Stephanie is an educator, social worker, mom of two school-aged kids, founder and principal consultant of First Quarter Strategies LLC and the author of Whole Child, Whole Life: 10 Ways to Help Kids Live, Learn, and Thrive and Making It: What Today's Kids Need for Tomorrow's World.

443: Help Your Stressed Child Thrive

Stephanie Krauss

Kids are growing up in a world that has unprecedented challenges and stressors. In a world with school shootings, a climate crisis, and racial and identity unrest, how do we help our children? Stephanie Krauss talks to Hunter for this episode, saying that “kids today are surviving and thriving all at once.” What do kids REALLY need? Find out inside this episode.

Help Your Whole Child Thrive - Stephanie Krauss [443]

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Stephanie Krauss: And so the other thing I really want to make sure that I work on as a parent, and it comes out in my writing, is realizing and accepting that stress and trauma, grief and loss, Mindfulness will play roles in my children's lives.

[00:00:26] Hunter: You're listening to the Mindful Parenting Podcast, episode number 443. Today we're talking about how to help your stressed child thrive with Stephanie Kress.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent and mindful parenting. We know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clarkfields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years. I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course. And I'm the author of the international bestseller, Raising Good Humans, and now, Raising Good Humans Every Day. 50 simple ways to rest pause, stay present, and connect with your kids. Hello, hello, hello, and welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast.

Yay! I'm so glad you're here. Hey, listen, if you've ever gotten value from this podcast, just do me a favor today to help the podcast grow a little bit. Please just tell one friend about the Mindful Parenting Podcast. That would make such a huge difference. It really means so much to me. I really, really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Stephanie Krause, an educator, social worker, a mom of two school aged kids, founder and principal consultant of First Quarter Strategies LLC, and author of Whole Child Whole Life, 10 Ways to Help Kids Live, Learn, and Thrive. And we are going to talk about what today's kids need for tomorrow's world.

I mean, because kids growing up in a world that has unprecedented challenges and stressors, right? This is a world with school shootings, a climate crisis, racial and identity unrest, right? So how do we help our children who can feel that kind of stress in this world? So we're going to talk about all this, and Stephanie says, To me, that kids today are surviving and thriving all at once.

So what do kids really, really need now? You're going to find out inside this episode. I know you will get so much value out of it. And before we dive in, if you don't know yet already, the Raising Good Humans Guided Journal is out and it is ready for you. It is a guided journal that offers simple writing practices to help you calm your own stress, work through your emotions, and set intentions for more mindful parenting.

It's this really beautiful, lovely space just for you to unwind and to really reflect on what really matters. It is a perfect, perfect companion. To this podcast, if you're a podcast listener, this is like the perfect companion to this, this podcast to help you get so much more out of it so you can order it from your local bookstore.

I recommend if it's a small bookstore, like call them up ahead of time and order it. Or you can of course get it from Amazon or anywhere. Books are sold, the Raising Good Humans Guided Journal. Okay, let's get to it. Join me at the table as I talk to Stephanie kras.

So, Stephanie, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful

[00:03:53] Stephanie Krauss: Parenting Podcast. Really excited to be here. Thanks for having me, Hunter. Yeah,

[00:03:58] Hunter: I'm happy to talk to you. I'm looking forward to talking about your book, Whole Child, Whole Life. And but before we dive into this, you're obviously Very passionate about parenting, about kids, about raising really healthy kids.

How were you raised and what was your childhood like to kind of get you into this passion?

[00:04:19] Stephanie Krauss: It's an interesting question, I think, because I'm one of five kids and one of the, yeah, one of the things that I've always been really curious about is that we were raised in a really small town, um, where Main Street was called Main Street and we went through the same.

schools, one elementary school, a middle school, and a high school. And all five of us had really different experiences. Um, so my older brother, he ended up dropping out of high school, didn't get his GED, and later became, um, a really well known comedian and, um, pundit and, you know, sort of like, I guess.

That's an easy way to describe it would be Influencer. Um, the last grade that I finished was the 8th grade and, um, ended up working and getting my GED. And then we go all the way down to the baby who, um, was student government president of this high school and got into Harvard. And so, right? Yes. So I think that there has always been this real question.

That has traveled with me through my personal life and all of my professional choices and journeys of. What actually does it take to be ready and well, and knowing that it's not always these metrics that we set up, like graduating high school is not always the same thing as being ready for adulthood, or being really good academically, or in sports, or your activities is not the same thing as being healthy and whole, and so that has always been the driving question for me.

[00:06:03] Hunter: Okay, so wow, that's really interesting. I mean, you're the range, it sounds like you were kind of in the middle of those five kids. Were you right in the middle? Were you at the very middle?

