Description: Lifetime Television’s, “America’s Supernanny,” Dr. Deborah Tillman, talks with host, Kristen Ivy, about the skills parents should nurture in their kids to help foster their self reliance skills.


  • Let your kid lose. When our kids are younger, we think it’s cute to let them win games most of the time. Stop doing this. Your kid needs to know there are times they will win, and times they will lose. When your child loses while you’re around, you can help them process these emotions in a constructive, mature (for their age) way. If they don’t ever lose, they’ll always expect to win, which doesn’t happen in real life.
  • Let it go. Release the notion that perfection is right around the corner. It’s not. Allow your kids to do the tasks you want them to do on their own one day, even if it’s not done to your standards. They’re practicing, and practicing leads to growth. Allow your kids to be who they are while they’re learning.
  • Start a gratitude journal. We can think of hundreds of things we’ve done wrong in our lifetimes, but rarely do we celebrate the good things we’ve done. Dr. Tillman suggests parents start a gratitude journal and write down all the things you did well that day. She says when you reflect on the things you do well, you’re bound to repeat them.


It’s natural for parents to want to protect their children from harm, whether it be from physical, emotional, or relational pain. But too much protection can lead us to raising our kids in the opposite way we truly desire, and if left unchecked, an abundance of protection can cause a lack of self confidence and an inability to handle adversity in our kids.

Dr. Deborah Tillman, a child development and parent educator, and Lifetime’s “America’s Supernanny” has seen countless cases where parents thought they were being a good parent by overly cushioning their children’s fall (even she says she fell victim to this with her now 25-year-old son). She strongly discourages this, in fact, she says parents should let their children fail more. When a child does something on their own, even if they fail, it’s a chance for them to learn and grow.

Now, for the perfectionist parent, this advice will likely cause a mild spasm of some kind—the age-old adage, “If you want something done right, do it yourself,” is a motto most perfectionists live by. Do it to your own detriment, Dr. Tillman warns. Many times, your kids’ growth starts with an inward look at yourself and some self reflection on why you view parenthood the way you do and if that view is indeed what’s best for your child.

Today’s episode is full of helpful—and at times, convicting—advice to help you better parent your child and increase their self reliance. Tune in!

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Heather Whittaker


Dr. Deborah is a Child Development and Parent Educator, Speaker, Author, Founder & CEO of Happy Home Child Learning Centers, Inc. and “America’s Supernanny” on Lifetime Television.  Labeled “A Force for Good” by The Washington Post, Deborah has a deep passion for children.

Carlos Whittaker, Parent Cue Live Host


Carlos is an author, speaker, and content creator living in Nashville, TN with his wife Heather and 3 kids Sohaila, Seanna, and Losiah. He is addicted to social media, his wife’s enchiladas, and is determined to have his daughters teach him to land a backflip on the trampoline by the time he is 45.

Kristen Ivy - Parent Cue Live Host


Kristen is the Executive Director of Messaging at Orange, Director of The Phase Project, and co-author of Playing For Keeps and It’s Just a Phase – So Don’t Miss It. She combines her degree in secondary education with a Master of Divinity and lives with her husband, Matt, and their three children, Sawyer,  Hensley, and Raleigh, in Cumming, GA.

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