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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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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.

Press and hold links to visit page.

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 8, 2016

It’s well established that ours is the most hovering, protective, micro-managing generation of parents there has even been. We’re less likely to let our kids play in the park on their own, even though we may mourn the loss of a “simpler time” when kids had that sort of freedom to roam. My guest on this episode is Christopher Shulgan, author of Superdad: A Memoir of Rebellion, Drugs and Fatherhood. Chris and I delve into the relationship between fear and freedom in parenting. Chris shares some statistics that show the world is not a more dangerous place than it was when we were kids. We explore how to do the challenging work of decoupling protectiveness and good parenting in our minds by gradually allowing our kids the freedom they need to grow into capable adults.

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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 4, 2016

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the state of modern parenting, some of it reaching a bit of a crescendo last month with an article in Maclean’s magazine here in Canada that ran under the title, “The Collapse of Parenting.” That was a reference to a book by the same name by Dr. Leonard Sax of Pennsylvania. My guest Alyson Schafer, one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts, is on the show today to talk about the state of modern parenting and whether we really have lost our way. Alyson is a family therapist, TV personality and best-selling author of Breaking The Good Mom Myth, Honey, I Wrecked The Kids and her latest, Ain’t Misbehavin’.  She’s in high demand as a speaker and a parenting educator through the great courses she offers. Alyson makes a case that while it’s wonderful that we’re as concerned as we are about our children’s well being, the pendulum has swung too far, creating an imbalance of power where the child is the tyrant and the parent the slave. She encourages us to question the notions we hold about the fragility of the child and accept that we cannot make a life for our kids that is struggle-free.

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 1, 2016

Finding out that your partner is gay is a pretty big deal, especially because it usually means your relationship is coming to an end. Debbie Dawe-Mattausch’s first husband came out to her, but rather than letting this news tear her family apart, she has embraced her ex—whom she affectionately refers to as her “wasband”—as well as his new partner in an extended family of sorts. Debbie shares how she managed to set aside her hurt over the end of the relationship and chose to have compassion for her ex-husband given that he’d had to hide an important part of himself for so long. Today her large blended family consists of her husband and his son, daughter and son-in-law, Deborah, her son and his girlfriend, her two daughters and their husbands, her ex and his husband, three granddaughters and a grandson. She and her “wasband” have gone on numerous vacations together and spend important holidays as a group. As a result Debbie says, “I didn’t lose him as a friend and as a person I care about.” Her family is a model for co-parenting positively after the end of a relationship, no matter what the circumstances.

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!

Jan 28, 2016

Today we’re examining whether couples should stay together for the sake of the kids. A small study released in the UK recently found that 82 percent of 14- to 22-year-olds would prefer for their parents to separate than stay together for their sake. Of course, as anyone whose marriage has fallen apart can attest, there’s a lot of heartbreak when considering the impact on the kids. But as my guest Sarah MacLaughlin helps explain, it’s not the end of the relationship itself that counts, so much as how it’s handled. Sarah is a social worker who’s researched parenting and child development extensively for over two decades, and on the separation and divorce front, is trained in family mediation and crisis de-escalation. She’s director of parent education at the Center for Parenting and Play in Biddeford, Maine, which offers parenting classes, counselling and supported visitation. She’s also the author of the award-winning book, What Not to Say: Tools for Talking with Young Children and has written the Parenting Toolbox column for Parent & Family since 2008. Sarah shares thoughts on how it’s the way that a separation is handled, not the separation itself, that determines the emotional well-being of the 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!

Jan 27, 2016

For this special bonus episode of the podcast for Bell Let’s Talk Day, I’m joined by a very special guest, parenting author Ann Douglas. Ann and I hope you’ll share this episode with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk to support Canadian mental health programs. Ann almost needs no introduction because her name really is synonymous with parenting advise. She’s Canada’s most trusted and prolific parenting writer, though her work is known in many other countries as well. She’s the author of the bestselling Mother of All series of parenting books, and 30 books in total, the most recent of which is Parenting Through the Storm: How to Handle the Highs, the Lows and Everything in Between. Ann and I delve into the harder stuff to talk about that we really must talk about more often—your mental health as a parent and your kids' mental health. How to thrive yourself and how to help them thrive. Ann’s an outspoken advocate for mental health issues and has been candid about both her own bipolar diagnosis as well as the mental health issues her children have faced. She shares advice on how to advocate for your children when they’re having mental health struggles, how to cope with the long wait to see specialists, and about the importance of good self-care during difficult times. Whether it’s you or your child facing a mental health challenge, it’s critical to know that you’re not alone in facing these issues—despite the impression you may have from viewing your friends social media feeds. Ann reminds us that every family goes through tough times and that we shouldn’t be afraid to reach out for support in our darker hours. To help Canadians access the mental health resources they need, please text or tweet this episode with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk.

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Show Notes

Jan 25, 2016

Is sexting a modern-day version of flirting? Does it lead to sexual behaviour in real life (IRL as the kids would say)? We’re joined on the show today by Dr. Jeff Temple of the University of Texas Medical Branch. He’s a psychologist with an appointment in Obstetrics and Gynecology, where he researches relationships and online behaviour with an aim to helping parents, teens and young adults understand, avoid and address risks. He published a widely-reported paper last year on how teen sexting is emerging as a normal part of adolescent sexual exploration. Dr. Temple is also a father of a 12-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy, he joins us to talk about what parents should know about teen sexting and how we can talk to our kids about it.

