We're parents who have dedicated our lives to helping other families in crisis thrive. After years of working with families facing the tallest odds, we’re bringing the knowledge, tools, and experts we’ve gathered to all families, everywhere. The Family Thrive is an online community where you and your family can get the tools you need to thrive—wherever you find yourself. This podcast is our space to bring parents the experts behind these tools. Episodes will include conversations with doctors, psychologists, dietitians, and a bunch of other experts who are in the trenches helping parents and children live their best lives. In each episode, we promise to bring you authentic, cutting-edge, and actionable conversations on the topics that will help you and your family thrive.
How to Get Yourself and Your Kids Optimal Rest With Sleep Expert Kate Simon
EPISODE #23 - Ok, if you could only focus on one health behavior and had to let all the other slide, what would it be for you? Well, here at The Family Thrive, it's sleep, without a doubt. If you're not well-rested, then you really don't have the energy, attention or motivation to do much of anything else. So we take sleep pretty seriously, which is why we couldn't wait to have on this week's guest, Kate Simon, a sleep scientist and a mom who studies how sleep affects kids of all ages.
She's a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Irvine, where I got my public health PhD. Go anteaters! And she's worked at Children's Hospital of Orange County, where our son Max was treated for his brain tumor for 10 years. So we've got these cool connections that we talk about at the beginning.
Anyway, in this episode, we get all the latest science of wisdom on optimal sleep, not only for kids but for adults as well. So if you care about the health benefits of good sleep as much as we do, then you're going to love this episode. So get a cozy blanket and some chamomile tea and settle in for a conversation that will change the way you think about sleep.
Kate Simon is a postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Irvine who studies sleep — specifically how it can affect people of all ages, including kids. She’s been a part of multiple sleep studies, so be sure to check those out!
Setting Healthy Boundaries for Your Kids and Yourself with Christina Furnival, Mom, Mental Health Therapist, and Author
EPISODE #22 - This was one of the funnest conversations we've had so far! Christina Furnival is a mom of two, a licensed mental health therapist, and a children’s book author who blogs under the handle “Real Life Mama.” She and her family live in San Diego, California and despite the beautiful weather of her home town, parenthood hasn’t been all sunshine and roses.
We invited her on the show this week to talk about the real stuff: what happens when motherhood isn’t the cakewalk we dream it to be, how Christina realized she was experiencing postpartum mood disorder after her first baby was born, what tools have helped her most in flourishing, and how we can help our kids (and ourselves) set healthy boundaries in life. At the end we talk about Christina’s newest work around anxiety, positive self-talk, and growth mindset. So, you’ll want to stick around for the entire episode!
Thriving Through the Teen Years with Jena Curtis, EdD, and Vanessa Baker, Parent-Teen Relationship Coach
EPISODE #21 - For many parents, the teen years are like a terrible storm they just have to weather and get through. But today’s guests are here to show us that it doesn’t have to be that way. Jena Curtis is an expert in sexuality and gender, and a professor of health at SUNY Cortland, and Vanessa Baker is professional parent-teen relationship coach who specializes in helping parents and teens reconnect and actually strengthen their relationship during those rocky adolescent years.
They’re just two of eight amazing experts we’ve collected at The Family Thrive to create a groundbreaking workshop called Thriving Through the Teen Years: Building and Keeping a Deep, Loving Relationship With Your Teenager.
In this episode we talk about Jena and Vanessa’s experience as parents of teenagers - they have parented 7 teens between them! - we talk about their experience as professionals working with teens and young adults, we cover some common problems that parents run into with teens, and we finish by discussing how parenting a teenager is an amazing opportunity for personal growth for parents.
Your’re going to love this conversation, we guarantee it. So, without further ado, here’s the always wise and insightful Jena Curtis and Vanessa Baker.
Raging Against the Minivan with Kristen Howerton, Author and Marriage and Family Therapist
EPISODE #20 - Kristin is a unique and powerful voice in the parenting space. Her blog, Rage Against the Minivan, continues to be as funny and wise as ever, she has a hilarious yet authentic Instagram account, she’s an International speaker, and she just published a truly amazing book called Rage Against the Minivan: Learning to Parent Without Perfection. Oh and she’s also a licensed marriage and family therapist!
Kristen grew up in a conservative Christian home in Florida and went off to a bible college where she fell in love with a boy who was destined to become a pastor. Next thing you know he’s a new pastor in Orange County, California and she’s trying to live the life of a pastor’s wife. After several heart-breaking miscarriages, she and her then husband were able to adopt two boys, one from Los Angeles, and one from Haiti, and quickly learned about the challenges facing two white parents raising two black sons in America. She then went on to naturally give birth to two girls. So if you’re counting that’s 4 kids in all. And today they’re all in their teens.
Along the way there is a harrowing trip to adopt their second son in Haiti right when the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the island in 2010, a transition in her faith, a divorce, and a truly inspiring journey to discover what it means to parent with love and authenticity.
This one's a must-listen. So, buckle-up!
Thriving in the Face of Crisis with Audra and Justin at The Family Thrive
EPISODE #19 -SPECIAL EPISODE! We love bringing on amazing experts each week who teach us about family thriving through the lens of their expertise. But this week, the experts are us! We talked about childhood cancer awareness month, our own journey toward thriving in the face of childhood cancer, how thriving for us meant creating MaxLove Project and now The Family Thrive, and what we have in store over the next few months in The Family Thrive.
In this episode, we also keep it super real. Audra shares how hard things have been this year with our big MaxLove Project Farm to Fork fundraiser and how sometimes even super meaningful work can feel exhausting and overwhelming. Justin shares his uncertainties and insecurities around starting a new company and leaving academia as well. But we also tap into and share the core vision that inspires us both to get up everyday and join forces with an amazing team of experts to help families, just like ours, thrive against the odds.
What Every Parent Needs to Know About the Food Industry with Insider Josh Field
EPISODE #18 - You ever wonder about what exactly is in those supposedly healthy snacks you buy at the grocery store? Sure, it says all-natural, organic, you know, grass-fed on the package. But is it actually good for you and your kids? In this episode, we get to talk to a food industry insider, Josh Field, who has worked in test kitchens for some pretty big food companies. The guy knows his stuff.
We asked Josh to come on to answer all our questions about what goes into supposedly healthy packaged food products. We talk proteins, fats, fibers, and artificial sweeteners, and we get to find out how all this stuff gets made and what we as parents should be looking out for. There's a lot of information in this episode, and so you'll definitely want to check out the show notes where we'll provide links, definitions, and a whole lot more. All right. Buckle up, here we go with food industry insider Josh Field.
Outstanding, uplifting, and fills you with hope
Positive and practical tools and anecdotes from pros in the field that you can put to use right away. The last year and a half have been hard on parents and this podcast will help you get back on track.
Inspirational, empowering podcast
The Family Thrive is an outstanding podcast that offers high-quality interviews with experts on wellness, medicine, nutrition. Every episode is packed with valuable information and advice related to family health and happiness. Audra and Justin are relatable, knowledgeable hosts who are simply delightful in every way. I just can’t say enough good things about The Family Thrive — check out the podcast, and you’ll see why!
Such valuable and usable content!
Thank you so much Audra and Justin for providing such an excellent platform we can use to learn and grow. I Appreciate your corresponding app as well! I have picked up so much truth from these episodes and have already! Loved Tiffani Ghere’s information on feeding the young child - also loved the term HSP (Highly Sensitive People) from episode 2 as well as the excellent tips on how to understand people around me with this personality trait. Love the usable information - keep it up!