None of us is born a parent, and so we look for the knowledge to “fill the gap.” Facing our kids’ growing pains and wanting them to be kind, empathetic, responsible, attentive kids with  high emotional intelligence and a good sense of problem solving. We turned to psychologist and parenting coach Dr. Courtney Bolton, to coach us on some of the problems we face with our toddlers, including tantrums, lying, and facing homophobia.

Dr. Courtney Bolton offers free consultation session for Daddy Squared listeners. To use that please go to and use the coupon code: DADDY2

Raising children is a creative endeavor, an art rather than science. And when it comes to parenting – it’s not about learning tips and techniques, authority and rules. It’s about the special, unique relationship you form with your child. 

 Sometimes that’s rough when you lose your belief in your parenting abilities – often in comparison to other parents for whom it always *seems* to be going great! 

“We live in a culture right now of presenting that perfect image of parenting and really posting those things that are wonderful and even in our moments when it’s not wonderful, we’ll make light of it on Instagram. What we don’t show are those times of when we’re yelling, crying, losing our minds – feeling terrible regret.

One of the hardest things for children, especially at a young age, is finding their boundaries. If they are being told that there’s something they can’t do or can’t have it can very possibly result in tantrums or other unwanted behavior. Dr. Courtney sees these moments as great opportunities to teach – and learn ourselves.

“We want to help our kids create a little bit of flexibility and a little critical thinking,” she says. “So we help them with problem solving skills, [like] creating redirection, or ‘what can we do if we don’t have that… it’s really something that you do, I mean, even adults sometimes need facilitation in that way. We just get into that moment where we think ‘oh my goodness, I don’t have this. I’m done!’ And then there’s ‘actually, wait, is there something else that I can do.’ So we just walk them through that and give them the options.”

Our Guest: Dr. Courtney Bolton

Courtney Bolton Ph.D. is a psychologist and parenting & child development expert. She has worked with parents and school districts for the past several years to help ensure children thrive in their home and school environments. After earning her BA from Vanderbilt University and a PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, she served as a postdoctoral fellow and clinical instructor at UCLA in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences where she conducted research, mentored graduate and undergraduate students and provided therapeutic services to youth and their families. Here, she developed her love for parent coaching and sharpened her skills in how to effectively work with parents to tailor evidence-based advice for their families. She has published papers and articles on child development, educational readiness and resilience and has been a key note lecturer on building friendship skills, belonging and stress management. Dr. Bolton is a mom of four, avid coffee drinker, bibliophile, and loves spending time outside year round.

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Episode Credits

Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex Maghen
Guest: Dr. Courtney Bolton
Opening Theme: Hercules & Love Affair, “Leonora” buy here
Articles Related to this episode:
Big Little Liars (Jessica Grose, The New York Times)
ScreenTime: Diane Sawyer Reporting (selected clips on YouTube)

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