104: How to Build Confidence, Overcome Social Anxiety, and Handle Bullying, with Jeffrey Kranzler, Ph.D., LCSW-C

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

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Many children and teens struggle with confidence, social anxiety, and bullying, but kids with ADHD often struggle even more with this challenges.

In this episode, Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler talks about his new book, “The Crimson Protector,” and the themes that are woven into the story to help kids build confidence, manage social anxiety, and deal with bullying. You’ll learn that managing all of these situations boils down to building a sense of control, and how to help your child do just that. 


Some of the resources may be affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission (at no cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.

Dr. Kranzler is offering a free ebook of The Crimson Protector to Parenting ADHD Podcast listeners. Email him at [email protected] with the code PARENTINGADHD and he’ll tell you how to get the book free. 

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My Guest

Jeffrey Kranzler, Ph.D., LCSW-C

Dr. Jeff Kranzler is a therapist practicing in Bethesda Maryland. He specializes in supporting individuals on the Autism Spectrum in developing social skills, anxiety management and mood regulation. He works with individuals across the life span. He believes strongly that Autism is not a disorder but rather a neurological difference. He also believes that Individuals on the Autism Spectrum are responsible for the most important advances in society.

He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and received his MSW and Ph.D. from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Dr. Kranzler is also a consultant for the National Mentoring Resource Center and specializes in creating mentoring programs that serve immigrant youth.



Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (00:03): I think control is one of the most underrepresented concepts of therapy. Think about it like this: depression is I can't do anything to make it better. Anxiety is I can't control me being safe. Trauma is I couldn't control the situation. In fact, there are studies with trauma that if somebody has been in a traumatic situation in disasters and they were given a task, go get water, go get blanket, their rate of post traumatic stress disorder goes down significantly because simply they had control over something.

Penny Williams (00:40): Welcome to the Parenting ADHD Podcast, where I share insights and strategies on raising kids with ADHD, straight from the trenches. I'm your host, Penny Williams. I'm a parenting coach, author, ADHD-aholic and Mindset Mama, honored to guide you on the journey of raising your atypical kid. Let's get started.

Penny Williams (01:10): Welcome back to the Parenting ADHD Podcast. I'm really excited today to be talking to Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler and he is the author of the upcoming book, "The Crimson Protector." And we're going to talk a little bit about building confidence, overcoming social anxiety, and even how to handle bullying. Thanks for being here, Dr. Kranzler, I'm so excited to have this conversation with you today. Will you start by telling us who you are and what you do?

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (01:40): Absolutely. And I want to thank you Penny for having me today. I have just recently started listening to this podcast and I absolutely love it. So it really is an honor for me to be here. Thanks. So my name is is Jeffrey Kranzler, Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler. I am a therapist in the Bethesda, Maryland area. I work with children, adolescents and adults with anxiety, mood challenges, and I specifically focus on individuals on the autism spectrum. I love what I do, and I've focused on the skills work that's involved. I love the fact that people have the opportunity to gain skills, that it may not eliminate everything in terms of anxiety and depression, but gives them the power and the control to be able to feel like they have a handle on it. My work with individuals on the autism spectrum is different.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (02:45): And I think you'll notice the fact that I don't say autism spectrum disorder because to me, autism is a difference, not a disorder. And the work that I do with those individuals is working to help develop the strengths that come with autism, as well as learn the skills to manage through a world run by neuro-typical by people who are not on the autism spectrum — how to manage and navigate so that they can achieve what they want and they can fully express their strengths and their contributions to the world.

