 Duration: 00:18:22

    In this episode, Neil responds to mother who feels no one in her family is getting their emotional needs met. Neil offers the listener a deep understanding of emotional needs, and why many people don’t get theirs met or know how to meet the needs of others. Neil offers some powerful tools for addressing emotional needs even under the most difficult circumstances and he includes some realistic scenarios as well. Neil ends the podcast with a challenge for all of us to focus on and provide validation to others, and then write and let him know what happens. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • It’s Time To Move From Surviving To Thriving

    Published on September 20, 2017 Duration: 00:17:08

    In this episode, Neil responds to a mother who struggles parenting her 8 yr. old and is riddled with guilt and anxiety. Neil helps this Mom understand the role that childhood trauma and abuse is playing in her life, and how to shift out of survival mode, to a place of health and recovery. In this dynamic podcast, Neil invites the listener to examine how they were “programmed” in childhood and invites them to “upgrade their program”. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Sibling Relationships Matter

    Published on September 26, 2017 Duration: 00:17:12

    In this episode, Neil responds to a mother’s concern that her kids are constantly fighting and being mean to each other. She doesn’t want to referee the fights, but she wants things to change. Neil talks about the critical nature of sibling relationships and how to establish values and behaviors that children and teens will honor. Neil invites listeners to examine whether they are asking enough of their children and teens and challenges everyone to empower their parenting. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Are My Kids Being Bullied?

    Published on October 3, 2017 Duration: 00:16:50

    In this episode, Neil responds to a mother’s concern that her kids don’t have friends. She worries that they are being bullied as she was in school. Neil uses this mother’s question as an opportunity to kick off Bullying Awareness Month. Neil takes a look at what bullying is, where it is, who gets bullied, who bullies, and how we can start to deal with it. He explains that empowered kids are the least likely to bully or be bullied. Neil invites the listener to review their own values and ask if they include respect and support for everyone in the home. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • I’m talking, but nobody’s listening!

    Published on October 10, 2017 Duration: 00:20:37

    In this episode, Neil responds to a mother’s frustration that telling her 21 year old and her 16 year old daughters what she expects is getting her no place. In this episode, Neil helps her find her voice and the self-respect to use it. Neil explains the importance of kids respecting their parents in order to develop self-respect. He reflects on the frequent societal norm of girls and women not being raised to expect their voices to be heard and respected, and he invites listeners to believe in the importance of their voices. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Bullying in middle schools today

    Published on October 18, 2017 Duration: 00:27:04

    In this episode, Neil interviews Dr. Valerie Quandt, Principal of Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto California, on the subject of bullying in middle schools. Dr. Quandt offers her insight into the changes in bullying behavior from the hallways to the social apps. and her awareness of the effect of the changes in the political tone on bullying behavior. The discussion includes who is most vulnerable to bullying or being bullied, what the schools are doing about it, and important steps all parents need to take now. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • The Link Between Bullying, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Harassment

    Published on October 25, 2017 Duration: 00:12:55

    In this episode, Neil relates a coincidence of sitting next to and talking with a psychologist who is an expert in bullying behavior on a plane flight and he relays her message of the importance of secure attachment to healthy empathic behavior in children and teens. Neil then looks at the link between bullying and what often goes on to be sexual harassment in the workplace and domestic violence. Neil looks at how we have to address these issues at every level of our culture, from family culture to school, workplace and political culture. And finally, Neil ends the show with an emphasis on the importance of growing empathy in our culture and how a strong value on empathy would affect every level of our society. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Our Daughter’s Anxiety is Running the Family

    Published on November 1, 2017 Duration: 00:15:06

    In this episode, Neil responds to mother whose 14 year-old daughter suffers from anxiety, yet won’t cooperate with treatment. Parents feel handcuffed setting limits because their daughter gets all A’s in school and they don’t want to add to her stress. Neil identifies the family control battle and offers critical steps the parents can take now. Neil reviews the many sources of stress plaguing teenagers today and challenges us all to look at the ways we avoid addressing critical issues with our kids and reminds us that our teens need us to be positive empowered parents. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • I’m Depressed Thinking About Thanksgiving

