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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: April, 2019
Apr 29, 2019

Parents do a lot of hand wringing about the amount of time our kids spend on devices. And there are some good reasons for that. Naturally we want to make sure our kids aren’t leading sedentary lives and that they’re not just playing Fortnite or Minecraft, but getting a reasonably healthy amount of time outdoors. On top of this we have a tendency to worry that all these video games are turning our kids into antisocial automatons who won’t be able to interact well in the quote-unquote real world. But my guest for this episode has a very reassuring message about the digital lives of our children, and points out that, well, the digital world is in fact part of today’s real world. Jordan Shapiro is writer and psychologist who explores the intersections of digital play and family life. He’s the author of an absolutely fascinating new book called The New Childhood: Raising Kids to Thrive in a Connected World. Jordan contextualizes the anxiety parents have about this new form of play and storytelling by placing it in the fascinating history of how grown-ups have always responded to new steps in the evolution of child’s play.

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Apr 22, 2019

This is the second of a two-part series Money Matters, which takes a look at some of the financial implications of raising kids today. In this episode I’ve again got two very insightful guests. You may have caught my guest Shannon Lee Simmons’ on CBC’s Metro Morning, the Marilyn Dennis Show or seen her column in the Toronto Star. Shannon is a certified financial planner and founder of The New School of Finance, as well as the author of two best-selling books, Worry-Free Money and Living Debt-Free. I also get to chat with Doretta Thompson, who’s the head of financial literacy for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. Doretta has a lot of great insights into how Canadians stack up in financial literacy, where we can improve, where we can access free resources and how to get started with turning around a difficult financial situation. This episode is full of straight talk on family finances, as is the first in this series, episode 229.

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Apr 15, 2019

This is the first of a two-part series that explores how money matters affect families. I’ve got two amazing guests for this episode. The first is celebrated parenting author Ann Douglas. She has written 30 books, including her latest, Happy Parents, Happy Kids. Ann and I dive deep into one of the important issues she raises in this book — the implications of financial anxiety for parents. We talk about just how much has changed with the cost of living, precarious work and more, and what those mean for the daily lives of parents, so many of whom are struggling to maintain a hold on a middle class lifestyle. In the second part of this episode, I speak to British-American labour economist and Dartmouth professor David Blanchflower on his research that found it's the cost of raising kids, not parenthood itself, that accounts for the decline in happiness associated with parenthood. These insightful conversations shed so much light on how financial anxiety is weighing on families.

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Apr 8, 2019

Long before we learn to speak, we communicate through laughter and tears. That’s because these non-verbal expressions come factory-installed. They’re instinctive, social and key to bonding us with one another, from our earliest days and through our whole adult lives. In this collaboration with documentary filmmakers Mike Downie and David Wells, we take a look at some of the fascinating science between why we laugh and cry. As Mike puts it, laughter and crying are an incredible expression of our humanity, and highlight a life well lived.

I also chat with one of the scientists featured on the Laughing and Crying documentary, Dr. David Haley, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

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Apr 1, 2019

At least here at home, we see girls picking up academic awards on assembly days at schools and we know that for years, women have been out-graduating men from university. Yet, conversely, there’s still a wide wage gap and under representation of women in executive and other leadership roles. It turns out that something critical happens to the confidence of girls and women as they pass through their teens and into early adulthood. My guest for this episode is Caroline Riseboro, president and CEO of Plan International Canada, a non-profit organization whose work on behalf of children’s rights and equality for girls is well known to many of us. Plan International Canada recently did a survey on confidence in girls in women and the results are startling. We talk about what societal shifts need to happen to address gender equality and how parents can help prepare their daughters for some of what they will encounter in the world.

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