>>Dr. Amen: Hi, I’m Dr. Daniel Amen.
>>Tana: And I’m Tana Amen. Welcome to Change Your Brain, Change your Life.
>>Dr. Amen: You are not stuck with the brain you have. You can make it better and we can
prove it. Today we’re going to talk about raising brain healthy children. When kids
have significant problems, when you really do effective parenting and they still have
three-hour tantrums or they can’t do well in school, they may have ADD; they may had
a brain injury. So at that point, bringing them to a place like ours can just be critical
and life saving. We really want you to think about what you feed them, about the example
that you give them – love their brains, protect their brains.
>>Tana: Now when we’re talking about these kids, nutrition becomes really important and
we really work a lot with the kids we see on nutrition.
>>Dr. Amen: Well, I think you’re putting them on a milk-free, wheat-free diet. It did
miraculous for some kids.>>Tana: Well I have all that information
in the book, Healing ADD through Food. We’ve got a whole lumination diet. It’s really
interesting. I will, often, I speak to a lot of parenting groups and they will, the number
one thing, I mean almost every mom in the room raises their hand, ‘but my kid won’t
eat those foods, like they only eat, you know, chicken nuggets.’ And I have to tell I’m
astounded.>>Dr. Amen: Now you actually have a healthy
form of chicken nuggets.>>Tana: Right.
>>Dr. Amen: So this is where the ‘red hair’ comes down.
>>Tana: Yeah. This is where the authoritarian part of me and the red hair comes out and
I’m like, ‘You’re kidding me, right?’ Like, ‘Who’s the parent in the house?
Your kid will only eat chicken nuggets. Is that true? If your kid were starving and there
was nothing left on the planet, chicken nuggets is all they’re going to eat.’ And somewhere
along the line I feel like as mothers we’ve been programmed to think that if we do not
get our children to eat four times a day, we’re going to do whatever we have to, come
hell or high water, to make that kid eat four times a day even if we’re feeding them soda,
nuggets, burgers, hotdogs, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to be bribing them. Ice cream,
as long as we get them to eat four times a day, somehow, ‘Okay, now we’ve done our
job.’ And you know that’s ridiculous because when you give your kids bad fuel, you don’t
get a positive outcome like my husband often says, ‘Would you feed a million-dollar race
horse junk food?’ Well, only if you were an idiot, right? So, when I hear parents say
this, I hear this mom says this, “Well, I have to give them that because it’s all
they’ll eat.” I usually just step back and go, “Okay, really?” Because the last
time I checked, and this was very liberating for me to learn, last time I checked, it takes
thirty days for a kid to starve to death. So, and I know that sounds harsh but it’s
the reality. Okay. So in my house, I have …
>>Dr. Amen: So it’s not the end of the world if a child goes to bed without dinner.
>>Tana: Absolutely not. They’re going to get hungry. Okay. So, but that said, I do
my part as a parent. I believe in doing my part as a parent. I’d know what my daughter’s
…>>Dr. Amen: So only buy healthy food for
home.>>Tana: My house is stocked with healthy
food but I also know what her favorite foods are. Okay. So I have healthy alternatives
for chicken nuggets. I have healthy alternatives for coconut shrimp. I have healthy alternatives
for all of her favorite foods. Now, if she chooses not to eat that, c’est la vie.
>>Dr. Amen: Well, and I think one of Tana’s best gifts is taking really healthy food and
making it taste amazing. So, one of my favorite stories, one of my grandsons, Elias, very
picky eater and his mother, Breanne, was just freaked out. She couldn’t get him to eat
so she’s constantly stressed out about that which of course made him more picky and Tana
was making one of her recipes called Avocado Gelato and so Eli was over the house and I
took just a little bit of it and put it on his lips and he got a big smile and then he
had a big helping and he went home with Avocado Gelato and my daughter texted me a picture
of him with chocolate all over and it was good for him.
>>Tana: Oh by the way, this is made of avocados, cacao, almond milk. I mean it’s like, it
doesn’t get much better.>>Dr. Amen: So there are alternatives. The
second thing is bonding and bonding really is two things. It’s time – actual, physical
time – and listening. Listening is often not natural and so what they teach therapists
to do is something called ‘Active Listening.’ So you say something and I just don’t jump
in. I listen to what you’re actually saying and then repeat that back and so critical
for you not, you know, if you’re one of those people that say, “Oh my children will
never talk to me,” you might not be listening well enough and, you know, I have had so many
parents give me their teenagers to treat and I go oh, they said they weren’t going to
talk to you and I go, “I know it’s really hard,” and usually I can’t get the kids
to shut up because I’m really good at listening. So active listening is just so important.
Basically when they say something, rather than respond, rather than give them all of
your wisdom, listen to what they’re saying and repeat it back and also listen for the
feeling behind what they’re saying. Repeat that back as well. Then third – rules. I
think rules are really important. Societies have rules. Businesses have rules. You should
have rules at home. And we’ve posted them for a long time – Tell the truth, we treat
each other with respect, do what mom and dad says the first time, put things away you take
out. I mean simple things, not more than eight. I had one OCD patient, obsessive-compulsive
disorder patient that actually posted a hundred and eight rules on her refrigerator. So, and
then notice what you like more than what you don’t like. I think that’s just so critical.
>>Tana: And you have to have fun rewards and celebrations so it can’t just be all
about parenting. It’s going to be, you know, ‘look when things go, are going really well
let’s go celebrate, let’s do something fun.’
>>Dr. Amen: We’re going to do a lot more shows on parenting. Raising brain healthy
children is just critical. It’s the next generation. It starts by you living a brain
healthy life. So write us a comment on what are the things you do that you just feel really
effective with your kids. What are the things you could do better? Send us a video. If you’re
really struggling with your child, call our call center. See if, you know, bringing the
child in for evaluation wouldn’t be in their best interests and ultimately in yours and
your marriage’s best interest because we know how hard that tough kids can be on relationships.
Thanks for watching.