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Empower Your Parenting: Influencing Kids’ Healthy Choices with Dr. Sheila Carroll

When Dr. Sheila Carroll, a pediatrician of 23 years, left her job to focus on coaching parents on how to promote a healthy lifestyle for their children, she expected to make a difference in the lives of her patients. But what she didn't expect was to...

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When Dr. Sheila Carroll, a pediatrician of 23 years, left her job to focus on coaching parents on how to promote a healthy lifestyle for their children, she expected to make a difference in the lives of her patients. But what she didn't expect was to uncover a twist - the incredible power parents have in shaping the habits and choices of their children. Join us on a journey of discovery as we explore Dr. Carroll's approach and uncover the secrets of healthy living.

Parents, you are the most important person in your child's life. They're watching what you do. And so the work that you're willing to do on yourself will 1000% benefit your child. - Dr. Sheila Carroll

My special guest is Dr. Sheila Carroll

Dr. Sheila Carroll, a board-certified pediatrician and certified life and weight coach, has dedicated her life to empowering parents and guiding them in influencing their children's healthy choices. With over 23 years of experience in pediatric medicine, she has witnessed first-hand the struggles families face when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle. As a mother herself, Dr. Carroll understands the importance of parents taking an active role in their children's lives and leading by example. She believes that parents are the most crucial factor in their child's well-being and that they have more power and influence than they may realize.

This is Dr. Sheila Carroll's story:

Dr. Sheila Carroll, a dedicated pediatrician of 23 years, found herself drawn to the topic of helping families address healthy lifestyle issues when she experienced these challenges in her own family. Witnessing countless patients struggle with weight and other health concerns, she became passionate about empowering parents to make a significant impact on their children's lives. She began to understand the enormous influence parents hold, and how they are the most important person in their child's life, shaping their habits and choices.

In this episode, you will be able to: 1. Nurture your inner super-parent to positively shape your child's healthy decisions. 2. Discover the trinity of sleep, activity, and stress management for bolstering your child's overall wellness. 3. Uncover the ways to trim down excessive sugars for enhanced childhood wellbeing. 4. Witness the power of becoming a role model to foster long-lasting positive transformations. 5. Decipher the impact of today's food choices on health and wellbeing.

The resources mentioned in this episode are:

  • Stop labeling children as picky eaters and instead focus on introducing new foods without pressure.
  • Try offering fruits and vegetables from different parts of the world to spark curiosity and interest in healthy eating.
  • Discuss the nutritional benefits of each food and how it can help improve their health and well-being.
  • Educate children on the origins of their food and how it's grown or produced, to create a deeper connection and understanding.
  • Limit the amount of added sugars in their diet, as modern food sources often contain high levels of sugar that our ancient bodies are not designed to handle.
  • Encourage open-mindedness and experimentation with various flavors and textures, allowing children to develop their own preferences.
  • Be a positive role model in healthy eating habits, as children often mimic their parents' behaviors and choices.
  • Continuously offer a variety of foods, even if they initially reject them, as taste buds and preferences can change over time.
  • Keep the focus on nourishing their bodies and maintaining overall health, rather than solely on weight management.
  • Seek professional guidance or coaching, if necessary, to help navigate challenges in establishing healthy eating habits for the entire family.


Guest Links:

Schedule a Call with Dr. Carroll









The key moments in this episode are:

00:00:01 - Importance of Parental Influence,

00:03:18 - Common Parenting Mistakes,

00:08:32 - Dealing with Picky Eaters,

00:11:57 - Trying New Foods,

00:15:18 - Modern World vs. Ancient Body,

00:17:40 - The Negative Effects of Sugar on Our Bodies,

00:21:27 - Communicating the Importance of Healthy Choices to Children,

00:28:16 - The Most Effective Way to Help Children with Healthy Food Choices,

00:35:30 - The Importance of Healthy Sleep for Children,

00:36:24 - Importance of Sleep,

00:38:38 - The Power of Sleep for Kids,

00:45:22 - Movement for Kids,

00:48:53 - Stress Management for Kids,

00:51:48 - Naming Emotions,

00:53:16 - Understanding the Why,

00:54:30 - Decrease Sugar Intake,

00:56:52 - Parents Go First,

00:58:08 - Helping Kids Through Healthy Lifestyles,

01:01:24 - Personal Responsibility,


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[00:00:00] I want them to leave with knowing that they are the most important person in their child's life and they can help their child. You know, I've specifically try to help parents help their children with their weight, but it, it kind of goes to anything. Parents, you are the most important person in your child's life.

[00:00:26] They're watching what you do, and so the work that you are willing to do on yourself will 1000% benefit. Your child won't waste. Another minute won't. Here's the million dollar question. How do men like us reach our full potential? Growing to the men we dream of being while taking care of our responsibilities, working, being good husbands, fathers, and still take care of ourselves.

[00:00:57] Well, that's the big question. In this podcast, we'll help you answer those questions and more. My name is Brent and welcome to the Fallible Man Podcast

[00:01:08] mission. Welcome to the Fallible Man Podcast. You're home for all things, man, husband, and father. A big shout out to Fallible Nation. You guys make this all possible and a warm welcome to our first time listeners. My name is Brent, and today my special guest is Board certified pediatrician and certified life weight coach Dr.

[00:01:23] Sheila Carroll. Dr. Carroll, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here. Oh, I'm, I'm really excited about this episode. Uh, this is always a interesting topic as a parent. I have, I have two younger children, uh, eight and 10, and you, you worry constantly about that example you're setting and what you're doing and how they're eating and Right.

[00:01:48] It's just crazy. So, I'm so excited about what we're gonna discuss today, but Sheila, I don't do big introductions. So before we get rolling, Who is Dr. Sheila Carroll in your words? I am a, I have a 10 year old, oh, he just turned 11. I have an 11 year old boy. I consider myself a mom first. I am a pediatrician, like you mentioned.

