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.
18 hours ago
18 hours ago
On today's episode of the "Helping Families Be Happy" podcast, host Adina Oberman, talks to Jason Goldstein about Hanukkah and holiday hosting. Jason Goldstein is a chiropractor by day and a food Blogger by night for his culinary blog, shop Happy. Jason shares his love of easy comfort food recipes, showcasing rich flavors, inventive ideas, and unique cooking tips and advice. He was a finalist on the next Food Network Star season 14 and finished in the top ten in Rachel Raye's cookbook contest. His recipes have been featured on The Chew and the Kitchen, and he has appeared on Good Morning America living in New York City in Hamptons. Jason enjoys testing recipes on his husband Tom's and grabbing French fries by the handful.
- 01:46 Jason emphasizes the importance of minimizing effort in holiday hosting. He recommends a combination of homemade and store-bought appetizers. He shares his love for puff pastry appetizers, highlighting how they can be prepared a day ahead for convenience.
- 02:39 For the main meal, Jason suggests making it yourself but delegating the responsibility of bringing wine and desserts to guests. This not only shares the load but also helps cut down on expenses and dishwashing.
- 03:47 Jason's second favorite dish for Hanukkah is brisket made in a slow cooker. This method not only saves oven space but also simplifies the cooking process. The brisket simmers all day, resulting in a tender and delicious main dish that seems effort-intensive but is easy to prepare.
- 04:29 Jason declares himself to be on team applesauce but acknowledges the strong divide between sour cream and applesauce enthusiasts. He emphasizes the importance of having both condiments available at the table.
- 04:50 Adina expresses appreciation for the idea of making a sheet pan potato latka instead of individual ones. She comments on the tediousness of shredding potatoes and onions for preparation.
- 05:18 Jason touches upon dietary preferences, recommending vegan cheese for those following stricter dietary laws. He talks about the simplicity of the dish using shredded potatoes, grated onion, and cheese, emphasizing the ease of preparation and baking.
- 07:21 Jason describes the brisket's final texture as melt-in-the-mouth, resulting from slow cooking that breaks down the fat and connective tissues. Jason fondly mentions that brisket pairs perfectly with potato pancakes.
- 08:00 Jason explains the traditional significance of frying foods during Hanukkah, referencing the eight days the oil miraculously burned.
- 09:33 Adina appreciates Jason's ideas and highlights how Hanukkah is a fun holiday, especially for kids. She asks if he uses a deep fryer for the frying process.
- 09:44: Jason confirms that one can use a deep fryer or simply a pan filled with oil. He also gives a tip to avoid overcrowding the pan while frying, as it can reduce the oil's temperature, leading to uneven cooking.
- 11:29 Jason shares a personal anecdote from his wedding where he had a large table dedicated to various versions of "pigs in a blanket" — underscoring his love for the dish and its significance to him.
- 12:17 Adina talks about attending a party where the pigs in a blanket had everything bagel seasoning on the puff pastry, adding a unique flavor.
- 14:10 Jason emphasizes the importance of being a part of the party and not getting too stressed out. Advises sticking to familiar recipes and prepping in advance. He also recommends having a variety of dishes like salmon for those who don't eat beef. Mentions the idea of a sheet pan salmon.
- 15:21 Jason suggests that if you're not into cooking, make one dish and have others bring dishes. Recommends people bring dishes from their childhood for a touch of nostalgia.
- 16:02 Adina talks about the comfort guests feel with familiar flavors and the importance of childhood flavors during the holidays.
3 Key Points
- Jason Goldstein emphasizes the importance of minimizing effort in holiday hosting. He shares his love for puff pastry appetizers, highlighting how they can be prepared a day ahead.
- Jason recommends brisket made in a slow cooker for Hanukkah. The method simplifies the cooking process, resulting in a tender dish.
- Jason touches upon dietary preferences, recommending vegan cheese. He explains the dish's simplicity using shredded potatoes, grated onion, and cheese.
- "Minimize holiday hosting effort with a mix of homemade and store-bought appetizers. Puff pastry delights can be prepped a day ahead!" - Jason
- "For a melt-in-the-mouth Hanukkah delight, try brisket in a slow cooker. Effortless yet tastes like hours in the kitchen!" - Jason
- "Whether you're #TeamApplesauce or #TeamSourCream, ensure both are at the Hanukkah table. Harmony in condiments, harmony in life!" - Jason
- "Not into cooking? No worries. Host with one dish and let guests bring nostalgic flavors from their childhood. A holiday feast everyone cherishes!" - Jason
Wednesday Nov 22, 2023
Wednesday Nov 22, 2023
Wednesday Nov 22, 2023
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 Bri DeRosa about books, particularly what to do for holiday meals and those recipes that we want to make and how to have that be a wonderful experience.
