Dr. Becky at Good Inside has gone viral!
And for a good reason. Clinical psychologist Becky Kennedy is an expert in parenting psychology and a very relatable mom who shares clear, clean insights that hit the heart of parenting.
Dr. Becky’s theme of being “Good Inside” resonates.
The idea of ‘good inside’ rings true.
Being ‘good inside’ is more than a parenting concept. It speaks to a more profound truth that, on a deep level, we are born good, kind, and worthy.
Yet, the varied experiences we have throughout time may confuse us – no matter our age.
Being ‘good inside’ is a proclamation! And using this as a baseline in parenting changes the whole paradigm. We know our children are good, and in turn, they reflect their innate goodness back to us.
Maybe if there’s one thing we’re here to do while raising kids, it’s to deeply instill this sense of self.
Three of my favorite words of parenting advice from Dr. Becky’s Instagram:
Dr. Becky teaches that kids are good inside all the time. Not only when their behavior reflects this.
Example from Dr. Becky:
“Here’s what you can do the next time you’re intervening with your child, and you hear criticism about your parenting approach all around you. Take a deep breath, refocus on your child, and share words like this, ‘I know. I hear words all around us, too.
Here’s what else I know. You’re a good kid having a hard time, and whenever you have a hard time, I’ll always be here to help you.”
It’s frustrating being a parent during times like these! Haven’t we all been there?
It’s hard to see, but when a child’s behavior is challenging, Dr. Becky suggests this is what they’re looking for.
Being that lighthouse and staying steady and focused on working through a situation together is positive, empowered parenting.
I also love the clarity of Dr. Becky’s words, “You’re a good kid having a hard time.” So validating and powerful.
Like many families, we had a challenging time with my daughter when she was a teenager.
Instead of receiving affirming, reassuring guidance from professionals, all we were given were more referrals for testing, treatment, etc.
In our case, none of these issues amounted to any concrete diagnosis.
Thankfully, she was “a good kid going through a hard time.”
Ultimately for us, our journey of understanding allowed me to validate her wishes to move to Canada to live with her dad during high school.
It took a leap of faith to know and trust that I was good enough and that she was good and secure enough to explore the path before her.
Even though she was 16, Dr. Becky’s words hit home. And everything worked out precisely as it needed to.
Dr. Becky teaches us that our words, actions, emotional state, and energy serve as a mirror for our kids.
Dr. Becky says:
“We can’t expect our child to change if we, the parents, reinforce the behaviors we’re trying to help a child move away from. So ask yourself, ‘When my child is in a difficult stage, do I reflect back to them the part of them engaging in those behaviors or reflect back a different version?’
She goes on to provide an example. Maybe your child is having a hard time sharing toys with their siblings. Do you ridicule your child and call them selfish? Or do you say, ‘You have as much generosity as everyone else in the family, and I want you to know that?”
Wow! Talk about mindfulness.
We have to take a deep breath and mirror back what we want to see, not what is happening at the moment.
I’m super impressed by millennial parents trying to employ these methods because they require so much self-awareness. Still, overriding a reaction and reflecting on the message you want to send is powerful!
This lesson from Dr. Becky got me thinking.
Even though I have a college-aged daughter, I believe this still applies.
I wonder, “What am I reflecting to her? How is my reflection making her feel about herself? Am I validating her? Am I providing the stability and guidance she seeks? Or am I, in some ways, upsetting her because my reaction is visceral and all about myself and not about her?”
This example shows how we can reframe motherhood in a new way.
We can grow into higher, wiser, more conscious versions of ourselves by implementing Dr. Becky’s strategies. And our hard work may forge a stronger parent-child connection.
It’s not about our kids growing up. It’s about us growing up.
Dr. Becky at Good Inside shares the importance of honing a child’s sense of self.
Dr. Becky shares that her first instinct is to say, ‘It’s so amazing!’ Yet, she decides to take a different approach. She tells us that her daughter just made a painting. She says:
“Here’s what I’m thinking more long-term, right? Because at the end of the day, we parent our kids not just for today but for all the years out of our house. When she does something in life, maybe she’s going to be an artist, or may she’s going to write an essay, or maybe she’s going to a project at work, I don’t want her next kind of step in her wiring to be, ‘Who’s going to tell me if it’s good?’
I want her to ask, ‘What do I think?”
This is another lightning bulb moment!
Again it speaks to a high mindfulness and awareness requirement. It’s easy and almost reflexive to gush over a child’s artwork. Yet, it’s not aligned with the larger parenting goal: to build a child’s unique sense of self.
This idea can be stretched to mean even more.
How often do we do things for someone else’s approval? How often do we have to get hit on the head to realize it doesn’t work?
We’re here to live lives we approve of and become our own person. We’re here to discover our true path.
When our parents raise us with too much interference, too many opinions, etc., it’s easier to lose our way. We can spend our lives trying to please everyone else.
I wish Dr. Becky had been around when I was raising my young child!
Still, I’m so grateful to access her words of wisdom now. They read timeless.
They’re words I can use with my daughter, husband, friends and family, and even help when I think of my childhood. Thank you, Dr. Becky!
I’ll be reading your book very soon!
So, what did you think of these examples? Do they resonate with you?
Dr. Becky Kennedy is a clinical psychologist in private practice, mom, and millennial parent whisperer whose work on supporting the parent/ child dynamic changes the game!
Follow Dr. Becky at Good Inside on Instagram here.
On her site are many answers to your parenting questions, along with practical strategies to help guide you to becoming the parent you want to be. She also offers a Good Inside Membership, where you can receive tips to support your parenting journey. Learn more here.
Did you enjoy this story? Do you think her parenting advice can help? Share it with other moms today!
(This story was originally published on October 21, 2022, and has been updated for thoroughness and clarity.)