Zen Parenting + Pop Culturing

Podcast Archive

Cathy and  Todd discuss this quote they found on Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Facebook page.  Sounds  harsh, but is it true? Does your family tend to tip-toe around one person during the holidays? Does one person’s difficulties become everybody’s difficulties? They discuss setting appropriate boundaries with a bah humbug relative so you can hold on to your Christmas Spirit.  They also discuss personal responsibility and how your attitude is always your decision.  How do you view ...
Cathy and Todd discuss the importance of personal responsibility in the wake of a tragedy. You can do something, you can make a change. Focus on what you are doing, giving, saying on an everyday basis – what kind of ripples are you putting out into the world? Are you focused on love or anger? Giving or taking? Being “right” or making a connection? They also discuss the importance of grieving, stigmas around mental illness, ...
How do we teach our sons to respect women?  It starts with women loving themselves.  Todd and Cathy discuss Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook post and how degrading women hurts men just as much.  They also discuss Cathy’s latest blog about self love, how to talk to our kids about death, and how much they love the original Karate Kid ...
Einstein said the most important question we can ask ourselves is whether the universe is kind.  What do you think?  Cathy and Todd discuss universal principles, faith, miracles, and how these belief systems effect our parenting.  They also discuss Debbie Downers, why negative thinking can be harmful, and Marianne Williamson’s new book ...
The battle you have all been waiting for- ZPR vs Parenting Unplugged.  This is a “no holds barred” cage match to decide who is the better show… and the better parents for that matter.  This is one that you won’t want to miss ...
Cathy and Todd had the honor of talking with Rev Ed Bacon, author of the 8 Habits of Love and host of Oprah’s Soul Series on XM Radio.  They discuss everything from forgiveness, to self awareness, and why choosing love over fear is an essential decision when it comes to your partner, your kids, or even yourself.  In true ZP style, they even talk about the best movie, the best candy bar, and who Rev ...
Cathy has been emailing Todd articles about being “too busy” and today they talk about it.  Why is this the social norm and why are we so comfortable with busyness? (Best two articles Article- Are you as busy as you think by Dr. Laura Vanderkam and Simple Yet Astounding Ways to Calm Down by Norman Fisher).  They also discuss Ed Bacon’s 8 Habits of Love (Ed will be a guest on ZP next week!) and which habit they love ...

ZPR Talks Politics

Do you talk about politics in front of your kids? Of course you share your perspective, but do you also say the other side is bad, evil, or whatever negative word you can find?  We discuss Dr. Peggy Drexler’s blog titled “Talking to Kids about Politics” – Talking to our kids about our viewpoint is great, but showing compassion for the other side is even better.  Cathy and Todd also talk about Annie Burnside’s latest ...

