Kari Sutton reveals the 10 keys of how to Raise a Mentally Fit Generation of Children

by | Dec 20, 2020 | INSPIRED EVOLUTION PODCAST | 0 comments

In this week’s episode, Amrit interviews Kari Sutton, a researcher, educator, author, speaker and parent. She has been a teacher, Deputy Principal, Guidance Counsellor and Consultant for families for over 30 years, as well as involved with Camp Quality, a support program created specifically to help children 0 –13 years, who are dealing with their own cancer diagnosis, or the diagnosis of someone they love.

Kari and Amrit dive deep into Kari’s recent book “Raising a Mentally Fit Generation” covering the ten keys for raising wellbeing within our kids. Kari has written this book after having gone through a lot of challenges. It is beautifully written, easy to read and not only is for kids, but for adults as well.

If you would like to have Kari’s book and learn more about how to raise well being and resilience in your child, please go to: https://inspiredevolution.com/recommends/kari-sutton/

As parents, teachers, educators or any other important adults in kids’ lives, it’s our responsibility to help them develop positive, healthy habits of mind that foster resilience and wellbeing so they can flourish and thrive. Childhood must be an unworried special time in life, enjoy and live free from stress and pressure from the increasingly competitive world we all are living in.

They talk about the meaning and importance of mental fitness, the challenges we all have today evolving in fast changing social structures, why kids need boundaries and adults need to put boundaries on themselves too, and amusing things everyone can do on a daily basis to build resilience.

As they go along, they cave into each chapter of her book, and have conversations about “upstairs and downstairs of the brain” as an easy concept for kids to understand what is going on, the benefits of cultivating optimism, about “The unfortunately fortunately game” and reframing the way we look at things, about the need of managing and naming emotions to tame them and about the four key places to point people to recognize strengths and purpose.

Furthermore in this chapter you will learn how to connect with your kids, how your relationship can help them build resilience and understand why relationships are the cornerstone of resilience. 

You will have access to practical and implementable tips that will help build children’s resilience, and you will understand why relationships are critical for adult resilience and positive mental health as well.

Finally learn how to create a ripple effect of kindness and empathy, and discover how important it is to make the time to make memories!

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About Kari Sutton:

Kari Sutton is an educator, speaker and author who has helped over 25,000 children, parents, and educators with evidence- based strategies, tools and approaches to foster children’s positive mental health and resilience.

Research, writing, speaking and consulting work reflect her expertise in early childhood development, positive psychology, early childhood education and developmental cognitive neuroscience.

Kari is driven to change the conversation about how we promote good mental health in children. She wants to help turn around the alarming statistics about depression, anxiety disorders, and suicide affecting an entire generation.

She spends her time raising awareness about how adults can improve children’s mental fitness and resilience by speaking at conferences, workshops and public forums as well as through her blogs, articles, books and book chapters, and her white papers. 

Kari is the author of Raising Generation XXL and her recent book Raising a Mentally Fit Generation. 

“My dream is to one day put one of my books in each of the newborn bags at the hospital” 

Tune In: 

Welcome Kari Sutton to the Inspired Evolution!: (00:00:00)

About mental fitness: (00:04:08)

Despression, anxiety, self harm, and suicide as well is impacting children more and more in the last 15 years. Children need the skills to develop their mental muscles  and positive mental health in wellbeing. They need skills, attitudes and mindsets that allow them to flexibly adapt to both challenges and opportunities.

“We are not giving children the skills to develop positive mental health in wellbeing”

Evolving as a society in social structures: (00:05:50)

The world is changing every day and very fast. Technology plays a big part in all of this. Kids use more and more electronic devices which makes the world come into our homes in a whole wild variety of ways. These kids, now more than ever, must be conscious about what is feeding their minds.

“We have to be better at taking care of our own well being than when we were growing up”

Resilience piece around boundaries: (00:07:13)

Kids thrive better with boundaries. Adults must put boundaries on themselves too and not chronically go out and rescue them.The more you protect them, the less resilient they will be. Kids need to fail and know it is alright to do so. Your job is to hold them in a supportive space. Dive in and discover three simple things you can do every day to build resilience!

“Kids need to be able to sit with disappointment, actually knowing that failing is ok”

Optimum age to be learning things to face resilience: (00:11:56)

From 0 to 8 kids are like sponges, they take everything in and there is no critical filter. Adults must be very careful with language and all what they say, because it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.   

