We had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Tina Bryson recently. She has co-authored several books with Dr. Dan Siegel including the Whole-Brain Child.

We asked Tina about something that is on a lot of parent’s minds…

How can parents find the right balance between encouraging our kids to do their best and achieve their dreams, and also stepping back and letting them find their own path?

Even though Tina’s answer is about 2E (twice exceptional) teens, what she says applies to all kids.

Check out the conversation here.

Our Takeaways:

Allow your child to truly find their own path

Don’t insert your own agenda (it’s really hard NOT to do this!). Close your mouth and listen more. Ask them, “What is your plan? What are you thinking about?” Your child is their own person.

Trust development

Especially with 2E kids who often have asynchronous development, they may be way ahead of their peers in some areas and behind in others. 2E kids find their way. Your child might need more scaffolding in some areas. But don’t over-help otherwise, your child may accidentally get the message that you don’t think they are capable. Encourage self-efficacy and agency.

Get more support

Stumped about how to do this? Read the books Self-Driven Child and What do you Say? by Dr. William Stixrud and Ned Johnson. Check out their stories, sample dialogues, and reassuring research.


Get more information about Dr. Tina Payne Bryson and all her books and resources on her website.

Get the full interview in The Village by Happily Family.

And if you’d like to be on LIVE, while we talk to luminaries like this AND get coaching with Cecilia and Jason, join The Village.

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