10 episodes

Tell a young person what to do - play fair, be yourself, stick to the task at hand - and most will tune you out. But show them how choices and consequences play out in the real world, with real people, and the impact will be far more effective and long-lasting. Based on interviews with over 100 people from around the world and from all walks of life as they reflect on their most profound and unexpected moments of clarity about who they are and how they should treat others. The lessons help teach 23 powerful character traits that will help your child grow into the adult you'll be proud to call your own.

Character Traits from Parenting with a Story: ambition, open-mindedness, creativity, curiosity & learning, courage, integrity, self-reliance, grit, hard work, self-confidence, money & delayed gratification, health, positive mental attitude, dealing with loss, kindness, patience, fairness & justice, humility, respect for others, friendship, social intelligence, forgiveness & gratitude, appreciation of beauty.

Parenting with a Story Podcast Paul Smith

    • Parenting
    • 4.6, 14 Ratings

Tell a young person what to do - play fair, be yourself, stick to the task at hand - and most will tune you out. But show them how choices and consequences play out in the real world, with real people, and the impact will be far more effective and long-lasting. Based on interviews with over 100 people from around the world and from all walks of life as they reflect on their most profound and unexpected moments of clarity about who they are and how they should treat others. The lessons help teach 23 powerful character traits that will help your child grow into the adult you'll be proud to call your own.

Character Traits from Parenting with a Story: ambition, open-mindedness, creativity, curiosity & learning, courage, integrity, self-reliance, grit, hard work, self-confidence, money & delayed gratification, health, positive mental attitude, dealing with loss, kindness, patience, fairness & justice, humility, respect for others, friendship, social intelligence, forgiveness & gratitude, appreciation of beauty.

    SOCIAL Disobedience: It’s like civil disobedience with your friends and neighbors

    SOCIAL Disobedience: It’s like civil disobedience with your friends and neighbors

    The past three weeks have been an almost non-stop parade of protests, all centered around the most recent tragic deaths that didn’t have to happen.







    “Yes, that’s terrible. But what can I do?” you might ask. After all, you already changed your Facebook profile for BlackOut Day. And you even attended a Black Lives Matter march. So, you’re good right?







    No, not really.







    Those things only signal that you’re on the side of making

    things better. But only on the side. As

    in, the sideline. If you actually want to make a difference, you need to get

    off the bench and into the game and that’s a lot harder than changing your

    profile picture. And it probably means getting knocked around a little. I don’t

    mean literally. This isn’t a call to violence. And I’m not suggesting you

    intervene in an active arrest or break the law in an act of civil disobedience

    (although both of those have their place, too).







    Here I’m talking

    about the kind of thing you can do on a daily basis by just calling out bad

    behavior when you see it — in your family, friends, and neighbors. And that

    takes courage. It might mean temporarily straining relationships with people

    you care about. In the worst situations, you might even lose a friend over it.

    But in most cases, you’ll end up earning new respect, from others, and for

    yourself.







    Instead of “civil” disobedience, let’s call

    it “social” disobedience. Because in this case, you’re rubbing

    up against generally accepted rules of social behavior, like “If you don’t

    have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” or going along with

    what everyone else is doing even if you don’t agree with it. Or, more

    generally, the aversion many of us have to disagree with or offer even the

    gentlest of criticism to people we know for fear of damaging the relationship.







    We need to get over

    that. True friends will appreciate you being honest and direct with them

    anyway.







    So, here’s an

    example of what that looks like in the context of racial bigotry. But social

    disobedience can be used for any worthwhile social change that you support and

    from any side of the political spectrum. If it’s important to you, let the

    people closest to you know — especially when they themselves are the problem.







    Basketball with Torlick







    When Ed was a five-

    or six-year-old boy growing up in Colorado, he noticed that his was the only

    house in the neighborhood painted red. All the other houses were either brown

    or green. When he asked his dad why, his father said very matter of factly, “Because

    when we moved in, the Homeowners Association told us we could only paint it

    brown or green. So, naturally, I painted it red.”







    Apparently, Mr.

    Tanguay wasn’t much of a rule follower, at least not with rules he considers

    unworthy. So you shouldn’t be too surprised at how he responded on another

    occasion when he received a more unsettling directive from the HOA. 







    When Ed’s older

    brother Mark was fourteen, he visited their aunt and uncle, who were on

    assignment in the Peace Corps in the Marshall Islands, very close to the

    equator in the western Pacific Ocean. Just prior to returning home, he called

    his parents to ask if he could bring home a guest for a while. He’d befriended

    a local boy named Torlick who’d never been to the United States.

    • 5 min
    Meeting Kenny Tedford

    Meeting Kenny Tedford

    I’ve been wanting to write this post for six years. Seriously. This is the day that I get to start telling the world about one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met.

    His name is Kenny Tedford. And he’s the subject of my new book that’s being published today, called Four Days with Kenny Tedford. And despite the title, it’s one I’ve been working on for over six years. So, I’m incredibly pleased to tell you that it’s finally on shelves today.

    I can also confidently say that it’s the most meaningful book I’ve ever written, or ever will. And once I explain to you a little about Kenny Tedford, you’ll understand why.

