69 episodes

You’re listening to the raising mentally healthy kids podcast with host Michelle Nietert who’s been a licensed professional counselor for over 20 years, An award-winning Author, previous creator of a large school district crisis counseling program and the clinical director of community counseling associates located in the Dallas Texas area.

With the increase in mental health statistics regarding kids and teens along with climbing suicide rates, Michelle is passionate about equipping parents To understand and talk with their kids about the mental health issues they encounter in our culture every day.

Raising Mentally Healthy Kids with Michelle Nietert Michelle Nietert

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.8 • 62 Ratings

You’re listening to the raising mentally healthy kids podcast with host Michelle Nietert who’s been a licensed professional counselor for over 20 years, An award-winning Author, previous creator of a large school district crisis counseling program and the clinical director of community counseling associates located in the Dallas Texas area.

With the increase in mental health statistics regarding kids and teens along with climbing suicide rates, Michelle is passionate about equipping parents To understand and talk with their kids about the mental health issues they encounter in our culture every day.

    Empathetic Listening, Managing Screen Time, Adequate Socialization, and Back-to-School Anxiety

    Empathetic Listening, Managing Screen Time, Adequate Socialization, and Back-to-School Anxiety

    If you've listened before, you'll notice something different about today's episode. Over the past four months, I've been doing a radio segment called Mental Health Monday for Magic 104.1 in Oklahoma City. We've covered a wide range of topics from how empathic listening can help our kids manage anxiety to setting healthy boundaries with our kids while we work from home. You can text any questions you'd like me to answer in upcoming segments to 405-460-5104!
    Topics we cover:
    🧠 (1:14) How can I know if my child is mentally healthy? What can we as parents do to help raise mentally healthy kids?
    👂 (6:05) What is empathetic listening and how can it help my child's anxiety?
    📚 (10:17) How can parents support a child who's struggling in school?
    📱 (14:16) How much screen time is too much screen time? How can I help my kids use screens responsibly?
    💔 (17:28) How can I help manage my child's loneliness when they're spending time home alone over the summer?
    😱 (21:14) How do I keep my sanity when I'm working from home with kids in the house?
    👭 (24:53) How do we know our kids are socializing enough? 
    🎮 (27:33) Is my child spending too much time in their room?
    🎒 (31:26) How can I help my child process their back-to-school anxiety?
    Follow My Magic Morning Show: website | Instagram | Facebook

    • 35 min
    Hope When Your Teen Struggles with Chronic Illness & Depression with Jennifer Dukes Lee & Her Daughter Anna

    Hope When Your Teen Struggles with Chronic Illness & Depression with Jennifer Dukes Lee & Her Daughter Anna

    Most of us don’t love change, but for our teens, times of transition can be especially stressful and lead to anxiety and depression. But don’t lose hope, parents! In this episode, I’m excited to share my conversation with author Jennifer Dukes Lee and her daughter, Anna about how their journey through Anna’s depression and chronic illness has actually made them closer and their faith stronger. We also discuss when to offer help, when to stick it out and when to move on, and Anna shares some practical things that have helped her process her emotions in a healthy way.
    Key points from our conversation:
    ❓ Teens have the biggest struggles during times of transition because of the uncertainty it brings. It’s common to run through “what-if” worst-case scenarios. They can reframe that thinking by remembering that things could be good and even if not, they’re resilient enough to bounce back.
    💭 It’s hard to ask for help, especially if you’re a teen. But as a parent, if you notice flat emotions, disinterest in things your child used to enjoy, or lethargy, offer them the option to seek counseling. They may not have the energy to get help then, but it can assist them in beginning to think about how they plan to manage difficulties in their life.
    🤝 It’s important to have a support system in place. We’re not meant to go it alone. We need community.
    🎢 Getting better is not a linear process. Emotions are rollercoasters; they come in waves. There is not just one area of treatment to address. We must address the whole – mind, body, spirit, and environment.
    ✨ It can be difficult to know when to stick out a hard situation to build resilience and when to withdraw from an environment. If something is consuming your teen’s identity, consider making a change. Our kids need to be in a place they feel safe. We must consider what is best for our child in this season of their life.
    ☀️ A few practical things Anna has done that have helped are exercise, getting sunlight, reading the Bible, journaling, taking her medication, and surrounding herself with a supportive community.
    Name the emotion you feel, identify where you feel it in your body, and choose a movement to let it go. If we don’t process through emotions, they will loop and become more exaggerated.
    💕 If your teen is struggling with depression, don’t lose hope. Jennifer and Anna are closer now than ever because they’ve experienced the struggle together and learned to trust God.
    Resources mentioned:
    Growing Slow: Lessons on Un-Hurrying Your Heart from an Accidental Farm Girl
    Follow Jennifer: website | Instagram | Facebook
    Follow Anna: website | Seed Apparel Instagram | personal Instagram