The “R” Word

Do you want one child, two, three, four?  Everybody has an opinion, but what’s right for you? Cathy and Todd share their decision making process and discuss why it’s important to  respect other people’s choices when it comes to family size.  Ann Coulter made news when she decided to tweet the r-word, and John Franklin Stephens made bigger news when he wrote an open letter explaining why this word is offensive – Cathy and Todd ...
We talk about the brave and beautiful Malala and her strength and determination to speak up for education. We discuss how teach our children how lucky they are to have access to education and other human rights. We also share thoughts on how to deal when you kids make friends with difficult kids (and start mimicking their behavior…). Join us! ...
Did you read Allison Tate’s blog titled, The Mom Stays in the Picture?  Cathy and Todd discuss why moms step out of photographs and therefore aren’t captured in the memories.  Yes, there’s the vanity issue, but Cathy thinks there are deeper issues, too (shocking!).  Todd also shares a lot of hangover stories – once upon a time he was the life of the party, but having kids gave him some perspective.  They also discuss the ...
Would you make your kids wear a sign that says, “I’m a thief?”  Or would you shoot your child’s computer and then post it on Facebook?  Maybe not, but have you ever humiliated your child in front of their friends or family?  Cathy and Todd discuss the shame involved in humiliation and why we need to “wake up” before making a choice that could negatively effect our children.  They also discuss yelling and fighting in ...
Are you the only parent who has to stay at the party or the sports practice?  Do you feel like your kid needs your support all the time, but other kids don’t seem to need their parents?  Cathy and Todd discuss “needy” kids and why listening to their needs is important today, and in the long run (and they discuss Cathy’s recent blog about this very experience).  They also discuss the importance of stillness/quiet time/contemplation ...
Did you know that our first impulse is to be generous?  But if we sit and think about it too long, we often change our mind.  Cathy and Todd discuss this research and also Ed Bacon’s new book called The Eight Habits of Love (#1 being generosity!).  They also discuss attachment parenting and what some call detachment parenting (taken from a Huffington Post article), birthday parties, and why Todd thinks kids should feel more pain at ...
Judging is normal.  All humans judge situations so they can better assess what to do next.  BUT, we have to notice when we are judging and realize that our assessments aren’t always correct.  Cathy and Todd discuss how to assess whether something is true by using Byron Katie’s method titled The Work.  Todd also decides that you can’t say you love your children unless you are practicing love – he gets angry when abusive men/and ...
When it comes to sports, do you encourage or push? Cathy and Todd discuss why supportive encouragement is great, but pushing can be harmful.  Do you want your kids to play your sport and live your dream, or do you want them to figure out what they enjoy?  They also discuss the obsession with sports and Todd’s three fantasy football teams – you read that right, THREE ...
Are girls “meaner” than boys? A lot of parents say this, but is it really true?  Cathy and Todd discuss this and refer to Cathy’s latest blog about why calling girls mean can be harmful.  They also discuss three things that every man should know about women – ladies, make sure your husband listens to this podcast!  It can open up great conversations about what you need and why!  Finally, they talk about the man ...
What do you do when your toddlers (or older kids) come into your bed in the middle of the night?  Are you used to it? Does it drive you crazy? Todd and Cathy discuss night-time options and their own personal experiences.  They also discuss why making casual negative remarks about your kids in front of your kids (i.e. “I can’t wait until this guy goes back to school…”) may be harmful.  They also discuss wool ...
Are your kids interrupting you all the time?  Is it causing you to feel annoyed or resentful?  Cathy and Todd discuss setting boundaries on interruptions while simultaneously treating your children with respect.  If you want them to respect you, you need to role model what this means.  This is an EXTENDED show (about 15 minutes longer than usual) thanks to listeners saying they wanted MORE.  So we also discuss mindful eating, the first day of ...
Are you always volunteering for things you don’t want to do?  Cathy and Todd discuss “people pleasing” and follow up their discussion from last week about trying to “change” your partner (or anyone else for that matter).  They also discuss Cathy’s migraine headache, the differences between principles and laws, and why the OWN TV Network is so ridiculously great ...
You want to grow, you want to learn, you want to more enlightened….that’s great, but don’t push it on the rest of the family!  Cathy and Todd discuss loving  your loved ones for who they are, not who you want them to be in the future.  Enjoy your journey and allow others to follow your lead!  And if “self help” or “new age” sounds to “out there”, find a word or word that works for ...
We are so uncomfortable with anger, but the truth is that it’s there to HELP us.  It reminds us when our boundaries have been crossed or when we aren’t being true to ourselves.  Cathy and Todd share personal stories of anger and how it transformed their way of thinking.  Once we embrace how anger can be helpful, it won’t scare us as much when our children get angry.  They also discuss The Dark Knight Rises ...

