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The New Family Podcast

A Kids, Family and Society podcast featuring Brandie Weikle
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239: Raising a Baby Born Too Soon
I’m joined for this episode by Tammy Sharrow, a long-time neonatal nurse and associate professor of nursing at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Along with her co-author Karen Lasby, she’s written a new book on life with a premature baby. It’s called Preemie Care: A Guide to Navigating the First year with Your Premature Baby. Tammy joins me to discuss the landscape of premature birth in Canada and some of what parents need to know about caring for a newborn infant and raising them up from there. We also talk about what parents of premature babies wish other people would know. Show Notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
238: Olympian Silken Laumann on Raising Kids to Embrace Vulnerability
It’s an absolute thrill for me to welcome celebrated, four-time Canadian Olympian Silken Laumann to the show. Many of you will remember Silken’s remarkable story as one of Canada’s most beloved and accomplished Olympic rowers. In 1992 she was warming up for the World Cup Regatta in Germany when another boat collided with hers at full speed. Her lower right leg received devastating injuries to bone and muscle and she was told she’d never compete at the Olympics again. But 10 weeks later she won an Olympic Bronze medal. Overcoming that difficulty is part of what’s made Silken a role model for others to overcome difficult circumstances. It’s part of what inspired her to write her book, Unsinkable, and now to host a storytelling website by the same name, with a mission to empower Canadians to achieve better mental, physical and spiritual health. With four kids in her blended family, Silken works hard to cultivate an atmosphere that’s honest and truthful about the tough stuff we go through, including mental illness. Silken speaks frankly about being raised by mother who has never accepted the help she needed for her mood disorder, as well as about Silken’s own bouts with depression. She and I delve into what it takes to cultivate a culture of openness about mental health and comfort with vulnerability in our families. Show Notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
237: Preparing for your teen to leave the nest
The departure for college or university represents a huge shift in our relationship with our nearly adult children. But, wow, can seem that they still have a lot of independence to achieve before they’ll be ready to make do without us. How do we achieve a sweet spot between supporting teens as they enter their post-secondary years, without helicoptering the heck out of them? Psychologist and best-selling parenting author Sara Dimerman marries her personal experience with two university-age daughters, as well as her expertise as a therapist, in her newest book called Don’t Leave, Please Go: What You and Your Teen Need to Know Before Heading to University or College. Show Notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
236: How This Young Man Recovered from Video Game Addiction
I’m joined for this episode by a mother and her adult son. Elaine and Jake Uskoski are here to share their experience with Jake’s video game addiction. They’ve started to share their story to help other families learn to identify where enthusiasm for digital play crosses into unhealthy territory and what it takes to come out of it when video games have taken over a young person’s life. Elaine has also written about this candidly in her book, Seeing Through the Cracks. Show Notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
235: Stephanie Land on Motherhood and Poverty
It’s my delight to be able to bring you a remarkable and important story today. I’m joined by author Stephanie Land, who has become known for her unflinching writing on poverty and motherhood. Stephanie writes about her years seeking out an existence for herself and her daughter through her work as a housekeeper. She writes about her struggle to make ends meet, her reluctance use of food stamps and the bigotry she encountered for needing to access social services. But she also chronicles her efforts to keep alive her dream of going to university and becoming a writer something she nurtured in blog posts about her life with her daughter and getting by in those years. Since then her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vox, Salon and elsewhere. Her book Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive is already a New York Times bestsller that’s been met with all kinds of critical acclaim. Although her circumstances have now changed, Stephanie remains active in fighting to change the stigma surrounding people in poverty, especially single mothers. Stephanie lives in Montana but while in Toronto to give in a talk she visited me in my small home studio. Show Notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
234: The Beautiful Thing About Gathering Community
For this episode, we welcome Leisse Wilcox back on the show. Leisse is a writer, coach, speaker and mom of three. She writes a very inspiring blog about personal growth, self-love and more at leissewilcox.ca and uplifts so many others through her community on Instagram. Leisse last joined us to talk about how divorce can be a springboard for personal growth. Since then she’s had some pretty major stuff going on, which she seems to have handled with a whole lot of grace and strength, but also with a lot of support from her community. Today Leisse and I talk about just how critical it is to gather community around you in times of need, as well as how she talked to her three daughters about the health challenge she faced. Show Notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
233: Cooking for a More Allergic World