DeRosa is a freelance writer and communications consultant with expertise in creative and dramatic writing, arts education, and service learning. Bri has over a decade of experience in program development for non-profits and small businesses and has been the content manager at the Family Dinner Project since 2014. Additionally, Bri has contributed to three cookbooks and actively engages in family dinner practices with her husband and two teenage sons.
- 02:02 DeRosa explains that the Family Dinner Project is a non-profit program under Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry, highlighting the benefits of family meals and noting the gap between potential benefits and actual family meal practices.
- 03:07 As the holidays approach, Christopher discusses the stress associated with traditional family gatherings and queries about alternatives to meeting at a grandparent's house.
- 05:37 DeRosa points out that research suggests the quality of interaction at family meals is more important than frequency and shares tips on how to make holiday gatherings more meaningful and stress-free.
- 06:58 DeRosa encourages sharing the stories behind traditional dishes to create a richer family experience and suggests activities like a family photo caption contest and storytelling prompts to engage everyone and make the holiday special.
- 07:51 Christopher introduces the concept of an heirloom dinner, encouraging the exploration of family stories and histories related to traditional foods. He also introduces the topic of handling difficult conversations at dinner, such as politics or religion, that can create division.
- 09:08 DeRosa continues to offer creative ideas for family engagement, like drawing family trees on paper tablecloths and playing trivia games to learn about each other in a fun setting.
- 10:52 DeRosa mentions the idea of a 'politics jar' where individuals can contribute a quarter each time they mention a hot-button topic, encouraging redirection to other conversations.
- 11:27 DeRosa provides solutions for surprise tensions at the dinner table, such as taking breaks, focusing on gratitude, and steering conversations towards positive subjects. She emphasizes the importance of maintaining boundaries and redirecting negative discussions.
- 13:28 DeRosa advises coordinating with hosts to create a quiet, safe space for neurodivergent children and to establish clear expectations for both the child and other family members regarding food and seating arrangements.
- 15:10 Setting expectations with the neurodivergent child is also stressed, says DeRosa. She suggests bringing familiar foods for the neurodivergent child to avoid pressure and make them feel at ease during meals.
- 15:57 Christopher talks about the challenges of having children with soy allergies and the importance of being aware of dietary restrictions during family gatherings.
- 16:22 DeRosa shares that she may host a varying number of guests and talks about the family tradition of making a New York-style crumb cake and stuffing with a special ingredient from her mother and grandmother.
- 17:53 Christopher describes his Thanksgiving routine of brining a turkey and making garlic raspberry mashed potatoes with parmesan, a fresh garden salad with avocados and blue cheese, and fresh rolls with homemade jam.
- 18:55 DeRosa discusses her Thanksgiving menu, noting adaptations for a neurodivergent family member, like garlic mashed potatoes without Parmesan and a kale salad with dates and pumpkin seeds.
- DeRosa underlines the value of family meals for various aspects of well-being and identifies the disconnect between the potential benefits and the reality of family dining habits.
- Strategies for inclusive and stress-free holiday gatherings are discussed, including managing sensitive topics and enhancing the experience through storytelling and family history exploration.
- Practical advice is offered on how to accommodate neurodivergent family members at gatherings, such as setting clear expectations, providing safe spaces, and respecting dietary restrictions.
- "Bridging the gap between the benefits of family meals and actual practices is key for healthier, happier families." - DeRosa
- "Holiday meals are about stories, not just recipes. Share the history behind the dishes to enrich your family experience." - DeRosa
- "For neurodivergent family members, comfort during meals comes from clear expectations and familiar foods." - DeRosa
- "Garlic mashed potatoes and a fresh garden salad with avocados and blue cheese - holiday cooking is as much about tradition as it is about taste." - Christopher
Wednesday Nov 15, 2023
Wednesday Nov 15, 2023
Wednesday Nov 15, 2023
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 Maria Sansone. She is a well-known broadcaster with a genuine and authentic approach to her work. She is currently the host of NBC 10 Boston's premier lifestyle show, "The Hub," and is also the host of the Edward R. Murrow award-winning "Mom to Mom with Maria Sansone" TV show and podcast.
- 02.16: Christopher, expresses curiosity about Maria Sansone's Slam Dunk contest, sparking a conversation about her early achievements and broadcasting career.
- 2.30: Maria describes how she was a basketball enthusiast but was always the shortest person in the league. She also explains that the Slam Dunk contest she participated in wasn't standard because they lowered the rim to accommodate her 5-foot-1 height.
- 03.14: Maria describes her unique dunk, putting the ball between her legs, around her back, hanging on the rim, and running around the gym with her tongue out, which garnered a wild response from the crowd.
- 03.44: Maria explains that a local reporter from her hometown (Erie, PA) interviewed her after the event and was surprised at her knowledge of basketball, leading to her appearances on local news segments.
- 06.42: Maria expresses her satisfaction in knowing that her book is helping people simplify their dinner preparation and make it an enjoyable experience.
- 07.10: Christopher then transitions to discussing hosting for the holidays and asks Maria how to approach creating a simple menu for holiday gatherings without feeling stressed about the cooking.