    Now, I’m going to have a lot more to say about Kenny and this book in other posts. In fact, I’ll probably bring him on my podcast and let you get to know him personally. But I think what I should do here is let you meet Kenny Tedford the way I met Kenny Tedford, which I explain on the first few pages of the book.

    So, if you’ll indulge me, I’m just going to share those first two and a half pages to you so you can see how we met, and get to know a little about Kenny. 

    Excerpt from the Four Days with Kenny Tedford, page i.

    I was sitting in the front row waiting for the next performance to start when I saw him. He was a large man. Sixty-ish. With grey hair encircling a bald head, and glasses thick enough to start a fire on a sunny day.

    He walked slowly and deliberately, with a slight list to one side. He made his way down the aisle and sat in the chair next to me.

    Following quickly behind him was a twenty-something man with dark hair. The young man pulled one of the empty chairs out of the row, turned it around backwards, placed it directly in front of the older man, and sat down with his back to the stage.

    I was intrigued, to say the least.

    A few minutes later, the next speaker walked on stage and started her performance. The young man, who’d been staring at the older man, silent and motionless since sitting down, suddenly sprang into action. He lifted his hands in front of his chest and began a flurry of cryptic motions that identified him immediately as a sign language interpreter, and the older man as deaf.

    I thought that was pretty ballsy, a deaf guy at a three-day storytelling festival.

    I knew immediately I wanted to meet him. So at the next break, I introduced myself. We exchanged a few pleasantries, enough to know that he was an affable sort of guy. But we both had to go to our next set of workshops.

    An hour later, I was walking with a tray of food, looking for an empty table, and that same affable fellow walked up to me and asked if I wanted to have lunch with him. I quickly accepted.

    We sat at a table by ourselves, his interpreter having been given time off for lunch.

    For the next hour, I listened to Kenny Tedford tell his story.

    I listened while he spoke with impressive diction, but with the muted tones of a deaf person. And he read my lips, seemingly, as easily as I spoke with them.

    But, underneath the telltale tone of his voice, I noticed something else telling. His vocabulary and sentence structure were both charmingly juvenile. As his story unfolded, I started to understand why. His deafness turned out to be only one of many challenges life dealt Kenny Tedford. He was almost blind in one eye, and had poor vision in the other, partially paralyzed on his left side, unable to speak well until the age of ten, and had somewhat limited cognitive abilities,

    • 7 min
    An Angry Therapist’s Guide to a Meaningful Life

    An Angry Therapist’s Guide to a Meaningful Life

    My guest this week is John Kim. He’s a licensed marriage and family therapist and one of the the pioneers of the online life coaching movement.

    Interestingly, he calls himself the “Angry Therapist.” It’s essentially an admission that, while he was a licensed therapist and life coach, he was no better off than the people he was helping — and admission that probably made him a more empathetic therapist.  

    More to the point of our conversation, John is the author of a new book called, I USED TO BE A MISERABLE F*CK: An Everyman’s Guide to a Meaningful Life which we dug right into. 

    John lays out 66 Dos and Don’ts in the book, some of which are listed below. The ones in bold we actually had time to talk about, and you can see exactly where in the conversation those came up. 

    John was a lot of fun to talk to. So, please click play above and give enjoy the dialogue. But, be warned, I will fully pronounce the title of his book several times. 🙂

    John’s 66 Do’s and Don’t include:



    Do be vulnerable 

    Don’t be a douche, don’t be a bully, and don’t whine

    Don’t choose passion over purpose (6:00)

    Do participate in self-care 

    Don’t get trapped in your bubble, don’t stay in your comfort zone, and don’t take yourself too seriously

    Do go on man dates, and also do some things on your own

    Do admit when you were wrong or when you don’t know the answer to something.

    Don’t pee in the shower (10:22)

    Don’t stop courting your partner

    Do create your own definition of success instead following the definitions of others.

    Do separate who you are from what you do

    Do make your bed 

    Don’t be afraid to fail

    Do try to understand before being understood (11:55)



    We also talked about:



    * How to respond and not react (13:05)

    * Going from Misery to Meaning (15:10), including how he got the name, the “Angry Therapist”. 



    You can find John at theangrytherapist.com. 

    Click these links to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or Podbean.



    Paul Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on business storytelling. He’s a keynote speaker, storytelling coach, and bestselling author.

    Connect with him via email here. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

    Sign up for his newsletter here to get one new story a week delivered to your inbox.

    • 19 min
    What to Know Before They Go (to College)

    What to Know Before They Go (to College)

    My guest today is Dr. Pamela Ellis. She conducts research into the areas of high school of college transition, parent engagement, African-American males in education, and college completion.

    As part of that, she’s visited more than four hundred colleges and universities internationally to understand their cultures and their academic and social opportunities available to students. That’s allowed her to help hundreds of young people successfully navigate the college-admissions process, as well as advise universities and school districts as well.

    And she’s also the author of the book, What to Know Before They Go: College Edition.