Penny Williams (03:26): I love the focus on skills because I think for parents, it's easy to get caught up in the differences and the fact that there are differences and their struggles around those. And we don't often look at it as a lot of skill building, which is really a big portion of our job as a parent of a kid who is neurodiverse. And so I love that that that's really your focus with the individuals on the spectrum that you're working with. And we have so many parents in our audience of kids who have dual diagnoses, ADHD, and autism, including my own son, who's also on the spectrum as well. So great work that you're doing, and I know that your patients and your clients certainly are very big fans. Do you want to start maybe by talking about "The Crimson Protector," what that book is, who it's for? And then I think we can lead into kind of the themes in the book and and talking more about that.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (04:26): Absolutely. I'd love to talk about it. So "The Crimson Protector" is a superhero novel and in the course of the novel and course of interactions between characters and the action that takes that takes place, kids learn to build confidence, overcome social anxiety, and learn how to handle bullying. And the reason why I wrote it is I, again, like I said, I love teaching skills. And when I teach skills in session, I use a lot of different curricula. And what I love about the curriculum is the role playing, making things exciting. When I teach skills, it's a very active piece, not only with the role playing, but with the positive reinforcement in the reviewing of skills. And I've always believed in the power of fiction. Actually in college, I did not study psychology or social work.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (05:30): My major at Johns Hopkins University was the writing seminars. So until I was about 22, I believed that I was going to be a writer for the Simpsons. And I said by the end of his time by the end of you know, 2003, 2004, I said, "You know, how much longer will the Simpsons go for? It's probably going to be over. I better see something else." And it's 2020 and The Simpsons are still going now, but I'm still glad I made the choice I did. But I've always loved writing. I've always loved the power of fiction to teach. And I think one of the reasons why fiction is so powerful is because it teaches lessons through showing rather than through didactic teaching. A kid, in reading a good book, is really living the book.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (06:24): So when a character does something, when a character has an interaction, if the book is a good book, the reader feels like they've had that interaction. Like they've done that. And the lessons get ingested more organically. It gets ingested because it's part of the story that they connect to. So as I was teaching these skills, as I'm a therapist, I want it to be able to communicate the skills in a different way, in a way that had a transmission that wasn't available in the kind of work that I do, which is, of course, necessary and very effective in session. But I wanted something in addition for kids who were learning the skills to have at home in another way, but also for kids who are struggling, who don't have adults who recognize what's going on, were either holding it back or sending out signals that are not being met and to have at least, it doesn't replace therapy and doesn't replace complete skill building, but at least to get a taste n a powerful piece of some of the skills that they could.

Penny Williams (07:31): Yeah. And it reminds me of social stories. Is that a good comparison?

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (07:37): Oh, absolutely. And I love doing social stories. It's very, very similar to that in the subtlety of the novel. And so with a social story it's straight out, "Hey, listen, this is what we're doing." And I love the novel piece of it because it's learning without knowing that you're learning. And I love that piece too, but yes, that's why I love the role plays that I do. I love social stories involved in skills building, because it's all, again, it's about the mission of information that it gets ingested in a way that sticks. And that's personal me. And you're not giving something to somebody and saying, learn this, remember this, it's live this. And when you live something it's such a different way of being.

Penny Williams (08:27): Yeah, I love that. I love social stories and books like yours because our kids will engage with them and they don't recognize that they're learning something. They don't recognize that by giving them this book, we're actually giving them something we want them to learn. It's just part of the story. And when they get engaged in the story, then they're automatically building skills. And that's a beautiful thing, especially when you have a middle or high schooler who doesn't want to listen to what you say as a parent. And when it comes from you, it's automatically kind of turned off. So, social stories in these books can be amazing for that in that it kind of takes us out of the middle a little bit, and it's more well received by our kids, I think.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (09:13): One hundred percent. And I think you pointed out something really important that as parents, because we have bled, sweat, and cried for them, and many of us have carried them for nine months, we automatically are discounted. Everything we said is irrelevant. Right. I love that when this happens, I'll be in a session with a tween or preteen or even a teen. And, the situation will be brought up in that part of the session with parents in, and I'll say something and the teen goes, "yeah, that sounds right." This happens multiple times, a parent will turn to their teen and say, "I literally said that exact same thing in the car. And you told me I was an idiot." And I said, because I'm not you, we're saying the same thing, but because I'm not their parent, I get listened to. So anytime a message could be given from somebody else, that has a certain power.