[00:02:11] I've been a doctor for 23 years. Um, we live in Maine. Uh, we are just, I'm just a regular person. I've seen, you know, I started this, uh, topic of trying to help families, uh, address their life healthy lifestyle issues because I'm, we're experiencing that in our own family and also, um, I've just seen so many patients in the office who are struggling with this, and there's definitely things that parents can do and that you can do as, um, adults to help your child, frankly, without your child really having to do much at all.

[00:02:57] Okay. Now, Sheila, you, you work with a lot of parents, both as a pediatrician and now as a coach. Let, let's just get the cat outta the bag and level the field for everybody. What's the biggest parenting mistakes most parents are making? Trying to help their kids living with normal, healthy lifestyle?

[00:03:18] I think parents underestimate what they can actually, I have a lot of parents. Well, so just to be perfectly clear, I actually left my job as a pediatrician after 23 years, uh, about six months ago. Um, for a lot of reasons. Oh, one, I wanted to spend time with my son, more time with my son, and I really want to focus on this, uh, healthy lifestyle, um, medicine approach.

[00:03:48] Even though I'm not functioning as people's doctor, I'm more functioning as their coach. Um, but all in all my years experience, I think the biggest mistake, if you could even call it a mistake, but I think it's parents not having the confidence and not understanding how much, uh, I guess power would be the right word, and how much influence, um, that they have over their children.

[00:04:21] Sometimes parent, sometimes parents bring their child to the doctor, to a therapist, to someone and, and say, here, you know, uh, please help me with my child. And yes, of course all of those people are there to help you with your child, but you are with your child 24 7, you know, year round, day in, day out, more than once a week, more than once a month, you know, obviously.

[00:04:50] Um, so when parents feel empowered and parents understand the role that they can play, that is the most powerful way to help your child with, with weight issues, with anxiety, issues, with any really, frankly, any, any health issue in my, in my opinion. Okay. I wanted to start with that just because. I want all of the moms and dads.

[00:05:18] Cuz for a men's show, I actually get a lot of women who listen to my show as well. I want all of the moms and dads to take this home. Okay? No parent is perfect. We're all learning as we go. There are a million books on this subject and no one's got it down pat, and no one has it perfect for your family and your children and your relationship.

[00:05:40] So you're not alone if you're making some mistakes out there. I make mistakes every day as a father. So I wanted you guys to hear that. Me too work. Okay? No. Sheila, before we get too serious here, watch just something absurd that you like to do. Oh, uh uh, I don't know. Uh, what is some things absurd? We like to do?

[00:06:06] I like to do I, I I, I don't know. That's a, that's a stuper. We, I love sports. I don't know if that's absurd or not, but I spend a lot of time, my free time. It's just relaxing for me, like watching sports on tv. My son likes to play in a lot of different sports. Um, sometimes I think it's absurd the amount of time I spend doing that.

[00:06:32] Are you an extreme fan? No. Nope. I'm like, I like n l No body pain or anything? No. No. I'm like a regular person. I live in Maine. It's snowing out. I like nature. Uh, you know, I'm, I don't know. I'm just normal, normal, regular person. Everybody has that thing. It's What's your thing? Just don't think about it. I just randomly do stupid stuff, like just out of the blue.

[00:07:01] And it doesn't matter if anybody's here or not, like, Everybody can be gone and I'll just randomly break out making weird faces at my dogs being stupid and loud and it just, it just kind of has to explode somewhere. Thanks, silly. My, my, my kids and I make faces at each other. They'll be doing their homework and I'll go kinda distract 'em and be like, making faces and be like, you know, from across the room.

[00:07:24] And I, I was dancing offscreen before we started recording before you got on. Okay. Getting it out. I, I just have these moments where I just happened to kinda let it go. Having fun. Yeah. Just, yeah. Yeah. Let it all loose and Yeah. Stop taking myself serious for a minute. So, and if your kids see you doing that, that's so good, right?

[00:07:45] Like, that's, so, my, my kids were, uh, you know, my wife is on the other end of this engineering. She, they were looking over her shoulder as I was sitting there dancing on camera, laughing, like, that's being so weird. But secretly they love it. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. They're usually there with me. You know, if we, we, we like to have just random br dance breaks.

[00:08:06] Oh, fun. That's good. Hey, Sheila, I would be remiss if I didn't ask at the onset of the show I saw you are comfortable with the question, how do we get our picky eaters to help be not so picky as we make healthier choices in our own, uh, family nutrition plan? How do we deal with our picky eaters? I, every, every parent in America would choke me if I didn't ask that.

[00:08:31] So, so the first thing I would like to offer is I, even though I know I used the term picky eater in a blog post that I wrote. Yeah. Um, I think getting rid of the term picky eater, not using that even, even to yourself or to your child, because I ha you know, when I'm seeing a lot of kids hear their parents say, my son is a picky eater, my daughter's, he's so picky, that child internalizes.

[00:09:05] Oh, I am a picky eater. I must be a picky eater. My mom thinks my mom or dad thinks I'm a picky eater. I must be picky. So that's the first thing. Like I would just try to stop labeling someone a picky eater, um, because that sets the stage for them to think that about themself. Um, and just like you and I, I think kids, uh, there kids, certain kids, like different foods, different tastes.

[00:09:35] Um, and I think as adults we have to accept that I, there's certain foods I don't like to eat and I don't like the taste of, and I know that there's certain foods that my son doesn't like the taste of, and that's perfectly normal. I think part of what we, when kids these today when kids are saying we don't like, I don't like this food, I, I ask parents to try to think about, is it.

[00:10:06] That they don't like the food? Or is it that the child is comparing that food to another food that they like more? And you know, kids we're so used to having so much sugar and so much sweetness in our foods today. When you offer a child, uh, ve any vegetable that's not sweetened or a food that doesn't have sweetened it, a lot of times kids' initial reaction is, I don't like that, but I sometimes, and, and they might not have the cognitive ability to really take it to the next level and say, oh, I guess I'm just, I like it less because it's less sweet.

[00:10:51] They just kind of say, I don't like that. I'm not eating that. Um, But we know all over the world that children eat lots of different fruits and vegetables that are not commonly eaten here in the United States. Um, and so I think with picky eating, you know, with pa when kids say, I don't like something, I, I think that that's okay.

