150 episodes

Simple Families offers solutions for living well with children. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness and decreasing the mental load. As a Mama with a doctorate in Child Development, Denaye’s perspectives are grounded in research, but more importantly real life.

Simple Families Denaye Barahona Ph.D.

    • Parenting
    • 4.8 • 773 Ratings

Simple Families offers solutions for living well with children. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness and decreasing the mental load. As a Mama with a doctorate in Child Development, Denaye’s perspectives are grounded in research, but more importantly real life.

    Challenging Relationships (Part III)

    Challenging Relationships (Part III)

    In today's episode, Part III, we're going to talk about how we can work to improve and better understand the challenging relationships that we have in our lives. We will cover setting boundaries, empathic listening, building connection, and communication patterns.

    Listen to:

    * Part I* Part II

    • 18 min
    Challenging Relationships (Part II)

    Challenging Relationships (Part II)

    In last week's episode, we started talking about challenging adult relationships. I asked you to think about who that person(s) is for you. Now, this week we will talk about setting goals for those relationships and the impact of idealizing these relationships. In the previous episode, we discussed that some of the people who challenge us the most are those who have different beliefs, world views, and levels of emotional intelligence than we do. 

    Having a world full of people who are a carbon copy of ourselves and our beliefs just isn’t realistic. And frankly, may even be a little boring. But just because we are different, doesn’t mean we can’t have a positive relationship. 


    • 18 min
    Challenging Relationships (Part I)

    Challenging Relationships (Part I)

    We all have challenging people in our lives. Maybe it's your brother or your mother or a best friend from childhood. Our goal is to try to start viewing this person through a new lens—so you can reframe your mindset and your attitude.

    This topic of relationships is incredibly broad and I want to narrow it down to focus better. So we're talking, specifically, about finding peace in challenging adult relationships.


    • 19 min
    Spilling Anger

    Spilling Anger

    Stress can lead to anger and irritability. In today's episode, we are talking about how anger can spill over onto the people we love the most, including our partners and children. I'm sharing how we talk about this concept with our kids.

    • 10 min


    For the first 30 years of my life, I struggled with messiness. No organizational system worked for me. In this episode, I'm sharing about my natural tendency towards mess and chaos along with how simple living has changed that for me.

    • 16 min
    Comparison, Envy, and FOMO

    Comparison, Envy, and FOMO

    One of the greatest, if not THE greatest, obstacle to simplicity with kids is FOMO. The fear of missing out. We worry about our children missing out on toys, experiences, and opportunities that they desire. We worry our children will be negatively impacted as a result. We fear they are going to miss opportunities. We also worry they are going to be mad at us. Or that they won't fit in if they don't have the same things as their friends.

    As the adults, we have to serve as the brain managers for our children until their brains are fully developed (so…like 25-years-old? Kidding, not kidding.) That means we have to make hard decisions based on reason, logic, and family values. Often these are decisions that our children just aren't equipped to make.

    Want to Listen to this Instead?

    Our kids often want things that we don't want to give them or allow them. Maybe your 6-year-old wants to watch TV shows with a lot of fighting. Or perhaps your tween wants makeup, but you think she's too young. Or your 3-year-old loves the videos of other kids playing with toys on YouTube but they make your skin crawl. 

    What I want you to take away from this episode is that we need to tune into how comparison, envy, and FOMO impact the way we are raising our children. We can become aware of how these elements affect us, how they impact our children, and how we can be better prepared to raise kids aligned with the beliefs that matter to us.

    As parents, we are constantly using comparison. Just this morning, my husband dropped our kids off at school in short sleeves. When he got home, he said, "it was kind of cold in there."

    I froze. Crap. Did I fail to dress the kids adequately for the weather? I questioned myself. I loaded the kids up in the car, so jacket selection was on me...

    So I asked him, "Were the other kids wearing jackets?" No, he said. Phew, I'm doing okay.

    What happens in comparison? You can take a look at the people around you and say, "I'm doing okay." Or "Crap, I dropped the ball. I'm not measuring up."

    We all compare, all the time. It's human nature. It's adaptive. Even animals do it—if your small dog walks up to a big dog at the dog park, it compares itself and then rolls onto it's back in submission.

    Telling someone to "stop comparing" is like saying "stop thinking about the elephant in the room." You can't do it. Instead of striving to stop comparing—we can strive to notice ourselves doing it. And we choose whats we do with the comparison.

    When we compare can take two paths, we can follow or we can lead. Following isn't always bad. Sometimes it makes good sense to follow the path others have taken.

    Did the other kids have jackets? No. 

    Okay then we are fine. 

    This is a helpful comparison. It saves me looking up the weather and making a trip to the school to drop off a jacket. 

    Do other 8 year olds have smart phones? Yes?

    Okay we need to get one too. 

    This is not a helpful comparison--because we need to evaluate the impact of this decision. Not just go with the flow. 

    Sometimes in comparison, we experience envy. We decide to follow the example set before us and "just go with it." They may or may not serve us.

    The other path would be to lead. You can make comparisons and then choose to make different choices that better serve your family. It takes guts to show and go against the grain. Especially if you've been falling victim to envy and FOMO—it can...

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
773 Ratings

773 Ratings

Ave Maria214 ,

Valuable for teachers too!

I’m not a mom, but I am a teacher. Denaye’s expertise has been so helpful to me as I work to continually improve my understanding of young children in the classroom.

Zzkerr ,

Good podcast but miss the old format!

Always love and appreciate this podcast! Recently through the Pandemic the podcast has taken on a different format of a monologue as opposed to conversations with experts or others in various fields. While I still enjoy and listen to it every week, I do miss the old format. Thanks for keeping it coming!

GamezMoni ,

Best Podcast EVER

This is one of the BEST podcast I have EVER listened to. For so many reasons... from the sound/tone of your voice (calming, soothing) to the topics, and the way everything is described and talked about. THANK YOU!!!!

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