parenting through uncertainty

Resilience Parenting Through Uncertainty with Holly and Chris Santillo

If we don’t have the parenting tools to remain calm in stressful situations, we will default into panic mode. How can we keep our cool and make the right call when everything goes wrong?

Holly and Chris Santillo return to The Dad Edge today. They are both blackbelt Kempo karate instructors and the authors of Resilience Parenting: Raising Resilient Children in an Era of Detachment and Dependence. They share the strategies they use to lead their family through the unexpected and remain flexible when operating out of their comfort zone.

We have never needed to be more resilient than right now. After this episode, you will know how to navigate through uncertainty so your kids can learn how too.

“When parenting is the hardest, that is the time to do it the right way.”—Holly Santillo

Chris and Holly Santillo

Chris and Holly Santillo are not your regular authors.

Chris has a degree in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd College and an MBA from Georgetown University. Holly has a degree in Anthropology from Williamette University.

They are the epitome of the Latin phrase “Mens sana in corpore sano,” which means “A healthy mind in a healthy body.”

Having strong backgrounds in Martial Arts with Chris being the founder and Head Instructor at Potomac Kempo in Alexandria, Virginia, and Holly being a Senior Instructor, they have managed to develop the principles of Martial Arts into a cohesive parenting methodology.

They believe that children (and parents) with broader horizons and an open mind can sow the seeds for future generations of confident, strong, and resilient adults.

Now, you can find them gliding through the Siberian steppes on the Trans-Siberian Railway, visiting the buzzing markets of Samarkand on the Silk Road, or wondering at the vastness of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. They have decided to live a nomadic life and explore the world with their three boys in order to bring back memories, ideas, experiences, and a fresh view on life.

What You’ll Learn

  • Creating your own story deliberately—not living your life according to what everyone else is doing
  • Why living intentionally is an ongoing process
  • Why the Santillos choose an environment that has two requirements:
    • forces family time
    • creates uncertainty in life
  • When life becomes too certain, it becomes too easy and growth stops.
  • How to deal with the fear of not making the right choices for your family
  • How to pivot when plans go wrong
  • Battling imposter syndrome
  • How your kids can become your teachers
  • Restart your life when you find you’re not living in alignment with what’s important to you.
  • Kids force us to be the best version of ourselves, giving us an opportunity to rise up and be better.
  • Stop trying to just get through another day. Take time to define your family values. Lean on them when things become uncertain.
  • All the times you don’t give into your child for the sake of convenience pay off bigtime in the future.
  • Approach parenting as a teacher.
  • How to talk to your kids about the state of the world.
  • How to lead even if you don’t know what to do.
  • How to not lose it when your kids have worn your patience down to nothing
  • When you should and should not shout
  • We don’t want to pretend to our kids that we always have the answer. If we don’t share our failures with our kids, they will think something is wrong with them whenever they aren’t perfect.
  • You should not tell kids everything is going to be okay when it isn’t.
  • Comfort is not the goal.

Our job is not to keep someone alive for eighteen years, but to send out an independent, fulfilled human being.—Chris Santillo


The Three Pillars of Resilience Parenting: Exclusive Q&A with Chris and Holly Santillo

Resilience Parenting with Chris Santillo

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Holly and Chris Santillo’s Links





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