Children and Trauma

How do you support and understand a child who has experienced trauma?  Cathy and Todd discuss the importance of listening and supporting as a child grieves and processes through a challenging experience.  Remember that pain is pain – it could be the tragedy in Colorado, a divorce in the family, or the loss of a goldfish – children need to time to share their feelings and express their hurt.  They also discuss Cathy’s latest blog ...
You may say this, but do you really do this?  When someone doesn’t agree with you, do you make them bad, wrong, or mean, or do you accept their differences and love them anyway?  Cathy and Todd discuss the importance of loving your neighbor (friend, opposing political party, etc) even when you don’t see eye to eye.  They also discuss how they handled the tree in their backyard being cut down – it wasn’t easy ...
Cathy and Todd discuss “The Busy Trap” from the NY Times – do you create your own busyness or do you believe busyness “happens” to you? They also discuss mammogram anxiety and share tips to relieve doctor anxiety or everyday anxiety ...
Cathy and Todd discuss why it’s important to role model contentment for our children.  Instead of believing that situations or people should “make us” content, can we find contentment in our own skin?  Is contentment the same thing as happiness?  Listen and find out!  They also discuss Cathy’s girl weekend, the hot weather, and whether or not Aquaman was a true superhero – what did he do? How did he help? ...
Why the truth will set you free! Cathy and Todd break down the differences between men and women. Plus Todd offers some tips to eliminate having to ask your wife, “What’s wrong?”  10 time before she’s ready to answer.  You only have to ask once if you listen to this podcast. Don’t miss the spat between Cathy and Todd regarding air conditioning usage and one really funny line, also the dangers of conformity- even in yoga ...
Todd doesn’t understand why women need to be asked -“What’s wrong?” 10 times before women will answer, and Cathy doesn’t understand why everybody tells Todd he looks like Tom Cruise (but he kind of does).  Todd and Cathy also discuss getting in the “now”, being mindful, and teaching our kids to do the same. Cathy’s workshop– Mind, Body, Spirit Workshop @ Dailey Method this Wednesday @ 12:00 ...
Did you view the commencement speech about the kids not being special?  Do you think the speaker is right?  Do you believe that “trophies for everyone” is a bad idea? Cathy and Todd discuss what makes someone “special” and why making everything about “being the best” isn’t good for our kids.  Can we help our kids understand that they are special without making them compete for it?  Can we help our children appreciate competition without making ...
We get so excited for summer, but then we miss the structure of a school year.  Cathy and Todd discuss the joys and challenges of easing into the summer schedule, and finding the balance between structure and taking it easy.  They also discuss the demands and challenges of difficult people, and why hangovers just don’t make sense anymore ...
Cathy and Todd discuss spanking and why it sends a mixed message.  Discipline means “to teach” so what are you teaching when you spank?  How are you feeling when you spank – can you separate feeling from action?  Listen as they discuss alternatives and why spanking is such a hot-button issue ...
Cathy and Todd discuss “reconnecting” with kids when they seem quiet, distant, or just completely uninterested in you.  Todd shares his struggle to connect with his daughter and realizes he may not be speaking her “love language“.  They also discuss the importance of staying connected to older kids and the importance of physical touch ...
Is your kid shy?  Guess what?  It might not have anything to do with your child.  Take a look in the mirror.  Cathy and Todd speak about how they handled the times when their children clam up and how our own energy and discomfort might be playing a role. They also discuss some listeners who are having a hard time with potty training.  Have no fear, Zen Parenting is here.  We give you our tips ...
Todd plays golf with his 9 year old daughter and desperately wants to “teach” her – Cathy suggests “playing” golf so she can develop an appreciation for the game.  If she’s interested, then he can give her pointers – Todd disagrees – what do you think?  Are you gearing up for summer?  Cathy and Todd discuss striking a balance between activities and downtime….keep summer fun and low key.  They also share recent stories about meltdowns and kid ...
Cathy and Todd discuss why calling your child “good” or “bad” sends the wrong message.  They also talk about a challenging moment with their daughter (she says something disrespectful) and how they handle it (Todd isn’t proud of his behavior).  Cathy also shares her experience seeing the Dalai Lama and relays his message ...

