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Raising Children to Advocate, Influence + Lead (Dr. Tim Jordan ep. 330)

John O’Leary welcomes Dr. Tim Jones to the Live Inspired Podcast to share practical advice to build closer relationships with our children.

Depression, anxiety and other mental health issues have skyrocketed among kids, teens and young adults; and this is long before COVID-related isolation became the norm. 

Dr. Tim Jordan is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician and expert on navigating children through their normal developmental transformations, to emerge strong, happy and fulfilled.

Today, Tim shares his common sense approach that enables parents to be more confident and effective, reducing conflict and drama while remaining a strong influence in their children’s lives throughout adolescence and early adulthood.

Regardless of the role you play in a child’s life, today’s conservation will equip you with practical advice to build closer relationships based on trust and understanding.

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  • Alongside his wife Anne, Tim founded Camp Weloki for Girls as a safe haven for girls can be heard, be authentic and enhance their social-emotional intelligence.
  • Greater hope or greater despair? While it saddens him that kids go through so much adversity, Tim has hope when he can remove children from their childhood baggage and prepare them to become thriving adults.
  • Young women struggle statistically significant more with mental health, including overwhelming anxiety and loneliness, than young men.
  • Being driven by external motives like money, looks or being famous will lead to less happiness, unfulfilled and with poor relationships.
  • Tim frequently asks young people, “What percentage of people between 22-35 years old have a 4-year degree?” Typical answers are between 60-70% when in reality it’s about 30%.
  • Ask for, listen for and mirror back your child’s intrinsic, internal motivation.
  • Ask children, “What does success look like to you?”
  • By shrinking the geographic freedom of children, Tim believes we’ve forced them to congregate online + increased their dependency on technology.
  • “We blame social media for bullying. It didn’t start there. It just magnifies there.”
  • “You have to earn the next freedom and the next privilege. You earn it by your behavior over time.”
  • Challenges young girls face:
    • 12.3 years old: average age bulimia + anorexia sets in for girls, which is on pace for the average age when girls are gaining natural weight because of puberty.
    • Educate girls to be image + media savvy on what’s real and what’s been altered.
    • “I teach my young girls that consumer brands aren’t selling you a product. They’re selling that you’re not good enough unless you have this particular product.”
  • Comparison trap: Encourage children to gauge their wellness by looking internally, not by comparing themselves to others.
  • When children face adversity, encourage heartfelt conversations about how they feel, help them reframe the experience so they don’t internalize it.
  • While not always negative, anxiety is nature’s natural warning sign and an opportunity to check-in with yourself and utilize the skills to cope with it.
  • How to have meaningful conversations with children, regardless of their openness:
    • Find the right context. Boys share better shoulder-to-shoulder versus girls share better in circles.
    • Find the key to their doorway. Some children communicate better in writing.
    • Don’t blow the opportunity.
    • Be fully present.
    • Do the best you can.
    • Understand they may connect with one parent more than another
  • Tim shares the relatable “turtle + the hail storm” metaphor + the responsibilities of both parents + children.
  • She Leads: We don’t recognize leadership in our daughters enough. Tim encourages parents to recognize when daughters show courage + leadership by standing up for their friends at school, handling conflicts with other directly, being inclusive by uniting others and the other more traditionally recognized leadership roles.

Questions from the  Live Inspired Community

  • Abby R. asked: With all the noise around everything you “have to do” for your kids in their early years to ensure they’re ready for school, what are the most important things to focus on?
    • When you’re with them, be fully present.
    • When they’re young, they learn best while playing.
  • Matt asked: How do we get parents to truly listen?
    • Besides it’s the right thing, if you want to be an influence now and forever, learn to be there for them, even in the small things, when they’re younger.
  • Sandy asked: How do we help children navigate these unusual, complex times?
    • Socially: Work together to find what’s enough time to stay connected with friends through technology + find socially-distance + safe ways to connect.
    • Academics: Find a tutor or someone to help them they adjust to the untraditional learning style.
    • Overall: In addition to practicing gratitude + gratitude journaling, help them focus on what they have control over that may also bring joy + fulfillment.


About our sponsor: Keeley Companies wholeheartedly believes that if you get the people right -the results will follow. They set themselves apart with a forward-thinking culture that empowers their people and fosters loyal partnerships. Keeley Companies are a proud sponsor, partner, and super fan of the Live Inspired Podcast. Learn more about Keeley Companies.


My new book IN AWE is now available… and became an instant bestseller! Learn how to rediscover your childlike sense of wonder to unleash inspiration, meaning and joy. Visit ReadInAwe.com today! 


  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. Awareness by Anthony De Mello and Supernormal by Dr. Meg Jay.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. Taking time with friends.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. Pictures.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. Besides John O’Leary and my wife, Anthony De Mello. I’d ask him where he found all his stories.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. At a point in my life when I felt stuck, my mentor Bill told me, “your problem isn’t what you’re doing, it’s why you’re doing it.”
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. Find your own reasons for doing things. You don’t need to please everybody.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. The same as my high school yearbook: Great is the man which never loses the heart of a child.