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When a Pediatrician Faith Shifts - Joani Lea Jack

It’s hard to believe we haven’t had a pediatrician on the show about parenting yet! This oversight ends today! So honored to have Dr. Joani Lea Jack on the show. She’s a pediatrician who grew up in the conservative Bible Belt culture of the South. She tells me about meeting her a resident who is gay, and how listening to the story of that man changed the course of her faith. She penned a blogpost called Unfolding Miracles that is both heartrending and medically informative (see below...


How to Talk about Death with Children - Kay Bruner

An unimaginable tragedy happened to one of our previous podcast guests, Kay Bruner. She lost her 28 year old daughter in the summer of 2018. I’ve invited her back on to our show to talk about death, this intrusion into her family life and turned her world upside down. We share tips on how to talk to children about death, as Kay is caring for her granddaughter. We talk about deconstruction of faith and what our beliefs are about the afterlife and what that means when it actually hits...


How to Parent while going through a Spiritual Migration with Brian McLaren

Brian McLaren, like many of us, grew up fundamentalist and then evangelical, and he has been a thought leader in forging a path forward to finding a way to sustain faith that is inclusive and healthy for the world. I am honored to invite him onto the show today to give us some of his predictions of what the faith landscape will look like as our children grow into adulthood. In addition to a bird’s eye view, Brian gives some really practical tip for how to talk navigate literal readings of...


Episode 25: Good Christian Sex with Bromleigh McCleneghan

There’ no getting around the awkwardness of talking to kids about sex, but it’s also a critical conversation to have if we want our children to grow into healthy sexuality. Parenting Forward is here to help! Join my conversation with Bromleigh McClenghan, pastor and author of the book, “Good Christian Sex,” as we help navigate the landscape of faith and sexuality, and how we can best equip our children with the tool to form their own sexual ethic. We address masturbation, what does it...


Little Faith Podcast Crossover

Because I’ve been traveling, I’m running a bit behind schedule. While I work to recover and get back on schedule, I wanted to run a crossover episode with Little Faith: A Podcast for Parents Who Doubt. Havilah interviews me so hopefully listeners of Parenting Forward will enjoy hearing the roles reversed and hear more of my Parenting Forward story in depth. We talk about my cultural background, my faith, and the ways my kids are surprising me these days. Havilah is a warm, inviting...


Episode 23: First Q&A Episode! Special Guest: Brad Jersak

This show is our first Q&A format! I answer questions from what to do if grandparents are spouting Right Wing rhetoric at my teenage son, to how to talk about the cross with 6 year olds, to how to raise our children to care about social justice. Special featured guest, Brad Jersak came on the show to give us insight into framing the crucifixion for children - thanks so much Brad! Let me know what you think of the advice column format, and submit question for the next round of Q&A at...


Episode 22: Surviving a Cult with Carly Gelsinger

My guest today grew up in a cult and tells her story in her memoir, Once You Go In: A Memoir of Radical Faith. We talk about why adolescents and teenagers are particularly drawn to community, supernatural experiences, and what it looks like to parent teens without taking advantage of their vulnerabilities. Carly recently had a piece on Huffington Post go viral in which she talks about purity culture and how it leads to big swaths of evangelicals who support Brett Kavanaugh—we discuss how...


Episode 21: Interfaith Parenting with Susan Katz Miller

One of the pillars of progressive faith parenting is inclusivity, connecting with people of all religions and faiths instead of drawing dogmatic boundaries. Because of this, I think it is a critical conversation to have with interfaith families and children who are raised to be religiously literate in more than one faith. I asked around for who to talk to about this subject and overwhelmingly everyone said, Susan Katz Miller, is the go-to person. She was raised interfaith and identifies...


Episode 20: Raising White Kids in a Racially Unjust World

Raising white kids is to raise children in a vexed location, at the intersection of whiteness and childhood. White children experience the smog of toxic white supremacy and yet are often silenced and rendered incapable of navigating racial tensions and build meaningful relationships with peers of color. Today, I invite Jennifer Harvey, the author of Raising White Kids to help shed some light on why parents of white kids should care about raising race conscious children, and how to begin...


Episode 19: Andi Cumbo-Floyd - Infertility, Miscarriage, Entering Parenthood at 43

Andi Cumbo-Floyd is a writer, editor, and writing coach, who recently entered the season of motherhood at the older age of 43. She struggled with infertility and miscarriage before giving birth to her baby boy Milo, and she share vulnerably of that emotional roller coaster to parenthood in this episode. Andi lives on a farm in rural Virginia, and we talk about parenting in that context and how to navigate the racial makeup of her family in the rural South. Welcome to the farmhouse, make...


