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Parenting Decoded

Kids & Family Podcasts

This podcast will help all parents with kids of all ages to learn how to decode the mysteries and challenges of being a parent in today's challenging times. We will concentrate on practical parenting approaches that you as a parent can use right away! There are tips and tricks as well as plenty of real life stories to help you see that you can make a difference in your family's life in simple yet noticeable ways. In order for your kids to change, you need to change first! The ripple effect is real and lasting. Enjoy the ride!


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This podcast will help all parents with kids of all ages to learn how to decode the mysteries and challenges of being a parent in today's challenging times. We will concentrate on practical parenting approaches that you as a parent can use right away! There are tips and tricks as well as plenty of real life stories to help you see that you can make a difference in your family's life in simple yet noticeable ways. In order for your kids to change, you need to change first! The ripple effect is real and lasting. Enjoy the ride!






57- Kids Who Lose or Forget Stuff

Some kids seem to be born not caring where stuff is. They rely on us to find things and if we can't find them they blame US! Yikes! This episode gives you ideas about how to let go of the responsibility for items in our kids lives that should be THEIRS but seem to have become OURS. Learn how to keep a calm head as we turn over the job of owning "stuff" back to our kids in loving ways.


56 - Separation Anxiety: Why and What to Do

Most parents seem to get hit with this at some point in our parenting journey. It can start at around 6-7 months and usually goes away gradually throughout early childhood. But… sometimes we’re just put to the test with separation issues and we wish someone would let us know what’s normal, what’s extreme and give us some ideas about what to do. In this podcast we have Jessica O’Connor, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist to help step us through ideas in dealing with separation at different ages and stages. For more details about separation anxiety and what do to: LINK TO BLOG FOR PODCAST 56 To reach Jessica O'Connor: Lastly, if you are having issues in dealing with yourself or your child please reach out to the 24/7 National Helpline for Substance abuse and mental health services administration 1-800-662-HELP (4357).


55 - Managing Screens Using Aro

Listen to Heath Wilson, co-founder of Aro, talk about their innovative technology that helps families develop good screen habits in a positive and fun way. There's a smart tech "box" to hold your devices when families decide to have non-tech time and an app that will track how long technology has been in the box. It's the complete opposite of our normal "get off your device" that many families fight about now,! This is more like: "hey, how fun to see how long you been off your device" twist! You can use the app to have contests with both adults and kids and even track what you were doing while your devices have been in the box. So cool! Here's a link : GOARO.COM I have a few other podcasts mentioned that can help parents looking for more info in dealing with screen time : Podcast 11: Screen Time Issues - Part 1 ages preschool through elementary Podcast 12: Screen Time Issues - Part 2 ages middle to high school Podcast 44: Screen Time Struggles how to deal with screen addictions with Emily Cherkin


54 - Grandparents and Gifts: How to Tame Them

There are so many pressures we face as parents but one of the most challenging can be managing our own parents when it comes to gifting to their grandkids. It's enough to drive some of us crazy! In this episode we'll talk about the types of interference we might be dealing from our family values being over run to dealing with huge amounts of clutter that we have to organize not to how too many toys can interfere with creativity in our kids. Take a listen to hear more possible issues. What can you do? Start by having Family meetings with your parents and in-laws. COMMUNICATE! Set clear boundaries and offer ideas of what you'd like to see happen. Be willing to compromise and, again, communicate with those you love. Ideas for gifts they can give: Materials mentioned in the podcast about too many toys and kids: Psychology Today Article Today's Parent Article TRANSCRIPT


