2017 is coming to a close, and like every other year, it was a year full of parenting fails. But if you're feeling guilty about all the things you've done wrong, take comfort knowing you aren't alone. Every parent makes mistakes. The best thing we can do is just say sorry and try not to make the same mistakes again. Parenting is stressful enough without beating yourself up for past mistakes. And that's what this episode is all about.
This week we’re starting our countdown of the best parenting fail stories shared on the show in 2017. (Obviously, one parenting fail isn’t better than another. This countdown is just for fun.) Five stories will be shared in this episode and we'll continue the countdown from 10-6 next week.
Devorah Blachor, who has a brand new book out titled The Feminist’s Guide to Raising a Little Princess: How to Raise a Girl Who’s Authentic, Joyful and Fearless – Even if She Refuses to Wear Anything But a Pink Tutu, is this week's featured guest.
In our conversation, we talk about how Devorah, as a committed feminist, reacted to having a daughter who loved everything pink, princess-related and classicly girlish. We also talk about how her daughter’s interests have changed her own and given her a new perspective on feminism.
Doug Moe, a longtime teacher and performer at the legendary Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, is this week's featured guest. In our conversation, we talk about his new book Man vs. Child: One Dad's Guide to the Weirdness of Parenting. We also talk about fellow parents he's performed improv with such as Amy Poehler, Rob Corddry, Bobby Moynihan and Rob Huebel, about the similarities between improv acting and parenting, about writing parenting humor and about the general weirdness of parenting.
James Breakwell, who Buzzfeed says might be the funniest dad on Twitter, is this week's featured guest. He was actually an early guest on this podcast in episode 12 when we talked about how his parenting humor helped him build a following of nearly 200,000 followers on Twitter. Well, now he has nearly 1 million followers on Twitter alone and a brand new book called Only Dead on the Inside: A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse.
In our conversation, we talk about many of the interesting things that have happened to him since our last interview, including the book deal and adding a pet pig to his family that already included four daughters. I also ask him about his writing process and what piece of advice he has that could apply to kids and zombies both.
How can you improve your child’s behavior and attention span without drugs, labels or coercion? Dr. Thomas Armstrong, author of The Myth of the ADHD Child: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion, attempts to answer this question on this week's episode of the podcast.
Now, I want to point out that Dr. Armstrong has opinions on ADHD that many doctors don’t share, but I think it’s important to ask questions and he does a good job of asking questions about a disorder that confuses many parents.
In our conversation, we talk about the rise in ADHD diagnoses, what schools are doing right and wrong to help kids who have short attention spans, and about tips to improve your child’s behavior and attention without drugs.
Family coach, Dr. Catherine Pearlman, is this week's featured guest. She is the author of the new book Ignore It! How Selectively Looking the Other Way Can Decrease Behavioral Problems and Increase Parenting Satisfaction.
In our conversation, we talk about common concerns parents have when they seek help and about how ignoring some problems is actually a smart thing to do. We also talk about the proper way to manage a time-out, whether it’s too late to help a spoiled child and much more.
Husband and wife writing team Mike and Heather Spohr are the featured guests this week. Mike, who is the parents editor for Buzzfeed, has actually been on the show once before in episode 36. So if you want to hear about his work at Buzzfeed and the secrets of going viral, you should definitely check out that episode.
But this week we’re welcoming him back with his wife Heather because they have a brand new book coming out together called The Toddler Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Whiny Unfed. In our conversation, we talk about how they came up with the idea for their book, how they landed a book deal, what the process was like to get it published and what it’s like being a husband and wife team writing a book.
Diaper Dude Chris Pegula is this week's featured guest. Chris created the company Diaper Dude after noticing most diaper bags and accessories were designed for moms. So instead of carrying his baby-stuff around in a gym bag or backpack, Chris created The Diaper Dude for dads.
In our conversation, we talk about how he created a company that makes diaper bags that even celebrity dads like Brad Pitt, Ben Stiller, David Arquette and Matthew Broderick are using. We also talk about Chris’ new book, Diaper Dude: The Ultimate Dad's Guide to Surviving the First Two Years. He even shares a great parenting hack that involves turning clothes around backward.
Heather Haupt, author of Knights in Training: Ten Principles for Raising Honorable, Courageous, and Compassionate Boys, is this week's featured guest. In our conversation, we talk about the differences between raising boys and girls and how about to raise boys who grow into motivated, courageous and kind adults. We also talk about homeschooling and how to know whether you are qualified to be a homeschool teacher.
Nicola Yoon, the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of two books Everything Everything and The Sun is Also a Star, is this week's featured guest.
