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The New Family Podcast

The New Family Podcast is the show that explores what families really look like today and the issues that matter to us most. Twice a week we interview some of the most compelling people whose stories represent the many forms family can take today. And we chat with top parenting experts with great insights on the challenges of raising kids in these interesting times. This podcast comes from the creators of the popular website, thenewfamily.com, which explores and celebrates modern family life. Our series, the 1,000 Families Project, tells the first-person stories of people with families of every shape and size. In this show we interview some of the most interesting people who contribute to the #1000families series, as well as authors, family therapists, parent educators and other experts with practical advice to share that's relevant to families of every kind.
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Feb 20, 2017

This is one of our most inspiring episodes yet. We’re joined on the show today by dad and adventurer Robert Buren. Although he became paraplegic after an accident a little more than eight years ago, he and his wife decided that they were not going to let the fact that Robert would now be confined to a wheelchair keep them from having everything that they wanted out of life—as individuals and as a family. They’ve met increasingly ambitious endurance sports goals in the years since, and in fact, Robert just became Canada’s first paraplegic to race at, and earn second place, at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. The strength both he and his wife have demonstrated for their two girls is remarkable, and serves as an important lesson in the power of resilience. Don’t miss their moving personal story and the message behind Robert’s blog and philosophy, Rock the Chair.

Show Notes

This episode is sponsored by Coosha, the FREE modern calendar app for today's busy modern families, available now on the App store and coming soon to Google Play!

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Feb 13, 2017

This episode is an interesting one! We’re joined by two guests to talk about raising kids with a naturist lifestyle. You may be more familiar with the term “nudist” but the preferred language for this way of life is naturism. Mom of two Andrea Alves recently wrote a very popular guest post for The New Family’s 1,000 Families Project about her adventures as a relatively new naturist. We're also joined by Stéphane Deschenes, who—along with his wife—owns the Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park in East Gwillimbury, Ontario, where Andrea took her first forays into social nudity. Stephane’s two boys, now ages 17 and 20, were brought up as naturists since birth. We tackle the tremendous misconceptions around social nudity, the root of our hang-ups about our bodies, and the compelling reasons for giving our kids some different messages about covering up.

Show Notes

This episode is sponsored by Coosha, the FREE modern calendar app for today's busy modern families, available now on the App store and coming soon to Google Play!

Download Coosha for FREE with just one tap now!

Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign!

Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month 

Feb 12, 2017

I decided to bring back this special bonus episode from last year—recorded with my friend, life coach Sharon Stokes—because Valentine’s Day is coming up again. Sometimes our relationship to this holiday is a little complicated, particularly if things aren’t exactly ideal in your personal life. Maybe you’re going through a divorce or separation. Maybe you’re a single parent by choice who embarked on this journey alone but nevertheless, sometimes feel the absence of a romantic relationship. Perhaps you’re with someone but you’re so snowed under with childcare that there hasn’t been much time for romantic connection and you’re not exactly feeling spectacular about your relationship. Maybe you’re proudly single and enjoying dating casually but find yourself changing the radio station when those ads urging people to pop the question this Valentine’s Day come on. Sharon and I  chat about some strategies on how to deal. We talk about how to reframe Valentine’s Day by celebrating it in in ways that aren’t restricted to a romantic partnership, and maybe even by using it as a launching pad for a period of good self-care and new adventure.

Show Notes

This episode is sponsored by Coosha, the FREE modern calendar app for today's busy modern families, available now on the App store and coming soon to Google Play!

Download Coosha for FREE with just one tap now!

Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign!

Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month 

Feb 6, 2017

Tom Collin joins us on the show today. Formerly the CEO of the Malaysia operation of GEMS Education, Tom left his job so his wife could pursue a great opportunity at MIT. He’s here to tell us about what this transition has been like, and what it means to him to have more time with the kids.

Show Notes

This episode is sponsored by Coosha, the FREE modern calendar app for today's busy modern families, available now on the App store and coming soon to Google Play!

Download Coosha for FREE with just one tap now!

Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign!

Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month 

 

Jan 30, 2017

How can data play a role in our parenting? Tyler Lund, our guest on this episode, has some interesting insights and experiences to share. Tyler is a manager of software development, a blogger and the father of infant sons. He’s here to tell us about how he used his background with data to apply A/B testing and machine learning to his newborn twins, and to reflect on how parents might make use of data in the future.

