Friday, September 5, 2014

We’ve long heard about the difficulties faced by the parents of teenagers, but the ‘tween years can be just as bewildering. Those are the middle school years, when kids and adults must navigate an ever-changing world with children struggling to fit in even as they endure neurological and physical shifts.  We meet one woman who is trying to take the pain and mystery out of those years.

Is your child a 'trophy kid?' Do they receive participation awards just for showing up? Our guest today says 'you're doing it wrong.' In their bestselling book, NurtureShock, Ashley Merryman and co-author Po Bronson say that much of the conventional wisdom about parenting is backfiring. They argue that the so-called 'self-esteem movement' has gone too far and while it can be valuable, too much praise can actually hurt children. Meaningless, undeserved praise produces kids who don’t try hard enough, give up easier, take less risks, and simply collapse when they fail. Using a research-based, scientific approach to parenting, they argue that kids actually need to lose in order to grow and that we must stop letting "The Trophy-Industrial Complex" run our children's lives. Whether you're a helicopter parent or a recovering trophy kid yourself, join us.

Wendy Herkey

Part One: Dan Povenmire of Phineas and Ferb. Dan Povenmire may not be a household name but his creation, Phineas and Ferb, is one of the most popular kids shows on television. Povenmire lends his artistry, writing and voice talent to the show. The longtime cartoonist has a crazy sense of humor but he is coming to town for a more serious reason. His yet to be born nephew has a serious and rare disease. Dan’s sister lives here in Charlotte and he’s coming to town to help her promote awareness for this challenging condition. We’ll share some laughs, and explore a little known but important children’s health issue.

Dan Povenmire
- Creator of Phineas and Ferb television show
Dr. Tiana Povenmire-Kirk - Mother of son with HLHS, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Much of a person’s success in life depends on their character. Society is also dependent on the involvement of people of character. But how do you build character in a young person? CMS is partnering with parents and the community to foster honest, responsible, caring students and there are other private organizations working toward the same end. A closer look at the process and at what’s at stake for children, parents and society when Charlotte Talks.

Harriet Brown's daughter was diagnosed with anorexia at age 14 and nearly died because of it. At 4-foot-11 and weighing 71 pounds, she saw herself as fat. She was starving herself, exercising obsessively, her relationship with food was complex - she was terrified by a slice of cake. "Faced with a plate of food, the demon inside my daughter bargained, cried, lashed out." Brown talks about that demon that tormented their family in her memoir Brave Girl Eating, a story of pain, frustration, hospitalization, treatment, relapse and recovery. While she's in Charlotte for an event with Teen Health Connection, she joins us, along with medical experts, to share her story, discuss the causes, prevention and treatments of eating disorders as well as some of the myths and stereotypes and the importance of family-based treatment.


Plenty of older adults talk about the good old days when kids ran free, sometimes ranging through their neighborhoods or towns without their parents even knowing where they were. The trend reversed in recent times with the rise of Helicopter parents hovering over their child's every move and limiting their independence. Lenore Skenazy rejected that trend and she made headlines when she allowed her 9 year old son to ride a NYC subway alone. She forged the popularity into a bully pulpit to advance the idea of "free range kids." Her reality show, The World's Worst Mom, irony intended, explores modern parenting. We will too when Charlotte Talks.

Entering Middle School

Aug 8, 2012

It’s no secret that something changes when kids enter Middle School. Developmentally, emotionally and socially, middle school is where some kids really struggle, and the changes in their bodies and socially can affect their grades, their relationships with friends and with their parents. We’ll be joined by a panel of experts who have been helping middle schoolers -  and their parents - navigate the waters of middle school, and hear from you, too, when Charlotte Talks.


Twelve In Twelve: The Next Chapter

Aug 7, 2012

A year ago, three intrepid Charlotteans set out on a round-the-world mission.  A father and his two sons - then 8-year-old Buck and his teenage brother, Jackson, visited twelve countries in twelve months.  But this wasn’t a vacation.  They chose the places they went so they could help the people in those countries in some way and all of this was Jackson’s idea.  From nearly drowning in Thailand, to helping run a nursery school in Tanzania, they share their adventure of good will.