Boys vs. Girls

Do you think girls and boys play sports differently?  Todd does.  Listen today as he shares his observations.  And Cathy shares 3 simple ways to be a more conscious parent.  They are simple, but they will make a big impact!  If you share a kind review about Zen Parenting on iTunes, you are in the running for a Zen Parenting t-shirt!  It’s not only cool, it’s comfortable! ...
Yes, you read that right.  Instead of telling your children you are proud, why not ask them how they feel about what they did?  Instead of having them impress you, why don’t you ask them to reflect on their sense of accomplishment?  It’s a great way to get them intrinsically motivated!  Cathy and Todd also discuss how you can listen, validate, and normalize while still saying NO.  Being respectful to your children does not mean ...
Why do we think our children need to be busy all of the time?  Because WE are busy all of the time.  Cathy and Todd discuss why sports and social activities can be good, but too much can be a problem.  Kids need to learn how to “BE” instead of  thinking they always need to “DO”.  It’s OK if our kids get bored – of course we can play every once in awhile, but its ...
Cathy and Todd discuss The Hunger Games and why it’s so disturbing – and why does it get a PG-13 rating (kids killing kids!) while the documentary Bully gets an R rating for dropping a few f-bombs?  They also discuss why what you read or watch effects how you view the world (so choose wisely!).  Todd continues to find things that bug him and adds them to his tournament of “bad” ...
The documentary called “Bully” comes out this Friday and everyone is talking about it.  From the rating to the relevancy, it’s touched a nerve everywhere.  Cathy and Todd discuss bullying, what bullies really want, and ways to support a child who is being bullied (and how to support a child who is bullying!).  They also talk about their new idea of  “Tournament of Bad” but for Parenting (Todd stole the idea off of his local ...
Do you find yourself taking care of your children and helping your parents?  Cathy and Todd discuss the challenge of being in the “middle place”, but they also discuss why it can be a really beautiful time.  Make yourself a priority so you can be there for the people you love the most!  Read Cathy’s Chicago Now blog about her experience with her dad. Upcoming Zen Parenting events: Family yoga – April 13 (2nd Friday ...
Todd and Cathy discuss questions from listeners – for example, how to not be “broken open” by your kids traumas, how to handle a pet dying, how to handle disrespectful or defiant behavior and much more.  They also waste some time talking about Friday the 13th and Jason……do you remember his last name?  Cathy does!  And speaking of Friday the 13th, Cathy and Todd will be teaching family at The Dailey Method, Elmhurst on Friday, ...
Yes, Rush has apologized, but that’s after a lot people spoke up and said “this is not OK” – how do we “speak up” in our life without bringing anger to anger?  Can we stay conscious and kind even in a divisive situation like this?  Or do we go numb and do nothing at all?  Cathy and Todd discuss this and also share how they handled the death of their little blue fish Freddy. Cathy ...
We have more influence than we think.  On today’s show we discuss last week’s episode of Modern Family.  Haley lost her virginity as a subplot of the show.  Was this inappropriate tv, or a vehicle to start an all important discussion.  Cathy and Todd go back and forth.  Where do you weigh in on the discussion? ...

Edward vs Todd

Are you a giver? Or, are you an OVER giver? Do you give too much and forget to keep some for yourself? Cathy and Todd discuss Cathy’s latest blog about giving, resentment, the need for self care, and somehow they end up talking about Twilight (Edward can be worked into any conversation…) ...
On today’s show Todd talks about how love is an ACTION. It may start as a feeling, but then love becomes a VERB. Are you “loving” the ones you love? Are you truly demonstrating how you feel? Instead of focusing on the gifts today, share your love through long hugs, listening, smiling, and holding hands. Allow the ones that matter most to FEEL your love…now that’s a gift! Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂 ...
Todd and Cathy discuss the book Bringing up Bebe: One Mother Discusses the Wisdom of French Parenting and why the author believes American parents “overparent”.  They also discuss Cathy’s latest Chicago Parent blog about finding your magic and seeing and validating your child’s magic ...
It’s OK not to cry when your baby shows up for the first time. Don’t let your wife make a list when she goes away for a long weekend. It might take awhile for you to fall in love with your new baby. After the baby shows up, you are not going to have sex for a long time. Morning sickness blows. And more… ...
The “angry jar” vs the “emotional vomit” – Which one is best the best way to raise a happy, healthy child? Cathy and Todd also discuss Cathy’s WGN radio interview on nursing in public and the inherent contradiction between the sexualization of women in the media vs. the overall discomfort of seeing a woman nurse in public ...
In the movie The Breakfast Club, Allison says that when you grow up, your heart dies.  Is there any truth to that?  Cathy and Todd discuss how to keep PLAY and keep your heart alive.  They also discuss how movies and television paint the picture of a sad, dangerous and lonely world.  It’s time to reconnect with your kid or teenage self and have a little fun! ...