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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: 2016
May 2, 2016

My guest on today’s episode is Trevor MacDonald, who shares his incredible personal story of being a transgender dad who has nursed two children. His book Where’s the Mother? Stories from a Transgender Dad is coming out May 24, 2016. Trevor’s here to talk about his coming out experience as well as the realities of transgender parenting. He also shares what it takes to chest feed after having chest contouring surgery, and the work he’s done since becoming a parent to pave the way for other transgender and gender non-conforming people who experience pregnancy, birth and infant feeding.

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Apr 28, 2016

My guest on the show today is psychotherapist and author Emily Roberts. Her book Express Yourself: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are gives teenagers the tools they need to communicate their feelings in assertive and healthy ways. She’s here to talk to us about how parents can help their kids learn to do the same, whether they’re in the teen years or much younger.

Show Notes

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!

Apr 25, 2016

My guest on the show today is Tanel Jappinen of the blog and podcast Brand New Father—also known as T.J. He has an interesting personal story to tell of travelling around the world with his wife and baby in tow. But he’s also here to speak to us about the values of millennial dads. He and I chat about how his generation of dads is defining fatherhood in their own way, and how that compares to how their fathers raised them. We also talk about how millennial dads who wish to take parental leave or even work reasonable hours must wrestle with the expectations put on them by others who may still hold traditional ideas of men as breadwinners, not caregivers.

Show Notes

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!

Apr 21, 2016

My guest on today’s show has made a massive contribution to the lives of 1,000s of children. Marilyn Field is the founder of non-profit called DAREarts. It provides Canadian at-risk children and youth ages 9 through 19 with an intensive out-of-school arts immersion programs aimed building their confidence, courage and leadership through music, drama, dance, visual arts, architecture, fashion and literature.  Through her background as a teacher, Marilyn saw that the arts gave kids the tools to build life skills and to realize their potential as leaders. Today her organization has helped more than 170,000 children. She joins me to talk about what parents should know about the link between the arts and life skills, and a little bit about her life as the other mother to 1,000 of children.

Show Notes

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!

Apr 18, 2016

There’s nothing quite like parenting for confronting us with our own vulnerabilities, weaknesses and patterns from the past. We love our children like crazy, yet they can try our patience like no one and nothing else. Yet there’s this pressure to act like everything is magical and wonderful. My guest on the podcast today is Casey O’Roary, a mom, educator and parenting coach who talks frankly about the fact that parenting just isn’t easy every day of the week. Casey was an elementary school teacher in the three-room school house in the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. She has an MA in education and today she teaches parenting workshops and hosts her own fantastic parenting podcast, The Joyful Courage Podcast. Casey talks to us about the personal transformations that can come about as a result of our relationships with our kids and how to navigate some of the tough stuff we encounter along the way.

Show notes

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!

 

Apr 14, 2016

On this episode I’m joined by Drs. Danielle and Astro Teller.  Danielle and Astro are co-authors of the book Sacred Cows: The Truth About Marriage and Divorce and they also have a popular Tedx Talk by the same name. Through their own divorces they learned how widely held cultural assumptions and misinformation that nobody thinks to question create unnecessary heartache for people who are already suffering through a terrible time. They call these assumptions “Sacred Cows” and today they’re going to explain some of these. They also point out that there’s little definitive evidence that divorce is damaging to children long-term.

Show Notes

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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!

Apr 10, 2016

In this episode I speak with productivity and time management expert Mike Vardy. Mike is a writer, speaker, podcaster and founder of Productivityist, a resource that helps people get the right things done.  Mike is the author of The Front Nine: How To Start The Year You Want Anytime You Want and The Productivityist Workbook. He has served as the Managing Editor at Lifehack, and contributed articles on productivity to 99u, Lifehacker, The Next Web, SUCCESS Magazine, and The Huffington Post. Mike is also a father of two and today we’re going to talk about whether it’s possible to raise productive kids and how to encourage goal setting early in life.

Show Notes

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!