- 08.06: Maria mentions that for Thanksgiving, the menu doesn't have to change dramatically each year. She recommends focusing on a few well-prepared sides so that everyone can enjoy all elements of the meal, including the turkey.
- 08.51: Maria encourages hosts to have a plan, write it down, and do their shopping ahead of time to alleviate the overwhelming aspects of hosting, allowing them to enjoy the holiday with their guests.
- 09.55: Christopher introduces the topic of involving guests in holiday preparations and questions whether it's acceptable to ask them for help.
- 11.02: Maria shares examples of tasks she delegates, such as dessert, children's activities, paper plates and napkins, and setting up cocktails. She believes that guests often want to help, so when they ask what they can bring, it's a great opportunity to give them specific tasks.
- 13.54: Maria agrees and reinforces that being present and enjoying the company of one's guests is the primary goal of hosting.
- 14.06: Christopher appreciates Maria bringing up the topic of paper plates. He discusses how some people may feel concerned about not having the finest China and reassures that it's perfectly okay to use paper plates.
- 15.07: Maria concludes by noting that guests primarily focus on the quality of the food and the enjoyment of the event, rather than the type of tableware used. She notes the environmental concerns with paper plates but highlights their convenience for large events where having enough traditional plates may not be feasible.
- 16.19: Maria shares that her family enjoys talent shows as a post-dinner activity, where family members showcase their talents, making for memorable and entertaining moments.
- 17.58: Maria encourages the listeners not to be too hard on themselves and not to strive for perfection, as the moments that deviate from the script often lead to cherished memories.
- 19.45: Maria adds that after the event, she strings up the notes as part of her fall decor, serving as a reminder of the things they are thankful for throughout the season.
- 20.04: Christopher expresses gratitude for Maria's wonderful ideas and emphasizes the significance of gratitude in enhancing the holiday experience.
3 Key Points
- Maria announces her new book titled "Ohh, What's for Dinner? No Fuss Weeknight Recipes," a compilation of her favorite entrees. The book offers efficient recipes suitable for busy weeknights, making it easier for people to put a satisfying meal on the table.
- Maria encourages putting family and friends to work, whether it's making cocktails, overseeing shoe removal, or handling other tasks. Delegating responsibilities and strategically arranging food and drinks can make hosting a more enjoyable experience for both the host and guests.
- Maria highlights a special Thanksgiving tradition to make people feel comfortable and encourage gratitude. She provides small sheets of paper for guests to anonymously write down something they're thankful for during appetizers.
- “Delegating not only eases the burden on the host but also makes guests feel good about contributing.” - Maria
- “If the hosts are having fun and are relaxed, it tends to make the entire gathering more enjoyable.” - Maria
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Wednesday Nov 08, 2023
Wednesday Nov 08, 2023
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 Michael Hempseed, Director of Frontiers of Hope, a specialist mental health service about how to help our children deal with anxiety and stress during the holidays. He is the co-author of the book “Calming Your Child: De-escalating Tantrums, Anxiety, Aggression, and Other Challenging Behaviors.”
Michael is also the author of “Being a True Hero: Understanding and Preventing Suicide in Your Community”. He has spoken to Frontera, New Zealand, Post fire and Emergency New Zealand and many others. Michael gained an honors degree in psychology from the University of Canterbury in 2008 and he has had the opportunity to speak at a TED event in 2016.
- 01:53: Michael discusses the increasing trend of very young children displaying heightened anxiety. Many are so anxious they cannot attend school.
- 02:37: Michael highlights the ripple effect of a child's anxiety on their family. He shares an anecdote of parents needing to take six months off work to care for their severely anxious child, underlining the significant impact on the entire family.
- 03:18: Christopher inquiries about the topic of sensory issues in children, as mentioned in the book "Calming Your Child". He seeks clarity on what sensory issues entail and emphasizes the importance of understanding and recognizing them in children.
- 04:10: Michael emphasizes that sensory issues aren't limited to just sounds but affect all senses. He shares statistics from his mental health service, noting a significant number of individuals with moderate to severe sensory issues, especially among young children.
- 05:02: Christopher emphasizes the intensity of her daughter’s discomfort, using the word "excruciating" to describe her experience. He notes the challenge it poses for her to stay calm given her heightened perception of sound.
- 06:42: Michael stresses that children don't act out without a reason, but rather are dealing with overwhelming emotions they can't express properly and this overwhelming feeling in children can manifest as aggressive behaviours like punching or yelling.
- 07:51: Christopher introduces the idea of perspective and how individuals perceive the world differently. He emphasizes that when people, especially children, act out, it's a form of communication.
- 08:28: Michael discusses the challenge of sensory issues. Many who experience them believe it's a normal part of life since they've always felt that way. He stresses the importance of patience and effort in understanding and working through these challenges.
- 08:55: Christopher queries why upcoming holiday season time of the year can be particularly stressful for families, especially those with children.