Episode 18: Stereotypes of Mixed Race Children Debunked - Sharon Chang

“Domination is built by binaries.” My guest today explains why the race conversation in America is often flattened to the black and white binary and erases other race and mixed race folks. Sharon Chang is an author and race activist and we have an interesting and informative conversation about her mixed race family and how parents of all children can make the world more kind and inclusive for mixed race children. One of the most critical things is becoming aware of stereotypes that are...


Episode 17: What Shall We Tell The Children in Trump era?

When November 2016, and the election results were final, many of us were shocked, scared, and confused. Parents, in particular, couldn’t fathom how we could talk to our children when violations of basic decency were put on display and voted in the highest office in the United States. Cheryl and Wade Hudson speak to us today with their gentle demeanor and years of wisdom on exactly how we should respond. They decided to publish an anthology as a gift to children everywhere to let them know...


Episode 16: Should I Raise my Children in Church - Barbara Brown Taylor

Barbara Brown Taylor is an Episcopal priest, teacher, best selling author, and one of the most profound voices for spiritual seekers and wanderers. It was a treat to get a chance to ask her questions about what it means to parent children into healthy spirituality. We chat about: The spirituality of her childhoodWhat it means to embody healthy spiritualityHow caring for animals teach us to be attentive in this worldHow children show us what it’s like to be fully humanHow to comfort a...


Episode 15: 7 Spiritual Child Protection Policies

Today I am sharing 7 spiritual child protection policies to ensure that while raising our children in faith, we are minimizing the risk of them being harmed by toxic doctrines. These policies can act as a guide in your everyday parenting, or to check against your children’s faith communities or schools. To sum up, the seven spiritual child protection policies are: Don’t convert a child.Don’t limit a child’s spiritual imagination.Give permission to feel the full range of human...


Episode 14: Amanda Meisenheimer - Progressive Children’s Minister

Amanda Meisenheimer is a progressive children and families minister. She creates music and curriculum to help families raise children with healthy spirituality, and I am excited to have her on the show to share the resources she’s created for all of us. Amanda and I start the show with the intense and complicated topic of adoption, as she is the adoptive mother of two children, and how she has changed and repented of some of the views surrounding adoption ethics. Then we talk about her...


Episode 13: Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

Rabbi Sandi Eisenberg Sasso is the author of several award winning children’s books on spirituality including God’s Paint Brush and In God’s Name. In this show, we talk about: How she became the first woman to be ordained as rabbi in the Reconstructionist movement.Why she began publishing children’s books.How she ensures complex ideas about God are distilled into accessible language for children.How to read the Bible with question marks with children.How to raise children with healthy...


Episode 12: Kaitlin Curtice - Decolonizing Faith as a Native American Parent

My guest today is Kaitlin Curtice, Native American Christian author and speaker, and a mother of two boys. Kaitlyn shares with us how she embodies race, religion, & resistance in her identity and her work. I ask Kaitlin: - how to raise our children with a decolonized faith how Native American traditions provide a much needed perspective to our parenting via cultivating a relationship with the land, place, and mysticism.Kaitlyn’s boys both started school and she talks about all her...


Episode 11: Carol Howard Merritt - Healing Spiritual Wounds

Important to Parenting Forward is the practice of parenting ourselves, specifically, to name our past wounds and engage in the work of healing. Breaking cycles of pain and shame means dealing with our own childhood trauma first. In this show, I invite author, speaker, and pastor, Carol Howard Merritt, who wrote the book, Healing Spiritual Wounds, to address how we might move through our spiritual wounds to give our kids the best chance of healthy spirituality. We talk about how to form a...


Episode 10: Mihee Kim-Kort Queering Our Faith

Mihee Kim-Kort is a Presbyterian minister, speaker, and author of several books including her most recent one titled, Outside the Lines: How Embracing Queerness Will Transform Your Faith. It is Mihee’s coming out story and is a beautiful book that expands our notions of what it means to be human. In the show, we talk about what it means to embody an intersection of identities, and how that impacts the way we raise our kids. We talk about what queerness does for Mihee’s faith, how it...


Episode 9: Andrew Grant-Thomas at Embrace Race

Andrew Grant-Thomas is the co-founder, along with his partner, Melissa Giraud, of the organization, Embrace Race. Their vision is to help provide parents resources to talk about race with their kids, and their website is chock full of wonderful resources, please be sure to check it out. In this episode, I ask Andrew: why parents are hesitant to speak race with their children,how to respond when our children make embarrassing remarks about people’s skin color in public,whether we should...