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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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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 31, 2015

In this episode we’re tackling a topic that most of us struggle with at one time or another—procrastination. Most of us do it, most of us know we complicate our lives when we put off tasks, but we put them off anyway for reasons explained to us today by our guest Dr. Timothy Pychyl. Tim is a professor in the department of psychology at Carleton University and author of Solving the Procrastination Puzzle and the host of The iProcrastinate Podcast. He’s an expert in goal setting and on the connection between procrastination and well-being. He’s also a father of two, and as Tim says, it’s not always easy having Dr. Procrastination as your dad. He’s going to talk to us about how we can teach our children to avoid procrastination, what we can all learn about procrastination and how we might keep these principles in mind as we make New Year's Resolutions that will really work.

Show Notes

Dec 28, 2015


Child and adolescent psychotherapist Katie Hurley joins me for this episode. She’s the author The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World. Katie encourages us not to get caught up researching every hiccup, cough and tear. Instead we should get back to the basics of a taking the time to connect and get to know our kids so we can tailor our parenting to their individual personalities, she says. Katie makes the incredibly good point that we all experience up and downs throughout our days, but that as adults we’ve simply had the chance to learn how to manage. Since children don’t come into the world with a kit full of coping skills, our job as parents is to teach them the vital lesson that they are in control of their own happiness. Katie defines happiness as knowing that you can handle everything that comes your way, and that if you have a rotten day, you always get a chance to start over again the next day.

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Dec 24, 2015

What if the best gifts we could give a child were a chance to fail, plus a big pile of housework on the side? In this episode we’re joined by Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. Jessica is an educator, speak and writer. She’s taught middle and high school for over a decade and she writes a column called “Parent-Teacher Conference” for The New York Times. When her article for the Atlantic—“Why Parents Need to Let Their Children Fail”—went viral, it had clearly struck a chord with parents who have begun to realize that we’re doing too much to sweep challenges out of our children’s way. Jessica’s got some great advice on how we can step back from our kids’ homework and make consequences more logical. And she explains why it’s critical that we let kids build competence by getting them involved in domestic duties around the house.

Show Notes

 

Dec 21, 2015

Kelly Bos and her husband are living what for many of us is our wildest dream. Ever gone on a tropical vacation and thought, “We should move here?” Well, as Kelly shared in her 1,000 Families Post on thenewfamily.com, she and her husband had those thoughts and actually made it happen—even with a baby in tow. She now lives in the British Virgin Island with her husband and two kids. Kelly shares the ups and downs—yes there are actual downs—of living in the tropics. Plus, since Kelly is a psychotherapist, she shares a little wisdom about dealing with some of those complicated emotions we have around the holidays.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Dec 17, 2015

The evidence is overwhelming. Grateful people—especially those who make practising gratitude an everyday habit—lead happier and more contented lives.  Taking the time to express gratitude regularly boosts happiness and optimism. That said, it’s not always easy to keep gratitude front of mind. My guest in this episode is Kevin Clayson, who likes to go by the moniker, chief officer of awesome. Kevin is an international professional speaker who has shared his simple formula for unlimited joy and fulfillment with everyone from elementary school students to business leaders. Kevin is also one of the founders of a very successful investment and personal development company called Strongbrook, and the father of three adorable kids. But I asked him to be here today because he’s also the author of a book called Flipping the Gratitude Switch: Four Easy Steps to Increase Your Happiness, Accelerate Your Success and Change the Trajectory of Your Life. Kevin and I chat about what it takes to raise grateful kids in an environment where they don’t want for much.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Dec 14, 2015

Dr. Kay MacPhee, a former principal and teacher, spent 25 years developing techniques that enable the hearing impaired to form language skills and learn how to read. You’ll recognize the name of her company, Ooka Island, as the inaugural sponsor and huge supporter of this podcast. But I asked Dr. Kay to come on the show today because her own personal journey as a parent is quite remarkable, starting with the discovery that her son was born profoundly deaf. It truly is an inspiring story of stopping at nothing to advocate for a child and in so doing, for the children of thousands of others (a journey that’s even taken her to the White House). But there’s also a really valuable message about raising our children to be able to face adversity and carry on stronger because of it.

