Are you interested in a Resilience Mindset for your child?
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge takes us through the many misunderstandings behind mental health in kids.
4:00 The Journey to get your kids’ help is unnecessarily complex.
6:15 Resilience in Kids.
8:20 Resiliency Mindset.
9:35 There is no magic pill, medication included. How to do the work.
10:00 Why is there a lack of resiliency: is it overparenting?
11:15 Grading is not an indicator of success.
15:00 Even “Functional” Kids can have a lot of turmoil.
19:00 Different parenting for different kids
20:40 Where do parents start?
If you want to start to un-muddy the waters a little bit in the complex world that your child inhabits, check out my free ebook Autism Supports that Actually Work. Click HERE, to explore these 6 strategies that do really work, and aren’t talked about that much.
Do you know what a resiliency mindset is? Are you hoping your child will be more resilient? And are you on a hunt for tools for the same? If so, this podcast is for you. Hey friend, welcome back to functional nutrition and learning for kids, your podcast about all things nutrition, learning and movement.
I’m your host Vaish. And today we’re talking all things stress, resilience and mental health. With Dr. Rosen. I am really excited to have Dr. Dre sign again on our podcast. Dr. Hasan is a mental health Trailblazer. She’s the founder of The global institute of children’s mental health, and Dr. Rosen and Associates, and she is changing the way we view and treat children’s mental health. This Forbes magazine called Red thought leader in children’s mental health, and our work has helped 1000s Reverse the most challenging conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, mood, autism, learning disability lime, and pan’s pandas using proven holistic therapies such as neurofeedback, biofeedback, and psychotherapy.
She is the author of the first-ever book on teletherapy activities for Child and Adolescent therapists. And it’s called the teletherapy toolkit. And the new book that’s coming out is going is called it’s going to be okay. She, has a program called the get unstuck program. These are all resources for parents to reverse their child’s symptoms. And she’s very often featured on dozens of media outlets. She’s been featured on Fox, CBS, NBC Forbes parents in New York Times.
Welcome, Dr. Roseanne, we’re really excited to have you here. And congratulations on your new book. It’s going to be okay.
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge:
Well, thank you. I’m so glad we’re we’re conversing again and talking about kids, and what parents can do to help their kids who are struggling with any component of mental health.
Absolutely. I’m really excited to talk about that, too. Could you talk to us about what led to this book? I know you’ve had other books before you’ve done a lot of work with children’s mental health? What is it that led you to write this book? And what is it about?
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge:
Yeah, so for 30 years, as you said, I’ve been helping parents really reduce and reverse mental health symptoms. And I’ve only used proven holistic therapies. And parents are often surprised that there are things they can do, to really not just stop the symptoms, but often get rid of the symptoms completely.
Certainly, there’s always a way to make things better, and there are so many evidence-based approaches that are safe and natural. And that is often surprising because we’re not getting that message. So for 30 years, I’ve been supporting parents in using more evidence-based approaches to mental health, because that’s really what natural therapies are, is that there are so many evidence-based approaches. And so the reality is not everybody can come to me in my Ridgefield, Connecticut center, or work with me virtually right. And I truly am on this mission to change the way we view and treat children’s mental health.
I mean, anybody who follows me on social YouTube, I’m just always giving information and this book, it’s going to be okay, is about giving parents the tools to really address whatever is going on with their kid, whether their kid for the first time is struggling with mental health due to the pandemic focus problems, mood regulation, or you have neurodevelopmental disorders, right, like autism and ADHD, or other more serious mental health issues, like pan’s pandas, anything that is a clinical diagnosis or a situation that they’re struggling with, I really map out what to do about it. And I have over 40 pages of research so parents can feel good about this is trusted information.
This is information that they can take action on. And I think that’s been the hardest part for me in. So I’ve been doing this for 30 years. 30 years ago, I was talking to people about diet and homeopathy and supplements. And it is not still the norm in treating mental health or physical health issues for kids, adults. And we’re just not getting that message out to parents. And so this book is really a culmination of my work. And I want to make things easier for parents and I want parents to have hope, and I titled it, it’s going to be okay.