- 09:21: Michael addresses interpersonal stress, particularly when families gather, mentioning scenarios where certain relatives may not get along.
- 10:10: Christopher discusses the importance of finding ways to make the holidays less stressful and seeks professional advice and tips on managing holiday stress.
- 11:20: Michael talks about how volunteering can help young people gain perspective and feel a sense of purpose. He suggests taking children to visit the elderly. He also provides guidance on how to initiate conversation, emphasizing the mutual benefits.
- 12:26: Michael discusses the importance of sleep, mentioning it is a long chapter in his book. He talks about the negative effects of sleep deprivation. He relates sleep deprivation to mood and behaviour in both adults and children.
- 14:10: Michael highlights that not every sign of stress or behavioural issue necessitates counselling. Encourages trying alternative solutions like volunteering before resorting to counselling.
- 15:39: Michael notes that if a child's behaviour is affecting the family's lifestyle, like avoiding social events, it might be time to seek help. He emphasizes the importance of observing not just the intensity but the recurrence of problematic behaviours.
- 16:05: Christopher poses a question about when to consider professional help and seeks advice for parents to help their children in the upcoming year.
- 17:15: Michael discusses the benefits of free play for children. He mentions that it helps children develop problem-solving skills and improve social interaction.
- 18:42: Michael differentiates between forcing someone to practice an instrument and allowing them to enjoy it. He shares a study about Nobel Prize winners in the sciences having artistic and musical hobbies. Points out the value of art and music in enhancing cognitive abilities.
- 19:07: Christopher shares his belief that adults are usually grateful for having learned an instrument and often regret if they quit playing.
- 19:24: Michael discusses studies that indicate a surge in the amount of homework kids have today. He mentions the overburdening of young children and the need to reintroduce the concept of fun in learning.
- 20:10: Christopher shares a possibly apocryphal story from World War 2 about Winston Churchill emphasizing the importance of art even in dire times.
3 Key Points
- Michael discusses the increasing trend of very young children displaying heightened anxiety, with many being so anxious they cannot attend school.
- Christopher speaks about the intensity of his daughter's discomfort due to sensory issues, highlighting that many behavioral problems are reactions from individuals feeling overwhelmed by sensory stimuli rather than intentional acts of rebellion.
- Michael emphasizes the significance of sleep, discussing its impact on mood and behavior in both adults and children, and relates sleep deprivation to various negative effects.
- “Merely living in the era of COVID has deeply impacted individuals regardless of personal sentiments.” - Michael
- “Many behavioral problems aren't intentional acts of rebellion but are reactions from individuals feeling overwhelmed and distressed by sensory stimuli.” - Michael
- "Children don't act out without a reason, but rather are dealing with overwhelming emotions they can't express properly." - Michael
- "Not every sign of stress or behavioral issue necessitates counseling. Encourages trying alternative solutions like volunteering before resorting to counseling." - Michael
Wednesday Nov 01, 2023
Wednesday Nov 01, 2023
Wednesday Nov 01, 2023
On today's episode, host Dr. Carla Marie Manley, a clinical psychologist and author from Sonoma County, California, talks to Emily Liebel, about her role on the website “Run Wild, My Child”. Emily shares her passion for children's books and the importance of encouraging kids to read. She emphasizes her dual enthusiasm for outdoor activities and reading, highlighting how she has combined the two for children. The discussion emphasizes the significance of talking about the book and its content during the walk, reinforcing the connection between literature and nature.
- 02:04: Emily reveals an interesting detail that she and her two brothers are named after notable literary figures. Emily is named after the renowned poet, Emily Dickinson.
- 02:17: Books and literature played a significant role in Emily's childhood. It was not just about reading but also bonding over the stories, lessons, and experiences from the literature they consumed. This formed an integral part of their quality family time.
- 03:00: Carla asks Emily about the role of books in her childhood, specifically if they had bedtime stories or how books were integrated into their daily routine.
- 04:49: Emily emphasizes the beauty of books related to the outdoors and the profound impact they can have on children. She shares her experiences of combining outdoor activities with reading to children, highlighting how one complements the other.
- 05:18: Emily recommends a beautifully illustrated book, Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken," and describes how she uses it as a prelude to outdoor activities to enrich the experience for her kids.
- 07:24: The website “Run Wild, My Child”, aims to help parents who are looking to get their kids more involved in outdoor activities. It offers various suggestions, ranging from craft ideas to book recommendations, with the goal of reducing screen time and encouraging kids to play outside.
- 08:33: Emily expresses her love for writing for the website, sharing her passion for using books as a tool to inspire outdoor activities for children. She is in the process of writing another piece focusing on books for the colder seasons like fall and winter.
- 09:30: Carla accepts that through sources of inspiration like "Run Wild My Child", parents can easily find new ideas and paths to explore with their kids, without the stress of having to come up with them on their own.