Cooking for a group, sending lunch to school, is a different business these days. Something like 40 per cent of children are affected by life-threatening food allergens, and as my guest for today’s episode has found, many people don’t grow out of them. However, Amanda Orlando hasn’t let her food allergens stop her from making food a treasured part of her life. She’s just released her second cookbook, Everyone’s Welcome: The Art of Living and Eating Allergen-Free. While preparing lunch together at her condo in Toronto, Amanda and I chat about her experiences with anaphylactic reactions and how they’ve affected her. We also talk about Amanda’s quest to make it easier for people with serious food allergies have safe and delicious times around the table with family and friends. Show Notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
232: Helping Kids Navigate Friendships
There are times when the dynamics between our kids and their friends are sort of baffling. When things are going smoothly, everything is great. But when there’s friendship drama and hurt feelings, when friendships break down or there’s routine exclusion, it’s so hard to try to navigate these things. It’s also hard to know when we should intervene and when we should just leave things alone. To discuss these tricky issues I’m joined this episode by child development and parenting expert Caron Irwin, a mom of three and the founder of Roo Parenting, where she provides parents of kids zero to 12 with support to navigate the adventures and challenges of parenting. Caron shares some really great wisdom on where our roles lie in this arena and how we can support our kids to find their way to healthy friendships. Show Notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
231: The New (Digital) Childhood
Parents do a lot of hand wringing about the amount of time our kids spend on devices. And there are some good reasons for that. Naturally we want to make sure our kids aren’t leading sedentary lives and that they’re not just playing Fortnite or Minecraft, but getting a reasonably healthy amount of time outdoors. On top of this we have a tendency to worry that all these video games are turning our kids into antisocial automatons who won’t be able to interact well in the quote-unquote real world. But my guest for this episode has a very reassuring message about the digital lives of our children, and points out that, well, the digital world is in fact part of today’s real world. Jordan Shapiro is writer and psychologist who explores the intersections of digital play and family life. He’s the author of an absolutely fascinating new book called The New Childhood: Raising Kids to Thrive in a Connected World. Jordan contextualizes the anxiety parents have about this new form of play and storytelling by placing it in the fascinating history of how grown-ups have always responded to new steps in the evolution of child’s play. Show Notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
230: Money Matters - Realistic Budgeting and Financial Literacy for Families
This is the second of a two-part series Money Matters, which takes a look at some of the financial implications of raising kids today. In this episode I’ve again got two very insightful guests. You may have caught my guest Shannon Lee Simmons’ on CBC’s Metro Morning, the Marilyn Dennis Show or seen her column in the Toronto Star. Shannon is a certified financial planner and founder of The New School of Finance, as well as the author of two best-selling books, Worry-Free Money and Living Debt-Free. I also get to chat with Doretta Thompson, who’s the head of financial literacy for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. Doretta has a lot of great insights into how Canadians stack up in financial literacy, where we can improve, where we can access free resources and how to get started with turning around a difficult financial situation. This episode is full of straight talk on family finances, as is the first in this series, episode 229. Show Notes  Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
229: Money Matters - How Financial Anxiety Affects Families
This is the first of a two-part series that explores how money matters affect families. I’ve got two amazing guests for this episode. The first is celebrated parenting author Ann Douglas. She has written 30 books, including her latest, Happy Parents, Happy Kids. Ann and I dive deep into one of the important issues she raises in this book — the implications of financial anxiety for parents. We talk about just how much has changed with the cost of living, precarious work and more, and what those mean for the daily lives of parents, so many of whom are struggling to maintain a hold on a middle class lifestyle. In the second part of this episode, I speak to British-American labour economist and Dartmouth professor David Blanchflower on his research that found it's the cost of raising kids, not parenthood itself, that accounts for the decline in happiness associated with parenthood. These insightful conversations shed so much light on how financial anxiety is weighing on families. Show Notes  Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
228: Laughing and Crying
Long before we learn to speak, we communicate through laughter and tears. That’s because these non-verbal expressions come factory-installed. They’re instinctive, social and key to bonding us with one another, from our earliest days and through our whole adult lives. In this collaboration with documentary filmmakers Mike Downie and David Wells, we take a look at some of the fascinating science between why we laugh and cry. As Mike puts it, laughter and crying are an incredible expression of our humanity, and highlight a life well lived. I also chat with one of the scientists featured on the Laughing and Crying documentary, Dr. David Haley, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Show Notes  Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
227: Why Confidence Tanks for Girls and Women
At least here at home, we see girls picking up academic awards on assembly days at schools and we know that for years, women have been out-graduating men from university. Yet, conversely, there’s still a wide wage gap and under representation of women in executive and other leadership roles. It turns out that something critical happens to the confidence of girls and women as they pass through their teens and into early adulthood. My guest for this episode is Caroline Riseboro, president and CEO of Plan International Canada, a non-profit organization whose work on behalf of children’s rights and equality for girls is well known to many of us. Plan International Canada recently did a survey on confidence in girls in women and the results are startling. We talk about what societal shifts need to happen to address gender equality and how parents can help prepare their daughters for some of what they will encounter in the world. Show notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