Penny Williams (10:12): It definitely does. I've had the same conversation with my own son about his therapist saying something, and he goes, "yeah, yeah." And I'm like, "I've been saying that for months. Why do you not listen to me?" But it's the way of the world with teens and parents. It's the natural relationship. It's not just with kids with ADHD or kids on the spectrum. It's really the natural order of things. I can remember being the same way when I was a teen. I didn't want to listen to my parents either, but I would listen to other adults that I had a connection with. So there's a lot of power in bringing other people into the team in that way, too. Absolutely. Let's talk a little bit about the themes that are running through this book to build confidence, overcome social anxiety, and handle bullying.

Penny Williams (10:59): These, of course, I think are really, really common for the kids of our listeners here. They really struggle with confidence, especially confidence and bullying are the ones that I think we as parents focus more on. I think social anxiety isn't as understood by a lot of adults and parents. I grew up with severe social anxiety and my parents certainly didn't get it. And I didn't really, as that teenager, I didn't know what I was struggling with. I just knew that I could not be around people I didn't know. I would do anything in the world not to be put in that situation. And my parents didn't have the knowledge to recognize that. And I think that a lot of parents still, it's really hard to tease out what's anxiety and what just looks like behavior. So much of anxiety actually looks like something entirely different. It doesn't always show up as fear on the surface.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (12:03): Absolutely.

Penny Williams (12:05): So let's start with confidence. How did you weave that into this story? How are kids kind of learning what to focus on?

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (12:14): Sure. So one of the essential parts of the story, one of the parts of my life is I am also a consultant for the National Mentoring Resource Center. I love mentoring. I I got my PhD. I did my dissertation on mentoring. I've been running mentoring programs in schools, colleges, community organizations... My really big belief in it started with the fact that I am a big brother of three amazing little sisters. And so I've always identified as a big brother. And a mentor is the really big part of the story. The first part that underlies this is that the character actually reaches out for help. The catalyst for it is that he has a crush and just can't approach her. And it just drives this character absolutely bonkers. And one of the key pieces in the story is that the character is the one who reaches out for a mentor.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (13:17): One of the messages that I want to give kids across the board with all of these three components is don't wait for an adult to recognize it — be proactive, reach out for adult help. It's not saying do this all by yourself, but be the first to reach out and encourages them to do that. So the main character, James Gast, becomes the Crimson Protector. Eventually, he reaches out to a mentor to build his confidence. A lot of the building of confidence comes in the interactions between him and his mentor, as well as the action that takes place subsequent to it. So, for example, if he reaches out to a mentor and he says, "I need to build confidence. I want to talk to this girl. I want to do that." And in one of the scenes, the mentor has the main character go bowling.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (14:13): The character, that's James, and he mentor is Cody Daniels. So Cody asks James, he says, "so what do you think?" And James is confused. So he lists the things and bowling is one of those things. And what the mentor does is he has James go bowling and fail at bowling and teaches him how to manage failure, because a big part of this book, the big thing that has to do with both confidence, as well as social anxiety, is the capacity to change your attitude and your reactions to failure. That is actually the biggest piece of building confidence, it's not the successes that come as a result, but the first step always is dealing with potential failure, because what underlies social anxiety, what underlies a lack of confidence, is a fear and an avoidance of falling on your face, of being humiliated, being embarrassed, of absolutely not knowing what to do. If we address that, that's a key piece in building those.