- 10:52: For micro adventure, Emily explains a simple activity of observing and collecting different leaves during the fall, noting the changes in colours. The goal is to appreciate the beauty of changing seasons and nature.
- 11:49: Carla delves into the idea that these activities can be customized based on the individual's available time. A more extended adventure could involve a long drive, while a short one might be a quick stroll in the neighbourhood.
- 12:35: Emily emphasizes that books like "Sunday fun day" encompass a wide range of outdoor activities. They offer crafts, games, and "I spy" type challenges alongside recipes suitable for outdoor cooking. She brings attention to another series of books that are divided by season. These books provide a multitude of recipes, crafts, and activities for each season.
- 13:35: Carla shifts the topic to a more poignant issue: how families can use books and outdoor experiences to initiate conversations on matters such as eco-anxiety and environmental care.
- 14:53: Emily also has a personal favourite on eco-anxiety: a community garden-themed counting book. This beautifully illustrated book showcases various community members collaborating to nurture a shared garden.
- 15:37: Carla believes that books provide an avenue for children to channel their anxieties and learn that positive change is possible. They promote a stronger bond with nature, teaching the importance of caring for and utilizing outdoor spaces for the collective good.
- 16:00: Emily emphasizes the vast range of topics books cover and the ease of finding them either through personal online searches or by visiting local establishments. She suggests consulting with local librarians as they stay updated with recent publications and have first-hand knowledge of the books available in their collection. They can thus quickly recommend relevant titles.
- 17:30: Emily stresses the importance of reflection by comparing personal experiences with those of characters in books. This helps children process their emotions and learn from their adventures.
- 18:02: Emily asserts that books can catalyse a child's imagination, turning their reading experiences into real-life adventures, enhancing both their creativity and pleasure.
3 Key Points
- Emily Liebel emphasizes the harmonious blend of outdoor activities and reading for children. Through books like Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," children are introduced to nature in a literary context, allowing them to experience the outdoors through the lens of literature.
- The conversation sheds light on how books can be powerful tools in initiating discussions on environmental issues like eco-anxiety. Emily's recommendation, a community garden-themed counting book, demonstrates how literature can foster a sense of community and highlight collaborative efforts to care for the environment.
- Emily accentuates the transformative power of books in sparking a child's imagination. By reading and reflecting, children are not only enhancing their creativity but also turning their literary experiences into tangible, real-world adventures.
- "Books are not just about reading; they're about bonding over stories, lessons, and experiences.” - Emily
- "Nature and literature go hand-in-hand. 'The Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost is more than just a poem; it's a prelude to outdoor adventures.” - Emily
- "Run Wild, My Child' is a beacon for parents looking to combine the beauty of nature and the power of literature. Less screen time, more green time!" - Emily
- "Books are gateways, transforming reading experiences into real-life adventures, sparking creativity and joy in young minds.” - Emily
Wednesday Oct 25, 2023
Wednesday Oct 25, 2023
Wednesday Oct 25, 2023
On this episode of the "Helping Families be Happy Podcast," host, Christopher Robbins husband and father of nine, residing in the Central Valley of California talks to Adina Oberman. She is a former preschool teacher and over 15 years, she has helped families through the ups and downs of early childhood. Adina is the creator of “Big Books for Little Hands”, a valuable resource for parents and educators seeking the best books to navigate the challenges of life with kids to the best books for navigating the challenges of life with kids.
- 01.40: Adina mentions the importance of food in Jewish holidays, emphasizing that eating together is a significant part of the celebration.
- 03.40: Sukkot is a holiday during which people build temporary huts outside their homes. This holiday is a celebration, often associated with the harvest season, where communal meals are held in these temporary huts.
- 04:15: Simchat holiday is a celebration of reading the Torah, the Old Testament, from beginning to end over the course of a year. Simchat Torah is a joyful holiday filled with festivities, including lots of eating and family fun.
- 05.52: Christopher notes that Yom Kippur is a solemn holiday and it's a specific time when people can reflect on any offenses they may have committed against their family, friends, God, and the world around them.
- 07.15: Adina emphasizes that seeking forgiveness tradition is beautiful because it helps prevent small transgressions from accumulating within family relationships. It allows people to come full circle, make amends, and start fresh, fostering reconciliation and positive relationships.
- 09:25: Christopher asks Adina to describe the foods and recipes that are typically included in celebratory Jewish meals.
- 10.21: In Jewish celebrations food varies from house to house and my family but during Rosh Hashanah, there are several symbolic foods like apples dipped in honey, braided bread, and Matzo ball soup and brisket.
- 11.52: Adina suggests that food is an excellent way to engage children in cultural traditions. Parents can involve their kids by either preparing food together or sitting down to eat and explaining the significance of the dishes being served to help children feel connected to their heritage and understand the reasons behind the holiday customs.
- 12.16: Adina recommends reading books about Jewish holidays to children. These books can be a valuable resource in making abstract concepts more understandable and relatable to young minds.