[00:06:11] Stephanie Krauss: So I'm the only girl and I was the second of five, but I think if, you know, if you were to have a guest on who studied like sibling birth order, um, I have a lot of the features of like the first kid because I was the other mother.

Oh yeah. Yeah.

[00:06:27] Hunter: Okay. And for the dear listener, we did have a guest on to discuss birth order and that is Yvonne Nass. If you ever want to go check it out and I love her dearly. She's a friend of mine. Um, so that's so cool. So you left school after eighth grade, you said. Did that have to do with, you know, a lot of your book is about mental health and all of that.

Is that, did that have to do with challenges that you were dealing with at the time?

[00:06:52] Stephanie Krauss: I think it does. I talked about it a little bit in the introduction of the book of kind of recognizing two versions of truth of what my own childhood experience was. So whole childhood life is certainly not a memoir, but.

Deeply influenced and impacted by my own lived experience and the lived experience of my kids. Um, so I think that there are these kind of two narratives of my childhood. One is what I believed was happening in my town and what that meant for who I was and what my future would be. And so as a kid, my experience was that the adults in the community looked at me and knew my family and our family history and believed that I was, Talented, but really wouldn't amount to much.

And it was kind of this sense what I perceived then, of like, God what a shame, like what a talented kid, but man she's, she's not really going anywhere. Um, and that felt really intense. And I fought against it and fought against it. And eventually in middle school, and I look now, I don't know if you've had this experience Hunter, but my kids are 10 and 12.

And I think about what was happening to me in the middle school years. And my 12 year old is still my baby. And I'm like, Oh my God, I, I was such a baby when I was dealing with these really big. Thoughts and, and feelings, but, um, ultimately I am from a family that has a history of addiction, and, um, that was the.

That was the thing that was pressing down on, on me of like, what would end up happening. And so sure enough, in middle school, I ended up starting to drink and it just spiraled. Um, so I actually got sober when I was 15. And so my like turning point was that when I was 15 years old, I had an incredible school counselor who pulled me in for what would have been my freshman year.

And she said, um, that I had a choice that I could either, it was the middle of winter in the middle of New Jersey, and I could either go to a home for runaway and homeless youth in New Jersey, or I could go to a drug and alcohol rehab in Florida, which, um, I'm not You can imagine, like a 15 year old kid, really, middle of January, um, and so I was like, take me to the beach.

Like, take me out of this town and bring me to the beach. Um, so I just want to, like, wrap up my story with this Riley.

[00:09:20] Hunter: Was it actually at the beach or was, like, the middle of Florida, like, where

[00:09:24] Stephanie Krauss: Oh my gosh, wouldn't that have been funny if it was, like, the middle of, like, Gator Alley? No, Delray Beach, Florida.

So it was actually, like, you know, I thought Delray Beach meant it was, like, on the beach and it wasn't. Um, but it was close enough. So, um, but I will say that I have had this experience now of going back to my town where many people have stayed, many of the people I grew up with. And I had this profound, deeply moving experience this summer.

I brought my boys to the town where everybody knows me and everybody knows my story. And um, and we. Are the grown kids. We are the adults now. And it was just this deeply healing experience of realizing that there's a community in the world that knows my history, that knows where I came from, that knows my family, that knows what I went through, and that we, the grown kids, like there was deep enthusiasm and, um, love and care for.

The life that I've been able to build for myself, I mean, just genuine. And that was incredibly powerful. And then also recognizing, and this shows up in whole childhood life, that like outside of the school, there were these spaces and places and these people who. deeply cared for me and, and were very protective that I know paid off.

I know now from researching child wellbeing, um, were the clear difference makers and they were the people who were letting me work in the pizza shop and the people who were keeping their back doors unlocked for me to just like come and stay. And, um, it was that like broader ecosystem of support that I can.

I can now see with a different set of lenses. 

[00:11:18] Hunter: Yeah, it's interesting. Your, your story, I can relate in a lot of ways to your story. I come from a small town. I got involved with like drugs when I was pretty young. I mean, not, I was, you know, maybe summer before ninth grade year that I got probably the most drunk I've ever been in my life.

Um, and kind of went down a path of a lot of you know, I remember thinking, uh, as when I interviewed, um, Soleil Moonfry and we talked about her, it, her moo, her documentary Kid 90, I remember thinking, wow, that was so much, this is actually, I can relate to so much about this lifestyle of like teenagers, doing a lot of partying, getting in trouble, doing all this stuff, and realizing, like, and also, I could also relate to, and then losing some of these friends to drug overdose, and, and all of those things, and, um, and realizing, like, whoa, you know, there was a lot that could have gone really wrong for me, you know, and how easily it could happen, but also that that sense of like a small town and going back and people know who you are and they're like, Oh, Hunter, you were Ostrotistic and Learbook and you know, all of those things, you know, it's just, um, it's fascinating to, to experience that.