“It is about how we live our lives, how we model these behaviours, and what we can do for our children”

Describing the metaphor “upstairs and downstairs floors of the brain” (Chapter 1, Teaching Brain Basics): (00:16:58)

Kari uses a fun and easy concept for kids to understand what she is talking about. She draws a brain to teach and explain. The upstairs part is where your thinking brain lives, the downstairs part is where your feeling brain lives and they both are connected. Cave in and see what happens when the downstairs brain takes over or when the stairs connecting the two no longer work.

“Upstairs and downstairs is an easy concept for kids to understand what is going on”

Benefits from cultivating optimism (Chapter 2, Cultivating optimism): (00:23:28)

The book is based on tenets of positive psychology, and optimism and pessimism are explanatory styles. Developing an optimistic explanatory style in adults and kids helps them set goals, look to the future and make everything worthwhile.

“When you have optimism, there is more hope”

About “The unfortunately fortunately game”: (00:27:27)

Kari refers to a fantastic quote by Alfred Wainwright: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”. Life is about how you look and reframe things. It is all about always looking for the silver lining.

“Always create hope”

Kids and adults managing emotions (Chapter 3, Managing emotions): (00:32:05)

According to Dan Siegel, you must name emotions to tame them. Kari talks about emotional intelligence, which is self awareness and self management, both heart of emotional well being and psychological well being. Tune in and discover how to label your emotions and manage your actions to external events and strong feelings without aggressive behaviour

“Name emotions to tame them”

Kids capacity in having emotional intelligence: (00:35:46)

Dive in and discover a beautiful and most fun way Kari teaches kids to recognize their emotions and work on them!

“That is what your brain looks like when downstairs is in control”

About feelings which are acceptable and behaviours that are not: (00:39:07)

Love and acceptance must be for all children. Bad behaviour can be changed and kids can learn .There is a space between stimulus and response. This space gives them the choice in how to respond. 

“I will love the child and accept the child no matter what”

Doubling down on strengths (Chapter 4, Recognizing people’s strengths): (00:43:00)

Every single one of us is unique. We all have come to this world with something that is only ours. Tap-into that and reveal why you are here. In this episode you will find out the four key places Kari and Amrit point people to identify strengths and uncover their purpose in life. Strengths are a positive resource a child will have for their entire life

“We each have a song to sing”

The importance of making friends (Chapter 5, Making friends): (00:50:19)

We become healthier enhancing social connections. Kids need to know how to get along with other people. They need to socialize like everyone else otherwise life will be difficult. 

“Relationships are the cornerstone of our well being”

Encouraging kindness and empathy into connections (Chapter 6, Encouraging kindness and empathy): (00:52:54)

Kindness is one of the most powerful things one can have. It even increases self-esteem. We need to create a ripple effect of kindness! In regards to empathy, when you see another person suffering, you might be able to instantly put yourself in their shoes and feel sympathy for what they are going through and even help.

“If you can chose to be anything, chose to be kind”

Kids modelling actually what they see (Chapter 7, Fostering gratitude): (00:56:15)

Children learn by watching everyone around them, especially their parents. The whole idea is to train parents to foster kind and empathetic habits in their kids. These habits will be carried within their souls for the rest of their lives. There are many ways to show kindness. Discover in this episode how you can help your children be helpful this christmas or help people having a bad time through Foodbank Australia.

“We are modelling the behaviour they will have for the rest of their lives”

A chapter in disguise about the growth mindsets (Chapter 8, Learning to fail): (01:02:39) 

In this chapter discover the importance of letting your kids experience failure

“I don’t use the word failing, I use the first attempt in learning”

Working on self mastery at a young age (Chapter 9 Working on self mastery): (01:08:56)

Children need to know they can do things themselves. As parents and educators we must give them the time to do so. 

“As educators and parents allow kids to experience self mastery”

About making memories together: (01:10:46)

Kari was inspired and moved by kids from Camp Quality and her friend Bronnie Ware’s book to finish her book with “making memories”.

Dive in and listen to Kari’s most beautiful and touching words about why she ended her book this way. These words are profoundly motivating and for sure will help you create special moments for your children to look back and remember them. They will hold on to these moments for the rest of their lives! 

“Make the time to make memories”

Kari Sutton’s books:

  • “Raising a Mentally Fit Generation” by Kari Sutton: https://amz.run/46Uu 
  • “Raising Generation XXL” by Kari Sutton

Mentioned resources:

Connect with Kari Sutton:

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