Parenting Expert On How To Raise A Kid Who Is A ‘Thriver’

“Science is telling us that if we really want to raise a thriver, a kid who’s got it, ‘I can do it,’ it’s a balance,” says parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba. “It’s a balance between love, and warmth, and respect, but also that clear structure.” Author of the new book Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine, Dr. Borba joins Dr. Phil on Thursday’s episode to examine the parenting techniques of a mom who says her 15-year-old daughter was a “phenomenal young lady” until a few years ago when she started smoking marijuana, sneaking out, and speaking disrespectfully. In the video above, hear what tactics Dr. Borba says she believes need to change, and why it’s important to help your child build integrity. Dr. Borba offers more advice – including how to create a resilient child – on "'How Do I Parent My ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ Daughter?'" Check local listings to see where you can tune in. TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Do you have a hopeless mother or daughter conflict? WATCH: Teen Says When Mom Took Electronics, It Made Her Want To Do ‘More Bad Things’

Video Transcript

DR. PHIL: Well, please welcome educational psychologist, author of "Thrivers," Dr. Michele Borba. Welcome.

MICHELE BORBA: Thank you. Thank you.

DR. PHIL: We're going to examine Heather's parenting techniques, and I'm going to invite Dr. Borba to come up to the big screen with me, and let's take a look, because I've written some things down. I've kind of gone through her parenting, and she's gotten very reactive to a lot of bad choices that Marissa has made. What do you think about this set of parenting choices in this situation?

MICHELE BORBA: Well, here's what we do know. Science is telling us that if we really want to raise a thriver, a kid who's got a, I can do it, it's a balance. It's a balance between love and warmth and respect, but also that clear structure, but it's got to be balanced. What I'm worried about is it's going this way.

So I think the first thing is this one. You always need to recognize that when you deliver any kind of a consequence to a child, you've got to be calm yourself. I can see the grounding. I can see the extra chores. I can see these, but what, the two things that worry me most, is that we're seeing an epidemic of lonely kids, and their lifeline to one another right now is, unfortunately, the thing we told them not to use, was a cell phone. So that's number one.

Number two is the same thing here. Removed from school. This kid has an incredible ability in terms of her learning. She's doing really well there, but her source of connection has got to be with others. And then what we do is we start restoring a relationship. We also do one other thing. We start building integrity to a kid, and that's a high correlation of a resilient child.

DR. PHIL: Define that in real world terms for Heather.

MICHELE BORBA: It's a kid who's got an I can do it kind of an attitude, but it's because they have learned some skill sets along the way. Now, the key in life is it's not a product, and it's not a gene. What we now know, the best thing that if there's any silver lining to COVID, resilience can be taught, and it's a combination of about seven factors. We can really make a difference, and we better, because this is the kid who's going to make it in the real world.

- I agree.

DR. PHIL: And this is a clue that [INAUDIBLE] kids learn about themselves by observing themselves master their environment.

MICHELE BORBA: Yes, if we keep bubble wrapping our kids, we're not doing them any good at all. And we've got to let them have a little bit of choices along the way, too, so they can figure it. She's only got about three more years, and unfortunately, Mom, it's bye-bye. She's gone, so there's no rewind button when it comes to parenting. It's now.