    Published on November 8, 2017 Duration: 00:11:32

    In this episode Neil responds to a mother concerned that she’s going to be doing a lot of cooking and entertaining on Thanksgiving, with no family support from her husband or teenagers. Neil uses this mother’s dilemma as an opportunity to help her bring “Team Family” together to make a special day for everyone. In the process Mom learns how to go from a model of supporting and serving to a model of empowerment and leadership. Neil ends with a challenge to all of us to examine the message we’re giving our teenagers. Are we letting them know they’re important and that we need them? Neil invites the listener to ask a teenager for help, and in so doing, gives them the right message. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Kids Need Emotional Regulation Skills

    Published on November 24, 2017 Duration: 00:14:56

    In this episode Neil responds to a mother struggling with her son whose only way to calm himself down is by playing video games. When parents take his Internet access away, he can become violent. Neil sees that this youngster is struggling with an emotional dysregulation disorder and helps Mom realize the severity of the situation. He then goes on to present a path forward to ending the family Control Battle and get real help for her son. Neil offers that given the severity of the problem, if her son remains violent, that residential treatment should be considered. Neil challenges all of us to examine our emotional regulation skills and how well we’re teaching these skills to our children. Neil offers a family exercise to help everyone become more connected to themselves and each other. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • The 3 Stage Journey from Childhood to Adulthood

    Published on November 29, 2017 Duration: 00:24:50

    In this episode Neil helps the listener see adolescence as a journey with three distinct stages. He describes the developmental tasks of each stage and key parenting objectives and reminds us that young adulthood is the final stage of adolescence. Neil challenges the listener to see adolescents, who are making mistakes or struggling, as needing us and to suspend judgment and help them feel worthwhile and important. Even when setting limits or withholding privileges, we can let them know that it’s a journey and that we want to support them in making it a successful one. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Create a Successful Holiday Break with your Kids

    Published on December 19, 2017 Duration: 00:11:04

    In this episode Neil addresses the challenge of kids being unproductive with their time over the holiday break. Too often kids will quickly fill unstructured time with activities on their electronic devices and fighting that can be a source of parental frustration. Neil stresses the importance of teaching kids to use their time well and helps parents set up a planning session with their children and teenagers. He encourages listeners to teach and reinforce personal development to their children and teens and Neil shares a quote from one of his clients, “Parenting is the ultimate exercise in delayed gratification.” Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Choose The New Year’s Resolution That Won’t Fail

    Published on January 1, 2018 Duration: 00:08:22

    In this episode Neil explains why New Year’s Resolutions so often fail and how to create one that won’t fail. You’ll learn how looking at ourselves through a negative and critical lens is rooted in our childhoods and how to change to see ourselves in a healthy way, how to act in more self-valuing ways, and how to make a healthy New Year’s Resolution. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Teach Your Teenagers How to Argue

    Published on January 10, 2018 Duration: 00:13:22

    In this episode Neil responds to a mother whose 14 year old daughter argues every request and decision. Neil explains the importance of teaching healthy arguing skills and even gives this Mom a way to turn things around with her daughter. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Will My Teenager Be A Successful Adult?

    Published on January 17, 2018 Duration: 00:09:55

    In this episode Neil responds to a Dad who is concerned that his special needs son will grow up to be a hermit. Neil explains the importance of holding a healthy vision of his son by focusing on his strengths. He helps Dad out of the Parent-Teen Control Battle and puts him on a path to Empowered Teen Parenting. Neil also encourages Dad to utilize some resources for high functioning autism spectrum disordered teens. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Is My Son Addicted to Video Games?

    Published on January 25, 2018 Duration: 00:16:31

    In this episode Neil responds to a Mom who wants to know if her son is addicted to video games. Neil explains the inherent addictive nature of games and gives some guidelines for managing games and identifying addiction. Neil encourages parents to start early teaching self-management skills to kids and offers a way to intervene when gaming is getting the upper hand on the teen and the family. Neil challenges listeners to take the risk of over involvement with devices seriously and to not allow them take us over. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • My Husband Undermines My Parenting

    Published on January 30, 2018 Duration: 00:11:36

    In this episode Neil responds to a Mom struggling in a Control Battle with her teenagers and her husband. She wants high standards for her kids while her husband thinks it she should back off. Neil explains that control battles can be complex and can be thought of as choreography, and he gives an example of a family pattern that is likely going on with them. He then helps this Mom find a way to change her participation in the pattern and have her expectations taken seriously. Neil challenges listeners to examine the ways they may be dis-empowering themselves and to bring their best selves to their lives. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Why Isn’t My Son Happy?