[00:11:18] And I think parents can still keep offering that to the child and just keep trying to introduce it without pressuring them to actually eat it. One of my favorite games for my daughters, our little local supermarket, we live in a really small town in the middle of nowhere, but our local supermarket is really great about bringing in fruit from all over the world.

[00:11:42] Oh, cool. And so, and, and the nice lady who heads up the produce section is really awesome about explaining things and, you know, I've had to ask like, okay. How do I feed this to them? Yeah. I barely know what this is, but she, she absolutely loves it. Like she'll cut fruit open right there on the spot and stuff like that, but we'll go and see if there's any fruit.

[00:12:04] We don't recognize and buy that and bring it home and figure it out and see if we like it together and stuff like that. It's, it is so cool cause they bring in like Roomba and uh, papaya and we, we get stuff from all over the world. Dragon Fruit. That's so awesome. That's so wonderful. That's such a wonderful thing you're doing for your daughter, for your family.

[00:12:26] That's a perfect way to introduce something new and, and then see if you actually like it or not. You know? It was, it was their idea. We were walking through the produce section one day and my oldest daughter was like, what is that? I was like, oh, that's a dragon fruit. And she's like, like picking it up and looking at it.

[00:12:45] I was like, you wanna try it? She's like, I don't know. I said, well, I'll try it with you. So we, we asked, you know, the nice lady in the produce sections, like, is there anything I need to know about this? How do I serve this? Yeah. And we, we brought it home and cut it up and, uh, they both love, I'm probably saying it wrong, robot.

[00:13:01] And like these little, they're about this big and they look like a spider. I mean, they got a little fuzzy, like long brown tentacles all over them, and I don't even know those. You have to crack 'em open and it's got like a, almost like, it looks, it's like a leche or something. Okay. On the inside. Yeah. Uh, but yeah, they're, they're common in parts of Africa and India.

[00:13:22] Oh. So they're, they're, they're really cool. It's like, I don't even know how we got these here in this store, but Yeah, sure. You know, That's a great way to, you know, to, kids are really interested in where food comes from usually. Uh, and that sometimes is a good way to introduce new foods to people. Talk about where they're grown, how they're grown.

[00:13:47] The f you know, depending on the age of your child, you know, they like hearing about the people who help grow the food, transport the food. All of those things, you know, can increase the child's interest in why you're eating something. And the other thing is, instead of just saying like, well, we're eating this because it's healthy for us, or it's, you know, it's, well actually this, you know, fee figured out, whatever this.

[00:14:17] You know, spinach or whatever you're eating has this particular vitamin or mineral that is gonna help your muscles or help your bones or help your heart. And kids really like that because every single child really wants to be healthy. They, they already are healthy usually, and they wanna keep help, keep that way, keep themselves that way.

[00:14:41] So they're interested in eating well. Okay. So, so drawing on the foods and why you're eating them and how they're gonna help their bodies. Mm-hmm. Uh, I, my experience has been that kids really like that. So I was doing research for the show, cause I always spend some time getting to know, uh, who's coming on the show before I talk to you.

[00:15:02] So that way I, I actually have something to talk about. Right. Which sounds reasonable. But I was looking through some of your material and you talk about a concept of a modern world versus ancient body. Yeah. And I think that's really gonna play into our discussion later. So will you share that concept with people?

[00:15:18] Sure. And I'm pretty sure this is not my own concept, but it's just the words that I use to, to describe it. Our bodies evolutionarily, you know, have, are essentially the same as we've been for hundreds of years, but our food source and the foods we're eating are so different now than what they were. And this has to do with, um, The, the actual, the science part of how you gain weight or grow or, or lose weight.

[00:15:56] Um, and so, um, it has to do with all of the hormones. Uh, sorry. Do you think, sorry to do this to the, um, Sarah, could you Yeah. That he, I'm like, when I'm looking at myself talking, I am like a disaster. I'm so sorry about that. You're, you're fine. I'm losing complete. That's fine, Sheila. That's just, I'm staring.

[00:16:22] I'm like a novice talk, staring at your own face. Talking to yourself is. Unnerving for most people. So, okay. I was like, and then I was like, I can look somewhere else and then that just looks weird. So, I'm sorry you guys, I'm sorry I'm making this harder than its, no, you're doing great. It's fine. That's just not, you know what, our listeners will enjoy the fact that we're real people, so that's fine.

[00:16:42] Okay, good. Well, they'll enjoy it then. Um, okay, so ancient body, modern food is the fact that the foods that we have available today were not available. Some of obvious, you know, some of them 50 years ago and certainly not a hundred years ago, certainly not 200 years ago, but our bodies are essentially the same.

[00:17:08] So it used to be, um, it used to be that foods with sugar, uh, added sugars we're, we're talking about, we're not talking about fruit or vegetables with, with. Natural sugars. We're talking about foods that have added sugar. Um, all of the things, corn syrup, um, dec, malto, malto, any, there's 70 plus names of sugars.

[00:17:38] Mm-hmm. Um, and our bodies weren't really designed to handle the amount of sugar that we're getting today. Um, and the food system that we have adds sugar to most foods because it tastes good and it helps sh shelf life and all of that kind of thing. And it increases sales. Um, so. To get into the science of things, and I'm not sure if you wanna briefly go to the science of wherever you want to go is fine.

[00:18:18] Okay. Of why too much sugar is not great for our bodies. Um, let me, hold on Brent, let me think for a second. Um,

[00:18:42] if I can, if I could speak to, um, you know,

[00:18:50] we're trying to raise our kids. Who live in these ancient bodies, even though they're young, even though they're, you know, chronologically young people, the way that their hormones respond to the modern foods that are like kid foods especially, that is creating a lot of health problems. And it is certainly driving the overweight epidemic in in our kids.

[00:19:21] Um, when you have, when you're eating foods with a lot of sugar in them, your body responds to the sugar intake with an insulin spike, um, or insulin. Your insulin raises up the insulin, um, opens up your cells to decrease the bloodstream, decrease the glucose out of the bloodstream to get the glucose into your cells for energy.