- 16.06: Adina suggests seeking out a local Jewish Community Centre, which can be found in many states across the United States. JCCs typically offer a wide range of programming for all ages and levels of observance which allows families to participate in meaningful ways within the Jewish community and helps build a strong Jewish identity for their children.
3 Key Points
- There are several Jewish holidays during this season, starting with Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year, says Adina. She explains that Rosh Hashanah is a time for celebration, renewal, reflection, and a focus on making the upcoming year better.
- Adina explains that Rosh Hashanah is a joyful holiday and is a time of renewal and rebirth, similar to the way January 1st is celebrated as the New Year in the secular calendar. During Rosh Hashanah, people often engage in the custom of dipping apples into honey, symbolizing the desire for a sweet and prosperous year ahead.
- PJ Library serves as a practical and accessible way for parents and caregivers to introduce their children to Jewish traditions and strengthen their connection to their cultural heritage, says Adina.
- “Simchat holiday follows Sukkot in the Jewish calendar and is marked by lively and spirited celebrations within the Jewish community.” - Adina Oberman
- “You can say "Happy New Year" to anyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah but in general for any Jewish holiday, you can use the phrase "Chag Sameach," which means "Happy Holiday." This is a versatile greeting suitable for various Jewish celebrations.” - Adina Oberman
Wednesday Oct 18, 2023
Wednesday Oct 18, 2023
On today's episode, host Dr. Carla Marie Manley, a clinical psychologist and author from Sonoma County, California, talks to Katie Plunkett, a fourth-grade classroom teacher and entrepreneur. This episode provides valuable information to help families improve their communication and emotional well-being.
- 01:19: Dr. Carla Marie Manley asks Katie Plunkett to share more about herself and what makes her unique. Katie explains that she is a full-time fourth-grade classroom teacher and expresses her love for teaching.
- 02:06: Katie explains that she benefited from many self-help resources designed for adults but couldn't find similar content suitable for kids.
- 02:25: Katie highlights the scarcity of mental health professionals in schools and the privilege of having access to them.
- 03:04: Katie defined social-emotional learning as explicitly teaching social skills to children in the classroom and providing them with the language to express their emotions. This helps them engage in conversations about their feelings, work through their emotions, and understand that what they're experiencing is normal.
- 04:53: Social-emotional learning involves helping children understand and manage their evolving emotions and social interactions as they grow and develop their identities.
- 06:22: Dr. Carla and Katie demonstrated how social-emotional learning can be implemented through interactive and engaging activities that help children develop problem-solving and interpersonal skills.
- 07:15: Katie shares examples that illustrate how simple activities can foster emotional awareness and communication skills in children, helping them navigate their emotions and social interactions effectively.
- 08:17: Dr. Carla highlights the challenges some parents may face when trying to engage their children in social-emotional learning activities at home.
- 09:20: The discussion highlights the effectiveness of using picture books as a tool for initiating conversations about emotions and social interactions with children.
- 09:27: In this segment of the podcast, Dr. Carla emphasized the accessibility of using picture books to teach social-emotional learning concepts to children of various ages, from young children to teenagers.
- 11:50: Dr. Carla and Katie highlight the importance of emotional awareness and the role it plays in effective communication. It sets the stage for discussing practical tips to enhance children's communication skills.
- 12:40: Katie highlights the significance of setting a positive example and actively engaging in meaningful conversations with children to foster their communication skills.
- 13:08: Dr. Carla and Katie discuss effective communication with children, particularly the importance of asking open-ended questions to encourage meaningful conversation.
- 16:03: Katie shares her perspective on children's mental health, considering the challenges and negativity often associated with it.
- 20:04: Dr. Carla emphasized the long-term payoffs, including improved communication and social-emotional development.
3 Key Points
- Dr. Carla and Katie emphasize the importance of using effective questioning techniques to encourage children to share their thoughts and experiences more openly, ultimately fostering better communication between parents and children.
- Dr. Carla and Katie talk about the importance of limiting screen time for children and the benefits of doing so.
- Katie talks about her upcoming book, scheduled to be released late next summer or early fall, which will focus on effective communication with children and integrating social-emotional skills into conversations.
- “Children learn not only from the information they're presented but also from the behavior and actions of adults.” - Katie Plunkett
- “In today's busy world, families may not have the time to delve into extensive reading or research. Therefore, they aim to provide quick and actionable solutions that can be easily implemented by parents and caregivers.” - Katie Plunkett
- “Open-ended questions are key to getting more meaningful responses from children.” - Katie Plunkett
Wednesday Oct 11, 2023
Wednesday Oct 11, 2023
Wednesday Oct 11, 2023
On today's episode, host Dr. Carla Marie Manley, a clinical psychologist and author from Sonoma County, California, talks to Kira Bender, a pediatric occupational therapist. The podcast explores various aspects of family, love, and relationships. Dr. Manley and Kira will discuss Kira's work and the role of an occupational therapist in the upcoming conversation.
