This podcast is for parents and caregivers who want to orient ourselves toward a future where everyone can flourish. And to do that, we are learning to recognize and resist the ways Dominance Culture shows up in our lives and homes. Here you'll find conversations and practices that support us in our journey. I'm Rachel Alva. I’m a parent myself, a former elementary teacher, and a justice-centered parenting coach. Over the last 17 years, I've worked closely with over a thousand kids to learn how to lead in ways that meaningfully share power, so that we can prepare our kids for the kind of future they deserve. Our homes will never be perfect, but they can be mini-havens where we and our kids learn that justice is possible and worth pursuing.
What Patriarchy Costs Fathers & Families with Steve Disselhorst (part 3 of 3)
I'm back for part 3 with DEI consultant Steve Disselhorst. As a gay man who always dreamed of becoming a dad, Steve had the opportunity to redefine fatherhood and masculinity beyond hetero-normative scripts.
In this episode, Steve and I discuss:
why co-liberation (h/t Tawana Petty) from patriarchy helps men, toothe high costs patriarchy extracts from menwhy queer folks can experience freedom or heightened gender expectationswhat Steve has gained by not following the heterosexual script for fatherhood Steve's experience of nearly losing his childSteve's path to becoming a man and parent who bucks the social script for men and emotionshow making peace with his non-dominant identity as a gay man allowed Steve to pursue co-liberation in his dominant identitiesListen in and join the conversation.
Roles in Parenting Partnerships with Steve Disselhorst (part 2/3)
I'm back for part 2 with DEI consultant Steve Disselhorst. As a gay man who always dreamed of becoming a dad, Steve had the opportunity, along with his husband, to re-imagine how their parenting partnership could look.
In this short episode, I ask Steve:
What do you think of as your most important roles in your kids' lives right now? Would your partner have the same or a different answer? Does it make sense for parents in partnerships to specialize? Or should they generally see themselves as having the same role?Listen in and join the conversation.
What Straight Couples Can Learn from Gay Dads with Steve Disselhorst (part 1/3)
We want to build families where every individual can flourish. But despite our best intentions, it's challenging to share the domestic load equitably within our parenting partnerships. Patriarchal, hetero-normative gender roles can deeply impact our lives without our consent.
As a gay man who always dreamed of becoming a dad, Steve Disselhorst had the opportunity, along with his husband, to re-imagine how a family structure could look. In this 3-part series, I ask Steve to share some of his experiences and perspectives. In this episode, Steve and I discuss:
how Steve and his husband have approached the intense domestic workload that comes with raising kidshow hetero-normative work cultures push families into traditional gender roles how the caregiver penalty at work hurts dadswhat to do when the primary caretaker knows things that other parent doesn't how our upbringings shape the roles we take in our parenting partnerships how to make invisible labor visible what to do when one partner has more domestic skills, but you want to share the load
Co-Liberation is for ALL of us.
Co-liberation is exactly what it sounds like:
getting free, together.
A co-liberatory lens (h/t Tawana Petty) invites us to recognize how we are all harmed by the policies and cultural patterns that target people in marginalized bodies, so we can fight like hell to all get free.
The concept of co-liberation has powerful implications for all aspects of our lives, but nowhere is it more relevant than in the intensive work of raising kids. We want our kids' experiences to be humane, and we want our family lives to be humane and joyful for us, too.
In this foundational episode, I talk about:
how and why every single oppressive system that is intended to elevate certain bodies over others also harms the intended beneficiarieshow to interrupt hierarchies of human dignitywhere to uncover solutions that are humane for everyone in situations where resources (including rest!) are scarcewhat to do when scarcity is internalizedwhat we can do when scarcity is actively reinforced by outside forcesVisit the shownotes to find Tawana Petty's original graphic, other helpful visuals, and a blog post version of these ideas.
Insights? Questions? Email me at email@example.com
72. Parenting Through the Lens of DEI with Erica Courdae
How does your commitment to justice inform how you raise your kids? This was the question I asked DEI coach & consultant Erica Courdae this week. We also talked about:
Erica's experience of being a Black parent and DEI consultant in 2020Why it's so critical to prioritize your own humanity over productivityAvoiding burnout in justice and care workThe conversations Erica WISHES we were having moreFind out more about Erica and her work here or at the shownotes page for this episode.
71. Taking Up Your Own Space with Erica Courdae
We want our kids to honor their own and others' boundaries, but our culture doesn't exactly model this skill.
This week, I am joined by DEI coach & consultant and mother Erica Courdae to talk about what it means to "take up space"—at home and in the world in a way that also respects others' space.
We also discuss:
How to avoid defaulting to harmful hierarchiesThe helpful kinds of hierarchies within familiesNavigating personal autonomy + the collective goodHow to use "the 5 whys" to make better decisionsFind out more about Erica and her work here or at the shownotes page for this episode.
Great prompts for caregivers and teachers
Useful hat tips to a great variety of contemporary thinkers! I appreciate the exposure to ideas plus Rachel’s reflections on them as a parent and educator. Chill, non-didactic style. Helps me navigate being a progressive parent who believes in Respectful Parenting but needed more real-world applications for my life than I was finding online.
Encourage everybody to take the time to listen and truly take in the message this podcast gives on each episode ❤️
All the feels!
This podcast is exactly what I need for navigating 5 boys (4 are bonus sons) and my own mixed past with teaching and parenting. It’s easy to only see the paradigm of binary parenting and teaching where you are either too strict or too lax. Rachel leads us off that path and and on to one that is shame-free and transformative. I love how she unpacks the different systems of oppression, names them, then brings light to how we all can make small changes to having a happier family life and a more just world. This episode touched me deeply because I connected so much with her frame that the land, humans and all living things are partners. We tend each other. I love her evolving concepts of land use and conservation. Then she used that wonderfully to connect to the act of parenting or caregiving. This was a gift to my heart on my walk today.