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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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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

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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

Aug 8, 2016

When the kids are off from school over the summer, and you’re trying to keep the kids entertained at home or on long car rides, chances are good they’re going to be on their favourite devices a little more than usual. And frankly, whatever time if year you’re listening, this can be an issue. Our kids’ iPods, computers and gaming systems are all pretty alluring—as our smart phones are for us. My guest on this episode is Dr. Mari Swingle, a neurotherapist, behavioral specialist and author of a new book called iMinds: How Cell Phones, Computers, Gaming and Social Media are Changing Our Brains, Our Behaviour and the Evolution of our Species. But don’t worry. This isn’t another guilt-inducing report suggesting that technology will bring about the death of our social skills and attentions spans. Dr. Swingle is here to talk to us not just about the dangers of constant connectivity, but about the positive steps we can take to embrace new technology while protecting our well-being and steering our future in a more human direction.

Show Notes

 

Aug 1, 2016

On this episode of the show I get to talk to a mother of eight! I find big families fascinating, not just because they buck the current trend toward smaller families, but because there’s just so much we can to learn from them about parenting and about running a household. PJ Jonas and her family are a perfect example of this. They live on a farm, and in fact they run an incredibly successful family business called Goat Milk Stuff where they sell soaps and other goat milk products. The whole family is involved in helping to run the business, which has been featured on The Today Show and in O Magazine among others. PJ is here to talk to us about how her busy households operates and about raising kids who know how to work.

Show Notes

Jul 25, 2016

Researcher, therapist, and mediator Dr. Robert Emery is my guest on the show today. Dr. Emery is an internationally recognized expert on family relationships and children’s mental health, including parental conflict, child custody and divorce. His latest book is called Two Homes, One Childhood: A Parenting Plan to Last a Lifetime. In it he outlines a new way to share custody after a relationship ends.


As many of you know, this topic couldn’t be nearer and dearer to my heart. I have my own unique approach to co-parenting—I live next door to the father of my kids and his new wife and our kids go back and forth between our two homes in a very fluid way. Dr. Emery has himself been divorced and has been in this field of study for 35 years. He offers wonderful but realistic advice about co-parenting well, based on a Hierarchy of Children’s Needs in Divorce, his own take on the famous Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs.

Show Notes

Our Co-Parenting Webinar

 

Jul 18, 2016

We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Stuart Shanker to the show today. A world-renowned psychologist, Dr. Shanker is a professor at York University and an expert in child development. His new book Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break The Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life came out recently. His previous book, Calm, Alert and Learning, written for teachers, is one of the top-selling Canadian education books of all time. But in this book he turns his attention to parents with an aim to helping us learn how to recognize when our kids are under stress and teach them to deal with it effectively. The key? Encouraging our children to develop the ability to self-regulate. Yes, self-regulation has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years. Today we get to the heart of what it really means.

Show Notes

Jul 11, 2016

Our guest on the show today is Vanessa Vakharia, founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of a unique tutoring facility in Toronto called The Math Guru. She’s a teacher with a Bachelor of Commerce, a degree in Graphic Design and a Masters in Mathematics Education. Interestingly, though, there was a time when Vanessa believed she was just not “a math person.” In fact, her masters thesis was titled, Peace, Love and Pi: Imagining a World where Paris Hilton Loves Mathematics. Vanessa specializes in teen engagement in STEM (that’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics), with a specific focus on encouraging young women to embrace STEM as a part of their identities. Now, in general, girls are doing better in the education system than ever. Young women are out-graduating men from university, for instance, and we’re going to tackle that issue on an upcoming episode. However, we know that women are still woefully under-represented in STEM careers, which is particularly outrageous given how many of them attend university. Vanessa shares her insights into how to encourage girls to pursue these subjects, while also offering concrete advice on how parents can fight the impression that math is a dreaded subject for either boys or girls.

