With help from guest authors, experts, and community and business leaders, the Familius Helping Families Be Happy podcast explores topics and issues that connect families to the nine habits of a happy family: love, play, learn, work, talk, heal, read, eat, and laugh together.
Raising Multicultural Kids: Tips for Celebrating Diversity at Home with Erika Sargent
On today's episode of the "Helping Families Be Happy" podcast, host Christopher Robbins, co-founder of Familius Publishing, husband, father of nine, author, fisherman, backpacker, and aspirational musician based in the Central Valley of California, talks to Erika Sargent. She is the founder of Multicultural Parenting, an organization that helps parents raise their children with a better understanding and appreciation of their cultural heritage. She graduated from Brigham Young University to BA in communications. Today they are discussing specific ways that parents can incorporate more culture into their homes and family’s upbringing.
01:51: Multicultural parenting is an online community that works to help families raise their children with a better understanding and appreciation of their cultural heritage. It includes a blend of interviews, resources, actionable item steps and personal experiences from multicultural parents.
04:41: When Erika was looking for resources to help with multicultural parenting, she found a lack of general multicultural parenting resources. While there were options for specific cultural backgrounds, she wanted to create a broader platform that would provide support and resources for families with diverse cultural backgrounds, hence the creation of multicultural parenting.
05:04: Erika highlights that there are abundant resources for raising bilingual children but limited guidance for families seeking to incorporate multiple cultural backgrounds into their parenting approach.
06:24: Erika emphasizes the importance of providing parents with simple and actionable steps to connect their children with their cultural backgrounds.
07:01: Christopher acknowledges the significance of multicultural parenting and Erika's work and ask about practical steps that parents can take to celebrate their culture with their children.
08:23: Incorporating everyday living like music, TV programs or games and cooking like preparing recipes with cultural backgrounds or family cookbooks in everyday activities into family life can help parents celebrate their culture with their children in a natural and meaningful way says Erika.
10:25: Erika recommends using public libraries as a valuable resource. They offer a wide range of books, including picture books and nonfiction books, that can help parents teach their children about their cultural history.
11:34: Christopher mentions that many children in their area speak Spanish, and Erika confirms that dual immersion programs, where children are taught in bilingual classrooms, are growing in popularity across the United States.
13:13: Erika highlights the joy of being a multicultural parent, as it provides an opportunity not only to pass on cultural traditions but also to continually learn new things and deepen one's own cultural understanding.
13:54: Erika introduces the concept of "participate" as the last pillar in their discussion. This pillar encourages people to step out of their comfort zones and become actively involved in their community's cultural aspects.
15:05: Christopher summarizes the three pillars of their discussion: "Educate, celebrate, participate." These pillars provide a comprehensive framework for parents and families to enrich their understanding and appreciation of their multicultural backgrounds and the broader cultural diversity within their communities.
15:41: Erika emphasizes that parents can expand their horizons without necessarily having to travel to different countries. Many events, such as festivals and museum exhibits, provide opportunities to experience diverse cultures without the need for expensive travel.
17:17: Erika highlights the importance of utilizing family members as valuable resources.
3 Key Points
Erika's talks about the importance of utilizing resources like libraries and culturally diverse books to make learning about one's cultural heritage an enjoyable and engaging experience for children.
Growing Up Happy: Navigating Children’s Emotional Health with Hillary Waller
On today's episode of the "Helping Families Be Happy" podcast, host Christopher Robbins, co-founder of Familius Publishing, husband, father of nine, author, fisherman, backpacker, and aspirational musician based in the Central Valley of California, is going to talk to Hillary Waller, Director of Education and Programming and a psychotherapist at the Postpartum Stress Center. She offers individual and group therapy services, manages training and education programs, and leads educational in-services at the center.
01:21: Hillary Waller's interest in parent-child relationships led her to pursue a Master's degree in counseling psychology with a specialization in marriage and family therapy. She now conducts specialized training sessions for organizations seeking expertise in the treatment of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
02:07: Christopher and Hillary’s discussion topic revolves around the increasing prevalence of anxiety and depression among today's children, which is described as almost reaching epidemic proportions.
03:55: Hillary encourages parents to reach out to therapists and professionals who can offer insights into what is normal behavior and what may be a cause for concern. She suggests that when a parent's instinct tells them something isn't right, that should be considered a red flag, prompting them to seek help and guidance from qualified professionals.
05:00: Being closely connected with their child allows parents to recognize when something deviates from the norm and may require further attention or investigation.
05:27: Christopher emphasizes the importance of being present with our children and getting to know them well enough to recognize when something is an outlier or deviates from their usual behavior.
06:30: Hillary acknowledges the developmental stage of teenagers, who simultaneously desire their parents' involvement and support while also seeking independence and privacy. She emphasizes the need to strike a balance between respecting their independence and understanding when to intervene when necessary.