[00:19:51] If you're not using that extra, if, if you're not using that energy right then and there, your body stores that extra energy as fat. Um, and that has historically been wonderful for survival because in, in ancient times, food wasn't readily available. Um, you would happen upon food, and food was very seasonal.

[00:20:22] But today, in today's world, we have food. We have these foods with all of these sugars constantly available 24 7, we can get them no matter what. Our body storage system still acts in the same way. Um, so we need as parents and as. Adults. We need to understand how our bodies and how our children's bodies are functioning in today's modern food system and it's food choices that we make that are going to be so powerful for creating health and wellness in our family.

[00:21:08] All right. Be before we roll the response, let me, let me ask you, what is the most effective way for us to communicate the need for healthy choices in our lifestyle to our children?

[00:21:27] Well, I'll tell you how I do it with my son. Um, I think we just, we just have to be very honest with our kids and say, you know, food is like fuel for our body. It's not only about eating the thing that tastes the best all the time, and we need to understand that our body is a machine and essentially like, you know, sometimes I, depending on the age of those child, you could say, well, your, your body is like a car and you wanna put in the proper gas in your car for your body to function well.

[00:22:12] And if you put in water, if we went to the gas station and I put in water instead of gas, my, my car wouldn't run very well. And so sometimes I think kids can really understand that. And, and also I think that they can under start to understand like, just because something is available and you can buy it and you can eat it or drink it, it doesn't mean it's healthy for you and it doesn't mean it's.

[00:22:44] Something that you should be eating or drinking on a regular basis. Okay. It's, it's amazing to me in my own health journey, just like trying different foods, right? Trying to make better choices. Digging in into finding stuff, and it's like, oh, I thought that was healthy. I know, I know, I know. Are everywhere.

[00:23:08] Ketchup, um, spaghetti sauce, anything. You know, even, even all of these healthy granola bars or fruit yogurt, um, oh my goodness. My son came home from school the other day with the school breakfast, which was a packaged muffin and a. Package of cranberry, um, yeah, dried cranberries, crasins, I guess. Um, but 24 grams of added sugar in a, in a tiny little package of cranberries, which would explain what my daughters love crasins.

[00:23:45] Yeah. Which is important for parents to understand, all of us to understand our brains are wired for sugar. This is, and, and wired to really like, oh, take, take, uh, notice this is, goes back to the ancient brain thing. We, or the ancient body we were talking about a few minutes ago. The human body developed to, uh, keep doing things that are, you know, it found pleasurable, number one.

[00:24:17] And, and, and that are good for us. So sweet foods are an easy source of calories and our brain really lights up when we eat something sweet. So historically, like way back in the day, people would, your brains would just take notice of eating something that was good and you would, so you would keep doing it to pro prolong your survival.

[00:24:44] And we still have those brains today, you know? Of course. I think sometimes that, of course our kids like to eat all the foods that, that are available. You know, they actually taste good. Who doesn't like Doritos? Right? Right. Oh, straight to the heart With that one, we've been trying to deal with some common concerns.

[00:25:07] Parenting and healthy lifestyle choices as parents for our children with Sheila so far and just kind of leveling the playing field, getting into that spot where in the next half of the show, we're gonna dig into the foundational building blocks of our children's health and what's really gonna move the needle and help you as you try and raise healthy kids.

[00:25:26] We're gonna enroll our sponsor and we will be right back with more from Sheila. Now, before we go any further, I wanted to share with you guys, I don't always tell you how much I love doing my podcast, like I passionately love what I'm doing and one of the things that makes my life better as a podcaster is to work with a company like Grow Your Show.

[00:25:47] Grow Your Show is a one-stop podcast. Do it all. Now I use Grow Your Show for my marketing, but Grow Your Show is literally a one-stop shop. You can record your episode and just drop it off with them and they take it from there. It's amazing. If you are interested in picking up podcasting, it's a hobby, or maybe you're looking to expand your business and use podcasting in that aspect, talk to my friends over grow Your Show.

[00:26:08] Adam will take care of you. I guarantee it. I trust him. He's my friend, he's my business colleague, and I wouldn't trust anybody else with my show. All right, guys, we're back here with Dr. Sheila Carroll discussing the foundational building blocks of children's health. Now, Sheila, before we start hoeing this road and getting it all worked out here, what purchase of a hundred dollars or less did you make in the last year that's had the biggest impact on your life?

[00:26:35] Oh, there's not a wrong answer, so, Hmm. Well, I guess I bought this really awesome wool blanket.

[00:26:56] This is how boring I am. Not boring. That is so awesome at night. And it, it helps me like keep my temperature just right. You just, you just made Sarah's day. She's doing a happy dance in the background, even if you can't see it. And um, she just bought a new one. Oh, she did? Yeah. And it's a perfect, I love the color of it and it looks great and it's super functional and uh, pure wool and I love it.

[00:27:21] So honestly, that's been the best purchase I've made in a while. We, we've had shoes to shorts. We have one guy who he told me, man, I found the best pair of shorts ever. I bought one pair. I went back and bought like five more pairs. These shorts were like $70 a piece. Designer shorts. I was. But you know, hey, if that's what moves the needle for you, you gotta be able to relax, sleep well, and it's, uh, there's no wrong answer to that.

[00:27:53] Okay? Like I said, Sarah just bought a brand new blanket for her to curl up with on the couch when we're sitting down in the evenings and stuff like that. So yes, the minute you said it, it was like, ah.

[00:28:05] Now Sheila, you list food, sleep, movement, and stress management as the big issues. We need to work inside to help our children with a healthy lifestyle. I wanna kind of tackle those one at a time. So what's the most effective way to help our children with healthy food choices in general? Like how, how can we get them the most advice and convey that to them?

[00:28:30] Yep. The most effective way. And it, it's the same thing for all of these choices is to model is for the parents to model the behavior that they want their children to see. Our goal as parents is for most parents, I think our goal is to guide, you know, co-pilot, uh, enhance our children's lives, and then eventually get to them, to the place where they are free and living on their own and making their own decisions.