    • 49 min
    How Our Thoughts Affect Our Physical Health with Debra Fileta, M.A., LPC

    How Our Thoughts Affect Our Physical Health with Debra Fileta, M.A., LPC

    The best way to teach our children healthy behaviors is by modeling them, but as parents, we often find ourselves too busy to exercise, eat healthy meals, or get enough sleep. In the second half of my chat with licensed professional counselor and author Debra Fileta, we discuss how faulty perceptions affect our decision-making, why seeking professional help for mental health is taboo in the Christian church, how our emotional health is linked to our physical health, and some practical ways to develop good sleep hygiene. 
    Key points from our conversation:
    🧠What you think impacts how you feel, which impacts what you do. When talking about mental and emotional health, we always want to start by addressing a thought process.
    🚫Cognitive distortion is a faulty way of thinking that affects our decision-making. Examples include an all-or-nothing mentality, mindreading (assuming you know what another person is thinking), and catastrophizing.
    🕒 It’s important to stay in the present instead of focusing on what happened in the past or what may happen in the future.
    ✝️ Often Christians are afraid to admit they need help because they believe it indicates a deficit of faith. Struggling with mental health does not reflect a character issue, it reflects a chemical issue.
    🙁 It’s important to help our children process through the hard stuff. Trauma doesn’t have to be abuse or abandonment, it can be grief or disappointment. We often try to ignore trauma and hope time will heal, but things can get worse if not addressed.
    🏃‍♀️ Your physical health is linked to your emotional health. We need to be intentional about regular physical activity, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep and model it for our children. If you notice a pattern of disrupted sleep or a change in appetite, energy levels, or ability to concentrate, it could be a sign of a deeper issue.
    💤 Some practical ways to develop good sleep hygiene include limiting screen time, aroma therapy, drinking something warm, limiting caffeine intake, and keeping similar waking and bedtime hours.
    Resources mentioned:
    Are You Really OK?: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters
    More Than Moody: Recognizing and Treating Adolescent Depression
    Follow Debra: website | Instagram | Facebook | podcast

    • 29 min
    How to Create Emotional & Spiritual Health in Your Home with Debra Fileta, M.A., LPC

    How to Create Emotional & Spiritual Health in Your Home with Debra Fileta, M.A., LPC

    I want to ask you a simple, but hard question - “Are you really okay?” In this episode with licensed professional counselor and author Debra Fileta, we’re focusing on how we as parents can do the hard work of building emotional awareness within ourselves so we can normalize talking about emotions within our homes. Debra also shares how our view of God, others, and self affects our spiritual health and offers a practical exercise you can do with your child to help them explore their emotions and create healthy conversations.
    Key points from our conversation:
    🩹 Healthy people make healthy relationships. So much of what we learn is modeled, so one of the best things was can do is take care of ourselves.
    🌋 It’s crucial that we build emotional awareness. If we don’t release the emotions building under the surface in healthy ways, they will show up in an emotional outburst.
    🎨 To help your child unpack their emotions, try the “feeling in my body” activity. Have the child draw an outline of their body and have them color it using different colors to show emotions in the body. The magic of the exercise is in the conversation it creates. It normalizes that it’s good and normal to talk about emotions.
    ❓ There are over 500 different emotions. Asking questions expands your child’s emotional vocabulary and helps them discover what they’re feeling and why.
    ✨ Emotions are real, but they are not always true. What makes emotions right or wrong is not feeling them, but what we do with that feeling. Emotional control means lining up what you feel with God’s truth.
    ✝️ Our view of God, others, and self are a big indicator of spiritual health because we often transfer our hurts to what we think about God. We must know what we truly believe about God. If we believe the wrong things, then our actions are rooted in the wrong things. The why is crucial.
    ❤️ What you believe about yourself determines the kind of relationship you believe you deserve.
    Resources mentioned:
    Are You Really OK?: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters
    Printable feeling wheel
    The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma


    Follow Debra: website | Instagram | Facebook | podcast

    • 30 min
    Repairing Damage in Family Relationships with Ann Taylor McNiece, LMFT

    Repairing Damage in Family Relationships with Ann Taylor McNiece, LMFT

    In our last episode with Marriage & Family Therapist Ann Taylor McNiece we talked about how we can engage in healthy discussion and avoid conflict that destroys. In the second part of our conversation, we’re discussing how we can repair the damage that’s already been caused, specifically in our family relationships.
    Key points from our conversation:
    🩹 What you consider a repair may not be what the other person considers a repair, but your repair attempts count.
    👂 Own any part of the problem you can gets your partner out of the attack cycle. Try reflective listening - reflect what you hear the person say, ask if you heard them right, own what you can.
    💍 69% of problems are going to be unsolvable because they have to do with personality and preference. You can have a very happy marriage on the 31% you can work out.
    💕 We are called to love and give sometimes more than we receive. You either have rejected the person or you’ve accepted that in your commitment, this isn’t a deal breaker. It’s not a character issue, it’s a preference. It’s not abuse, addiction, or adultery.
    🙏 Being intentional about reflecting on what your grateful for about your spouse will create a more positive perspective in your marriage. This can be extremely difficult if you’re experiencing depression.
    🤝 Counseling isn’t an effort to “fix” someone, it’s to find out how you can work better together.
    🥪 Practice using the sandwich method - give a compliment, submit your request, follow it with the positive it will bring.
    🧠 If you want to raise a mentally healthy kid, focus on your mental health first.
    Resources Mentioned:
    Gottman Bible Guide