Penny Williams (15:21): Yeah. I love that because that's kind of where, and I've been open about this on the podcast, but this is kind of where we have gotten stuck at age 16, 17, is some pretty extreme avoidance of anything that might be uncomfortable, whether he knows it or not, anything that could possibly at all be uncomfortable or painful or hard, then there's been an extreme avoidance. And so that's what we're working on now is really trying to build that. Not just resilience, but the determination and perseverance that they need to be a little more fearless in the world, you know, to take risks, not in safety, but in day to day life, going after something that they want in the career field, or even in hanging out with friends, and in social situations. It's really something that can kind of shut things down. And that's what we've unfortunately come to you. But now the realization is that we really have to build that skill of being more resilient and more determined to really push, even when things feel like they might be hard or uncomfortable.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (16:43): Absolutely. Absolutely. And I feel that this is not just an individual struggle, but I feel that, in general in Gen Z this is a trait that pops up a lot, that fear of messing up, the fear of not being successful immediately. And I don't know exactly where it's from, but I kind of see some trends that these kids are being exposed to that. I think a lot of us, from the one hand, if we made a mistake, it was forgotten. Where if they make a mistake, it gets posted on YouTube forever in a title called Epic Fail. As we were all growing up, the people who were successful, they were in their forties, they were in their fifties, but their model today are the people who make an app or the people who make a logistics service or the people who make a social media platform and are successful at 20. And so not seeing the years of necessary failure, it's just not in the consciousness these days.

Penny Williams (17:50): Yeah, that's so true. My son has had the same experience. He creates digital music, and I said, "you gotta put it out there and you have to try to build a following if this is what you want to continue to do to, work in music technology in some way." And so he puts them out there on YouTube and in a week he didn't have hordes of followers and fans, sso he gave up. He thought that was the measure — if you put it out there and it doesn't stick, then you failed. And we've had to really talk about that. I didn't think about it in that way, but their sort of microculture for their generation, on the surface, it appears that there's a lot of immediacy to success, to doing well. That really isn't the whole story. They're not getting the whole story.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (18:42): Absolutely. Absolutely. I had a chance to speak and meet the research and development guy who discovered the Dave Matthews Band and what he discussed was the following that they worked so hard to develop. It was nonstop touring. It was the amount of work and the amount of struggle that it took. And then once he saw this, he picked up Dave Matthews Band, not because he particularly liked the music, but because he saw the supporters' reaction and they were singing every single lyric to the songs. And that is not something that they got on their first night out. That's not something they got on their second or the second year or the third year out. It's something that took a really, really long time. Kids these days are not listening to ACDC and they're not hearing the lyric: It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll," right? They're not hearing about all the failure, which was a part of our culture, the necessary failure. I'm not an expert in today's music, but I don't think there is any significant portion of the music or the culture that simply talks about the consistent failure before achieving.

Penny Williams (20:00): That's such a good point. That's a big aha for me right now that they're just getting a different message. They're just not seeing that it takes work, it takes perseverance to make something happen. So important. And it sounds like your book is touching on that as well. And showing that you have to keep after something and work at it.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (20:24): Absolutely. One of the interactions at the very end of his first meeting with the mentor, the character says, "so can you build my confidence?" And the mentor says, "it depends." And the character asks, "what does it depend on?" And the mentor, Cody, says, "on how hard you're willing to work" and the character stops and thinks about what he wants. And he says, "I'm willing to do it." And that's just a prerequisite for all of the things that are going to happen — you're going to have to be willing. And again, in the bowling scene, the character is laughed at because he bowls a 40 and he mentioned, "well, my grandmother could bowl a forty, and she's dead." And the people are laughing at his score, and the mentor just turns to him and says, "listen, this is what it takes to build the confidence that you want." And again, he thinks about what he wants and says, "so are we folding?" And character pauses and says, "yes." And so along the way that message is consistently put out there.