[00:29:10] And so you. I'll just speak for myself with my son. My goal is to teach him. I have this very limited time with him, even though some days it seems like a long time. Um, you know, 18 years or whatever, you know, sometimes it's longer than that. I hope it's a lot longer than that. Um, but I have a very limited time with him to have him absorb the things that I think are gonna be the healthiest for him and keep him healthy and happy, and, and that when he's away from me, when he gets older, that he'll.

[00:29:49] Still be stepping into those healthy habits or healthy lifestyle choices on his own. Um, and by far and away, my experience has been the best thing that parents can do for their kids is to model the behaviors in all of the things that they want their child to do. The ch your child is always watching you.

[00:30:15] They're always learning from you. Um, good things and, you know, not, not so good things. Sometimes, even for myself, of course. Um, but you know, the every day or every day I used to be in the office. I see the, I see the way the children. Worship their parents, even though they might not say it every day, the children are just loving their parents so much and following them and doing what they do.

[00:30:47] So if you wanna really change things up or you know, course correct, or even just slightly change to make it tweaks here and there to improve, start with yourself as the parent and your child. Your child will follow you. Dad's l Let me lean into this one just a little bit. If you haven't had that moment where your child does something, you're like, what are you thinking?

[00:31:17] And they're like, well, you do it all the time, dad. You haven't had that moment yet. It's coming. It's absolutely coming. And it is a wake up call. As a parent, when you look at what's something your child's doing and you're you, you're like, Oh, you and you, you want to yell and you take that breath in and go, wait.

[00:31:39] She sees me do this all the time. Right? It, it's a hard gut check, and we think about it sometimes with the way we act, right? We think about it maybe with our tempers, but this is every facet of your life. Your children are always watching, even if you don't realize it. Little eyes are always on you. So dads, it's time for us to take care of ourselves and step up and take care of our own health.

[00:32:04] We've talked about this on the show many times, not just for yourself, but because your children are watching. So if you're dealing with some issues cuz you've carried too much weight or you haven't taken care of yourself health-wise, you haven't stayed in the gym or eaten healthy, if you're developing issues or have some issues because of that, do you want your children to have 'em?

[00:32:26] Do you want them to go through it because they're gonna follow your lead? Sorry, I'll get off my high horse cuz that one, that one's st. Uh, struck home pretty well. I just started dieting again cuz like I had been sitting behind a computer too long and just munching unhealthy things and being lazy about what I'm eating and taking care of.

[00:32:47] And it's like, oh, I haven't been in the gym as much as I should. And so that one really sets in on me personally, uh, because I, I know I'm making that mistake right now and I'm trying to fix that and that's okay. And starting, Brent, starting from with yourself or me starting with myself and every single parent out there having compassion for themselves and ex.

[00:33:12] So the other thing that's so important for parents and, and so important for the health of the child is for the child to feel completely accepted and loved by the parent and. And I guess what I mean by that is, um, you know, kids look to their parents for their, their self-worth and their self-value. So a parent, if a parent, so the parents need to feel good about themselves as the parent first because it's very hard to ha tell your child or, or model for your child feeling good about yourself if you don't actually feel that good about yourself.

[00:34:02] You can, you can still wanna change things, but at the very core for parents to understand. Me as the parent, I'm a hundred percent worthy. I'm a hundred percent valuable. Even if I make mistakes, when I make mistakes because I'm gonna make mistakes. I'm valuable as a human being. My child is valuable as a human being.

[00:34:27] I don't need to change to be more valuable. My child doesn't need to change to be more valuable. We can change if we want to, but it's not gonna make us better or more valuable humans. So I like really trying to make sure that parents totally, totally understand that and believe that because if you can mirror that for your child, your child is gonna, your child is really going to start off with, I'm a hundred, I'm acceptable the way I am I, my parents love me just as I am.

[00:35:07] And so I love myself just the way as I am. See what I'm saying? Oh yeah. Self-esteem is vital. Yeah. You're your own self-esteem and kids learn that from their parents. Sorry to overspeak you. No, you're right. They're, they're here to listen to you. They hear me all the time anyway, so that's fine. Sheila, sleep is an unpopular topic when it comes to kids, like it's very polarizing.

[00:35:31] Parents either have really strong opinions about it one way or another, or they think it's absolutely unimportant. What do we need to be doing with our kids as far as healthy sleep? Well, we need to make sure that everyone is getting. Sleep. You just can't be healthy. You can't be a healthy person if you're not sleeping well, I can tell you that as someone who's went through residency training and didn't sleep much, and then I was a hospitalist.

[00:36:01] I worked only in the hospitals for about, uh, you know, 10 to 15 years of my career and I didn't sleep a lot. And it's very hard to eat, right? Uh, have the motivation or have the energy to work out. You know, get some mo, get some movement in your, in your life and just emotionally it's very hard, uh, when you're not sleeping.

[00:36:24] And the same thing goes for our kids. So, um, I, I don't think that there's any under, there's no way to underestimate the power of sleep that is by far and away that. It seems like low hanging fruit to me. Like we should be able, we all should be able to get really good sleep if we focused on it, but I think the first thing that comes before that is people really understanding how crucial it is for your overall health and overall wellbeing.

[00:37:01] Okay. That's, uh, we actually have align ourselves with ghost bed.com as one of our sponsors because I, I think the power of sleep is so important. Uh, personally, that's something I can stand behind. I sleep on one of their mattresses. I've slept so much better. I didn't, I didn't realize the mattress was that important until I switched over, but it's one of the reasons I aligned with them as a sponsor is, is like, no, I can absolutely stand behind this because I, I've done a lot of personal training in the gym and trying to get clients to understand.

[00:37:32] It's like, no, what, what really needs to work is after you get out of here mm-hmm. You need to go have some healthy food. Mm-hmm. You need to drink lots of water and you need to get lost to rest tonight. Mm-hmm. I, I can't oversell. It's like, you need to sleep. Oh, you're only sleeping five hours. No, no, no.