    Published on February 14, 2018 Duration: 00:14:20

    In this episode Neil responds to a Dad concerned that his young adult son isn’t happy. Neil looks at how Control Battles can develop when parents over-focus on making their sons and daughters happy. He engages a discussion on the subject of happiness; where it comes from and how to raise our children and teenagers to live happy fulfilling lives. Neil challenges listeners to examine the question of whether we, as a culture are over focused on happiness. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • My Rude and Demanding Daughter

    Published on February 21, 2018 Duration: 00:09:12

    In this episode Neil responds to a Mom with a rude and demanding 13 year-old daughter. Mom feels guilty because she’s been yelling when she gets to the end of her rope. Now she doesn’t know how to respond when she goes to set limits and her daughter, and her daughter points out that Mom’s behavior is just as bad as hers. Neil explains and demonstrates use of “The Talk” as a method to shift out of an old unhealthy pattern into a new and healthy one. By helping Mom take responsibility for her own behavior and making amends, she can now require her daughter to take responsibility for hers. Neil challenges listeners to examine the question of whether we are doing too much for our kids and then being resentful when they take advantage of that. Neil challenges listeners to always require our teenagers’ best. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • The Unique Challenges of Families In Transition

    Published on February 27, 2018 Duration: 00:21:31

    In this episode Neil talks with Clinical and Educational Psychologist Mark Burdick. Mark specializes in evaluations and placements for adolescents and young adults who require greater support in settings such as wilderness programs, residential treatment and recovery programs. In this episode, Neil and Mark discuss the challenges of families living abroad or in new locations as well as some of the ways to address their increased need for support. Neil challenges listeners to be mindful if their extra need for support if they are relocated or to support someone they know who is new to an area. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Time to Switch from Consequences to Privileges

    Published on March 7, 2018 Duration: 00:12:21

    In this episode Neil responds to a Dad whose son says removing his privileges is just a form of punishment. Neil explains the concept of earned privileges and how it teaches and encourages children and teenagers to develop personal responsibility, an empowering skill necessary for happiness and success. Neil then answers this Dad’s question directly and gives him a strategy to talk with his son and effectively switch from consequences to earned privileges. Neil ends by challenging listeners to get out of the rut of giving ineffective consequences and shifting to the model of Earned Privileges. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • I’m Terrified That My Son Is Losing His Way

    Published on March 13, 2018 Duration: 00:17:49

    In this episode Neil responds to a mother of a 15 year old teen who stopped caring about his school work and is hanging around with a kid who is exposing him to marijuana. Mom feels helpless and desperate. Neil identifies this mother’s disempowered attitude and her parental burnout as contributing factors. Neil offers several actions Mom can take and role-plays a talk she can have with her son. Neil ends the podcast by challenging the listener to be aware of disempowering themselves and he offers the Alice Walker quote: “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Should I Push my Anxious and Fragile Son to Try Harder?

    Published on March 20, 2018 Duration: 00:13:43

    In this episode Neil responds to a mother of a 17 year old teen who has been suffering from GAD or generalized anxiety disorder for several years. He’s has lots of professional resources but hasn’t gotten better and now he has no friends and doesn’t talk in school at all. Mother’s question is whether or not she should require him to go to Adolescent Therapy Group or not, since he doesn’t want to go and is fragile. Neil helps this mother understand that their 17 year old and his parents are in a Control Battle, albeit a passive one, where parents are trying to get their son to move forward, and the son is avoiding and trying to stay in his comfort zone. Neil offers several things the parents can do to immediately effect change. Neil Challenges the listeners to understand and remember that chronic problems with children and teens always exist in a family context and if you want the behavior to change, the family pattern will need to change. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • My Teen Daughter Says She Hates Me

    Published on March 28, 2018 Duration: 00:13:41

    In this episode Neil responds to a mother of a young teen girl who blames her for everything and when she gets mad says, “I hate you”. Mom and Dad’s best efforts to help her calm down, feel loved and get perspective haven’t worked and they’re wondering what to do. Neil explains how the temperamental differences between the parents and their daughter are interfering in their ability to offer support and accountability to parental standards to their daughter. Neil shows this mother and listeners how to match an intense child or teenager’s emotional level in a positive way to reestablish accountability. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • My Teen Daughter Doesn’t Like to Socialize