Everything Everything has been adapted into a movie, which is in theaters right now, and I had a chance to talk to Nicola about the book and the movie at the Mom 2.0 Summit.
One of the things I thought was so interesting about Everything Everything is that even though it is a Young Adult book, it was inspired by a very common feeling parents have after having a baby. Nicola shares what that feeling was in our conversation. We also talk about the movie reflecting the book and about her new book The Sun is Also a Star, which was influenced by her Jamaican roots.
7th Heaven star Barry Watson is this week's featured guest. Barry has a brand new show premiering June 2 on UP TV called Date My Dad, a dramedy about a great dad who is a few years removed from having his wife pass away and is re-entering the dating scene at the encouragement of his daughters.
In our conversation, which took place at the Mom 2.0 Summit in Orlando just a couple of weeks ago, we talk about Date My Dad as well as 7th Heaven. We also talk about how to play an authentic and funny dad on TV without making him goofy - like so often happens to dads on TV. And we also talk about how he researched his new role and how his father-in-law Robert Wagner helped him prepare.
Jay Papasan, author of multiple bestselling books including The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, is the featured guest this week. In our conversation, we talk about how he and co-author Gary Keller came up with the One Thing concept and how it can help parents. We also talk about why creating lists might be a bad idea and about the right time for parents to try and launch a new business.
Platinum-selling singer-songwriter and mother of two kids Lisa Loeb is this week's featured guest. In addition to her radio hits, she has multiple children’s albums, specials and books, she's also created The Camp Lisa Foundation to allow kids, who wouldn't normally have the opportunity, go to summer camp.
In our conversation, we talk about her work for adults and children and about why she wants to help more kids attend summer camps. We’ll also talk about how she talked Steve Martin and Ed Helms into playing on her children's albums, about the music industry for modern artists and, of course, about her #1 hit song, a song I absolutely love, called Stay (I Missed You).
This is the second of two parenting fail episodes I'm releasing this week in honor of my new book Perfect Parenting: A Complete History. (Spoiler Alert) There is no history of raising kids perfectly. Thus, every one of my new book’s 40 chapters are empty. It is the parenting book with the fewest words but most important lesson: You aren’t going to be a perfect parent. Get Perfect Parenting: A Complete History now on Amazon for only $5.
This week, I'm releasing two editions of parenting fails in honor of my new book Perfect Parenting: A Complete History.
I did the research and (Spoiler Alert) there is no history of raising kids perfectly. Thus, every one of the book’s 40 chapters are empty. It is the parenting book with the fewest words but most important lesson: You aren’t going to be a perfect parent.
If you want lessons on how to be a perfect parent, DON’T buy this book. But if you or a friend needs a funny reminder on your coffee table, nightstand or both that perfect parenting is impossible, this book could be the almost-perfect book for you. At the very least, it will be the easiest book for you to finish reading this year. It’s only $5 right now on Amazon, and again it’s called Perfect Parenting: A Complete History.
Pinkalicious author and illustrator Victoria Kann is this week's featured guest. In our conversation, we talk about how she got started writing children’s books, the cool technique she uses to create her signature Pinkalicious illustrations and about the Pinkalicious musical. We also talk about her writing process and about her new book, Peteriffic, which follows the adventures of Pinkalicious’ brother Peter.
Jenna von Oy who played Blossom’s fast-talking best friend Six on the show Blossom is this week's featured guest. She’s also starred in The Parkers and made several guest appearances on shows like Cold Case, 7th Heaven, Chicago Hope and Martin. She’s even voiced characters on animated shows and movies like Family Guy, The Goofy Movie and Hercules.
But now she’s playing the real life role of a mom and she’s just released her second book called Situation Momedy: A Very Special Episode in Toddlerdom.
In our conversation, we’ll talk about how she started acting at an early age and what advice she has for parents with kids who want to act. We’ll talk about how the fast-talking skill she developed on Blossom has helped her as a parent. And we’ll talk about how real world parenthood compares to the family sitcom.
Julie Clark, the creator of Baby Einstein, CEO of WeeSchool and author of more than 30 bestselling children’s books, is this week's featured guest.
In our conversation, Julie tells her awesome story of how she turned her idea for a baby video into a company that Disney would eventually buy. We also talk about how she balances the roles of entrepreneur and stay-at-home mom. She even gives advice to other parents about how to start their own company. And finally, we talk about her new innovative company, WeeSchool, which features an all-in-one app for parents and babies.
