Balanced Parenting

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In a world full of adversity, Balanced Parenting stands out as a powerful approach for every family.

Dr. Jennifer Hays-Grudo and Dr. Amanda Sheffield Morris present their groundbreaking work on what they call “the most important problem of our time“, the enduring impact of difficult childhoods, known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), on our lives, our parenting, and our relationships. Balanced Parenting begins with understanding our own past, our experiences, and how our upbringing influences our parenting styles.

This timely and transformative series offers a heartfelt journey into a healing process that honors the beauty, challenges, and lifelong commitment that come with being a parent. Achieving Balanced Parenting enables us to break the intergenerational cycle of childhood trauma.

Jennifer and Amanda are pioneers in their fields. Their collaboration brings together scientific research and powerful data from their studies, while their personal experiences as parents provide deep insights and relatability for families everywhere.

Jennifer Hays-Grudo is a Regents professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Center for Health Sciences at Oklahoma State University.

Amanda Sheffield Morris is a Regents professor and the George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair in Applied Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology at Oklahoma State University.

  • Episode One: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

    • Balanced Parenting
    • June 1, 2024
    • 16 Minutes
    To better understand Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), leaders in the science of child psychology, Jennifer and Amanda, describe their ACEs research-based epiphany revealing how neglect, abuse, and family dysfunction affects the brain’s ability to learn, remember, and control behavior. They identify what allows children to survive and thrive in spite of adversities–Protective and Compensatory Experiences (PACEs).
  • Episode Two: What Is Generational Trauma?

    • Balanced Parenting
    • June 8, 2024
    • 10 Minutes
    Jennifer and Amanda break down how Protective And Compensatory Experiences (PACEs) help children grow and thrive even when basic needs are not being met. Next, they describe how experiencing adversity as a child causes the body and brain to react and adapt for self-preservation. They discuss how adversity, such as abuse and neglect, leads to epigenetic changes, which act like a dimmer switch on certain genes. The next generation or two is unintentionally affected by these epigenetic changes. Jennifer and Amanda discuss how retraining your brains and bodies can diminish generational trauma.
  • Episode Three: What Is Balanced Parenting?

    • Balanced Parenting
    • June 15, 2024
    • 14 Minutes
    Balanced parenting is an essential way of breaking the intergenerational cycle of adversity through building resilience. Jennifer and Amanda share how to build resilience through establishing parenting styles, balancing control and warmth, performing self-care, and building a strong parent-child relationship.
  • Episode Four: Overcoming Childhood Adversity

    • Balanced Parenting
    • June 22, 2024
    • 12 Minutes
    How do we break the cycle of adversity and change the world? Jennifer unfolds five crucial steps needed to look at yourself and achieve balanced parenting. She fully describes each step in achieving balanced parenting while also introducing two new concepts that Jennifer and Amanda have developed from their research.

    Step 1: Recognize / Acknowledge the Past
    Step 2: Regulate Emotions–know that you can hurt people with your feelings
    Step 3: Recognize Childhood Coping Strategies–thoughts and habits ChAACEs–Childhood Adaptations to ACEs
    Step 4: Choose Your Adaptations GrAACEs–Grown up Adaptations to ACEs
    Step 5: See you children as they are; they are not you
  • Episode Five: Questions & Answers

    • Balanced Parenting
    • June 29, 2024
    • 17 Minutes
    Jennifer and Amanda answer audience member questions about support networks; recommend resources, books, and activities that align with Balance Parenting; and provide recommendations for a variety of real life scenarios involving parents and children.


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