Show Notes

This episode is sponsored by Coosha, the FREE modern calendar app for today's busy modern families.

Download Coosha for FREE now!

Become a Patron for as little as $1 per month 

Jan 23, 2017

When we become parents, it takes many of us by surprise just how much our kids push our buttons. Yes, we’d take a bullet for them 10 times over, but we also want to throttle them sometimes. That’s why I’m so pleased to be joined on the show today by Dr. Vanessa LaPointe, a registered psychologist, mother of two and the author of Discipline Without Damage: How To Get Kids To Behave Without Messing Them Up. Dr. LaPointe talks to us about how we can keep it together in those tough moments, and gives us tools for managing through our kids’ various ages and stages.

This episode is sponsored by Coosha, the FREE modern calendar app for today's busy modern families.

Visit Coosha's website!

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Jan 16, 2017

Our guest on this episode is Maya Thiagarajan, author of a fascinating new book called Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age. In it she tackles some interesting—and not always terribly comfortable—questions, such as, “Why do Asian kids do so well in math and science? What is the difference between an Asian upbringing and a Western one?” She’s here to talk about the different ways Western and Asian parents think about childhood, family and education—and what we can learn from each other.

Show Notes

This episode is sponsored by Coosha, the FREE modern calendar app for today's busy modern families.

Visit Coosha's website!

Become a Patron for as little as $1 per month 

Jan 9, 2017

My guest Jill Sockwell and her friend Suzanne Riss have co-authored a brand new book called The Optimist’s Guide to Divorce: How to Get Through Your Breakup and Create A New Life You Love. As followers of this podcast know, I’m a big proponent of learning to thrive—not just survive—after a divorce. I live in an unusual arrangement next door to the father of my children and also run a large free support group on Facebook called Positive Co-Parenting After Divorce. But just as important as learning to get along for the sake of the kids, it’s critical to turn a life-changing event like separation and divorce into an opportunity for growth and to live your best life. That’s the message in Jill and Suzanne’s great new book. In this episode Jill shares her thoughts on why separation and divorce can bring about the opportunity to introduce positive changes in your life.

Show Notes

This episode is sponsored by Coosha, the FREE modern calendar app for today's busy modern families.

Visit Coosha's website!

Become a Patron for as little as $1 per month 

Jan 2, 2017

At this time of year we’re thinking about resolutions and what we want the year ahead to look like. For many of us, getting organized is at the top—or close to the top—of the list. That’s why I’m so pleased to have my friend Clare Kumar on the show for a chat. Clare is a Toronto-based professional organizer and productivity consultant, as well as a mom of two. Too often we put a lot of pressure on us around organization, holding ourselves to some crazy high standard involving perfectly organized closets. That’s why I love Clare’s big picture, pragmatic approach to organization. Clare is here to chat about some realistic, sustainable ways to have a more organized, low-stress family life in 2017.

Show Notes

This episode is sponsored by Coosha, the FREE modern calendar app for today's busy modern families.

Visit Coosha's website!

Become a Patron for as little as $1 per month 

Dec 19, 2016

I decided to up the year on The New Family Podcast with this solo episode reflecting on the kind of year it’s been and the biggest lessons I’ve learned from creating 88 episodes in 2016. It's hard to do so without mentioning that many of us have experienced a real sense of heaviness about the state of the world this year. Just one aspect of that is the many people who feel that their choices—of who to love, of how to make a family—are under threat as a result of the U.S. election. So on this episode I touch on some of the wonderfulness of how far families have come and the level of acceptance they do enjoy, in a little effort to accentuate the positive and share a sense of hope.

Show Notes

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Dec 12, 2016

I’m really pleased to be joined on the show today by Dr. Robert Enright, who’s often referred to as the “father of forgiveness research.” He’s an author and educational psychologist from the University of Wisconsin. If you’re listening around the time this episode goes live, you’ll know that we’re right in the thick of the holiday season. We may so badly want the happy holiday experience that’s broadcast at us from so many directions this time of year, but in fact the festive season can be made complicated by old wounds and resentments that translate into tensions or full-blown dramas when we’re gathered around a dinner table or a Christmas tree. Dr. Enright is going to talk to us about why forgiveness is not only helpful to your holiday dynamics but important to our health. And just as importantly, we’re going to get to know what forgiveness means and what it doesn’t mean, so we can take concrete steps to healing old hurts and coping better through the holidays and any time of year.