It’s the first thing I tell parents when they work with me, because you and I are both Special Needs Moms. And there is nothing harder than when your kid is struggling. I’m sorry, there just isn’t right. It’s it’s always hard if you’re struggling yourself, but my gosh, as a mother we worry and when your kid is struggling It is not fraught with fear. And the journey to get your kid help is unnecessarily complex. It totally is. Totally is it’s kind of bogus, how complex things are for getting help. And I break it down. I talk about eight pillars. And you know, there’s a lot of information Some parents are like eight pillars. You mean you want me to eight steps know what, what I really focus on is that small actions create big change.
Now, you can do big therapies, right? Like a friend texted me this morning. And she’s doing hyperbaric oxygen for her, her child. Um, certainly, you know, I do Neurofeedback and biofeedback, right? Not biofeedback isn’t small is actually a small change, it’s not a big thing to do. Neurofeedback is a big thing. So there’s lots of information here. And I want parents to know, there is another way, there’s another way besides medications. And that’s really what this book is about. And there’s evidence to show, there are other ways, with lots of great stories of the people that I’ve met along the way, who I’ve been able to help and had the privilege of helping, but parents are so scared right now. And they just go down road after road after road. And it’s it’s treatment failure after treatment failure after treatment failure. And this is the norm of what mental health looks like in America, but globally as well. And we have to stop that.
Absolutely. I heard you use the word resilience in one of your book descriptions. And I think that that word is so important for not just kids, but also adults these days. And can you talk about why kids today have so I mean, such significantly lesser resilience? And perhaps we did as kids?
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge:
Oh, you know, there’s a lot of reasons why kids lack resilience, which means they don’t have coping skills, right. And in people often ask me, like, what have you seen in these 30 years? Right? And I’m going to tell you, there’s a couple of things that are very striking. So one is the rise in autism. And no, it’s not because we’re diagnosing better.
Absolutely, I think they do a terrible job diagnosing autism, as somebody who did neuro psych testing psycho Ed testing up until a couple years ago, it literally was like a boxing match in an IEP meeting, when I would have these kids that were like, practically poster child for, you know, what used to be called Asperger’s. So you know, being having high intellect, I hate to call it high functioning autism, because if you have autism, it’s impacting your functioning in some ways, but we somehow think if you do well in school, which many kids with high IQ with, with autism do well in school, that they’re high functioning, and they may be doing functioning really well. But often if they’re not functioning socially, so a huge rise in autism like, it is unbelievable, right? It was barely did I have a case of autism? Or did I observe a case of autism? When I started in the early 90s, the very early 90s maintained anyone barely Okay, and then over time, it’s just exponential. And the other big thing is just this complete rise in anxiety. And really, it’s tied to a lack of resilience.
And it is just the opposite of resilience. Would you say? Yeah,
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge:
Exactly. Right. It and so I talked about a resiliency mindset. They’re it’s a term that I actually trademarked. And really what it is, is that in order to have a resiliency mindset, resiliency is all about how you view, manage and recover from stress. And the kids that I work with have a breakdown in one of those areas, or more. And my most impacted kids, the kids that are struggling most with mental health and behavioral and emotional regulation, have typically struggle with how they view, manage and recover from stress. And when I work with families, that’s what I focus on. So I don’t need a clinical diagnosis.
I say, let’s look at the resiliency. You’re when when things improve. And when people work with me. They always improve if they’re following what I asked them to do. And they’re not expecting me to have a magic wand. Oh, there it is. And that means it’s a trusted partnership, right? So you’re trusting you should always trust the provider you’re working with. And if you’re working with a provider, you should make a commitment to really honor what they’re teaching you and do your best to try to implement those things.
There is no magic pills. So people often go searching for these medications because they somehow think there’s a medication that’s going to fix it. And that is almost never the case. I mean, I don’t know those people, that’s not happening. And that’s why one in six Americans, adults are on a psychiatric medication, people are looking for an answer. The answer is within yourself.