Apr 8, 2016

My guest on the podcast today is a male birth doula! Brian Salmon also goes by the name The Birth Guy, though as a surfer from California he kind of hoping the term “dude-la” will take off. Brian also owns his own 3D and 4D ultrasound clinics, and he’s a certified lactation consultant, too. He teaches childbirth classes for dads called “Rocking Dads,” couples birth classes called “Facilitating Fearless Birth” and is soon launching his the Rocking Dads video series and online course soon. Brian brings a really unique perspective to child birth that is wonderfully inclusive of dads and places a lot of emphasis on maintaining the couple connection after baby arrives. He also tells us what it’s like to be in such a female-dominated field. The answer may surprise you!

Show Notes

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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!

Apr 4, 2016

It seems the sleepover is far more rare than it was when we were kids and that’s a shame. Perhaps that’s no surprise given that we’re quite a hovering and cautious generation of parents who is less willing to relinquish control of our kids’ supervision by letting them sleep elsewhere. And as my guest today explains, most parents are probably over-estimated the amount of work involved on the hosting side. The last time author Chris Shulgan was on the show to discuss why parents fear the wrong things, we had a bit of side conversation about the sleepover as an important rite of passage for kids. Chris and his wife, Chantel, are avid sleepover party throwers, and today he and I discuss why we need to ensure the tradition continues. Chris also shares his secrets for hosting a successful sleepover, including how he manages to get the kids to clean up after themselves!

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Show Notes

Sponsor:
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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!

Mar 31, 2016

My guest on this episode is best-selling author Rebecca Eanes, the founder of positive-parents.org and creator of the very popular Facebook community Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. Her book The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parenting has been a #1 best seller in its category on Amazon and her latest book, coming out June 7th, is called Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide. But Rebecca is quick to say that she’s a messenger not an expert. She writes from a parent-to-parent perspective and shares her own shift from more conventional parenting to positive parenting, which as she explains, honours our basic human needs for love and for belonging, and respects the mind, the body and the spirit of children. It seeks to build healthy positive relationships between parent and child, which becomes the model for healthy relationships life long, and gives parents influence that’s strengthened through a strong connection with our kids. Rebecca’s here to explain how we can work these principles into our own family lives.



Show Notes


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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!

Mar 28, 2016

What if there was a better way to raise our children than the nuclear family? My guest on the podcast for this episode is long-time journalist and author Vicki Larson. She and her co-author Susan Gadoua were on the show way back on episode 12 “Are We Doing Marriage Wrong?” to discuss the findings of their book, “The New ‘I Do’: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels,” which is one of our most popular episodes so far. Vicki and I discuss something that’s a pet topic for me—the limitations of and problems with the nuclear family, and the fiction we’ve built up around it. Vicki has a book on the subject in development, and she explains how a form of shared parenting—sometimes called “alloparenting”—is deeply ingrained in how we evolved and learned to thrive as a species. In fact, though we still put it on a pedestal, the nuclear family is already no longer the norm. Fewer than half of children under the age of 18 are living in households with married heterosexual parents in their first marriages. She shares some thought provoking ideas about how we could really learn to live accordingly to the “it takes a village” philosophy.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

Mar 24, 2016

Today’s show covers a really important topic—how to respond in a supportive manner when your child comes out to you. My guest, Dr. Jen O’Ryan, completed her doctorate in human behaviour with a focus on the experience of childhood and adolescence for sexual minorities. Jen provides coaching and guidance for parents to help them navigate their child’s coming out process, as well as questions about sexuality and gender. But our chat today doesn’t just apply to the parents whose kids have revealed they’re gay. Aunts, uncles, coaches, teachers, community leaders, even supportive family friends—as caring adults we can all benefit from knowing more about being inclusive and sensitive toward LGBTQ youth. She explains how even one caring, tolerant adult can be tremendously protective for kids through the coming-out process. And she provides great, tangible advice on how to provide a safe, helpful environment for LGBTQ kids.