Show Notes

Jan 21, 2016

Ever thought about what it would be like if Grandma’s visit never ended and you always had that extra set of hands? Emily Morgan—the first guest on the podcast the southern Hemisphere—is with us during this episode to talk about what prompted her to return to Tasmania, Australia to move in with her mother. Emily is a single mom by choice, and the host of a great podcast of her own called Parents in the Know. She has a three-year-old daughter, and a one-year-old son, and she made that move home after struggling both with her finances and with prenatal depression while living on the other side of the country from her family. Emily speaks candidly about the experience of struggling with her mental health, and the value in letting ourselves get cared for by loved ones when we’re struggling. She and the kids now live in a busy, multi-generational household surrounded by her extended family. And to her surprise and delight—given she’s always been very independent—Emily says she’s never been happier.  Emily also runs a website for parents, the Parent Resource Centre—at parentresourcecentre.com. The focus of the website is Informed Parenting, and Emily’s passion is to help parents ask the right questions, look for the science behind the hype and make the best parenting decisions they can, based on sound knowledge.

Show Notes

parentresourcecentre.com/specialoffer

Jan 18, 2016

What does it mean to do a really great job of step-parenting? We’re joined in this episode by Julia Oosterman, who wrote a piece for thenewfamily.com’s 1,000 Families Project that readers absolutely adored. You see, Julia’s first experience of parenthood came when she started dating a man who had two children. Her super-loving and mature approach to step-motherhood was really applauded by our readers. But as she explains here, she didn’t always get it right, particularly in the early years. Julia’s family now includes four children with the addition of two she and her husband have had since. Julia and I talk about rocking the step-mother gig and life in a blended family.

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Show Notes

Join our Facebook Group Positive Co-Parenting After Divorce

Visit our Divorce Help page

Jan 14, 2016

What kinds of smarts will our kids need to thrive in adulthood? We’re joined in this episode by Doctor of Education Joanne Foster, a teacher, consultant, university lecturer award-winning co-author with Donna Matthews of the books Being Smart About Gifted Education, and Beyond Intelligence: Secrets for Raising Happily Productive Kids. She’s also the author of Not Now, Maybe Later: Helping Children Overcome Procrastination. Joanne has some really interesting insights to share about the many facets of our kids’ intelligence that are important today, which include not only academic knowledge, but creativity, emotional and social development, decision-making and life balance. She shares tips for fortifying success in times of challenge and change, and strategies on how parents can provide the safe, nurturing environments where kids can build on their own intelligence in response to an ever-changing world.

Show Notes

Jan 11, 2016

Should we be “familying” instead of parenting? We’re joined today by award-winning journalist and author Melinda Blau, the author of fifteen books, best known for her work as the voice of the Baby Whisperer books, a collaboration with the late Tracy Hogg. Those well-loved books have been translated into 22 languages. Melinda’s latest book, Family Whispering, carries those ideas forward. Melinda outlines compelling reasons to shift our focus from the parent-child relationship to a more holistic approach that takes into consider the family as a whole, creating investment of all members in the well-being of the household. It means that kids are asked to help establish house rules, but also to contribute meaningfully to the work that needs to be done. This episode is full of actionable advice for making your family life run more smoothly while raising industrious, responsible kids.

Show Notes

Jan 7, 2016

This episode is a fun one because I’ve got two amazing women on the show to talk to us about their unique friendship and the ways their families are communal parenting. Nadine Silverthorne and Kate Sanagan are both busy media moms who describe their relationship as “sister-wife-ish.” Along with their husbands, who have also become great friends, they’re helping each other out on the parenting journey. Their kids go to the same school and daycare, they’re on each other's pick-up lists and they eat dinner together once a week.  Even more importantly, Kate and Nadine do the critical work of talking each other down from the ledge in those really tough times. We talk about how it makes sense to share the load, as well as the emotional work, involved in raising children, and about how meeting each other was like finding their own small town within Toronto.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

This episode is sponsored by Ooka Island, a reading app so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. Join your host Brandie Weikle and the Ooka Island team today, Thursday, Jan. 7th at 8 p.m. Eastern 5 p.m. Pacific, for a Twitter Party all about how you can turn your child into an avid reader this year. Just join the conversation with the hashtag #ookareads.

For more information on Ooka Island and a special offer for New Family listeners, go to ookaisland.com/newfamily.

 

Jan 4, 2016

We’re joined on the podcast today by Amber MacArthur—known to many as Amber Mac—an internet entrepreneur, bestselling author, keynote speaker and TV and Radio Host. Amber is the author of national bestselling business book Power Friending and an authority on internet marketing. We chat business, technology and parenting, and—in contrast to what people might assume—how running her own business actually gives her the flexibility to be really present for her six-year-old son. Plus, we talk about the changing face of work and what it may mean for our children who are more likely than previous generations to grow up to be makers and entrepreneurs.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

This episode is sponsored by Ooka Island, a reading app so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. Join your host Brandie Weikle and the Ooka Island team this Thursday, Jan. 7th at 8 p.m. Eastern 5 p.m. Pacific, for a Twitter Party all about how you can turn your child into an avid reader this year. Just join the conversation with the hashtag #ookareads.

For more information on Ooka Island and a special offer for New Family listeners, go to ookaisland.com/newfamily.

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

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