- 01:06: Kira, the pediatric occupational therapist, and guest, provides insights into her background and role. She mentions that she is both a pediatric occupational therapist and a mother of a four-year-old child, emphasizing how these two aspects of her life are closely intertwined.
- 01:58: Kira explains the nature of pediatric occupational therapy and her specific approach to it.
- 02:24: Kira describes her current role as an outpatient occupational therapist based in Los Angeles, working for the Center for Connection, led by Dr. Tina Payne Bryson.
- 03:12: For children, their most important occupation is being a student and a family member, in addition to taking care of themselves. This underlines the holistic nature of pediatric occupational therapy, where the focus is on helping children thrive in all aspects of their lives.
- 04:47: Dr. Carla Manley explores the concept of attunement in the context of working with children, particularly in relation to Kira Bender's approach to pediatric occupational therapy.
- 05:30: Kira delves into the concept of attunement and its role in helping children, especially those with self-regulation challenges.
- 06:26: Kira emphasizes that a child won't learn to self-soothe if they are left to navigate distressing moments entirely on their own. Instead, repeated exposure to co-regulation is essential for a child to develop the skill of self-soothing.
- 08:04: Dr. Carla discusses scenarios where co-regulation is needed, such as when a child is having a temper tantrum. She points out that screaming at the child or leaving them is the opposite of co-regulation because it doesn't involve attuning to the child's needs.
- 10:30: Dr. Carla reinforces the idea that perfection is not the goal in parenting or caregiving, and it's natural for adults to have their own emotions and challenges when dealing with upset children.
- 11:30: Kira discusses the second step for parents or caregivers in co-regulating with a child who is experiencing intense emotions, especially when dealing with neurodivergent children.
- 13:24: Kira emphasizes that the tone, touch, body heat, and rhythm of the caregiver's actions are crucial in co-regulation. She points out that with infants, caregivers instinctively use their voice and soothing actions even when the child cannot understand words. It's about creating a calming and reassuring atmosphere.
- 15:10: Dr. Manley acknowledges that attunement is an art that requires effort, unlike using more conventional parenting methods like timeouts or one-size-fits-all approaches for multiple children.
- 17:18: Dr. Manley highlights the significant payoff of parenting in this way, emphasizing that investing in teaching children to self-soothe, regulate their emotions, and understand themselves at an early age can result in emotionally mature and competent individuals.
- 19:28: Kira explains that she is passionate about using books as tools for building social-emotional skills in young children. She shares her experience of presenting to the Los Angeles Public Library's team of children's librarians on this topic.
- 21:33: Kira emphasizes the importance of helping children understand their body cues, such as a fast-beating heart, a hot face, or shallow breathing, as clues to their emotional state. She believes that children need to learn these cues to identify when they might need to use strategies like asking for help from an adult or taking a break.
- 23:09: Kira uses books as co-regulation tools during emotional moments with her son and in her preschool group.
- 26:02: Storybook detectives is a strategy used when a child is regulated and ready to engage with a story.
- 28:12: Kira highlights that children often relate to characters in stories and can learn valuable lessons by diving deeper into the character's experiences.
3 Key Points
- Kira explains that attunement involves not only understanding what's happening for the child but also helping guide them through specific moments. Many of the children she works with struggle with self-regulation, which is a natural part of child development.
- Dr. Carla Manley discusses the common misconception that mirroring a child's emotions by stating what they are feeling might not always work, especially if the child denies their feelings. She agrees with Kira's emphasis on the importance of non-verbal cues and empathy.
- Kira and Carla discuss the importance of using books to teach social-emotional skills to children of all ages and the positive impact it can have on their emotional well-being.
- “The goal of occupational therapy is to enable children to perform the activities they want and need to do in life, which extends beyond traditional job-related occupations. It encompasses essential life activities such as self-care, dressing, feeding, and play.” – Kira
- “Understanding the physiological process behind co-regulation can help parents be more empathetic to themselves and their children.” – Kira
- “By imparting emotional regulation and coping skills to children, they can navigate the world with more flexibility and resilience as they grow older.” – Kira
- “Books can help children connect with their bodies on a deeper level and foster a love for learning about themselves and the world around them.” – Kira
Wednesday Oct 04, 2023
Wednesday Oct 04, 2023
Wednesday Oct 04, 2023
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 Dr. Lauren Cook, a therapist who specializes in helping millennials and Gen Z clients deal with anxiety. Christopher shares that Dr. Cook not only professionally understands these generations' struggles with anxiety but also personally relates to them as a millennial who experiences anxiety herself.
The episode discusses Dr. Cook's book, "Generation Anxiety," which provides actionable steps to help young adults navigate anxiety. The book draws on psychological research and diverse client experiences to illustrate various manifestations of anxiety. It aims to help readers gain insight into their own stressors and effectively manage anxiety.