08:11: Christopher shares a personal experience of seeking therapy with their young son and realizing that therapy was not just for the child but also for the parents. They then ask if using phrases like "well-being" might be more appropriate than saying "mental health."
10:25: Hillary highlights the significance of parents learning self-regulation strategies so they can effectively communicate with their children about their feelings. By providing children with language to express their emotions, parents help them develop emotional intelligence.
13:19: Hillary suggests that if a parent already has their own therapist, they can initiate a conversation about their child's mental health with them.
14:30: In response to the host's question about common denominators or triggers for children's mental health issues, Hillary Waller acknowledges that it's a complex question because there are numerous factors that contribute to children experiencing anxiety and depression.
16:32: Hillary Waller emphasizes the importance of physical presence and eye contact when sitting with children and teenagers to discuss their feelings and challenges. She mentions that when people are overwhelmed and stressed, their bodies often feel tense, which is closely related to anxiety.
17:20: Being present and making eye contact with your child, regardless of their age, can have a positive and calming effect.
18:21: The love parents have for their child is the most important and powerful tool they have in helping their child through difficult times.
3 Key Points
Christopher and Hillary discuss the issue of the stigma associated with mental illness, anxiety, and depression. They acknowledge that there might be generational factors or societal influences contributing to this stigma.
Hillary suggests that using the terminology of "emotional health" can be less stigmatized than "mental health." Sh
From Summer Freedom to School Screens with Jessica Speer
On today's episode of the "Helping Families Be Happy" podcast, host Adina Oberman, talks to Jessica Speer. She is an award-winning author known for her books "Not Really Friends," "Middle School Safety Goggles Advised," and the newly released "The Phone Book," which are interactive books aimed at preteens and teens. These books entertain while addressing important topics, blending humor, science, stories, and insights to help young readers navigate challenges during adolescence.
02:14: Jessica shares the challenges of children using devices more frequently or differently than they did during the summer.
02:45: Jessica gives her advice by suggesting practical steps for families to prepare for the school year transition.
04:28: Jessica emphasizes the importance of encouraging healthy communication between children and their teachers when it comes to using technology.
05:20: Digital literacy is a crucial new form of literacy, given that so much information is now presented on screens. With the rise of digital communication, it's challenging for kids to discern what is true and what is not, and even the emotional nuances in messages can be lost.
05:46: To help children become more media literate, Jessica suggests a gradual process that starts with teaching them how to assess the credibility of information.
06:21: In today's parenting landscape, a significant aspect involves guiding kids to be safe online, promoting good digital citizenship, and fostering literacy.
06:39: With the power that devices provide, children can communicate through texts and messages either positively and kindly or in a harmful way.
06:57: By teaching kids about their digital influence and encouraging them to make positive choices online, parents can help mold their children into responsible and empathetic digital citizens.
07:39: Digital social interactions can be even trickier than in-person interactions due to the absence of nonverbal cues and the involvement of more people in online conversations.
08:46: Family tech agreements are widely available online, but they can vary in content. Parents need to review a few options and choose one that best suits their family's dynamics and values. However, the tech agreement is just the starting point.
10:33: Jessica provides valuable guidance on how to handle situations where things may not be going well about technology use and its impact on various aspects of a child's life.
15:03: Jessica highlights the importance of helping kids create healthy habits around screen time.
3 Key Highlights
Jessica discusses how her book "The Phone Book" helps both adult and younger readers understand media literacy in the context of phones, screens, and the internet.
Jessica explains how it is crucial to identify specific areas or times in the house where screens are not allowed.
Jessica highlights her approach to "The Phone Book," emphasizing its aim to facilitate important conversations with kids about their phone usage. While the book is written for preteens and early teens, she encourages parents to read it as well to engage in discussions about topics such as stranger danger, digital literacy, digital footprints, and reputation.
"In elementary school where children might be encountering devices for the first time or using them more extensively for assignments and testing." - Jessica Speer
"If a child is having trouble with a device or encountering challenges, they should feel empowered to communicate their issues to their teacher so that they can receive the necessary support." - Jessica Speer
"By creating a calm and understanding atmosphere, parents can address challenges related to technology use without creating unnecessary tension or conflict. The focus should be on finding solutions together and supporting the child's overall well-being and success." - Jessica Speer
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Fostering Family Unity Through Literature with Cynthia Hope
In today's episode, host Dr. Carla Marie Manley, a clinical psychologist and author from Sonoma County, California, talks to Cynthia Hope. She is the author of the book "My House, My Family." She discusses her background, including her family and faith, and mentions that she grew up with parents who had an open home. This episode highlights the interactive and enjoyable aspects of reading with children and Hope's dedication to fostering language development and a love for reading from a young age.