Penny Williams (21:26): Such an important message. It really, really is. Let's talk a little bit about social anxiety and dealing with that. I think it's so hard when you're the teen or the preteen, and you're in the midst of it. You just don't really know what to do. You know you have these overwhelming feelings of needing to flee, really, at least in my case. I just wanted to be anywhere but there, and nothing mattered but being anywhere but there. And it's real hard to deal with. How do we help our kids really navigate that in a more successful way? Because anybody with anxiety knows that you can't just say, "well, that's not rational." We can't turn it off. It's the way our brain is wired to some extent, but we can learn how to navigate it successfully.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (22:15): Absolutely. And I think there are two parts to social anxiety. The first is the logistics. It's the mechanics. If you don't know how to approach a conversation, you could be the most confident person in the world and it ain't going to work. And one of the pieces is whether the struggle with the how and the mechanics, comes from a struggle with internally understanding social skills, or even if you're quite adept at social skills, but because you've been avoiding interaction, you've actually taken a step backwards. And having followed along with the natural development that would naturally happen for you if you were continuing to be involved. Both of those present a roadblock. So it's not enough, even if we are sensitive to the anxiety piece of all of this, and we help that, what's so important is we also give our kids a basis in the mechanics and how to do that.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (23:13): So it's a two part piece. And the second part is the actual anxiety. And anxiety originates again, that my belief of it, from my knowledge of the literature that's out there as well as the experience that I have in session, is that at its core, and this is true of anxiety as a whole, if you go to kind of little coping tools here and there, or talking, like you said, "is this rational? Is this not rational?" It doesn't make a big difference. The biggest piece that makes a difference is going to the most feared outcome, because anxiety, at its core, is a coping tool. It is a defense mechanism. If I worry about each of these little pieces, I don't have to worry about the real underlying fear. Let's take planes, for example. I'm going to worry about people saying the sound that the plane is making and the bumps and this and that.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (24:08): And so it's not going to help you to say over and over again, "turbulence is not dangerous." And flying, statistically, it's the most safe thing. What you have to do is go to the underlying fear and say, "yes, I can't guarantee... Yes, it's very unlikely, but I cannot guarantee you the plane isn't going down." And it's the very same thing with social anxiety. "I can't guarantee you that people will not give you bad looks, irritated looks, laugh at your face, talk about you behind your back." And if we figure out how to handle the worst case scenario, if you can be okay if the worst case scenario happens, then everything else disappears. Instead of trying to place the blocks on top of the carpet and make it so it's not so high, you rip the carpet out from underneath it and the blocks that are preventing you from moving forward, go flying. And so that goes right back to the confidence piece as well. Handling and being okay with failure is at the core of it.

Penny Williams (25:17): Yeah, that's so true. It's social failure or the fear of social failure, the fear of not being accepted, of being judged. That's really a lot of what social anxiety is or was for me, in particular. I just wanted everybody to like me and it was hard. And I didn't have the confidence that everybody would like me, I guess. And, as I've gotten older, I've learned what matters and what doesn't matter more, and I've been able to navigate that a lot more. And it comes from really what is the worst that can happen? Having that experience over the decades of what could have been the worst that happened. And as an adult, I could see that the worst, if it did happen, I would be okay. And that's when I really started to be able to manage social anxiety well, was when I realized that, and I never really put the two together until you explained that, but it really sounds like everything is boiling down to confidence, having confidence and knowing that you'll be okay.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (26:20): Absolutely. And there's a great article I read, and I wish I had off the top of my head the source of it, but it was so great. And it said that everybody has anxiety. And the difference between anxiety and it turning into anxiety disorder is the belief that you can handle it. If the worst case scenario occurs, that is the single biggest factor in whether anxiety, which is a natural, healthy emotion, one that gives signals, turns into something that is debilitating.