Show notes

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Dec 5, 2016

With the holidays approaching, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what it takes to find meaning among the near-constant hum of commercial messages that come at us —and our kids — this time of year. I knew that Dr. Michele Borba would have some good advice on how to find more meaning and encourage our kids to think more about others and less about what’s under the tree, so I asked her to come back on the show for this episode. Dr. Borba is an internationally renowned educational psychologist and an expert in parenting, empathy and character development. She is an award-winning author of twenty-two books, the latest of which is the acclaimed UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me-World. She shares some great ideas about how parents can get the focus off of the material and onto thinking more about others.

Show Notes

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Nov 28, 2016

We’re joined for this episode by Marci O’Connor, a Quebec-based freelancer writer, social media consultant and mother of two teenage boys. Marci has been separated for just over a year now and remains very amicable with the father of her boys. However, she and I dive into an aspect of separation and divorce that’s not talked about as openly as we’d like—the financial realities of splitting up. Sure, everyone knows that divorce means dividing assets. But often roles as earners shift dramatically, stay-at-home parents return to the office or seek new careers altogether, housing and retirements plans can come into question. That said, it’s not all doom and gloom either. It can be very empowering—especially if you were in a relationship where you didn’t take the lead financially—to discover that you can manage much better on your own than you might have imagined.

Show Notes

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Nov 21, 2016

Mike Reynolds has a mission we dearly need to hear about right now. Mike has written extensively about raising his two daughters on his blog puzzling posts.com, and he’s recently founded a great T-shirt company called Every Day Girl Dad to spread girl-positive messages. This seems particularly timely right now while many of us are deeply concerned about what the results of the US election mean for girls and women. Mike is very concerned about the gender stereotypes that still exist in our culture, including those that still seem to suggest boys and men shouldn’t cry. He shares his view on how our society needs to redefine masculinity if it wants to address rape culture and make the world a more accepting place for both girls and boys.

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Nov 14, 2016

 

What does yoga have to do with divorce? Well, a lot actually. I’m joined on this episode of the show by mediator, educator, public speaker and yoga enthusiast Mike MacConnell. Mike is the principal at Reflective Mediation and the author of The Yoga of Divorce: A Mindful Route to Resolving Disputes. Mike was able to work through the pain that came with the end of his 25-year relationship with his former wife by leaning heavily on the principles and practices of yoga and meditation. And in the end he and his ex-wife were able to sort out their divorce amicably and for only $1,200. Mike’s wisdom about using yoga principles to get through a rough patch is relevant to all of us. In this episode Mike and I talk about his own journey and about how to bring mindfulness to any conflict situation or just tough period in general.

Show Notes

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Oct 31, 2016

As you know, this podcast and its parent website celebrate families in all the many forms they take, and of course those include families headed by same-sex couples. Sure, it’s a given that the process of bringing kids into the world looks a little different if you don’t have sperm, egg and uterus all available to you. Yet the baby-making journeys of same-sex families aren’t talked about all that often. My guest has helped many new-mom families see their dreams for a child come to fruition. Mary Wong is a traditional Chinese medical practitioner and author of a new book called Pathways to Pregnancy: Personal Stories and Practical Advice for Your Fertility Journey. Mary brings together eastern and western medicine to support people going through fertility treatments, and today she provides an illuminating look at the issues along with wisdom and encouragement for same-sex couples who are beginning to form their families.

Show Notes

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Oct 27, 2016

My guest on this episode really moved me with the resilience, openheartedness and vulnerability she shared in her guest post for the New Family’s 1,000 Families Project. You see, writer Kelly Bauer was initially raised in an ultra-conservative Christian sect. But her childhood changed considerably when her parents divorced and her mom came out. It was a bumpy road to overcome the dogma of her early upbringing, but today she's super grateful for her two moms. As a young woman she had a zero-to-60 journey to motherhood as a step-mom, and later had a child of her own. Her life experiences seem to have taught her to roll with the punches, as you'll come to appreciate when you hear about how her little family has recently overcome some other pretty tough stuff.

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Oct 24, 2016

My guest on this episode has an absolutely critical message for all of us over-committed, super-stretched parents who are burning the candle at both ends. Kerrie Lee Brown is journalist, a motivational speaker and a mom of two. She’s also the author of a new book called, My Heart, My Self: Knowing When to Slow Down is Half the Battle. In it she shares about the traumatic events that resulted from keeping up a too-fast pace in her life as a working mom, the adjustments she’s made since, and how you too can make critical changes for your health and happiness.

