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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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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

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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

Dec 28, 2015


Child and adolescent psychotherapist Katie Hurley joins me for this episode. She’s the author The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World. Katie encourages us not to get caught up researching every hiccup, cough and tear. Instead we should get back to the basics of a taking the time to connect and get to know our kids so we can tailor our parenting to their individual personalities, she says. Katie makes the incredibly good point that we all experience up and downs throughout our days, but that as adults we’ve simply had the chance to learn how to manage. Since children don’t come into the world with a kit full of coping skills, our job as parents is to teach them the vital lesson that they are in control of their own happiness. Katie defines happiness as knowing that you can handle everything that comes your way, and that if you have a rotten day, you always get a chance to start over again the next day.

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Show notes

Dec 24, 2015

What if the best gifts we could give a child were a chance to fail, plus a big pile of housework on the side? In this episode we’re joined by Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. Jessica is an educator, speak and writer. She’s taught middle and high school for over a decade and she writes a column called “Parent-Teacher Conference” for The New York Times. When her article for the Atlantic—“Why Parents Need to Let Their Children Fail”—went viral, it had clearly struck a chord with parents who have begun to realize that we’re doing too much to sweep challenges out of our children’s way. Jessica’s got some great advice on how we can step back from our kids’ homework and make consequences more logical. And she explains why it’s critical that we let kids build competence by getting them involved in domestic duties around the house.

Show Notes

 

Dec 21, 2015

Kelly Bos and her husband are living what for many of us is our wildest dream. Ever gone on a tropical vacation and thought, “We should move here?” Well, as Kelly shared in her 1,000 Families Post on thenewfamily.com, she and her husband had those thoughts and actually made it happen—even with a baby in tow. She now lives in the British Virgin Island with her husband and two kids. Kelly shares the ups and downs—yes there are actual downs—of living in the tropics. Plus, since Kelly is a psychotherapist, she shares a little wisdom about dealing with some of those complicated emotions we have around the holidays.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Dec 17, 2015

The evidence is overwhelming. Grateful people—especially those who make practising gratitude an everyday habit—lead happier and more contented lives.  Taking the time to express gratitude regularly boosts happiness and optimism. That said, it’s not always easy to keep gratitude front of mind. My guest in this episode is Kevin Clayson, who likes to go by the moniker, chief officer of awesome. Kevin is an international professional speaker who has shared his simple formula for unlimited joy and fulfillment with everyone from elementary school students to business leaders. Kevin is also one of the founders of a very successful investment and personal development company called Strongbrook, and the father of three adorable kids. But I asked him to be here today because he’s also the author of a book called Flipping the Gratitude Switch: Four Easy Steps to Increase Your Happiness, Accelerate Your Success and Change the Trajectory of Your Life. Kevin and I chat about what it takes to raise grateful kids in an environment where they don’t want for much.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Dec 14, 2015

Dr. Kay MacPhee, a former principal and teacher, spent 25 years developing techniques that enable the hearing impaired to form language skills and learn how to read. You’ll recognize the name of her company, Ooka Island, as the inaugural sponsor and huge supporter of this podcast. But I asked Dr. Kay to come on the show today because her own personal journey as a parent is quite remarkable, starting with the discovery that her son was born profoundly deaf. It truly is an inspiring story of stopping at nothing to advocate for a child and in so doing, for the children of thousands of others (a journey that’s even taken her to the White House). But there’s also a really valuable message about raising our children to be able to face adversity and carry on stronger because of it.

Show notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Dec 12, 2015

In this special bonus holiday episode, I share some of my best advice for managing stress this hectic time of year. Learn how to embrace doing less so you can enjoy your holidays more.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

 

Dec 10, 2015

Lawyer-turned-family mediator Rosanna Breitman has gained unique insight into the reasons marriages fail through her work with people navigating separation and divorce. Rosanna helps people who are dealing with the intense sadness, anger and pain of marriage breakdown by using positive, conflict resolutions skills so they can co-parent well moving forward. But being in this line of work has taught her so much about the common problems that lead to divorce. In fact, she writes a great blog called “A Fly On The Wall” offering the inside scoop on relationship problems and practical advice on how to avoid those marriage-ending patterns. Rosanna and I chat about the recurring themes of discontent and broken communication that cause marriages to end. And she shares the little things people can do better to benefit their marriages and avoid a trip to an office like hers, or worse, family court.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

 

Dec 7, 2015

This episode's guest shines some light into a world that we don’t hear that much about—the world of infertility and the industry that has sprung up around it. Therapist Erica Berman does fertility counselling for people who are seeking to become parents, as well as for the gestational carriers (often referred to as surrogates) who help their families come to be. In talking to Erica I’ve come to understand that Canada has become a medical tourism destination for would-be parents who come here from countries where all all forms of surrogacy are illegal. Erica also shares about how her own difficult infertility journey led her to choose this area of therapy. Today she helps families of all kinds, including couples struggling with infertility, same-sex couples and single women embarking on parenthood with the help of a sperm donor. She explains some of the ignorant attitudes and crazy assumptions intended parents encounter on their journeys to start a family, and provides insight into what motivates women to give complete strangers such a tremendous gift by acting as gestational carriers.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Dec 3, 2015

For this fun episode, The New Family’s food editor, Michael Forbes, is on to share his fantastic meal-planning secrets! Mike’s a father of two and an avid cook who has always managed to make the family dinner a priority. Hear all about his unique—and very manly, I’ll add—weekend menu-planning routine, plus the shortcuts he uses to make the family dinner happen despite having two kids with busy extra-curricular schedules. Mike and I get into some of our favourite dinner rituals, the value of routine (even if it means you’re repeating some favourite meals) and how to expand your definition of what qualifies as dinner (Croque-Monsieur, anyone?). We talk about the way family meals allow us to connect, and Mike points out why we might need to adjust our thinking about our kids’ table manners a little so we can enjoy our time together.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 20% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Nov 30, 2015