Penny Williams (26:55): Yeah. That's such a good point. Let's talk a little bit about handling bullying. This is such a hot topic for parents in general, of any child. It seems to be a really pervasive part of our culture. And, unfortunately, it feels like it's grown even worse with technology and with social media. What can parents do to help their kids through it? I think it's a lot harder for us to prevent it, but we can certainly help our kids through it in a healthy way.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (27:27): Absolutely. There's just a lot of great work being done these days. One of my favorite things that's being done is a dual training. The kids who are actually the victims, and of course, as I think at this point it is somewhat cliche turning bystanders into upstanders. And both of those pieces are absolutely necessities as parents. It's very hard, because we are biologically, evolutionarily geared to protect our young. Naturally, if a bear attacks our child, if a tiger attacks our child, it is very simple, you kill the bear and you kill the tiger. And when it comes to a lot of the modern day parenting, that simply doesn't work. And we have to, as parents, violate our natural biological urges, because the thing that can help our child most is by training them and allowing them to deal with it. The most we need to give is the bow and arrow, the rock, the hatchet to our child, to kill that bear themselves, to kill that tiger themselves, rather than us doing it. In this case,

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (28:45): it's the same way. What we found is that reporting things to the school authorities, to our parents, is only part of it. We want to encourage our kids to feel comfortable and schools are there to create programs that make kids more comfortable to report, but it's only part of it. What we've got to be able to do is train our kids how to react in a way that is effective. I highly suggest the work of Jennifer Lawson in the PEERS curriculum. I think that is the most effective way, and I actually incorporate some variation of it into the book, the way the book helps kids deal with it as both teaching them how to react to bullying as well as to be upstanders. But let's talk a little bit about what it is for a kid who's being bullied.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (29:42): And kids really thrive when there is something that is straightforward. So there's a three step process that I kind of like, it's based off of the PEERS curriculum, but it starts with, so somebody says something nasty to you, right? And you say "whatever, okay." And then he'd come back and be stronger because one of the things our kids have to learn is it ain't going to stop right away. They come back and you're stronger and then they keep going. But this last part is so powerful: after they've gone after you a third time, you turn to them and say, "wow, you really think about me a lot." Right? What are they going to say? Like, "no, I don't." "Well, yeah, you do. You keep talking about me," and that just shuts it down.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (30:29): Then you smile. You wait for a moment and you turn and you go. And I think that that's more of an effective formula, including, "Hey, it won't stop right away. But if you keep doing that, if you show outwardly that you're not affected, and really you could be dying, but if you put a smile on your face and you say those words and you stick around and then you walk away exactly in that order and you keep doing that, you make it a lot harder for the bullies to succeed. They say that 85% of bullying takes place in front of other people. I think that is under reporting it because the point of bullying, what the real research shows, bullying is not a kid struggling to deal with things and taking it out on people, bullies as a whole have better social skills than the average kids and have better grades than the average kids.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (31:25): They know how to bully well, and your job is to counteract that with effective social skills because bullying is a power play. As a bully, I want you to think of me incredibly highly. The way I do that is by putting other people down. If that doesn't work, then eventually I need to move on and figure something else out. So the book models that particular way of going about it and encourages the upstanding, encourages the people who are witnessing it. And the research also shows that it is traumatic for people who witness it, even if you're not being bullyied, it has a traumatic effect on people witnessing fear, discomfort. Giving them something to be powerful phrase, something that they can say that allows them to feel like they have control over the situation, that they can do something, totally changes the game.

Penny Williams (32:20): Yeah. I think that control piece is so important. It's important with anxiety. It's important even in confidence. If you feel like you don't have any control over anything in your life, you're not likely very confident. You're probably pretty worried and anxious and you wouldn't be able to stand up to a bully. It really seems like a common thread with a lot of things. When we feel like we have some power and control, we end up being able to navigate a lot of situations better and just feel better in general.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (32:56): I think control is one of the most underrepresented concepts of therapy. Think about it like this: depression is I can't do anything to make it better. Anxiety is I can't control me being safe. Trauma is I couldn't control the situation. In fact, there are studies with trauma that if somebody has been in a traumatic situation in disasters and they were given a task, go get water, go get blanket, their rate of post traumatic stress disorder goes down significantly because simply they had control over something.