I mean, and for you, so when you recovered, when you got into recovery at 15, you got your GED. How did this, uh, did, how did this kind of affect you? What happened then? I need to know the rest of the story, Stephanie.

[00:12:50] Stephanie Krauss: I know, it's a, it's a crazy story. I mean, there's another conversation to have of, of like the really mystical moments that surrounded this part of the journey in particular, but, um, I will say that this is really where that That question of what does it take to be ready and well, what does it take to thrive, emerged for me because when I was in that rehab in Delray Beach, Florida, I had a case manager and every day Frank would say, Stephanie, You're going to go to college and they'd be like, you're crazy.

I'm going to like ride my bike, raise my brothers and work at my pizza shop. Like that will be my life and that will be enough. And he just spoke this new future into my life every day. Like persistently. And then he, he one day piled us into this white dilapidated van that, Hunter, we called the Druggie Buggie Boozer Cruiser and drove us up the coast to this little baby college. And he pointed at it and he was like, that's the school you'll go to. And I looked at him and I was like, fine, Frank, give me one year and I'll be there. And I trusted him more than I trusted myself. And so when I went to leave, the very last thing he said was, don't forget, you made me a promise.

And so I went home and on my 16th birthday, I was what they call chronically truant. I just didn't attend school, but you couldn't legally drop out until 16. 

[00:14:27] Hunter: Yeah. And it's like, how did this affect, how did, did this affect your relationship with your own parents? Like, were they, what were they like throughout this whole thing?

[00:14:37] Stephanie Krauss: Yeah. It's a, it's a good question. Good question. And a complicated one. I think my parents were divorced and, um, at the time my dad and I did not have a relationship. Um, he provided in the ways that he could, but I really saw myself as my mom's protector. And so he and I have a good relationship now. And I think watching him be able to be a grandfather to my children has been, he's a great support.

Grandfather, like really powerful. Um, and then my relationship with my mom was she was solo parenting with these five kids and completely overwhelmed. Um, this is again, I think an interesting, like emerging theme of our conversation is how our stories change as we get older. You know, I now look back as a parent myself and think, Oh my gosh, she had a lot going on.

Um, But with five kids and all of the stress and strain of, of living on her own, I don't think she thought a lot about it. I mean, I think I was bringing in money where I could and working and I think it was she had her own struggles and her own journey she was on.

[00:15:54] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:16:02] Stephanie Krauss: So, um, yeah, so I ended up getting my GED and I was too young to go to real college, and so I started, let me say this. I started at community college, which is 100 percent real college, but they allow younger people to attend, right? Like kids can be dual enrolled and they're just, there's more flexibility.

So I started at the local community college and I wrote an essay to that college that Frank wrote. Pointed out in the Druggie Buggie Boozer Foozer and told them my story and God loved them and they're like historically Baptist roots. Like I guess they saw it as like a story of grace and redemption and they let me in.

I had like nothing to offer and so that part It also comes back to whole child, whole life because I was put then in an environment where the conditions were set up for me to thrive. And the belief was that I was smart enough, that I was able enough, and that, um, that I could be healthy and whole. I loved that.

And so I was in recovery and I was in college and nobody knew my story unless I told them. And then it was this like powerful, strong thing. Um, so the rest of the story is equally interesting, but we won't go there today. I ended up graduating accidentally at 18 because I didn't know how many college courses you're supposed to take.

And so I was like working and taking all these courses. And then my friend was like, He was looking at my transcript on like the big desktop, right, like pre laptops, and he was like, You're, you're graduating this spring. And I said, 18 year olds cannot graduate from college. And he's like, uh, you were taking like 27 credits every semester.

You're done.

[00:17:56] Hunter: Wow. Wow. From high school dropout to 27 credits in a semester. 

[00:18:02] Stephanie Krauss: My god. I know. That's right. Yeah. So by 20, by 22 I had two graduate degrees, which is a great, I think segue into the work, one in education and one in social work. I mean, it just has been a compressed life, .

[00:18:18] Hunter: Wow. You know, and, and it's so interesting, like, and I think I've, there's so many themes that, you know, you're talking about that I can.

Like, I'm hearing in that, like, you're talking about how in this rehab you, they had this belief and in college they had this belief that you're smart enough and you're talking about kind of like these conditions and the, the stories that we're telling about ourselves, right? Like when this story, you know, that you, you were told in your town because of your family history and all of these things, and then this different story that in these different conditions that you're living in.

And I can completely relate to like, kind of having done a lot of things at like, at kind of a young age too, but I, um, But yeah, that's amazing. And did you go into social work, um, um, and education because of you, because of what it gave you or as from your own story, I imagine?

[00:19:11] Stephanie Krauss: Yeah. I did. Yeah. I mean, just to follow up on what you just said, it is fascinating and it's true for our own children that the same life we as adults have the power to kind of cast something that is oppressive.