    Published on April 5, 2018 Duration: 00:13:18

    In this episode Neil responds to the mother of a 10th grade girl who does well in most areas, but doesn’t pursue friendships and doesn’t like to challenger herself. Her favorite thing is being at home and playing with her brothers and her parents. Neil explains that kids develop in different ways and at different times and reassures this mother that her daughter is healthy and on her own developmental path. Neil addresses the issue of parenting information overload perhaps making parents overly stressed when their child or teen is unique in some way and Neil cautions against the tendency to focus on areas of relative weakness rather than on areas of strength. Neil provides this Mom with lots of good ideas to help her daughter continue to grow and thrive. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • My Failure to Launch Son

    Published on April 10, 2018 Duration: 00:16:41

    In this episode Neil responds to the mother of a 20 year old son with social anxiety living at home, not working or going to school who spends most of his time in his room playing video games. Mom is wondering if she needs to kick him out and change the locks. Neil helps this Mom see the Control Battle she is in with her son and supports her in reclaiming a healthy vision of him while setting limits in a healthy manner. Neil role-plays a Control Battle Ending Conversation she can have and recommends intensive therapeutic resources that can get this young man the therapeutic support he needs. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Are We Dumbing Down Our Expectations?

    Published on April 24, 2018 Duration: 00:17:17

    In this episode Neil responds to a Dad who has given his son permission to smoke marijuana and drink, if it’s not to often, not too much, and not when driving. Neil helps Dad see that this poor decision was made in a Control Battle based relationship that has left parents disempowered and burned out. Neil reminds Dad of the vital developmental tasks taking place during adolescence and gives Dad a way to get back on track. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Why Doesn’t My Brilliant Son Care?

    Published on May 1, 2018 Duration: 00:13:47

    In this episode Neil responds to a Mom who is beyond frustrated with her gifted son. While he gets good grades and an invitation to apply to an Ivy League College, he seems indifferent and doesn’t keep agreements. Mom wonders if he is on the autism spectrum or has oppositional defiant disorder. Neil explains how gifted youth are often not sufficiently challenged and can miss out on developing a “Growth Mindset”, a vital element in personal success and happiness. Neil shows this Mom how their Control Battle based relationship is bringing out the worst in both of them. Mom’s frustration and anger is interfering in her ability to understand her son’s issues and parent him effectively. Neil gives Mom a plan to improve things before her son goes off to college and challenges listeners to ask themselves if they are using a tone with their children, teens, or even their spouses, that is both safe and positive. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • The Truth About Youth and Marijuana Today

    Published on May 9, 2018 Duration: 00:42:50

    In this episode Neil Interviews Amy Rose, a substance abuse treatment professional of Recovery Happens Counseling Services. In this interview, they discuss the issue of potency in modern cannabis and the serious impact it’s having on youth functioning, among them being addiction and impaired neurodevelopment. Vaping, the newest form of ingestion allows the user to consume extraordinarily high doses of THC leaving odorless vapor and using a harmless looking vaping device. It’s critical for parents to be informed and not confuse the less potent and less dangerous marijuana of their youth with the potent and dangerous varieties of today. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • How Will My Irresponsible Son Be Successful In College?

    Published on May 16, 2018 Duration: 00:16:19

    In this episode Neil responds to a Mom who after pushing and prodding her son through high school, wonders how he will possibly be able to be successful in college. Neil shows how their control battle based relationship led to Mom suffering from burnout and son remaining dependent on his Mom. Neil offers Mom a way to shift out of their old relationship pattern and give her son responsibility for his college success. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Get The Moral Authority To Set Effective Limits

    Published on May 28, 2018 Duration: 00:10:27

    In this episode Neil responds to a Mom who asks about how to get her 8 year old son to do something he flat out refuses to do, without losing her warm loving relationship with him. Neil uses this Mom’s question to help us see how important it is to have and communicate a positive vision of our kids. It is by holding and communicating this positive vision that children and adolescents learn to believe in themselves and believe in their ability to overcome obstacles. This is how parents gain the moral authority to require kids to do things, they simply don’t want to do. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Am I Programed for Parental Burnout?