[00:37:49] That's not good enough. You need to actually sleep. Right. Uh, and again, going back to our very ancient body, we used to, you know, sleep a lot more because there was no light. There were the, there, we didn't have the light bulb. And, you know, we didn't, certainly didn't have all of these devices providing constant entertainment, um, that are really hard to turn off because they're designed to just keep us going.

[00:38:13] Um, but the power of sleep, especially for kids, I just can't, it can't be un, it can't be overstated. It depends on how old your child is. There's, it's easy to find online, like how much sleep your child should be getting. My son's 11, so he's supposed to be getting somewhere between nine and 11 hours a night.

[00:38:34] Um, And so what parents, what, so again, it just goes back to, I find like if parents truly believe that message and really understand the power of sleep and the benefits of sleep, then they feel very committed to getting that sleep. Um, or he helping their child get that sleep. If you're kind of not really buying into that, then the child might get less sleep, um, on a regular basis.

[00:39:10] So my my, you can't expect your child to just look at the clock and be like, oh, I'm, oh, it's nine. I'm supposed to go to bed now. They're just not gonna do that. Our kids' brains are, don't, aren't like that. They're like in the moment, you know, but, so that's where the parent acts in the child's best interest and shuts everything down and, and goes to bed.

[00:39:31] Everyone goes to bed. Our, our eight year old has actually surprised us once or twice, and I'm like, is it bedtime yet? Well, baby, if you're tired, go to bed. That's fine. I'll, I'll go tuck you in. Uh, it was one of those rare moments where both my wife and I went. Yeah. My sister have has a son, like, or he's old.

[00:39:49] He's a, he's a 20 something now, but when he was a little guy, he would just grab his blanket and walk down the hall and be like, I'm, I'm going to bed. We'd be like, but that's so good. You know? He knows he's listening to his body. Oh, yeah. Yeah. No, uh, we. We have some friends who think it's crazy cuz we still put our daughters to bed between eight 30 and nine usually.

[00:40:10] Yeah. At the latest. Yeah. That's awesome. Like once or twice a year. 4th of July they get to stay up late because it doesn't get dark till like 10 something here almost. Oh, okay. Yeah. Uh, on the 4th of July. Yeah. So they get to stay up a little bit later cuz we wait till nine something before we start lighting fireworks cuz you can't see 'em otherwise.

[00:40:28] Okay. Yeah. But most time we have several friends who are like, you, your kids to bed really early. Like, well that's something I can control. Totally. My, my eight year old will sleep in until you wake her up. Mm-hmm. My 10 year old, I'll be in my office working a six o'clock in the morning and here she comes.

[00:40:46] Right. But I can control when she goes to bed. Yeah, right. And how she goes to bed. So I try and put them in the position to be successful that way and just let them wake up when they wake up. That's perfect. That's so, that's exactly right. We, uh, Sarah was saying we do did seven 30 for a long time. As they've gotten older, we finally fudged to eight and eight 30.

[00:41:12] But it's like now they're trying to tell us like, we can go to bed night now. Exactly. Exactly. You know, I think as parents, like we need to understand some of these things. We just in our minds need to make them kind of non-negotiable for the majority of time, but certain, you know, special, special days or, you know, holidays or whatever, once in a while.

[00:41:36] But, um, for the vast majority of times, once the parent has decided and committed to knowing that this is the best thing for my child, it makes it so much easier to, to just be like, Nope, we're going to bed. Even when the child protests, um, which of course they will every potentially, every single night, my son still is like, what?

[00:42:00] I'm in fifth grade. Why am I going to bed at eight 30? I said, because I believe it's the healthiest and best thing for you. And, and, and if I wasn't that committed to that, then he'd be going to bed later. And guys, you can, you can dig back. I actually did a whole show on sleep routines with your kids. Uh, because I have a very specific sleep routine that we've stuck with since my daughter was born.

[00:42:32] Right. They, they know I even have soundtrack for it. Like they are programmed. Adele 25 comes on, they still start yawning. Oh, cool. Instantly the minute she breaks with that first note, hello, they start fading. Uh, because I played it every night of their life with a few exceptions since they were born at bedtime.

[00:42:53] This is, this is what comes on. That's a good tool. That's a good strategy. You know, things like that, that, that is, uh, that's such a wonderful. I gotta piece of brainwashing.

[00:43:07] It's like, Hey, it's what marketing does to you. They, they tune you to certain sounds and ideas as Yeah. Triggering certain responses, right? Yeah. That's how our brains work. Guys, if you're getting something out of this, be sure to do all the good social media nonsense. Share this with somebody who would benefit from it.

[00:43:23] That's the greatest thing you can do with the show right now, is to share it with somebody who else, who will benefit from hearing this show and having it in their lives, depending on what platform you're on. Leave us a review, give us a comment. I respond to all of our comments. Do the thumbs up thing.

[00:43:36] Yay. All that good social media nonsense. Okay, let's go back to the real show now, Sheila, let's talk about movement for a minute. We've become a very s sedentary society. How much exercise and activity should we be making sure our children are getting in their days? Well, um, the. The, there's no like official recommendation except I think most pediatricians and most, uh, most doctors would recommend that kids get one hour of activity a day.

[00:44:15] Um, Maine has this Maine start at this, uh, program called Let's Go. Uh, and they, uh, and they have, it's 5 2 1 0 5 fruits and vegetables a day. Uh, maximum two hours of screen time a day, one hour of physical activity a day, and zero sugary drinks. And that's kind of like a public health message that, um, has been taken up across the country.

[00:44:42] But, um, I think, you know, I like to use the word movement because sometimes I think exercise seems hard and scary. And even painful to some kids. Um, but kids, as we all know, as parents, they just love to run around and love to love to love to play. So turning the TVs off, turning the screens off. Um, and just sometimes if I blow up like a little a balloon, not a helium balloon, but just a regular, like a party balloon, my son will chase that balloon around the house keeping it up.

[00:45:23] We play Keep SAPs mo. Yeah, he's just having fun. He and his friends, the 10 year old boys running around this place, they're just having fun doing that kind of thing. So any kind of movement like that, I think for parents to use the word movement is really good. Let's just move our bodies. We feel so much better that way and kids naturally like to do that.