We're liberating. I mean, that's the power we have as adults. In my small town, there was such a feeling of oppression and suppression that based on who I was and how I lived and what I look like and what my family was like, there was a narrowing of what that meant. For who I could be and what I would be later in the future.

And then you take that exact same story and that exact same human and you stick me in different environments and the experience is completely liberating and super healing. Um, which is true for kids now, too. So I did, I went into education. I went into teaching first, um, very much because, um, you know, unlike people who I think had this picturesque experience of school, mine was.

A diverse experience, and I really wanted to invest deeply in kids, and I thought the best way to do that would be to teach. And then when I was teaching, I had a set of experiences. One of the most, uh, profoundly impactful ones was a student whose house burned down, and she came to school that same day, um, and was, you know, covered in soot.

And the family and the student looked to me as an authority because I was a teacher. Um, and you know, that was a respected position where I was, where I was living and working. And I did not have any training in how to support them in this big life event. And I had this moment where I realized it was no longer my story, but now the stories of all of my students that I was really a steward of.

I wanted to be able to support the whole of who they were, that they were growing up in my classroom. They were spending so many hours with me and together, and that I had never been cross trained in. In health, in social work, in counseling, like, I just lacked in anything outside of establishing a good school culture and classroom culture and like classroom management and content, um, and I loved the whole of my kids.

And I wanted to support them and their families and the community. And so at the time I felt like I had to leave education completely. That there was no space for me to like remedy that while also staying a teacher. And that's what took me to social work. And that's what took me to like really focus on the social, the emotional, the economic issues that were impacting my students and kids everywhere.

[00:22:11] Hunter: And in Whole Child, Whole Life, you talk about how, like, in 1989, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention of the Rights of the Child, right? And I'm thinking about this and about this idea of kids need, and a lot of this book is about what kids need in their mind, their bodies, their development, their emotions, and things like that.

But I would love to, like, start out with that, thinking about this idea of what were some of these rights? That they decided, which I think is so fascinating. And, and how do they translate into kids' needs?

[00:22:50] Stephanie Krauss: So, um, to situate listeners to where the shows up in the book, there are these 10 practices that support young people in the across their entire lives, childhood, adolescence, adulthood.

So they're the same for us. And the first one I talk about is meeting basic needs. Um, because it's so important for us to understand that kids today and really all the time are surviving and thriving at once. That they can go into one environment and be doing really well. And we saw this through the pandemic.

We see this through natural disasters, you know, wildfires, other things that are happening. Um, um, In a moment, the conditions can deteriorate rapidly and really prevent a kid from being healthy and happy. So that, like, built the bridge here. One of the things that I was really trying to figure out was, what do young people need to have good life?

Like, what does that take? And that we as parents We have a job to do, but we're not trained in it. We don't go to school for it, right? But this is our job. And so I really wanted to create this resource for all of us who are raising kids on what is the art and science of what that takes. And so these basic needs and rights come up really early.

I've got these. I worked with this brilliant illustrator, Manuel, to create these like just these charts that show them. And so on the needs side, you have kind of the basics that we would think about, you know, your essentials, but you also have things like rest for kids. Although they're very important for adults too, rest and play and purpose.

And so there's a whole thing to sort of drill down in there of like, and you know, I think this connects a lot with your work on what it means that young people to survive foundationally need opportunities for rest, need opportunities for play, need opportunities for purpose. On the other side is what the U.

N. has put out. Um, so at the time that we're recording this, there was just a report that came out actually this week that raided the 50 U. S. states. I don't know if it went into territories against these U. N. convention rights of the child, so what we are holding other people accountable to. Only nobody scored in it, so they did this with No U.

S. states scored an A. No U. S. states scored a B. Only two U. S. states scored a C. And the rest of us were ranked D or F, just really hard. And so what that means is there are some basic protections that aren't always available for young people. Some of them are things like their right to privacy or their right to information and access.

And I think that that is a, a tricky thing for us to grapple with, especially as parents, because. Privacy feels very scary when our kids are online and when they're a part of worlds that we can't graft ourselves into. Um, there's also like the right for expression and education and healthcare and resources.

And so it's, it's worth us paying attention to both because I think that our work as parents is how do we create the conditions? Where our kids needs are met. And how do we as parents protect the chance that they can be kids, right? Like protect the right they have to experience and enjoy childhood.

[00:26:51] Hunter: Yeah, I mean, I think there's so much there.

I think about the United States. I mean, one of the things I, I recently watched the Shiny Happy People documentary, which It's, did you, I don't know if you watched it, but it's like horrifying. And what comes out in this documentary is, is it's a extremist book on how, called How to Raise Up a Child, which talks about how, what, and where to beat a child to get, to break their will.

