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35 // Gifts & Gratitude

'Tis the season to buy lots and lots more stuff. Gift-giving (and getting) can be another magical aspect of the holidays, especially for the kiddos. How do we keep consumerism at bay this time of year, and keep grounded in ye olde spirit of generosity and gratitude? John and Patrick prep for holiday fun, strategize gifts, and think about how to add a dash of thankfulness to the festivities.


34 // Stay-at-home Dad

We're living at a time where more than half of families with children have two working parents—a shift from the days when it was typically expected that mothers would stay home. Yet even with today's increasing acceptance that either parent can bring home the bacon, so few dads choose to stay home. Enter this episode's guest, Joe Ketner, who is about to transition from the workforce to the diaperforce. Joe talks to Patrick and John about what went into his decision and how he's planning to...


33 // Is Santa Claus Coming to Town?

The concept of Santa Claus is just one of those things that's in the air during the holiday season; our kids will catch it one way or another. But the extent to which we indulge in the magic (lie!) of Santa and the way we work through the eventual unraveling is a parenting responsibility worth giving some thought. John is about to enter this holiday season with a three-year-old who's only just starting to become aware of Santa Claus. Patrick helps him work through whether and how he'll go...


32 // Nostalgia

Hard to believe we're already breaking out the, "back in my day" phrase, but here we are. Young parents have been through dramatic changes in pop culture, technology, and life over the last few decades. Sometimes it's nice to pause and remember how damn cool the nineties were. Patrick and John look out to their past from rocking chairs on the front porch as they dwell on the good ol' days. And then ponder what their kids will look back upon with nostalgia.


31 // Perception of Time

When you become a parent, time and its passing can quickly become an obsession. The whole notion of time, of memory, of aging surfaces constantly as that little being grows. John and Patrick stumble into this episode's subject, looking at how they perceive time and how they can maintain a healthy relationship with it.


30 // Cultivating Character (Avoiding Entitlement)

Maybe there's more to this whole identity thing after all. While our kids are the center of our world, how do we raise them to know they aren't the center of the world? Patrick and John go deeper to explore a parent's role in cultivating moral character, this time with some guidance from the book 8 Keys to Old School Parenting for Modern-Day Families by Michael Mascolo. They talk through why their generation often gets labeled as entitled and how they can prioritize virtues that avoid that...


29 // Forming Identity

Much of the time our focus as parents is on the now; helping our kids and ourselves navigate daily life. But we're also playing the long game, attempting to raise what we hope will become well-adjusted, self-sufficient human beings. Who are our kids going to be when they grow up? How much of their identity is set and how much is being shaped? John and Patrick think back to their (sometimes awkward) searching for themselves as they grew up, and talk about how they might help their kids form...


28 // Halloween

This is Halloween! A day that doesn't come with the stresses of most holidays, Halloween becomes all the more fun to celebrate with kids. Hang out with Patrick and John for a spooktacular conversation about festivities, costumes, and frights. And maybe something about how to Halloween with kids, too.


27 // Grasping Death

There's a moment in each of our lives where we first come to terms with the concept of death. The concept, like so many, carries even more weight now as a parent. How do we help our kids have a healthy understanding of the fact that we've all got an expiration date? And what are we going to tell them happens next? Probably, these are questions we've got to work through ourselves first. Just another light, fluffy conversation as John and Patrick reflect on how their own understanding of...


26 // Parenting Hacks

It's amazing how much more efficient we can get with everyday tasks in order to (sort of) keep up with taking care of kids. We've all got our techniques and shortcuts to make the best of the limited time now. Patrick and John share some of what you might barely call parenting hacks, proving once and for all that they have nothing of value to offer listeners. Thankfully, some of you shared your own parenting hacks to add into the mix for this episode.


25 // Exposure to Violent Themes

Violence is everywhere in our culture, both real and fictional. When it comes to the former, we do our best to shelter our kids for as long as possible. But when and how do we handle exposing them to violent toys, games, and media? In this episode—which originally featured an entirely different topic, by the way—John and Patrick work through experiences introducing their kids to some favorite action-packed fiction from their own childhood and how they've handled violent play.


24 // The Power of Limitations

"The enemy of art is the absence of limitations," said the brilliant actor/director Orson Welles. The adage seems fitting when it comes to parenting, too. Patrick and John talk about how limitations have played powerful roles in their creative works and personal journeys, giving shape and providing direction where it'd otherwise remain absent. Now how do they put those kind of healthy limitations on their kids?


23 // Breastfeeding

It's one of those subjects we don't hear much about before having kids, and then suddenly breastfeeding—whether or not to, how to, and the countless challenges that arise—became a major focus of life when raising a new baby. It's also a topic with fierce opinions behind it. You won't hear those opinions here, but John and Patrick feel like it's worthwhile to share some of their perspective as dads through this critical aspect of child-rearing. Needless to say, they play the supporting role....


22 // Attaining Joy

Do what makes you happy... right? We spend much of our lives in pursuit of it—in the US, it's right there in our Declaration of Independence—but is happiness all it's cracked up to be? In this episode, Patrick and John continue spelunking into the meaning of life cave. Thankfully, they can follow two far smarter guys on this journey, through a discussion of The Book of Joy, a reflection on joy by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, written by Douglas Abrams. Future...


21 // Childcare?

After a week off from the show, John and Patrick have a lot to catch up on. Which means an episode chock-full of tangents... and maybe something to do with the topic of childcare. Summer is ending, vacations are over, and it's time to transition into a new school year. The dads chat about some of their experiences (stresses!) with daycare, nannies, preschool, and now starting a child in kindergarten.


20 // Family Vacations

The anticipation! The excitement! The 'womp, womp.' Vacationing with kids is a whole new experience, loaded with emotions and expectations spanning the full spectrum. Patrick and John reflect on past trips with their young families, touching on the wonder and the crazy that comes with long car rides, amusement parks, and sleeping away from home.


19 // Kids Birthday Parties

Whether you're planning or attending a birthday party for the kiddos, the experience can be more than a tad overwhelming. Celebrating these significant milestones while not getting carried away is a challenge—especially when you're hosting. Who gets invited? What's the theme? And where the heck are all these kids going to fit? John and Patrick chat about hosting their kids' birthday celebrations and what they think makes for a successful party. But first! They spend a half hour talking...


18 // Sharing a Passion for Movies

Introducing your children to movies is yet another awesome responsibility. After all, nobody wants their kids to grow up having awful taste in cinema. So how do you start their motion picture journey? Patrick and John think back to the magical experiences they had watching some of their favorite movies, talk about why the art form has been so important to them, and walk through how they intend to share that passion with their kids.


17 // Judging Other Parents

IT'S JUDGMENT DAY, WINGLETS. It doesn't take long for new parents to start getting relentlessly judged. Before we leave the hospital, we find out we aren't swaddling the baby with the latest, hottest technique. Or we aren't breastfeeding her properly. Or we're putting too many layers of hats on her and now she looks too much like a snowman. But just as we find ourselves being judged, we find ourselves judging others as well. And suddenly we find ourselves wondering: what's with all the...


16 // Screen Time

These days it seems screens are like cigarettes for kids. Are they the health-hazard we’re hearing about all the time in the news or a new technology for us to embrace? Let’s get real on what it means to parent kids with 21st century technology. John and Patrick share their experiences with their kids’ screen time, distinguishing between the wide spectrum of media and technology—and exploring how the heck to deal with it all in a sensible way. Some further listening/reading on the...