Super Troopers director Jay Chandrasakhar is this week's featured guest. In addition to Super Troopers, Jay has directed the movies Beerfest, Club Dread and Dukes of Hazard. He's also directed some amazing TV shows like Arrested Development, Community, Chuck, New Girl, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Human Giant, Psych and others.
Jay has a brand new book out called Mustache Shenanigans: Making Super Troopers and other Adventures in Comedy. So I ask him about the book, Super Troopers and his work with the Broken Lizard Comedy Troupe. We also talk about being a dad and the upcoming Super Troopers 2 movie.
City Dads Group co-founder Matt Schneider is the featured podcast guest this week. In our conversation, Matt and I talk about how he and Lance Somerfeld started City Dads Group in New York City after finding a lack of opportunities for dads to hang out together and learn from each other. We also talk about how quickly City Dads Group has grown across the country and how to be a part of the group.
Because City Dads Group was started by two stay-at-home dads, I also ask Matt about being a stay-at-home dad, about how dads can maintain their identity if they choose to stay at home and how they can continue to be encouraging to their spouses.
Family therapist Colleen O'Grady, author of Dial down the Drama: Reducing Conflict and Reconnecting with Your Teenage Daughter, is the featured guest this week.
In our conversation, Colleen gives me a preview of what I have to look forward to when my kids become teenagers. We’ll talk about the differences between parenting young kids and teenagers. And since Colleen is the first family therapist to appear on the show, I ask her about how to know when you should actually see a family therapist. Because who hasn’t thought they could use a therapist at one time or another?
Marc Webb, director of The Amazing Spider-Man movies and 500 Days of Summer (also amazing) starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel is the featured guest this week.
On April 7, Marc has his next movie coming out titled Gifted. The movie stars Chris Evans (Captain America) who plays a single man raising his child prodigy niece. So in our conversation, I asked Marc about what he learned from researching this movie about how to help a gifted child fulfill their potential without pushing them too far. I also asked Marc how he gets the best performances out of child actors, which can be a very hard thing to do. I know I struggle to get my kids to say please, so I can’t imagine what it would be like to try to get them to say a memorized monologue. I will say, however, that Mckenna Grace, the girl who plays Chris Evans’ niece in the movie, is a very gifted actress. I know she helped make Marc’s job easier.
And finally, I asked Marc about directing Spiderman, because that’s kind of a big deal. According to IMDB, The Amazing Spiderman 2 had a 200 million dollar budget. That’s a lot of responsibility for a director. But Marc did awesome, just like he did this interview.
Behind the Scenes: When I interviewed Marc, we were both at the Dad 2.0 Conference in San Diego, so there is a little bit more noise in the background than usual. My interview last week with HGTV's Josh Temple was at the same conference.
Josh Temple, host of the popular HGTV show House Crashers, is this week's featured guest. In recent years, Josh has also hosted America’s Toughest Jobs on NBC, Ultimate Treehouse on the Discovery Channel and Backyard Nation for TLC.
What makes Josh a great host of House Crashers is that he’s not only entertaining, he is also a real licensed contractor. But since this host, me, doesn’t know much about home improvement, in our conversation I made sure to ask him for easy home improvement tips. We also talked about how he got into doing home improvement projects and how to get kids interested in architecture and engineering.
Behind the Scenes: When I interviewed Josh, we were both at the Dad 2.0 Conference in San Diego, so there is a little bit more noise in the background than usual.
Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians Trilogy, which is now a TV series in its second season on SyFy is the featured guest this week. Lev is also the book critic and lead technology writer for Time, but I think he would be most proud to tell you that he is a father of three kids.
In our conversation, we talk about why the fantasy genre and books like Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia have such a wide appeal to audiences young and old. We also talk about what it’s been like to see his characters from The Magicians reimagined for TV on SyFy, what books he has enjoyed introducing to his kids and what we can expect from his next book about King Arthur’s knights after the collapse of Camelot.
Heather Armstrong, known by her fans simply as Dooce, is this week's featured guest. She is not only one of the most successful bloggers of all time, she is a mother of two, a New York Times bestselling author and she has even been the subject of a question on Jeopardy that went like this:
Rhyming with “Juiced”, it’s "to lose one’s job because of one’s blog", coined by blogger Heather Armstrong
The correct answer was, "What is Dooced?" - because, as you might infer, Heather famously lost her job because of her blogging about it.
In an article by the New York Times that called her the Queen of Mommy Bloggers, it said she had 100,000 visitors to her site daily. So I think blogging has worked out pretty well for her.
In our conversation, we’ll talk about how blogging has changed since the early days, how bloggers can use their platform to promote positive messages, how Heather helped influence the creation of Twitter and how her readers helped her with her postpartum depression.