And it's, it's something that's being sold and they, you know, can, is sold. Um, and it, and for me, when I think about like, yes, in the United States, like we don't have a basic right to safety for for, from abuse in some ways. Like we're so, our, our, our states are, we're so strange. Like we, kids get in trouble for being a nine year old going to the park by themselves.

Like they don't have that right to enough independence for, for them to do that. Yet they're not protected from adults. hitting them. It's just seems like it's, it's so strange. And then of course, then we, the lack of safety net that becomes a huge stressor for parents. And then of course it becomes something that can really undermine this, these basic needs.

for kids.

[00:28:09] Stephanie Krauss: Yeah. I mean, I want to dig in there just for a second because I think, um, so I'm going to bring like a note of sort of being pretty somber here for a second. Um, last year our godson who has lived with us every summer growing up, he is now in high school, um, survived a school shooting. He was, he was shot multiple times while in class.

He lost his teacher and, um. And I will tell you, I think that we have an illusion here in the States that there is a level of safety still actively available to our kids that our kids don't actually experience. Because I will tell you, as a mother who almost lost that godchild and then was with His siblings and my children in the aftermath, that kids experience of spaces that should be safe is not what our experience was.

And so there's this historic difference of what does it look like? You know, we just talked about our childhoods, and I will tell you that in that story was never the thought. That I could lose my life going to school every day. In that story was never the thought that if I ended up being gay, which I am, I'm not, I'm, I'm married to my husband.

But if I had then that I could be denied care or, um, be really hurt and harmed for that, or that my, my godchildren are black, that, um, you know, the experience of racial violence, there is a level here of what's happening in the environment that is So catastrophic. There's so many sort of crises, conditions.

We have to, I talk about this in the book, it is grief work for us as adults to recognize and accept the realities that our kids are living in. And if we diminish that, um, if I diminish when my 10 year old and it happened this morning is asking about his safety at school because it's easy in the busyness of life to forget that his.

Godbrother almost died at school less than a year ago. Um, if I diminish my asthmatic son asking what the air quality is because we're going to be late for school, but he's worried that he's not going to be able to breathe at baseball practice, then I'm not actually reflecting what their actual lived experience is.

And I just I think it requires back to like, how do we protect childhood and how do we meet these needs and rights and storytelling, what we were talking about before. We have to tell a factual story about what the, what the lived experience of our own children and their friends really is, right? And then figure out what it takes that they can still be good humans and have good lives.


[00:31:14] Hunter: I mean, I do. We have to be honest with them. We have to be honest about those things. How do you, how do you deal with that grief personally? How do you balance being honest with your kids and also not, you know, dumping on your kids or, or, or overwhelming them with your feelings? Yeah.

[00:31:35] Stephanie Krauss: So I think back to this idea that I've been kind of struggling with as how do you, how do you raise kids in really catastrophic conditions?

And I think about it as like volume dials that constantly just go from low to loud. You know, the fear of school shooting might be low one day and suddenly it's turned up to loud environmental extreme weather events are. the pandemic. Um, you know, I don't know about you as a parent, but my kids get sick today and I'm like, is this normal or are they dying?

Um, and so it's this like, how do I not catastrophize and still recognize that, um, They're living in this, but it's the only life that they know, and so there's incredible resiliency and strength, and they still want to do all the things, do all the things associated with childhood, even when a pandemic is happening, even when it's really hot outside, even when these different events are, are going on.

So, For me, I am so lucky that my closest, uh, neighbor and one of my best friends in the world is also an expert on grief. She is who I talk to in the book, and we have trails right down the driveway, um, and we spend an inordinate amount of time. Walking those trails and processing this complex life and these complex kids and these complex times, and there is a need for sense making that happens inside of the context of adult to adult relationship.

The other thing that I can tell you for our family as survivors of gun violence and the experience of other pieces is that I am very honest with my children and very aware not to burden them with my experiences. my own emotional responsibility, but still allowing them to see it. And this kind of segues into one of the reasons I wrote Whole Child, Whole Life was we're in the middle of this unprecedented mental health crisis, which makes sense given the conditions kids are growing up in.

And, um, And it's not a matter of if a kid will have a mental health challenge, but really like when will they struggle with their mental health and will we be prepared? And so the other thing I really want to make sure that I work on as a parent and it comes out in my writing is, is realizing and accepting that stress and trauma, grief and loss will play roles in my children's lives.

Do I understand the science of it, the signs of it, and am I helping them develop tips and tools and tricks to manage it? I think about this as very similar to If you are, um, training to be a serious athlete, and I was recruited into a swim team when I was very young, and people will, I told you in my teenage years, I was not swimming, but people will still see me swimming now as an adult, and they will stop me and say, Oh, do you, do you swim?