Show notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Dec 12, 2015

In this special bonus holiday episode, I share some of my best advice for managing stress this hectic time of year. Learn how to embrace doing less so you can enjoy your holidays more.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

 

Dec 10, 2015

Lawyer-turned-family mediator Rosanna Breitman has gained unique insight into the reasons marriages fail through her work with people navigating separation and divorce. Rosanna helps people who are dealing with the intense sadness, anger and pain of marriage breakdown by using positive, conflict resolutions skills so they can co-parent well moving forward. But being in this line of work has taught her so much about the common problems that lead to divorce. In fact, she writes a great blog called “A Fly On The Wall” offering the inside scoop on relationship problems and practical advice on how to avoid those marriage-ending patterns. Rosanna and I chat about the recurring themes of discontent and broken communication that cause marriages to end. And she shares the little things people can do better to benefit their marriages and avoid a trip to an office like hers, or worse, family court.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

 

Dec 7, 2015

This episode's guest shines some light into a world that we don’t hear that much about—the world of infertility and the industry that has sprung up around it. Therapist Erica Berman does fertility counselling for people who are seeking to become parents, as well as for the gestational carriers (often referred to as surrogates) who help their families come to be. In talking to Erica I’ve come to understand that Canada has become a medical tourism destination for would-be parents who come here from countries where all all forms of surrogacy are illegal. Erica also shares about how her own difficult infertility journey led her to choose this area of therapy. Today she helps families of all kinds, including couples struggling with infertility, same-sex couples and single women embarking on parenthood with the help of a sperm donor. She explains some of the ignorant attitudes and crazy assumptions intended parents encounter on their journeys to start a family, and provides insight into what motivates women to give complete strangers such a tremendous gift by acting as gestational carriers.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Dec 3, 2015

For this fun episode, The New Family’s food editor, Michael Forbes, is on to share his fantastic meal-planning secrets! Mike’s a father of two and an avid cook who has always managed to make the family dinner a priority. Hear all about his unique—and very manly, I’ll add—weekend menu-planning routine, plus the shortcuts he uses to make the family dinner happen despite having two kids with busy extra-curricular schedules. Mike and I get into some of our favourite dinner rituals, the value of routine (even if it means you’re repeating some favourite meals) and how to expand your definition of what qualifies as dinner (Croque-Monsieur, anyone?). We talk about the way family meals allow us to connect, and Mike points out why we might need to adjust our thinking about our kids’ table manners a little so we can enjoy our time together.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Nov 30, 2015

For this episode, I talk with my friend Heather Greenwood-Davis about taking her kids out of school for the year and travelling the world as a family, hitting 29 countries on six continents. Heather is a travel writer whose work has appeared all over the place, including Oprah magazine and National Geographic Traveller, and many other top-notch publications as well. She also writes a great blog called Globetrotting Mama. Heather and I talk about how she and her husband pulled off an around-the-world trip with two boys in tow, but more importantly, about realizing your dreams and living a no-regrets life.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 30% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily by midnight Nov. 30, 2015. Listening later? You can try the first level for free at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Nov 26, 2015

For this episode, I talk with my friend Karen Green. Karen and her husband Chris have made the kind of bold change in their lives that a lot of people fantasize about but aren’t quite prepared to actual make happen. Karen was born and raised in Canada’s largest city, Toronto, but a few years ago she and Chris packed up and moved to the country, not just to a little commuter village outside of the city but fully 300 kilometres away to a place Karen lovingly refers to as “the cornfield.” Karen is a writer with a really great blog called The Kids Are Alright and she joins me to talk about moving to the country for a quieter life surrounded by family.