Show Notes

Jul 4, 2016

We’re thrilled to have child sexuality expert Amy Lang back on the show for this episode. Amy helps parents talk to their kids about sex, love and relationships. She has a great website called “The Birds and Bees and Kids.”  The last time Amy was on to chat to us about how to answer that age-old question, “Where babies come from?”, the episode kinda went viral. It was shared a tonne of times on Facebook  and had 10 times the normal downloads. And that’s because Amy just has a great, light-hearted approach to these topics that can make parents a little squirmy. So today she’s back today to help us figure out how to talk to our kids about puberty. Everything you might be find awkward or embarrassing about this—we tackle it here.

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!

Jun 30, 2016

Our guest on this episode, writer and mom Amanda Lee, shares about the struggles she had emotionally after her marriage ended. Like many people who find themselves separated or divorced, she faced a lot of shame and guilt around her new status as a single parent. Our society really reveres marriage and it can be quite isolating when all your friends are married couples. This was even doubly so for Amanda who lives half a world away from her family back in Australia. But after proving to herself just how strong she is, Amanda met her partner Andrew and now has a newly blended family.  She also shares her advice on blending a family in a sensitive way that takes care of everyone’s needs.

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!

Jun 27, 2016

In this very moving episode, parenting educator Anna Sewald of AuthenticParentting.com shares a story she’s never told before. You see, when she was just 13 years old, Anna survived a devastating earthquake that killed many in her family. This traumatic early life event led her to become a therapist and later a parent educator. Today she helps parents build strong relationships with their kids, in part by working through formative experiences from their pasts. You’ll need a hankie to get through Anna’s story about how she connected the dots between one of her frustrations as a parent and something that happened in the aftermath of the quake. We learn that there’s incredible value in examining the things that trigger us with our children—that push our buttons, that make us lose our patience—because they just might point to important events from our past that we need to work through. Doing so will help us have the strong relationships with our children that we need to weather the storms.

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!

Jun 23, 2016

In this episode, my friend Rebecca Cuneo Keenan and I dish about what summer is really like when you have kids. Rebecca is the woman behind one of my favourite blogs, Playground Confidential, a smart, funny take on modern parenting, and she also writes for publications like The Globe and Mail, Today’s Parent and Savvy Mom. We chat about that disconnect between what our souls want in summer time—slower days, time in the sun—and what we really get: patchwork childcare and the stink eye when you duck out of work the 3 p.m. for summer camp pick-up. Yes, it’s fun at first to get a break from nagging your kids about homework, but we don’t have nearly enough time off to cope with the long summer breaks our kids get, which date back to a time when every household had a stay-at-home mom. When we get done complaining, we offer some thoughts on how to manage in the summer so you can all enjoy yourselves.

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!

 

Jun 20, 2016

Very few among us enter a marriage expecting that it might end. My guest on this episode was no different. Jacqueline Green is the host of The Great Parenting Show and she’s been a parent educator and coach for 15 years. She’s known for her candor about some of the tough stuff life throws us. To that end she’s the author of the forthcoming book Strong Enough to Stay; Smart Enough to Go about her own tumultuous marriage. Jacqueline now helps to coach moms through the process of deciding whether or not they will leave their marriages, as well as those having trouble co-parenting in or out of a relationship. She shares her own journey and offers some tangible advice for people wrestling with whether or not to end their marriages.

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!

Jun 16, 2016

Good news: You can actually stay fit more easily than you might imagine. My guest on today’s episode is Barbara Grant, founder and director of a pilates studio called Retrofit Pilates. Barbara is also a movement educator, health and wellness writer, and host of Shape Up with Barbara Grant on Rogers TV. Barbara and her husband Jim became parents in their 40s and are now navigating an active life in downtown Toronto with their 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter. She and I talk about the simple ways to work exercise into your everyday routine when family life is just too nutty to get to a fitness class. Plus, we chat about the importance of reclaiming a sense of play in our own exercise, something we tend to lose sight of while we’re focussed on getting our kids to all their enriching extra-curricular activities. Here’s how to save some of those resources for yourself so the whole family can be active and healthy.

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!

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