226: A Healthy Relationship with Food Begins at the Beginning
This episode we’re joined by esteemed parenting writer Teresa Pitman. Teresa has been writing about raising kids for more than 30 years, and she’s the co-author of several books, including Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding and Sweet Sleep. As a La Leche League leader she has helped countless new parents with nursing their babies and is such an important advocate for and resource on breastfeeding and many other aspects of baby care. But today we’re going to talk about how the early days of feeding a baby can set the foundation for a healthy relationship with food down the line. Teresa touches on this in her latest book called Baby-Led Weaning, The Not-So Revolutionary Way to Start Solids and Make a Happy Eater. Show notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
225: Your Kids Are Capable of Doing So Much More
Most of us know that our kids could be more self-sufficient and helpful around the house than they are today. We look back on our own childhoods and see that we developed life skills much earlier than our own kids, but for various reasons — including our tendency to pack our schedules with activities that are focussed on the kids, we haven’t made this a priority with our own children. So how do we go about raising our kids in a way that both nurtures them and helps them develop abilities to care for themselves and to contribute to their households and communities? If you’re heard anything about Montessori education, you likely know that it puts a lot of importance on practical life. I’m joined today by Simone Davies, a Montessori teacher and the author of The Montessori Toddler: A Parents Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being. While the book focuses on the toddler years, it’s guidance on the Montessori philosophy is relevant to all ages. Simone and I talk about how our kids are capable of far more than we may currently be expecting of them, and how to cultivate the self-sufficiency and life skills they’ll need to thrive when they eventually leave the nest. Show notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
224: Parental Alienation & Reunification Therapy
I’ve talked a lot on this show about positive co-parenting, but sadly, there are still a lot of acrimonious divorces where positive co-parenting is just not possible. My guest for this episode, family lawyer, Marlene Kazman, is here to speak to us about what can happen in some of the most destructive cases where parental alienation is a factor. As a member of the family law team at Garfin ZIdenberg LLP, Marlene handles a full spectrum of family law matters including divorce proceedings and negotiation of separation agreements, and she’s recently done what’s known as “make law” here in Ontario, by winning a decision that’s created an easier pathway to something called reunification therapy. Marlene and I talk about the problem of parental alienation, the help families can get from reunification therapy and the one thing Marlene wishes all separating parents could know. Show notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
223: How to Have Body Positive Conversations About Healthy Eating
You’ve heard this before — obesity rates among children and youth have nearly tripled over the past three decades. We know kids today are, on average, more sedentary then we were, and there are a lot of reasons for that. But what do you do if your child is one among the countless kids who aren’t active enough and who perhaps don’t have a healthy body weight or the best eating habits? How do you address that with them without being body shaming at all? We want to take care of our kids’ health, but we really don’t want them to be insecure about their shape. I’m joined by Dr. Amy McPherson, a senior scientist at senior scientist at the Bloorview Research Institute and the author of a booklet called Fostering Positive Weight-related Conversations. This episode is jam-packed with concrete advise for navigating these tricky waters, and for laying the foundation for good conversations about healthy eating and body diversity from the start. Show notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
222: Raising Boys With Positive Ideas About Masculinity
We’ve heard a lot about toxic masculinity in the last year or so. But are we doing enough to provide men and boys with newer, more evolved, more positive and accepting ideas about what it means to be a man? My guest on this episode has a lot to say about this subject. John Kim, also known as “The Angry Therapist,” has helped thousands of men find more happiness in their relationships and more purpose in their lives. A pioneer in the online life coaching world, John has said that too often boys are left without adequate role models or coping skills to deal with the stuff that life throws at them. And even though he’s a pro at this stuff, John is candid about the fact he’s had his own struggles, hence the title of his new book, I Used to Be a Miserable F***. John shares concrete advice on how we can guide our boys to healthy ideas about being a man in this episode that’s a must listen for anyone raising, teaching or guiding boys and young men, as well as men interested in their own self-discovery. Show notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
221: Happy Parents, Happy Kids
Today I am so delighted to have friend and colleague Ann Douglas back on the show. Ann is 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. My dog-eared copies of her books The Mother of All Pregnancy Books and The Mother of All Baby Books got me through my early days of parenting, as they did — and continue to — for so many other parents. Ann’s work is informed by her experiences in the parenting trenches as a mother of four. She has written 30 books, including her latest, Happy Parents, Happy Kids, which just hit bookstore shelves. It tackles how to parent without anxiety, guilt or feeling overwhelmed. In it she offers important context and concrete advice about boosting your enjoyment of parenting, which includes prioritizing your own mental and physical health alongside that of your other family members. This must read is also a call for broader change in the way society supports parents.  Show notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