Show Notes

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. Try the first level for free at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Nov 23, 2015

For this episode, I chat with New York business journalist and mom of two Emma Johnson. Emma is the host of a podcast called Like a Mother with Emma Johnson, and she’s also the woman behind the popular website Wealthy Single Mommy. Is Wealthy Single Mommy a contradiction in terms? Hell no! Emma explains how she overcame the initial hangups she had when her marriage ended—that becoming a single mother meant being a welfare mom who would always struggle financially and in life in general. When she launched her blog geared to other professional single moms, the response was incredible. The number one challenge Emma's readers share with her is fear about running into financial problems. So Emma recently launched an online course called How Not to be a Broke Single Mom, as well as a dynamic Facebook group called Single Mom Society. Emma’s message is empowering and inspiring to all moms, regardless of their circumstances.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. Try the first level for free at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Nov 18, 2015

For this episode I’ve got a guest with an incredible story to tell. David Knapp-Fisher is a traveller, writer, speaker and dad from Victoria, B.C. He shares how his son Tristan’s diagnosis with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy crystallized and accelerated his goal to see the world with his son. He and his wife, Paula, made incredible sacrifices to take their son on an epic trip to Europe while Tristan was still well enough to go. The trip—and what happened when they got home—were life changing events that David has shared in his popular TEDx talk. Hear how his family has made experiences a priority over material things in this inspiring conversation.

Show notes

Nov 16, 2015

In this episode I’m joined by psychotherapist and parenting educator Andrea Nair. Originally a high school teacher, Andrea decided to change careers and become a family therapist because she was fascinated by the dynamic between her students and their parents. But when she became a mom herself she realized she had lots to learn about getting through some of those long days with little kids, and some massive lifestyle changes to make to get the family life they wanted. Today Andrea is a respected voice among parenting educators, an author, a blogger and woman behind a new app called Taming Tantrums: Parenting solutions to reduce toddler freak outs. Andrea drops some incredible value bombs on helping our kids manage those big emotions at any age from toddler to teen.

Show Notes

Nov 12, 2015

For this episode, I speak with mom and step-mom Jackie Gillard. Jackie is a writer with a great blog called “My Papaya Jambalaya: Random thoughts on life in a second marriage with a blended, transracial, adoptive family.” She and I chat about her unique journey to motherhood, first with becoming a step-mom and then, following unsuccessful fertility treatments, through international adoption. Jackie wrote a beautiful contribution to the 1,000 Families Project on our website, thenewfamily.com. And it’s actually one of the posts that helped us get nominated for best blog in the Canadian Online Publishing Awards. Jackie opens up about the triumphs and challenges of life in a trans-racial blended family, including how she handles some of the crazy comments from strangers. And you won’t want to miss the story of the first moment she met her daughter.

Show Notes

Nov 9, 2015

In this episode I’m joined by psychologist and parenting expert Susan Newman. Susan is the author of 15 books including The Case for the Only Child as well as Parenting an Only Child: the Joys and Challenges of Raising Your One and Only. She and I chat about the pressure on families to have more than one child, as well as the negative assumptions that singletons grow-up spoiled and selfish. Susan makes the argument that despite the fact that single-child families are on the rise, attitudes about only children remain stuck in the past. She points out some significant benefits to having just one, including increased financial resources, career advantages for moms, and close bonds between parent and child. In fact, she calls the single-child family, “The New Traditional Family."

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Show Notes

Nov 5, 2015

Sara Lanthier joins me in this episode to talk about her journey to become a mom without a partner. Sara is a mother to seven-year-old Will, and she blogs about single motherhood at urbanmoms.ca. We talk about how she came to decide to become a “choice mom”—and on how picking a sperm donor is a little like online dating only without all the awkward coffee dates. Sara speaks candidly about the good and bad parts of going it alone as a parent, the importance of having a great support network around you as a single parent, and on just how critical it is to remember that the sun will always come up in the morning.

Show Notes

Nov 2, 2015

In this episode I’m joined by psychiatrist and father of seven Dr. Stephen Camarata. He’s the author of The Intuitive Parent: Why the Best Thing for Your Child is You. The professor of psychiatry from Vanderbilt University encourages parents to take a collective deep breath and learn to trust our instincts again. He busts the myths that have sent parents into a panic over wiring our children’s brains in the early years, and created a massive industry of products, videos and apps that promise to help us turn our children into little geniuses. In reality, it’s the simple kind of every day interactions with our children that they need most, he says. Learn why Dr. Camarata is encouraging us to forget about one-size-fits-all parenting models and tune into our intuition and common sense instead.