Were you a, you know, were you a collegiate swimmer? Are you a master swimmer? And I'm convinced it's because when I was young, I was taught all of the many movements of how to breathe, how to position my face, how to turn my hands that now feel instinctive. I don't even think about it. And so I think about that in the same way with tending to my kids emotional well being.

How am I teaching them all the mini movements of how to attend to their health and their well being? So that hopefully across all of the stages of life and situations they might go through, almost feels instinctive. It almost feels natural that actually it's been taught.

[00:35:55] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

It's something that's so ingrained. That's something you pay attention to. It's something you prioritize from a very young age. And you talk about this in the book, prioritizing mental health. And just to go over, dear listener, for the 10 whole life practices, we talked about basic needs. Number two is mental health.

Three is invest in personal interests. Four is healthy relationships. Five is community and belonging. Six is identities and cultures. 7 is the past and the present, attending to that. Eight, which I have to ask about later, is act with a hundred year mindset, and nine is be a force for good, and ten is seek awe and wonder.

But this idea of these things, these are all things that I'm imagining that you are saying, like, these are, these are Val strong values in my life. These are things that are priorities. These are things that we must pay attention to from the beginning and, and be honest about and having conversations with, and I, and I, I imagine that they have to start with you as well.

[00:37:10] Stephanie Krauss: They do. So I have. Committed. There's a lot of information in the book because I wanted it to be a resource people could reach out to. 

[00:37:19] Hunter: It's very comprehensive, dear listener.

[00:37:20] Stephanie Krauss: Yes. Yeah. It's a resource that you could keep. You know, we have this for like what to expect when you're expecting, like, can you come back and what do we need to know about this?

But at its essence, those 10 practices have become the, the daily or situational inventory that I take for myself or my kids where I run through them. And if one of my children, or if I am struggling, I go through and I say, okay, how are we doing prioritizing mental health? How, is there something from the past here or that's going on right now that I need to attend to?

Do they have community and belonging? Is something happening in their community? I just, at its most basic level, if they are the 10 that are very timely, but also timeless. So backed up by the science of what we need to thrive, even when times are hard. And so one of the things that I did, what's really cool about these 10 practices is because they are whole life practices.

They really are true. What is good for kids is also good for us. So I just had a birthday recently and my journaling practice was to take all 10 and to say like, what is the state of my own ability to meet my basic needs? And like, No surprise to busy moms, I'm not getting enough rest. I'm not prioritizing play and enjoyment in my own life.

Um, you know, and then you kind of move through them. The last two are, are more transcendental practices. So, being a force for good is about being of service. and Seeking On Wonder is spirituality. And so you kind of, you've got that full spectrum of meeting basic needs all the way to spirituality, but it is that regular inventorying.

And then I think figuring out which one do I need to tend to? Um, I also walk my kids through the experience and they, they hate it. And I think they're also grateful for it of like, Hey, how How are your relationships right now? Who are your healthiest relationships right now? Um, where do you feel like you can, you know, belonging?

The like, kid version of that is where do you feel like you can be yourself? And so I, I've translated those into what works developmentally to talk to them about it. But for them to know that this is an experience that I'm on and that they're on and that we will be on together for our entire lives. Uh,

[00:39:52] Hunter: I'm curious about this because, you know, I have my daughter, my oldest daughter has, uh, a chronic pain condition and she has for a couple of years.

It's, it's really hard, um, to deal with and to watch her deal with that. I have a lot of resources. I have a lot of tools. I have a lot of practices. And she is allergic to everything I bring because, you know, I mean, mostly, you know, because she doesn't want mom to bring it. Now, how, how do you, how does that happen with your kids?

And how do you, how do you bring them into practices to help their, their mental health and, and healthy relationships and all of these things, um, without them pushing you away?

[00:40:37] Stephanie Krauss: Learn So there's something different about, so first off, I just want to say that I feel you, Mama. My older son also has a chronic condition and It is so hard to watch your kid be in pain and it is so hard to not be able to fix it and to, um, to also know it's not going to end anytime soon.

Um, I have recently taken to tracking, um, you know, I used to keep a daily tracker when things were really flared. And, um, we have started these spontaneous celebrations of, like, it never goes fully away, but we, like, are claiming the wins when we get them. Like, when things are mild, I'm like, okay, we're going to take this as a win.

Like, what do we want to do to celebrate? Um, but, like, that's a part of actually the, like, heart of my work in writing was I feel like so many people who talk about thriving and flourishing, I'm going down a little bit of, like, uh. It's a cool segway here, but so many people who talk about thriving and flourishing, it feels like your life has to be good and easy.

Like, and then we're thriving. And for me, I feel like everything I do is like life is hard. Like there are really challenging, hard, tough situations. Scary painful things. And so the thing with Whole Child Whole Life, the reason I wrote it was that I'd written this other book about the future and what kids need for adulthood.