For this episode, I talk with my friend Heather Greenwood-Davis about taking her kids out of school for the year and travelling the world as a family, hitting 29 countries on six continents. Heather is a travel writer whose work has appeared all over the place, including Oprah magazine and National Geographic Traveller, and many other top-notch publications as well. She also writes a great blog called Globetrotting Mama. Heather and I talk about how she and her husband pulled off an around-the-world trip with two boys in tow, but more importantly, about realizing your dreams and living a no-regrets life.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. To get an exclusive 30% discount for listeners of The New Family podcast only at ookaisland.com/newfamily by midnight Nov. 30, 2015. Listening later? You can try the first level for free at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Nov 26, 2015

For this episode, I talk with my friend Karen Green. Karen and her husband Chris have made the kind of bold change in their lives that a lot of people fantasize about but aren’t quite prepared to actual make happen. Karen was born and raised in Canada’s largest city, Toronto, but a few years ago she and Chris packed up and moved to the country, not just to a little commuter village outside of the city but fully 300 kilometres away to a place Karen lovingly refers to as “the cornfield.” Karen is a writer with a really great blog called The Kids Are Alright and she joins me to talk about moving to the country for a quieter life surrounded by family.

Show Notes

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. Try the first level for free at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Nov 23, 2015

For this episode, I chat with New York business journalist and mom of two Emma Johnson. Emma is the host of a podcast called Like a Mother with Emma Johnson, and she’s also the woman behind the popular website Wealthy Single Mommy. Is Wealthy Single Mommy a contradiction in terms? Hell no! Emma explains how she overcame the initial hangups she had when her marriage ended—that becoming a single mother meant being a welfare mom who would always struggle financially and in life in general. When she launched her blog geared to other professional single moms, the response was incredible. The number one challenge Emma's readers share with her is fear about running into financial problems. So Emma recently launched an online course called How Not to be a Broke Single Mom, as well as a dynamic Facebook group called Single Mom Society. Emma’s message is empowering and inspiring to all moms, regardless of their circumstances.

Show Notes

Sponsor:

Ooka Island

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by Ooka Island, a reading program so fun your kids won't even realize they're learning at all. Try the first level for free at ookaisland.com/newfamily.

Nov 18, 2015

For this episode I’ve got a guest with an incredible story to tell. David Knapp-Fisher is a traveller, writer, speaker and dad from Victoria, B.C. He shares how his son Tristan’s diagnosis with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy crystallized and accelerated his goal to see the world with his son. He and his wife, Paula, made incredible sacrifices to take their son on an epic trip to Europe while Tristan was still well enough to go. The trip—and what happened when they got home—were life changing events that David has shared in his popular TEDx talk. Hear how his family has made experiences a priority over material things in this inspiring conversation.

Show notes

Nov 16, 2015

In this episode I’m joined by psychotherapist and parenting educator Andrea Nair. Originally a high school teacher, Andrea decided to change careers and become a family therapist because she was fascinated by the dynamic between her students and their parents. But when she became a mom herself she realized she had lots to learn about getting through some of those long days with little kids, and some massive lifestyle changes to make to get the family life they wanted. Today Andrea is a respected voice among parenting educators, an author, a blogger and woman behind a new app called Taming Tantrums: Parenting solutions to reduce toddler freak outs. Andrea drops some incredible value bombs on helping our kids manage those big emotions at any age from toddler to teen.

Show Notes

Nov 12, 2015

For this episode, I speak with mom and step-mom Jackie Gillard. Jackie is a writer with a great blog called “My Papaya Jambalaya: Random thoughts on life in a second marriage with a blended, transracial, adoptive family.” She and I chat about her unique journey to motherhood, first with becoming a step-mom and then, following unsuccessful fertility treatments, through international adoption. Jackie wrote a beautiful contribution to the 1,000 Families Project on our website, thenewfamily.com. And it’s actually one of the posts that helped us get nominated for best blog in the Canadian Online Publishing Awards. Jackie opens up about the triumphs and challenges of life in a trans-racial blended family, including how she handles some of the crazy comments from strangers. And you won’t want to miss the story of the first moment she met her daughter.

Show Notes

Nov 9, 2015

In this episode I’m joined by psychologist and parenting expert Susan Newman. Susan is the author of 15 books including The Case for the Only Child as well as Parenting an Only Child: the Joys and Challenges of Raising Your One and Only. She and I chat about the pressure on families to have more than one child, as well as the negative assumptions that singletons grow-up spoiled and selfish. Susan makes the argument that despite the fact that single-child families are on the rise, attitudes about only children remain stuck in the past. She points out some significant benefits to having just one, including increased financial resources, career advantages for moms, and close bonds between parent and child. In fact, she calls the single-child family, “The New Traditional Family."

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Show Notes

Nov 5, 2015

Sara Lanthier joins me in this episode to talk about her journey to become a mom without a partner. Sara is a mother to seven-year-old Will, and she blogs about single motherhood at urbanmoms.ca. We talk about how she came to decide to become a “choice mom”—and on how picking a sperm donor is a little like online dating only without all the awkward coffee dates. Sara speaks candidly about the good and bad parts of going it alone as a parent, the importance of having a great support network around you as a single parent, and on just how critical it is to remember that the sun will always come up in the morning.

Show Notes

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