01:04: Hope talks about her background and mentions that her family and faith strongly influence her identity. She dedicates her book to her parents, Reverend Glen, and Betty Keenan, who played a significant role in her life. She highlights how her parents opened their home and hearts to many children, fostering and adopting them. Additionally, her parents built a camp for inner-city children and teenagers, creating a sense of family and community for them.
02:13: Hope discusses her parents' work in both an inner-city church and a camp they built, which posed different challenges. She emphasizes the importance of adapting to the circumstance’s life presents and making the best of them.
03:18: Hope talks about the various children who became a part of her family through fostering and adoption.
05:03: Hope explains the essence of what's inside her book, "My House, My Family." She emphasizes the importance of every child and parent feeling loved and accepted within their family structure, regardless of race, origin, or community.
07:39: Carla underscores the importance of showcasing diverse family structures and experiences through literature, allowing readers to connect with and appreciate the richness of different family narratives.
09:35: Hope mentions that parents, therapists, and psychologists have shared their experiences of people picking up the book, even in waiting rooms. This indicates that the book's message is resonating and connecting with a wide range of individuals.
10:26: Hope expresses her surprise and delight that parents are finding a personal connection to her book. She believes that the book offers comfort and a sense of togetherness for parents as well.
11:53: Hope and Carla discuss the joyful and meaningful experiences that books like Hope's can create for families.
13:57: Hope emphasizes the diversity of family dynamics and practices depicted in the book, as well as the overarching message of love, acceptance, and togetherness that unites all families.
15:31: Hope's book is suitable for children aged 2 to 10 and is a picture book. It's designed to be a quick read, taking less than 5 minutes before bedtime, but also offers opportunities for engagement with children through the bird spotting activity and the discussion questions.
16:27: Carla praises the way Hope's book employs the "show, don't tell" approach to demonstrate loving behaviors and actions rather than just instructing them.
17:58: Drawing from her own experiences, Hope shares a story about her adopted daughter from Burma. She recalls an incident where her daughter squatted down in the middle of a mall to rest, explaining that it was a behavior she learned from her own culture.
18:19: Hope highlights the need for cultural sensitivity, active listening, and embracing children's individuality as important elements of creating an inclusive and loving family environment.
19:10: When it comes to children, whether they are biological or come into the family through other means, the key is to listen to them, understand what makes them tick, and avoid pushing one's own agenda onto them.
21:05: Carla highlights the importance of family, love, understanding, and inclusivity, as well as the impact that literature and storytelling can have on fostering positive values and relationships within families.
3 Key Points
Hope talks about her book's inclusivity and its potential impact on various aspects of society, from families and care
The Back-to-School Balancing Act with Donna Tetreault
In today's episode of the "Helping Families Be Happy" podcast, host Christopher Robbins, co-founder of Familius Publishing, husband, father of nine, author, fisherman, backpacker, and aspirational musician based in the Central Valley of California, talks with guest Donna Tetreault. She is a national TV parenting journalist, seen on NBC News, The Today Show, Dr. Phil, The Doctors, and The Talk on CBS. She is also seen regularly in Los Angeles on KCBS/KCAL, NBC's California Live, KTLA, and Spectrum News One. The episode focuses on discussing how to support children as they return to school.
00:59: Donna's work has been featured on prominent shows such as the Today Show, The Talk, The Doctors, and Dr. Phil. She has also written for prestigious institutions like Harvard's Graduate School of Education, U.S. News & World Report, parents.com, Your Teen magazine, and Thrive Global.
02:17: Donna and Christopher discuss, the dynamics and challenges of the back-to-school transition for families.
02:40: Donna and Christopher delve into the array of emotions that parents and children may feel at the start of the school year, ranging from excitement to anxiety, and the various levels of preparedness.
03:00: Donna suggests that heading back to school is an opportune time to introduce a family meeting.
05:59: Christopher acknowledges the value of being a supportive presence behind the child, helping them reach their goals and fostering their independence.
07:50: Donna shares the role of friendships in education and offers practical guidance for parents on supporting their children's social interactions and relationships at school.
08:48: Moving on to teenagers, Donna emphasizes the importance of teenagers' involvement in school activities like athletics, clubs, and the arts to help build bonds with peers.
09:20: Christopher shares a practical tip for parents to get to know their child's friends by inviting them over and being welcoming, even opening the refrigerator to offer food.
10:33: Donna shares her experience of creating vision boards with their own children since they were little and how the process has evolved.
11:43: Donna and Christopher discuss the challenge of balancing academics and extracurricular activities.
13:40: Monday nights are always reserved for a family night in their household. During this time, they engage in activities like making pizza, playing games, and having conversations. This dedicated family time helps foster connections and maintain a healthy balance between various aspects of life.