    In the podcast, we talked about:



    * The college admissions scandal involving Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. (1:30)

    * Should kids pay for their own college tuition? (3:20)

    * Who should think about taking a gap year? (7:25)

    * Dr. Ellis’ top tips for getting ready for college (11:50)



    That last one includes ideas like:

    Develop independence and self-awareness and self-advocacy



    * Start in middle school

    * Learn how to make friends

    * Spend time alone and be okay with it

    * Less screen time

    * Learn how to ask help from a teacher

    * Let them participate in overnight programs when young 3-4 days

    * Let them handle problems at school, they go to teacher, you don’t



    Student owns process for post high school



    * Take an interest inventory

    * Let them do the application

    * Let them research colleges, not mom and dad

    * Let them plan college visits

    * Let them figure out what they like and want to do



    Give a listen to our conversation above. . .

    You can learn more about Dr. Ellis at https://compasscollegeadvisory.com/.

    Click these links to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or Podbean.



    Paul Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on business storytelling. He’s a keynote speaker, storytelling coach, and bestselling author.

    Connect with him via email here. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

    Sign up for his newsletter here to get one new story a week delivered to your inbox.

    • 25 min
    Kids, Sex, and Screens: Upping Your Parenting Game

    Kids, Sex, and Screens: Upping Your Parenting Game

    If you’re curious whether you should stalk your kids online (spoiler: you should, at least for a while), this is the woman to ask.

    My guest this week is Dr. Jillian Roberts. She’s a child psychologist, a professor, and the associate dean at the University of Victoria. And she’s also the author of the new book, Kids, Sex, and Screens: Raising Strong, Resilient Children in the Sexualized Digital Age.

    I asked Dr. Roberts to explain the problem she’s trying to solve with this book. She explained that when she first started practicing as a psychologist, the clients she had referred to her had trouble wetting the bed, or a failed math test, or a bully on the playground.

    But now the challenges she sees are much more acute: children being solicited online, being addicted to screens, and stumbling on sexual material before they’re ready.

    As a result, she’s devised what she calls a 7-Point Compass of solutions for parents to deal with today’s challenges. An outline of the compass is below. But please click play above and listen to our conversation as she explains each of them in more detail.





    * Start talking early – before they get online. 5 or 6 years old

    * Give unconditional love



    * Don’t shame them when you find a child being curious

    * Don’t react in anger





    * Stay current – Be nimble and aware of online influences.



    * Get a Snapchat account

    * Teach them how to be a good digital citizen

    * Follow them online, at least for a while, while they’re learning





    * Set smart boundaries



    * Self – be true to yourself and your values

    * Family – are you violating family expectations?

    * Community – what are your community’s standards?

    * Online – are you sharing shallow minutia? Purpose of your sharing? Something helpful? Consensual? Advocating for a cause?





    * Nurture relationships IRL, not just on-line.

    * Lose stigma and prejudice around taboo topics



    * Get rid of the awkwardness of talking about sexuality. Be very matter-of-fact.





    * Build resilience

    See list of 40 top things in the book that parents can do to build their kid’s grit and resilience.



    You can find out more about Dr. Roberts and her work at drjillianroberts.com or familysparks.com.

    Click these links to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or Podbean.



    Paul Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on business storytelling. He’s a keynote speaker, storytelling coach, and bestselling author.

    Connect with him via email here.

    • 36 min
    Montessori Parenting Without a Montessori School

    Montessori Parenting Without a Montessori School

    You’ve no doubt heard that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were educated at Montessori schools and attribute much of their success to that upbringing.

    So, what if you want those kinds of opportunities for your kids, but you don’t have the resources or the opportunity to do that where you live?

    The answer, according to a Montessori teacher in Amsterdam, is that you can create the same environment at home, without the school.

    This week on my podcast I was joined by Simone Davies, author of the new book The Montessori Toddler: A Parent’s Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being.

    She shared a few simple ideas parents can use at home to get those same Montessori school benefits at home. Listen to our conversation above, and check out her book here.

    You can learn more about Simone, her book, and her ideas at https://www.themontessorinotebook.com/.

    Click these links to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or Podbean.



    Paul Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on business storytelling. He’s a keynote speaker, storytelling coach, and bestselling author of the books Lead with a Story, Parenting with a Story, and Sell with a Story.

    Connect with him via email here.

    Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

    Sign up for his newsletter here to get one new story a week delivered to your inbox.

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

BDavis41085 ,

Cannot get enough!

These stories are so compelling, visual, emotional, and thought-provoking that can't help but listen to the next one and the next one. I binged on the first four episodes and had to play them through my speakers in my room in order to keep listening while I got dressed for work one morning. Super easy to listen to!

poopantor ,

Ok ok

I googled would you rather for kids and this came up I’m not trying to say this is a bad podcast but I googled would you rather and all they talk about is their children i’m listen I’m not trying to be that one guy but still

Kristin Pedemonti ,

Lessons for Life Delivered with Heartfelt & Helpful Stories

Once again Paul Smith delivers truly helpful life lessons with collaborative stories culled from so many real life encounters and interviews, his tone is sincere, the stories are REAL and deeply heartfelt and impactful. Looking forward to every episode as it unfolds. A great podcast not only for parents but for People! (Yes, parents are people, too!) :)

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