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Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

Mar 21, 2016

This episode tackles quite an interesting question. Should we be raising kids to be romantically competent? And what does that mean? My guests on the show today are Kaycee Lashman and Dr. Joanne Davila, authors of The Thinking Girl's Guide to the Right Guy: How Knowing Yourself Can Help You Navigate Dating, Hookups and Love. Their advice on knowing what makes a healthy relationship, on knowing what you need from a relationship really applies to anyone. And for parents bringing kids up in world where the dating landscape—or at least the vocabulary around dating—may have changed significantly from when we were young, it can be a little hard to know how to encourage our children to form healthy attachments. Joanne and Kaycee identify the skills that make up romantic competence and explain how to encourage our children to develop them.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

Mar 17, 2016

One aspect of contemporary family life that has touched all of us is the prevalence of autism, and today we’re going to explore a fascinating new area of study that could potentially improve our understanding of autism. My guest today is journalist and author Kimberly Stephens, coauthor of a new book called The Prodigy’s Cousin: The Family Link Between Autism and Extraordinary Talent. Her coauthor, psychologist and researcher Joane Ruthsatz, who just happens to be Kimberly’s mother, has spent 18 years studying child prodigies. This research represents the largest research sample of these exceptional kids in the world. Incredibly, Dr. Ruthsatz’s research has found that many of these child prodigies have autistic family members. In fact, around half of child prodigies have a close relative that is autistic. Interestingly, they also have a lot of behavioural and cognitive things in common as well.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

 

Mar 14, 2016

It seems that nearly every day there’s another news story about what kids are doing online and a lot of it is quite alarmist. If you believe these reports, all of our kids are either cyber bullying or sexting each other, possibly both, and that it will soon be the end of days. My guest Andrew Campbell is here to assure us that this isn’t the fact the case and to chat about how we can ensure we’re up to speed with how—and why—are kids are using social media. Andrew is an educator, speaker and writer who blogs about education and technology. His thoughts on education have been published in The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and The Hamilton Spectator among others, and he speaks on education at conferences throughout Canada and the United States. Andrew teaches Grade 5 in Brantford, Ontario, and he’s expert on the relationship between kids and technology, including social media.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

Mar 10, 2016

I’m excited to welcome Dr. Timothy Pychyl back to the show today. Tim is a professor in the department of psychology at Carleton University. An expert on goal setting, he was on Episode 32 for a chat about New Year’s resolutions for families and on how to teach our kids to overcome procrastination. But while we were chatting it came up that he became a dad for the first time at age 50. Now a father of two, Tim jokingly refers to himself as a “dinosaur dad.” I just had to have him back on to chat about becoming a dad later in life and what that’s been like.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

 

Mar 7, 2016

My guest on the show today, Rebecca Traister, has been called “the most brilliant voice on feminism in this country.” A writer at large for New York Magazine and a contributing editor at Elle, Rebecca has written about women in politics, media and entertainment for a host of top-notch publications including Salon, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Washington Post among others. Her latest book, All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, chronicles not only the recent dramatic decline in marriage rates and rising average age of marriage, but the important points in history that have helped women establish independent adulthood that is not defined by marriage.  She shares her observations about the changing face of marriage in our culture, and what this means for how we’re forming families today.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

 

Mar 3, 2016

For this milestone episode—number 50!—I’m telling the story of my own unique family structure. My guest is the father of my kids, Derek DeCloet, who lives across the driveway from me  with his new wife. The kids alternate nights between our places in a very fluid ways, usually seeing us both of us at some point in any 24 hour period. It’s our unconventional lifestyle that inspired me to start thenewfamily.com and this podcast. Please join us in the first conversation we’ve had publicly about our next-door-neighbours co-parenting relationship.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

Feb 29, 2016

There are few parents out there who haven’t, at least at some point, struggled to take adequate care of themselves while meeting the many demands of caring for their children. My guest on the show today is here to talk about the importance of self-care for parents and a new way of looking at what that means. Hint: It’s not enough just to make occasional trip to the spa or driving range. Sarah McLaughlin is director of parent education at the Center for Parenting and Play in Biddeford, Maine, the author of the award-winning book, What Not to Say: Tools for Talking with Young Children and the creator of a new self-care program called Reset. She makes that point that, far more than those rare “me time” moments, what matters is how we treat ourselves every day. We need to apply the same compassionate, loving, empathetic attitude we display to our children to ourselves as well, she says. That means telling yourself you’re doing a good job as opposed to coming down hard on yourself for not being a perfect parent. By changing the small internal interactions we have with ourselves, as well as taking care of our own food, water, rest and exercise, we’ll model for our kids that we are worthy of love, care and attention, and that it matters how we treat ourselves.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