And as I went off, it was the pandemic. I did this like pandemic basement tour and all of these people kept saying That's super interesting, like what kids need for the future, and we are really scared that these kids are going to, or my kids are going to burn out or give up before they get there, like what do they need to be well right now?

And so when you talk about kids being allergic to the advice we give, like yes. Absolutely, 100%. So I actually, you know, my background is in social work and education, and so I deliberately wrote this book through an education publisher so that it could be a book that could be read and used by anybody who cares for kids, because I think fundamentally where my, the, the spaces when my children have done best have been when the collection of adults who are collectively raising and caring for them are on the same page about what they need to be healthy, happy, and, and so in the case of my son, when his health, when he was first diagnosed with his chronic condition, he had his pediatrician, an infectious disease doctor, his teacher.

a therapist, and his two parents, and his grandmother as like the closest adults. And then we have neighbors and, you know, folks from our faith community who are sort of like next circle out, um, and building those adult to adult relationships. Was imperative because these other adults were going to be investing in my kid and advising my kid when I was not present.

And so I would say like the quick and easy recommendation here is it feels counterintuitive because you want to invest more deeply in your actual child is actually invest in the relationships with the other adults and other influential people who are part of that ecosystem of support. That's around your child.

[00:44:10] Hunter: That makes sense. In fact, it makes me think of adults right away who, who, uh, you know, who could be, could be there for, for my child. Sorry, dear listener, to make this a little bit about. Please help me, Stephanie. Yeah.

[00:44:26] Stephanie Krauss: You know, I'll say one other thing real quick, Hunter, I put in a chapter on the brain and body in whole childhood life because none of us, listen, I've gone to education school, I've gone to social work school and never did I take a class in pediatric and adolescent health.

Um, and so most of the adults who are spending time with kids. Parents and otherwise, coaches, counselors, teachers, et cetera, none of us training in health. And so this is also what you're disclosing lifts up the, the painfulness and the experience of so many parents and kids who are not well understood for the incredible impacts and intersectionality that their health has.

Um, and so the other piece is like being earnest and active and making sure that folks are educated. Um, and then of course, taking good care of yourself, Hunter, because it's a lifelong journey that you're into with that, right? And it's, it's just so painful and hard.

[00:45:35] Hunter: One of the things that I appreciate about what you're talking about in a lot of ways and you talk about in the book too is this idea of, um, it's all happening concurrently.

Like there's funny and there's the joy and there's strengths that are all happening while you may see things that are challenging. And I, and I also appreciate sort of like, Stephanie has a checklist of, um, what to look for, like for your kid's mental health at different ages and stages and, and how, how to deal with that.

Um, there's so much here. This is a massive, wonderful book. It is kind of like, um, you know, it's kind of like that, that the sort of reference book that you keep in your house for, for your kids, whole, whole health and, and whole life. Before we go, can you tell me about acting with a hundred year mindset?

[00:46:27] Stephanie Krauss: I can't.

So this is, um, as a writer, I think, I don't know if you have the same thing as you think about like this work of raising good humans, right? But like, this is the thing that has changed me the most. So when I was working on my first book, I learned that science has progressed enough in society that it is possible for every one of our kids to live to be at least 100.

If not. And like the BBC recently reported that they think it could be 140. Which is a very long time. Oh my gosh. It's possible, right? And, and so the operative phrase here is like resources and opportunities, um, it's, it's not possible for everybody if they don't have the right resources, but there's this possibility.

And so for me, there's this need for us to shift away from the immediate term of like, how do I get them to 18, or how do I get them to, To graduate high school to like, actually, there are these farther out horizon points that we have to attend to a 100 year life. It's a very long life, you know, that right now is the exception and we're saying it could be the expectation and the 100 year life in a time when there are pandemics and political divisiveness and violence and uncertainty and volatility, um, and so having that long game perspective is crucial because what happens in the first quarter of that possible 100 year life is going to make all of the difference.

It's very hard for us in the immediate term, you know, now can like eclipse all of our focus and attention. But recognizing that like, if we're thinking about that marathon, that possibility of a 100 year life, what we prioritize can shift. If my son's health is flaring up, that is prioritized above academic performance because I'm looking at the possibility of a hundred years and what do they need now, not what do they need in the next semester or the next week.

The most powerful part of that chapter for me is actually I got to talk to Um, some parents who are professional futurists, they walked me through how you forecast the future. And what I suggest in the book is that we actually teach our kids to do that because these issues that we've been talking about today can feel like they're closing in on kids.

Like, what could I possibly do to change the environment and climate or the pandemic? They're Big global problems that are very proximate and personal. But if they have mechanisms for imagining and building scenarios for what all their possible futures are, it gives them agency and strength. Um, to live in the world as it is and as it could be.

