Shrinking It Down: Mental Health Made Simple


Self-Esteem: How do we build our kids up?

Season 5, Ep. 10

Low self-esteem gets all of us down at one point or another. For kids, the goal is to help build them back up. Lots of things can lower our kids’ self-esteem like body image, cyberbullying, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and surprisingly, guilt (along with lots of other things!).

This week, Gene and Khadijah break down the ways that we can help our kids elevate their self-esteem and their sense of worth. From giving positive feedback to creating a sense of competency, there are plenty of things parents – and other caring adults – can do to help their kids. If this is something you think your child might be struggling with, tune in below. 

Media List

‘Snow potentially in April’: Massachusetts spring forecast predicts winter setbacks (Boston Herald)

‘They draw bombs, tanks and wishes for peach’: Ukraine’s child mental health crisis (The Guardian)

Low Self-Esteem: Where does it come from and what can adults do to help? (MGH Clay Center)

Trauma: What Parents Should Know (MGH Clay Center)

Ways to emotionally support your teen in responding to racism  (MGH Clay Center)

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (CDC)

Digital Media and Body Image (MGH Clay Center)

R *** REFRAME (Instagram – MGH Clay Center)

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (MGH Clay Center)

Learning + Attention Issues  (MGH Clay Center)

Random Acts of Kindness (Instagram – MGH Clay Center)

Why gardening is good for your mental wellbeing (Thrive)

How long do betta fish live as pets? (Pets WebMD)


More Episodes


Understanding Obesity Stigma, feat. Angela Fitch, MD, FACP, FOMA

Season 6, Ep. 5
We often hear about how stigma can prevent treatment for mental disorders and promote feelings of shame or low self-worth among those struggling. Did you know the same is true for obesity? Obesity is a complex disease, and stigma stems from a misunderstanding of what it is, what contributes, and how it can be treated.Today, we're joined by Angela Fitch, MD, a leader in the field of obesity medicine, to help us learn more about what we can all do to support kids who are struggling with obesity and shift the culture around weight bias. We discuss personal biases, effective treatment, and the mental health toll obesity stigma can take on our kids who need us to step up on this issue.Tune in & share with someone you know.Media ListAngela Fitch, MD, FACP, FOMA (Obesity Medicine Association)More About Knownwell ( Statement on Obesity (The Obesity Society)What Is Body Composition? (WebMD)BMI ≠ Obesity = Excess Adiposity (ConscienHealth)Adipose Tissue (Body Fat) (Cleveland Clinic)Study: BMI Measurements Should Be Tailored to Race and Ethnicity (Verywell Health)Most Food in America is Hyper-Palatable and ‘Difficult to Stop Eating,’ Scientists Say (Newsweek)CBT Is Effective for Childhood Obesity (Beck Institute)Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, featuring Susan Sprich, PhD (MGH Clay Center)Is Your ADHD Brain Hard-Wired for Weight Gain? (ADDitude Magazine)Headless, Hungry, and Unhealthy: A Video Content Analysis of [Persons With Obesity] Portrayed in Online News (Journal of Health Communication)New guidelines for treating childhood obesity include medications and surgery for first time (NBC News)Weight Bias: People-First Language (Obesity Action Coalition)Digital Media and Body Image (MGH Clay Center)Episode produced by Sara RattiganMusic by Gene Beresin

Dr. Gene and Dr. Khadijah Answer Your Questions

Season 6, Ep. 4
From challenges with hair pulling to supporting a child through a regression in toilet training, Dr. Gene Beresin and Dr. Khadijah Booth Watkins answer real parent questions in this episode. For each question, they offer clinical insight to help parents better understand what might be going on, and suggestions for next steps and ways to support the child. We think all caring adults will be interested in this discussion. Be sure to tune in.Follow along with the media list below, and if this episode sparks another question, write to us! We’ll include it in a future episode. Like what you hear? Leave us a review!Media ListDr. J. Stuart Ablon: Kids Lack Skills, Not Will to Do Well (YouTube-AccuTrain)Question #1: How to Help With Hair Pulling (01:40)Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania) (AACAP)What If My Child Has Obsessive Compuslive Disorder (OCD)? (MGH Clay Center)Cognitive Behavior Therapy: A Closer Look (MGH Clay Center)What If My Child Is Prescribed an SSRI? (MGH Clay Center)Question #2: How to Help My Teenager with Avoidance Behaviors at Home and at School (06:15)Anxiety in Our Children: The Role of Avoidance Behavior (National Association for Child Development)School Refusal: When Back-to-School Is a Struggle (MGH Clay Center)CBT Snapshot: Using Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Phobias (MGH Clay Center)Question #3: Child Can’t Stop Touching Things When They Walk Around the House (13:05)Overview: Tics (National Health Service)What If My Child Has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? (MGH Clay Center)Question #4: How to Help 5-Year-Old with Potty Training Regression (18:05)Potty Training Regression: What To Do About It (Cleveland Clinic)What Is Collaborative Problem Solving? (Think:Kids)Tips for Dealing with Potty Training Regression (Healthline) Welcome Back (Theme from Welcome Back, Kotter) (YouTube-John Sebastian)