[00:45:44] Kids also love to be outside, so. Any kind of thing you can do outside with your kids. They don't necessarily love, well, most kids don't like to go on a walk like an adult would, but they like to play something outside, bubble, you know, just flow bubbles. Any kind of movement like that, it doesn't really have to be breaking a sweat running.

[00:46:06] I think, you know, the more people get used to moving their bodies, the, the easier it is. Your girls love going on walks, Sarah said. Well, that's good. Yeah, Sarah, Sarah's got them, uh, I don't wanna say condition into going for walks with her and taking the dog and, well, they probably love that special time together and they consider that they're probably not even considering that as exercise.

[00:46:33] They're probably just thinking, you know, they're spending time with. And they love that. You know, I think using a dog or a pet is something good too. Cuz lots of times kids will feel motivated to help their pet, um, oh, our dog needs some exercise. Let's help our dog. You know, that kind of thing is a good, is a good strategy too.

[00:46:53] Hear that Lower the screen time guys and it helps take care of this whole situation. Yeah. Right. We, we are so bad about this. The society has moved on and technology has moved forward. Limit the screen time and, and they'll become more active without you even doing much else. And they, when they have to go play because they can't watch tv, you're play on their tablet or whatever, they're more likely to do it.

[00:47:22] Yeah. Just, just saying. And then after they're outside for 15 minutes and they're like, we're bored, we wanna come back in. Just say, Nope, the screen is off. You know, we ju this is again just where. Parents need to feel truly committed to the health, to the true wellness of their, of their child. And, and it's painful sometimes to have to keep arguing about, you know, I wanna, I, you know, I, I don't wanna watch, or I wanna watch this, I wanna use my screen.

[00:47:50] And, and sometimes it's just easier to say, fine, go ahead. You know, but truly, like it's worth it for your child to, it's, it's worth it for you to set the boundary and, and re when you really believe that movement is important. And even just, even if say it's pouring rain and I still think limiting screen time and they're just bored in the house or playing with their games in the house, that's so powerful.

[00:48:19] And they need that too. Yeah. Too much, too much screen time is a real problem. Our daughters like to sit on, uh, my wife's exercise bike while they're homeschooling. Right. They'll have a, cuz we're, uh, part of, uh, a video system, right. So they're watching lessons online from, and so they'll, if they can get away with it, they'll sit on the exercise bike while they're watching their class or whatever.

[00:48:44] Good. Yeah. It's been the most useful thing about that bike right there. Stress management seems like it should be a really important topic. I think a lot of adults are out of touch with how much stress is involved in childhood these days. Right. Because we all fall into that. Well, you know, back in my day, well, I'm 43.

[00:49:04] Back in my day was a while ago now. Right. I mean, it's, it is not like a hundred years ago, but it, it's, life has changed a lot in the last 20 years. In the last 30 years. Yeah. And I think sometimes as adults, we underestimate the modern stresses on our kids. So we don't realize that they are, it's not an intentional negligence to it, but we don't realize.

[00:49:28] The level of stress in their life at such a younger level now, right? How can we help deal with the idea of stress with our children and help them manage that because they have to do it, we can only help them do it, right? Or how do we start that conversation with them and approach this? So again, starting with yourself and understanding how do you as the parent manage your own stress and what do you do, um, to, you know, understand your own emotions and understand, you know, mind management strategies for yourself as an adult, knowing that your child's brain is not, you know, cognitively advanced.

[00:50:17] There's part of our brain in the very front part of our brain is called the prefrontal cortex. This is kind of like the, um, You could think of it like the c e o of your life. Um, it's really good at planning things, um, following through on things. Uh, it's all the executive functioning skills that kids don't have right now.

[00:50:40] This part of our brain is not really fully formed until we're 25, 26 years old. Um, so kids are really being a little bit run by the more ancient part of their brain or the primitive part of their brain, um, which is more of a reactive brain. So I think something that parents can do is help kids understand and allow whatever feelings and emotions they're having.

[00:51:17] At the time, you know? Mm-hmm. Um, naming emotions, learning when they're real, when they're young, um, or really anytime, but trying to name whatever you're feeling is so important for kids. And when a parent, when a child's able to name or, or a parent helps their child name what they're feeling, and then the parent allows them to feel that way without trying to change it, or, oh, that feels yucky, or that's a bad, that's a negative feeling.

[00:51:48] That's a negative emotion. We gotta get you feeling more positive. Teaching our kids from a very young age that experiencing negative emotion is a big part of life. And, and even we're not seeking that out, obviously, but when it's coming to. Learning to accept it, learning to acknowledge it, learning to kind of ride through it and knowing that it will go away.

[00:52:18] Then if a kid can learn that very early on, you know, it would save so many behaviors that become problematic down the line. Overeating over drinking, over shopping, over anything. Right? Over when you're over scrolling, when you, when a child can learn, okay, what am I really feeling? And it's okay for me to be feeling that way, and all I need to do is just sit with this feeling right now and with the help of the parent.

[00:52:52] But the parent needs to learn how to do that first. Okay. Now, Sheila, I like to give really actionable intel here. Okay? So just, you know, quick, simple steps. What are the first three steps our implement, our listeners can take right now after this podcast to start making healthy change in their family's lifestyle?

[00:53:16] My first, well, I'm not sure this is, it is a action. It is a to-do thing, but it's, it's a little bit more, you are not gonna be able to stick to anything until you really understand why you're doing something in the first place. Because if, if you're just doing something because someone's telling you to do it or, and you don't truly believe it's in the best interest of yourself and your child, you're not gonna be able to stick with it.

[00:53:48] So parents spend some time thinking, maybe writing it out even. Why do I think it's important for me and my child to, to potentially change these habits we have or live a healthy lifestyle? That would be my one. That would be my first thing is like, understand why you wanna change something in the first place.