53 - Kids Who Don't Enjoy Learning: What To Do

When you have a child who refuses to read or is delayed in their reading compared to their peers it can be a very stressful time for parents as we try to navigate the what-to-dos and the why-is this-happening-to-my-child thoughts that constantly run through our minds. The same stress can hit us when our kids don’t want to write and then again if they start falling into the “I hate school” mode which really tears us up. Having learning differences can contribute heavily to this stressful time but knowing what to do and what resources you can employ in your home and in child’s school environment can make a huge difference. This is why I’ve interviewed Dr. Victoria Waller on this podcast, to provide you with ideas for getting to those resources that your child needs. She’s recently released her book YES! Your Child Can: Creating Success for Children with Learning Differences in which she’s poured her 40 years of experience working with and studying learning differences in children. It’s an invaluable resource and I want you to all know about it. Take a listen to hear amazing ideas of how to creatively activate the passions of our kids to ignite their abilities to learn. Also find out how to engage teachers and tutors to help leverage those passions to get your child onto a path of success. Here's a link to order the book: YES! Your Child Can If you'd like to contact Dr. Waller: Website


52 - Manners Lesson: Chewing Food

In this third installment of my manners series we discuss how to train your kids to chew their food with their mouths closed. It can be a challenge but with some consistency, love and a bit of fun and games it's possible to move your kids into the social graces. There are two books for younger kids that might come in handy: “How Dinosaurs Eat Their Food” by Jane Yolen “Dinner with Olivia” by Emily Sollinger Here's a copy of the TRANSCRIPT on my website. Also, feel free to email me with other questions --


51 - When Kids Drain Your Energy

When kids drain our energy by doing things that drive us crazy we need to respond in a loving and empathetic manner. However, when we're so tired of them doing things that drain us -- like whining, talking back, fighting with their siblings, or ignoring screen time limits -- we just don't know what to do. In this podcast you'll learn not only how to recognize things that drain your energy but how to let your kids know and then ask them to do things for you that help replenish that energy. Our kids to need to learn to recognize how their poor decisions to misbehave affect other people. We want to raise kids who are respectful and responsible and this energy replacement can help do just that! Click here for a list of Energy Drain Replacement Ideas TRANSCRIPT HERE If you have questions, email me at


50 - Mary's Parenting Report Card By Her Sons

What was Mary like as a parent? In this special episode hear from Mary's two grown sons on what it was like growing up with Mary as a parent. They talk about how natural consequences shaped them and how energy drains encouraged them to make better decisions among other topics. This episode was created at the request of Mary's Facebook Group, Parenting Decoded, who were curious about the long term impact of good, solid parenting techniques on children. What better examples than Mary's boys who went from having a helicopter mom to a consultant mom when they were in middle school. A big change! What grade did Mary get from her boys on her parenting skills? Take a listen and hear it for yourself!


49 - Manners Lesson: "Thank You"

In this episode we learn how to get our kids to say “thank you” and how to help develop a general sense of appreciation for not only “things” but also training them in thankfulness which will help to promote an “attitude of gratitude”. Lastly, we'll go over how important modeling good "thank you" practices can be in helping bring thankfulness in our homes. TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE HERE


48 - Cultivating Kindness in Kids

We all want our kids to grow up being kind and courteous. In this episode I talk with Teresa Ramirez, a motivational speaker and Kindness Koach. Listen to lots of fun ideas on how to promote kindness inside and outside your home. Here's some of the ideas we talk about! - Model it INSIDE your home - Model it OUTSIDE your home To get to Teresa's Facebook Page and order your FREE BUBBLES OF JOY!: JOURNEY IN KINDNESS To read the full article from Happy Family Happy You: 38 ACTS OF KINDNESS


47 - Manners Lesson: "Please"