220: Raising Children with Justice, Mercy and Kindness
My guest on today’s show has an interesting personal story to tell about differentiating her own parenting experience from the fundamentalist religion she was schooled in growing up. In fact, Cindy Wang Brandt has written a book on how to treat children with justice as well as how to encourage them to develop their own sense of what’s right and wrong. It’s called Parenting Forward: How to Raise Children with Justice, Mercy and Kindness. Cindy also hosts a podcast called Parenting Forward. She’s here to talk about her upbringing, her work and her mission to spread the word about raising children with racial justice, gender equality, gender affirmation and their own sense of what’s worth fighting for. Show notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
219: What Sparked the Entrepreneurial Fire in this 15-year-old Founder
At just 15 years old, Campbell Baron has run a successful social media video production company and rubbed shoulders with A-list entrepreneurs for his new podcast and video series, The Ones Who Succeed. He’s also cold emailed, called and pitched his way to a full sponsorship for his show, a coup for an independent content producer at any age. We wanted to know what motivates a young person to start their own entrepreneurial ventures, so for this episode, we talk to both Campbell and his parents about his earliest experiences in the world of business, how his mom and dad have nurtured this in their son and how Campbell has managed to pull off his latest endeavour while juggling school work. Don’t miss the story of Campbell’s very first business at the age of nine! Show notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
218: What it takes to be — and raise — a mentally strong woman
For this episode it’s my pleasure to have a very wise woman back on the show. Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, social worker, therapeutic foster parent and the world’s leading voice on the topic of mental strength. She’s the author of the international bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, which was born from her own remarkable personal story of mental strength, as well as a viral article by that name that has since gone on to be read 50 million times. We had Amy on the show back on episode 166 when her follow up book 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, which was the most popular episode of 2018. Amy has expanded on her very tangible advice about mental strength in the third installment of her books on the topic, 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do. While there’s advice in the book that applies to everyone, woman, man or child, we dive into some of the female- specific experiences that can hold us back, and the reasons why it’s particularly important to have a discussion about women’s mental strength in the era of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. These are great qualities to develop in ourselves and model for our children. Show notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
217: A Chat with Working Moms Creator Catherine Reitman
For this episode I had the enormous pleasure of chatting with Catherine Reitman, creator and star of the hit CBC show Working Moms, now underway with its third season. Working Moms manages to be hilariously funny while offering an unvarnished version of modern-day motherhood. Catherine and I dig into topics like why no one asks if dads can “have it all,” why we carry so much guilt for pursuing our own dreams and the importance of finding a community of other parents to share the journey. Show notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
216. Why We Need Classrooms Where Kids Get Up and Move
As you know, it’s so critical that we address the fact that kids are far too sedentary these days. Today I’m joined by Amy Tepperman, founder of Moving EDGEucation. Moving EDGEucation works with teachers across Canada to integrate movement and social-emotional learning methods into daily curriculum, such as math and literacy, in order to improve student well-being and academic engagement. They provide resource and tools for teachers to keep students physically active, creative, expressive and interactive while learning. Not only does this keep kids in better physical health, it makes the process of learning more effective and enjoyable. Show notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
215: We Need to Do A Better Job of Caring for New Moms
We try our best to prepare for parenthood while we await the arrival of our first-born babies, but there’s really only so much we can know until we’re in the trenches with our wee ones. Until then we plan as best we can for our baby’s birth, endeavouring to exert some control over a process that can’t really be controlled. When baby arrives we become laser focussed on baby’s care and feeding. But what about the care of the ones doing all that feeding, comforting and changing? My guest on today’s episode is Maria Lianos-Carbone, the woman behind a highly successful lifestyle blog for moms, A Mother World. Maria is now also the author of Oh Baby, A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year, which invites readers to pay a little more attention to their own care and feeding — and critically, to their mental health as well. Maria and I talk about the factors that make a difference for new moms, as well as the policy and cultural changes we’d like to see to better support new parents. Show notes Love our work? Please check out our Patreon Campaign! Become a patron of the show for as little as $1 per month
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Podcast Details
Started
Jan 25th, 2016
Latest Episode
Jun 17th, 2019
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
205
Avg. Episode Length
26 minutes
Explicit
No

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