And everyday, sexy because I often say that my work isn’t sexy. It doesn’t.
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge:
Absolutely, I mean, I tell everybody, it’s gonna be okay. And then I say, Guess what, we’re gonna do some work.
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Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge:
When we talk about resilience. Why are kids so lacking coping skills? Well, one, we’re over parenting our kids. Kids are not doing free play, they’re not getting out there in the universe. They’re not allowed to make independent decisions that come with failure and uncomfortableness. And I’m a huge fan of autonomy, supportive parenting, and what it means is that you’re parenting in a way that your kids are learning how to be autonomous, and you’re putting loving bumpers in place, you’re talking a lot, you’re getting communication, put, you’re letting your kid make decisions and make mistakes, right? Like it is so important to allow your kid to make mistakes, and be upset and learn from them.
If you never let your kids experience stress in the little things, they will have no idea on how to manage the big things. And what parents often come to me in in the pandemic is really highlighted, these kids have really highlighted them. And parents will say to me, what kind of knew something was going on. But it’s always the same, but their grades were really good. And we use grades as a benchmark for mental health. And that is one of the biggest mistakes.
Oh, I love that doctors. And I just love that what you said, and I’m just suddenly feeling really good about myself, because I almost fell into this trap. And I’ve been thinking, maybe I need to sit with my daughter more, maybe I need to parent her more nice feeling like a little bit of a, because I generally let her run free and do her thing and that and I feel very validated. But also, I really liked that you said that. You’re right. We sat grades as a benchmark after good grades is functioning well, Right?
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge:
If you got good grades, you’re straight-A student How could they have anxiety and depression? How could they be self mutilating? How could they have OCD? And you know, when I used to do testing, I remember a recall I had a kid this is many, many years ago, please know I protect identity. So the story is not exactly 100%. Right? I mishmash things to protect people’s identities, but I had a national merit scholar. And the long and short of this story was he was a national merit scholar with OCD. And the school could not believe that he had OCD. And his OCD was so severe that he was spending more than four hours a day in rituals.
Oh, wow. Yeah. I mean, that’s really serious. And, you know, in order to have OCD, you need an hour or more of obsessive thinking or compulsive behaviors, right. So he was spending four hours. So He then started to become increasingly anxious, because he didn’t have enough time for schoolwork. And his school kept saying, but his grades are too good. And they didn’t want to give him accommodations while we were doing therapy. Right. He needed some extra time. And I just can remember sitting there thinking, What can I say? He was in the room. And he was like, I have OCD.
I am checking the towels, I am washing, I am doing all of these things. For hours. His mother was there. This kid had never asked for a darn thing. And they’re yet they couldn’t believe it and I had a school psychologist and a prince assistant principal fighting with us. Eventually, they finally I was like, Do you think this kid would come in here? Has he not proven himself to be an honorable kid? Can you not give him the support that he legally is entitled to? And eventually they backed off? And I thought wow, I have a trained mental health professional and an assistant principal and I have to push that heart and how rare was it for me to have a kid be so open and articulate about what his needs are? Right, right. And you know Yeah, okay, so that was more than 10 years ago. And I can say that that hasn’t changed that much. And, you know, parents, what happens is parents have a feeling that something isn’t right. And they asked for help. And they’re like, what the grades are good. And then they naturally no negativity towards parents, they’re asking for help.
They’re asking for professional help. And that’s often the message that they get what I always say to parents, if you think there’s a problem, there’s a problem. And nobody ever regrets getting help. They only regret when they don’t. And your kids can have great grades. And then this is what you’re seeing, they get to high school, they get to college, and it is a crash and burn for some of these kids. Because there’s been an underlying issue. They’re functional, right? Because most people with mental health issues or behavioral issues or learning issues, they’re very functional, right? They can do well, meaning they can fit in the grades can be okay. But there can be a lot of inner turmoil and, you know, parents then when it when it does break down, what do they do? Right? Well, you go and tell your doctor, they say, here’s a medication for that.