    The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

    No More Perfect Marriages: Experience the Freedom of Being Real Together

    Boundaries in Marriage: Understanding the Choices That Make or Break Loving Relationships
    Follow Ann: website | Instagram | Facebook

    • 32 min
    Key Communication Skills to Engage in Healthy Conflict with Your Family with Ann Taylor McNiece, LMFT

    Key Communication Skills to Engage in Healthy Conflict with Your Family with Ann Taylor McNiece, LMFT

    As much as we may try, we can’t avoid conflict and have healthy relationships. In this episode with Marriage & Family Therapist Ann Taylor McNiece, we’re sharing some skills to help you engage in healthy discussion and avoid conflict that destroys. While most of this conversation is focused on spouses, these communication skills will impact every relationship in your life and change the dynamic of your household.
    Key points from our conversation:
    💍 All marriages struggle, but you can choose to engage in a way that shows honor or one that causes destruction. The first 5 to 7 years of marriage are hard with the hardest being the year when you have your first child.
    ❤️ A sound relationship begins on the firm foundation of knowing each other. Partners should begin by building a “Love Map,” which is the essential guide to your partner’s inner world. In an ideal relationship, you and your partner know each other better than anyone else. Start by listening to each other one minute at a time.
    💋 Couples need to be comfortable talking about sex outside the bedroom. You’re also going to need to be able to talk to your kids about sex.
    😡 Before engaging in a conflict discussion, emotionally self-regulate so that you can approach the other person softly. A hard approach can cause unwanted conflict. Don’t have conversations when you’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.
    🕒 When you feel yourself moving out of your tolerance window, set a time and place to revisit the conversation.
    🧠 Teach kids coping skills to use when flooded such as listening to music, watching a funny video on YouTube, or calling a friend.
    The “four horsemen” of conflict:
    Criticism – Criticizing your partner is different than offering a critique or voicing a complaint. Criticizing is an attack on your partner at the core of their character. Contempt - When we communicate in this state, we are truly mean. The target of contempt is made to feel despised and worthless. Contempt is the single greatest predictor of divorce. Defensiveness - This is typically a response to criticism. When we feel unjustly accused, we respond in a way that guards you so that you can’t get to the root of the issue. Stonewalling - Stonewalling occurs when the listener withdraws from the interaction, shuts down, and simply stops responding to their partner. Resources Mentioned:
    Gottman Bible Guide
    Soul Grit Podcast
    Soul Grit Counseling
    Solution-Focused Pastoral Counseling: An Effective Short-Term Approach for Getting People Back on Track
    Gottman Card Decks App
    Sound Relationship House
    Celebrate Kids
    When Sorry Isn't Enough: Making Things Right with Those You Love
    Follow Ann: website | Instagram | Facebook

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
62 Ratings

62 Ratings

Love Whitney’s podcasts ,

Great Practical Advice

Listennn!!!!!! I am so grateful I stumbled on this podcast with Michelle during my walk ! I listened to podcast Empathetic Listening, and Hope when your Teen struggles with chronic illness ….Michelle is so filled with wisdom , practical tips and great for me especially for me being a new wife and mom !!!!!! Love Love Love!!!!!💛💛💛

wieselfoot ,

Great advice

I have a son who has developed anxiety & has worsened since Covid & all the unknowns. He over analyzes situations & turns every situation into the more negative aspect. He’s only 11 years old & for s parent to see him struggle would ask, ‘What techniques or tips can you give me to help him? & when do you reach the point of deciding it’s time to get him counseling?’

Patty Writes ,

Timely Conversations for Raising Mentally Healthy Kids

I enjoy listening to this podcast!

Michelle brings energy and fantastic guests into the same space to talk about relevant and timely issues our kids are facing today. I always feel more equipped and inspired to love my children and help them grow mentally strong and healthy after listening.

Top Podcasts In Kids & Family

Dr. Becky Kennedy
Dear Media, Aliza Pressman
PodcastOne
Tinkercast | Wondery
National Geographic Kids
PodcastOne

You Might Also Like

Dr. Caroline Leaf
Davey Blackburn
Tim Keller
Jay Shetty
Ann Taylor McNiece, LMFT