    Published on June 5, 2018 Duration: 00:11:31

    In this episode Neil responds to a Mom struggling with her health, her business, and her two strong willed daughters. Neil helps this mother see the pattern she is in and how it was “programed” into her in childhood. Neil offers this mom a better way to see herself and a better way to let her daughters see her. Neil invites listeners to examine the messages they internalized in childhood that may still be limiting their happiness and success in adulthood. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Corporate Culture and Mental Health

    Published on June 12, 2018 Duration: 00:14:54

    In this episode Neil contrasts two clients he’s worked with, one starting out with personal worth issues and working in a very supportive corporate culture, and another with essentially high self-esteem working in a company whose culture changed for the worse. Neil shows how profound the impact of the work environment was on these two individuals and how they dealt with it and how he dealt with it as their therapist. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • After high School Push Reset on the Parent-Teen Relationship

    Published on June 19, 2018 Duration: 00:14:54

    In this episode Neil responds to a Mom trying to get help for her 18 year old son. He graduated high school with honors and has a scholarship to community college, but uses marijuana and puts holes in the wall when he gets angry. Neil offers this Mom a way to push restart in their relationship now that he is entering his young adult college years and how to make a break with the past and establish healthy expectations going forward. In this episode, Neil offers some good advice for counselors and parents to support empowered parenting. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Don’t Polarize, Synthesize

    Published on June 26, 2018 Duration: 00:14:39

    In this episode Neil responds to a Dad struggling to connect with his two boys and dealing with his wife’s criticism of his parenting. Dad thinks the main problem is that Mom is too lax and when he’s home, the kids aren’t used to following instructions. Neil realizes that both parents are experiencing parental burnout and both need support from each other, but are feeling depleted and alienated. Neil gives this Dad a way to connect in a positive way both with his wife as well as with his boys. He invites the listeners to pay attention to how they’re feeling and to be cautious about writing negative stories about their spouse when they’re depleted and experiencing PBO. Neil explains that the way to get the support that we want is to offer it to our spouse. That way it opens the support channel in the relationship.

  • Know Your Child’s Needs

    Published on July 11, 2018 Duration: 00:18:07

    In this episode Neil responds to a Mom struggling to get her five-year-old daughter to stop bugging her to play when she’s trying to do chores, and feeling like “the bad guy” when Dad’s home and gets involved. Neil helps Mom understand her 5-year-old’s needs so that she doesn’t keep seeking negative attention to get attention. Neil recommends some books for Mom and Dad to read and discuss to get on the same parenting plan together. Also, Neil hears the strain of parental burnout with Mom and encourages her to get some down time for herself and for Dad to plan some Dad / Daughter time together. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • Parental Burnout is an Epidemic

    Published on July 24, 2018 Duration: 00:16:17

    In this episode Neil reports the shocking results from a survey on Parental Burnout conducted by the Business Performance Innovation Network. The survey reveals most parents experience Parental Burnout and over 40% report they experience it at a significant or profound degree. Neil sees these numbers at a threat to our society and addresses the causes and his vision of health and how to get there. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • : Kids Need To Help At Home

    Published on August 1, 2018 Duration: 00:15:43

    In this episode Neil responds to a Mom who is struggling to get cooperation from her three kids to do simple tasks. Her husband tells her she’s making everyone miserable and she is crazy about cleaning and he says these things in front of the kids. Neil offers this Mom an approach to get her husband and everyone on board for helping in the home. Neil supports Mom’s notion that kids need to clean their rooms and he gives Mom a foolproof strategy to get cooperation. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • I Walked In On My Son And His Girlfriend

    Published on August 7, 2018 Duration: 00:14:38

    In this episode Neil responds to a Mom who walked in on her son and his girlfriend having sex and freaked out and became unglued. Mom apologized the next day, but then demanded her son apologize for his behavior and for disrespecting her. Now their relationship is at a standstill. Neil takes this difficult situation and breaks it down into several areas of opportunity for Mom’s learning. Neil challenges listeners to examine their reactivity and personalizing and how it limits out comes in their lives. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit

  • My Eagle Scout Is Smoking Marijuana

    Published on August 13, 2018 Duration: 00:12:28

    In this episode Neil responds to a Dad who discovered his high performing teenage son is smoking MJ and his daughter has a fake ID. Neil helps this dad focus on responding in a way that will help his teenagers learn and grow and not feel that they can never disappoint their parents. Neil helps all parents know that they can’t and shouldn’t try to raise “perfect Kids” by making their lives “perfect”. Neil explains that many teens aren’t prepared to make healthy decisions when they get to college, because their lives were too structured and there was too much oversight during their high school years. Have a question for Neil? Submit it now for discussion on a future episode of The Healthy Family Connections Podcast: http://neildbrown.com/submit