- 02:00: The episode features Dr. Cook, who specializes in addressing anxiety among millennials and Gen Z, and it acknowledges the widespread issue of anxiety, with over 40 million Americans currently experiencing some form of anxiety.
- 02:51: Dr. Cook explains that there is indeed a rise in both the number of people experiencing anxiety and the intensity of their symptoms. She attributes this to several factors, including the constant inundation of social media, which is a relatively new phenomenon, and the increasing sense of isolation, often referred to as the "loneliness epidemic."
- 03:37: Dr. Cook also highlights an interesting aspect of anxiety, where the more one seeks to control it, the more out of control it can become. She mentions that avoidance is another common aspect of anxiety, where individuals may start avoiding certain aspects of their life or situations due to their anxiety.
- 04:14: Christopher shares a valuable perspective from their teachings, emphasizing that we don't have control over everything but rather have influence. This perspective encourages finding ways to influence the situation positively.
- 06:20: When people isolate themselves and only interact with a small circle of family and friends, they can become more distrustful and disconnected from others.
- 07:18: Dr. Cook also mentions the common stereotype about Gen Z struggling with voicemails, which she believes is a reflection of a larger issue related to social skills and interaction. She advocates for building social skills to enhance communication and connection among all generations.
- 08:14: Dr. Cook explains the concept of choosing values induction over pain reduction in the context of anxiety. She notes that anxiety often stems from the desire to avoid discomfort and pain, and this avoidance can lead to people missing out on important aspects of life.
- 10:35; Dr. Cook expresses her enthusiasm for discussing the power of gratitude, citing years of research in positive psychology that highlights the positive impact of gratitude on both brain health and overall physical health.
- 10:42: The concept of "5 daily gratitude" likely refers to a practice of identifying and expressing gratitude for five things each day. This practice is often recommended as a way to shift focus away from negative thinking and promote a more positive and optimistic outlook on life.
- 12:29: Christopher shares his personal experience with practicing gratitude during yoga and meditation. He mentions how he expresses gratitude for simple things like trees, breath, and the sounds of birds during his practice.
- 13:37: Dr. Cook explains that these two generations have grown up in an era where there is a significant focus on appearance. She points out that millennials experienced a period when plastic surgery and brands like Abercrombie and Fitch were popular, which had a substantial impact on young adults' self-image.
- 14:09: "What if your appearance was the least interesting thing about you?" Dr. Cook suggests that this question can be a powerful way to prompt self-reflection and encourage individuals to reconsider where they invest their time, energy, and focus.
- 16:26: Dr. Cook introduces the concept of "empowered acceptance." This practice involves accepting yourself and your current situation while taking active steps to improve your well-being.
- 17:25: Dr. Cook also highlights that it's okay to experience anxiety and that the goal isn't necessarily to make anxiety disappear but to learn how to live with it while still leading fulfilling lives.
3 Key Points
- Dr. Cook talks about the importance of teaching children to interact with people outside of their immediate family and encourages parents to expose their children to a broader community.
- Dr. Cook encourages practicing mindfulness and taking moments to reflect on what has gone well in the past 24 hours, even in small ways. She suggests that this practice can have a significant impact on shifting the energy within a family unit.
- Alongside acceptance, Dr. Cook encourages individuals to take empowered action to address the problems and challenges they face. Being proactive and engaged in finding solutions, both on a personal and societal level, can help alleviate anxiety.
- “Anxiety, is like a wave that spikes when we reach its peak, and my goal is to help people ride through the wave and realize that they can endure and survive through moments of discomfort.” - Dr. Cook
- “By understanding one's values, individuals can become more willing to endure the discomfort that may come with pursuing a meaningful life.” - Dr. Cook
- “Many young adults she works with often rate their stress about body image at a 7 or 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, indicating that body image occupies a significant amount of their mental energy and attention.” - Dr. Cook
Wednesday Sep 27, 2023
Wednesday Sep 27, 2023
Wednesday Sep 27, 2023
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.
- Erika and Christopher underscores the significance of both formal education programs and cultural traditions in helping children appreciate and understand their multicultural heritage.
- Erika and Christopher provides valuable insights and practical tips for parents to engage with their children's multicultural backgrounds and foster a deeper appreciation for diversity through celebration, education, and active participation in their communities.
- “Multicultural parenting is built on three pillars, celebrate, educate, participate. These three pillars form the foundation of multicultural parenting, making it a valuable resource for families looking to embrace and pass on their cultural heritage to the next generation.” – Erika
- “Familius Publishing offers multicultural picture books, such as "My Name Is Cool" and "The Proudest Color." They have recently released a book that explores a diverse family dynamic called "My House and My Family." These books provide an engaging way for children to learn about different cultures and family dynamics.” – Erika
- “Multicultural parenting is not about rigidly following a checklist but rather providing options and ideas that parents can adapt to their family's needs. It's about incorporating what works best for your family, considering your time constraints and personal circumstances.” - Erika