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In the U.S., 1 in 5 kids has a mental disorder and it’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the problem. Now, as most kids return to schools, after-school sports, and a more normal way of life, parents, educators, and mental health professionals are taking a hard look at how kids are doing and what to do about it. 

In this episode, I sat down with Michele Borba, Ed.D, an internationally-renowned educational psychologist and a bestselling author of 24 books including her new book, “Thrivers.” Dr. Borba is also a well-known media expert who has appeared on The Today Show, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Time magazine. 

We talked about what the research shows about kids’ mental health, the 7 essential character strengths that set thrivers apart, and how to use mealtimes and the kitchen to raise creative, optimistic, empathetic, and resilient kids.

Be sure to sign up for the free video course, Turn Your Picky Eaters Into Little Foodies: https://www.julierevelant.com/free-video-email-course/.


3:40 Let’s start with your story and your path to where you are today.

4:45 What is an educational psychologist?

5:28 What does the research show—and what have you found—about today’s generation of kids and their mental health and level of resiliency? 

1:46 What do you think today’s kids lack?

15:58 As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, what are we seeing in regards to kids’ mental health?

20:30 What are the 7 essential character strengths that set “thrivers” apart?

26:06 Why are family meals so important for kids?

29:26 How should we tackle tough topics at mealtimes?

34:37 Can we also turn the conversation into activities with our kids to foster empathy and think about others?

37:11 How can parents use the dinner table to talk about morality, ethics, and integrity?

39:50 How do we get our kids to be kind to their siblings?

43:36 What are some games families can play at mealtimes that boost kids’ curiosity and creativity? 

45:59 Can fostering gratitude in our kids help build resiliency and how should we do it? 

47:40 Why is cooking with kids a great opportunity to open up the lines of communication with our kids? 

49:20 How can we make all of this easy for parents? 


Julie mentions Dr. Borba’s new book, “Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine.”

Dr. Borba recommends kids read the book “Fortunately” book Remy Charlip.  

Learn more about Dr. Michele Borba on her website MicheleBorba.com.

Follow Dr. Michele Borba on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.


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Author Details
Julie Revelant teaches parents how to raise children who are healthy, adventurous eaters. Through blog posts and videos, her goal is to shift the conversation from short-term, problem picky eating to lifelong, healthy eating and healthy futures. Julie has written for FoxNews.com, FIRST for Women magazine, WhatToExpect.com, EverydayHealth.com, RD.com, TheBump.com, Care.com, and Babble.com.