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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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. 

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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. 

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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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Sep 26, 2016

Thank you so much for joining me on this very special episode of the podcast. Our 100th! I can hardly believe that we’ve reached this incredible milestone, and right around our one-year anniversary! I wanted to do something to mark the occasion of this 100th episode. So my special guest today is my mom. Yes, given this show is all about sharing the experience of family and of parenting, I thought it made perfect sense to invite the person who most shaped my own upbringing, and who I turn to for advice about raising my own kids. We’re joined by mother, grandmother and entrepreneur Cathline James.

Show Notes

Sep 22, 2016

When my guest, Jamie Scrimgeour, first became a step-mom to three kids, there were times when she’d hide crying in the bathroom with a glass of wine. But today she uses the lessons from those challenging times to help others be great step-moms. Jamie is a Life Coach with a Certification in Stepfamily Dynamics. She talks candidly about her stepfamily life on her blog, The Poptart Diaries, and helps provides online support through her group coaching program The Kick-Ass Step-mom Project and her online Facebook group The Kick-Ass Stepmom Community. She shares the key principles behind great step-parenting as well as the common stumbling blocks step-parents face along the way.

Show Notes

Sep 19, 2016

My guest on this episode has an inspiring story to tell about overcoming a difficult situation and learning to thrive. Alicia Graham is a mom of two, step-mom to two and entrepreneur from the little ski town of Rossland, B.C. in the Kootenay Mountains. When Alicia’s marriage ended in late 2014, she was in a bit of a bind. You see, Alicia had been a stay-at-home mom for close to a decade, homeschooling the kids for some of that and mostly not working outside the home. With a sudden financial need and a big gap in her resumé, things were pretty tough. But in a short time she’s turned that situation around and reinvented herself as an entrepreneur. Her story is just the kind you need to hear when you’re going through a personal crisis, not just one brought on by separation and divorce, but by any change in circumstance, by a change of heart about your life’s work or any other of those things that throws a wrench into the machine of life.

Show Notes

Sep 15, 2016

I’ve been looking forward to this episode for some time now. My guest, Amanda Jette Knox, was actually on the show way back at the beginning on Episode 3: Parenting a Transgender Child. And at the time she shared the experience of discovering that the child she knew as a son was really a daughter, offering us an important look at what it takes to parent a transgender child is a loving and supportive way. But what she couldn’t reveal at the time was that her family was going through another important change, too.

Show Notes

Sep 12, 2016

My guest on today’s show is Dr. Claire Arrieta, an assistant professor at the University of Calgary and co-author of a new book called Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Our Children from an Oversanitized World.  In it she and her colleague, Brett Finlay, make the case that we’re raising our kids in a cleaner, more hyper-hygienic environment than ever before. They outline how this is having a profoundly negative impact on kids’ immune systems and a contributing to a host of chronic conditions ranging from allergies to obesity. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Dr. Arrieta also offers concrete steps parents can take to ensure their kids have healthy immune systems. Hint: Throw out your hand-sanitizer!

Show Notes

Sep 8, 2016

I have long marvelled about how anyone who has a job can manage to get through an IVF cycle. My guest for this episode is Mary Wong, a traditional Chinese medical practitioner and author of a new book called Pathways to Pregnancy: Personal Stories and Practical Advice for Your Fertility Journey. Over the past 20 years, she’s helped thousands of couples conceive by bringing together Eastern and Western Medicine, and she’s been an advisor to the Canadian government on infertility and adoption. Mary and I talk about how people who are experiencing infertility can better manage the incredible juggle of fertility treatments with responsibilities at work and how workplaces can shift to adapt to be more supportive.

Show Notes

Sep 5, 2016

New dad and fellow podcaster Jama’l Chukueke joins us on the show for this episode. When he became a father in early 2015, Jama’l embarked on a journey to learn as much as he could about being a good father, seeking the advice of dads he knew and admired. Realizing that other dads were likely in search of this same wisdom, Jama’l decided to create an ongoing dialogue through his podcast and website, Diversity Dad. Today he’s determined to be a beacon of light for dads in the African American and Latino communities to overcome the negative way they’re portrayed in the media while accepting some responsibility for this reputation and rising to the occasion as dads. This often involves striving to do better than their own fathers, who may not have been consistently present during their upbringing.

Show Notes

 

Aug 29, 2016

On this episode we’re joined by journalist and mom of two Jaimie Seaton. She recently wrote a story about her family for the Washington Post’s On Parenting section and it went crazy viral. The piece was titled, Daddy’s home: Why I let my ex live with us on weekends. Jaimie speaks candidly about the shocking way her marriage ended and the rocky emotional terrain she’s had to navigate since. She shares how she’s been able to manage the pain, confusion and rage she felt when her world was turned upside down in order to co-parent so remarkably that her ex is able to stay with her and their teenage children on weekends.

Show Notes

Aug 22, 2016

My guest on this episode insists that he’s a terrible husband. I think he’s probably not really a terrible husband and that, at worst, he’s a reformed mediocre husband. Nevertheless, Nick Pavlidis has written a book called Confessions of a Terrible Husband: Lessons Learned from a Lumpy Couch. In it he details how he went from being an overworked lawyer with a family, to identifying himself first and foremost as a husband and father who is also happens to be a successful lawyer and businessman. Today Nick is also the host of two podcasts, Confessions of a Terrible Husband and Five Minutes with Dad. And he’s become a ghostwriter and coach who helps high achievers build businesses while maintaining strong boundaries around family. Nick gets real on the changes that needed to happen in his marriage and how he turned things around.

Show Notes

Aug 18, 2016

In this special bonus episode for back to school, I’m serving up my best back-to-school advice formed over 16 years in parenting journalism and 13 years of parenting. In it I talk about the things that really count for getting the school year off to a good start, how to set your whole family up for a successful year and the things to prioritize when it’s time to shop. You might be surprised at some of the less-expected things on my list. And if you want more information about how to achieve a happy and productive family life, you can get my FREE e-book 11 Ways to Keep Your Family Weeknight from Spinning out of Control at thenewfamily.com/weeknights.

Show Notes

Aug 15, 2016

On this episode we’re joined by Rick Clemons, author of a new book called Frankly My Dear, I’m Gay: A Late-Bloomer’s Guide to Coming Out. Rick shares his own experience of coming out later in life at age 38 when he’d long been married to the mother of his two children. In addition to the book, Rick also provides resources on coming out through his great podcast The Coming Out Lounge, as well as through his coaching services. Rick is very candid about his journey to coming out and on the difficult process of sharing this news with his spouse at the time.

Show Notes

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