Penny Williams (33:32): Yeah. I think that's a lot of what we're struggling with as a whole during the pandemic, we feel like we have so little control over so much. I know my own son is struggling with doing school at home. And he even said this morning that it's all hard right now. And he just wants it to be different. He's done with the way it is right now. He's just done with it. He wants to have more control. He wants to have more normalcy. And that lack of control is really tough. And it's tough for me too.I feel like, "Hey, we thought it was going to be a couple of months. And now here we are many months in." My daughter was just sent home from college after two weeks, they gave up in person and everything is still kind of spiraling.

Penny Williams (34:20): And so we really have to, I think, be very mindful of focusing on what we can control. And I do a lot of that work myself. When I feel like I'm really kind of spiraling in that feeling helpless sort of way, sometimes I say, "okay, well, those are the things that I can't control. What can I control?" Just shifting my focus. And that's so important for everyone is that locus of control, what can we control and what can't we, but we always need to have a sense of controlling something. We just need to have that to really move forward and feel good about anything at all. If you feel completely out of control, you're right, that's when we have all of these other struggles and that can really spiral into depression and into just this sort of pit of despair. And I think it's much tougher right now in our current situation, because there's so much that we don't control. We can't control other people.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (35:21): Absolutely. I'm in total agreement.

Penny Williams (35:23): Yeah. Anything else you wanted to make sure that we talked about, that you shared before we wrap up?

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (35:29): I hope everybody goes and checks out the book. I'm really excited about it. And I think it's just a fun way to give our kids skills without them actually knowing they're getting it.

Penny Williams (35:44): Yeah. And the book's available now on Amazon and paperback and Kindle ebook. Correct?

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (35:50): Absolutely. Perfect.

Penny Williams (35:53): It's theCrimsonProtector.com. I will link that up in the show notes as well as other ways to connect with Dr. Kranzler, and I will link up any resources that we've talked about as well in this episode. So you can access all of that information at parentingadhdandautism.com/104. And I just want to take a second and thank you again, Dr. Kranzler, for sharing a little of your time and wisdom and for creating this book, because I think it's going to be so very powerful for tweens and teens and even young adults like ours, who are neurodiverse and are struggling. I think it's going to be a really helpful way for us as parents to step out of the middle and get those skills, get that knowledge to them, get something in their hands to help them with the growth that they need, but sometimes they resist from us.

Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler (36:51): Thank you so much. I appreciate that. And thank you so much for having me on your amazing podcast.

Penny Williams (36:57): Thank you. With that, we'll end the episode and I will see everyone next time. Thanks for joining me on the Parenting ADHD Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share, and don't forget to check out my online courses, parent coaching and mama [email protected].

Thank you!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it. Have something to say, or a question to ask? Leave a comment below. I promise to answer every single one. **Also, please leave an honest review for the Beautifully Complex Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and appreciated! That's what helps me reach and help more families like yours.

I'm Penny Williams.

I help stuck and struggling parents (educators, too) make the pivots necessary to unlock success and joy for neurodivergent kids and teens, themselves, and their families. I'm honored to be part of your journey!

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Quick Start: 3 High-Impact Actions to Transform Behavior

Transforming negative or unwanted behavior is a long and complex process. HOWEVER, there are a few actions you can take right now that will provide a big impact. These 3 high-impact strategies address foundational aspects of behavior, empowering you to help your child feel better so they can do better.



Makes time visual for those with time blindness.


Blends gaming with off-screen activities to teach coping skills through play.


Manage chores and routines while building self-confidence and independence.


A chair that gives kids a sensory hug.

About the show...

I'm your host, Penny.

Join me as I help parents, caregivers, and educators like you harness the realization that we are all beautifully complex and marvelously imperfect. Each week I deliver insights and actionable strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids — those with ADHD, autism, anxiety, learning disabilities…

My approach to decoding behavior while honoring neurodiversity and parenting the individual child you have will provide you with the tools to help you understand and transform behavior, reduce your own stress, increase parenting confidence, and create the joyful family life you crave. I am honored to have helped thousands of families worldwide to help their kids feel good so they can do good.

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