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The Part-Time Jungle Podcast Episode 48: Building Resilience with Leah Davidson

e048 – The Part-Time Jungle Podcast: Building Resilience with Leah Davidson

Leah Davidson is a Certified Life Coach with The Life Coach School and founder of Leah Davidson Life Coaching. She is also the host of the Building Resilience Podcast.  Leah holds a MSc (A) in Speech Language Pathology and has spent over two decades as an SLP helping people rehabilitate and rebuild their lives following a traumatic brain injury. She is also a trauma informed certified EFT practitioner and Breathwork Facilitator. Leah is committed to helping people improve their emotional and mental health and create a joyful life by building resilience and focusing on the connection between the body, mind, heart & soul. Leah is also a wife, mom and step mom to a blended family of 5 kids (ages between 16-23). She loves to read, walk, learn, write and snap too many pictures of her family, her dog and the Toronto skyline, where she now calls home. She has a passion for travel, and she usually has multiple trips on the horizon. She loves sunrises and sunsets, poutine, sushi, and all things brain related.

In this episode:

  • Parenting young adults. Leah describes this as switching from being the person who is flying the airplane to being in the watchtower instead.
  • Your success guide as a mom. The importance of defining what this means to you.
  • Resilience is the ability to tolerate the challenges, to bend and be flexible, and to learn something along the way.
  • Strategies to raise more resilient kids such as helping them to be resourceful and reminding them that it is okay to have negative emotions.
  • Building our own resilience as parents by working on the three pillars of body, mind, and heart and soul.

Connect with Leah:

We are surrounded by adversity and nothing in life goes exactly as planned. Adversity if always around. It’s like your shadow. It might be big or small but it’s always going to be there. How can we deal with it? Ultimately, you have to come up with a plan to face it.

For Leah, resilience is the ability to tolerate challenges and to get through the challenges. It is the ability to bend and be flexible but to not break while you are bending and being flexible. It is the ability to bounce back and to weather the storm. It is making it through the storm and coming out the other side having learned something. Whatever your challenge is, don’t compare it to something that somebody else is going through. What is happening to you is significant in your life.

In her work, Leah helps people to build up their confidence and resilience and helps them when they are going through difficult times. These can be things that we classify as big things but it can also be those smaller, everyday things that can lead us to quickly reach our breaking point. We can feel stuck when we are focused on trying to change our circumstances. We can’t change an injury, an illness, a divorce, a job loss or a mental health challenge.


Victor E Frankl is a survivor of the Holocaust, a psychiatrist, neurologist, and the author of the book “Man’s Search for Meaning”. He looked at the situation in concentration camps and wondered what the difference was between people who were able to cope with this huge adversity and those who were struggling.

He said: Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”


What can we do as parents to raise more resilient kids?

  1. Ask ourselves if we are being resilient.
  2. Help our kids to become resourceful to explore options and try to figure things out on their own.
  3. Teach our kids that life is 50-50. There is going to be a mix of harder times and easier times.
  4. Remind our kids that it is okay to have negative emotions.
  5. Remind our kids that it is okay to be bored.
  6. Give your kids love and compassion.


“We can do it all but we can’t do it all at once.” 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What is my success guide as a mom?
  • What kind of mom do I want to be with the kids in the phases that they’re in right now?
  • What does a good mother look like for you?
  • What do you feel good with?
  • What do you feel at peace with?


Leah says that we spend a lot of time looking at everybody else and how everybody else is defining it. Stop looking at what everybody else is doing. For Leah, this was especially a struggle in the step mothering domain. Disney has set the stage for the evil stepmother. Leah and her daughter would joke about how when her daughter would tell her friends about her stepmom, the first thing they would ask was: “Is she nice?”.

Sometimes when determining our success as moms we look to our children. If they are happy, well adjusted, and successful. That means success. With 5 kids, Leah realized that you can’t rely on them. Our kids aren’t good thermometers for how well we are doing as mothers. They have their own challenges and their own personalities.


Leah decided what she wanted to do and who she wanted to be as a mother. She wanted to:

  • Teach her kids certain things
  • Love them as much as she could
  • Invest in building traditions

You might as well be doing the things that you think are important and make mistakes along the way with those things.


“We can build our resilience by working on the three pillars of body, mind, and heart and soul.”

Strategies to build our own resilience:

  1. Our Body: Learning to regulate our own emotions by identifying when we are feeling stressed and then knowing what to do to get out of it. Being more relaxed in our own bodies. This can include breathing, exercise, and meditation. We can’t help our children regulate their emotions if we don’t know how to regulate ours.

  2. Our Mind: Managing our thoughts and our own self-talk. What are the thoughts that we think most often? Are they helpful thoughts? Are they neutral thoughts? Are they harmful thoughts?

  3. Our Heart and Soul: Being connected to ourselves though self-care and self-regulation as well as connecting with other adults in our lives.

If you tackle a little bit every single day in each one of these areas, you’ll start to see a difference and your kids will start noticing the difference. You’ll show up as being calmer, more thoughtful, and more connected.


  • Go-to meal on a busy night: Tacos
  • Favourite family activity: Family travel
  • Favourite family game: Trivia based on past travels
  • Favourite TV show: This is Us



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