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Show Notes

Oct 29, 2015

In this episode I’m joined by mom of three Daniela Kelloway, who was featured on the cover of Toronto Life magazine under the headline “Power Wives and their House Husbands.”  Daniela is the founder and CEO of an arts and entertainment public relations firm called Clutch PR, and her husband, Tim, is a stay-at-home dad. She and I chat about the experiences and circumstances that led to Tim stepping in as primary caregiver, and the fact that society still doesn’t seem to be entirely comfortable with men looking after babies. Daniela speaks candidly about the way family and friends called their arrangement into question, and on how women in high-powered careers face far more scrutiny for their long hours and work travel then men. We also chat about how this isn’t the only way her family has broken the mold, given they used to spend half the year living in the West Indies. Daniela encourages other families to forget what anyone else says and design the lives they want.

Show Notes

Oct 26, 2015

In this episode I’m joined by mom of four Samantha Kemp-Jackson. Samantha works in corporate communications in Toronto, and she writes a great blog called Multiple Mayhem Mamma. The incredible thing about Samantha’s story is that her children are a whopping 24 years apart. Yes, her kids range in age from six to 30, and in this episode she tells us what that’s like, from having a baby at just 19 to having surprise identical twins at 43. Sam shares her unique viewpoint on how parenting has changed since she first became a mom in the 1980s. We talk about the way technology has not only shaped a culture of immediacy and constant monitoring in families, but become a default source of entertainment—both a blessing and a curse.

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Show Notes Page

 

Oct 22, 2015

In this episode I chat with the authors of The New ‘I Do’—Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels. Susan Pease Gadoua is a licensed therapist with an expertise in marriage and divorce, and she’s also the author of the best-selling book Contemplating Divorce. Vicki Larson is a longtime journalist, columnist and blogger whose work has appeared everywhere from The New York Times to The Huffington Post. We have a very interesting conversation about the groundbreaking territory explored in their book, including the much-needed alternatives to the one-size-fits-all “till death do us part” marriage that people are quietly refining for the 21st century. From the parenting marriage to the safety marriage and more, you won’t want to miss this thought-provoking interview.

Show Notes

Oct 19, 2015

In this episode I chat with Sean O’Donnell, a father of two from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and the man behind the hilarious website Sean’s Big Gay Blog—Observations of a Gay Dad. Sean’s the author of a new book called Which One of You Is the Mother? The Absolutely Positively True Adoption Story of Two Gay Dads. Sean and I chat about the process he and his husband, Todd, went through to adopt two boys at ages seven and five, including the incredible moment when they met their first child. We talk about what’s involved in domestic adoption, helping the kids acclimate and some of the unusual things people say to gay adoptive fathers!

Show Notes

Oct 15, 2015

In this episode I to talk to author Karma Brown about her remarkable journey to motherhood. Diagnosed with cancer when she was still in journalism school, Karma and her brand-new boyfriend were confronted with the decision to freeze embryos before her chemotherapy and radiation began. We discuss the incredible role her sister played in helping Karma and Adam, now her husband, to  become parents. We chat about what it was like to be expecting but not pregnancy, and the nosy things people say to you when you’re a mother of one.

Show Notes

Karma's Book Come Away with Me

Oct 12, 2015

In this episode I chat with Katherine Woodward Thomas, the marriage and family therapist who coined the phrase “Conscious Uncoupling.” (No, in fact, it wasn’t Gwyneth Paltrow!) She’s been helping people find a peaceful way forward through divorce in a popular online course by the same name since 2011. Katherine’s highly anticipated book Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After just hit bookstores recently, and it’s already a New York Times bestseller. Katherine offers a road map for getting through the tough transitions of separation and divorce, which allows us to move forward in a healthy way, both for our own emotional health and the well-being of our kids. This is a must listen for anyone who has ever been affected by divorce or had a friend or family member going through the same.

Show Notes

Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After

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