This is the first podcast in a series relating to getting our kids to learn manners which are fundamental to their becoming responsible, respectful adults. Starting with Life Lessons early has the biggest impact but in this series of podcasts, whether you have a toddler or a teen, it's worth investing in their future through manners. Here are the basics of what's covered in this podcast: 1 - Start young! The earlier the better. Using "baby sign language" if you have a very little one. 2- With Older Kids Set Family Rules around Manners. Use a Family Meeting to talk about how important manners and and that you're going to start with focusing on the use of "please" in your home. 3 - Practice! It takes lots and lots of practice to get your kids to use please but you need to do it OVER and OVER again. When they don't ask with a "please" just ask them again. 4 - Expect more from older kids. Once they have the basics of using "please" have them incorporate "may I please" instead of just "please can I have". 5 - Role Play! Enjoy some of the learning with your kids by setting up fun events that you can practice and exaggerate what you're doing. Maybe a special candlelit dinner once a month? Maybe a Game Night where you exaggerate asking for dice or cards using "please". 6 - Model What you Want. You as the adult are constantly watched by your kids. Make sure you're using "please" appropriately. 7 - Leverage the Please Request. Your kids WANT something from you. Use this as "currency" that is so valuable to them that they're willing to use "please" to get it. Follow through with it even if they're sassy. Don't get distracted if they are snarky! TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE HERE Email Mary at Sign up for Mary's newsletter at: NEWSLETTER


46 - Unintended Consequences of Pushing for Good Grades

In this episode I interview Liz Bayardelle author of Clean Your Plate! 13 Things that Good Parents Say that Ruin Kids’ Lives. This book covers all sorts of unintended consequences that good parents say regularly like Get Straight As, Don’t Hit, Sit Still, Don’t Be a Quitter and many more. She goes into detail in all these areas and has wonderful ideas about how to combat our natural tendencies to push our kids in ways that might backfire. We talk specifically about the impact of parents choosing to say GET STRAIGHT A'S often sends our kids looking for extrinsic motivators like money, extra computer time or other external rewards. These rewards often work in the short run but can put a damper on intrinsic motivators that allow our children to own their own success. In order for our kids to have their own internal motivations there are four key factors: By encouraging a GROWTH MINDSET we can move away from nurturing kids who aren't fulfilling their potential to growing kids who WANT to achieve goals and move forward. Get a copy of Liz's book here! CLEAN YOUR PLATE! 13 Things Good Parents Say That Ruin Kids' Lives As always, email Mary at or join her Facebook Group: Parenting Decoded 2021 to hear from Mary more.


45 - Screen Addiction: Is My Child Addicted?

Some of us struggle with trying to figure out if our kids are addicted to screens. In this episode Emily Cherkin, The Screentime Consultant, and I discuss what causes screen addictions and what resources might help to determine if our kids are addicted. We also go over different levels of intervention in overcoming screen issues in our homes. Emily is launching a new course for parents that will help train parents week by week to get their arms around the issue. With parenting practices and live one-on-one coaching and support from other parents you will be able to make changes to support new behaviors that will set a balance between screens and life. The Screentime Consultant We also discuss resources for more extreme screen addictions. Links to those resources are: - Washington based treatment and therapy center to treat screen addiction. Residential treatment program is available. Restart's link to their assessment quiz: TAKE ADDICTION QUIZ - Online resources for anyone who games but special courses for parents. Links to therapy centers and therapists world-wide. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me:


44 - Screen Time Struggles

In this episode enjoy hearing from Emily Cherkin, The Screentime Consultant, as we talk about strategies to deal with kids and screen time use in our homes. Emily works with families all the time to help put "tech intentional" ideas into homes. Listen for ideas on how to set clear and reasonable limits in a way that can be integrated into your home, one step at a time. Emily can be found at: You can learn about her new course on Becoming a Tech-Intentional Parent. Emily has also generously offered to all our listeners access to her e-book resource for free! Mastering Screen Time If you have any questions feel free to contact me at


43 - Siblings Who Hate Each Other: What to Do

Siblings who hate each other is unfortunately all too common an issue for parents to ignore. In this podcast we explore what a parent can do with their kids who aren't getting along, who are unbearably mean to each other. Our kids fighting all the time can be: 1 - draining for the ENTIRE family 2 - full of opportunities to learn some life lessons about getting along In order to help stop the energy drain and actually learn those lessons that will help later in life we cover three possible solutions to try: 1 - Use FAMILY MEETINGS to help set boundaries and Family Rules of Respect 2 - Set up SPECIAL TIME to make sure your parent connection is secure and each of the siblings feel listened to and heard. 3 - Use LOVE LANGUAGES to help the entire family understand what motivates each person in a language that speaks to their inner being where love and acceptance is florishing There are a few other resources mentioned in this podcast that can give you further examples and information: Episode #9: Sibling Rivalry - What to Do Episode #10: Punishment vs. Consequences: What's the Most Effective Discipline? Episode #17: Creating Calm with Family Meetings Episode #33: Loving Your Family Using Love Languages Pint-Sized Treasure's article: “What to Do When Your Kids Hate Each Other” Mary's Energy Drain Idea List TRANSCRIPT IN BLOG HERE If you have questions, please email me


