Now Is The Time To Improve Your Family Life

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused illness, stress, and economic disruption, there are silver linings hidden for those willing to look for them. In this last episode of a series on parenting in a pandemic, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen discuss their top strategies for tightening up the family unit for a stronger, happier, and more loving home, and why now is definitely the time to do it.

Read Full Transcript

Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome to The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
Dr Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics where we have been transforming lives for 30 years using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is also brought to you by Brain MD where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to
Tana Amen: So one of the things that's also been helping us, we actually, our kids have actually been getting less screen time recently. I mean, the first couple of days probably everyone was freaked out, they might've been on their phones a lot, but now they actually don't have a lot of screen time.
Tana Amen: One of the things that's been helping to keep their stress down and keep them involved, we have them exercising. I've got them doing yoga while I work out, using YouTube videos. And we have them working out like every day and doing something and so by having-
Dr Daniel Amen: And people become more cooperative after they work out.
Tana Amen: Yes, they feel better. Their stress is lower. Like me, I mean, I have gym in the house because I've been collecting that equipment for 20 years because I'm not into purses. I could care less about purses. I care about survival equipment and exercise equipment. Those are my things. It's critical for me.
Dr Daniel Amen: And we did a whole podcast, actually we've done a couple on love and logic with Jim Fay. Somebody on my channel mentioned Jim Fay. And if you go to Brain Warrior's Way Podcast,, we've done like 600 of them. We have about 7 million down downloads. You can listen to all the ones with Jim. Jim is just awesome.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: And get love and logic if you're really struggling. And what I've been thinking about is during a pandemic, this is the time to get healthy. It's the time to get physically-
Tana Amen: Oh my gosh, absolutely.
Dr Daniel Amen: ...healthy, mentally healthy. It's the time to get your relationship right with your children rather than just doing the-
Tana Amen: Reaction. Don't do the reaction.
Dr Daniel Amen: Reacting in your head. Okay, so we have know what you want. Bonding. Clear rules. Notice what you like more than what you don't. Discipline. Clear, quick, unemotional consequences that are logical to the situation. Six is supervision and you need to know where they are, what they're doing, especially during a pandemic because kids can carry it, may not show a lot of symptoms, but then give it to you and you might give it to your parents. This is not a good thing. So supervision is critical.
Tana Amen: Yeah. So it's interesting. I have my whole family on life 360, its the app where you can see where everybody's at. And so everyone teases me that the NSA has got nothing on me and that's okay. I don't care. It's probably true. But the bottom line is it actually allows me in a normal circumstance, not right now, but in normal circumstances, it allows me to give them more freedom because when I'm able to see where they're at and they answer me when I text them, it's like that gives me that peace of mind to know that they're safe, that you know that kind of thing. And it's got crash detection now. So for the 16 year old, those types of things, and I explained that to them, I'm like, look, you might feel like it's invasive, but let me tell you something, you're going to have a lot more restrictions if I didn't have that, so figure it out. But that's the way it is. So.
Dr Daniel Amen: Supervision, know where they are, who they're with, what they're doing and more important and they're going to go, oh but my kids won't like that. Well, let me tell you the truth. They wont like that and they will hate it if you don't care.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: And so that is really important. Supervision. I want you, we want you to be their frontal lobes until theirs develop. And quite frankly, your frontal lobe isn't finished developing until they're in their mid twenties so having a good relationship and supervising them, really important.
Tana Amen: So one of my nieces said to me the other day, she said something that made me almost cry. She was telling me, she said, you know, we're talking about, I told you guys, I always believe in mentors, we were just talking about stuff in life and what's good. And we were talking about that kind of thing. And she looked at me and she said, "Well, you're my mentor." And she goes, "You're my role model." And I was like, "Oh." And she said, "I want to model myself after you." And I said, "Oh, that's interesting." So we started talking about it and here's what it boiled down to. She said, "You make me feel safe." She's like, "You just always seem to know what to do in a crisis and you make me feel safe." And that's, she doesn't mind the rules. She actually said, "I don't mind the rules."
Dr Daniel Amen: Wow. But her brain is wired like that to like them. Like yours.
Tana Amen: Even though she pushed back at first. No, she pushed back at first and she said, and I still like them.