15:05: The conversation touches on the idea of learning and growing from experiences, embracing failures, and trusting in the process of self-discovery and decision-making.
17:50: Donna provides valuable advice and perspectives for parents on supporting their children's growth, education, and well-being, emphasizing trust, open communication, and fostering a balanced and supportive environment.
3 Key Points
Donna highlights the importance of family communication and involvement in supporting students' success in school.
Donna and Christopher offer practical strategies for parents to support their children's social interactions and friendships at different stages of their education.
Donna emphasizes the concept of balance and effective ways parents can guide their children to achieve both academic success and well-rounded development through extracurricular activities.
"Kids with friends in school tend to perform better academically." – Donna
"Parents help their children prioritize their school responsibilities while also engaging in extracurricular activities they enjoy. The goal is to ensure that technology doesn't interfere with these pursuits." – Donna
Allowing parents to trust their kids in this academic journey their own journey, that there are going to be failures. There's going to be successes and those failures matter, and we have to allow them to fail and just trust.
From Chaos to Creativity with Kristine Pack of the Family Fun Pack
On today's episode of the "Helping Families Be Happy" podcast, host Dr. Carla Marie Manley, a clinical psychologist and author from Sonoma County, California, talks with guest Kristine Pack. She is a YouTuber known for her YouTube channel "Family Fun Pack." The podcast aims to explore various aspects of family, love, and relationships. Christine discusses her YouTube channel and her experiences as a mother. The conversation focuses on her role in her family and her online presence.
01:34: Kristine shares how she manages the challenges of raising seven kids in the modern world.
01:52: Kristine explains that managing her seven children involves several strategies. She emphasizes the importance of having a schedule, although she notes that the schedule isn't overly strict. As long as she accomplishes what needs to be done on a daily basis for everyone, she's satisfied.
03:20: Dr. Carla Marie Manley expresses admiration for Kristine's courage to go on a month-long road trip with her family.
04:02: Managing Kristine's YouTube channel is a substantial commitment for everyone in her family, akin to a full-time job.
06:35: Kristine used to suffer from migraines but hasn't experienced one in years, which she attributes to her regular exercise regimen.
07:39: Kristine shares her YouTube journey. She explains that it all began in 2011 with a video she made for her mother-in-law, capturing their twins going to bed. At that time, she used YouTube to share the video as it was the most convenient option.
09:40: Given her losses, Christine decided to use YouTube as a backup for her videos. She began uploading videos to the platform, realizing that they wouldn't be deleted as she had feared. Encouraged by this, she uploaded several videos without any editing since she didn't know how to edit at the time.
11:12: Kristine attributes the popularity to a combination of their family dynamic, the timing of the uploads, and the fact that vlogging wasn't as common then as it is now.
12:14: Kristine also reflects on how her approach to YouTube has changed. Initially, they didn't use ads on their videos because she found it rude, but they eventually embraced ads as a way to sustain their channel financially.
13:02: Kristine explains her perspective on finding fun in everyday life and how she portrays her family on their YouTube channel.
15:59: In today's world, many kids are exposed to adult concepts at a very young age, and she emphasizes the importance of allowing children to just be kids and enjoy their childhood without unnecessary exposure to adult issues.
20:16: Reading is not only educational but also provides opportunities for learning and growth, says Kristine.
23:07: Kristine prefers her children to use devices in common family spaces like the living room rather than isolating themselves with their devices.
23:43: Kristine explains that she is very mindful and observant when it comes to her children's device usage.
26:21: Kristine emphasizes the importance of being cautious about the games and platforms they use, avoiding any interaction with strangers, and promptly reporting any suspicious behavior.
3 Key Points
In her pursuit of self-care, Kristine joined a fitness class and later hired a personal trainer to help her on her journey. Even though her busy schedule and frequent travels make it challenging, she remains committed to training when she's home.
Kristine talks about the unpredictable nature of technology and the challenges of preserving meaningful memories in a digital age.
Kristine talks about meditation and yoga books for kids, which can promote mindfulness and mental well-being from a young age.
"Self-care isn't selfish but rather beneficial for the entire family system." - Kristine Pack
"YouTube videos have gone from us uploading random stuff that's not edited to being a little bit edited to let's do challenges." - Kristine Pack
"Focusing on good moments, like spending time
Spectacular! So filled with love and uplifting information!
What a delight to listen to podcasts that are enriching and filled with heartfelt information. Genuinely good for the heart and soul!
Great Podcast! It really helps families be happy
Interesting authors and experts are interviewed in their family fields and share scores of ways that families can be happier. And who wouldn’t want just a little more happiness in their lives? No one! Love this podcast and its mission.
Family focused content
So refreshing to find a podcast that has such a well-rounded approach to making a family work. Thank you!