 

Feb 25, 2016

With the hectic pace of life, there’s probably few among us who haven’t entertained escape fantasies geared to achieving a simpler life. My guest Julie Nowell writes a hilarious blog called 3 Chickens and a Boat where she chronicles the incredible reinvention of her family that came with a move from the suburbs to a small Gulf Island in B.C. with a back yard full of chickens and goats. It’s a remarkable story that starts with her husband coming home from a tough day at work one Friday, a talk with a psychic on the weekend and putting their house up for sale that Tuesday. But while their move to Saltspring Island may sound impulsive, the changes are actually very intentional. Julie and her husband wanted to live somewhere that had everything they needed but not much more than that, and most importantly, to show their kids that they too can take risks to get the life they want.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

Feb 22, 2016

When conversation turns to parenting teens, it’s usually cloaked in a whole lot of trepidation. Sure, these can be emotionally charged years, but as my guest on the podcast today explains, they need not be shrouded in mystery and defined by conflict. Dr. Lisa Damour is a psychologist, educator and director of the internationally renowned Center for Research on Girls at the Laurel School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Her new book Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood aims to demystify the process of parenting girls through the adolescent years, but the principles apply to both boys and girls. By getting to know the seven absolutely normal developmental stages on the path to becoming a grown-up, we can better understand our kids and parent them more effectively.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

Feb 18, 2016

As every veteran parent knows, as much as we may try, there’s no controlling how things will unfold on the parenting journey. Each of us is thrown into crisis at some point. My guest Karen Kolp is here to share her remarkable story about adapting to circumstances she could never have predicted. Karen is the host of a great podcast called “We Turned Out Okay,” and she’s also the author of the forthcoming book Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child. Karen wrote a lovely post for thenewfamily.com’s 1,000 Families Project about how she and her family have handled some of the curve balls that life has thrown them. These include the circumstances that led them to become accidental home schoolers, as well as an unexpected journey into illness and disability that at certain points have robbed Karen of the ability to walk and the use of her hands. Karen shares how her family has pulled together through these challenges, an experience that’s helped her to slow down and appreciate the time with her kids, and taught her the value of gratitude for getting through life’s bad patches.

Show notes

Sponsor:

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!

 

Feb 15, 2016

What is it like to come face-to-face for the first time with the woman who gave birth to you 40 years earlier? Today’s guest, writer Alexandria Durrell of IDon’tBlog.ca, is here to share about what it was like to grow-up knowing she was adopted, and later, to search for her birth mother. Alex penned a beautiful post for thenewfamily.com’s 1,000 Families Project about how tracing her birth family has shaped her view on family and her experience today as a mom of two.

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Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

Feb 12, 2016

I decided to fire up the mic for this extra episode—a casual chat with my friend, life coach Sharon Stokes—because Valentine’s Day is coming up. 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 feels 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 come on urging people to pop the question this Valentine’s Day.

Sharon’s here to chat with me about some strategies for 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. One of Sharon’s areas of specialty is break-up recovery. She has worked on Matthew Hussey’s well-known 5-day Lifestyle Retreats, where she’s had the opportunity to help transform the lives of countless women. And she’s got a great #theyearofme program that we talk about, too.  

Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

Feb 11, 2016

This episode we tackle into a juicy topic: Is there Sex after Kids? Spoiler alert: Of course there is. But yes, it’s harder to find the time, energy and privacy for sex once kids are in the picture. Dr. Nadine Thornhill is here to help. Dr. Thornill is a sexuality educator and family coach. For the past decade she has been helping families, teachers and community organizers communicate openly and knowledgeably about sexuality, health and relationships. Nadine’s areas of focus include: child and adolescent sexuality, family sex education, sex education in schools and sex and parenting. I’ve invited her onto the show in advance of Valentine’s Day to address the barriers to intimacy we may face at different stages of parenting and how to get over them.

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Show Notes

Sponsor:

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!

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