How is the medication going to be a skill to manage stress? It’s not. So it’s really about this resilience, right? When we let our kids fail, they learn how to have tolerance for uncomfortableness. And they develop problem solving skills, right? Because that’s so important. And that happens in the little moments of life. And, you know, like, you let your daughter be autonomous and kind of, you know, she checks in with you, it doesn’t mean you’re not close to your kids. But it means like, you know, my kid, he, my kids love to cook, right. And I think cooking is one of the best skills that you can give your kids to learn independence, right? And so they both like to experiment, so they’ll consult with me, and my younger one loves really spicy food.
I mean, spicy food that adults are like, this kid do it. And so Whoa, do things. And I and I remember, like, recently, he was making a soup. And he put in like, jalapenos and serratia, and like three different kinds of Siracha. And I was like, I don’t take I put the crushed red pepper in there too drunk. And he was like, I’m gonna, so then he was like, This is too hot. And I was like, Okay, well, what could you do? And he was like, well, he didn’t get upset. He didn’t get it, whatever. He didn’t throw it out.
You can have a fit. He was like, I don’t know, what can I do? And I was like, why don’t you just have some more water? And and then we’ll put some more chicken barley on. And so he’s like, Well, that’s a great idea. And he, he leaned in, he asked me for help. But I didn’t insist that he not put the crushed red pepper. And I let him figure it out on his own. And then you may say, Okay, well, how does that translate to saying no to drugs when you’re older? Okay, well, it totally does. Because when you develop a sense of character, and you have that independence, and not just with academics, right, because we think, Okay, well, my kid does their homework independently. Okay? Okay, that’s great.
That’s a good skill, but it’s those other moments in life, right? And that that’s so important for your kid, to develop a sense of self ability to control and ability to be autonomous. And for them to have failures, and nobody wants to see their kid upset or hurt. But boy, it’s a lot better to have that happen in the little moments versus the big moments. And when the big moments come, you know, they’re just not going to view the stressor. In the same way. If you can change the way your kid even views a stressor, like, you know, we all have kids that are different.
You know, I have one kid that has no stress tolerance, and another kid who is like, unless, like, it’s so easy, right? And what makes him easy about stress, he just doesn’t get upset. He doesn’t view stressors in the same way, like, and so he’s just not going to experience anxiety and depression in his life. Very, very low likelihood, because he says, whatever, okay, my car broke down. I can get I can call for a tow truck, you know, and that’s really important.
It is. So you’re talking about parents also creating a safe space for children to fail to fall down and, and to, you know, and to recover by themselves and figure out an alternative way.
I really like that. It’s something I’ve been kind of unconsciously trying to do with my daughter because I didn’t do it with my son who has disabilities because I was over parenting, like you said, and then I realized that I really need to step back and let things happen
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge:
Some of our kids Need more intervention and structure around things great. So the same things that I do for my kid who’s easy, right and just loves being independent, is not the same thing that I do for his older brother, who has, is easily stressed, right? I still give both of them lots of autonomy, but it looks different. You always have to meet your kids, where you’re at, we’re not going to parent our kids exactly the same way, our values are going to be the same, our messages are going to be the same, but how we support them in the moments are different.
Well, so you talked about when children don’t have this resilience, when they have mental health issues, the first thing that we are taught to do is to go seek a mental health professional, which is perfectly fine. But then the first intervention that comes in is also medicinal or pharmaceutical in nature. So I want to combine this with another thing that you said earlier that the world of intervention is unnecessarily complex because a lot of times if, if you want to heal your child’s mental health, naturally, you often don’t know where to start. And there are just too many people doing too many things. And there’s your doctor prescribing medication. And there’s a behavioral health therapist saying that it’s maybe not okay, and as asking you to do, sometimes intuitive things, sometimes nonintuitive things. So could you I’m sure this is in your book, but could you also guide us to maybe one or two things that were the parents start? How do you know that this is where I start when there’s 20 things looking at me in the face, and the medication is the easiest thing I can take?