Show Notes

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Sponsor for this episode:

Wise Bites


This episode is brought to you by Wise Bites, makers of healthy, allergy-safe snacks that are perfect for the whole family. To get free shipping on a case, go to wise-bites.com and use promo code THENEWFAMILY at checkout!

Oct 20, 2016

Jessalyn Coombe wrote a fascinating guest post for The New Family’s “1,000 Families Project” about being part of a long-distance blended family. That’s right. She and her husband live 3,400 kilometres apart from one another, but they have still managed to merge their families. We hear about how this came about and how they make it work!

Show Notes

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Oct 17, 2016

My guest on this episode is Jacki Yovanoff. Jacki is a mom to four spectacular humans—two she gave birth to and two who came as part of a package deal with her partner. She’s a sexuality educator and sex and relationship coach, and today she’s agreed to come on the show to talk to us about being polyamorous and what that means for life with kids. Jacki shares her personal experiences thoughtfully and candidly, and enlightens us on the terms polyamorous and pansexual, and touches on some of the legal and rights issues that surround the individuals and families who identify as poly.

Show Notes

Become a Patron for as little as $1 per month

Wise Bites


This episode is brought to you by Wise Bites, makers of healthy, allergy-safe snacks that are perfect for the whole family. To get free shipping on a case, go to wise-bites.com and use promo code THENEWFAMILY at checkout!

 

Oct 13, 2016

I’m delighted to be joined on the show for this episode by Kaeli Van Regan. Kaeli is former child and youth worker, a mom of three, a podcaster and the author of a new book called Parenting Your Way: From Tough Love to Enough Love. She and I are chat about improving the mood and atmosphere in our households and the shift she made with her family to set a happier tone. 

Show Notes

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Oct 10, 2016

We’re joined on the show for this episode by marriage and family therapist Dr. Jenna Flowers. She’s got a new book out called The Conscious Parent’s Guide to Co-Parenting: A mindful approach to creating a collaborative parenting plan. As many of you know, this topic is very near and dear to my heart as a passionate advocate for positive co-parenting. Jenna shares the the key principles to co-parenting well after a relationship ends, as well as some of the common stumbling blocks that can put parenting with the best interest of the child seemingly out of reach. 

Show Notes

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Oct 6, 2016

I’m joined for this episode by a father of eight kids! Rabbi Aryeh Weinstein is also the host of a new podcast called Beginning Within, which is all about strengthening ourselves by spending less time getting caught up with what’s going on around us and more time focusing on what’s going on internally. That can be a tall order in this age of distraction. Aryeh talks to us about how we can make that sort of shift in focus, not only to lead more purposeful and happy lives ourselves, but so we can be in the present moment with our kids. He also shares his wisdom on raising children who are grounded and self-aware.

Show Notes

Become a Patron for as little as $1 per month

Wise Bites


This episode is brought to you by Wise Bites, makers of healthy, allergy-safe snacks that are perfect for the whole family. To get free shipping on a case, go to wise-bites.com and use promo code THENEWFAMILY at checkout!

Oct 3, 2016

If you find yourself single again after being in a relationship for a really long time, the prospect of dating can be pretty intimidating, especially when you consider that online dating may not even have been invented the last time you were single. Pair that with the seemingly complicated aspects of dating when you have kids and it’s enough to make anyone decide they’d rather just stay home and watch Netflix. But my guest on this episode has made it part of her mission to encourage people to get back out there again. Emma Johnson is a business journalist and the woman behind the wildly popular website Wealthy Single Mommy; she’s also the host of a podcast I love called Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. Emma writes extensively about dating and, in fact, she has a popular online course called Get Back Into Dating for Single Moms. She talks to us about how to get over the fears and have some well-deserved fun in the dating world.

Show Notes

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Sep 29, 2016

You are tuning in for Nepotism Week at The New Family Podcast. I’m marking the occasion of this show hitting triplet digit episodes by having on some very important people in my life. Today I’m so pleased to be joined my best friend, Mary Vallis Cowan. Mary is an editor at the Toronto Star, a national newspaper award-winning journalist and she’s the mother of two lovely kids, Maddy and Henry. She and I talk about the critical role that friendship plays in our quality of life, in our mental well being and in our ability to parent.

Show Notes

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