[00:54:12] That is absolutely an action item. So you're doing great. Okay. Um, and then number two, I think I am a huge proponent of trying to decrease the amount of sugar our kids are getting. Um, added sugars. Um, I think if you looked at like the W H O, the American Heart Association, all of these major bodies, the C d C, they recommend that kids get six teaspoons of sugar a day, 24 grams of sugar, um, or less a day.

[00:54:44] And actually, if you're under two years old, you're not supposed to have any added sugars. So you're not supposed to be eating any of those, you know, Cute, adorable little puffs or things that, that the marketing people have made. All these companies, everybody gets. Yeah. Yeah. So I think trying to help, uh, like I use the term with my son, reset to factory settings, like reset our brains and, and our taste buds.

[00:55:12] Your taste buds turn over every 14 days. So if we can try to decrease the total amount of sugar our kids are getting, it'll help everything. It'll help sleep, it'll help mood, it'll help cognitive, you know, cognitive learning. It'll help behavior. Um, it'll certainly help with, uh, weight and hormonal things with, with kids who are struggling with an extra weight.

[00:55:37] Um, so I guess the first step actionable step would be for the parents to read the labels and find all the places that extra sugar is creeping in to your. What? It's everywhere. It's everywhere. Everywhere. I know. But it, it, it's actually it. There's, and you know, it's, it's not too overwhelming to make changes though.

[00:56:02] It is everywhere. And at the same time, you can make swaps that are, there's, they make ketchup with no sugar. They make spaghetti sauce with no sugar. They make, uh, bread with no sugar added and things like that. Um, and so I think that, you know, reading the labels and figuring out what you're actually eating is, uh, is, is the second big to-do step, uh, for parents.

[00:56:35] Okay. Figure out why. Hmm. Figure out why. Educate yourself on it. Mm-hmm. Third step, I guess that. Third step that I recommend is parents go first. Meaning you make these changes for yourself potentially before changing your whole family. Step out. Be the leader of your family. Make a change for yourself. See how you feel.

[00:57:09] If you get, say you give up flour and sugar, or give up whatever, you know, get to bed on time. Start getting some movement on a regular basis. You make these changes first for yourself. You'll see how good you feel you will be so committed and driven to want your child to feel equally as good. So that's my, that's my.

[00:57:34] Step for parents. I think a lot of this lifestyle, oh, I'll, I'll, like I mentioned right at the very beginning, so much can be done to help our kids without them, without asking them to change anything we change as the parents, we change ourselves and the trickle down effect will greatly improve our kids' lives in every, what is next for Dr.

[00:57:59] Sheila Carroll? What did you say? Sorry, miss, what is next for you? Oh, what's next? Um, well, you know, part of my reason for doing this is I was a overweight kid. I started being overweight around nine or 10 myself and have struggled with my weight, honestly, my whole life. Um, and it's ha. It's hard. I wanna say it's just hard to be in overweight kids.

[00:58:29] And for some kids, and maybe for some kids it's not, I don't know. But for me it was, and it affected so much of my life. Um, and, and so I think I, I just feel like we can, we can help our kids and save them years of struggling. And, uh, we can, we can help ourselves and that will help our kids and that will help the kid, your kids', kids, your grandchildren, change the patterns of, of the future generations.

[00:59:07] So I'm just, you know, next for me is just trying to figure out ways to help people more and, um, empower parents to, to help their children. Parents are already helping their children and doing so well, but to really step into their full power. Sometimes I think parents think like, oh, okay, now we gotta go the pediatrician.

[00:59:33] They'll tell us what to do, or go to the dietician and tell us what to do, or go to the therapist, or I'll send my kid to a therapist. They'll tell them, actually, you as the parent, yes, use all those people for resources, but you as the parent can, can do all of that yourself with appropriate help and support yourself.

[00:59:52] I can totally see you doing a, a elementary age reader, a kid's book. I, I think you would be great at that. Just Oh, thanks. Thank you. I, I can like totally see it just building in my head that you would be excellent as a source to write a book for kids to help them understand these things. Oh, thanks. Yeah.

[01:00:11] Yeah. Things like that would be, yeah, I think so beneficial. Yeah. That's what I just wanna, let's just help our kids like be as happy and healthy as possible. Is your website the best place to find you or somewhere else? Yes. My website is the best place to find me. That was an adventure making that if you, if you don't know how to do it, it definitely is.

[01:00:32] I, I started doing websites years ago and I still, going from being a doctor to kind of being a coach or an entrepreneur is, is, uh, has been fun and exciting and a growth opportunity for me. So it's been, it's been great. Guys. That's www.sheilacarolmd.com. We will of course, have links in the description for everything to make sure that you can find Sheila and that you can continue this journey that you're starting on this show into her world.

[01:01:06] She can help you far more than I can let her do in this show, guys. So go check her out after Sheila. We're gonna wrap this up. What is the big takeaway, the biggest takeaway you want parents to hear today on this show? You want them to leave with?

[01:01:25] I want them to leave with knowing that they are the most important person in their child's life and they can help their child. You know, I've specifically tried to help parents help their children with their weight, but it, it kind of goes to anything. Parents, you are the most important person in your child's life.

[01:01:50] They're watching what you do, and so the work that you are willing to do on yourself will 1000% benefit your child. Sounds good. I like it. It's all on us. That's, we're, we're big into, uh, personal responsibility here. So thank you, Dr. Carol for sharing with us taking the time to be here today and for sharing your knowledge with us.

[01:02:17] Thank you for having me. I love what you're doing. I'm, I'm so excited about this conversation. I cannot wait to share this out. Guys, be better tomorrow because of what you do today, and we'll see you on the next one. This has been the Fallible Man podcast. Your home for everything, man, husband, and father.

[01:02:37] Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a show. Head over to www.thefallibleman.com for more content and get your own fallible man here. Now I'm waiting and.

Dr Sheila CarrollProfile Photo

Dr Sheila Carroll

Pediatrician and Certified Life & Weight Coach

Sheila Carroll, MD is a board-certified pediatrician who is dedicated to helping children achieve their best health. She does this by working exclusively with parents who are willing to focus on modifying their own behaviors to ultimately improve their child's health.