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge:
Yeah, and you know, parents, first of all have to stop believing medication is the easiest thing. I’m going to tell you, it’s the hardest thing. It’s certainly the most dangerous thing that you’re doing for your kids, that we’ve put medication and physicians on a pedestal. And we have said that is the only way right. So first of all, parents need to know that the majority of mental health problems are not biochemical in nature.
Hello, hopefully, that’s an aha moment. You might be like, What do you mean, Dr. Roseanne? We think everything is genetic and biochemical. And it’s not, most of the time that I’m seeing people and I and again, in these 30 years, I’ve worked with 1000s of kids 1000s in different settings and different areas and different income brackets, different ethnicities, in a lot of different places, okay, in different ways. And so what it is, is that first of all, we’re dealing with changes in genetic mutations, right, which is different than inherited, you know, anxiety and whatnot. Right. So we’ll talk about that. And I talk a lot about that, in my book, I really dive into it, I talk to you about all the common genetic mutations, and what to do about it. Um, and the other thing is we have changes in stress. So our kids are under a tremendous amount of stress.
There are legitimate stressors on our kids, but the way our bodies and brains are developing, there’s lots of environmental factors from lack of sleep to nutrition, developmentally inappropriate education, so many things going on, our kids are experiencing stress at a much higher level. And regardless of what what you think your kid is stressed or not, I’m telling you that the majority of kids in America are experiencing stress. And what happens to the brain and body under stress conditions is never good. Stress is the worst possible thing that can happen to you, and your resources move to try to figure out what the stressor is. And when you’re in a hyper stress-activated nervous system, you cannot think and act in the same way as you can when your nervous system is regulated. So when we think okay, medication is going to fix that.
Well, medications are designed for biochemical imbalances, right. And so there’s so many more alternatives for people to address that. So and I talk a lot about these different alternatives we talk and they’re all evidence-based from, you know, my eight pillars we dive into the different components of mental health, but I have a whole chapter on brain-based treatments, everything from breath work to meditation, which is free to things like what I’m super passionate about neurofeedback and psychotherapy and how to find really good psychotherapy. So your question is, what do you do? So, obviously, I’ve moved myself I’m, I’ve become a trusted expert, right? And part of that is, you know, find a trusted expert. How do you find them? So, talk to a friend who has shared values, right? So if you’re going to ask a friend, you know, like for us, we’re gluten and dairy-free, okay. It’s, it’s kind of a big deal for us. We’re super clean eaters.
I’m not hanging out with people eating Cheetos. I’m not going to judge you. But it’s such a big part of our family life because I have one kid who’s alert celiac and another kid who’s allergic to dairy and I struggle with both. So it has to be like this thing in our family. That’s like a no big deal, right? And so all of our friends are really conscientious about food, they realize the impact of the brain. So am I going to ask a friend who’s got all for their kids and add meds for help? If I don’t? If that doesn’t resonate with me? Of course not. So ask somebody you trust who you really have common core values with, right? And you know, and I think that is really important. You certainly can look for the look at the internet, you can find books.
I’m a huge reader. Yes, this book will be an audio book, but not right this second. And, you know, find, listen to podcasts do Be your own Google MD, get out there and get information. I’m sure that shocking to hear that Dr. Roseanne is telling you to be your own Google MD. I’m telling you get out there and look, there is garbage on the internet, some darn great stuff on the internet. And I love podcasts, I think podcasts are an incredible resource, you’re getting top experts to give you 30 minutes to an hour of your third time for free. And I think starting there, and then, you know, the most important thing is never ever, ever ignore your intuition.
You know, never shut down that voice that says, ah, you know, I work with people who I’ve had multiple cases, many, many, many, many cases where people kept putting their kids on meds, even though they had psychotic reactions, horrible physical problems, because they believed what their doctor told them. And they thought there was not another way, and that’s what it’s going to be okay is about, I’m telling you, there’s another way and of showing you and giving you the research. So that is so important. And always have hope, you know, always hold the vision of what you want for your kid. Like, you’re not saying, you know, your goal for your kid is not to get them to an Ivy League, your goal for your kid is for them to be freakin happy.