Dr Daniel Amen: So supervision is critical. And then grace and forgiveness. We all make mistakes. You make mistakes as a parent, if you're like me, you made lots of mistakes when you were a kid. Grace and forgiveness is just so important. Odds are people are doing the best they can. And there's actually a forgiveness method I wrote about in my book Feel Better Fast. It's called the reach method of forgiveness. So take an incident, recall what happened, empathize with the person, what was going on in their head. You know, they're freaked out-
Tana Amen: Be curious.
Dr Daniel Amen: what's going on. And with the pandemic, altruistically, that's the A. Give the gift of forgiveness, commit to it, tell someone about it, and then hold onto it. This method that has been studied and found to be very effective to help people, let things go. Because when you hold onto a hurt, who do you think it's poisoning more than anyone else? It's you.
Tana Amen: Yeah. No. When you don't forgive, it's like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: That's irrational.
Tana Amen: Right. And I like what you said about grace. Because right now we're on top of everybody. We're in each other's space. We don't have a choice. And so there's going to be moments. You hurt each other's feelings. It's going to happen. So we actually talked about it in advance. We're like, look, we know it's, we're going to try and limit it, but it's going to happen. So just know that it's going to happen. Be kind about it and just understand. It's like we know that the people in our house, it's like if you say something that bugs me and I certainly say things that bug you. It's like, but I know that your intention is always good. I know your intention is to love us, to protect us, to help us. So even if you say something that bugs me, it's like, all right, but I know that he loves me. I know his intention is good, right? Because we can't go out and do our normal stuff.
Dr Daniel Amen: And the last step, and you were sort of bringing this up is mentoring. It's how do you want them. This is not going to be the end of the world, nor is it going to be the end of a crisis in society.
Tana Amen: No.
Dr Daniel Amen: Wars are going to happen, more pandemics are going to happen.
Tana Amen: Likely to happen.
Dr Daniel Amen: You want to mentor them through. And how you do that is by modeling being okay during this time. Is not believe every stupid thing you think. We're going to do, actually [inaudible 00:08:17] and I are going to read my book Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions probably later today. We're going to read that because it teaches kids to kill the ANTS. Automatic Negative Thoughts, ANTS, automatic negative thoughts that steal their happiness. So you should do an [inaudible 00:08:39] as well because it's a skill that is just absolutely essential for you to know about how to kill the ANTS because they're just crawling everywhere. And part of that is you need to turn off the news. I mean, listen to it 20 minutes, two or three times a day and then stop-
Tana Amen: Right, we listen to what we need to.
Dr Daniel Amen: ...because otherwise it's just going to flood you with ANTS and negativity and then you're going to be infested and afraid and you'll get to the hysteria that you've talked about earlier from people fighting at the gas station and now. So what happened? Gas is cheaper now than it has been in years. [crosstalk 00:09:17] And it's widely available and-
Tana Amen: We haven't run out of gas. We haven't run out of food.
Dr Daniel Amen: I'm trying to, mine was at the store this morning. She said everything was stocked [inaudible 00:00:09:26]. I know it depends on where you are. I mean there are people from Germany and Italy and all of that. I know it depends and I always love what you say, compared to what.
Tana Amen: Compared to what? And focus on what you can do, not what you can't do. So I will admit to this it, there has been plenty of food. There hasn't been the convenience to go get what I want to get the things I normally get. So we've had to be really creative. Right? There's been a lot of times I've gone to the grocery store, I'm like, huh, I have no idea what to do with turnips, but there's turnips, so we're eating turnips, right? There's plenty of food. It's just not what I would normally make. So I'm making a lot of weird stuff and so far everyone's loved it. I've gotten them involved in the kitchen. We just have to be sort of creative.
Dr Daniel Amen: Because we love the process. We love the relationship and she's actually a really great cook.
Tana Amen: You never thought you'd say that.
Dr Daniel Amen: I never thought I'd say that. When I first met her, she couldn't cook. I actually prayed she wouldn't cook. She was such a disaster and now she's a master. And so we hope this is helped you leave a comment, leave a question. Also check out our podcast, brain We'll be here for you. Thanks so much.
Tana Amen: Thanks. Take care. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Bye bye.
Tana Amen: If you're enjoying the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast, please don't forget to subscribe. So you'll always know when there's a new episode and while you're at it, feel free to give us a review or five star rating as that helps others find the podcast.
Dr Daniel Amen: If you're considering coming to Amen Clinics or trying some of the brain healthy supplements from Brain MD, you can use the code podcast 10 to get a 10% discount on a full evaluation at for a 10% discount on all supplements at For more information, give us a call at 855-978-1363.