42 - Challenges with Boundaries

Setting limits for our kids can be such a challenge. We set them, they ignore or break them. Ugh! In this episode learn how to set better boundaries that we can stick by so that our kids know that we mean what we say. Learn to say: 1 - "AND WHAT DID I SAY" Using this phrase helps stop the whining and begging that gets so annoying that we often times give in just to quiet our kids down. 2 - Set consequences for whining and complaining when our kids try to push our boundaries in directions we don't want them to go. Use ENERGY DRAINs if you are wondering what to use. We review why our boundaries fail and what good boundaries look like: 1. Clearly define the boundaries to our kids 2. Make the boundaries positive 3. Have consequences 4. Be consistent 5. Be reasonable 6. Be calm and loving Here are some useful links for you: EPISODE 20: Creating Calm with Boundaries and Limits (Transcript) EPISODE 20: Creating Calm with Boundaries and Limits (Podcast) ENERGY DRAIN IDEA LIST For a full transcript of this podcast see my blog: TRANSCRIPT If you have questions please email me at


41 - Dealing with Disrespect

In this podcast learn how to deal with disrespect in your home by teaching and modeling respect while keeping calm. The truth is, disrespectful behavior is one of the inappropriate ways kids, especially teenagers but not limited to teens, try to solve their problems. Kids can feel powerless in the face of rules and expectations and talking back and showing disrespect is one way they try to take some power back. If they can drag you into an argument, that’s even better: Now you’re arguing about respect instead of focusing on their curfew or their homework or cleaning up their toys! Listen in on how to tame the disrespect monster: 1. Avoid the Fight in the Moment 2. Use Family Meetings 3. Don’t Take Everything Personally or Overreact 4. Model respect 5. Don’t Take Our Child’s Side 6. Don’t Demand Respect 7. Respect Their Choices 8. Use Restitution FULL TRANSCRIPT ON MARY'S BLOG


40 - It's Not Fair! - How to Deal with Fairness

Life isn’t fair it never has been. How we deal with life is what matters. In this episode learn how you can nurture an understanding of fairness in your child's life as well as ideas on how you can respond to unfairness. We want our kids to be able to: For a full transcript look here: TRANSCRIPT



In this very special episode I want to reach out to YOU, my listeners and hear from you! Email me your thoughts about who you are any why you listen! Got ideas? I'd LOVE to hear them! Already know me and came to a class or lecture long ago? Drop a note to say hi! Easiest way to email me is to click this link that takes you to my web page: EMAIL OR NEWSLETTER LINK You'll just have to click one more time on the "email" link or "newsletter" link. If you'd rather, email directly, use my...


39 - Bad Teachers and How to Deal With Them

In this podcast I cover a few things. First, what do bad teachers look like? How do they behave? Next, what can you do about it as a parent and, lastly, what can your child do about making it through the year in once piece having learned what they need to. Three types of bad teachers: Fluffy - ones that are nice but don't teach the material Boring - ones that put you to sleep they are so uninspiring Mean - ones that yell and are just plain mean; they might have favorites in the class and spend all their time with them; they might get mad at kids who don't understand In the podcast I go over a step-by-step approach on what to do. Read the transcript listed below if you'd like more details. 1 - Wait and See while doing research 2 - Communicate with the school 3 - Teach your child ways to cope with the bad teacher Julie Plagens at Mom Remade's article: FULL TRANSCRIPT HERE