And so it's both how do we hold that longer life mindset and for me personally as a mom it's about what does my kid not only need for a long life but a life that they love. Like that is. That is the pressing piece. A livable and lovable life. Um, and then on the kids side, it's how do we give them tools to actually design their own futures?

[00:49:57] Hunter: I love this. There's so much here, uh, dear listener. Uh, Stephanie's book is Whole Child, Whole Life, 10 Ways to Help Kids Live, Learn, and Thrive. Um, Stephanie, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Parenting Podcast. If people want to reach out to you and continue the conversation, where can they find you?

[00:50:19] Stephanie Krauss: So I think the easiest way to spell if somebody is like walking or making dinner while they're listening is you can go to the book website, wholechildwholelife. com. And then if you do have the ability to come back in the podcast or look at the show notes, my website is stephaniemaliakraus. com. Either way, you can sign up for newsletters and there are other ways to get in contact with me and ways to, of course, buy the book.

[00:50:46] Hunter: Well, thank you so much. I, I really appreciate it. I appreciate your, you sharing your story and the, the perspective that you bring and the thoroughness of your vision for, for, you know, what we need and what kids need. And I think it's really, um, a super, super helpful resource.

[00:51:06] Stephanie Krauss: Thank you. Thanks, Hunter. This has been, we have, we have really journeyed through a lot of things in this conversation.

It's been a great one. Thanks for having me on.

[00:51:23] Hunter: I hope you enjoyed this episode. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening. I really enjoyed talking to Stephanie. It was such a pleasure and an honor and, and I just felt like, gosh, I get to do this wonderful thing. For work. This is great. Get Detective Stephanie. So I hope you get so much out of this. I hope you are enjoying it and getting a lot out of it.

And if you are, let me know. I, it makes, it means the world to me when you let me know. And, and I, I often see all of them, especially like if you tag me, you could, Share it on your Instagram stories. Um, take a screenshot of what you're listening to and tag me in it. Let me know if you're, what your takeaways are.

That means the world to me. You can tag me at mindful mama mentor. Um, that's an amazing way to show some love through the podcast. And, and I want to give a shout out to. S. F. Bay Mama, who showed some love for the podcast on Apple Podcasts, giving a five star review. Thank you so much. They said, highly recommend.

This is my go to podcast when I need a boost and practical answers as a mom of five. Amazing time to listen. Her recent episode on having self compassion is just one of the many reasons I tune in. So thankful for the work of Hunter Clark Fields. Oh, thank you, thank you so much. SF Bay Mama, I really, really appreciate it.

Hey, I hope you have a great week. I hope you know, you know, it's like kind of the end of the new year now and, and I, I hope, you know, it doesn't have to be New Year's for you to begin anew. You can begin anew every day. You're doing it right now, you're using this podcast as a tool to water your good seeds and become a more conscious, mindful parent.

And I think that's amazing. I'm thrilled and I think that your kids can only benefit from that in the world. Because it really, really is true that as you create more peace in yourself. You create it for everybody. So thank you for creating more peace for you. I'll be working on it for me too. And, um, on Thursday, check out the Throwback Thursday episode.

There will be another great episode from the archives. This Thursday's episode is How to Prevent Troubled, the Troubled Teen Years with Erin Huey. This is a podcast I have referenced. What I learned from Aaron Huey so many times. So listen to the original. It's really, really powerful. Um, and yeah, I hope you have a great week.

I'll be back. in your, your podcast feed next week. And I'm so glad that we can connect. And listen, hey, if you haven't already, go to mindfulmamamentor. com, get one of the freebies, sign up for the mailing list. There's so many resources there, so many different levels, and then we can really connect. It's lovely.

So yeah, I hope you have a great week. I hope you have some rest, some calm, and all that stuff, and lots of good hugs. And I'll see you again next week. Thank you so much for listening. Namaste.

[00:54:43] Stephanie Krauss: I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your

[00:54:47] Hunter: relationship with

[00:54:47] Stephanie Krauss: your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better and just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a better parent to your children. Feeling like you're connecting more with them and not feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't this working? I would say definitely do it. It's so, so worth it.

It'll change you. No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's a great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can learn some new tools and gain some perspective. Are

[00:55:47] Hunter: you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting Membership. You will be joining Hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting. This isn't just another parenting class.

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to mindfulparentingcourse. com Add your name to the wait list so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment.

I look forward to seeing you on the inside. MindfulParentingCourse. com

Support the Podcast

  • Leave a review on Apple Podcasts: your kind feedback tells Apple Podcasts that this is a show worth sharing.
  • Share an episode on social media: be sure to tag me so I can share it (@mindfulmamamentor).
  • Join the Membership: Support the show while learning mindful parenting and enjoying live monthly group coaching and ongoing community discussion and support.