If their mental health is not good, if they’re struggling with mood, if they’re struggling with behaviors, if they’re always dysregulated, nothing else matters, that will catch up to them. So make the investment in your kid’s mental health because you want them to be happy, well-adjusted adults in life, you want them to have their own families, their own careers, whatever it is, of course, that’s what every parent wants. But if their mental health, if they’re struggling with that, nothing will nothing will move in the way that you expect and your kid will have inner turmoil. And it’s so important for you to make that time because I think what happens to parents is we’ve experienced, we spend all this time doing the wrong thing with negative outcomes when you shift to looking at neuroscience to looking at the evidence, this is a surprising book.
I know when most parents work for me with me, they’re so like in shock that they haven’t gotten this message. And then they’re so shocked with how quickly these things work. And everybody’s different. Again, no magic wand. But when you do the work and you make lifestyle changes, there’s no way there’s not going to be an improvement. There’s no way the degree of improvement is unique to each person, and the road is different, right? But so important.
This is probably going to change, you know, mom’s life or dad’s life or the family’s life as well. So it’s not something that you’re doing in isolation for your child. And my guess is that it doesn’t matter if you do all the eight pillars are start with one pillar, the minute you’ve started, you’re already there. I mean, you don’t have to wait in overwhelm that these are too many pillars. You just just take a pillar and go, right, right.
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge:
I mean, they’re eight pillars, some people only do one and have dramatic change. So if the information is broken down, and I want people to understand these are the things that are proven to change mental health, and some people need to do always like, you know, a lot of my pan’s pandas people or people with just complex, you know, you know, pan’s pandas.
They have underlying medical infections. So there are all kinds of components. But some people I’ve worked with people who just made dietary changes, addressing some nutrient deficiencies, and holy moly, like, just quick change, they were in shock. And I love when that happens. Then I have other people who make dietary changes and they’re like, maybe it’s 10% better. Okay. It’s, it’s better. So adding to that. So, you know, again, you’re spending time doing the wrong thing you’re spending Anytime screaming, you’re spending time frustrated, you’re asking for help. And there’s the dial is not moving.
These are things when you make the investment of your time, and you’re consistent with absolute change will happen.
Thank you, Dr. Roseann. And I think that the one message that has also come through this conversation is that the first thing that needs to change us as parents is our mindset and our readiness to make the change because the change is often very different from what we’ve doing. So it’s a new part. So it requires, I wouldn’t say it requires courage, but it requires that a bit. Believe it. Yes, yes.
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge:
I have belief and hope. Right. And that is so important. I can’t tell you that, you know, that’s probably why I love kids. They don’t know that they’re not supposed to get better. They don’t ever say to me, it’s not gonna work. They’re like, Okay, I am right. And they believe and when we harness the power of belief, I mean, there are research studies that show you know, your mindset and can affect cancer, for crying out loud. So there when we access the power of our belief system, and what our brain believes makes a difference.
If you tell it negative things, that’s what’s going to believe. If you tell it oh my gosh, I look so forward to this neurofeedback, calming my child down and, and making them a better listener. It’s got to happen, right? And I always use the analogy of a batter doesn’t go up to bat and say, I’m gonna stink. He says, I’m going to hit this out of the park. And we need to translate that into our kids to
thank you so much for your time doctors and there’s so many gems in this podcast and tell us where parents can find it’s going to be okay.
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge:
Yeah, so you can go to Amazon and you can get it’s going to be okay, you can go to my website Dr. Roseanne calm, or it’s going to be okay, calm and it’s got on t o n and a awesome. I look forward to the book. I have my copy ready, actually.
So I am really excited to read it. Thank you so much for taking the time again. Thank you. Thank you all for listening. Did you grab your autism supports that work toolkit at functionalnutritionforkids.com/autismsupports? This is a free eBook that lists six autism supports that actually work and that you’ve likely not heard of from other sources. Signing off today. I’m your host, Vaish, and today’s music was by my daughter Maitri. See you next week.